ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Constituent Assembly Debates on Language

Even though India's Constituent Assembly debates were informed by remarkable seriousness, scholarship, and integrity, most of the linguistic decisions taken by the Constituent Assembly, in many cases insightful, were located in consensual democracy and the domination of the elites in that body. The multilingual and multicultural ethos that is constitutive of Indian society was ignored. The focus was so much on containing the existing political safeguards available to the religious and backward minorities that the rights of linguistic minorities were compromised. In trying to prepare a blueprint for a liberal and secular democracy, the makers of the Constitution were forced to reconcile several contradictions.

I thank the anonymous reviewer for an extremely critical and insightful feedback. Thanks are also due to Praveen Singh.

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