In 2017 India celebrated 70 years of Independence from British colonial rule. Next year, in 2018, Indians born in the 21st century will for the first time become eligible to vote for their own government. Do younger generations of Indians born well after Independence and the adoption of a new constitution understand the legacy and values of the freedom movement in India, and the ambition of the Constitution of India to transform a traditional and hierarchical society into a modern and secular republic of India committed to the pursuit of economic and social justice? How does the Constitution matter in our everyday life?
In 2017, the Centre for Law and Policy Research, Bangalore (CLPR) will set up a network of constitution societies in schools and colleges across India to be known as the National Constitution Society to respond to the lack of critical engagement with India’s constitutional inheritance.A first step would be to recognize and celebrate the achievements of 70 years of independent India built on universal adult suffrage and progressive social policy enshrined in the normative and institutional foundations of a democratic and inclusive Constitution. Second, we must recognize challenges to the constitutionfrom efforts to restore traditional caste, religious, gender and class hierarchies in India. The NCS is committed torestating and reaffirmingthe core political and constitutional principles of freedom, equality, fraternity, secularism and justice in 21st century India and rededicating ourselves to the realization of a socially and politically just and inclusive society through public education, public policy initiatives and social reform.
This Society will facilitate and engage with contemporary political, social and economic issues by placing the Indian Constitution at the centre of such engagement. The National Constitution Society will have a diverse and large number of member institutions and CLPR will work with this network in the following ways:
- Organize national events like the Conquest Quiz, Parliamentary Debates and Model Parliaments to promote active engagement with the Constitution;
- Facilitate popular engagement and understanding of the role of the Supreme Court as the interpreter of the Constitution through our website scobserver.clpr.org.in and regular events around important cases before the court;
- Conduct workshops making Indian constitutional history relevant to everyday debates through our website cadindia.clpr.org.in and through direct engagement with member societies;
- Host regular meetings, in collaboration with member societies, with eminent judges, lawyers and academics to develop a better understanding and appreciation of the role the Constitution plays in our everyday life;
All India National Constitution Society Convention:CLPR will organise an All India National Constitution Society Convention every year. This convention will bring together delegates from members institutions across the country. The Convention will be an opportunity for all member institutions to participate in an event that critically engages the Indian constitution and develops an annual plan to preserve, protect and promote constitutional values.
To join this Society, please Write to: firstname.lastname@example.org / Call +91 89719 14865