Upendra Baxi
Jawaharlal Nehru and the Constitution by Subhas C. Kashyap Metropolitan Book Co. Ltd, New Delhi, 1982, 424 pp., 0
July-August 1982, volume 7, No 1

There is no better way in which a reviewer can introduce this book than by quoting Indira Gandhi’s observation in the foreword: ‘Subhas Kashyap’s book gives the non-specialist reader easy access to the original material and Jawaharlal Nehru’s ideas and words’. As to giving easy access to Nehru’s words, Indira Gandhi is dead right: out of 397 pages, 288 pages contain excerpts from Nehru’s writings and speeches. About providing access to Nehru’s ideas, the author is not serious at all. The 107 page introduction devotes 50 pages to Nehru’s views about the constituent as¬sembly, 24 to the framing and fundamentals of the Constitu¬tion and about two pages to Nehru’s views on the Constitu¬tion as an instrument of social change. The author, himself a disting¬uished scholar, was perhaps sincere when he described the work as a ‘humble attempt to underline the unique contribu¬tion of… Nehru to the philo-sophy, the framing and the working of the Constitution of India’. The ‘uniqueness’ does not emerge; the underlining is too faint; only the modesty of the effort stands out.

Continue reading this review