The Making of the Indian Constitution: A Case for a Non-nationalist Approach



The writing of the Indian constitution has often been celebrated for its momentousness, as it came at the end of a long period of anticolonial struggle. However, very little has been written on the making of the constitution. Often, the event of drafting the constitution is written-off as part of a logical end to the British Empire in India or as part of a fulfilling of the promise made by India's anticolonial leaders. However, this has led to a severe impoverishment of the field of Indian constitutional history. In this essay, I suggest that we could benefit so much more by considering the long, complicated, and fraught history of constitution making separately from the process of the making of independent India. By separating nation-making from constitution-making, the field of constitutional and political history can only be a richer and more informative resource to understand the complex postcolonial developments in India.