The Centre for Law and Policy Research, Bangalore (CLPR) initiated the Constitutional and Civic Citizenship Project in 2015. Through this project, we aim to contribute to the realization of radical transformative goals of the Constitution of India, 1950 in the 21st century by creating a new Indian citizen who is critically aware of Indian constitutional history and its dramatic impact in shaping our everyday lives.
In sharply polarised social and political environments it is crucial to build a critical ‘constitutional citizenship’ as distinct from an ‘ethnic national’ or ‘civilizational’ citizenship. A constitutional citizenship will require a critical allegiance to the constitution as the foundational basis to resolve political and social disagreements. Such an allegiance should be built on knowledge of the historical pedigree of the constitution and the ability to apply it to contemporary problems. So we have built:
- CADIndia website: a digital archive and database of Indian constitutional history with human-tagged original documents that explains and illuminates the contemporary relevance of this history to our contemporary lives [cadindia.clpr.org.in].
- Supreme Court Observer website: a living archive of the Supreme Court of India that compiles original materials and daily reports of selected ongoing cases to make apparent the Court’s role as the final interpreter of the Constitution to resolve contemporary problems [scobserver.clpr.org.in].
We extend these digital materials through events like ‘Conquest’ – our annual national quiz on constitutional and political history – and more than 20 annual rigorous workshops for students on developing appropriate methods of reading and analyzing these materials. We also aim to develop revised curricular constitutional education materials for K to 12, UG and PG classes.