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The Indian Constitution | Foundation Course Chapter 4 | Mumbai University

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The Indian Constitution

The Indian Constitution

1) Describe the process of making of Indian constitution.

Answer : i) Though the Indian society is pluralistic but it is united at the time of any foreign threat. In India the person from any religion can become Prime Minister and President. The people enjoys their human right freely. Otherwise in our neighboring countries we see that Prime-Ministers, Presidents are imprisoned, governments are overthrown by militaries and political powers are captured by anti- social elements.

ii) We have the history available about the Constitutional developments in India, e.g. Morley Minto Reforms, 1909, Montegue Chelmsford reforms 1919 Indian independence Act, 1935, etc. In 1946, there came the Cabinet Mission Plan which provided for the formation of Constituent Assembly to prepare a Constitution for India. These members were selected from three groups i.e. i) General ii) Muslims and iii) Sikhs.

iii) They were selected by the proportionate representation. There was also the representation given to the Minority and Depressed Classes communities like SCs (Scheduled Castes), Parsees, Indian Christians, Anglo-Indians tribals and even women too. The Congress (Indian National Congress) won 208 seats, Muslim league 73 and remaining from other categories. The Constituent Assembly consisted of 389 members out of which 296 were from British India and 93 from Princely States. Muslim League refused to join the Constituent Assembly.

iv) The first session of the Constituent Assembly was held on 9th December 1946 under the provisional Chairmanship of Sachidan and Sinha. On 11th December 1946 Dr. Rajendra Prasad was elected as the permanent President of Constitutional Committee. Therefore, to prepare the draft Constitution ‘Drafting Committee’ was formulated and on August 29, 1947 Dr. B. R. Abmedkar, a legal luminary and a constitutional expert was appointed as its Chairman. Dr. B.R.Ambedkar put all his energy and efforts to prepare the constitution.

v) The draft was completed on 26th January 1949. This draft was kept for discussion and suggestions for eight months (from 21st Feb 1948) before the public and the Constituent Assembly. Constitution From 26th January 1950 the Constitution came into force.

2) Explain the structure of Indian Constitution.

Answer : Indian society is pluralistic but it is united at the time of any foreign threat. In India the person from any religion can become Prime Minister and President. The people enjoys their human right freely. The Structure of the Constitution is divided into the Preamble, the Main Body and the Schedules. The Indian Constitution contained XXII parts, 395 Articles and 12 Schedules. In this structure the each and every provision has been discussed thoroughly and then got it passed in the Constituent Assembly.

i) The Preamble :
The preamble is the mirror of the aspirations of the people to themselves which reflects into it. The preamble is not the part of the Articles but it is the gist of all the provisions elaborated in all the Articles. It is the philosophical commitment which would be realized into practice by the government & its state. It is the sum total of the Constitution. We already have discussed the philosophical component of the preamble.

ii) Main Body of the Constitution :
The main body of the Constitution of India consists of 22parts, 395 articles and 12 schedules and they have been elaborated thoroughly in these provisions.

The part I consists of Articles nos.1-4. Article No.2 deals with Name and Territors of the Union and establishment of new states. Article 3 mentions about the provisions of formation of new states and alteration of areas, boundaries or names of new states. Article 4 provides the amendment of the First and the Fourth schedules and supplemental, incidental and consequential matter pertaining to Articlesnos.1 & 3.

The part II consists of Article nos. 5 to 11 in regard to citizenship. Article 5 relate with the citizenship at the commencement of the constitution. Articles 6-11 provides for rights of citizenship for migrants to and from Pakistan, or outside India and the right of the Parliament to continue and regulate it.

Part III deals with Fundamental Rights for Indian Citizen elaborated in the Article nos12 to 35. The Fundamental Rights are the Right to Equality, Right to Freedom, Right against Exploitation, Right to Religion, Cultural and Educational Rights and Right to Constitutional Remedies. The Right to Property was deleted by the 44th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1978.

3) Elaborate the fundamental duties of Indian Citizen?

Answer : Basically, Fundamental Rights always corresponds to the fundamental duties of each citizen, therefore, the founding fathers of the constitution must had not specified them. When one individual knows or enjoys his fundamental rights at the same time others also do and show respect for them i.e. duty.

In 1976, there was 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act which is called as the ‘Mini Constitution¹ by some experts. Article 51-A provided the Fundamental duties of Indian citizen which are as follows:- [Effective from 3rd Jan. 1977]

  1. To abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem.
  2. To cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom.
  3. To uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India.
  4. To defend the country and render national service when called upon to doso.
  5. To promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities; to renounce practice derogatory to the dignity of women.
  6. To value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture.
  7. To protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life and to have compassion for living creatures.
  8. To develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform.
  9. To safeguard public property and to abjure violence.
  10. To strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual anc collective activity so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavour and achievement.
  11. Who is a parent or guardian, to provide opportunities for education to his child or as the case may be, ward between the age of six and fourteen years. (This was provided in 2002 by the 86thConstitutionalAmendmentActwithreferencetoarticle45). These fundamental duties are sometimes criticised and sometimes favoured by the various constitutional experts.

These fundamental duties are sometimes criticised and sometimes favoured by the various constitutional experts.

4) Review the basic features of our constitution.

Answer : The founding fathers of our constitution studied the various constitutions available in the various countries of the World and picked up the selected principles which would be suitable to Indian social-political, economic, cultural, religious conditions. The Constitution of India has provided the Indian citizen the best of the things for leading a happy and peaceful life. Therefore, the basic features of it are as follows:-

i) Preamble :
The Preamble means Preface, Preliminary statement or an introduction to any literary work or scholarly work. It is the beginning remarks which takes the readers and the executors of the instructions towards guidance to performance. The Preamble to the Indian Constitution reveals the minds of the Indian Society though a divergent in nature.

ii) Popular Sovereignty :
It is clearly stated in the preamble that India is not under any outside control. It is a sovereign nation under the people. The people will have right to elect their representatives to rule for themselves to the government. Hence, India has a democratic system of government. Any citizen who is above 18 years of age irrespective of religion, creed, caste, region, property, rich or poor, man or woman can execute adult franchise and have his reprehensive for his/her welfare. Therefore, popular sovereignty is very important feature of the Constitution of India. Many articles are added according to the present context.

iii) Partly Rigid and Partly Flexible :
When we read our constitutional document then we comes to know that sometime, somewhere the articles of the constitution are very rigid to make any amendment and somewhere some articles are easily amended according to the situation exists. The article 368 of the Constitution provides for the amendment. At the same time, in case of Jammu & Kashmir, the parliament has got limited rights to intervene in the affairs of this state. As against this, during 57 yrs. there are 92 amendments have been made in the constitution and states like Nagaland, Sikkim, Jharkhand, and Chhattisgarh etc. have been newly created.

iv) The Lengthiest Written Constitution in the World :
When Indian Constitution was prepared, it had 395 articles 9 schedules and 12 parts. It is most detailed written document. The USA constitution has only 7 articles, the Australian constitution has 128 articles and the Constitution of Canada has 147 articles. Indian
Constitution gives the details of administrative machinery, execution, legislation and implementation details of the judiciary. According to the Constitutional Amendment no 92 in the year, 2003, the Indian constitution is consisted of 447 Articles, 12 schedules and 26 parts.

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