An Introduction to the Constitution of India
The Indian Constitution is considered the supreme Indian law. This frames the fundamental principles of politics, practices, procedures, powers, rights, and government duties. Every person must have a good introduction to the Constitution of India as it imparts Constitutional supremacy instead of parliamentary supremacy. The Constituent Assembly and not the Parliament has created the Constitution of India. This gets adopted by the Indian citizens, and the Parliament can't override it. According to the Constitution, India is a secular, socialist, sovereign, and democratic republic, and it assures its citizens' various things, like liberty, equality, and justice.
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It was the idea of an Indian Communist revolutionary and political activist Manabendra Nath Roy to have a Constituent Assembly for making of the Indian Constitution. He is considered to be the pioneer of the Communist Movement in India. In 1936, the Indian National Congress (INC) officially demanded a Constituent Assembly to frame the Constitution of India in its Lucknow session. The Drafting Committee bore the responsibility of drafting the Constitutional document. In this article, the history and the preamble of the Constitution as well as the rights provided to the citizen by the State and the duties of citizens towards the State will be discussed.
The first meeting of the Constituent Assembly for the formation of the Constitution of India took place on December 9, 1946, with Dr Sachidanand Sinha as its Interim President. Dr Rajendra Prasad was elected as the President of the Constituent Assembly and H.C. Mukherjee as the Vice President.
After eleven thorough sessions starting from February 1948 to November 1949, the draft was finally passed and accepted on November 26, 1949. All the members of the Assembly signed the official copy of the Indian Constitution which came into effect on January 26, 1950, which has been celebrated as Republic Day in India ever since. It originally contained a Preamble, 395 Articles and 8 Schedules. Some of the provisions such as those related to Citizenship, Elections, Provisional Parliament, etc. were given immediate effect.
The ‘Objectives Resolution’ given by Jawaharlal Nehru became the Preamble to the Constitution of India. It was unanimously adopted by the Assembly. It has been modified by the 42nd Amendment Act which currently becomes the Preamble.
The Preamble is a preface or introduction to the Constitution. The idea of the preamble was borrowed from the Constitution of the USA and its language was borrowed from Australia.
The words ‘SOCIALIST', ‘SECULAR', and ‘INTEGRITY' were added to the preamble by the 42nd Amendment in 1976 while the original version contains the words ‘SOVEREIGN',’ DEMOCRATIC’, and ‘REPUBLIC'.
The Preamble is non-justiciable in nature which means it cannot be enforced in a court of law. It has a very limited role to play although it declares that the people of India have enacted, adopted and provided the Constitution to themselves, therefore, sovereignty lies with the people ultimately.
The Constitution of India provides citizens with some Fundamental Rights which are enshrined in Part III of the Constitution from Articles 12 to 35. Originally there were seven fundamental rights. However, the Right to Property was deleted by the 44th Amendment Act, 1978. At present, there are six Fundamental Rights which are given as follows:
Right to Equality (Articles 14-18)
Right to Freedom (Articles 19-22)
Right Against Exploitation (Articles 23-24)
Right to Freedom of Religion (Articles 25-28)
Cultural and Educational Rights (Articles 29-30)
Right to Constitutional Remedies (Article 32)
The Constitution has provided us with Fundamental Rights to protect and safeguard our interests and freedom, therefore, we shall have some duties as well.
Abide by and follow the Constitution, respect the National Flag and the National Anthem,
Cherish and follow the noble deeds of our freedom fighters,
Protect and preach the ideals of sovereignty, unity and integration among citizens of India
Defend the security of the nation and render service to the nation when called upon us to do so at any given cost,
Promote harmony regardless of caste, creed, race, religion, and gender,
Preserve and protect the heritage, culture and monuments and buildings of the cultural importance of our country,
Protect and improve our national environment
Develop the spirit of scientific and humanitarian interest, enquiry and reforms.
Safeguard public property
Strive towards excellence
Provide opportunities for education to every ward by the guardian.
Commencement of the Indian Constitution
When the Indian Constitution came into existence, it had 395 articles, and they were split into eight schedules and 22 parts. Today, it has a preamble, 25 parts with 12 schedules, 101 amendments, 448 articles, and five appendices.
Earlier legislation of the Constitution of India
The introduction to the Constitution of India has been drawn from various sources. Being mindful of the conditions and needs of India, its framers did borrow features from earlier legislation like the Govt. of India Act of 1858, The Indian Council Acts of 1892, 1861, and 1909, the Govt. of India Acts 1935 and 1919, and the Indian Independence Act of 1947. The latter resulted in the formation of two countries; India and Pakistan. It also split the earlier Constituent Assembly into two parts. Every new assembly possessed sovereign power for drafting as well as enacting a novice Constitution for distinct states.
What do You Mean by Indian Constitution?
Though the definition of the Indian Constitution is vast, every Indian should know the meaning of the Indian Constitution and the worth of the introduction to the Constitution. It is vast and has several areas that all the citizens of India must be familiar with. Every law aspirant must be aware of the introduction to the Constitution of India extremely well because it forms the fundamentals of his profession and education.
The Offering of the Indian Constitution
The Constitution of India provides many Fundamental rights to its Citizens. All the rights that the Constitution of India provides are justiciable, and people have every right to move the High Courts and the Supreme Court when their rights are encroached upon. Nonetheless, the Indian Fundamental Rights aren't absolute as reasonable restrictions can get imposed too. In the 42nd Amendment that was done in 1976, fundamental duties were included in the Constitution, and their purpose was to remind people that besides enjoying their rights as citizens, they must also carry on their duties as duties and rights are correlative.
Facts of Indian Constitution
There are some interesting facts about the Indian Constitution besides the details of a few sections and articles. Students who have been tossing with the idea of pursuing higher education in law should revise the overview of the Indian Constitution. These facts are the following:
The Indian Constitution is the most voluminous and longest Constitution worldwide.
The Preamble of the Constitution of India got inspiration from the Constitution and preamble of the USA.
The actual copies of the Constitution of India weren't printed or typed. They were written by hand, and now they are kept in the Indian Parliament's library.
Prem Bihari Narain Raizada wrote the actual copies of the Indian Constitution.
The Indian Constitution recognizes some fundamental rights, and they were embraced from the American Constitution's fundamental rights.
283 members signed the original Indian Constitution, and they belonged to the Constituent Assembly.
The Indian Constitution is regarded as one of the most honoured and best Constitutions worldwide.
The idea of the 5-year plan was inspired by the USSR or Soviet Union's five planning commissions.
There are nearly 2.18 crore unresolved cases in the distinct as well as Indian high courts.
Originally, the Indian Constitution was written in Hindi and English.
The English variety of the Constitution of India has 1,17,369 words.
Various artists who hailed from Shantiniketan had decorated the pages of the Indian Constitution.
On 9th December 1946, the first meeting of the Constituent Assembly took place.
It took nearly three years to write and complete the Indian Constitution.
Nearly 2000 amendments were made in the initial draft of the Indian Constitution.
On 24th January 1950, the Indian Constitution was signed.
On 26th January 1950, the Indian Constitution was enforced legally.
The Constitution of India borrowed many things from the Constitutions of different nations, like the USA, the USSR, France, Germany, Japan, etc.
In the year 2019, there were 103 amendments that were made in the Indian Constitution since the time it was enforced.
Hence the above article is very useful for the students to understand all the important aspects of the Indian Constitution such as its history, fundamental rights and fundamental duties etc.
FAQs on The Constitution of India
1. Where did the Constitution of India draw inspiration from?
The Constitution of India has borrowed nearly 25 per cent from various other countries namely, the UK, the US, erstwhile USSR, Australia, Japan, South Africa, Canada, Ireland and France.
2. Name the Fundamental Rights given by the Constitution of India.
At present, there are six Fundamental Rights which are given as follows:
Right to Equality
Right to Freedom
Right Against Exploitation
Right to Freedom of Religion
Cultural and Educational Rights
Right to Constitutional Remedies
3. What is the difference between Legal Rights and Fundamental Rights?
There are two main differences between Legal Rights and Fundamental Rights.
An ordinary legal right is protected and enforced by the law of land while a Fundamental Right can be taken to the Supreme Court directly.
An ordinary legal right may be changed by the legislature, however, the Fundamental Rights cannot be amended or shortened by any process other than that required for amending the Constitution itself.
4. On which date did the Constitution of India come into effect?
The Constitution of India was passed and signed on November 26, 1949. However, it came into effect on January 26, 1959. The significance of this date is that the INC demanded Purna Swaraj or complete independence on this day. Some provisions relating to citizenship, elections, etc were given immediate effect in November.
5. How many amendments have been made till 2019?
Upto the year 2019, 103 amendments have been made since the conception of the Constitution of India in 1950. To learn more about the Constitution of India and many interesting facts, visit Vedantu's website or download the app. Aspirants can get free study materials and notes for proper exam preparation. Download now.
6. What does the Constitution of India Propose?
The Indian Constitution proposes a Parliamentary type of govt. That is structurally federal with some unitary characteristics. The President of India is considered the Constitutional head. According to Article 79 of the Indian Constitution, the council of the Union Parliament comprises two Houses, recognized as the Rajya Sabha or the Council of States and the President besides the Lok Sabha or the House of the People. According to Article 74(1) of the Indian Constitution, the Prime Minister should have a Council of Minister, and he has the right to advise and aid the President. The President will exercise his functions according to the advice. Thus, it can be said that the Council of Ministers can exercise the real executive power, and the Prime Minister will act as its head.
7. What are the autonomous institutions of India?
The Indian Constitution has set up many autonomous institutions, and they perform vital functions.
Election Commission – The election commission remains liable to hold fair and free elections.
Auditor General – Auditor General, remains responsible for conducting an independent audit of govt. and its agencies' accounts.
Public Service Commission – The PSC remains liable to select candidates to the chief offices of the government.
One of the major strengths of the Indian Constitution is it works as a dynamic instrument, and it does evolve with time by Amendment or interpretation. When on paper, the Indian Constitution's Amendment turns into a tough affair, and it requires nearly 2/3rds of the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha members for passing it.