"Transformative constitutionalism and the decriminalisation of the right to love" by Mr. Arvind Narrain, Lecture Hall, NIAS, 1600hrs





National Institute of Advanced Studies

Indian Institute of Science Campus, Bengaluru 560012


Invites you to a Public Lecture in the 

Changing India Series




Mr. Arvind Narrain

Human Rights Lawyer, Activist and Writer




“Transformative constitutionalism  and the 

decriminalisation of the right to love” 


Chairperson: Dr. Shivali Tukdeo, NIAS


Date:               Monday, 24th September 2018

Time:               4:00 PM (Coffee/Tea at 3.30 PM)

Venue:             Lecture Hall, NIAS


Abstract:   The decision on 6th of September 2018   in Navtej Singh Johar v. Union of India which struck down the 1860 law criminalizing the lives of LGBT persons marked a historic victory for a vibrant and vociferous LGBT movement. For over seventeen years the movement had been demanding the repeal of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. This talk will trace out the implications of some of the key concepts expounded in the judgment. The key ideas which animate the judgment are rooted in the notion of ‘constitutional morality’ as advocated by Ambedkar and reemphasize the important idea that the Indian Constitution is a ‘transformative constitution’. If this way of thinking, rooted as it in the struggle against the forms of discrimination perpetrated by a conservative social morality becomes more widely accepted India will be less of a majoritarian democracy and more of a constitutional democracy. 


About the Speaker: Arvind Narrain is a human rights lawyer, activist and writer. He is the founder member of the Alternative Law Forum in Bangalore, a human rights lawyering collective  based in India. He is author of Queer: Despised sexualities and Social Change and co-author of Breathing Life into the Constitution: Human Rights Lawyering in India. He is the co-editor of Because I have a voice: Queer politics in India and Law Like Love: Queer perspectives on law and Nothing to fix: Medicalisation of sexual orientation and gender identity. He is currently the Director Research and Practice  at  Arc International, which advocates the right to be free from violence and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status and develop  international law and policy on the same. 


Changing India Series: M.N. Srinivas, a major sociologist of modern India and a key figure in the history of NIAS, was deeply invested in understanding how the Indian social and political landscape developed after Independence, sometimes taking unexpected turns. Building on the social thought of Prof. Srinivas, the ‘Changing India’ series of lectures, events and workshops will host key academics, writers, public intellectuals, artists and social justice activists to reflect on some of the pertinent questions of our time.


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All are cordially invited


For further information, please contact. Ms. Sumitra Sunder sumitrasunder86@gmail.com

Monday, September 24, 2018