Constitution of India
CONSTITUTION OF INDIA The Constitution of India, according to Ivor Jennings, is “The longest and the most detailed in the world. ” Constitution of India is the supreme law of India. It lays down the framework defining fundamental political principles, establishing the structure, procedures, powers and duties of the government. It spells out fundamental rights, directive principles and duties of citizens. The constitution of India was drafted by the Constituent Assembly. The drafting committee of the constitution consists of seven members with Dr. B. R.
Ambedkar as the chairman. The Assembly took 2 years, 11 months and 18 days to pass the draft of the constitution. It was finally adopted on November 26, 1949 and it came into force on January 26, 1950. The date January 26 was chosen to commemorate the declaration of independence of 1930. It declares the Union of India sovereign, socialist, secular and democratic republic. It assures its citizens of Justice, equality and liberty, and promotes among all fraternity.
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India celebrates the adoption of the Constitution on January 26 each year as Republic Day.
It is the longest written Constitution of any sovereign country in the world. It comprises 448 Articles divided into 22 parts and 12 schedules. Being the supreme law of Country, every law enacted by the government must conform to the Constitution. Many articles of the Constitution of India were borrowed from the Government of India Act 1935. To a large extent the Act of 1935 was the basic structure on which the new Constitution was framed. Many ideas were incorporated from the Constitution of Britain, Ireland, USA, South Africa, Canada, etc.
Although our Constitution has adopted some provisions from many foreign Constitutions, yet our drafting committee has tried to make the Indian Constitution a document which is the most suitable to the Indian condition and environment. According to Jawaharlal Nehru, “whatever system of government we may establish here must fit in with the temper of our people and be acceptable to them”. The aims and objectives of the Constitution are expressed in the Preamble in a nutshell. It represents the spirit and soul of the Constitution.
It is the proper yardstick with which we can measure the orth of the Constitution, the text of the Preamble runs as follow: “WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens; JUSTICE, social, Economic and Political; LIBERTY of thought, expression, faith, belief and worship; EQUALITY of status and of opportunity; And to promote among them all; FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation; IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY this twenty-sixth day of November, 1949, do HEREBY ADOPT,
ENACT, AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION. ” The constitution of India unique in many ways. It has several special features that distinguish it from other Constitution of the world. It is a detailed document in which the functions of the legislative, Executive and Judicial organs both at the Centre and in the State have been elaborately prescribed. It emphasizes on secularism. Indian Constitution has spirit. The Constitution of India is neither rigid nor flexible. It is a rather a strange mixture, with appropriate modifications, to suit Indian conditions. Constitution came nto effect on January 26, 1950.
So far, 45 amendments were made to the Constitution prominent. Another significant feature of Indian Constitution is that a supreme court is constituted to serve as the highest court of the Country. The Constitution made the judiciary independent of the executive. There is a provision of Judicial review in the Constitution. Part Ill of the Constitution deals with the Fundamental Rights which are isx in number as Right to Equality, Right to freedom, Right against exploitation, Right to freedom of religion, cultural and education, Right for minorities and the Right to eek Constitutional remedies.
Recently Right to work and Right to education have been added in fundamental Rights. The Supreme Court and the High Court are empowered to safe guard these fundamental Rights. Part IV of the Constitution covering Articles from 36 to 51 enumerates several Directive Principles of State policy. They are aimed at the promotion of the material and moral well being of the people and to transform India into a welfare state. The 42nd Constitutional Amendment of 1976 incorporated the Fundamental Duties of citizens along with Fundamental Rights n the Constitution of India.
The Constitution requiring all citizens to fulfill ten duties like, respecting the Constitution, National Flag and the National Anthem, Cherishing the noble ideas of the freedom struggle, upholding the unity of India, etc. Adult suffer age is also an important feature of the Constitution. Till 1946, only the tax payers and poverty owners were voters. With the enforcement of the new Constitution, all the adults who attained 18 years of age become eligible to exercise their franchise. Constitution of India has been criticized by many persons.
The critics point out that there is nothing original in the new Constitution of India. Many sections and many provisions have been taken word by word from Government of India Act, 1935, and the Constitutions of other countries of world. The Constitution is over centralized and the units have been reduced to the level of local bodies. The critics condemn the emergency powers of the president as these powers can be used by the president for the purpose of setting up a dictatorship in the country. The Constitution is unduly prolix and elaborate.
It is argued that the Indian Constitution had been framed by lawyers and for lawyers. The Indian Constitution is the longest Constitution and the process of amendment is also not a simple one. In spite of all thee, we can say that Constitution of India is not merely a political or legal document; it is a charter of citizenship values. Our Constitution expects the citizens of India to be familiar with the basic structure and democratic functioning of democratic polity. This exception can be fulfilled with effective education in democratic citizenship.