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Essay on “Constitution of India” Complete Essay for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

Constitution of India

Essay No. 02

The Constitution of India is the world’s lengthiest written constitution with 445 articles and 12 schedules. It contains the good points taken from the Constitutions of many countries in the world. It was passed on 26 Nov 1949 by the “The Constituent Assembly and is fully applicable since 26 Jan 1950. The Constituent Assembly had been elected for undivided India and held its first sitting on 9th Dec. 1946, re-assembled on the 14th August 1947, as The Sovereign Constituent Assembly for the dominion of India. In regard to its composition, the members were elected by indirect election by the members of The Provisional Legislative Assemblies (lower house only). At the time of signing 284 out of 299 members of the Assembly were present.

The constitution of India draws extensively from Western legal traditions in its outline of the principles of liberal democracy. It follows a British parliamentary pattern with a lower and upper house. It embodies some Fundamental Rights which are similar to the Bill of Rights declared by the United States constitution. It also borrows the concept of a Supreme Court from the US.

India is a federal system in which residual powers of legislation remain with the central government, similar to that in Canada. The constitution provides detailed lists dividing up powers between central and state governments as in Australia, and it elaborates a set of Directive Principles of State Policy as does the Irish constitution.

The constitution has a provision for Schedules to be added to the constitution by amendment. The ten schedules in force cover the designations of the states and union territories; the emoluments for high-level officials; forms of oaths; allocation of the number of seats in the Rajya Sabha. A review of the constitution needs at least two-thirds of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha to pass it.

The Indian constitution is one of the most frequently amended constitutions in the world. Infact the first amendment to it was passed after only a year of the adoption of the constitution and instituted numerous minor changes. Many more amendments followed, a rate of almost two amendments per year since 1950. Most of the constitution can be amended after a quorum of more than half of the members of each house in Parliament passes an amendment with a two-thirds majority vote. Articles pertaining to the distribution of legislative authority between the central and state governments must also be approved by 50 percent of the state legislatures.

 

 

Constitution of India

Essay No. 02

Every Constitution has a Preamble with which it begins and which embodies its objectives or basic purposes. The framers of our Constitution in this respect were in the most happy position. For, here was an opportunity for them to give expression to the dreams of a new order they had been dreaming of for years.

Naturally, they were eager to draw up a Preamble that embodied the fundamental principles of that new order. The Preamble, indeed, embodies the philosophy of the Constitution. From a strictly legal point of view, the importance of a Preamble is limited. It cannot qualify the provisions of the enactment so long as its text is clear and unambiguous. But if the statute is ambiguous, the Preamble can be referred to in order to explain and elucidate it as it is a key to open the mind of the makers of the Act and the mischief’s they intended to redress.” The Supreme Court of India is substantially in agreement with this position.

 

The Preamble to the Constitution of India reads as under:

“WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens: JUSTICE, social economic and political; LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith 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 clay of November 1949, do hereby ADOPT, ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION.’

The sentiments expressed in the Preamble were those as described by Jawaharlal Nehru in the Objectives Resolution which he moved in the Constituent Assembly in its first session and which the Assembly adopted unanimously. But Nehru’s resolution itself had taken shape out of what had been already said many times by Mahatma Gandhi.

In 1931, when Gandhiji was standing on the deck of a ship which was taking him to London as the spokesman and representative of nationalist India to the Second Round Table Conference, he was asked by a newspaper correspondent as to what Constitution he would bring back if he could help it. Gandhiji’s reply is worth reproducing here:

“I shall strive for a Constitution, which will release India from all thralldom and patronage and give her, if need be, the right to sin. I shall work for an India, in which the poorest shall feel that it is their country in whose making they have an effective voice: An India in which there shall be no high class and low class of people: An India in which all communities shall live in perfect harmony. There can be no room in such an India for the curse of untouchability or the curse of intoxicating drinks and drugs. Women shall enjoy the same rights as men. Since we shall be at peace with all the rest of the world neither exploiting nor being exploited, we should have the smallest army imaginable. All interests not in conflict with the interests of the dumb millions will be scrupulously respected whether foreign or indigenous. Personally, I have no distinction between foreign and indigenous. This is the India of my dreams.”

It is not an exaggeration to say that not only in the Preamble but also in several other parts of the Constitution there is a perceptible vibration of the Gandhian concept of independent India.

Reading through the Preamble, one can see purposes that it serves, namely the declaration of (1) the source of the Constitution (2) a statement of its objectives; and (3) the date of its adoption.

The opening words of the Preamble emphasize the ultimate authority of the people from whose will the Constitution emerges. Most of the modern constitutions emphasize the same principle. Since the Constituent Assembly “enacted and adopted” the Constitution in the name of the people of India, the question has been asked whether the Assembly was really representative of the people of India toes the Constitution reflect the will of the people of India’?” This question was raised both within and outside the Assembly. Notice of a motion to this effect was given by a member of the Assembly who asked the House to adjourn the discussion on the Draft Constitution altogether and called for a new House on the basis of adult franchise to be elected claiming that such a House alone should deal with the framing of the Constitution. The motion was however rejected by the Assembly as there was no one to support it.

The concepts of Socialism and Secularism were implicit in the Constitution. as it was originally passed. A number of provisions in Part IV of the Constitution dealing with the Directive Principles of State Policy (Articles 38, 39. 40, and 41) are intended to bring about a socialistic order of society. These objectives had been later summed up in the phrase “Socialistic Pattern of Society’ and have been explained in the Five-Year Plan documents. Similarly Articles 14. 15. 16. 26, 27, and 28 are intended to ensure the establishment and maintenance of a secular state in India.

The term “democratic” is comprehensive. In a narrow political sense, it refers only to the form of government, a representative and responsible system under which those who administer the affairs of the State are chosen by the electorate and are accountable to them. However, in its broadest sense, it embraces. in addition to political democracy, social and economic democracy. The term “democratic” is used in this sense in the Preamble.

The term “republic” implies an elected head of the State. A democratic state may have an elected or a hereditary head. Britain is perhaps the best example of the latter type. There the monarch, a hereditary ruler, is no hindrance to democratic government as the real power of the State is in the hands of the representatives of the electorate.

Under a republican form, on the contrary, the Head of the State single or collective is always elected for a prescribed period. For example, in the United States of America, the Head of the State and Chief Executive—the President—is elected for a fixed period of four years. In Switzerland, on the other hand, collegians of seven members are elected for a period of seven years to constitute the executive. By deciding to become a republic India has chosen the system of electing one of its citizens as its President—the Head of the State—at regular intervals for five years.

The Preamble proceeds to define the objectives of the Indian Republic. These objectives are four in number Justice. Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity. Justice implies a “harmonious reconcilement of individual conduct with the general welfare of society. The essence of justice is the attainment of the common good. It embraces, as the Preamble proclaims, the entire social-economic, and political spheres of human activity.

The term liberty” is used in the Preamble not merely as a negative but also in a positive sense. It signifies not only the absence of any arbitrary restraint on the freedom of individual action but also the creation of conditions which provide the essential ingredients necessary for the fullest development of the personality of the individual. Since society is constituted by individuals social progress depends on the progress of the individual. Hence, it is in the interest of society to ensure the maximum liberty of thought and action of the individual commensurate with social conditions and circumstances.

Liberty and equality are complementary. Equality does not mean that all human beings are equal, mentally and physically. It signifies equality of status, the status of free individuals and equality of opportunity. As the French Revolutionaries proclaimed “Men are born and remain free and equal in rights. Social distinctions are based only upon public utility.” Equality of opportunity implies the availability of opportunity to everyone to develop his or her potential capacities. The concept of equality that is envisaged in the Preamble, as it embraces both equality of status and of opportunity is widest in scope.

Finally, the Preamble emphasizes the objective of “fraternity” in order to ensure both the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the nation. The necessity of the spirit of brotherhood among the citizens was first emphasized by the French Revolution, which adopted it along with liberty and equality as the foundations of the new social order that it aimed to establish. Ever since the French Declaration, it has become a slogan of universal application. In its Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations proclaims, “All human beings are born free and equal, in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”

It is this spirit of brotherhood that is emphasized by the use of the term ‘fraternity” in the Preamble. In a country like India with many disruptive social forces, communal and caste, sectional, and denominational, local and regional, linguistic and cultural differences the unity and integrity of the nation can be preserved only through a spirit of brotherhood that pervades the entire country among all its citizens, irrespective of their differences. Through the establishment of a new nation based upon justice, liberty and equality, all must feel that they are the children of the same soil, of the same mother, and members of the same fraternity.

The Preamble to the Constitution of India is one of the best of its kind ever drafted. A glance over the preambles of constitutions all the world over will show that both in ideas and ideals and in expression, ours is unrivaled. It embodies the spirit of the Constitution, the determination of the Indian people to unite themselves in a common adventure of building up a new and independent nation which will ensure the triumph of justice, liberty, equality, and fraternity. Commending the beautiful form in which the Preamble is couched, one of the members in the Constituent Assembly rose to poetic heights when he said: ‘The Preamble is the most precious part of the Constitution. It is the soul of the Constitution. It is a key to the Constitution.’

 

Essay No. 03

 

Constitution of India

Cabinet Mission visited India in March 1946 and recommended the formation of a Constituent Assembly. Accordingly, it was elected by the provincial assemblies in July of the same year. It had in all 389 members, including 93 who represented the Indian princely states. The Constituent Assembly had some eminent leaders of the country, like Jawahar Lal Nehru, Rajendra Prasad, Sardar Patel, G. B, Pant, Abul Kalam Azad, B.G. Kher, K.M. Munshi, J.B. Kriplani, B.R. Ambedkar, S. Radhakrishnan, Liaquat Ali Khan, and Feroz Khan, etc. But Mahatma Gandhi and M.A. Jinnah were not.

The first session was held in New Delhi on 9 December 1946. However, the Muslim League members did not participate in its deliberations. Dr. Rajendra Prasad was elected the Permanent Chairman of the Constituent Assembly. Right from inception till August 14, 1946, it held five sessions. It was declared a sovereign body according to the Indian Independence Act 1947. It made Lord Louis Mountbatten the first Governor-General and Jawahar Lal Nehru the first Prime Minister of Independent India. The Constituent Assembly adopted the Constitution of India on 26 November 1949 and it came into force on 26 January 1950.

India is a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic, with a parliamentary system of government. India is governed in the terms of its Constitution. It is federal in structure, with some unitary features. The President of India is the Constitutional Head. The Constitution provides that there shall be a Council of Ministers, led by the Prime Minister, to advise the President, who shall, in exercise of his functions, act in accordance with such advice. The real executive powers are vested in the Council of Ministers and the Prime Minister as its head. They are collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha (House of the People). Similarly, in the States, the Governor is the head of the executive, but the real executive powers are vested in the Council of Ministers, with the Chief Minister as the head. They are collectively responsible to the Legislative Assembly.

The Supreme Court is the highest and final judicial tribunal in India. It consists of a Chief Justice and not more than 25 other judges, all appointed by the President of India. They hold office till the age of 65. A retired judge of the Supreme Court cannot practice in any court of law or before any other authority in India. The Supreme Court has both original and appellate jurisdictions. Its exclusive, original jurisdiction extends to all disputes between the Union and State or States inter se. Besides, it has extensive original jurisdiction in regard to enforcement of Fundamental Rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

The Constitution of India embodies and enumerates an impressive list of Fundamental Rights to all its citizens, collectively and individually. These are the very cornerstones of our democracy as they ensure the proper moral, material, and social welfare of the people. Since these rights and freedom form an integral part of the Constitution, they cannot be violated or taken away in ordinary circumstances. These rights are: (i) The rights to equality, including equality before law, prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, sex, or place of birth and equality of opportunity in the matter of employment. (ii) The right to freedom of speech and expression, assembly, association or union, movement, residence, and the right to practice any profession or occupation. Some of these rights and freedom are subject to the security of the state, friendly relations with foreign countries, public order, decency, and morality. (iii) The right against exploitation, prohibiting all forms of forced labour, child labour, and traffic in human beings. (iv) The right to freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion. (v) The right to conserve culture, language, or script and the right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice. (vi) The right to Constitutional remedies for the enforcement of Fundamental Rights.

Indian Constitution also enumerates certain Fundamental Duties. These enjoin upon a citizen, among other things, to abide by the Constitution, to cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom, to defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so and to promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India, transcending religious, linguistic, regional and sectional diversities.

The Constitution has laid down certain Directive Principles of State Policy. These are not justifiable like the Fundamental Rights and yet it is the duty of the State to keep these in view while enacting laws. These direct that the State shall strive to promote the welfare of the people by securing and protecting as effectively as it may, a social order in which justice—social, economic, and political shall inform all institutions of national life. The State shall direct the policy in such a manner as to secure the rights of all men and women to an adequate means of livelihood, equal pay for equal work and within the limits of its economy, capacity, and development, to make effective provision for securing the right to work, education and to public assistance in the event of employment, old age, sickness, and disablement or other cases of undeserved want. The State shall also endeavour to secure to workers a living wage, humane conditions of work, a decent standard of life and full involvement of workers in the management of industries.

In the economic sphere, the State is to direct its policy in such a manner as to secure distribution of ownership and control of material resources of the community to subserve the common good and to ensure that operation of the economic system does not result in the concentration of wealth and means of production to the common detriment. Thus, these principles underline what is really desirable or what ought to be but cannot be enforced. In running the administration, these are ideals which should always be kept in view as far as possible. They all aim to take the country to the goal of peace, progress, and prosperity.

The salient features of the Indian Constitution are: (i) It is right as well as flexible. (ii) It is the longest in the world. (iii) It reconciles Parliamentary sovereignty with judicial supremacy. (iv) It provides Fundamental Rights and their Constitutional remedies. (v) It proclaims that the people are sovereign. (vi) It has established a parliamentary form of government. (vii) It is federal in form but unitary in spirit. (viii) It has introduced a universal franchise. (ix) It incorporates Directive Principles of State Policy and Duties of the citizens. (x) It establishes an independent judiciary with provisions for judicial review.

The Constitution of India provides for a single citizenship. Under the Constitution, the following categories of persons are considered as citizens of India at the commencement of the Constitution:

  1. Persons born and domiciled in India.
  2. Persons domiciled in the territory of India, whose parents were born in India.
  3. A person who has domiciled in the territory of India and has been residing in India ordinarily for a period of at least five years.
  4. Certain categories of persons who had migrated to India from Pakistan.
  5. Indians who are residing abroad but who make a clear application to acquire Indian citizenship.

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