Q.1) Unlike the French revolution, in the Indian case the constitutional movement was not burdened by an inheritance of absolutism. Explain.
The Top Answer for this Question is written by – Heidi
Ans) Indian independence, unlike that of French, was a systematic replacement of a colonial power, by a representative government authorized by a legitimate constitution.
Though the British rule was unjust and imperialistic, it cannot be compared with Bourbon absolutism of France. There were regulations and acts, though disputed, in British rule. But Bourbon regime was a monarchic despotism, which exercised absolute tyranny. Pre-independent India experienced a systematic development of responsible and representative government, starting with 1773 Act. And the Independence act of 1947 was its logical and inevitable culmination.
Indians formed political associations and parties, framed constitution (Nehru Report), contested elections and proved our capabilities by running governments. We published news papers, voiced our demands and criticized the government. We agitated for adult franchise a rather rare political right of the period. We always demanded constitutional reforms and more representation.
Unlike in France, Indian independence was a ‘transfer of power’. And the power was transferred to an authorized body of people’s representatives. The newly formed government of India enjoyed sovereignty through a written constitution drafted by an elected body of representatives, which upholds the ideals of freedom and equality, leaving no scope for absolutism and chaos.
Democracy has always been a natural part of our civilization. What we demanded repeatedly and achieved finally was nothing but democracy, by successfully eliminating tyrannic vestiges of British legacy.
Q.2) To what extent the newly promulgated constitution in Nepal is inspired by Indian constitution?
The Top Answer for this Question is written by – SK
Ans) The newly promulgated Nepalese constitution was inspired by Indian constitution to a major extent, but not completely. The following provisions would explain this.
Nature of the State – Similar to India, Nepal is also multi-religious, multi-linguistic, multi-ethnic country. So, the sovereignty and authority of the state is vested in the people. Besides the common features like Secular, Socialist, Democratic, Republic etc. the Nepalese constitution went ahead and included “sustainable peace”, “good governance”, and “inclusive state”.
Legislature – Similar to India, it is also bicameral. But, it has novel provisions like reservation to women, election based on both First past the post and Proportional Representation systems.
International treaties – There is no influence of India on this aspect. Nepal has incorporated the provision that international treaties are to be passed by 2/3rd majority in the Parliament.
Fundamental Rights – In this regard, most of the rights incorporated are influenced by India. However, Nepal is far ahead and brought up new rights like “ancestral property to women”, “sexual orientation” is recognized in right to equality i.e. rights to LGBT, “polluter pays principle” incorporated (right to clean environment) etc.
Other provisions like single citizenship, single integrated judiciary, constitutional bodies etc. are more or less influenced by Indian constitution. Thus, the extent of influence of Indian constitution is only limited.
Q.3) Do you think there is a need for periodic review of Indian constitution?
The Top Answer for this Question is written by – Monk Who Sold his Nano
Ans) ‘Change is the only constant’. People evolve, governments evolve, and so should the guiding principles of governance. The constitution does provide for amendments, but that can only be undertaken from the skewed perspective of executive, which represents less than 1/4th of electorate and is very often burdened by load of coalition. The provision of periodic review may boost new life into constitution by-
Protecting it from being irrelevant- the undue limitations, of socialist era, the ambiguous articles which provide space for corrupt practices can be evaluated and fixed.
Strengthening the principles that have proved most useful- eg. the independence of election commission and CAG, which have reduced electoral malpractices and uncovered bigger scams (Vinod Rai). Revaluation would help strengthen these necessary institutions.
Accommodate contemporary developments- provision for implementing voting rights of NRIs, defining cyber crime, defining principles of e governance or other e govt. services., means to deal with heckler veto, proselytization, beef eating, mob lynching (issues which executive succumbs to for sake of vote bank)
Providing avenues for smoother administrative structure- The growing friction between executive and judiciary or between centre and state or even between the 2 houses of parliament, can be addressed by incorporating changes or clearly defining the elements that are creating these hurdles and also incorporating the changes that the original countries have undertaken from where these principles were borrowed.
Periodic reviews are more likely to strengthen our constitution and citizens belief in it. National Commission on Working of Constitution is already constituted once in 2002.
Q.4) How does the Indian constitution mirror best constitutional practice and principles around the world?
The Top Answer for this Question is written by – Vikrant Madhusudhan Parab
Ans) Indian constitution borrowed most provisions from constitution of other countries and incorporated positive aspects from each of them and now our is borrowed by others(eg-Nepal) as it contains following:
Good Constitutional Practices
1.Separation of Power:- Constitution is supreme and all 3 pillars- Legislative, Executive and Judiciary keeps check-and-balance on each other.
2.Scope for Amendments:- This is very important practise which is required for smooth functioning of government according to time change.
3.Sense of Duty:- DPSP mentions duty to be performed by Government and Fundamental Duty realises duty for Citizens.
4.Oath/Affirmation:- Every imp post have to do this before attending the position viz PM, President, Judge etc
Good Constitutional Principles
Secularism- Unlike other countries who declared themselves as a state confined to a particular religion viz. Muslim for Pakistan, Jews for Israel etc we have declared our state as secular.
Liberty and Equality:- These both principles are well incorporated in Preamble as well as Fundamental Right.
Socialism- The concept of welfare state is reflected in DPSC. Governor is given special responsibility to handle Backward Regions.
So feel of most countries Constitution can be felt in world’s lengthiest Constitution with successful maintenance of above mentioned practices and principles since sixty-five years!
Q.5) How has American Revolution and it’s constitution influenced Indian constitution?
The Top Answer for this Question is written by – Abhishek V
Ans) American revolution and its constitution that lay behind a successful ‘United States’ has inspired many lawmakers across world. In India this can be seen in:
Influence of American revolution
No taxation without representation: Reflected in Article 265 in Indian constitution which states, no tax will be levied except by law(and law is made by the representatives)
Declaration of independence: reflected in poona swaraj declaration
Influence of American constitution
Bill of rights: Influenced the idea of fundamental rights in Indian constitution.
Rule of people: This is the fundamental principle behind democracy. In our constitution it is best reflected in preamble that reads, “We the people of India” which means that the constitution derives its power from the people
The Constitutional Convention of 1787: It provided for the idea of “separation of power between judiciary, executive and legislative.”
Besides, the other principle such as impeachment of President, judicial review, strong independent judiciary etc were also taken from American constitution. And these principles have been moulded according to the need of Indian conditions.