Constitution

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In 1928, the British Government "announced the appointment of the Indian Statutory Commission, better known as the Simon Commission after Sir John Simon, its chairman." The Simon Commission was given a mandate to reexamine and revise the constitutional rules by which India was governed. It had no Indian members, and its "non-Indian character offered an affront to almost all Indian parties. The Congress Party decided to boycott the Commission.... Meanwhile, the All Parties Conference convened by the Congress Party...appointed a Committee under Pandit Motilal Nehru to draft a Swaraj Constitution for India. The Nehru Committee worked from June to August 1928 and drafted a Constitution. This was the first Indian attempt at Constitution-making" (Dhananjay Keer, Dr. Ambedkar: Life and Mission; Bombay: Popular Prakashan, 1971 [1954], 114-15).

Professor Rachel McDermott looks at the ways in which Article 17 of the Indian constitution, intended by Ambedkar to protect untouchables, has both protected and created new challenges for them.

Professor Anu Rao discusses the ways in which the Indian constitution, coauthored by Ambedkar in 1948, has impacted untouchable life today.