13 June, 2021

The Strongest Constitution

A quirky compendium of cartoons and the accompanying detailed commentary spark a bumpy ride to the past, and elicits doubts, thoughts and insights

The Strongest Constitution

Reviews of books generally exh­ibit a relatively fixed patt­ern: the reviewer guides the rea­der through a tour of the book’s backstory, then its contents and main arguments, then of course a few of its shortcomings, and concluding with its recommendation (at times lukewarm, at times enthusiastic).

Just as reviews of books generally fall into a pattern, so do books themselves. No Laughing Matter, however, does not: it is unique and idiosyncratic; it has few (if any) predecessors setting its precedents; it is unstable in its genre, switching back and forth like a gestalt image, some moments looking like ‘political imperative’ (as the editor, Unnamati Syama Sundar states is his task), which operates in the world of action, and other moments loo­king like ‘serious scholarship’ (as its for­e­word writer, Suraj Yengde describes it), which operates in more contemplative spaces, like museums and universities.

If the book eludes usual patterns, then why not its review? So instead of creeping toward a thoughtful...

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