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Rajgopal Saikumar

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Rajgopal Saikumar is a PhD Candidate at The Australian National University, Canberra, working in Critical Legal Studies and South Asian Political Thought. He is a former Public Policy Scholar, The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy and former Assistant Editor, The Hindu . Rajgopal holds an MA degree in Philosophy from the Manipal Centre for Philosophy and Humanities, and a BA. LLB., from Christ College of Law, Bengaluru.

Uprooted From Democracy: Rajbala v. State of Haryana

The recent verdict by the Supreme Court of India, upholding an amendment by the Haryana government to prescribe minimum educational qualifications to

Trapped between Law and Politics: The Law Commission of India’s Report on Death Penalty

The Report of the Law Commission of India on the Abolition of Death Penalty may appear to have shaped popular thinking in favour of doing away with c

National Capital Territory of Delhi: Towards a Unique Diarchy (...and Away from a Monarchy)

In this essay, Rajgopal Saikumar argues that the inherent diarchy in capital cities globally has to be recognised. Demands for full statehood o

Ethics of Disobedience

In this paper, Rajgopal Saikumar examines civil disobedience as a form of resistance to power in contemporary India. At the very core of a theory of civil disobedience lie two questions: first, what is the nature of our political obligation towards the law and the state and, second, what is the relation between law and morality? At what point is disobedience justified on the grounds of morality? The study begins with a critical reading of eminent philosopher John Rawls’ justification of civil disobedience as argued in his book, A Theory of Justice. Rajgopal is critical of the Rawlsian conception of the Self, which is abstract and atomistic. Instead, a move towards a theory of civil disobedience, which is based on experience as conscience, is suggested. The experience of this embodied self, in its life world, provides the grounding for this rethinking of civil disobedience. Rajgopal analyses this rethinking of civil disobedience based on two case studies. [PDF 455 KB]

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Twisted Willow: Gambling, Sport & Cricket in India

In the context of the raging controversy over the Indian Premier League betting and match-fixing episodes, there has been considerable public concern