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This is the first discussion on the Nature of the Indian Constitution.
Describe in 300 words the sources of the Indian Constitution.
Note: only a summary discussion takes place in this blog. Real discussion will be in the seminars in the classroom. The entire group should draft the answer and blog it to me. No individual member of the blog can do it separately. However all the members of the group need not agree. A consolidated report not exceeding ten lines must be posted in the blog. PLEASE DO NOT TAKE MORE THAN 15 MINUTES TO ANSWER
NOTE: Only students of our institute can participate in the discussions. Outsiders are invited to enroll themselves and participate.
18 thoughts on “12. Discussions on the Indian Constitution: Unit one”
This is my comment for the Sources of Indian Constitution.
Sources of the Indian Constitution
The Indian Constitution, containing 395 articles in 22 parts, 12 schedules, and 94 amendments, is the longest constitution in the world. It is both indigenous and foreign. The greatest source of the Indian Constitution is the Government of India Act, 1935—around 75 percent of our constitution is derived from it. During such a limited time given for framing the constitution, our founding fathers had decided to go for borrowing from other time-tested constitutions instead of experimenting new ones. That is why Indian Constitution is sometimes called “a beautiful patchwork.”
Given below are the sources of the Indian Constitution:
Government of India Act 1935: Public service commission, the federal scheme, Office of the Governor, Role of federal judiciary, Emergency provisions
French Constitution: Ideals of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity
U.K. Constitution: Law making procedures, Parliamentary Government, Rule of Law, Single citizenship, Cabinet system
U.S. Constitution: Fundamental Rights, Independent judiciary, Judicial review, Procedure for the removal of the judges of the Supreme court and High courts, Role of Vice President
Australian Constitution: Principle of co-operative federalism, Freedom of inter-state trade, commerce and intercourse, Idea of concurrent list
Constitution of South Africa: Procedure for amendment of the Constitution, Election of members of the Rajya Sabha
Canadian Constitution: Federal system, Federation with strong centre, Residuary powers in the centre
Irish Constitution: Directive Principles of State Policy, The method of the presidential election, Nominating members of Rajya Sabha
USSR: Fundamental duties, Preamble, Five Years Plan
Weimar Constitution of Germany: Emergency powers to be enjoyed by the Union, Suspension of Fundamental Rights during emergency
Japan Constitution: Law on which the Supreme Court function
Malaysian Constitution: The Idea of Concurrent List
Dear Sailesh. Fine. Wait for my questions. See my mail on how to blog.
1.”The Indian Constitution is a hotch-potch of indiscriminate borrowings from abroad; there is nothing Indian in it.” Discuss. 1980
2. We have borrowed the best options available we may call our Constitution , a beautiful patch work.
The constitution as proposed by the Dr. B.R. Ambedkar in the Constituent Assembly intended to fit in the existing administration of the time. He also said in his inaugural speech that after all, you can’t alter the administration in a day. Possibly that is why nothing original or new has been introduced. Most of it resembled to the Government of India Act 1935. To allow the provinces to retain their autonomy, the nature of federalism was adopted from Australia. British had head of State as King; we have the President a misnomer to King. The people of India gained their freedom after a long time, and this sensation could not be better felt without the fundamental rights adopted from US. They must enjoy liberty, equality and fraternity to enjoy these rights as adopted in France post French Revolution. Different sects of the way our governing, executive or judicial powers should function have been derived from the best of all the prevailing constitutions of the world.
In all, the existing Government of India Act 1935 got patched up with numerous rectifications and amendments which although made ours the lengthiest constitution, but also took care of every existing & future aspect; hence a beautiful patchwork.
3.While some of the features of our original Constitution have been substantially modified by nearly a hundred amendments , the basic features have remained the same. Write on any two of the major changes and any two basic features.
Basic features which did not change were the once adopted from Government of India Act 1935.
– Role of Governor did not change and the states were allowed to retain their autonomy. The states individually were to have their own government which would not be a subsidiary of the Center.
– Also, the bicameral nature of legislature which constitutes of a Federal Assembly and a Council of States has been derived from GOI Act 1935.
Major Changes were:
– Introduction of Fundamental Rights as derived from U.S. constitution.
– Ideas of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity taken from the French Constitution.
4.Explain why it is the longest constitution in the world.
5. Britain gave us independence through a Parliamentary enactment. Since the British parliament is sovereign, could it have withdrawn this Act and secured back its control over India?
6. How may Articles and schedules were there in the original constitution?
7.How many Amendments have been done till date? What is the most important Amendment?
8. What are the reasons for the extraordinary bulk of the Constitution? List four reasons.
9. The Constitution contains not only a Bill of Rights but also a list of fundamental duties. When was the Bill of Duties included?What is its status? Compare its status with the Chapter on Ditrective Principles.
10. What is the difference between the Indian and US Constitution in regard to the Fundamental Rights?
11. Why was the Chapter Directive Principles of state Policy introduced?
12. Comment on the view that the Constitution of India is more Flexible than Rigid .
13, What provisions can be Amended by Parliament through a simple majority?
14. How far does Legislation act as supplement the Constitution?
15. Prof. Wheare `This variety in the amending process is wise but is rarely found’ Explain