CLPR conducted a series of Indian constitutional history workshops in Mumbai between 23-25th January around various themes by engaging with the Constituent Assembly Debates and constitutitonal antecedent documents. CLPR oragnised a total of seven workshops in 5 colleges and universities and reached an audience of around 500 people in an effort to increase civic participation, especially in the student community, with the Constitutent Assembly debates. The worskshops were on Uniform Civil Code, Freedom of Speech, Ban on Cow Slaughter were conducted keeping in mind their ubiquity in our socio-political discourse.  In each workshop worksheets were distributed which firther famaliarised the audience with details of the debates using the CADIndia website.

 

1st and 2nd workshops: 23rd Jan at Pravin Gandhi Law College on ‘Objectives Resolution’ and ‘Right against Exploitation’.

In the 1st workshop students were introduced to the Objectives Resolution, which enshrine the values and objectives behind the Constitution making exercise, and completed a worksheet on the topic. The second workshop in Pravin Gandhi Law School focussed on the Constitutent Assembly Debates on the ‘Right against Exploitation’, a Fundamental Right under Art 23. Students engaged with the debate on Right against Exploitation by solving  a worksheet on the same.

 

3rd workshop: 23rd Jan at Praja Foundation on Uniform Civil Code.

The workshop at Praja Foundation, an organisation working to make Urban Governance accountable, was on Uniform Civil Code, a DPSP under Art 44. The students engaged with the nuances of the constitutent assembly debate on the issue – were some Assembly Members accused the State of infringing on religious rights through UCC while others saw a uniformity in personal law as a necessary centripetal force in maintaining territorial integrity. The Constiutent Assembly debate was juxtaposed with contemporary ‘gender justice’ movement which support adoption of UCC.

 

4th workshop: 24th Jan at Kirit Mehta Law School on ‘Freedom of Speech’.

The discussion covered the history of applying ‘reasonable restrictions’ on speech, comparison of US Free Speech Clause with Indian provisions and the historical debate surrounding the controversial ‘Sedition law’ and its relation to free speech.

 

5th workshop: 24th Jan at IIT Bombay on ‘Cow Slaughter Ban’.

This workshop was attended by 100 students from various disciplines. The theme was the Cow Slaughter debates in the Constitutent Assembly. What emerged from the discussion was that ‘Cow’ or ‘Cattle’ was a polarising issue even 70 years back and it might have been this polarisiation which led to its inclusion in the Directive Principles of State Policy, where prohibition on cow slaughter was made part of the constitutional text without being justiciable. 

 

6th workshop: 25th January at Kirit Mehta Law School on ‘Ban on Cow Slaughter’.

This workshop at Kirit Mehta Law School saw students engaging with various strands of thought – economic, religious rationales put forth by Constitutent Assembly Members.

 

7th workshop: 25th January at Mumbai University on ‘UCC’.

The last workshop was at the Politics and Civics Department of Mumbai University. The workshop again looked at the issue of UCC, a directive principle and the different stands of thought on the need and desirability of having a common code for the citizens of India.