We are certainly holding our own in the worldwide competition of absurd laws.

In the beginning was the Preamble to the Constitution, with the people, in 1950, proclaiming India to be a sovereign democratic republic promising justice, liberty and equality. Yet the ink had barely dried when, a year later, the First Amendment had to be rushed into print. The so-called Schedule IX had to be created, with the laws under it declared immune from challenges of being unconstitutional. In their zeal for the fundamental rights of zamindars, the Indian courts had been striking down land-reform laws right and left, and it was important to create a firewall to protect social-welfare legislation aimed at reducing inequalities in Independent India.

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Himal Southasian