Equality and Diversity in Indian and European Constitutional Discourse

A common and fundamental challenge that democratic constitutions face today arises from the tension between the promise of democratic equality and the respect for diverse identities. This paper compares the constitutional approach to equality and diversity in the law of democracy of India and the European Union. We argue that the meaning and function of equality in a democratic but heterogenous polity is shaped by at least three distinct registers of political discourse: liberal universalism, pluralism and cultural nationalism. The paper uses these frames to hightlight the different approaches in the two polities.