Q51. What do you understand by Preamble? What is the significance of 'We the people of India' and 'Secular' in the Preamble?
The Preamble states the objectives which the Constitution seeks to establish and promote. It is a short statement of basic values with which a Constitution begins. It deals with the ideals, principles and aims of the Constitution. Preamble is the soul of our Constitution. It contains the philosophy on which the entire Constitution has been built. The words 'We, the people of India' lay stress on the point that political sovereignty in India rests with the people. The word 'secular' means that every citizen has complete right to follow any religion. There is no official religion. Government treats all religious beliefs and practices with equal respect.
Q52. Why did the Constitution framers make provisions for amendments in the Indian Constitution?
The Constitution of India has enough scope for amendment if required for the welfare of its citizens. The makers of the Indian Constitution felt that it needs to be amended regularly to keep it updated. Amendments must be done in accordance with people's aspirations and needs. To maintain law and order, the dignity and rights of the citizens, the Constitution made some provisions for amendment from time to time. At the same time, the process of amendment is not very easy. All amendments can be initiated only in the Union Parliament, not in any state Igislature. A special majority by two-thirds vote in favour is required to amend the Constitution.
Q53. "Like the Constitution of South Africa, Indian Constitution was also drawn up under very difficult circumstances." Elaborate this statement with the help of any four circumstances.
The four circumstances that elaborate the statement
- At that time, the people of India were emerging from the status of a subject to that of citizens. The country was born through a partition on the basis of religious differences. It was an extremely traumatic experience for the people.
- The British rulers had left it to the rulers of the princely states to decide whether to merge with India or with Pakistan or remain independent.
- The future of the nation did not look very secure at that time. The makers of the Constitution had anxieties about the present and the future of the country.
- There were sharp differences of opinion about the path, the country should take after attaining freedom.
Q54. Why is the Preamble very important?
The Constitution of the Republic of India is introduced to us through a wisely formulated and well written Preamble. It makes the intentions of our constitution makers quite clear through the following points
- It declares India to be a Sovereign, Socialist, Secular and Democratic Republic.
- It envisages Justice-Social, economic and political for all the citizens of India.
- It promises Liberty of all types necessary for the individual, i.e., freedom of thought and expression, freedom of faith, freedom of belief and of worship.
- It would strive for Equality of status and opportunity to all individuals.
- It promotes Fraternity which assures the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the nation.
Q55. Throw some light on the composition of the Constituent Assembly.
The Constitution of our country was framed by the Constituent Assembly which was constituted in 1946 under the provisions of the Cabinet Mission Plan. This Assembly originally had 389 members. Of them, most were elected by the Provincial Assemblies and some were nominated by the rulers of the native states. As a result of the partition of the country, its membership was reduced to 308 in 1947. This Assembly included eminent persons like Dr Rajendra Prasad, Pt Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Dr BR Ambedkar, KM Munshi, Rajagopalachari, HC Mookherjee, Baldev Singh etc. Women members like Sarojini Naidu, G Durgabai Deshmukh etc also played an important role in the Constituent Assembly. When the Constitution was completed it had only 299 members in the Assembly.
Q56. How was the new Constitution of South Africa formed?
After the emergence of the new democratic South Africa, black leaders said, "let us build a new South Africa based an equality of all races and men and women, democratic values, social justice and human rights." The party that ruled through oppression and brutal killings and the party that led the freedom struggle sat together to draw up a common constitution. After two years of debate and discussion they came out with a Constitution, which gave to its citizens the most extensive rights available in any country. The Constitution makers decided that everybody should become a part of the new South Africa, despite whatever they hade done in the past.
Q57. How did South Africa get independence?
The white European leaders imposed apartheid, i.e. racial discrimination on the blacks of South Africa. Since 1950, the blacks, coloureds and Indians fought against the apartheid system. As protest and struggle against apartheid had increased, the government realised that they could no longer keep the blacks and coloured people suppressed. The government changed its policies and discriminatory laws were repealed. Bans on political parties and restrictions on the media were lifted. On 26th April, 1994, South Africa got independence. The apartheid government came to an end in the newly born democracy, paving the way for the formation of a multi-racial government.
Q58. Why do you think there is more importance of a Constitution to a democratic country?
The Constitution of a country is a set of written rules that are accepted by all people of a country. The Constitution has more importance in a democratic form of government because
- In a democracy, the government is formed according to the Constitution and also works according to it.
- The Constitution delimits the scope of activity of the various organs of the government. The Constitution specifies who will have the power to take which decisions.
- In a democracy, the Constitution safeguards the rights of the citizens.
- The Constitution expresses the aspirations of the people about creating a good society. It constantly goes on growing and evolving according to the needs and aspirations of the people.
Q59. "Indian Constitution is both rigid and flexible", explain.
Indian Constitution is both rigid and flexible, because the procedure of amendment is neither easy nor difficult. The Constitution has provided a federal structure for India. The jurisdictions of the centre and state have been defined and demarcated. Both the centre and the states have been authorised to exercise powers independency. There are provisions which can change the Federal structure into a Unitary one. Amendments can be made only with the consent of both the Centre and the States. A special majority of the Union Parliament, i.e., a majority of not less then two-thirds vote is required to amend the Constitution. Thus Indian Constitution enjoys the advantages of a combination of flexibility and rigidity.
Q60. "Formation of Indian Constitution was no less struggle than that of Africa" - Do you agree Explain with five arguments.
Like South Africa, India's Constitution was written under very difficult situation. The making of a Constitution for such a huge and diverse country like India is not an easy task.
- After partition the people of India were emerging from the status of subjects to that of citizens.
- India was born through a partition of the undivided India an the basis of religious differences. It was a traumatic experience for both the people of India and Pakistan.
- The British had left it to the rulers of the princely states to decide whether they wanted to merge with India or with Pakistan or remain independent. The merger of these princely states was a difficult and uncertain task.
- When the constitution was being written, the future of the country did not look as secure as it does today.
- The makers of the Constitution had anxieties about the present and future of the country.
Q61. Why should we accept the Constitution made by the Constituent Assembly more than fifty years ago? Explain any three reason. Or Why should we accept the Constitution made by the Constituent Assembly more than 62 years ago? Give three reasons. Or Why all the citizens of our country must accept the Constitution that was framed more than fifty years ago? Give any five reasons. Or Why should the Indian Constitution formulated in 1950 be applicable in 21st century? Write any five reasons.
The Constituent Assembly that wrote the Indian constitution had 299 members. The Assembly adopted the constitution on 26th November 1949 but it came into effect on 26th January 1950.
- The Constitution does not reflect the views of its members alone, it expresses a board consensus of its time. The makers of our constitution comprised illustrious personalities, belonging to different communities, regions and political parties of India.
- The Constituent Assembly represented all different social groups irrespective of class, creed, status, gender and occupations. There was no adult franchise, at that time. Even if the Constituent Assembly was elected by universal adult franchise, its composition would not have been very different.
- In some countries, the Constitution exists as a mere piece of paper, no one follows it. But in our country, no large social group or political party has ever questioned the legitimacy of the Constitution itself. This is an unusual achievement for any Constitution.
- The manner in which the Constituent Assembly worked gives sanctity to the Constitution. They worked in a systemtic, open and consensual manner.
- A Drafting Committee chaired by Dr BR Ambedkar prepared a draft constitution for discussion. Several rounds of thorough discussion took place and more than two thousand amendments were considered.
- Every document presented and every word spoken in the Constituent Assembly has been recorded and preserved. These are called 'Constituent Assembly Debates' and these are printed in 12 bulky volumes. These debates provide the rationale behind every position to the Constitution. There are used to interpret the meaning of the Constitution.
Q62. Assess the contribution made by the Constituent Assembly to form the Indian Constitution. State the steps involved in the framing of Indian Constitution. Or Mention (he land mark years in the making of the Indian Constitution.
The drafting of the constitution was done by an assembly of elected representatives, called the Constituent Assembly
- Elections to the Constituent Assembly held in July 1946 and its first meeting was held in December 1946.
- After the partition the Constituent Assembly was also divided into the Constituent Assembly of India and that of Pakistan.
- The Constituent Assembly that wrote the Indian constitution had 299 members. The constitution does not only reflect the views of its members but it expresses a broad consensus of its time.
- The Constituent Assembely represented the people of India, i.e., members from different language groups, castes, classes, religious and occupations. Thus the constitution written by the Constituent Assembly covered the interests of the diverse population of our country.
- Finally, the manner in which the Constituent Assembly worked gives sanctity to the constitution. They worked in a systematic, open and consensual manner. A Drafting Committee chaired by Dr BR Ambedkar prepared a draft constitution. Several rounds of thorough discussion took place. Every documents were recorded and preserved. These are 'Constituent Assembly debates' and are printed in 12 volumes. These are used to interpret true meaning of the constitution.
- The Assembly adopted the constitution on 26th November, 1949 and it came into effect on 26th January, 1950. To mark this day, we celebrate 26th January as the Republic Day of India every year.
Q63. When did the Constituent Assembly adopt the Constitution of India? When did it come into force?
The Constitution of India was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on 26th November, 1949. It came into force on the 26th January, 1950.
Q64. Who framed the Constitution of India?
The Constitution of India was flamed by the Constituent Assembly which was established in 1946
Q65. Name some important members of the Constituent Assembly.
Some important members of the Constituent Assembly were Dr Rajendra Prasad, Dr BR Ambedkar, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Dr S Radhakrishnan, KM Munshi etc.
Q66. Who was the Chairman of the Constituent Assembly?
The first session of the Constituent Assembly started on 9th December, 1946 where Dr Sachidanand Sinha was chosen as the temporary Chairman of the Assembly. On 11th December, 1946, Dr Rajendra Prasad was unanimously elected its permanent Chairman.
Q67. Here are some false statements. Identify the mistake in each case and rewrite these correctly based on what you have read in this chapter. (a) Leaders of the freedom movement had an open mind about whether the country should be democratic or not after independence. (b) Members of the Constituent Assembly of India held the same views on all provisions of the Constitution. (c) A country that has a Constitution must be a democracy. (d) Constitution cannot be amended because it is the supreme law of the country.
(a) Leaders of the freedom movement were clear in their mind that the country should be democratic after independence.
(b) The members of the Constituent Assembly of India held differing views on various provisions of the Constitution.
(c) A country that is a democracy must have a Constitution.
(d) The Constitution needs to be amended because it has to be in accordance with people's aspirations and changes in society.
Q68. Which of these was the most salient underlying conflict in the making of a democratic Constitution in South Africa? (a) Between South Africa and its neighbours (b) Between men and women (c) Between the white majority and the black minority (d) Between the coloured minority and the black majority
(d) Between the coloured minority and the black majority
Q69. Which of these is a provision that a democratic Constitution does not have? (a) Powers of the Head of State (b) Name of the Head of State (c) Powers of the Legislature (d) Name of the country
(b) Name of the Head of the State
Q70. What are the ideals before the Indian nation?
The Constitution of India lays down certain ideals before the Indian nation. These are : Democracy, socialism, secularism and national integration.
Q71. How much time did the Constituent Assembly take in framing the Constitution of India?
The Constituent Assembly took 2 years 11 months and 18 days in framing the Constitution of India which was adopted by it on 26th November, 1949.
Q72. Which Constitution has inspired democrats all over the world? (a) Indian (b) South African (c) Russian (d) French
(b) South African
Q73. Who was Abul Kalam Azad?
Abul Kalam Azad was an educationist, author and theologian who became the first Education Minister in the first Union Cabinet.
Q74. What is the meaning of the term 'fraternity' in the Indian Constitution?
Fraternity in the Indian Constitution means that all of us should behave as if we are members of the same family. No one should treat a fellow citizen as inferior
Q75. Which one of the following words is not in the preamble of Indian constitution? (a) Justice (b) Liberty (c) Knowledge (d) Equality
|1. What is constitutional design?|
|2. Why is constitutional design important?|
|3. What are the key elements of constitutional design?|
|4. How does constitutional design promote democracy?|
|5. Can constitutional design be changed?|