The Social Development Forum of CSD, New Delhi invites you to a talk on
‘Constitutional and Social Democracy: An Ambedkar Perspective’
Schedule of the Programme
Constitutional and Social Democracy: An Ambedkar Perspective
Speaker: Prof. Valerian Rodrigues
Chair: Professor Ashok Pankaj
Director, CSD New Delhi
Date: January 18, 2018 (Thursday)
Time: 3.00-4.30 PM
Venue: Durgabai Deshmukh Memorial Lecture Hall, CSD,
Sangha Rachna, 53 Lodi Estate, New Delhi 110003
Abstract of the Presentation
Ambedkar argued for rule of law rather than rule of virtue. Much of his work devolves around critique of the prevailing system of rule of law and proposals to rectify it either by speaking law to social practices or through reform of the prevalent system of rule of law. This belief in constitutionalism antedates his interventions in the Constituent Assembly and is reflected in his writings and practices right from his deputation before the Southborough Committee in 1919. Ambedkar also develops a set of distinct arguments why the future of post-colonial dispensation in India squarely lies in constitutionalism. Constitutionalism prioritizes rule of law and celebrates a public culture informed by rule of law rather than ‘will of the people’. At the same time Ambedkar avows democracy as a way of life. For him democracy was a system of conducting public affairs, wherein a people equal and free regulate their lives in the indefinite future. He argues that self-realization is possible only by access to expanding spheres of social networks. Obviously, there is much tension between the rule of law he avows and the idea of democracy he celebrates. The lecture focuses on this tension, dwelling on the way, Ambedkar set about responding to it.
A Brief Introduction of the Speaker
Valerian Rodrigues currently holds Ambedkar Chair at Ambedkar University, Delhi. His areas of specialization are Political Philosophy; Political Ideas and Institutions in India; Disadvantage; Marginality; and Preferential Public Policies. Prof Rodrigues has taught at Mangalore University, Karnataka before joining Centre for Political Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University , New Delhi.
Prof Rodrigues was Agatha Harrison Fellow at St. Anthony’s College, Oxford from 1989-1991, visiting Professor at the University of Wurzburg (2011), ICCR visiting Professor at the University of Erfurt (2012), and ICSSR National Fellow (2015-17) at Mangalore university. He has authored or edited three books and has over 80 research publications to his credit.