Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Salient Features of the Constitution of India

The following are the salient features of the Constitution of India.

Longest written constitution
Indian Constitution can be called the largest written constitution in the world because of its contents. In its original form, it consisted of 395 articles, 22 parts ans 8 schedules on 26th Jan 1950. At present it contains 448 articles,22 parts and 12 schedules.  One major factors for the long size of the constitution was that the framers of the constitution borrowed provisions form several sources and several other constitutions of the world.
 Partly Rigid and Partly Flexible
The Constitution of India is neither purely rigid nor purely flexible.  Some parts of the Constitution can be amended by the ordinary law-making process by Parliament. Certain provisions can be amended, only when a Bill for that purpose is passed in each house of Parliament by a majority of the total membership of that house. There have been 98 amendments to the Constitution of India since it was first enacted in 1950 
 A Democratic Republic
India is a democratic republic. It means that sovereignty rests with the people of India. They govern themselves through their representatives elected on the basis of universal adult franchise. The President of India, the highest official of the state is elected for a fixed term. Although, India is a sovereign republic, yet it continues to be a member of the Commonwealth of Nations with the British Monarch as its head. Her membership of the Commonwealth does not compromise her position as a sovereign republic. The commonwealth is an association of free and independent nations. The British Monarch is only a symbolic head of that association.
Secular State
A secular state is neither religious nor irreligious, or anti-religious. Rather it is quite neutral in matters of religion.  On the contrary, right to freedom of religion is ensured in the Constitution and people belonging to any religious group have the right to profess, practice or propagate any religion they like.
 An Independent Judiciary
The judiciary occupies an important place in our Constitution and it is also made independent of the legislature and the executive. The Supreme Court of India stands at the apex of single integrated judicial system. It acts as protector of fundamental rights of Indian citizens and guardian of the Constitution
 Single Citizenship
The Constitution of India recognises only single citizenship. In the United States, there is provision of dual citizenship. In India, we are citizens of India only, not of the respective states to which we belong. This provision would help in promoting unity and integrity of the nation.