...OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens: JUSTICE, social, economic and political; LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship; EQUALITY of status and of opportunity; and to promote among them all FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation; IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY this twenty-sixth day of November, 1949, do HEREBY ADOPT, ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION.

Sixty years later, these words still provide a worthy framework for the idea of India. Along with Dr B R Ambedkar, one of the prime architects of the constitution was Dr Alladi Krishnaswamy. (The constitution can be downloaded from the NIC site, by the way.)

The Alladi Memorial Trust was founded in 1983 by a scion of the family, Alladi Kuppuswami. This commemorates the birth centenary of Dr Alladi Krishnaswamy and has, among its objectives, the aim of "holding lectures and seminars on issues relating to the Indian Constitution, which are intended to apprise the general public of the various debates concerning constitutional law."

Tulika's new publication of the Alladi Memorial Lectures brings together fourteen lectures delivered over the years for the Alladi Memorial Trust and the Umamaheswaram Memorial lectures – and some seminar papers.

"The essays included here, dating back to 1989, are by eminent jurists, academicians, and social/ human rights activists. They include distinguished members of the Bench like Justice M Hidayatullah, Justice S Ranganathan, Justice V R Krishna Iyer, Justice P C Rao, Justice B P Jeevan Reddy and Justice M N Rao, leading members of the Bar like K G Kannabiran (also a well-known human rights activist), P P Rao and Prashant Bhushan, eminent academicians like Professors R V R Chandrasekhara Rao, K Seshadri and Javeed Alam, and committed activist–academicians like Professor Kalpana Kannabiran and Dr Asghar Ali Engineer.

The topics covered by these essays are very relevant in today’s context. They include basic features of, and the use and abuse of the Constitution; the judicial process; uniform civil code; right to conversion; secularism and minority rights; formation of the Hindu religious consciousness; failure of laws to contain communalism; need for jurisprudence of women’s rights; intellectual property rights; and parliamentary democracy."

Alladi Memorial Lectures is now listed in our Law Section, xii + 296 pages, Hardcover. Rs 595.