Bangalore International Centre in association with Centre for Law and Policy Research had arranged a panel discussion on “CADINDIA.CLPR.ORG.IN AND THE CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY DEBATES IN CONTEMPORARY INDIA” on Saturday, 18th June, 2016 at 5.30 PM at its Auditorium. Hon’ble Justice M N Venkatachalaiah chaired and moderated the discussion. The panellists present were Prof. Sudhir Krishnaswamy, Dr. Shraddha Chigateri, Mr. Lawrence Liang, Mr. Aakar Patel and Dr. Aditya Sondhi.
The Constitution of India adopted on January 26, 1950, is the result of detailed discussions and debates of the Indian Constituent Assembly. This Assembly in 165 sittings over a period of 2 years and 11 months engaged with several legal, constitutional and political issues of contemporary relevance. However, these debates remain difficult for non-specialists to access and use and have receded from our public memory. The Centre for Law and Policy Research (CLPR) has curated, coded and tagged the Constituent Assembly Debates on Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles. This database has been integrated into a specially designed website with a unique search engine that allows both expert and lay users to read, search and explore India's constitutional origins.
The erudite panelists touched upon various sensitive aspects of the Constituent Assembly debates to highlight how carefully the members considered such issues thoroughly and sought to arrive at a consensual approach in most of such cases. They differed quite strongly in their views and, yet debated the issues in a totally civilized manner. There were several areas like the highly contentious issue of cow slaughter where consensus was achieved by bringing in the logic of animal husbandry management and pushing the hard-core religious sentiments in the background. As one panelist put it, the Constitution-makers not only thought of contemporary issues, but also envisioned the future. Justice Venkatachalaiah who chaired and moderated the highly educative session added depth and value to the discussions through his erudite observations.