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Aug 20, 2020

Welcome to Ideas of India, a podcast where we examine academic thinking that can propel India forward. My name is Shruti Rajagopalan. Today, my guest is Madhav Khosla, associate professor of political science at Ashoka University and the Ambedkar Visiting Associate Professor at Columbia Law School. His latest book, India’s Founding Moment: The Constitution of a Most Surprising Democracy, details the main ideas or traditions of thought that informed the Indian constitutional project and discusses how the framing of the Constitution changed India’s trajectory.

In his book, Madhav talks about the decision of the framers to have a very long and codified Constitution as a pedagogical project. He argues that the framers centralized power to fight localism and parochialism. And we spoke about the framers’ idea of representation in a society fragmented by religion and caste, with the backdrop of Partition, and the relevance of those choices today.

I had a chance to talk about these themes, the link between India’s founding and its constitutional troubles today, the framers of the Constitution, Madhav’s intellectual influences, and much more. This conversation was recorded in person in February, before the COVID pandemic. But Madhav’s book on the founding is unlikely to lose its relevance anytime soon.

Full transcript of this episode

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