History of Indian Constitution:
In 1934 the idea of Indian constituent Assembly was put forward for the first time by M.N.Roy. He is an advocate of Radical Democratism and a pioneer of communist movement in India. For the first time in 1935 the Indian National Congress officially demanded for the constituent Assembly for framing the Constitution of India. so that on the behalf of Indian National Congress in 1938 Jawaharlal Nehru declared that “ the constitution of India must be framed without outside interference, by a Constituent Assembly elected on the basis of Adult Franchise “. This demand was accepted by the British Government, so that this is known as the August Offer of 1940.
The constituent Assembly of India took 2 years, 11 months and 17 days to draft the constitution. The Constitution of India was adopted on November 26 1949. So the Indian Constitution came into effect on 26 January 1950. Thus we are celebrating 26 January as Republic day of our India. Dr.B.R.Ambedkar, the chief architect of our Inian constitution so he is known as the Father of the constitution of India.
During the time of adoption of our Indian constitution it contained a Preamble, 22 Parts, 395 Articles and 8 Schedules. Now our constitution contains 25 Parts, 448 Articles, 12 Schedules and 101 Amendments. Amendment is a change made to the constitution text. 42nd Amendment Act made in 1976 was known as Mini constitution due to the important and large number of changes made by it in various parts of our constitution. India has the longest written and the most detailed constitution in the world.
Preamble of our Constitution:
Preamble explains the goals of the government. It states the aims and objectives of the constitution. While framing the laws every government must keep the main principles of our constitution in mind. Those principles are Sovereignty, Socialism, Secularism, Democracy and Republic. As a Republic India also aims to secure Justice, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity to all its citizens.
It means all Indians are free to govern themselves and to make laws there should be no external interference of any kind in the functioning of the government.
It means that everyone must have equal rights in base of social equality and economic equality. In base of Social equality everyone must have equal opportunities and status. In the base of economic equality everyone must have equal distribution of wealth and a decent standard of living for all.
It refers that India is a secular country. So it indicates that there will be no state religion thus all religions will be treated equally. Our constitution also guarantees the Right to Freedom of Religion as a fundamental right. It includes the freedom to Profess, Propagate and Practise any religion.
Democracy means people have the power to vote and elect their representatives to the government. Finally these elected representatives makes the law on the behalf of the people. In India those who are 18 years and above have the right to vote. This is known as Universal Adult Franchise.
It means the head of the state shall not be hereditary head but will be chosen by the people through an election. This head is elected for a certain period of time.
Justice: It implies that the individual should get what is due to him or her and setting right whatever is wrong.
Liberty: It means individual freedom without any subjective restraints.
Equality: It implies that all are born equal and have equal opportunities.
Fraternity: It implies the Brotherhood, it is essential to maintain the unity of the nation.
Schedules of our constitution:
- Names of the States and their territorial jurisdiction.
- Names of the Union Territories and their extent.
- Provisions as to the president.
- Provisions as to the governors of all states.
- Provisions as to the speaker and deputy speaker of the Lok Sabha.
- Provisions as to the chairman and deputy chairman of Rajya Sabha.
- Provisions as to the speaker and deputy speaker of the Legislative Assembly in the states.
- Provisions as to the chairman and deputy chairman of the Legislative Council in the states.
- Provisions as to the Judges of the Supreme court.
- Provisions as to the Judges of the High courts.
- Provisions as to the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India.
Forms of Oaths or Affirmations for:
- The Union ministers.
- The candidates for election to the Parliament.
- The members of Parliament.
- The judges of the Supreme Court.
- The Comptroller and Auditor-General of India.
- The state ministers.
- The candidates for election to the state legislature.
- The members of the state legislature.
- The judges of the High Courts.
Allocation of seats in the Rajya Sabha to the states and the union territories.
Provisions relating to the administration and control of scheduled areas and scheduled tribes.
Provisions relating to the administration of tribal areas in the states of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Mizoram.
Division of powers between the Union and the States in terms of
List I – Union List,
List II – State List and
List III – Concurrent List.
List of recognized Languages.Originally, it had 14 languages but presently there are 22 languages.
They are: Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri (Dongri), Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Mathili (Maithili), Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu. Sindhi was added by the 21st Amendment Act of 1967; Konkani, Manipuri and Nepali were added by the 71 st Amendment Act of 1992; and Bodo, Dongri, Maithili and Santhali were added by the 92nd Amendment Act of 2003.
Validation of certain acts and regulations. This schedule is also known as Safety Locker. Acts and Regulations (originally 13 but presently 282) 19 of the state legislatures dealing with land reforms and the abolition of the zamindari system and of the. Parliament dealing with other matters. This schedule was added by the 1st Amendment (1951) to protect the laws included in it from judicial scrutiny on the ground of violation of fundamental rights. However, in 2007, the Supreme Court ruled that the laws included in this schedule after April 24, 1973, are now open to judicial review.
Provisions relating to the disqualification of the members of Parliament and State Legislatures on the ground of defection. This schedule was added by the 52nd Amendment Act of 1985, also known as Anti-defection Law.
Specifies the powers, authority and responsibilities ofPanchayats. It has 29 matters. This schedule was added by the 73rd Amendment Act of 1992.
Specifies the powers, authority, and responsibilities of Municipalities. It has 18 matters. This schedule was added by the 74th Amendment Act of 1992.