Salient Features of Indian Constitution: The Backbone of India

Salient features of Indian constitution

Adopted on January 26, 1950, the Indian Constitution is a remarkable document that serves as the foundation for the world’s largest democracy. Its many distinctive and important elements set it apart from other constitutions around the world. Let us look at the Salient features of Indian constitution and noteworthy aspects of the Indian Constitution.

What is the Constitution of India?

The Constitution is the most important piece of Indian legislation. It is one of the world’s longest constitutions, outlining citizens’ fundamental rights, guiding principles, and responsibilities, as well as providing a framework for the division of fundamental political codes, structures, procedures, powers, and duties of government institutions.

It was the second-largest active constitution in the world at the time, with 395 articles, 22 parts, and 8 schedules. At first, it was about 145,000 words long. It currently contains 448 articles, 101 amendments, a preamble, 25 parts with 12 schedules, and 5 appendices.

It is constitutional supremacy because the preamble’s declaration was endorsed by the people and the constitution was drafted by the Constituent Assembly, not the Parliament. As a result, the Parliament is unable to amend the constitution.

History of the Indian Constitution

On November 26, 1949, the Constituent Assembly of India approved it, and on January 26, 1950, it was declared successful. The Government of India Act 1935 was superseded by the constitution, which became the primary administrative document of the nation, transforming the Dominion of India into the Republic of India. Its designers canceled previous British parliament demonstrations in Article 395 to ensure sacred autochthony. On January 26, which is Republic Day, India honors its constitution.

The Constitution Assembly approved it. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, who is largely credited with creating the Indian Constitution, served as the chairman. The Union of India became the modern and contemporary Republic of India upon the adoption of the constitution. According to the constitution, India is a democratic, socialist, secular, and sovereign republic that upholds the rights of its people to justice, liberty, and equality and fosters brotherhood.

Salient Features of Indian Constitution

  • Lengthiest Written Constitution: One of the longest and most comprehensive constitutions in the world is the Indian Constitution. There are 448 articles and 12 schedules in our constitution. The Indian Constitution incorporates many articles from other constitutions around the world.
  • Blend of Flexibility and Rigidity: India’s constitution is a special combination of rigidity and flexibility. The Constitution may be changed by Parliament, although some of its provisions are unchangeable. In addition, the Constitution specifies a procedure for amending a document without consulting Parliament. Because of this, the Constitution is simultaneously rigid and flexible.
  • Fundamental Rights: The Indian Constitution’s guarantee of Fundamental Rights is comparable to other constitutions. But there are also some special characteristics. For example, the key provisions of the Indian Constitution ensure equality in opportunities as well as before the law. It also ensures social and economic justice. Furthermore, it includes particular clauses protecting minorities.
  • Independent Judiciary: One of the most significant provisions of the Indian Constitution is its guarantee of an independent judiciary. The Supreme Court is the highest in the nation and is established by the Constitution. The Supreme Court is also empowered by the Constitution to examine and overturn laws that conflict with it. 
  • Drawn from Various Sources: The Government of India Act of 1935 and numerous other constitutions are the primary sources from which the majority of the provisions found in the Indian Constitution were derived. The Government of India Act of 1935 served as the model for the structural elements of the Constitution. The American and Irish constitutions, respectively, are the sources of the constitution’s philosophical elements. The British Constitution served as a major inspiration for the political sections of the American Constitution.
  • Rule of Law: Within a democracy, the law is supreme. People have certain fundamental rights, and there is no place for arbitrariness. The Supreme Court has the last say when it comes to upholding the integrity of the law. The Supreme Court’s “public interest litigation” initiative and the promotion of Lok Adalats have been put into action.
  • Directive Principles of State Policy: the overarching ideas of government initiatives that sought to establish India as a welfare state. The Constitution’s Part IV contains a list of them. To give the people social and economic justice, this was included. Their importance for the nation’s governance stems from the moral duty to apply them to the states when they are drafting laws.
  • Parliamentary Sovereignty and Judicial Supremacy: The American concept of judicial supremacy and the British concept of parliamentary sovereignty were skillfully combined by the Indian Constitution’s framers. By using its judicial review authority, the Supreme Court of India can declare parliamentary laws to be unconstitutional, and the parliament can use its constituent power to amend a significant portion of the constitution.
  • Secularism: India’s constitution does not designate any one religion as the official religion; it is a secular state. The state does not treat anyone differently because of their religion. The previous communal representation system has also been superseded by the Constitution. To guarantee proper representation of the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes, temporary seat reservations have been made.
  • Universal Adult Franchise: “One person, one vote” is the basis for Indian democracy. Voting in the elections is open to all citizens of the nation who are at least eighteen years old, regardless of their caste, sex, race, or any other distinction. India’s constitution attempts to create equality by granting all adults the right to vote.
  • Fundamental Duties: The original constitution did not specify the fundamental duties of citizens. Following the recommendations of the Swaran Singh Committee, our Constitution’s Fundamental Duties were added in 1976 with the passage of the 42nd Amendment Act. Ten Fundamental Duties are listed, which every Indian person is required to uphold. Later, the 86th Constitutional Amendment Act of 2002 added one more fundamental duty. The rights are provided to the people as guarantees, while the duties are expectations placed on every citizen.
  • Co-operative Societies: The 97th Constitutional Amendment Act of 2011 granted cooperative societies constitutional status and guaranteed their protection. It empowers Parliament to enact laws governing multi-state cooperative societies, while state legislatures have the authority to do the same for other cooperative societies.

Conclusion

The Salient Features of Indian Constitution, enacted in 1950, is a monumental document that captures the essence of democracy. Its comprehensive framework, which blends rigidity and flexibility, protects fundamental rights, establishes an independent judiciary, and draws inspiration from a variety of sources. The Constitution upholds secularism, universal adult franchise, and fundamental duties, fostering a strong democratic ethos.

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