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Constitution

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Last updated date: 22nd Feb 2024
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What is Constitution?

A constitution is a collection of fundamental principles or precedents that serve as the legal foundation for a polity, organisation, or another type of entity and, in many cases, determine how that entity is to be governed. These principles may be considered to embody a written constitution when they are written down in a single document or collection of legal papers; if they are encapsulated in a single complete document, it is said to embody a codified constitution. The United Kingdom's constitution is an example of an uncodified constitution, it is instead written in several foundational Acts of Parliament, court cases, and treaties. If we talk about the Indian Constitution, it is an example of codified as well as written constitution.


Constitutions relate to organisations, from sovereign countries to corporations and unincorporated groups. In the sense that it defines how that organisation is structured, a treaty that forms an international organisation is also its constitution. A constitution specifies the ideas upon which a state is founded, as well as the process by which laws are produced and who makes them. Some constitutions, particularly codified constitutions, serve as restraints on state authority by setting limits that the rulers of a state cannot exceed, such as basic rights.


Constitution of India

The Indian Constitution is the nation's supreme law. The constitution establishes a framework that defines the fundamental political code, structure, processes, powers, and responsibilities of government institutions, as well as people’s fundamental rights, directive principles, and responsibilities. It is the world's longest written constitution. It confers constitutional supremacy (ratified by the people through a preamble declaration) rather than parliamentary supremacy (since it was established by a constituent assembly rather than Parliament). The constitution cannot be overturned by the parliament. It was adopted by India's Constituent Assembly on November 26, 1949, and went into effect on January 26, 1950.

The Dominion of India became the Republic of India once the constitution superseded the Government of India Act 1935 as the country's basic governing legislation. Article 395 of the Constitution ensured constitutional autochthony by repealing earlier actions of the British parliament. The 26th of January is Republic Day in India, which commemorates the nation's founding constitution. The Indian Constitution is divided into 22 sections and comprises 395 articles. Later, via different revisions, further articles and sections are added. This whole constitution is available as a pdf on the government's website.

The constitution establishes India as a sovereign, socialist, secular, and democratic republic, guarantees justice, equality, and liberty to its inhabitants, and strives to foster brotherhood. The original 1950 constitution is kept in a helium-filled container in New Delhi's Parliament House.


The Preamble of Indian Constitution

Jawaharlal Nehru's Objectives Resolution, adopted by the Constituent Assembly on January 22, 1947, established the foundation for the Preamble of Indian Constitution. The Preamble states the Constitution's aims and serves as a guide for interpreting the constitution of the country. It is considered as the introductory document and acts as a Preface to the Constitution. It depicts the philosophy as well as the objectives of the Constitution. It mainly consists of the following:

  • Source of the Constitution

  • Nature of Indian State

  • Objectives and Goals

  • Date of its adoption

Constitution Day

Every year on November 26th, India celebrates Constitution Day (or Samvidhan Divas), also known as National Law Day, to honour the adoption of the Indian Constitution. The Constituent Assembly of India enacted the Indian Constitution on November 26, 1949, and it went into force on January 26, 1950. The Indian government has declared November 26th as Constitution Day in a government notice published on November 19, 2015. The proclamation was delivered by India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 11, 2015, when laying the foundation stone for the B. R. Ambedkar Statue of Equality memorial in Mumbai. Ambedkar, who led the Constituent Assembly's drafting committee and played a crucial role in the writing of the constitution, celebrated his 125th birthday in 2015. This day was previously known as Law Day. The date of November 26 was chosen to emphasise the importance of the constitution as well as Ambedkar's thoughts and ideas.


Constitution Day History

Since 2015 was Dr. B.R. Ambedkar's 125th anniversary, the father of the Indian constitution, the government decided in May 2015 to commemorate the anniversary "in a big way." A year-long celebration will be led by a special committee chaired by India's Prime Minister. Throughout the year, several ministries and agencies will host events to disseminate Ambedkar's views and ideas. In October 2015, when laying the foundation stone for an Ambedkar memorial at the Indu Mills compounds in Mumbai, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared that November 26 will be observed as "Constitution Day." The government declared the day a national holiday in November 2015.


Did You Know?

Article 21 of Indian constitution- Protection of Life and Personal Liberty.


Article 21 states that “No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to a procedure established by law.” Thus, article 21 secures two rights:

  • Right to life, and

  • Right to personal liberty.

Article 21 of the Indian Constitution was established by the Government of India Act of 1935. It states that no one's life or personal liberty may be taken away from them unless they follow the judicial process. Article 21 is one of the fundamental rights given to all Indian citizens and is included in Part III of the Indian constitution and as it's scope is wider; it is also considered as the most interpreted article of fundamental rights by the judiciary.


Conclusion

Therefore, we can say that the constitution is a collection of fundamental principles or precedents that serve as the legal foundation for a polity, organisation, or another type of entity. A constitution specifies the ideas upon which a state is founded, as well as the process by which laws are produced and who makes them. The original 1950 constitution is kept in a helium-filled container in New Delhi's Parliament House.

FAQs on Constitution

1. What is the Constitution in simple words?

Constitutions are the basic principles and rules of a country, state, or social group that define the government's powers and responsibilities while also guaranteeing certain rights to its citizens.

2. Who signed the Indian Constitution first?

Dr Rajendra Prasad.


Dr Rajendra Prasad, India's first President, was the first to sign it, while Feroze Gandhi, the president of the Constituent Assembly, was the last to sign it.

3. What are the fundamental rights of India?

The fundamental rights that are provided by the Constitution is given below,

  1. The right to equality.

  2. Right to freedom.

  3. Right against exploitation.

  4. Right to freedom of religion.

  5. Cultural and educational rights.

  6. Right to constitutional remedies.