Introducing the constitution of India, it’s the supreme source of law in the Republic of India, and was passed on 26th day of November, 1949, which came into force on 26th day of January, 1950. The Indian constitution is the largest written constitution in the world.
The constitution is a document consisting of articles and schedules that basically lays down the system of governance in the republic of India. It’s the supreme authority in the country and all public offices, governments, legislatures and legislations draw their respective authorities from this.
The constitution, in its preamble, lays down the basic motives and objectives by which the nation must be guided. Apart from unambiguously declaring that the ultimate power resides with the ‘people of India’, and India will strive towards a ‘sovereign socialist secular democratic republic’, it also emphasises on the assurance of ‘social, economic, and political justice’, ‘liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship’, ‘Equality of status, and opportunity’, and ‘fraternity assuring the dignity of individual and unity and integrity of the nation’ in the territory of India.
Another important concept embedded in the Indian constitution is that of fundamental rights and duties. Fundamental rights are enshrined in part III of the constitution, while the fundamental duties are listed under article 51A (part IV) thereof. The constitution guarantees every citizen of India some basic human rights as unwaivable fundamental rights. I’ll try to explain the fundamental rights in detail in some of my next posts.
The constitution also provides for directive principles of state policy which the state may follow while making decisions relating to governance. However, they are sort of optional on the part of the state and are not enforceable in the court of law. But, once a legislation has been passed to implement any of those DPSPs, that particular DPSP becomes enforceable in the court of law by virtue of that legislation.
The constitution, in its following provisions, enunciates the nature, responsibilities and authorities of various organs of the state. Also, wherever required, it makes exceptional as well as separate provisions for different sections of the society on the basis of their educational, financial, or geographical background.
In some provisions, the constitution provides for exceptional course of action by the government depending upon the gravity of the situation. Example can be taken that of the emergency provisions. Course of action during emergency is an exceptional situation protected by the constitution.
The constitution also provides for methods to amend itself. The Indian constitution probably provides for the simplest yet effective way to amend itself. Some of the provisions require simple majority in both the houses to be amended while some other provisions may require a special majority in order to stand amended.
Having had an overview of the constitution of India, in some of our next posts we will try to understand some important concepts of the Indian constitution which may prove helpful to us in our day to day life.