Book Review: A Defense of Rule: Origins of Political Thought in Greece and India by Stuart Gray (Published by Oxford University Press, 2017)

By Aakash Singh Rathore
The majority of human history’s 7000 or so years has witnessed state formations not legitimized by constitutions but instead by metaphysical ideas like god or nation or else simply by dominance. The legitimizing constitution of the democratic state, flourishing only some 70 years or so, is rare and precious because it interrupts the long-standing priority of the natural right of the dominant to rule, replacing it with the inalienable dignity of the human person. In the Preamble to the Indian Constitution, the dignity of the individual is even lexically prior to the unity of the nation. Important things follow from this.