Following are the important features of the Indian Constitution:

  • Indian Constitution is a ‘written’ constitution.
  • Indian Constitution is ‘flexible’ (it can be amended), but it is also ‘rigid’ (as some part, i.e., its ‘basic structure’ cannot be amended).
  • Indian Constitution is ‘Unitary’ (as Center has more power), but it is also ‘Federal’ (as power is divided between the Center and the State).

Facts of Constitution:

  • The Indian National Congress made a demand for a Constituent Assembly in 1934, which came into existence for drafting the constitution of India on 9 December 1946.
  • The Constituent Assembly drafted the Constitution for independent India between 9 December 1946 and 26 November 1949.
  • We, the people of India, have adopted and enacted the Indian Constitution on 26 November 1949; however, it was made fully functional on 26 January 1950.
  • Constitution is a fundamental set of rules and principles on the basis of which the people of this country obliged to be governed by.
  • The fundamental rules of Constitution define the type of government and its constituent’s parts as well as the nature of the policies to be adopted by the country.
  • So, the Constitution serves as a pivot in striking a balance between the differences and provides safeguards to the interests of each of its citizen.
  • Likewise, the Constitution of India makes India a democratic country and determines −
    • the procedures of government formation;
    • the methods and process of government’s functionality; and
    • the process of interactions among the different parts of the government in the specific area of their work.
  • In addition, the Constitution also defines a list of Fundamental Rights that are an important part of the Constitution to protect the interest of every citizen against the tyranny of the state as well as from the dominance of a particular community (Who are in majority and in power).
  • The Constitution is the supreme law of the land and the source of all the powers and authority of the government and its organs. Likewise, the government not only derives its origins from the Constitution, but discharges its functions and responsibilities within the framework of the Constitution.

Constitutionalism

  • For genuine democracies, constitutions consist of overarching arrangements that determine the political, legal and social structures by which society is to be governed.
  • Constitutional provisions are therefore considered to be paramount or fundamental law.
  • Under these circumstances, if constitutional law itself is inadequate, the nature of democracy and rule of law within a country is affected.
  • The structure of modern nations has been shaped with government being divided into executive, legislative and judicial bodies, with the commonly accepted notion that these bodies and their powers must be separated.
  • Of course, the separation of powers does not mean these bodies function alone, rather they work interdependently, but maintain their autonomy. Other tenets include the idea of limited government and the supremacy of law.
  • Together, these can be termed the concept of constitutionalism. In other words, constitutionalism is the idea that government should be limited in its powers and that its authority depends on its observation of these limitations.
  • A constitution is the legal and moral framework setting out these powers and their limitations. This framework must represent the will of the people, and should therefore have been arrived at through consensus.
  • Constitutionalism is safeguarded by the rule of law.
  • Constitutionalism’ means limited government or limitation on government. It is antithesis of arbitrary powers. Constitutionalism recognizes the need for government with powers but at the same time insists that limitation be placed on those powers.
  • The antithesis of constitutionalism is despotism. A government which goes beyond its limits loses its authority and legitimacy.
  • Therefore, to preserve the basic freedoms of the individual, and to maintain his dignity and personality, the Constitution should be permeated with ‘Constitutionalism’; it should have some inbuilt restrictions on the powers conferred by it on governmental organs.