chapter  3
25 Pages

Pride and prejudice in Austin’s cornerstone

Passions in the Constituent Assembly of India
ByVatsal Naresh

Vatsal Naresh examines institutional features of the Constituent Assembly. His chapter explores how “hot emotions” like anger, fear and enthusiasm were mitigated by the Constituent Assembly. He highlights arrangements such as its insertion of time delays in the constitution-making process, through discussion on drafts and further deliberation in committees. He also emphasises its separation of legislative and executive powers as responsible for the mitigation of hot emotions. On the other hand, Naresh argues that “cold emotions” like prejudice and fear impacted the Assembly’s proceedings in crucial ways. In doing so, he contributes to the growing literature on the role of passions in the framing of laws, particularly in the literature on constituent assemblies other than India’s.