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This talk will consider the Indian Constitution as a terrain of contestation between different visions of power. It will ask how the Constitution creates power, who wields power – and upon whom – and how power is constrained. Using the example of federalism, it will argue that even as the Constitution is contested terrain, its history has been marked by a centralising drift: an incremental shift towards a homogenous and centralised vision of power, at the expense of other, more plural visions.
Gautam Bhatia will present a lecture, which will be followed by a Q&A with the audience.
Gautam Bhatia is a Delhi-based lawyer and legal scholar. He is the author of Offend, Shock, or Disturb: Freedom of Speech under the Indian Constitution (OUP 2015) and The Transformative Constitution (HarperCollins 2019). His work has been cited by the Supreme Court of India, and he has appeared as an amicus curae before the Supreme Court of Kenya.