The Constitution of India is the Supreme Law by which the Country needs to be governed. Any civil society follows a set of rules, stating rights and benefits provided to its citizens. Even the Countries having Monarchy or Military governance have their own Constitution. Indian Constitution is a written document stating the Fundamental Rights, Directive Principles for its Citizens and powers and duties of Government Institutions. The Constitution of India is the supreme law according to which the State of India is to be governed.
Sample Essay on Constitution of India for Students
1100 Words Essay
The Constitution of India is a written document declaring the Fundamental Rights, Directive Principles and Duties of its citizens. It sets out the functioning, power, formation, and constitution of Government Institutions. It is the Supreme Law according to which the state of India is to be governed.
The Constitution of India was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on 26th Nov 1949, but it came in effect from 26th January 1950. The Constitution declares India as a Sovereign (self-governed), Socialist (following uniform rules), Secular (rejecting religious considerations) and Republic (People have the Supreme power) ensuring all its citizen's equality of opportunity, justice and endeavor to promote fraternity among them.
Drafting of the Constitution
The Constitution of India was drafted by the Constituent Assembly, the members of which first met on December 9, 1946, after India got Independence from the British Empire. The Constituent assembly had 299 members elected by the members of the Provincial Assemblies.
- Some Prominent Members of Assembly
Some prominent members of the assembly were B.R. Ambedkar, Jawaharlal Nehru, Abul Kalam Azad, C.Rajgopalachari, Vallabhbhai Patel, Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Rajkumari Amrit Kaur, and Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan. Care was taken to include members from the Scheduled Classes also, to ensure the drafting of a fair and unbiased Constitution. H.P. Modi represented the Parsis; Ari Bhadur Gurung represented the Gorkha Community. The committee also had some prominent women members like Sarojini Naidu, Hansa Mehta, and Durgabai Deshmukh.
- Some Other Members of the Committee
Other members of the drafting committees included then Chief Minister of United Province Gobind Ballabh Pant, former Advocate General of Madras, Alladi Krishnaswamy Iyer, former J&K Prime Minister N. Gopalaswamy Ayyangar, former Bombay Presidency Home Minister Kalyanilal Maneklal Munshi, and former Indian advocate general B.L.Mitter, former Muslim League politician Muhammed Sadullah, and D.P. Khaitan.
It took the Constituent Assembly nearly three years (2 years 11 months and 18 days) for the drafting of the Constitution of Independent India, during which it held 11 sessions over 165 days. Chairman of the drafting committee Babasaheb Ambedkar finally presented the draft of the Indian Constitution to the President of the Constituent Assembly, Dr. Rajendra Prasad on 26th November 1949 which came into effect from 26th January 1950.
The original 1950 constitution of India is preserved in Helium filed cases in the Parliament House, New Delhi.
Father of the Indian Constitution
Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, who was the Chairman of the Drafting Committee, is the father of the Indian Constitution. He had added some very important points in the constitution like equal rights for untouchables, reduction in working hours from 14 hours to 8 hours, etc. His birth anniversary is celebrated annually as Ambedkar Jayanti.
Influence of other Constitutions
The Indian constitution is unique in its content and spirit, although it had borrowed many features from the constitutions around the world. The Countries and the features borrowed from their Constitution are given below-
- Constitution of UK- Parliamentary form of Government.
- Constitution of United States-Federal structure of Government, electoral college.
- Irish constitution- Directive Principles of state policy.
- Australian Constitution- Freedom of trade and commerce, concurrent list.
- French Constitution- Ideals of Liberty, Equality, and fraternity.
- Canadian Constitution- distribution of powers between Central and State governments.
- Russian constitution- Fundamental duties.
- Weimar Constitution (Germany) - The provisions of emergency.
- South Africa- Amendments of the Constitution.
- Japan- The due procedure of law.
Salient Features of the Indian Constitution
The Constitution of India originally had 395 articles, 22 parts and 8 schedules, which are amended from time to time (total of 101 amendments to date) presently having 448 articles with 12 schedules. Salient features of the constitution of India are given below-
1) Longest Written Constitution
The Constitution of India holds the exclusivity of being the longest and handwritten Constitution of the World. It contains the systematic elaboration of every topic. The constitution of India is the lengthiest because it contains separate provisions for center and state and their relations, separate provisions for scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, women and children. It contains a detailed list of Directive principles, state policy, fundamental rights and duties of the citizens.
2) Living Document
The Constitution of India is known as a living document owing to its flexibility. The constitution is fluid as it can be amended according to the need and sentiment of people for serving general good.
3) Rigid and Flexible
The Constitution of India is rigid because it is the supreme law of the country. No law is superior to the Constitution, and all must abide by the provisions provided in the Constitution. The Constitution of India also flexible as its content and principles may be amended by the Legislature by simple legislative procedures.
4) The preamble of the Constitution
The preamble of the constitution is the introductory part of the Constitution of India. Like the introductory part of a book, it is not related to the contents but explains the objective and principle of the constitution. The preamble describes the objective of the constitution in two ways- one is the system of governance and others as the ideals to be achieved in Independent India.
5) Fundamental Rights and Duties
The Constitution of India guarantees certain fundamental rights to is citizens. Initially, there were seven fundamental rights, but with the scrapping of the right to property, there are only six fundamental rights as below-
- Right to equality.
- Right to freedom.
- Right against exploitation.
- Right to the freedom of religion.
- Cultural and educational rights.
- Rights to Constitutional remedies.
6) Directive Principles
Directive Principles of state policy provided in the constitution declares the policy by which the government of the state is to be governed. It also represents philosophies like- likely means of livelihood for the citizens, equal opportunities for men and women and equal wages for them, compulsory primary education, distribution of wealth in order to reduce financial disparity and serve the common good, old age care, and unemployment, etc.
7) Parliamentary system
The Constitution has provided for Parliamentary form of government both for the center and the states. It is a democratic setup of governance, where the executive is responsible to the legislature. The council of ministers is held responsible for the Lok Sabha, the lower house of union parliament. The bills passed by the Parliament need the approval of the President.
8) Amendment Procedures
The procedure of amending the Constitution is laid down in PartXX (Article 368) of the Constitution of India. An amendment of the Constitution can be initiated only by the introduction of a bill in either house of Parliament. It must then be approved with the majority from both the houses. The bill is then finally presented to the President for his consent. Every amendment is referred to as an Act, like the first amendment Act, second amendment Act and so on.
9) Judicial Review
The judiciary has been given a significant position independent of the legislature and the executive. The Supreme Court is at the apex of the judicial system. The main objectives of the Supreme Court are the protection of fundamental rights and to act as the guardian of the Constitution. The Constitution has made provisions for the independence of the judiciary because only an independent judiciary can protect the rights of people.
The Constitution serves as a set of rules according to which a group of people or country is governed. It provides the rules acceptable to all the citizens of the country irrespective of their caste, creed, and religion. The constitution is very important for a civilized society to function and to ensure its citizens- equality of opportunity, justice and fraternity.