AIR spotlight summary on “The Constitution of India: A model document for major democracies in the world”.
Impact of Indian Constitution in India and other Countries
- In the context of freedom movement and evolution, the constitution making process has left a deep imprint in the entire world mainly in the developing world particularly the new nations which came up after the second World War.
- As D. Basu says constitution is the work of deliberation. The Indian constitution has been worked out in detail by a galaxy of people and the entire constitution being drafted by the competence of Ambedkar.
Comparing Indian Constitution and American Constitution
- Indian constitution can be compared with American constitution in terms of confederation to constitution, the deliberations and the Madisonian amendments.
- In America there is a system of two party systems and it is not in India. The American society is of minor contradictions whereas the large number of parties in India reflects plurality and the major contradictions of society. There are arguments that the electoral process of the First Past the Post system normally leads to two party systems and the representational parliamentary system leads to multi party system. If we really look at the world today most of the countries are moving towards multi party system.
- India has a three tier system with not only federal election; we have state election and panchayat election. The United States is a federal republic, with elected officials at the federal (national), state and local levels. We are virtually becoming a mirror of American system where there is election virtually every year, and in India there is election virtually every six months.
- American constitution also came out of deliberation and the constitution has survived very minor amendments. But in the context of our survival it is unique in the sense that India is a society and politics of major contradictions.
Reasons why the Indian constitution has survived even today
- India and Pakistan became independent at the same time. But Pakistan had to struggle for a constitution till 1958 and even today the liberal democracy is not well settled in Pakistan. It was a settled fact in India because of good political parties lead by Mahatma Gandhi. This is acknowledged by Ambedkar also. We also had a civil service based on merit. Now because of these two and the sagacity of leadership at that time we find the continuation of liberal democracy virtually uninterrupted except during the emergency.
- There is lot of flexibility in the constitution. The modern world demands flexibility. From a command economy to a demand economy we could reach very easily because of the essential flexibility.
- The Indian constitution is attractive to many others. The constitution is a power map by which two things are established. One is the power relationship within the government and the second is the relationship of the government with the society.
- The other constitutional provisions like the Bommai case are a very important to determine the majority and the minority in the legislative assembly. Along with this the question of Fundamental Rights dealt in Maneka Gandhi case where Passport is a fundamental right. In Kesavananda Bharati case it was established that there is a basic structure of the constitution. What makes this judgement attractive is that the judges never defined the basic structure but described it.
Simultaneous Lok Sabha and state assembly elections
- Till now we were conceived as an adversarial democracy. If we have a larger consensus and if every LokSabha continues for 5 years and Legislative assembly also continue for 5 years which the Supreme Court is wanting in a way where aya ram gaya ram politics is virtually over.
- In this context it is a good idea to conduct simultaneous elections for LokSabha and State Legislative assembly and some day we may realise it. As Keynes says Ideas that ultimately leads to change.
Why other countries must follow Indian Constitution?
- Uninterrupted in continuation of the Indian constitution and the amendments are within the ambit of the constitution.
- In larger societies the Indian federalism is talked about that how from a quasi federation we are moving towards cooperative federalism.
- In the third world the constitution making is still going on. We find that the Indian constitution is being referred, talked about and also being followed in many of the countries. The reason being the socio economic conditions of many of these countries are very similar to ours.
- There is coexistence of the national parties, regional parties and an attempt to create a unified nation economically through GST. All these are important indications that the Indian Constitution is based upon the Rule of Law, equality and fraternity is an example to the world. Wherever there are constitutional debates for the new constitution, a proper discussion cannot take place without mention or reference to Indian Constitution
- 26th November 2016 marks the 67th Constitutional day of India.
- Indian constitution is looked like a book which is not original because at that stage originality was not a possibility. Indian Constitution is a compilation of various constitutions.
- Many of the constitutional amendments had to be done because of the elaborate nature of the constitution. The constitutional amendments are essential because there are lot of administrative changes which are to be brought about. Jennings thought that the Indian Constitution is cumbersome but Granville Austin thinks otherwise.
- Indian Constitutional system provided a multi party democracy with considerable amount of stability.
- The disagreements between Judiciary and the executive, executive and the Legislature like in India happens everywhere. As Amartya Sen says “An Indian is an argumentative Indian, so the Indian Politics is also no different”.