Episodes

  • What does it take to work? Sometimes a husband’s consent! Work or jobs are not necessarily about competence and ability, but often about what is considered ‘normal’. And who and what is that anyway? Exploring Article 41 of the Indian Constitution, this episode of The Longest Constitution unpacks the assumptions made about the ‘able-bodied’, looks into the history of disability and the movement of the rights of the disabled, which began by the organized blind in the 1970s.

    Reading material: Abidi, Javed, (2013), ‘Disability rights is off the rails’, Available at: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/disability-rights-is-off-the-rails/article4469686.ece

    Chander, Jagdish, (2011), Movement of the Organized Blind in India: From Passive Recipients of Services to Active Advocates of Their Rights, PhD Thesis, Syracuse University.

    Bhatnagar, Gaurav V. (2018), ‘Noted Disability Rights Activist Javed Abidi Dies of Heart Attack at 53’, Available at: https://thewire.in/rights/noted-disability-rights-activist-javed-abidi-dies-heart-attack-53
    Legal cases: Javed Abidi vs. Union of India, 1998, https://indiankanoon.org/doc/1962463/

    If you have missed out on The Longest Constitution Season 1, check here.

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    You can listen to The Longest Constitution and other awesome shows on the IVM Podcasts app on Android: https://ivm.today/android or iOS: ‎IVM Podcasts, or any other podcast app.

  • Is the word 'affirmative action' in the Indian Constitution? The Indra Sawhney judgement is important for not just the judgement itself but also the questions posed, which ran into ‘several hundreds of pages’. But what did the court say about the constitutionality of the reservation in India for the Other Backward Classes (OBC’s) with respect to the Indian Constitution Book? And how does institutional prejudice work? This episode of The Longest Constitution looks at not only the judgement but also the shocking case about a man who cleared the IAS while he was serving his sentence in jail. But that's not the bit which is shocking!

    Reading material:Menon, Nivedita, 2012, Seeing like a feminist, Penguin. Deshpande, Ashwini, 2013, Affirmative Action in India (Oxford India Short Introductions), OUP. Bhatnagar, Rakesh, “Supreme Court paves the way for rape convict to join IAS”, Available at: ( https://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-supreme-court-paves-the-way-for-rape-convict-to-join-ias-1413810 )

    Case law: Indra Sawhney vs Union Of India 1992, ( https://indiankanoon.org/doc/1363234/ )

    If you have missed out on The Longest Constitution Season 1, check here:
    ( https://shows.ivmpodcasts.com/show/the-longest-constitution-with-priya-mirza-wr4e-RPFbATJ096CoC6i2 )

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    You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the IVM Podcasts app on Android: https://ivm.today/android or iOS: ‎IVM Podcasts, or any other podcast app.

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  • In 1990, scores of students set themselves on fire to protest against the implementation of the Mandal Commission by the VP Singh government. Why did they do that and what was at stake? And why is caste often restricted to discussions on reservations? This episode of The Longest Constitution doesn't just talk about reservations but looks at how it is a part of everyday life in India.

    Anand Teltumbde, 2010, The Persistence of Caste: The Khairlanji Murders & India’s Hidden Apartheid: The Khairlanji Murders and India’s Hidden Apartheid, Zed Books.
    Christophe Jaffrelot, 2003, India's Silent Revolution: The Rise of the Lower Castes in North India, Columbia University Press.
    Legal Material: The Scheduled Castes and the scheduled tribed (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, Available at: https://legislative.gov.in/sites/default/files/A1989-33_2.pdf
    Disclaimer: This episode contains violent and disturbing stories. If you're light-hearted, we advise you to refer to the other episode of The Longest Constitution.
    If you have missed out on The Longest Constitution Season 1, check here: ( https://ivm.today/37rWNlY )
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    You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the IVM Podcasts app on Android: https://ivm.today/android or iOS: https://ivm.today/ios, or any other podcast app.

  • What happened when KPS Gill, a ‘supercop’ slapped an IAS officer’s derrière, or bottom? For decades, sexual harassment was not seen as a crime and it took Rupen Bajaj Deol seventeen years of struggle to challenge this. But what did the court say? And why has social justice for the Other Backward Classes (OBC’s) differed from state to state and why is this contentious? This episode of The Longest Constitution tackles caste and gender hierarchy at the workplace.

    Reading material:Christophe Jaffrelot, 2003, India's Silent Revolution: The Rise of the Lower Castes in North India, Columbia University Press.
    ‘Rupan Deol Bajaj talks about the sexual harassment case she won against KPS Gill’, Available at: ( https://scroll.in/video/839715/watch-rupan-deol-bajaj-talks-about-the-sexual-harassment-case-she-won-against-kps-gill )
    If you have missed out on The Longest Constitution Season 1, check here: ( https://ivm.today/37rWNlY )
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    You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the IVM Podcasts app on Android: https://ivm.today/android or iOS: https://ivm.today/ios, or any other podcast app.

  • Who determines the truth? The victim or the courts? This episode of The Longest Constitution looks at the many ‘sites’ of work, from fields to offices and examines why and how the powerful must be restrained from abusing their position. We look at Bhanwari Devi’s march to justice which led to the framing of India’s first guidelines of sexual harassment at the workplace in 1997. We also look at the state’s obligations and commitments to social justice and how that could have multiple meanings.

    Reading material: Anand Teltumbde, 2011, The Persistence of Caste the Khairlanji Murders and India’s Hidden Apartheid, Zed Books.

    Radha Kumar, 1993, The history of doing: an illustrated account of movements for women's rights and feminism in India (1800-1990), Verso Books.
    Legal cases and laws: Balaji vs State of Mysore, 1962K.C. Vasanth Kumar vs State Of Karnataka, 1985
    Vishakha Guidelines against Sexual Harassment at the workplace, 1997, Available at: ( http://www.nitc.ac.in/app/webroot/img/upload/546896605.pdf )
    If you have missed out on The Longest Constitution Season 1, check here: ( https://ivm.today/37rWNlY )
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    You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the IVM Podcasts app on Android: https://ivm.today/android or iOS: https://ivm.today/ios, or any other podcast app.

  • Equality of opportunity is just one dimension of access to work, but what about dignity at the workplace? Article 17 of the Constitution of India states quite briefly: ‘Untouchability is abolished and its practice in any form is forbidden.’ And yet, untouchability was not defined because it was assumed that it is familiar to every citizen. It took another five years though to draft a law to penalize untouchability and its practice. How efficient is this law? And how have courts interpreted caste-based discrimination? All this and more on this episode of The Longest Constitution.

    Legal provisions, laws, and cases: Article 17 of the Constitution of IndiaThe Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955SC/ST Atrocities Act, 1989 N M Thomas vs State of Kerala, 1976
    Reading material: Shukla, Rakesh, ‘To Remove Caste Bias From the Judicial System, Judges Need to Self-Correct’, Available at ( https://thewire.in/caste/caste-bias-judicial-system )
    Bhatia, Gautam, ‘Reservations, Equality and the Constitution – III: State of Kerala v N.M. Thomas and the Transformation of Equality’, Available at: ( https://indconlawphil.wordpress.com/2014/02/01/reservations-equality-and-the-constitution-iii-state-of-kerala-v-n-m-thomas-and-the-transformation-of-equality/ )
    If you have missed out on The Longest Constitution Season 1, check here: ( https://ivm.today/37rWNlY )
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    You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the IVM Podcasts app on Android: https://ivm.today/android or iOS: https://ivm.today/ios, or any other podcast app.

  • Is discrimination visible? Or just felt?

    In this episode of The Longest Constitution, we look into the history of caste-based discrimination and why our constitution is committed to overcoming that. And most importantly how from B.R. Ambedkar’s experiences to questions about the necessity for reservations, we look into how the constitution proposes to undo caste-based discriminations and the journey towards that goal.
    Omvedt, Gail, Seeking Begumpura: The Social Vision of Anti caste Intellectuals (Navayana, 2008)
    Bhatia, Gautam, ‘Reservations, Equality, and the Constitution – I: Origins’, ( https://indconlawphil.wordpress.com/2014/01/19/reservations-equality-and-the-constitution-i-origins/ )
    Biswas, A.K, “The making of the first SC and ST IAS officers” ( https://www.forwardpress.in/2016/06/the-making-of-the-first-sc-and-st-ias-officers%E2%80%A8/ )
    If you have missed out on The Longest Constitution Season 1, check here: ( https://ivm.today/37rWNlY )
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    You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the IVM Podcasts app on Android: https://ivm.today/android or iOS: https://ivm.today/ios, or any other podcast app.

  • What’s India’s foreign service got to do with an officer's marital status? A lot, apparently! If you are a woman. Laws, regulations and rules are often sexist. But our constitution guarantees us the right against discrimination. This episode of the Longest Constitution looks at gender discrimination in three different areas: diplomacy, aviation and the makeup industry. We look at how women have challenged these regulations using the rights guaranteed by the Constitution of India.

    - ( https://indconlawphil.wordpress.com/2014/11/23/the-supreme-courts-make-up-artists-decision-and-its-discontents/ )
    - ( https://fiftytwo.in/story/ambassador/ )
    If you have missed out on The Longest Constitution Season 1, check here: ( https://ivm.today/37rWNlY )
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    You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the IVM Podcasts app on Android: https://ivm.today/android or iOS: https://ivm.today/ios, or any other podcast app.

  • Do you work? What is work anyway! And does the constitution work for you?

    In the second season of The Longest Constitution, we are exploring everyday issues of work and rights around work, from maternity leave to casteist slur, disability and harassment at the workplace to defining what the workplace is. We are looking at people’s journeys, collective and individual to assert the fundamental right to a safe workplace. From manual scavenging to air-hostesses, from Members of Parliament to butchers, we are unraveling the rights at the workplace, to what we can do and absolutely must not tolerate.

    This season is about finding out what it means to be fair. At the workplace.
    Not lovely.

    This podcast about the Constitution of India isn't about being lovely. It is asking difficult questions. To ourselves, partners, colleagues and boss. Tune in every Wednesday for a new episode!


    If you have missed out on The Longest Constitution Season 1, check here: ( https://ivm.today/37rWNlY )

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    You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the IVM Podcasts app on Android: https://ivm.today/android or iOS: https://ivm.today/ios, or any other podcast app.
  • Who decides your gender? Your body or your mind? Or the state? This episode follows the NALSA judgment 2014 which recognized the third gender and more importantly affirmed the right to self-affirm one’s gender. But what did the government do? We track the success of Tiruchi Shiva’s bill to protect the rights of transgenders and the disappointment with the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019 and look at the road ahead.

    Parul Chandra, “Why Tiruchi Siva moved a Private Member's Bill to ensure rights for transgender people”, ( https://scroll.in/article/723205/why-tiruchi-siva-moved-a-private-members-bill-to-ensure-rights-for-transgender-people )
    Gautam Bhatia, “The Constitutional Challenge to the Transgender Act”, ( https://indconlawphil.wordpress.com/2020/01/31/the-constitutional-challenge-to-the-transgender-act/ )
    Susan Ninan, “Love is a Human Right”, ( https://www.espn.in/olympics/story/_/id/32303155/india-sprinter-dutee-chand-tells-coming-story )

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    You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the IVM Podcasts app on Android: https://ivm.today/android or iOS: https://ivm.today/ios, or any other podcast app.
  • What does a person look like? And what does our Constitution have to say about personhood and sexuality? Personhood legally means a rights-bearing body. But not all bodies have rights unless the law recognizes them as persons. This episode of The Longest Constitution looks into the colonial criminalization and marginalization of the transgender community, and the journey to recognizing their fundamental rights, in the historic NALSA vs. Union of India judgment, 2004.

    - ( https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/no-law-which-prohibits-sex-change-operation-bombay-high-court-says-in-bidhan-barua-case-481081 )
    - ( https://translaw.clpr.org.in/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Nalsa.pdf )
    “5 Questions: Tiruchi Siva, man behind Rights of Transgender Persons Bill” - ( https://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/5-questions-tiruchi-siva-man-behind-rights-of-transgender-persons-bill/ )
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    You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the IVM Podcasts app on Android: https://ivm.today/android or iOS: https://ivm.today/ios, or any other podcast app.

  • What’s wrong with same-sex love? Nothing! Sexual minorities have the same right as everyone else - to love, to marry, and live together with the privacy and dignity guaranteed to all citizens of this country. This episode of The Longest Constitution looks at Gandhi, same-sex love, and why a few of our laws need to be changed to accommodate the LGBTQIA. And how we are all on our own journey to discover what swarajya means to us.

    Tarunabh Khaitan, “Reading Swaraj into Article 15” - ( http://nujslawreview.org/2016/12/03/reading-swaraj-into-article-15-a-new-deal-for-all-minorities )
    - ( https://theprint.in/opinion/have-you-noticed-how-baba-ramdev-went-silent-on-section-377/112824/ )
    - ( https://issuu.com/orinamwebber/docs/same-sexmarriageandotherqueerrelationshipsinindia )
    - ( https://lawsisto.com/legalnewsread/ODYzMg==/Allahabad-High-Court-orders-police-protection-for-same-sex-couple-under-threat-due-to-sexual-orientation )

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  • And who invites trolls to a wedding? Nobody! And yet the Special Marriage Act, India’s only civil marriage act adds to the pressure of a young couple marrying out of the bounds of their religion by inviting objections to their marriage, even before it takes place. In this episode of The Longest Constitution, looks into the unconstitutional violations of privacy, liberty and dignity under the Special Marriage Act, 1954 and how the recent Allahabad judgment is a step forward towards constitutional freedom.

    “30-day notice period not mandatory under Special Marriage Act: Allahabad High Court”, ( https://indianexpress.com/article/india/30-day-notice-period-not-mandatory-under-special-marriage-act-allahabad-high-court-7145476/ )
    “30-day prior notice in Special Marriage Act is fair and reasonable, Centre tells Delhi HC”,( https://scroll.in/latest/986478/30-day-prior-notice-in-special-marriage-act-is-fair-and-reasonable-centre-tells-delhi-hc )
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  • Amar! Akbar! Anthony! Equal sons of India and their mother. But divided by the personal laws of this country.

    Religious personal laws shape citizens of India - unequally. Quite the opposite of what the Constitution of India guarantees us. Our rights to marry, divorce, inheritance - are shaped not by constitutional values of equality and liberty, but our religious ones, which far from being divine are inherently gender and caste unjust.

    In this episode of The Longest Constitution, listen to the story of the man who argued that making bigamy illegal for Hindus was not fair because his Muslim friends could have four wives. And what the court said and why it matters. As well as, what's unconstitutional about the criminalization of triple talaq.

    To find out more about personal laws, marriage and divorce, see the very readableFlavia Agnes, (2011), Law, Justice, and Gender: Family Law and Constitutional Provisions in India, New Delhi: Oxford University Press.
    On the long shadow of the Narasu Appa Mali judgment, see Krishnadas Rajagopal, “With Sabarimala verdict, ‘Ghost of Narasu’ is finally exorcised”, Available at: ( https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/justice-chandrachud-ends-the-unchallenged-reign-of-a-bombay-hc-verdict/article25074175.ece )
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    You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the IVM Podcasts app on Android: https://ivm.today/android or iOS: https://ivm.today/ios, or any other podcast app.

  • Till death do us part?Or one could file for divorce! But Indian laws of marriage and divorce make it easy to marry, but hard to divorce. Because to the state, the institution of marriage is more important than the people in it!
    And that's why laws insist one must have a “ground” or a reason to want a divorce, such as cruelty, adultery and desertion, amongst others. That’s the “fault theory”.

    And yet, marital rape is still not one of those grounds.That goes against what the constitution of India guarantees us: of equality, liberty and the right to life.
    In this episode of The Longest Constitution, delve into why the divorce “fault theory” needs to go.
    To find out more about personal laws, marriage and divorce, see the very readableFlavia Agnes, (2011), Law, Justice, and Gender: Family Law and Constitutional Provisions in India, New Delhi: Oxford University Press.
    On the present status of marital rape, ( https://www.firstpost.com/india/why-it-is-time-for-india-to-join-150-countries-in-criminalising-marital-rape-9876111.html )
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    You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the IVM Podcasts app on Android: https://ivm.today/android or iOS: https://ivm.today/ios, or any other podcast app.

  • Not everyone. Just bar dancers. Singing and dancing are our fundamental rights to freedom guaranteed by the Constitution of India. And yet at various points, governments have regulated women singing and dancing. Even at the cost of women’s passions, professions and those dependent on them. Every dance is a performance and to make arbitrary moral distinctions is unreasonable. Public morality may be the state’s mandate but what we do with our private lives, is our business!

    Tune in and find out more!
    Want to read more on this?
    Bhatia, Gautam, “A Constitutional Muddle: The Supreme Court’s Bar Dancers Judgment”, Available here: ( https://indconlawphil.wordpress.com/2019/01/22/a-constitutional-muddle-the-supreme-courts-bar-dancers-judgment/ )
    On the Usha Uthup case, see ( https://indiankanoon.org/doc/583552/ )
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  • If you can make money with the application of your mind, why not your body? Anti-prostitution laws are a problem. In India, that is the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1986. Not only because this law criminalizes sex workers and pimps, but not the men who visit sex workers. But also because our Constitution grants us the right to practice our trade. So how come, sex workers, cant work? And how was this challenged in court?

    For a general understanding of sex work in India, see Prabha Kotiswaran, 2011, Dangerous Sex, Invisible Labor: Sex Work and the Law in India, Princeton University Press. More interested in Husna Bai? Have a look at Chapter 4, “The Case of the Honest Prostitute: Sex, Work, and Freedom in the Indian Constitution” in Rohit de, 2018, A People's Constitution: The Everyday Life of law in the Indian Republic, Harvard University Press.
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    You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the IVM Podcasts app on Android: https://ivm.today/android or iOS: https://ivm.today/ios, or any other podcast app.

  • What's a judge doing telling a wife to go back home to her husband, even if she doesn’t want to? Unfortunately, that’s what the law says. Under Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 the restitution of conjugal rights allows one party to appeal to the court to ‘restore’ his or her conjugal acts. Unsurprisingly, more men have used it than women. This episode of the Longest Constitution is about the long and ongoing struggle to strike section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act down.

    ( https://indianexpress.com/article/who-is/who-was-rukhmabai-raut-4949058/ )Section 9, HMA Kavitha Rao, Lady Doctors: The Untold Stories of India’s First Women in Medicine, Westland: 2021.
    You can follow Priya on social media:Instagram: ( https://www.instagram.com/naik.priya/ )Twitter: ( https://twitter.com/fundamentallyp )Linkedin: ( https://www.linkedin.com/in/priya-mirza-73666310/ )
    You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the IVM Podcasts app on Android: https://ivm.today/android or iOS: https://ivm.today/ios, or any other podcast app.

  • Bringing the Constitution home? That’s been a difficult journey.

    Not the book, but the values and morality the constitution upholds.
    Are the great values of our constitution meant to be talked about by great men but not lived? In this episode, we look at why the constitution is meant to transform every space - including the home and redefining family. It has meant asking the question: does being ‘at home’ mean the same thing to everyone, men and women. This has meant recognizing controlling institutions like patriarchy and the many kinds of violence inflicted on women, within marital and natal homes.
    Article 14 and 21Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 1) ( https://indiankanoon.org/doc/191703/ )2) ( https://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2021/feb/04/india-no-country-for-women-heres-what-the-national-family-health-survey-reveals-2259593.html )
    Indira Jaising and Pinki Mathur Anurag, Conflict in the Shared Household: Domestic Violence and the Law in India, (Oxford University Press: 2019).
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  • What is pornography and what does our Constitution have to do with it? The right to privacy and to receive information is a fundamental right as much as expressing ourselves. This episode of The Longest Constitution looks at how consuming pornography in the privacy of our homes, is constitutional, but sending sleazy messages to other people is not.

    Sonali Verma, ‘Route 67: How the IT Act's Section on Obscenity is Being Misused to Violate Digital Freedom’: ( https://thewire.in/gender/victorian-censorship-research-finds-section-67-act-grossly-misused )
    Vallishree Chandra & Gayathri Ramachandran, ‘The Right to Pornography in India: An Analysis in Ligh of Individual Liberty and Public Morality’, Available at: http://docs.manupatra.in/newsline/articles/Upload/B5199E8C-C07E-4E05-A379-30FF49C77B0C.pdf )
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    You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the IVM Podcasts app on Android: https://ivm.today/android or iOS: https://ivm.today/ios, or any other podcast app.