The present constitution of India is a blend of spirit of Indian freedom struggle and various administrative provisions during the British rule in India. Elaborate.

The Constitution of India is a ‘living document’. Despite borrowing various administrative provisions from the British rule, it was built on the legacy and values espoused during the Indian freedom struggle.

Impact of Indian freedom struggle:

  • The ‘Preamble’ best summarise and give embodiment to the spirit of Indian freedom struggle.
  • India’s fight against the racial arrogance of British has led to enaction of provisions like right to equality, secular state, etc.
  • Legacy of British rule showed the importance of Liberty and freedom of expression to the framers of the constitution.
  • Exploitative practices of British colonialism emphasized the importance of Justice (social, political, economical – DPSPs).
  • Administrative arbitrariness of the British made founding fathers realize the importance of Limited government and parliamentary form of government.

The founding fathers have felt that, as they have experience with British system, some provisions are continued. Nearly 70-80% of the present constitution is taken from Government of India Act 1935.

Administrative Provisions from the British rule:

  • Central legislative council and state legislative council.
  • Federal structure with emergency powers given to the governor.
  • Bicameralism can be traced to 1919 Act (Montagu-Chelmsford reforms).
  • Federal court as Supreme Court of India.
  • Article 246 – division of powers can be seen in 1935 Act.
  • Reservation for SCs and STs.

Thus, in letter many British rule provisions have continued, but still its spirit of application was deeply impacted by the spirit of freedom struggle.


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