How are negotiated agreements arrived at in contexts of socio-religious diversity and deep discord?
What resources do constitutional debates offer for pluralism and democratic renewal in an era of populist nationalism?
And post pandemic, how do we make archives more accessible, in ways that strengthen scholarship and citizen engagement alike?
PACT is a ground-breaking project that pursues these questions through a multi-disciplinary research collaboration and a new digital platform on the making of the Indian constitution. PACT combines an ambitious research agenda with a novel approach to civic engagement in an era of rising authoritarianism. We seek to uncover forgotten histories of constitutional rights, bringing in marginal voices of representatives of Dalits, Adivasi, religious minority groups, and women.
Historical constitutions are susceptible to the democratic challenge that these were written mostly by elite men, drawn from dominant socio-economic groups.
Focusing on the important example of the making of the Indian Constitution, PACT will research wider engagement by elites and citizens with constitution-making. It will contextualize, for the first time on an advanced digital platform, the official records of the Indian Constituent Assembly debates (1946-49) within wider public debates on constitution-making.
PACT is led from SOAS University of London by Professor Rochana Bajpai (Principal Investigator), with Dr Nicholas Cole (University of Oxford), Dr Udit Bhatia (University of York), Professor Sudhir Krishnaswamy (National Law School of India, Bengaluru), and Vineeth Krishna (Centre for Law and Policy Research, Bengaluru – Project Partner) as Co-Investigators. Find out more about the PACT team.