Kautilya Society at NLSIU

Excavating an Untouchable (Constitutional) Research Program

In the second episode of Varta, a podcast by the Kautilya Society at NLSIU and the Law School Policy Review, Prannv Dhawan speaks with accomplished author and eminent academician, Professor Soumyabrata Choudhary. Dr. Choudhury is Associate Professor at the School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University. His book Ambedkar and Other Immortals: An Untouchable Research Programme examines Ambedkar’s thinking through the highly academic and sophisticated lens that it deserves.

Prannv and Professor Choudhary discuss reclaiming the academic, legal and political spaces that the ostracised minorities have been kept out of. The episode discusses the revolutionary effects of a reimagining of any system through the lens of Ambedkar.

Listen to the podcast and find a transcript of it here.

Blogs in the Law School Policy Review (LSPR)

LSPR is an online law and policy platform run by a group of students from the National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bangalore. The blog uses legal expertise and analytical skills to present novel arguments on domestic and international issues that affect daily lives. Kautilya Society students at NLSIU frequently contribute to the LSPR blog. Read all LSPR blogs by Kautilya Society students of NLSIU here.

LSPR is frequently cited across a number of platforms and academic journals in India and abroad, such as The Diplomat, The Print, Firstpost, Vice, Voelkerrechtsblog, SCC Online, Mondaq, Modern Diplomacy, Independent Australia, Social Change Journal and The Indian Journal of Law and Technology. The articles have been cross-posted on multiple platforms such as LiveLaw, and The Eleventh Column. Our content has also been featured on global academic resource compendiums, and legislative notes circulated among Members of the Indian Parliament.

Rescuing Insurgent Possibilities of Indian Constitutionalism

In the first episode of Varta, a podcast by the Kautilya Society at NLSIU and the Law School Policy Review, Prannv Dhawan speaks with eminent constitutional scholar and sociologist, Prof. (Dr.) Kalpana Kannabiran. She’s a professor and director at the Council for Social Development in Hyderabad, Telangana. She’s the author of ‘Tools of Justice: Non-discrimination and the Indian Constitution’, where she explained the concept of ‘insurgent constitutionalism’ and has done an interesting interdisciplinary study on issues of constitutional justice in India.

Whilst insurgent constitutionalism sounds like an oxymoron given the contradictory nature of revolutionary and constitutional methods, this idea has great resonance in the Indian context. This is because Indian constitutionalism represents the culmination of various radically transformative ideas, which have been propagated within and beyond courts, parliament and civil society by various social movements and constitutionally aware citizens. With this short and comprehensive discussion, the episode evaluates the unconstitutional resonance associated with insurgent possibilities and to find whether they can rescued from the present moment.

Listen to the podcast and find a transcript of it here.

Blog Symposium on Law & Political Economy in India after COVID

The Kautilya Society at NLSIU, in association with the Young Scholars Initiative, organised the Blog Symposium on Law and Political Economy in India from 8-23 August, 2020. The event witnessed the remarkable insights of speakers such as Mr. Alok Prasanna Kumar (Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy), Dr. Amal Sethi (University of Pennsylvania), Dr Gayatri Nair (IIIT Delhi), Mr Sanjoy Ghose (Advocate), Dr Jamie Woodcock (Open University), Prof. Nayanika Mathur (University of Oxford), Prof. Philippe Cullet (SOAS) and Prof. Rashmi Venkatesan (NLSIU). It also spanned discussion around cogent pieces on Indian Federalism, Gig Economy and the Law, and Neoliberalism and the Law – published on the Law School Policy Review.

The Symposium was featured in the Compendium of Resources, curated by the the Peter Mackell Chair in Federalism, McGill University, Canada.

Read more about the event here.

‘Freer and Fairer’: Conference on Electoral Reforms in India

On March 31, 2019, Kautilya Society at NLSIU and the Law School Policy Review organised a conference on Electoral Reforms in India. Titled ‘Freer & Fairer’, the conference was divided into three panels, each of which was tasked with debating and proposing reforms for a distinct area of election law & policy. The panelists were Sudhanshu Kaushik, Founder of Young India Foundation, Jyothi Raj, Chief Functionary of ‘Campaign for Electoral Reforms’, and Tara Krishnaswamy, Co-Founder of ‘Citizens for Bangalore’.

The panel focused on legal and systemic hurdles in ensuring free and fair elections. The Panel emphasised on need to increase access, hence diversity through elections. It discussed the non-representativeness in the present set-up, with a special emphasis on youth and women. It also discussed how the Proportional Representation system can work in India and increase representativeness of its democratic system.

Read more about the event here.