The Constitution of India is the supreme legal and living document. Which
consists of fundamental principles, procedures, practices, rights,
responsibilities, powers, and duties of the state. It was drafted by the 389
members being a part of the Constituent Assembly, and Dr. BR Ambedkar being the
head of the constitution drafting committee.
It took roughly about 2 years and 11 months and 17 days, to complete the duty of
drafting the constitution of India, which was finally completed on 26th November
1949, celebrated as the Constitution Day. On 26 January 1950, constitution was
adopted, replacing the Government of India act 1935, which is celebrated as the
Republic Day of India.
Salient Features are as follows:
Modern constitution:The constitution makers, made it the world's richest document which consisted of
human knowledge, intellect, inheritance and civilizations that is best suited to
the social, economic, political, and cultural situations of the country.
Nevertheless, it will be wrong to say that the Indian constitution is a carbon
copy of constitutions of countries in the world, since it has taken several
significant principles, procedures and provisions of the other countries but at
the end it came out with its own ability to choose, new directions, methods,
principles, and constantly aiming at new constitutional innovations.
Written constitution:When the Indian constitution was adopted in 1949
originally, it consisted of 395 Articles, divided into 22 parts and 9 schedules.
Today after 103 amendments, it consists of 495 Articles, categorized into 22
parts and 12 schedules, which is longest written constitution in the world and
is designated as an 'elephant size' living constitution.
Secular state:In 1976, the term Secular was made a part of the
constitution, by introducing the 42nd amendment. The union does not give any
superior status to any particular religion, in the country. Aiming at all the
religions should enjoy equivalent status, acceptance and respect, there is a
definite right to freedom of religion, with no discrimination of any kind,
ensuring the prohibition of formation of a theocratic state. Every person in the
country has an equivalent right and freedom to practice, profess, propagate any
religion of their choice with equal protection, respect and support from the
Welfare state:It is a system of government in which the state has a
responsibility to defend and promote the economic and social wealth of its
citizens, based upon such principles of equal opportunities, distribution of
wealth, and owing responsibilities towards the citizens who are unable to avail
these services for leading a decent life. This concept of welfare state is
further supported by the Directive principles of the State policy, which
provides the economic, political, social, cultural goals for the state, putting
compulsion on the state, to accomplish its maximum social well-being for every
Preamble:As an essential part of constitution, which does not give any
special power to the constitution but it gives a route and a motive for the
constitution to exist. Outlines the purposes of the constitution it asserts
India to be a Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic, and Republic in nature.
Apart from this, it also highlights other important provisions for its citizens
Justice (Social, Economic and Political); Liberty of thought, expression,
belief, faith and worship; Equality and Fraternity (Unity and Integrity of
Socialist state:The term 'Socialism' was included in the Preamble with the
1976 amendment, which is now observed as one of the key features of the State.
It imitates how the opinions of India, for ending all forms of exploitation,
discriminations and inequalities, hence is dedicated towards bringing social and
economic well-being for the citizens. India has always highlighted the concept
of mixed economy, wherein both the public and private sectors have their
independent roles to play. The court is also well known about the importance of
democratic socialism, aiming to, eliminate inequalities of all kinds and
safeguarding a decent standard of life for all citizens.
Responsible government:The Preamble provides us with a democratic and
Parliamentary form of governance, wherein the central and state tiers of
government look after all the duties, regulated by the system of checks and
balances. The President being the nominal head of the country, is nominated by
both houses of the Parliament, with elected members of State Assembly. In such a
form of government, the Prime Minister being the head of council of Ministers is
accountable to look after the actions of his government.
Fundamental rights:The fundamental Rights are assured by the constitution,
under Part III of the constitution laid down from Articles 12 to 35. These
include Right to Equality, The Right to freedom, Freedom of religion, Rights
against Exploitation, Educational and Cultural right and right to constitutional
Remedies. These are essential rights, as a result of which no law, rule, order,
or any amendments can interfere or take away these rights, otherwise they will
be declared as unconstitutional. Where the people can also approach the court of
laws if their rights are violated for its enforcement.
Minorities and Backward classes:There are multiple castes, classes,
religions, languages, cultures, which exist in the Indian society, consisting of
people from different sections, which are reasonably weaker than others in
various spheres of life. So, in order to encourage a sense of security, safety
and pleasure amongst the minorities, and for improving the living conditions of
the backward classes by submerging them into the society equally, the
constitution provides various liberal schemes and provisions for reservations.
Elections:India has adopted the concept of adult suffrage, according to
which every citizen, attaining the age of 18 years has a right to vote, which is
not subjected to any kind of discrimination. According to this concept, the
citizens do not need any necessary education qualification for voting, and even
a large chunk of the population can vote, where they may not be educated but
still, they may have a basic knowledge about their needs and requirements, and
so they can select their representatives wisely.
Supreme Judiciary:The constitution has kept Judiciary independent from the
legislature and executive. Judges are free of any kind of intrusion, by other
organs of the government, so that the judges can give their decisions
independently without fear, favor. The concept of separation of power maintains
this independence, it also has the power of judicial review, which provides the
power to the courts to state any law, rule or order passed by the legislature
and any performance of executive as void, if found contradictory to any
provision of the constitution. The judiciary has many other tasks like,
supervising governmental processes, acting as a wheel of balance for federalism,
therefore, highlighting the supremacy of the Judiciary.
Federal constitution:Since, India has a federal type of constitution,
establishing dual polity, having two-tiers government. All the powers,
functions, and duties of the government are divided amongst central and state
level, without interfering in others functioning. The schedule 7, and Article
246 of the constitution talks about three lists, The Union, State and Concurrent
list, which specifying the various matters on which the laws are to be made.
India's federalism is a unique blend of simplicity and complexity, having the
concept of single citizenship, and becoming a part of the basic structure as
The constitution is the pride of our country, where it not only deals with the
organizations, functions, responsibilities, structures, authorities of the
Central government but also, signifies of the state. It is also focused at
maintaining the relationship of the central and state government when their
views are contrary. Due to lack of homogeneousness, there are many communities,
castes, cultures, religions, languages and classes, which are guaranteed with
equal protection and impartial access to justice.
The Fundamental rights not only guarantee equality to all but also prohibit
discrimination of all kinds, and on the other hand, the Directive principles of
state policies, create an environment for social welfare and aim at establishing
an egalitarian society.
Written By: Manav Puri