FAQ : What are the salient features of the Indian Constitution?

  • July 31, 2017
  • 11:26 am
  • Kainat Singh

The Constitution of India is the longest written democratic constitution of the world. It is the “supreme law of the land.” The constitution is considered to be a living document because changes can be made to it with regards to the changing generation. It has 449 articles in 25 part, 12 schedules, 5 appendices and 101 amendments.

  • WRITTEN AND DETAILED CONSTITUTION – The Indian Constitution is the lengthiest and the most comprehensive document in the world. This document is extremely detailed and has 449 articles in 25 parts.
  • PARLIAMENTARY FORM OF GOVERNMENT – The Parliamentary form of government exists both at the center and the state, and there exists a responsibility towards the legislature.
  • The president is the nominal head of the state, a mere rubber stamp. Where as the prime minister is the real head with his council of ministers.
  • UNIQUELY RIGID YET FLEXIBLE – The constitution is pretty rigid in the sense that no deviation can be made from its basic structure, however it is flexible as well since it is a living and breathing document which takes into consideration the kind of laws that should be made and also strikes down the laws that are becoming arbitrary with the developing day and age.
  • FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS – Part III of the constitution consists of the Fundamental rights that are the guarantees by the constitution to its citizens. These guarantees are considered to be necessary universally so as to maintain a dignified and comfortable way of life.
  • These rights are the probations against the state. These can be claimed via writs and petitions.
  • DIRECTIVE PRINCIPLES OF STATE POLICY – The DPSP are the directives given by the constitution to the state on how the country and the government should be functioned.
  • These are given under Part IV of the constitution but are not binding on the state.
  • A FEDERATION WITH A STRONG CENTRALIST TENDENCY – A federation is the division of powers amongst the various organs of the government, and in India and according to its constitution, there exists a federalist tendency (India is a quasi-federal nation) where a lot of powers are also central.
  • For example, the power to make laws is defined under the various lists given in the constitution and the topics have been given under the Center, State and Concurrent lists. During the emergency the powers are concentrated in the hands of the center as well.
  • ADULT SUFFRAGE – The universal adult franchise is something that has been accepted in India and that allows for every individual in the country above the age of 18 years to vote during the elections. This is the principle of adult suffrage.
  • INDEPENDENT JUDICIARY – India possesses an independent and impartial judiciary that is the custodian of our fundamental rights and also interprets the law to uphold justice.
  • In our constitution this plays an extremely important role in determining the power of the Center and State.
  • SECULAR STATE – India has no state religion. There is no national religion and Article 25-28 of the constitution talks about the concept of secularism according to which every individual has a right to protect, practice and profess any religion. There is no discrimination on the basis of any religion.
  • SINGLE CITIZENSHIP – The American Constitution has dual citizenship with a center and state citizenship; however, India has only a single citizenship where an individual from every state is primarily an Indian citizen.