State and Minorities


By Noel Mariam George

Why was group-based representation rejected when it came to religious minorities and granted when it came to backward classes during the framing of the Indian constitution? What were the notions of citizenship, as imagined by the founders that saw it as a process of ‘becoming’ beyond the myriad contestations of post-partition ‘being’? How do we negotiate citizenship and minority identity within a multinational and multicultural society?

One reason – a shallow one, perhaps – why Madhav Khosla’s India’s Founding Moment: The Constitution of a Most Surprising Democracy impressed me, is the optimism, which undoubtedly has become a rare tone in contemporary democratic political theory. I take the title of this article from Ambedkar’s States and Minorities, which he argued was a work that places his views for consideration of the constituent assemblies’ committee if, he is “left out”, as he might be “outside the tabernacle and therefore undesirable.” Ambedkar was not only ‘included’, in the process, but was made the drafting committee chair. Intriguingly, he marks the document as outlying the “The Rights of Citizens, of Minorities and the Scheduled Castes.” Ornit Shani in her 2018 work, How India Became Democratic had attempted to rekindle India’s “tryst with destiny”, reminding us that in the wake of Independence it was unelected bureaucrats who framed the constitution, “took it upon themselves to make Indians voters even before they became citizens.”[1] Khosla takes this argument further and places the founders involved in the task of challenging an imperial ideology that attributed democracy as alien to the Asiatic mind, to ‘create’ a “new demos travelling in uncharted territory” (30). This ‘creation’ was challenged by a population “poor and illiterate, divided by caste, religion, and language, and burdened by centuries of tradition” (6), as it had been rightly pointed out by colonists, to argue against Independence. Despite this, the founders were carving out a distinctive epoch of Indian Enlightenment, beyond enlightened despotism. Khosla argues that political philosophy for long has “neglected” the Indian experiment with democracy, one that was presumed, since its inception, to fail, and yet, as Robert Dahl wrote, somehow became a “deviant case.”

I think, but this just might be me being the devil’s advocate, contrary to Khosla’s argument about the “uniqueness” of the Indian constitution, it is a document not without its flaws. Specifically on the question concerning minorities, there have been serious misjudgements in the constituent assembly debates itself. Even Ambedkar admitted that the constitution was framed by “ransacking all the constitutions of the world”, one that Perry Anderson almost condescendingly critiqued as owing “the majority of its provisions to Westminster.”[2] It was never ratified, was not constituted with ‘sovereign’ authority, was written in a post-partition context with dominant representation usurped by upper-caste Hindu members of the Congress and is the longest constitution with too much legal jargon. Moreover, several scholars have marked the constitution as a continuation of the colonial legacy.[3] However, while agreeing to the truth in such claims, Khosla argues that contrary to any attempt to imitate the European model, the attempt to claim ‘universality’ in what was till then assumed to be only a possibility for ‘civilized’ Europeans, was in itself a decolonial assertion. He argues that the democratic imagination of self-government, i.e., purna swaraj, which is the ‘essence’ of the surprising “founding moment” ushered a distinct imagination of democracy, constitutionalism, and modernity in the face of incredulous odds. This was why a distinctively Indian imagination of self-governance “could not be found in thoughtless duplication” (20) and is hence a salient intervention in postcolonial constitutional history.

One of the core issues that I would like to tackle in this essay is Khosla’s engagement with the question of ‘identity’ and the ‘dilemma’ of how the state must or must not shape it. Added to this, I would also want to specifically discuss the ‘paradox’ of ‘minority identity’, and the question of why ‘backwardness’ of a group was considered as ‘legitimate’ grounds for creating group identities for preference provisions; however, the need to preserve the cultural identity of religious minorities was not. Anupama Rao marked this paradox as inconsistent, as backward class reservations “represented an altogether different principle of the minority.”[4] I agree, but not fully. I explore this “paradox” to critique dominant nationalist opinion in the Constituent Assembly that ‘excluded’ religious minorities from the purview of group-preference.[5] It is not ‘liberal’ concerns that were the most consequential informants in arguments against special rights for religious minorities, specifically with Muslims (who argued for separate nationhood and Partition), but nationalist concerns that denied minorities group-differentiation. Khosla argues that the way forward is to see the constitution as a pedagogical tool that attempts to produce a “certain type of citizen.” While it is undoubtedly important to develop “constitutional morality”, I doubt if this non-institutional recommendation based on liberal assumptions is enough in the face of majoritarian nationalist populism that has attempted to structurally disenfranchise religious minorities. Nevertheless, I concur with Khosla’s argument about the distinctiveness of the “founding moment” and its genuine attempts to develop universal notions of citizenship, from which there has been a drastic shift in contemporary times.

The Dilemma of Identity: ‘Autonomous’ Individuals Entrapped in Groups

The most intriguing dilemma in modern democratic theory, as Kwame Appiah writes, “is the choice between two opposing ideas of how the state should shape identity” (234).[6] The first position argues that the state must not acknowledge any identity and it should treat citizens independently of their identities, to put it crudely, as “atomistic individuals.” The second argument, contradictory to this, which is often termed as the “multicultural position”, argues that the state must recognize identity. Even while we agree about how the state must treat each citizen as an individual, human life is deeply intertwined with the social, and it is through social identities that the self is constituted. Charles Taylor, in his influential essay, “The Politics of Recognition” had argued that modernity demands not only a politics of equal dignity but also a “politics of difference.”[7] In his laconic reading of Taylor, Paul Ricoeur has commented: “It is collectively, one could say, and that we demand an individualizing recognition” (214).[8] This ambivalence between the individual (imagined as ‘universal’ subject) and the community (as group identity) underlies the anxieties of most politics today.

In the wake of modernity, attempts to reconcile this ambivalence, by placing a homogenous nation as the basis to claim a ‘universal individual’, have manifested the worst of human bigotry and cruelty. Some populations were ‘exterminated’, in some cases coercively assimilated and in the Indian case, violently separated. In Multicultural Citizenship, Kymlicka argued that group-differentiated rights for minorities are “consistent” with liberalism “if not outright demanded.” He argued that “external protection” between groups can be justified, sometimes even necessary, to promote equality (for instance positive discrimination for Black Americans in the U.S.). However, “internal restrictions” that contain the person’s autonomy, are not compatible with liberalism (51).[9]

The Indian constitution took the middle ground between these two positions of the individual and the group, as it had to mediate a new transition of affirming the individual, distinct from the logic that previously balanced communities, while rectifying past inequities that restricted individuals to their ‘communal’ identities. This is seen as the contradiction between articles 14-22 that stress fundamental rights advocating individual equality and freedom, in contrast to articles 25-30 which vouch for protection of religious freedom, education and cultural rights for minorities. Khosla argues, “Whether, in the case of religion or caste, the hope was that the Constitution would liberate individuals and allow them to participate in politics as free and equal persons” (152). Ambedkar’s demands for ‘minority’ provisions, was to affirm the individual in a structure, i.e., the caste system of graded inequalities, which rejected the individuality of a person based on his/her community of birth. The conundrum was that Dalit identity was to be transcended and not reified, but that was possible only by marking themselves as “stigmatized.” Individualization, as transcendence, was possible only by asserting a group identity that marked them as “degraded subjects.” This is why the recognition of a distinct Dalit identity is “the consequence rather than the object of the constitutional arrangement” (151).

Tracing “genealogies of mediated citizenship”, Niraja Jayal had marked the discourse that placed a binary between universal and group-differentiated citizenship to be facile. Group-differentiated citizenship had different meanings for the myriad groups in India: Muslim demands were for an anti-dote to majoritarianism, discrimination for Dalits and backwardness for tribes.[10] Group-differentiation for backward classes and tribals drew upon moral arguments about historical injustice; however, a “neglected” aspect of Indian constitutional history is the “withdrawal of political safeguards for religious minorities during the making of the Indian constitution.”[11] The arguments put forth were that state recognition of a person’s religion in public policy would be antithetical to principles of secularism. However, such an argument is not consistent. The Indian constitution does ‘recognize’ religious minorities, as can be seen in articles 25-30, as mentioned earlier. The personal laws based on the notion of “uniformity of rights, rather than uniformity of laws”[12] also are a contradiction to this claim that ‘recognition’ of a minority is incompatible with Indian Secularism/Liberalism. Why then were the safeguards narrowed down, as some provisions available in the colonial state were completely excluded for religious minorities in our new democracy?

Communal Minorities and National Citizens

Ambedkar in an amusing polemical comment, in States and Minorities, wrote that the very question of ‘whether’ Scheduled Castes constitute a minority is “unmitigated nonsense that no sane man need pay any attention to.”[13] Early on, he attempted to carve out a political identity for Dalits through his theory of minority caste stressing that caste, especially untouchability, “is the deep structure of secular and religious configurations of the community.”[14] On the question of the logic behind the construction of identities, Ambedkar points to contradictions in the concept of quantitative/ numerical minority (Muslims) instead of qualitative minority (Dalits). He places the reluctance in classifying Dalits as a political minority, as an attempt by the national elites to codify Dalits as ‘Hindus’ after the Poona Pact.[15] While there was a consensus that India is a conglomeration of communities, rather than a ‘single’ homogenous nation, nationalist arguments against separate electorates were that it would “condemn a minority to its allotted share” (146). Nevertheless, the constitution provided group rights for backward classes, who were by then classified as ‘Hindus’. However, the restriction of religious minorities, i.e., non-Hindus, in the provision of quotas in the services to backward classes points to not a liberal conundrum with group-differentiated identity, but a much more sinister, majoritarian nationalist concern.

Khosla elaborates this, arguing that colonial governance, based on pre-determined identities, culminated in demands for territorialized notions of communal citizenship, i.e., the Partition. Gyan Pandey had elucidated this “dichotomous” Hindu-Muslim identity to be manufactured through a de-contextualized, colonial “territorial codification” along communal lines of myriad identities that had hitherto contesting narratives of ethnic origins.[16] The Partition revealed how the colonial state ‘shaped’ identity to the extent in which reality morphed into how it was codified, implying that the state and identity, irrespective of whether we want it or not, are intertwined in South Asia. The question then was to develop a representative framework distinct from colonial notions that regarded identities as ‘fixed’. Khosla’s intervention in shifting the debate on religious identity and the narrative of Partition from purely territorial concerns to a question of representation is salient. He points to blind spots in Gandhi and Nehru’s engagement on the question of identity and representation to show how even though they argued against partition, they did not propose an alternative theory of representation. He accentuates that the rejection of the proposal for partition or the earlier demand for separate electorates emerged “from denial rather than engagement.” Gandhi’s intervention saw ‘communalism’ to be an elite affair which he attempted to solve through non-institutional means, and in Nehru’s world view, communalism was “a medieval conception which has no place in the modern world.” In contrast, Hindu Nationalists like Savarkar and Golwalkar placed ‘identity’ to be an important aspect of politics and yet they were trapped in a schema by which they categorized citizens into groupings, which were assumed to be permanent. Worse still, their solution was in non-recognition of minorities, which implicitly implied “subordination.” Interestingly, Khosla empathizes with Jinnah, almost tipping on blasphemy for an ‘Indian’ political philosopher, to argue that Jinnah recognized the question of identity; however, the flaw in his vision was that he proposed a territorial “arrangement that converted the minority into a majority.” Jinnah argued that Muslims and Hindus were two distinct nations and stressed on Muslim right to self-determination in the aftermath of the failure of negotiations with the 14-points.

Rajeev Bhargava argues that a secular state must oppose communalism, regardless of whether it stems from the majority or minority. Nonetheless, as a “minority community [is] more vulnerable in a democratic polity, it needs protection from majoritarian domination, and therefore solely for this purpose, it must be given community-specific minority rig­hts.”[17] I think such an argument is problematic as it posits communalism as a binary of secularism; however, a much more accurate binary in the Indian context would be that of communalism and nationalism. Secularism is definitely intertwined with nationalism, but “nationalism and communalism are inseparable binaries”, according to Aamir Mufti. “Minoritization”, he argues, is a structural process of modern state formation, with national belonging and minority subordination followed by separatism going hand in hand.[18] Savarkar had gauged this while arguing against special provisions and ‘group differentiated identity’ for religious minorities, as without structural provisions, Hindu majoritarianism, combined with seizure of state power democratically, would automatically render Muslims secondary citizens. Minority, in this definition, rather than being defined by a number, is defined by possible victimization through disproportional power relations. Khosla agrees to such an argument, for he argues that “it is not that a “majority” and “minority” are empowered by the institution of democracy. More fundamentally, they are created by it” (139). However, rather than lament this possibility, he points to the contingency of ‘identities’ in themselves. This is why he highlights the founding moment’s promise of the transformation of rigid communal identities into contingent identities based on the individual political agency as a viable alternative. Khosla argues that the constitutionalists were tasked with imagining a model that “would allow the majority and minority to be consistently changing, defined and redefined within the fluid domain of politics and thereby offer the greatest form of security” (136). This was done by relating representation to an individual’s “vote”, whereby citizens are provided with “agency” to “deliberate and act for themselves as individuals”, rather than the colonial proposition that assumed individuals within certain groups would act or think collectively. However, even after Independence, identities rather than becoming contingent have ossified.  This has marked, as Yael Berda argues, Muslims as a “racialized” group, which implies that we need to reconsider the liberal optimism of focussing on the “individual” without group protections for minorities.[19]

Nevertheless, by foregrounding Ambedkar and agreeing to certain apprehensions that Jinnah had raised, Khosla brings in a radical shift to how we have imagined Indian political theory. This shift, as Habermas would point to, is a movement, from a “subject-centered reason” that has driven Indian nationalism post-partition to a “communicative reason.”[20]

Building ‘Political’ Communities with the Constitution as a Pedagogical tool: The question of ‘Justice’

Colonial rule, Khosla argues, resulted in a “laissez-faire” approach to representation, by which different communities attempted to increase their power within government rather than developing shared principles, or what James Tully terms as “public philosophy.”[21] However, I think it is important to examine the nuances of colonial law, which has been interpreted monolithically as an instrument of colonial domination in nationalist historiography. While the Constitution transformed subjects into citizens, Gautam Bhatia points to a few colonial transformations as embodying democratic principles of representation in the constitution in contrast to its contemporary functioning.[22] Colonial policy weighed on the importance of giving representation to every community in the administration, which became an archaic lexicon after nation formation, as it was not seen as the duty of the state to balance the interests of the communities, as much as it was to mould the ‘national individual’. However, this has caused disproportionate representation, with upper-caste representation dominating almost all sectors, causing growing cynicism, discontent, and even a sense of betrayal with our democracy.

However, in contemporary politics, demands for group differentiated rights are seen as “reflecting the unprincipled compromises of electoral competition” (14).[23] There is truth in such a claim, as the working of the Indian constitution and associated apparatuses has been following a similar logic of communities competing for dominance, with the Hindu right taking this a step further by attempting to claim an exclusive sovereign power, at least in the last decade.[24] While the constitution is a unique provision for its “shared rules”, Pratap Bhanu Mehta has pointed to our disappointment as emerging from an absent “shared public philosophy” to the point that “suffrage established sufferance.”[25] The need today seems to be a public philosophy by which equal citizens with different viewpoints can, as James Tully argues, “engage in agonistic activities for recognition and rule in public space.” He stresses “public participation” to be an intersubjective activity whose aim is “political freedom” (13).[26] Judith Skhlar, in her analysis of American politics, critiques the contemporary struggle for citizenship as trapped in an “overwhelming demand for inclusion, in an effort to breakdown existing barriers to recognition”, rather than an “aspiration to civic participation as a deeply involving activity” (3).[27] A similar argument can be made in the Indian case, where contestations on identity have stifled any possibility of “conversation across differences.”[28] There has been an increasing bureaucratization and nuanced bifurcation of identity, specifically post-Mandal and Shah Bano, in the absence of dialogues around justice.

Citizenship in a republic is not merely the political freedom to free speech and protest (which in itself is under threat in India), but crucially also involves, Tully argues, the “right to initiate political, legal or constitutional change”, accompanied by the duty of other members to “enter into negotiations in good faith to rectify the injustice” (34). Tully underlines this point, taking from the radical philosophical position of Nietzsche, Foucault, and Wittgenstein in creating alternatives, as we are not bound by the limits of a fixed notion of “we”, premised on a shared ‘cultural’ past, but rather we “think otherwise” to build new political communities to constitute a new notion of a shared “we.”[29] This implies that “political communities are defined not by a common past but by a resolve to forge a common future under a single political roof, regardless of how different or similar their pasts” (652).[30] It is not necessary for a culture rooted in a common past to build a common future politically. The Partition need not be the event that defines the future of citizenship in India, as citizenship is not a static point of ‘being’, but a process of ‘becoming’.

Khosla’s work is distinct from contemporary works on constitutional theory as it attempts a ‘constructivist’ approach.[31] Rather than seeing the constitution as a book of rules that would enable or prohibit actions, he argues that the founders saw it as “a device that could define the nature of political actions and the concepts that such actions implicated” (22). Ambedkar had argued along similar lines stating that “the exercise of popular government is itself an education.” The argument that sees the state as a “pedagogical apparatus” is not without its critiques. Firstly, it assumes the state and constitution to be if not bias-free, at least structurally objective, which Pritam Singh has challenged, arguing that Hindu bias in the constitution “must be read as symptomatic of the depth of institutionalized Hindu communalism in India and the shallowness of the secular foundations of the Indian republic” (910).[32] Secondly, to imagine the state as a pedagogical tool is to almost advocate for a ‘disciplinary’ state, one that Foucault has pointed out to be inherently bio-political. Thirdly, ‘Populism’ of recent times has questioned the ‘legitimacy’ of state apparatuses, with “the people” attempting to bypass mediating institutions and constitutionality. Lastly and most importantly, shifts in the wake of the new citizenship laws such as CAA and NRC that would reduce a significant group of people without sufficient documents into the category of ‘illegal immigrants’. This begs the question as to whether citizenship is itself an ideal project to strive for. Citizenship was indeed an emancipatory project in the last century where we witnessed decolonization and subsequent transformation of subjects into citizens. However, because of the rise of ethno-nationalist politics ‘inside’ several states in the last century, Mamdani points out that “basing rights on membership in the state community means that citizenship disenfranchises growing numbers” (72).[33] These views on modern citizenship and constitutions almost make Walter Benjamin’s thesis that there is “no document of civilization which is not at the same time a document of barbarism.” This seems true if we are to assume the worst of our founders and Indian democracy.

In the wake of a possible ethnoreligious conception of the state, we need to develop, what Upendra Baxi has termed, a “kindred concept of justice”, which is the heart of constitutional morality, by which “citizens are responsive to the sufferings of co-citizens” (107).[34] This implies we do not necessarily have to altogether reject the emancipatory potential of citizenship and yet we need to rework several unexamined assumptions that interlink citizenship and nationhood in contexts where minority subjects are becoming a significant disenfranchised, even ‘stateless’, section. I do not think group-differentiation through communal representation/ separate electorates are the solutions for modern nationhood. The opposition by Ahmadi minorities against Pakistan’s “separate but equal system” is proof enough for why this might not work out. Scholars are still bewildered about how we must go about this, but I think the only way to patch up identity in South Asia, even inside of each nation-state, would be to ‘recognize identities’, to initiate a conversation of ‘justice’. In a picaresque allegory of the partition, Salman Rushdie characterized Saleem and Shiva as alibis, born at the same moment at midnight, and yet who are also the nemesis of each other. The story doesn’t end well. Thankfully, Rushdie is no prophet and his work can be taken as a warning for a dystopia we must not succumb to. Rather than indulge in catastrophic thought, we have to radically rethink our politics, by first acknowledging what we got ‘right’ in the first place.

Khosla’s work seems to be an attempt to acknowledge the ‘miracle’ and not just the nightmare of India’s “founding moment.” As Akeel Bilgrami writes, “One cannot believe in democracy and dismiss the electorate as vile or stupid. For the electorate is shaped by what knowledge it possesses” (453). This is why, rather than judging “the people” to have an “intrinsic incapacity”, it is important to use our pedagogical tools to develop a public philosophy.[35] However, I believe “public philosophy” in India will have to recognize the historical conflation of arguments on national unity, secularism, and even equality, to argue against minority safeguards. Developing a discourse of normative force will have to differentiate these categories that have often been used interdependently, to have real conversations around justice. Group-rights can be synthesized consistently with liberalism and the Indian constitution has successfully done that in its provisions for backward classes. While we celebrate the possibilities of liberal principles and the creative synthesis of these principles in the Indian state, it is important to understand the constraints and the insufficiency of liberal and nationalist principles in articulating group-rights, specifically for religious minorities in India. While the fear that group-differentiation can ossify identity is a real concern, the alternative has been structural subordination of minorities and coercive assimilation. Group-differentiation, with the “choice of exit”, as Kymlica argues, would have been a solution that would provide minorities structural protections, without necessarily ‘fixing’ identity. Nationalist articulations, however, termed such minority demands as ‘communal’ without genuine engagement. It is the ‘politicization’ of an ethnic or religious majority that produced an equally manufactured minority.

Nevertheless, Citizenship was undoubtedly conceived as a revolutionary imagination by the Indian constitution and its framers, beyond the constraints of caste, gender, religion, or ethnicity to provide equal citizenship for ‘all’ within the territory. It has within it the possibility of transformation of identity. This is a “historical constitution”, given the preamble’s declaration of “we the people”, as a declaration that signified an “uncountable surplus” over the citizen.[36] Yet, what remains a disturbing enigma to me is the urgent question of how we must reclaim this “insurrectionary constitution” and democracy for which we risked everything.[37]

[1] Ornit Shani. How India became democratic: Citizenship and the making of the universal franchise. Cambridge University Press, 2017.

[2] Perry Anderson. Indian Ideology. Three Essays Collective, 2012

[3] Sandipto Dasgupta, “A Language Which Is Foreign to Us’: Continuities and Anxieties in the Making of the Indian Constitution,” Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, 2014,

[4] Anupama Rao. The caste question: Dalits and the politics of modern India. University of California Press, 2009.

[5] Rochana Bajpai. “Constituent assembly debates and minority rights”, Economic and Political Weekly (2000, pp. 1837-1845.

[6] Kwame Anthony Appiah and Grethe B. Peterson. “Tanner Lecture on Human Values”, (2002), p. 234.

[7] Charles Taylor, and Amy Gutmann. “The politics of recognition”.New contexts of Canadian criticism 98 (1997): 25-73

[8] Paul Ricoeur. The course of recognition. Vol. 2. Institute for Human Sciences Vienna Lecture Series, 2005.

[9] Will Kymlicka. Multicultural citizenship: A liberal theory of minority rights. Clarendon Press, 1995.

[10] Niraja Gopal Jayal. Citizenship and its discontents: An Indian history. Harvard University Press, 2013.

[11] Rochana Bajpai. “Constituent assembly debates and minority rights”, Economic and Political Weekly (2000), pp. 1837-1845.

[12] Flavia Agnes, Anuradha Dingwaney Needham, and Rajeswari Sunder Rajan. “The Supreme Court, the Media, and the Uniform Civil Code Debate” (2007), pp. 294-315.

[13] Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar. “States and Minorities” (1947).

[14] Ibid.

[15] Baba Saheb Ambedkar. What Congress & Gandhi Have done to the Untouchables. Gautam Book Center, 1946

[16] Gyanendra Pandey. “The construction of communalism in colonial North India” (2006).

[17] Rajeev Bhargava and T. N. Srinivasan. “The distinctiveness of Indian secularism.” The Future of Secularism. Oxford University Press, 2007.

[18] Aamir R. Mufti. Enlightenment in the Colony: The Jewish Question and the Crisis of Postcolonial Culture. Princeton University Press, 2009

[19] Yael Berda. “Managing dangerous populations: Colonial legacies of security and surveillance”, Sociological Forum 28, no. 3 (2013), pp. 627-630.

[20] Jürgen Habermas. Philosophical introductions: Five approaches to communicative reason. John Wiley & Sons, 2018.

[21]Tully, James. Public philosophy in a new key. Vol. 2. Cambridge University Press, 2009.

[22]Gautam Bhatia. The Transformative Constitution: A Radical Biography in Nine Acts. Harper Collins, India. 2019

[23] Rochana Bajpai. Debating difference: Group rights and liberal democracy in India. Oxford University Press, 2011.

[24] However, contemporary scholarship on conflict, specifically, the ethnographic studies of Paul Brass, in contrast to the right-wing narrative of Hindu Muslim conflict as an “inherent vice’, has pointed to how large scale communal violence is “sparked” by local causes that agglomerate and morph into the master narrative of Hindu-Muslim /Upper caste-Lower Caste animosity. See Paul R. Brass, The production of Hindu-Muslim violence in contemporary India. University of Washington Press, 2011.

[25] Pratap Bhanu Mehta. The Burden of Democracy. Penguin Random House India Private Limited, 2017.

[26] James Tully. Public philosophy in a new key. Vol. 2. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008.

[27] Judith N. Shklar. American Citizenship: The Quest for Inclusion. Harvard University Press, 1995.

[28] Kwame Anthony Appiah. The Ethics of Identity. Princeton University Press, 2010.

[29] James Tully. Public philosophy in a new key: Democracy and Civic Freedom. Vol. 1. Cambridge University Press, 2009

[30] Mahmood Mamdani. “Beyond settler and native as political identities: Overcoming the political legacy of colonialism”. Comparative Studies in Society and History 43, no. 4 (2001), pp. 651-664

[31] Rajeev Dhawan, “Madhav Khosla’s book on the Constitution engages with it as a pedagogical apparatus | Books and Literature News”, The Indian Express, Accessed on January 1st 2021

[32] Pritam Singh. “Hindu bias in India’s ‘secular’ constitution: Probing flaws in the instruments of governance”. Third World Quarterly 26, no. 6 (2005), pp. 909-926.

[33] Mahmood Mamdani. “Africa: Democratic Theory and Democratic Struggles”, Economic and Political Weekly (October 1992).

[34] Upendra Baxi. “Taking suffering seriously: Social action litigation in the Supreme Court of India”, Third World Legal Studies (1985), p. 107.

[35] Akeel Bilgrami. “Reflections on three populisms”, Philosophy & Social Criticism 44, no. 4 (2018), pp. 453-462.

[36] Soumyabrata Choudhury. Ambedkar and Other Immortals: An Untouchable Research Programme. Navayana, 2018.

[37]Kumar, Aishwary. Radical equality: Ambedkar, Gandhi, and the risk of democracy. Stanford University Press, 2015.

Noel Mariam George is currently pursuing Ph.D. in IIT Madras, attempting to understand the interlink between Citizenship and Identity, along the Inner Line Permit in North East India. She completed her M.Phil. from the University of Hyderabad, where she tried to explore the links between nationhood and religion through the lens of Ambedkar’s writings.


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