Q.1. Explain the ‘Objective Resolution’ of 1946.
Ans. The first session of the Constituent Assembly was held on Dec. 9, 1946. On December 13, 1946, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru moved the Objective Resolution.
Some of the important provisions of the Objective Resolutions were as follows:
(a) This Constituent Assembly declares its firm and solemn resolve to proclaim India as an Independent Sovereign Republic and to draw up for the future governance a Constitution.
(b) Wherein all power and authority of the sovereign Independent India, its constituent parts and organs of the government are derived from the people; and
(c) Wherein shall be guaranteed and secured to all the people of India justice, social, economic and political: equality of status, of opportunity and before the law; freedom of thought, expression, belief, faith, worship, vocation, association and action, subject to law and public morality; and
(d) Wherein adequate safeguards shall be provided for minorities, backward and tribal areas and depressed and Other Backward Classes; and ......
The Objective Resolution gave expression to the ideals and aspirations of the people of India. It embodies the broad objectives which the Constituent Assembly was to set before itself. India was to be an Independent Sovereign Republic consisting of British India and the Princely States.
Q.2. Discuss the main sources of the Indian Constitution.
Ans. The new Constitution of India, though ready by November 26, 1949, came into operation on January 26, 1950.
The following are the main sources of Indian Constitution:
(a) Government of India Act, 1935. The new Constitution derives a lot from the Government of India Act of 1935. Both in language and substances remarks Prof. Srinivasan, “It is a close copy of the Act 1935 .... Almost two-third of the Constitution owes its origin to this Act with modifications in the context of the new conditions attainable in the country.” Many Articles of the new Constitution have been borrowed from the Government of India Act, 1935. As many as 250 Articles, word for word or with a little modification, from the Act of 1935 have been inducted into the new Constitution. Some of the Articles of the Constitution clearly lay down that till the Parliament enacts a new law, the old rules under the Act of 1935 will continue in force.
(b) Other Constitutions. The Indian Constitution has drawn extensively from the major constitutions of the world. The framers of the Indian Constitution have drawn freely many good things from the Constitutions of England, America, Australia, Canada, Germany, South Africa and Ireland.
Q.3. ‘The Constitution of India is a bag of borrowing.’ Discuss.
Ans. The Indian Constitution is generally described as a ‘borrowed Constitution’, a ‘patch work’, a ‘paste and scissors affair’ because Indian Constitution has drawn extensively from the major Constitutions of the world. The framers of the Constitution were interested in making a fine and workable Constitution which should work efficiently and should prove to be a living means for the development of India. Prof. M. P. Sharma has very rightly said that, “It was not the purpose of our Constitution makers to produce an original or unique Constitution. What they wanted was a good and workable one.” The framers of the Indian Constitution have drawn freely from the British Constitution. This is perhaps due to long association with Great Britain.
The following are the gifts of the British Constitution to our new Constitution.
(i) The Indian President is a Constitutional head like the British Queen.
(ii) Like the British House of Commons, the Indian Lok Sabha is more powerful than the Second Chamber, i.e., Rajya Sabha.
(iii) Like the British, Cabinet is responsible to the Parliament.
(iv) Like England, India had adopted a Parliamentary form of Government.
(v) Rule of law has also been taken from England.
The framers of the Indian Constitution have drawn the following from the American Constitution
(i) The Preamble of the Indian Constitution is akin to the Preamble of the American Constitution.
(ii) According to T.K. Tope, the Vice-President of India is like the Vice-President of the U.S.A.
(iii) Fundamental Rights of Indian Constitution resemble to the Bill of Rights of the U.S.A.
(iv) Like American Judiciary, Indian Judiciary is independent.
(v) The nature and functions of the Supreme Court are like those of the American Supreme Court.
From Irish Constitution following are drawn
(i) Directive Principles of State Policy.
(ii) Some members of the Rajya Sabha are nominated.
Influence of the Canadian Constitution
(i) In Indian Constitution, like the Canadian Constitution, residuary powers are given to the Centre.
(ii) Like the Canadian Constitution, strong centre is provided in the Indian Constitution.
(iii) The name Union of India for the Indian Republic has got its source in the Canadian Constitution.
But borrowing these ideas was not slavish imitation. Far from it, each provision of the constitution had to be defended on grounds that it was suited to Indian problems and aspirations.
Q.4. Describe in brief the salient features of Indian Constitution.
Ans. The following are the salient features of the Constitution:
(i) Written and Detailed Constitution. The Indian Constitution is a written Constitution. It is seven times as big as that of the Fourth Republic of France. The Constitution consists of 448 Articles, 22 parts, 12 Schedules and 5 appendices. They also constitute the part and parcel of the Constitution.
(ii) Creation of a Sovereign Democratic Republic. By the 42nd Amendment, Preamble of the Constitution was amended. For the words ‘Sovereign Democratic Republic’, the words ‘Sovereign, Socialist, Secular Democratic Republic’ were substituted. And for words ‘Unity of the Nation’, the words ‘Unity and Integrity of the Nation’, were substituted.
(iii) People’s Own Constitution. The Indian Constitution has been framed by the Constituent Assembly formed by the people of India. The Constitution has not been imposed upon us. It originates from the people of India and is promulgated in the name of the people.
(iv) Secular State. The Constitution of India establishes Secular State. By 42nd Amendment, the word ‘Secularism’ is included in the Preamble of the Constitution.
(v) Flexible and Rigid Constitution. The Indian Constitution is rigid as well as flexible. Some of the Articles of the Constitution can be amended by a simple majority of the Parliament, for example, changing the names of the States, altering the boundaries of the State, matters relating to citizenship, etc. Some of the Articles of the Constitution can be amended by at least 2/3rd majority of the members of Parliament with ratification by the legislatures of at least one- half of the States.
(vi) Federation with a Unitary Bias. Though the word ‘Federation’ has not been used in any of the Articles of the Constitution, yet the Constitution establishes in form federation in India. According to Art. 1 of the Constitution, “India shall be a Union of States.” The Indian Constitution possesses all the necessary characteristics of a federation, powers between the Centre and the States have been divided by the Constitution.
(vii) Parliamentary form of Government. The Indian Constitution establishes a parliamentary form of Government in India as per article 79.
(viii) Fundamental Rights. Part III of the Indian Constitution deals with the fundamental rights of the people.
(ix) Directive Principles of State Policy. Chapter IV of the Indian Constitution embodies Directive Principles of State Policy. They have been declared “fundamental in the governance of the country.”
(x) Fundamental Duties. By 42nd Amendment after Part IV of the Constitution, Part IV A is inserted in the Constitution. For the first time a set of 10 Fundamental Duties of Citizens have been enumerated.
(xi) Independent Judiciary. An independent judiciary is essential not only for the protection of the fundamental rights of the people, but is equally essential in a Federal Government.
(xii) Bicameral Legislature. Another feature of the Indian Constitution is that the Indian Parliament consists of two Houses — the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. The Lok Sabha, a Lower House, represents the whole nation while the Rajya Sabha, an Upper House, represents the states. The Lok Sabha is more powerful than the Rajya Sabha.
(xiii) Single Citizenship. Normally, in a federation there is the provision for double citizenship — citizen of one’s own State and citizen of the country. Despite the establishment of federation, there is single citizenship in India. All are citizens of India. The Indian Constitution does not recognise State citizenship.
(xiv) Judicial Review. Unlike the American Constitution, the Indian Constitution has specially provided for the judicial review. Under the Indian Constitution, Parliament is not a sovereign body as the Supreme Court can strike down the acts passed by the Parliament. Similarly, the orders of the executive are subjected to judicial review. This power of the Supreme Court extends to the orders issued and laws passed by the state legislatures also.
(xv) Rule of Law. Another distinctive feature of the Indian Constitution is the Rule of Law. It means that, in India, law is supreme and it is the law which rules over the people.
(xvi) Adult Franchise. Before the inauguration of the new Constitution, the Franchise, under the Act of 1935, was very limited. The new Constitution provides for universal adult suffrage. Every Indian citizen of 18 years or above has the right to vote.
(xvii) Joint Electorate System. The Constitution abolishes the Communal election system which was introduced in the Indian politics by the Government of India Acts of 1909, 1919 and 1935. At present, joint election system is the feature of the Constitution.
(xviii) Untouchability Abolished. Another important feature of the Constitution is the abolition of Untouchability which the Congress for years had been trying to achieve through public enlightenment.
(xix) Protection of Minorities, Scheduled and Backward Classes and Tribes. The Indian Constitution contains special provisions for the protection of minorities, Scheduled and Backward Classes and Tribes.
(xx) Recognition of Hindi as an Official Language. The Constitution recognises Hindi as the official language of the Indian Union. The Constitution also recognises twenty-two other Indian languages as regional languages.
(Mention any 6 point if the question is of 6 mark. And so is the case with question of 4 or 5 mark.)
Q.5. Examine the significance of the preamble to the Indian Constitution.
Ans. Preamble of Indian Constitution has a special significances as follows:-
(a) The preamble expressed clearly that people are the ultimate source of authority.
(b) The preamble emphasised the fact that India is a sovereign, socialist, democratic republic.
(c) The preamble assures that the people of India Justice, Social, Economic and Political.
(d) The preamble is the mirror of the constitution and is a jewel set in the constitution.
(e) It enables the people to assess and evaluate the performance of the government in the light of the objectives laid down in the constitution.
Q.6. Why the Indian Constitution was enforced on 26th January, 1950?
Ans. On December, 31, 1929 the congress passed a resolution of complete independence at the Lahore session and decided to celebrate every 26th January as Independence day. On January 26, 1930 our flag was hoisted on the bank of the river Ravi and this trend continued of celebrating Independence day on 26 January until we got it on 15 August 1947. To remember the day, the entire struggle, the makers of Indian constitution had chosen 26 January, 1950 to enforce the constitution even when it was ready on 26 of November 1949.
Q.7. Are Constitution static? Give arguments in favour of your answer.
Ans. Constitutions are not static. Constitutions change with the change of time and circumstances. Sometimes nations rewrite the entire constitutions. The USSR had four constitutions in its life of 74 years. France had numerous constitution in the last two centuries and so is the case with many other countries like Belgium. Indian Constitution had 101 amendments till the time. So all these data projects the scenario about the constitution as a living document and not the static one.