Is the Indian constitution truly a federal constitution?

The Indian Federalism has been designed after a close and careful study of the contemporary trends of federalist nations like U.S.A, Canada and Australia. Consequently, the Indian federal scheme while incorporating the advantages of the federal structure, yet seeks to mitigate some of its usual weakness of rigidity and legalism. It does not therefore, follow strictly the conventional or orthodox federal pattern. The scholars have characterized the Constitution in various ways, e.g. quasi-federal, unitary with federal features, federal with unitary features, centralized federation, etc. Instead of the word ‘federation’ the word ‘union’ was deliberately selected by the drafting committees of the Constituent Assembly to indicate viz. (a) that the Indian Union is not the result of an agreement by the states and (b) the component states; have no freedom to secede from it. Though the country and the people may be divided into different states for the convenience of administration, the country is one integral whole, its people a single people living under a single imperium derived from a single source. India’s federalism is thus a flexible mechanism.

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