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11. Philosophy of the Indian Constitution

Posted 31 October 2011 / By Prof. B.R.A Rao / Political Science

This is a discussion on the Philosophy of the Indian Constitution. The Constitution of India was drafted by a galaxy of eminent people, the like of whom will not assemble again. They were not elected by the people directly but represented the will of the people better than any elected body could do. The Preamble they drafted was described Sir Ernst Barker as the most beautiful poem in the world. It enshrines what men everywhere have fought for but have rarely realized in full. It expressly declares the sovereignty of the PEOPLE OF INDIA when it ends with the ringing words: We the people of India hereby enact, adopt and give to ourselves this constitution. So note that Parliament is not sovereign nor is the Judiciary sovereign. The people are above all of them.

In the light of the above write a three hundred word note on this topic.

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.

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Comments (44)

  • Prof.Rao: 1.What is the status of India in legal terms?

  • Prof.Rao: 2.What did it say regarding the units of India?

  • 3. What did it promise to secure to the people

  • 4.What did it promise the minorities, the tribes and other backward classes?

  • 5. What is the legal validity and significance of the Preamble?

  • 6.What is the source of the Constitution?

  • 7. Is our sovereignty compromised by our membership f the Commonwealth?

  • 8. What are India’s obligations for the promotion of world peace?

  • 9. How dos the Constitution make India a democratic republic?

  • 10. Do we have direct democracy?

    • No, we dont have direct democracy, representatives represent no one but themselves and their own interests. Electoral promises are worthless. Candidates are only elected based on emotional and ideological appeal, never on actual competence. Their choices wouldn’t be the choices of their electorate, were they given a chance to vote on issues (often observed in Switzerland).

      • You have not understood the question. We have indirect democracy since voters elect their MPs and MLAs and they make laws. Direct democracy exists when all adult citizens themselves sit in the legislature. This existed in ancient Athens and exists in villages in he form of the Gram sabha. Please understand carefully the difference between Direct and Direct democracy. You have made comments on the workng of democracy. Wrong answer.

  • 11. Is there communal representation?

  • 12. Are there special qualifications for voting?

  • 13. Is there Protective Discrimination in India?

  • 14. Does it provide for grass roots democracy?

  • 15. How does the Constitution provide for Economic democracy?

  • 16. How does it provide for social democracy?

  • 17. What is the economic philosophy of the Indian State?

  • 18. How does the Constitution envisage the unity and integrity of the nation?

  • 19. What are the provisions that make India a secular State?

  • 20. How does the Constitution promote the dignity of the individual?

  • Rama naidu from Bangalore, Karnātaka, India

    The Constituent Assembly constituted in 1946 embodied members indirectly elected by the members of the existing Provincial Assemblies and rulers of the Princely States. Majority of the members in the Constituent Assembly belonged to the Congress party and all prominent leaders of the freedom movement. The Constituent Assembly was chaired by the President of the Assembly Dr. Rajendra Prasad. The Drafting Committee was chaired by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar to prepare the draft of the constitution. The Constituent Assembly met for 166 days spread over a period of 2 years 11months and 18 days. The Constitution of independent India was framed in the background of about 200 years of colonial rule, a mass-based freedom struggle, and the national movement, partition of the country and spread of communal violence. The framers of the constitution were concerned not merely with framing a constitution for the governance of the country but they also had a vision for a new society and polity. Conscious efforts were made to have consensus on the ideological differences among the leaders and members of the constituent assembly, with regard to definite goals of socio-economic development and strategies to achieve them. The consensus came in the form of the ‘Objectives Resolution’ moved by Jawaharlal Nehru in the Constituent Assembly on December 17, 1946 which was almost unanimously adopted on January 22, 1947. In the light of these ‘Objectives’ the Assembly completed its task by November 26, 1949. The India became Republic after the after the enforcement of constitution on January 26, 1950. Preamble sets a goal, provide a vision and direction in building a new social order which is not only democratic but also equal and just. At the same time it protects individual’s freedom and civil rights. Thus Indian constitution is based on the philosophy of humane, secular and liberal welfare democratic society.

    • Dear Rama Naidu

      Please post your blog against the specific qustion

      Rao

    • Wrong answer. Please understand the question properly. No one asked you a question on the nature and composition of the Constituent Assembly. The correct answe: the Constitution ensures the dignity of the individual by guaranteeing equality before the law and equal protection of he laws and supremacy of the Rule of Law. No ne can bed deprived of his life or liberty except according to the procedure established by law. Read in the Short notes on the Constitution of India the answer to the question How does the Constitution ensure the Rule of Law. Pub.Ad, Test 1,

  • Rama naidu from Mumbai, Mahārāshtra, India

    Qn 1. India is a Federal parliamentary constitutional republic. Explain

  • Rama naidu from Mumbai, Mahārāshtra, India

    Qn 2; The constitution of india classified the constituent units of india into three classes, which it termed part A, part B and part C states.
    Part A states include the former british provinces, together with the princely states that had been merged into them.
    Part B states include princely union, Mysore and Hyderabad.
    Part C states inclde former chief commisioner’s provinces and other centrallu administered areas, except the Andaman and Nicobar islands.

    • Wrong answer.
      It is Federal because: The Constitution distributes powers between the Union and the States and without an amendment of the Constitution the distribution of powers cannot be changed. The supreme Court guards this distribution of powers. Read the note on the nature of the Indian federation.

  • Rama naidu from Mumbai, Mahārāshtra, India

    Qn.3; It secures to the people of india that in India there will be no ‘State’ religion – the ‘State’ will not support any particular religion out of public fund.
    This has two implications,
    a) every individual is free to believe in, and practice, any religion he/she belongs to, and,
    b) State will not discriminate against any individual or group on the
    basis of religion.

    • T.S.ARAVIND from Bangalore, Karnātaka, India

      In that case how do you justify government funding Haj pilgrims? Do Christians get a subsidy to go to the Vatican city or has anyone heard the government funding the Hindus going to manasarovar?

  • Rama naidu from Los Angeles, CA, United States

    Qn 4; Scheduled Tribes under the Indian constitution are promised with reservation in political forums such as parliament, along with job reservations in civil service and educational institutions.

  • Rama naidu from Mumbai, Mahārāshtra, India

    Qn 5: Legal validity of preamble inspite of not being a part of the Constitution is that, the Preamble has always been given due respect and regard by the courts while interpreting the Constitution.
    Significance : Preamble sets a goal, provide a vision and direction in building a new social order which is not only democratic but also equal and just. At the same time it protects individual’s freedom and civil rights.

  • Rama naidu from Mumbai, Mahārāshtra, India

    Qn 6; Though indian constitution draws in many external sources, it is most heavily influenced by the British model of parliamentary democracy.

  • Verghese P Abraham from Bangalore, Karnātaka, India

    7. Is our sovereignty compromised by our membership f the Commonwealth?

    Being part of the British Commonwealth does not compromise the sovereignty of the country as India’s is are public and the constitution vests the status of being the head of the republic in the president since the country became a republic in 1950. Till then India was a dominion such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand. India recognises the queen as the head of the commonwealth only. Thus it must be said that the sovereign aspect of the country’s political office rests with the President and not the Queen as in the case of the dominions mentioned where she is the titular head of state.

  • Verghese P Abraham from Bangalore, Karnātaka, India

    Qn 8 What are India’s obligations for the promotion of world peace?
    The political class of newly independent India had carefully crafted the course of it foreign policy and the effort to promote peace from the experience of two world wars within the span of 50 years of the last century .They wanted to protect the nascent republic from being influenced by the two super states of the time and the from the possibility of a third world war looming in the horizon between the USA and the USSR. India advocated buffer zones between the superstates and its allies by founding the Non- Alignment Movement newly independent countries in Africa, South America and Asia became part of the movement. This does not mean that the peace movement that is advocated by India is a non -interference isolationist approach but a strategy and passive involvement in world affairs to bring about peace with consensus of the international community rather than decided by the two blocs of power.

    India championed the rights of the anti apartheid movement in South Africa and the Palestinian statehood. She is also one of the founding members of the Nuclear disarmament movement in the UN. She is also one of the largest contributors of troops in for the UN peacekeeping at trouble spots in the world.

    • A more precise answer: The Directive Principles of State Policy Part IV of he Constitution imposes on he Government to the obligation to strive for world peace.

  • Verghese P Abraham from Bangalore, Karnātaka, India

    Qn 9How does the Constitution make India a democratic republic?

    The constitution in its preamble states that the Indian republic will be a democratic republic. The constitution also says that the country will have parliamentary form of governance. This will be achieved through universal adult franchise. It also states that power lies in the legislature or the lower house in the case of the union legislature that has two houses. It also sets a hierarchy that defines the power distribution among the three principal organs of the system such as the legislature, executive and the judiciary. It explicitly states the relationship between the three organs and its jurisdiction in the spheres of interpreting the constitution. It explicitly states that the head of the republic will be titular elected person, such as the president and that he will be representation of the executive branch which is also titular in nature.

  • India’s status as a preferred refugee haven is
    confirmed by the steady flow of refugees
    from many of its subcontinental neighbours
    as also from elsewhere. India continues to
    receive them despite its own over-a-billion
    population with at least six hundred million
    living in poverty with limited access to basic
    amenities. However, the Indian legal
    framework has no uniform law to deal with
    its huge refugee population, and has not
    made any progress towards evolving one
    either; until then, it chooses to treat
    incoming refugees based on their national
    origin and political considerations,
    questioning the uniformity of rights and
    privileges granted to refugee communities.
    Indeed, the National Human Rights
    Commission (NHRC) has submitted
    numerous reports1 urging the promulgation
    of a national law, or at least, making changes
    or amendments to the outdated Foreigners.

    • Wrong answer. Read Varghese and my reply to him. You have made comments hat ate not relevant to the question. Please understand the question carefully.

  • NIKHILSAI from Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India

    Values that inspired and guided thefreedom struggle and were in turnnurtured by it, formed thefoundation for India’s democracy. These values are embedded in thePreamble of the Indian Constitution. They guide all the articles of theIndian Constitution. TheConstitution begins with a shortstatement of its basic values. Thisis called the Preamble to theconstitution. Taking inspirationfrom American model, mostcountries in the contemporary worldhave chosen to begin theirconstitutions with a preamble.

  • NIKHILSAI from Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India

    Values that inspired and guided thefreedom struggle and were in turnnurtured by it, formed thefoundation for India’s democracy. These values are embedded in thePreamble of the Indian Constitution. They guide all the articles of theIndian Constitution. TheConstitution begins with a shortstatement of its basic values. Thisis called the Preamble to theconstitution. Taking inspirationfrom American model, mostcountries in the contemporary worldhave chosen to begin theirconstitutions with a preamble.

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