MAKING OF INDIAN CONSTITUTION
The making of the constitution for a huge and diverse country like India was not an easy affair. (i) The people of India were emerging from the status of subjects to that of citizens. -(ii) The country was born through a partition on the basis of religious differences. Atleast ten lakh people were killed on both sides of the border in partition related violence. (ii) The British had left it to the rulers of the princely states to decide whether they wanted to merge with Indian or with Pakistan or remain independent. The merger of these princely states was difficult and uncertain task. (iv) When the constitution was being written, the makers of the constitution had anxieties about the present and the future of the country
The path to constitution: (i) Our national movement was not merely a struggle against a foreign rule. It was also a struggle to rejuvenate our country and to transform our society and politics (ii) The familiarity with political institutions of colonial rule also helped velop an agreement over the institutional design. the experience gained by Indians in the working of the legislative institutions proved to be very useful for the country in setting up its own institutions
ii) Many of our leaders were inspired by the ideals of French Revolutions, the practice of Parliamentary democracy in Britain and Bill of Rights in USA. So they incorporated some good points of the Constitution of these in the Indian Constitution (iv) They also got inspiration from the Constitution drafted by Moti Lal Nehru and eight other Congress leaders in 1928, and the outlines of the Indian Constitution prepared by the Indian National Congress at its Karachi session in 1931.
The Constituent Assembly
The Constitution of India was framed by a Constituent Assembly set up under the Cabinet Mission Plan, 1946. The assembly consisted of 389 members representing provinces (292), states (93), the chief commissioner provinces (3) and Baluchistan (1). The assembly held its first meeting on December 6, 1946. It elected Dr. Rajendra Prasad as its Chairman
After the partition, the Constituent Assembly was also divided into India and Pakistan's constituent assemblies There were 299 members in the Indian Constituent Assembly. The Constitution was adopted on 26 November 1949 and came into effect on 26 January 1950. The Constituent Assembly was not elected through universal adult franchise but its members came from all parts of India. They represented all the social groups of India. It can be said that the Constituent Assembly truly represented the society and its aspiration at that time. The Constituent Assembly held its deliberations in a transparent manner so that different opinions could be heard before arriving at a solution. Pan-India representation in the Constituent Assembly is the prime reason that our Constitution has withstood the tests of time.
GUIDING VALUES OF THE INDIAN CONSTITUTION
Philosophy of the Constitution To understand the philosophy of the Indian Constitution, you need to understand the preamble of the constitution. The keywords in the Preamble of the Constitution of India are discussed as follows:
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 diguity 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
SOVEREIGN: The sovereignty means that India is a free country and no external power can dictate the government of India. It is important to note that the British had proposed a dominion status for India which meant it would have been a country under the British monarchy. The Constituent Assembly rejected that proposal and preferred for full freedom.
JUSTICE: The land of the law would not discriminate between citizens on the basis of caste, religion and gender. The government would work for the welfare of poor and oppressed so that social inequalities could be reduced. LIBERTY: Citizens are given the liberty to express their opinions in a way which is found suitable by them. There are no unreasonable restrictions on the liberty of citizens.
EQUALITY: All citizens are equal before the law; irrespective of differences in socio-economic conditions. Every citizen would be provided equal opportunities to improve his/her socioeconomic conditions. FRATERNITY: Each citizen should respect the spirit of brotherhood and no one should treat a fellow citizen as inferior.
Indian Constitution: A Living Document Those who crafted the Indian Constitution felt that it has to be in accordace with people's aspirations and changes in society. They did not see it as a sacred, static and unalterable law. So, they made provisions to incorporate changes from time to time. hese changes are called constitutional amendments Till. Te amendment procedure provided in the constitution is as follows There are three categories of amendments:
i)In the first category, amendments can be done by simple majority of members present and voting before sending it for the President's assent. (ii) In the second category, amendments require a special majority. such an amendment can be passed by each house of Parliament by the two-thirds majority of the members of the house present and voting and then sent to the President for his assent. i) The third category, amendments is really difficult to pass. besides the special majority mentioned in the second category, the same has to be approved by at least 50 percent of the state legislatures
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