Introduction-- Uses of law in Indian studies: The uses of law in Indian studies-- The emergence of the modern legal system: The displacement of traditional law in modern India-- The aborted restoration of indigenous law in India-- Panchayat justice: An Indian experiment in legal access - with Upendra Baxi-- Indian law as an indigenous conceptual system-- Legal conceptions of the social structure: Group membership and group preferences in India-- Changing legal conceptions of caste-- Pursuing equality in the land of hierarchy: Pursuing equality in the land of hierarchy: Assessment of India's policies of compensatory discrimination for historically disadvantaged groups-- Missed opportunitites: The use and non-use of law favourable to untouchables and other specially vulnerable groups-- Judges, Lawyers and social reform: Hinduism, secularism and the Indian judiciary-- Symbolic activism: Judicial encounter with the contours of India's compensatory discrimination policy-- New patterns of legal services in India.
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Modern Indian Law is foreign to India. However, far from trying to dislodge it, independent India has, according to Galanter, accepted this mid twentieth century legal system intellectually and institutionally. Professional lawyers, the urban elite, and rural India alike genuinely feel that this is their system. Since a large body of modern Indian law is Western, it will not, according to some, further one's understanding of India. Galanter goes on to qualify this statement by arguing that this very fact lends to "Indian law a unique and compelling interest for students of India and of comparative law". The thirteen articles which make up this book explore the way in which modern Indian law operates. Galanter tries to show the various ways in which a complex body of formal law accommodates and adjusts itself to local conditions to which it is alien. These essays range over a wide span of normative and structural issues of Indian society: equality, hierarchy, secularism, justice and conceptual problems; group membership, panchayat justice, caste and policies of positive discrimination. (source: Nielsen Book Data)