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Constitution of India; A Brief Note

Updated on April 1, 2016
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IRSHAD CV is an economics student. He likes to deal with Indian economy and related affairs.

First prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru signing in the constitution of India.
First prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru signing in the constitution of India. | Source

Introduction

India got independence on 15th August 1947 and become a republic nation on 30th January 1950. Since India is one of the largest countries, which united with many disparities, it was very difficult and a strategic task to formulate a constitution for India. Anyhow, a committee called ‘Drafting Committee’ was appointed on 29th August 1947 on the independence month itself by the resolution passed by the ‘Constituent Assembly’ under the chairmanship of Dr. B.R Ambedker with other six members. Actually Dr. B.R Ambedker was the law minister of the government of India from 1947 to 1951. Finally the ‘Drafting Committee’ submitted a bulky constitution containing 315 articles and 8 schedules after 8 months of the passing of resolution on 4th November at constituent assembly.

Main References to the ‘Drafting Committee’:

When the drafting committee was appointed, they referred many other constitutions of different countries especially England, United States of America, Switzerland… Actually each of them was widely different from one to other.

Mainly they found two types of government in the world. They were, i) Non-Parliamentary system following countries like America and ii) Parliamentary system which is following countries like England. Many differences can be envisaged in both these forms of governments. In America president is the chief head of the executive. On the other side in the England president is labeled as like the king or queen. Another difference is that, American president is the executive, so there are no any requirements of receiving advices from the ministers. But in a parliamentary system of government, the president cannot pass anything without the support from the members of the parliament. Another attractive difference is that, in American government any one can become minister even a person without having membership in the Congress or parliament. The president can choose his members.

The Form of Government in the Constitution of India

The ‘Drafting Committee’ proposed a form of government for India by incorporating features of different constitutions including American and British constitution. The ‘Drafting Committee’ proposed for India, the post of president as like America, but he is not the executive even he is the head of the country. Another difference from American president is that, the Indian president can’t do anything without the support by the members of the parliament. Since Indian government follows parliamentary system, only the parliament members can become the ministers. Further, a minister has the duty on different departments and enjoys the rights enjoyed by other members of the parliament.

Indian Constitution as a Democratic Executive

In Ambedker’s speech in the Constituent Assembly, he said, “A democratic executive must have two conditions, first, it must be a stable executive and secondly, it must be a responsible executive”. Actually in a country like India, the concept of democracy is very important in all matters. Because India is a united nation with disparities like languages, religions, regions, people etc. Further Ambedker also said, it is not possible to satisfy both the conditions of democratic executive. When we analyze American constitution, there exist less responsible and more stable executive. But in the British constitution we can see more responsible and less stable executive.

The reason for more stable and less responsible or more responsible and less stable is depending on the fact that whether the country follows parliamentary or non- parliamentary system. In a non- parliamentary system like America, the support of majority of the members for a particular decision is not much significant, so it become more stable and less responsible one. On the other side, parliamentary systems like England, where the support of the majority of the parliament members is more important. So the government becomes more responsible and less stable one.

Finally, the ‘Drafting Committee’ advised for India an executive system having more responsible to more stable government.

“A democratic executive must have two conditions, firstly, it must be a stable executive and secondly, it must be responsible executive”. (From the Speech in the Constituent Assembly).

— Dr. B.R Ambedkar

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Form of the Constitution

According to the ‘Drafting Committee’, there are mainly two forms of constitution can see in the world. That is unitary and federal forms. In America, they follow federal system and in England, they follow unitary system of constitution. The unitary system refers to the system, in which all the powers vested in the hands of the center government. On contrary in federal system, the important feature is the existence of ‘dual polity’. Which means the central and states are different under many respects. The centre government divided its power in to the states and they can lead the state even by formulating their own law and administration system.

‘Drafting Committee’ recommended for India, a constitution which is somewhat similar to both the American constitution and British constitution.

In India center has assigned the powers to each states for maintaining state’s functions. At the same time all the final power vested with the central government especially at the time of political instability, law and order issues, war etc. The major difference between the American and Indian constitution is in the case of ‘dual citizenship’. In America they give each and separate citizenship, one for center as country and the other for states. But in India, there exist 'single citizenship’ and which promotes equal rights for all across the country.

Conclusion

The foundation of a constitution for any country is a Himalayan task, especially in a country like India. The ‘Drafting Committee’ was assigned to build constitution for India. After eight months of hard work the committee submitted a bulky constitution before the country by referring constitutions of different countries like America, Switzerland, and Australia etc. Now Indian Constitution can claim the heritage of more than 60 years.

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