In a talk recorded in the form of a podcast on “The Paradox of the Fundamental Right to Property in the Indian Constitution“, I argue that the answer to the puzzle surrounding the chequered history of the fundamental right to property in India lies in the drafting of the constitutional property clause by the Constituent Assembly, a process that occurred over a period of two and a half years and engaged the finest political and legal minds in the country.
I go on to describe the social, political and economic conditions and the operating intellectual discourses within which the Constituent Assembly debated and drafted the fundamental right to property in the Indian Constitution and argue that it was both the lack of consensus amongst the drafters and the paradoxical nature of the constitutional property clause that were responsible for its chequered history. But because property and property law is central to the way that our economic, social and political relations are organized, in telling this story, I also try to piece together a narrative of the broader social, political and economic structure that we devised for ourselves post-independence and how that has changed with the changes that we have made to our property laws and property relations since then, including the amendments to the fundamental right to property and its subsequent abolition.
An edited transcript of the talk is also available on mylaw.net. Previous writings on this blog on the fundamental right to property and related issues of land acquisition can be accessed here.