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Nov 12, 2020

Today’s guest is Rohit De, who is an associate professor of history at Yale University. His recent book, A People's Constitution: The Everyday Life of Law in the Indian Republic, is an excellent look at how the constitution actually transformed the daily lives of citizens in profound and lasting ways. Rohit details how those on the margins of society, like butchers and prostitutes, or drinkers and traders, made claims using the constitution after India’s founding and shaped India’s constitutional culture.

I had a chance to speak with Rohit about the four cases he makes in the book. We talked about how individuals asserted their rights against an oppressive, regulatory, and socialist state that had criminalized their daily activities and infringed on their ability to carry on their profession. We also had a chance to talk about Indian constitutionalism, economic planning and controls during the Nehruvian socialism, the meaning of constitutional franchise, constitutional symbolism during the citizenship amendment protests in India, Rohit’s intellectual journey, and much more.

Full transcript of this episode enhanced with helpful links:

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