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This episode of BIC Talks with author and historian Tripurdaman Singh and lawyer Siddharth Raja contextualises and discusses the lead up to the first ever amendment to the Constitution of India in the year 1951, only a year after the Constitution was brought into effect, the subject of Tripurdaman’s new book Sixteen Stormy Days – The Story of the First Amendment of the Constitution of India.
The conversation traces this momentous event and the various personalities and agendas, at odds with the original hopes and dreams of building a liberal democratic system at the heart of it. The controversial amendment termed an “obscenity by willful resolve” by some is a crucial moment characterised by some of the fiercest parliamentary debates and in the country’s political, judicial and constitutional history which set us on a path of ambiguity as a nation.
Tripurdaman Singh is a British Academy postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London. Born in 1988 in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, Tripurdaman read politics and international studies at the University of Warwick, and subsequently earned an MPhil in modern South Asian studies and a PhD in history from the University of Cambridge.
Tripurdaman is a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society and has been the recipient of a fellowship award from the Indian Council of Historical Research. His previous book, Imperial Sovereignty and Local Politics, was published by Cambridge University Press.
Siddharth Raja is a seasoned corporate lawyer now in his 23rd year of practice. He focuses on private equity and venture capital transactions, and on cross-border and domestic mergers and acquisitions. He has been highly ranked for several years, including by Chambers & Partners – lauded for his “global business perspective”, “attention to detail” and “excellent technical knowledge”.
Siddharth is currently one of the founder Partners of the Bangalore-headquartered full-service law firm, Saakshya Law; his fourth law practice. Siddharth previously co-founded Narasappa, Doraswamy & Raja that merged to form Samvad: Partners, where he was one of the co-founders. He has also worked in Hong Kong, with the international law firm, O’Melveny & Myers.
Siddharth graduated from St. Joseph’s Boys’ High School. A Gold Medalist with a Bachelor’s Law degree from National Law School of India University, Siddharth also holds a Master’s in Law from the University of Warwick Law School, where he was a British Council & Foreign and Commonwealth Office Chevening, and J. N. Tata, Scholar.