ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Defending General

Foot Soldier of the Constitution: A Memoir by Teesta Setalvad, LeftWord Books, 2017; pp 226, ₹280.

What does the Constitution really mean? Who interprets it? Who implements it? This book by one of India’s most courageous citizens offers us some insight into these questions. It also explains why someone like Teesta Setalvad who has been not just a foot soldier but also a general defending the Constitution, is enemy No 1 for a regime bent on destroying it.

Why do people believe so deeply in the Constitution, and the promise of fraternity and equality that it embodies? For Setalvad, some of this belief in the Constitution came from her own lineage of legal luminaries; and her account of her growing-up years is interesting. But Setalvad also recognises that she is not alone—that this belief is shared by many others, including the survivors of the ghastly communal violence she describes—the victims of the Gulberg housing society in Ahmedabad and the Naroda Patiya massacre. That they have not taken to retaliatory violence and instead pursued their cases through the courts is a testimony to this unshakeable belief.

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Updated On : 15th Jun, 2018

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