Q.1. Which of these is not a function of the constitution?
(a) It gives a guarantee of the rights of the citizen.
(b) It marks out different spheres of power for different branches of government.
(c) It ensures that good people come to power.
(d) It gives expression to some shared values.
Solution: It ensures that good people come to power is not the function of the Constitution. The Constitution is responsible for the framework of distribution of power and not for the personal integrity of the people who occupy the positions of power.
Q.2. Which of the following is a good reason to conclude that the authority of the constitution is higher than that of the parliament?
(a) The constitution was framed before the parliament came into being.
(b) The constitution-makers were more eminent leaders than the members of the parliament.
(c) The constitution specifies how parliament is to be formed and what are its powers.
(d) The constitution cannot be amended by the parliament.
Solution: The constitution specifies how parliament is to be formed and what are its powers. Thus, it is the source of authority for the parliament.
Q.3. State whether the following statements about a constitution are True or False.
(a) Constitutions are written documents about formation and power of the government.
(b) Constitutions exist and are required only in democratic countries.
(c) Constitution is a legal document that does not deal with ideals and values.
(d) A constitution gives its citizens a new identity.
The statement is False as Constitutions are a written document but is not just about the formation and power of the government. The Constitution lays down the framework that demarcates fundamental political code, structure, procedures, powers, and duties of government institutions and sets out fundamental rights, directive principles, and the duties of citizens as well.
The statement is False as Constitution is a set of rules and regulations designed for the administration and management of an organization or a country. Not only Democratic countries need these sets of rules and regulations but every nation, whether democratic or not require these sets of rules and regulations to function in a proper way.
The statement is False as Constitution is a legal document that deals with many ideals and values like directive principles, fundamental duties & more.
The statement is True as the constitution provides citizens of a country a new identity.
Q.4. State whether the following inferences about the making of the Indian Constitution are Correct or Incorrect. Give reasons to support your answer.
(a) The Constituent Assembly did not represent the Indian people since it was not elected by all citizens.
(b) Constitution-making did not involve any major decision since there was a general consensus among the leaders at that time about its basic framework.
(c) There was little originality in the Constitution, for much of it was borrowed from other countries.
(a) Incorrect: It is incorrect to say that Constituent Assembly did not represent the Indian people because:
(b) Correct: It is correct to say so, because:
(c) Incorrect: It is incorrect to say because:
Q.5. Give two examples each to support the following conclusions about the Indian Constitution:
(a) The Constitution was made by credible leaders who commanded peoples' respect.
(b) The Constitution has distributed power in such a way as to make it difficult to subvert it.
(c) The Constitution is the locus of people's hopes and aspirations.
(a) The Constitution was made by credible leaders who commanded peoples' respect. The following two factors are responsible:
(i) The members of the Constituent Assembly were elected by indirect election by the members of Provincial Legislative Assemblies. Assembly reflected each of the communities, provinces, princely states through an appropriate formula. 28 members belonged to scheduled castes.
(ii) Members of the Constituent Assembly went through long debates and discussions for 166 days spread over two years eleven months. The Provinces and the Princely States were allotted seats in proportion to their population, approximately in the ratio of 1:10,00,000. Members of the Constituent Assembly like Nehru, Patel, Rajendra Prasad, and Ambedkar were also a part of the national movement and enjoyed credibility among the masses.
(b) The Constitution has distributed power in such a way as to make it difficult to subvert it. The following two factors are responsible:
(i) The Constitution has horizontally distributed power among different institutions of judiciary, legislature, and executive and statutory bodies like the election commission. If one institution tries to exploit it, other institutions check it.
(ii) The Constitution strikes a balance between the possibility of change and the limits placed upon the nature of changes (amendments) that can be made. Thus, it is neither too rigid nor too flexible and survives as a living document that has the respect of the people. The procedure for amendments is well elaborated for different articles of the constitution.
(c) The Constitution is the locus of people's hopes and aspirations. The following two factors are responsible:
(i) The constitution has provided some fundamental rights along with protected provisions, the judiciary has powers to protect them.
(ii) The Constitution of India has incorporated some ‘Directive Principles of State Policy’ which are not justiciable but a moral duty of government. The government has also given some effects to these in form of fixed minimum wages, formation of Panchayati Raj Institutions, Employment Guarantee Scheme and mid-day meal schemes, etc. to be the hopes and aspirations of the people.
Q.6. Why is it necessary for a country to have a clear demarcation of powers and responsibilities in the constitution? What would happen in the absence of such a demarcation?
Ans. It is necessary for a country to have a clear demarcation of powers and responsibilities in the constitution because:-
In the absence of such a demarcation:
Q.7. Why is it necessary for a constitution to place limitations on the rulers? Can there be a constitution that gives no power at all to the citizens?
Ans. It is necessary for a constitution to place limitations on the rulers:
No, there can be no constitution that gives no power to its people:
Q.8. The Japanese Constitution was made when the US occupation army was still in control of Japan after its defeat in the Second World War. The Japanese constitution could not have had any provision that the US government did not like. Do you see any problem in this way of making the constitution? In which way was the Indian experience different from this?
Ans. The Japanese Constitution could not have had any provision that the US government did not like, after the defeat of Japan in the Second World War (1939-1945), due to fact that the Constitution seeks to perform the functions and look after the interest of the rulers or authorities in the country who has occupied it. But, in a democratic country, a constitution expresses the fundamental identity of people as in India.
Indian experience was different from the experience of Japan in the following manner:
Q.9. Rajat asked his teacher this question: “The constitution is a fifty-year-old and therefore outdated book. No one took my consent for implementing it. It is written in such tough language that I cannot understand it. Tell me why should I obey this document?” If you were the teacher, how would you answer Rajat?
Ans. Had I been the teacher I would answer Rajat:
Q.10. In a discussion on the experience of the working of our Constitution, three speakers took three different positions:
(a) Harbans: The Indian Constitution has succeeded in giving us a framework of democratic government.
(b) Neha: The Constitution made solemn promises of ensuring liberty, equality, and fraternity. Since this has not happened, the Constitution has failed.
(c) Nazima: The Constitution has not failed us. We have failed the Constitution.
Do you agree with any of these positions? If yes, why? If not, what is your own position?
Ans. In the above-mentioned conversation of three people focused on whether the working of our Constitution is fruitful or not: