The Unconscious of the Indian Constitution: Traumatic Histories and Repetitions
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This thesis engages an examination of the violent disavowal of the Partition of India in the text of the Indian Constitution and subsequent judicial pronouncements. By closely examining the cartographic precursor to the making of the Constitution, the pictorial figures in the original ratified copy of the Constitution, and the archival histories of the provisions on language, federalism, and citizenship, this thesis argues that the Partition of India, the originary separation as it was, has been repressed and disavowed in traditional and contemporary constitutional law scholarship. By engaging a psychoanalytic methodology of reading history and historiography, this thesis excavates the displacements, distortions, and disavowals in the making of the constitution but also the repetitions, repressions, and retaliations in subsequent constitutional history. The thesis also asserts that many contemporary divisive legislations is a result of the repression of the originary trauma which needs to be engaged with and closely and carefully worked-through, in order to preclude further repetition and aspire for reconciliation. The thesis incorporates a panoply of genres and methods, ranging from psychoanalysis, cartographic history and the philosophy of visual art to doctrinal examination and psychoanalytic jurisprudence. As such, the thesis is a rigorous and sustained interdisciplinary study of a postcolonial foundational text and its discourse, by paying close attention, as the title suggests, to its traumatic histories and subsequent repetitions.
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