Sunday, January 29, 2012


After understanding the legacies of freedom movement and legacies of colonial rule, now in this chapter we will read the concept of constitution and structure and features of Indian constitution. Here we will read about the preamble of Indian constitution, its philosophy and significance, nature and features of Indian constitution, structure of the constitution and also will read about Fundamental Rights, Directive Principles of State Policies and Fundamental Duties. This Chapter will give us an idea about the constitution, its nature and structure. 
v  Introduction
v  Preamble of the constitution
v  Nature and features of Indian Constitution
v  Structure of the Constitution
v  Fundamental Rights:
v  Directive Principles of State Policies
v  Fundamental Duties
v  Conclusion


In the previous chapter we have learned about the origin and evolution of Indian constitution. Our understanding about the colonial legacy and legacy of freedom movement has already given us an image of Indian constitution. There we also learned about the sources of Indian constitution. But what is the actual structure of our constitution? Is there any philosophy who guides the constitution? Does our constitution care about the people? Can we see any features which guide the government? As a citizen of the country what are our responsibility and duty? All these questions are not cleared in the previous chapter. To know those queries, in this chapter we will understand the nature and feature of Indian Constitution and its structure. But before studying about these lets earn a brief idea about the concept of constitution and also about the Indian constitution.

About constitution:

The constitution is a set of elementary principles or established precedents to govern a state.  It is a written or unwritten document constitute of rules and principles. It puts down the basic framework of a political system to govern. Constitution of a country lays down the basic structure of the political system under which its people are to be governed (Kashyap, 2011; 1). We can define it as a set of fundamental law of a country which ordains the fundamentals of its polity and on the altar of which all other laws and executive act of the state are to be tested. It is a living organism of functioning institutions (Kashyap, 2011; 2). The constitution establishes the main organs of the state-the legislature, executive and judiciary. It defines their power and responsibilities and regulates their relationships. The constitution of a country represents the vision and values of its founding fathers and is based on the social, political and economic ethos and faith and aspirations of the people. In the earlier chapter and in the next few chapters we will see principles and structure that compose Indian Constitution.

Indian constitution:

The Constitution of India was as we have already come to know in the earlier chapter, was adopted in 26th January 1950. This date was chosen to commemorate the 1930’s declaration of independence and since 1950 India celebrates the adoption of the constitution on 26 January each year as Republic Day. It is a written constitution. In the time of adoption, the constitution of India had a preamble, 22 parts, 395 articles and 8 schedules. But due to a number of amendments in last 60 years the tally of schedule and articles increased. The Constitution, in its current form, consists of a Preamble, 22 Parts containing 450 Articles, 12 Schedules, 2 Appendixes (Wikipedia). We will read about these schedules and parts in the later part of this chapter. It declares India to be a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic, assuring its citizens justice, equality and liberty and promotes fraternity among them.
            When we were reading about the concept of Constitution, we discussed about organs of the state-the legislature, executive and judiciary. Indian constitution also deals these areas. The constitution of India provides for distribution of powers between the union and the state where powers of the Parliament and State Legislatures are distributed in three list- Union, State and Concurrent list. The constitution of India is amendable and so far there has been more than 110 amendment bills are introduced in the parliament and out of that 95 amendments were made so far. We will understand about the nature and structure of Indian constitution in the following parts of the chapter.

Preamble of the constitution:
The Preamble of a constitution is the embodiment of the fundamental values and philosophy on which the constitution is based. When we read a book or a novel, often read the preface, where the author lays the brief ideas about the book. The preamble of a constitution is like that preface to the constitution which lists the basic features of the constitution. It is the introductory statement of the constitution.

            Constitution of India also has a preamble. The preamble in Indian Constitution specifies the nature of Indian state and the constitution. The preamble is based on Jawahar Lal Nehru’s objective Resolution, about which we have read in the previous chapter of this book. K. M Munshi has termed the preamble as ‘Political Horoscope’ and Earnest Barker says it as ‘Key to the constitution’. The preamble is a part of the constitution but is not justifiable. But it bears a great significance to the constitution. We can say the Preamble as the foundation stone of the constitution. The preamble renders it easy to understand the real intensions of the framers of the constitution. The preamble of Indian Constitutions say-
            WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens:
JUSTICE, social, economic and political;
LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;
EQUALITY of status and of opportunity; and to promote among them all
FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation;
When the Preamble of the constitution was adopted, the words socialist, secular and integrity was not there in the Preamble. These words were added to the Preamble by the 42nd Amendment in 1976.
The Preamble is the supreme or fundamental constitutional values in which the founding fathers believed, which they wanted to foster among the people of the republic. The Preamble indicates the source from which the constitution derives its authority and also states the objects which the Constitution seeks to establish and promote (Basu, 2011:21).

Philosophy and salient features of the preamble:

The words used in the constitution are some of the noblest words and embody the highest values that human ingenuity and experience have been able to devise thus far. These words bear the philosophy of the Preamble and the constitution. Let us analyze the meaning of various terms used in the preamble. We also can say these as the salient features of the preamble.
  1. Sovereign: The Preamble of Indian Constitution declares India to be sovereign. It implies that India is a sovereign state, free to conduct its internal and external affairs as it deems desirable. The constitution does not contain any specific provision in regard to the sovereign powers. It is only ascertained in the preamble. The preamble accepts the principle of popular sovereignty. The preamble begins by the words “We the people of India…” which testify that people are the ultimate source of all authority. The preamble of the Constitution of United State also begins with “We the people of the…” but with a different meaning.

  1. Socialist: We know that the term socialist was added in the Preamble by the Forty Second Amendment. Though the term ‘socialist’ was included, the term does not mean the ‘State Socialism” that is ownership of all means of production and distribution by the State but it means reducing the inequalities between rich and poor. This term is also to refer socialist pattern of society; which was adopted as a goal of Indian state by the Congress in its Avadi session in 1955. The term socialist state means that India is a democratic socialist state and committed to socio- economic justice, that is to be secure by the state through the democratic process and organized planning. However, the term has not been defined by the constitution.

  1. Secular: The term ‘Secular’ was also added in the 42nd Amendment. Ever since the inauguration of the constitution the citizens of India have enjoyed complete religious freedom. When we will read the Fundamental Rights we will find how they promote secularism. Though India behaved as a secular state but it was not described so in the Preamble. The deficiency has been removed by the above addition. The term ‘Secularism’ means equal respect and equal protection of all religions by government. This secularism is distinct from the negative concept of secularism held in western traditions, that is, separation of religion and politics.
  2. Democratic: We found that the Preamble declared India to be a Democratic State. It means that in India, the administration is carried on by the elected representative of the people. The Constitution has introduced the system of Universal Adult franchise. The people of India enjoy all those rights which are available in a democratic country. The constitution lays down the system of Parliamentary Democracy. The term ‘Democratic’ in the Preamble is used to represent the philosophy of democracy that the constitution has.
  3. Republic: By republic we mean that in India, the highest executive authority shall be vested in a person directly or indirectly elected by the people. The President, Vice-President of India and Members of Rajya Sabha are elected indirectly by the people, while the Prime Minister and the other members of the Lok Sabha are directly elected by the people.  This implies that India cannot have monarchical or feudal type of government. The Republic in the Preamble has both positive and Negative meaning. Negatively, it means that India is not ruled by monarch and positively means that it has an elected head for a fixed term.
  4. Justice: Justice in the Preamble implies that the government will try to promote the welfare of all section of the people of India. We find three types of justice –political, economic and social, in the Preamble. We can see that to provide political justice the constitution has introduced Universal Adult Franchise. In economic sphere justice is to be provided by raising the living standard of the people. To provide social justice, all citizens are treated equally irrespective of their status in society as a result of their birth, race, caste, religion, sex, title etc. The preamble places Justice higher than the other principles of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity (Kashyap, 2011; 73).
  5. Liberty: The Preamble declares liberty to be the second cardinal objective to be secured by the Indian State. The Preamble by liberty does not mean mere absence of restraint. It is also positive concept, where we find liberty of thought expression, belief, faith and worship as the objective to be secured to all the people. The Fundamental Rights are designed to secure this objective.
  6. Text Box: Example of MGNREGA where both men and women earn equal wage, based on equality

Equality: The Preamble of Indian Constitution makes equality as the third objective of the constitution. It promises equality of opportunity and status. And it has legal, social, political and economic aspects. It says that all citizens are equal before law and enjoy equal protection of the laws of the land.  There cannot be any discrimination on the ground of primordial factors like religion, race, caste, sex etc.

  1. Fraternity: With a view to promote the spirit of brotherhood among the people and to ensure proper dignity of the individual, the Constitution has paid attention to fraternity.  To promote this the constitution imposed certain fundamental duties on the citizens of India. Fraternity is expected to preserve and promote the dignity of the individual’s life. The Preamble also says that in order to safeguard the dignity of the individual, we need to build the nation and protect its unity and integrity and this is through the spirit of common brotherhood and fraternity.

Constitutional Significance of the Preamble:
In the beginning of the chapter we read that Constitution of India has 22 parts. The preamble is not one out of those. But many a time many people believe it as a part, due to its constitutional significance. The preamble has helped us in different time to in understanding the constitution. We can see the following constitutional significance of the constitution-
1.   The Preamble helps us in understanding the constitutional arrangements in clear terms. If any section of the constitution is not clear than we may understand that with the help of philosophy of the preamble.
2.     The words of the Preamble highlight some of the fundamental values and guiding principles on which the Constitution of India is based. It serves as a guiding light for the Constitution and  judges interpret the Constitution in its light
3.     The Supreme Court of India, in a majority of decisions, has held that the preamble constitute the basic structure of the Indian Constitution, which cannot be amended.
4.    The Preamble signifies by its very beginning that the actual power lies in the hand of people, not in government agencies.
5.     The Preamble lays down the most important national goals such as socialism, secularism and national integration etc. Every citizen and the government must try to achieve these goals.
6.     If we look at different amendments that have been taken up after the adoption of constitution we will find that many of these are based on the preamble. For example we can say about the amendments of reservation policies for weaker sections of the society. This is based on the philosophy of social justice mentioned in the Preamble.

When we will read the next few chapters, we will be able to better understand the significance of the Preamble. The next parts of this book will remind us the relevance of the Preamble and its philosophy in Indian Constitution.

The Preamble is a part of the constitution:

            So far, in this book, we have read that preamble is a part of the constitution but not among the 22 parts of it. We also read that many people do not believe it as a part of the constitution. The Supreme Court of India, while giving its opinion on the presidential Reference on the transfer of the Berubari Union and the exchange of Enclaves, accepted that Preamble is not a part of the Constitution. However, later on, it reversed its judgment in Keshavananda Bharati Case and held that Preamble is a part of the Constitution. The Parliament also has accepted it as a part of the Constitution. As such, the Preamble is now regarded as a sacred and basic part of the Constitution. The Preamble defines the basic structure of the Constitution and it itself a part of the basic structure. The next few parts of this book are based on this Preamble. Let us read the salient features of Indian constitution, which also reflects the philosophy of the Preamble.

Nature and features of Indian Constitution:
            So far, we have collected some basic ideas about the Indian Constitution. The Constitution has impact of legacies, Constituent Assembly Debates and of other known constitutions. As the Constitution has borrowed many ideas from some known constitution, it is called as ‘borrowed constitution’. Due to this we find the constitution a very comprehensive document. The nature of the Indian Constitution is unique in many ways. It cannot be fitted in any particular model of constitution as it is both-rigid and flexible, federal and unitary, presidential and parliamentary. The constitution has many outstanding features which distinguishes it from other Constitutions. We can find the following salient features of the Constitution of India:
1.      Written Constitution: The constitution of India is a wholly written and detailed document. At the time of adoption, the constitution of India had a preamble, 22 parts, 395 articles and 8 schedules. Jennings describes it as the “largest written constitution in the word.” The constitution of India included not only the Constitution of the Union but also of the States. It has incorporated several unique features like-Fundamental rights and Duties, The Directive Principles of State Policies, Emergency Provision, Language Provision etc, which made it quite lengthy. All these made the largest written constitution.
2.      Rigid and Flexible Constitution: On the ground of the amending procedure being difficult or easy, we can say Indian constitution as combination of both rigid and flexible. There are three methods of amending Indian Constitution. When we will look at the amendment procedures of Indian constitution, we will see that the Constitution is flexible in the sense that most of its parts can be amended by simple majority in the Houses of Parliament. It is rigid as other some provisions can be amended by the House of Parliament by special two third majorities of the members present and voting and majority of the total membership in each House. It is rigid in the third method also as in few provisions, in addition to a special majority in the two Houses of Parliament, ratification of not less than one half of the state is required. This mixture of amendment procedures make the Constitution both rigid and flexible
3.      Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic, Republic Constitution: We have already read about these values in the Preamble of Indian Constitution. These values reflect the characteristics of Indian Constitution. As we have read about these in detail, let us switch to other features of the constitution.
4.      Drawn from Different Sources: Another unique feature of the Indian Constitution is that it was prepared after ransacking all the known constitution of the world. We already read in the first chapter that apart from the legacies and Constituent Assembly debates, the fathers of constitution are also influenced by Constitution of US, UK, USSR, Canada, Australia, and Ireland etc. Many features of the Constitution are adopted from those. It is so, our constitution is a borrowed Constitution.
5.      Fundamental Rights: The Constitution of India, under its part III from Article 12 to 35, grants and guarantees Fundamental Rights to its citizens. These rights are enforceable in the Courts. Originally, the Constitution had seven Fundamental Rights, but after the 44th Amendment in 1979, it decreased to six. Our Constitution presents a balance between the rights of the individual on the one hand and the interest of the society and the needs of the security of the state on the other (Kashyap, 2011; 52-53).
6.      Fundamental Duties: Fundamental Duties are another important feature of Indian Constitution. The Constitution, in its part IVA- Article 51 A enumerates the Fundamental Duties of Indian Citizens. It lays down eleven duties for all the citizen of India. These Fundamental Duties are not enforceable in the Courts.
7.      Directive Principles of State Policy: ‘Directive Principles of State Policy’ is one of the most striking features of Indian Constitution. These are instructions to the governments- both Union and State, for securing socio-economic developments through its policies. Though these are not enforceable by the courts, the government shall apply these in making laws.
8.       Single Citizenship: Despite of the federal structure, for building an integrated Indian fraternity and a united nation, India has single Citizenship system. The Constitution provides all citizens uniform rights and freedom. This is also an important feature of Indian Constitution.

9.      Parliamentary Government: The Constitution of India provides for a Parliamentary system of government. In India, President is nominal head of the state and Prime Minister is the real head. These feature is neither similar to the British nor to the US Constitution.
10.  Bi-cameral Union Parliament: The Indian Constitution of India provides for a Bicameral legislature at the Union level. It has two Houses- the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. The Lok Sabha is lower House and the Rajya Sabha is upper House of the parliament. Of the two, Lok Sabha is more powerful than the Rajya Sabha. This bi-cameral legislature is also an important feature of Indian Constitution.
11.  Federation with strong Centre: Though we cannot find the term ‘federation’ in the Constitution of India, but it is of federal nature. K C Where describes India as a ‘quasi federal’ constitution. The constitution distributes the power in three lists- Union, Concurrent and State lists. However, it provides a strong centre, which seems to be a unitary feature. This mixture of both Federalism and Unitarianism is a feature of Indian Constitution.
12.  Independent Judiciary: The Constitution of India establishes an independent judiciary. The judiciary is not under the control of Executive and Legislature and empower with the power of judicial review, judicial Activism etc. the High Courts and Supreme Court form a single integrated judicial structure and enjoy the jurisdiction over Union, State, Civil, and Criminal laws.
13.   Adult Franchise: Universal Adult Franchise is also an important feature of the Constitution. Based on the principle of ‘one man one vote’ constitution opt for it without any distinction. Every Citizen who is 18 years of age has the right to vote. Earlier the age was 21. This feature makes India a truly democratic nation.

14.  Emergency Provisions: We read that president is a nominal head of the state. The president enjoys some powers and functions and among those Emergency power is also one. This enables the executive to meet any emergency effectively. The constitution provides three types of Emergency powers- General Emergency, Constitutional Emergency and Financial Emergency.
15.  Special Provision of Backward Class: Another feature of the Indian Constitution is that there is reservation of seats for the backward people in the Lok Sabha and state Assemblies. The Constitution in its Part XVI also lays down that the claims of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes shall be taken into consideration in making appointment to services and posts in connection with the affairs of the Union or of the State to uplift them.
16.  Provision regarding language: The Constitution has special provisions for defining the Language of the Union, Regional Languages, and Language of the supreme and High Courts. In its Eight Schedule, the Constitution recognizes major Indian Language. The tally is now 22. This is also an important feature, which we can find in Indian constitution.

            The Constitution of India is a most comprehensive and unique in many ways. This is a large document and suitable for Indian environment. The above features have made the constitution different from many other constitutions of the world. When we will read about the constitutions of different countries in later part of the course, we will better understand how it is different from others. But, for now, we can earn the idea about our Constitution, by reading these features. We can understand better about it and its features in coming parts of the book. 

Structure of the Constitution:

            So far, we have come to know about the history and features of Indian Constitution. But how does the constitution look like? What are the things that are written in that large document? Is it like a book with chapters? Or it is like a report? In the following few paragraphs, we will try to know these above questions? We will now read about the structure of the Constitution, the order it is arranged and the way it is designed.
            The constitution, as we know starts with the preamble. It is followed by the Parts, Schedules, and Appendixes. We know that the Constitution has at present 22 Parts and these are Part I-Union and its Territory, Part II-Citizenship, Part III-Fundamental Duties, Part IV-Directive Policies of State Policy and Fundamental Duties {Part IV (A)}, Part V- The Union, Part VI- The States, Part VII- States in the B part of the First schedule(Repealed)., Part VIII- The Union Territories, Part IX- Panchayat system and Municipalities, Part X- The scheduled and Tribal Areas, Part XI- Relations between the Union and the States, Part XII- Finance, Property, Contracts and Suits, Part XIII-Trade and Commerce within the territory of India, Part XIV- Services Under the Union, the States and Tribunals, Part XV- Elections, Part XVI- Special Provisions Relating to certain Classes, Part XVII– Languages, Part XVIII- Emergency Provisions, Part XIX– Miscellaneous, Part XX- Amendment of the Constitution, Part XXI- Temporary, Transitional and Special Provisions, Part XXII- Short title, date of commencement, Authoritative text in Hindi and Repeals. If we accept Preamble as a part of Indian constitution, than it will come before all the parts and rest will follow from Part I-Union and its Territory. The individual Articles of the Constitution are grouped together into these Parts.
            After these parts, the 12 schedules of the constitution come. The schedules are lists that categories and tabulate activity and policy of the Government. The Schedules in the constitution are arranged in the following order.
·         First Schedule (Articles 1 and 4): This lists the states and territories of India, lists any changes to their borders and the laws used to make that change.
·         Second Schedule (Articles 59, 65, 75, 97, 125, 148, 158, 164, 186 and 221): This lists the salaries of officials holding public office, judges, and Comptroller and Auditor-General of India.
·         Third Schedule (Articles 75, 99, 124, 148, 164, 188 and 219): Forms of Oaths – This lists the oaths of offices for elected officials and judges.
·         Fourth Schedule (Articles 4 and 80): This details the allocation of seats in the Rajya Sabha (the upper house of Parliament) per State or Union Territory.
·         Fifth Schedule (Article 244): This provides for the administration and control of Scheduled Areas and Scheduled Tribes (areas and tribes needing special protection due to disadvantageous conditions).
·         Sixth Schedule (Articles 244 and 275): Provisions for the administration of tribal areas in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Mizoram.
·         Seventh Schedule (Article 246): The union (central government), state, and concurrent lists of responsibilities.
·         Eighth Schedule (Articles 344 and 351): The official languages.
·         Ninth Schedule (Article 31-B): Articles mentioned here are immune from judicial review.
·         Tenth Schedule (Articles 102 and 191): "Anti-defection" provisions for Members of Parliament and Members of the State Legislatures.
·         Eleventh Schedule (Article 243-G): Panchayat Raj (rural local government).
·         Twelfth Schedule (Article 243-W): Municipalities (urban local government).

After these twelve Schedules, two Appendixes follow. These two are:

1.      The Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954 and
2.      Re-statement, with reference to the Present text of the Constitution, of the exceptions and modifications subject to which the constitution applies to the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Text Box: Hegde, J. and Mukherjea, J. identified a separate and shorter list of basic features:
• sovereignty of India
• democratic character of the polity
• unity of the country
• essential features of the individual freedoms secured to the citizens
• mandate to build a welfare state
Jaganmohan Reddy, J. stated that elements of the basic features were to be found in the Preamble
of the Constitution and the provisions into which they translated such as:
• sovereign democratic republic
• parliamentary democracy
• three organs of the State

Basic structure of the Constitution: After knowing about the composition of the constitution, we also need to know the basic structure of the Constitution. Basic structure is that part of the constitution, which are immune from the power of amendment. It is the judge-made principle that certain feature of the Indian Constitution are beyond the limit of power of the amendment of the Indian parliament. The basic structure of the Constitution cannot be altered by amendment (Basu, 2011; 167). The doctrine was first express by the Supreme Court of India in Kesavananda Bharati vs. State of Kerala in 1973. It is to maintain the supremacy of the Constitution.
Text Box: Stop to consider:
The constitution of India does not contain any provision in regard to basic features. There is nothing to suggest that the Constitution- makers wanted any provisions of the Constitution to be absolutely un amendable. It was certainly not beyond the ingenuity of the founders to provide for it if they wanted it to be so. In fact, all the evidence is to the contrary. It was repeatedly declared in the Constituent Assembly and elsewhere by Nehru, Ambedkar and others that they did not wish to bind the succeeding generations, that, to use Nehru’s words, “If you make anything rigid and permanent you stop a nation’s growth, the growth of a living, vital, organic people.”
Source: Kashyap, 2011; 340

            But the basic structure of the constitution is not defined. The Supreme Court while propounding the concept of basic structure did not clearly specify as to what constituted the basic structure of the Constitution. The power retained in the hand of judiciary to decide as to what constitute the basic structure, on the basis of facts in each case. Different judges in their judgment tried to explain the basic structure through certain illustrations.
Chief Justice Sikri listed five features of Basic features-supremacy of the Constitution, republican and democratic form of government, secular character of the Constitution, separation of powers between the legislature, executive and the judiciary, and federal character of the Constitution. Shelat, J. and Grover, J. added two more basic features to this list: the mandate to build a welfare state contained in the Directive Principles of State Policy, and unity and integrity of the nation.
            We can define the basic structure as those parts of the constitution without which the constitution may lose its fundamental character. The basic Structure is at the ‘Heart of the Constitutional Scheme’.

After knowing about the basic structure of the constitution, let us read about the other important component of our constitution. The book in its other chapters will discuss the three parts of government, election system, amendment procedure etc. So, in this chapter, we will not discuss about these parts. Here we will read about the Part III, Part IV and Part IV (A) of the constitution. The reason behind discussing these is that these parts are important part of Indian Constitution and it reflects the philosophy of the constitution and preamble. These three parts lays down the governing principle of Indian constitution. These three parts are also regarded as part of basic structure of the constitution. So, let us know about these three in details.
Fundamental Rights:

A democracy is always supported by Fundamental Rights. Indian Constitution has also made provisions for Fundamental Rights to promote democracy in India. In the previous chapter we have learned about the sources of Fundamental rights of our constitution. Here, before knowing about the Fundamental Rights ensured by Constitution of India, let us see what is Fundamental Rights?
The constitution is regarded as Fundamental law of the nation and the rights which are incorporated here, therefore, regarded as Fundamental Rights. These rights are generally regarded set of entitlements in the context of legal system. The rights which are needed for all round developments of the human being are Fundamental Rights. They ensure the fullest physical, mental and moral development of every citizen. Fundamental Rights include the basic freedom and conditions which alone can make life worth living. In democracy, the Fundamental Rights are considered as basic to better and happier life of human being. They are the soul of the constitution (Avasthi, 2004; 229). Part III of Indian Constitution, with the heading Fundamental Rights, deals with the charter of Rights. Here the constitution includes the basic rights which are necessary for individual to live a dignified life.

The Genesis of Fundamental Rights in India:

Text Box: According to Dr BR Ambedkar Fundamental Rights was one of the most criticized parts of Constitutional Assembly Debate.
Source: Kashyap, 2011; 94 

The development of constitutionally guaranteed Fundamental Rights in India was inspired by various historical events. England’s Bill of Rights in 1689, United States Bill of Rights in 1787 and France’s Declaration of the Rights of Man in 1789 were among those. Constitution of India Bill, 1895 made the first systematic demand for Fundamental Rights. Thereafter, several committees were appointed and resolutions were passed to put forth the perspectives of Indian Fundamental Rights (Chakrabarty and Pandey, 2008; 11). In early 1930s, before the Simon Commission and Government of India Act of 1935, a popular demand was made for Fundamental Rights. But Simon Commission and the Joint Parliamentary Committee had rejected the idea of enacting declaration of Fundamental Rights on the ground that abstract declarations are useless. However, nationalist opinion, since the time of the Nehru Report was in favour of a Bill of Rights. The framers of the Constitution were also especially influenced by the Constitution of United State, France, Irish, Japan, and Burma and by Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations. A Bill of Rights was among the primary tasks for them. Therefore, Part III of the Constitution was discussed for as many 38 days- 11 days in the Sub-Committee, 2 days in the Advisory Committee and 25 days in Constituent Assembly. The final shape to the fundamental rights was given by the Advisory Committee for reporting on minorities, fundamental rights, and on the tribal and excluded areas, under the chairmanship of Sardar Patel, which the Constituent Assembly accepted and adopted (Chakrabarty and Pandey, 2008; 11). They include these rights from Article to 12 to 35 of the constitution, out of which Article 12, 13, 33, 34 and 35 explains about the applicability of the rights that are categories in the articles from 14 to 32.

Fundamental Rights in Indian constitution:

After reading about the genesis of Fundamental Rights in India Constitution, let us see the Rights, those are incorporated in the Constitution as fundamental or basic. In the original constitution, adopted in 1950, there were seven sets of rights, designated as Fundamental. But, in the time of Janata Government in 1978, by forty-fourth amendment to the constitution, the Right to Property was repealed. Since then we, the people of India enjoy six sets of Fundamental Rights. The constitution includes these rights from Article to 12 to 35 of the constitution, out of which Article 12, 13, 33, 34 and 35 explains about the applicability of the rights that are categories in the articles from 14 to 32.Let us see what are those rights in the six categories

1. Right to Equality: Articles 14 to 18 of the constitution deals with Right to Equality.  There are several rights under this category. These rights are-
a)    Equality before Law: According to Article 14 of the constitution the State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within India. The law makes no discrimination or distinction on the basis of status or position of citizen and in like circumstances citizens get like treatment. By equality before law, the constitution describes the negative concepts of law means absence of any special privilege and equal protection of the law is a more positive concept, implying the right to equal treatment in equal circumstances.
                                                   However equality before law does not mean absolute equality or equality among un-equals but among equals. It does not prohibit the classification of person into different groups.

b)Prohibition Against Discrimination: According to Article 15 there should not be any discrimination against a citizen on the ground only of race, religion, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them. No citizen shall on any of these grounds, be denied access to shops, hotels, public restaurant, and places of public entertainment; or the use of wells, tanks, bathing ghats, roads and places of public resort maintained wholly or partly out of State funds or dedicated to the use of the general public.
This Article also says that nothing shall prevent the State from making any special provision for women, children and for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.

c)Equality of Opportunity: Article 16 of the constitution provides for equality of opportunities for all citizens in matters relating to employment or appointment to any office under the state. Citizen shall not, on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, descent, place of birth, residence or any of them, be ineligible for, or discriminated against in respect of, any employment or office in India. The constitution, however, does not debar the Parliament from making any law prescribing essential qualification in regards to a class or classes of employment to any office. It is also laid down that this rights shall not prevent the state from making any provision for reservation in favour of any backward class of citizen which, is not adequately represented.

d)Abolition of Untouchability: The Article 17 of the constitution, for eradicating the evil practice of untouchability in India, abolishes untouchability and makes its practice in any form an offence punishable under the law.

e)    Text Box: Article 18 and Bharat Ratna
A question had arisen whether the Bharat Ratna, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhusan and Padma Shri civilian Awards conferred by the President on Republic Day for outstanding meritorious service were violative of article 18 of the Constitution. Under stay order from Supreme Court, no awards were announced for several years. Awards have since been resumed. The Supreme Court has held that these awards are not titles within the meaning of article 18 and that if any awardee uses the award as a title by suffixing or prefixing it with his or her name, he should forfeit the award (Kashyap, 2011; 117).

 Abolition of Titles: According to the Article 18 of the Constitution, state shall not confer any title, not being a military or academic distinction. It also says that Citizen of India shall not accept any title from any foreign State. Even the non-Indians in the service of Indian State cannot accept titles from foreign State without the permission of the President of India. This provision aims at ensuring equality for all.
         Thus, the constitution, from Article 14 to 18 grants right to equality to the people of India. These rights, along with the provisions of equality, also provide protective discrimination. These are both positive and negative.

2. Right to Freedom: The second set of Rights which we can find in our constitution is Right to Freedom.  Four Articles starting from Article 19 to 22 deals with these rights. Let us see the rights that we can enjoy under these articles.
a)      Six Fundamental Freedoms: In Article 19 of the Constitution we find six basic freedoms of the people. These were originally seven, but 44th amendment omitted the “the right to private property” and leave only six freedoms. According to Article 19 of the constitution all citizens of India shall have the right-
                             (i)            To freedom of speech and expression;
                           (ii)            To assemble peaceably and without arms;
                         (iii)            To form associations or unions;
                         (iv)            To move freely throughout the territory of India;
                           (v)            To reside and settle in any part of the territory of India;  and
                         (vi)            To practice any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business.
These above six freedoms constitute the backbone of the Right to Freedom. These are important for the enjoyment of civil and political liberty. Freedom of speech and expression, freedom of association, freedom of assembly etc are the essential freedom for democracy. You might have heard about Right to Information. The Supreme Court of India has now held that Right to Information is covered by the right to freedom of speech and expression. The are also important for personal liberty.
                                 Though the article proclaimed these rights or freedom but they are not absolute. These freedoms are subject to some reasonable restrictions. For example, the freedom of speech can be restricted on the grounds of defamation, security of state, friendly relations with foreign states, contempt of court, decency or morality, incitement to an offence etc. Freedom of assembly and association can be curtailed on grounds of public order etc. We have seen that many a time we are restricted to move freely throughout the territory of Indi for public interest.

b)       Protection against Arbitrary Conviction: According to Article 20, the Constitution protects against the arbitrary conviction in respect of offences committed to the people. According to the constitution any person shall be convicted of any offence except for violation of a law in force at the time of the commission of the Act charged as an offence, nor be subjected to any penalty greater than that which might have been inflicted under the law in force at the time of the commission of the offence. It also says that no person shall be prosecuted and punished for the same offence more than once and no person accused of any offence shall be compelled to be a witness against himself.

c)       Protection of life and personal liberty: Article 21 of the constitution provides protection to the life and liberty of citizens as well as non-citizens. The Constitution here says that no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law. It provides the right not to be subjected to imprisonment, arrest or physical coercion in any manner without legal justification. Here ‘procedure established by law denotes the awarding of punishment in accordance with law and according to the set procedure.

d)        Right to Education: We may have seen advertisements in different places mentioning the right to education. Article 21A of the constitution deals with it. This Article was added as a new article by the constitution by following 86th Amendment. It provides for free and compulsory education for all children between the age of six to fourteen years.
Text Box: AFSPA
Many of you have heard about Arm Forces Special Power Act. This act empowers the arm forces with the power of arbitrary arrest and it violates some other rights also. In Jammu and Kashmir and North East India, where the Act is imposed restrict the implementation of many Fundamental Rights. Due to its negative face different section of people have been fighting either for withdrawal of the Act or for amendment.
e)       Protection Against Arrest and Detention: Under Article 22, the constitution provides for protection against arbitrary arrest and detention. The constitution lays down that no person who is arrested shall be detained in custody without being informed, as soon as may be, of the grounds for such arrest nor shall he be denied the right to consult, and to be defended by, a legal practitioner of his choice. It also says that Every person who is arrested and detained in custody shall be produced before the nearest magistrate within a period of twenty-four hours of such arrest excluding the time necessary for the journey from the place of arrest to the court of the magistrate and no such person shall be detained in custody beyond the that period without the authority of a magistrate.
                                                               The constitution, however, allows the state the power of curbing individual’s freedom under some exceptional circumstances. For example the Parliament and the legislatures have the power to pass preventive detention acts like TADA, POTA, MISA which can enable the executive to arrest, detain and imprison any person without trail.
Thus we in the constitution     found the right to freedom from article 19 to 22. But most of these are very limited and restricted in nature.

3.  Right Against Exploitation: In Indian Constitution, Articles 23 and 24 deal with the right against exploitation. Exploitation means misuse of services of others with the help of force. This right aims at preventing the exploitation of the weaker sections of the society by a person or by state. The rights available under these two Articles are-
              (i)            Traffic in human beings and begar and other similar forms of forced labour are prohibited and any contravention of this provision shall be an offence punishable in accordance with law.
            (ii)            Text Box: Child in Work
Many of you have seen boys and girls below the age of 14 working in house, hotel, Dhaba etc. This is a violation of this right. Our silence has also contributed in violating this right 

Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from imposing compulsory service for public purposes, and in imposing such service the State shall not make any discrimination on grounds only of religion, race, caste or class or any of them.
          (iii)            No child below the age of fourteen years shall be employed to work in any factory or mine or engaged in any other hazardous employment.
            The parliament has enacted several laws to meet the objective set by these rights. But many a time it is seen that these rights are not enjoyed by the citizen of India.

4. Right to Freedom of Religion: In the preamble we read that secularism is a feature of Indian constitution. This secularism is ensured in the constitution by using the Right to Freedom of Religion. It ensures the positive aspect of secularism. Articles 25 to 28 of the constitution guarantee the right to freedom of religion to the citizen. The four articles of the constitution says that-
a)      Text Box: Popular musician AR Rahman was originally a Hindu but he adopted and practiced Islam using the right to freedom of religion

Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion: article 25 of the constitution provides the freedom of conscience and the right to profess, practice and propagate any religion. This means there is no state religion in India and all religions are equal. People enjoy the right to practice any religion that he or she likes.

b)      Freedom to manage Religious Affairs: In Article 26, the constitution lays down that every religious domination of any section has the right to establish and maintain institutions for religious and charitable purpose, to manage its own affairs in matters of religion, to own and acquire movable and immovable property, and to administer such property in accordance with law.

c)      Freedom as to payment of taxes for promotion of any particular religion: Under Article 27, the constitution lays down that no person shall be compelled to pay any taxes, the proceeds of which are specifically appropriated in payment of expenses for the promotion or maintenance of any particular religion or religious denomination.

d)     Freedom as to attendance at religious instruction or religious worship in certain educational institutions: Under Article 28, the constitution lays three important rights. These are-
                 (i)            No religious instruction shall be provided in any educational institution wholly maintained out of State funds.
               (ii)            However, it does not apply to an educational institution which is administered by the State but has been established under any endowment or trust which requires that religious instruction shall be imparted in such institution.
             (iii)            No person attending any educational institution can be forced to participate in a religious worship that may be conducted in the institution.
This right has certain qualifications. Exercised of this right is subject to public order, morality and health.

5. Cultural and educational rights: We know that India is a country with many languages, religions and cultures. The constitution, by cultural and educational rights provides measures to protect these.  Article 29 and 30 of Indian constitution provide that minority shall have the right to conserve its own language, script, literature and culture. The idea of incorporating the culture and the educational rights in the Constitution is to enable the minorities to conserve their culture. The Constitution guarantees these rights by laying down that-
a)      Right to maintain Language, Script and Culture: Under the Article 29 of the constitution of India it lays down that any section of the citizens residing in India or any part thereof having a distinct language, script or culture of its own shall have the right to conserve the same. The Article also lays that citizens shall not be denied admission into any educational institution maintained by the State or receiving aid out of State funds on grounds only of religion, race, caste, language or any of them.

b)       Right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions: Article 30 of the Constitution admits that all minorities, irrespective of religion or language, shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice. According to the Article in making any law providing for the compulsory acquisition of any property of an educational institution established and administered by a minority, the State shall ensure that the amount fixed by or determined under such law for the acquisition of such property is such as would not restrict or abrogate the right guaranteed. The State shall not also, in granting aid to educational institutions, discriminate against any educational institution on the ground that it is under the management of a minority, whether based on religion or language.
These rights granted under these Article tries to promote culture and education both minorities and majorities of the society in homogeneous way. Based on the philosophy we found in the preamble, these rights ensure every citizens right to equal and uniform behavior of the state toward its citizens culture.

6. Right to Constitutional Remedies: Article 32 of the Constitution of India provides for the enforcement of rights to constitutional remedies. As we know that rights in order to be meaningful must be enforceable and backed by remedies in case of violation. Our constitution therefore not only guarantees certain fundamental rights but under this article providing the right to constitutional remedies also guarantees the right to move to the Supreme Court for its enforcement. The Constitution, by this article ensures that-
               (i)            The right to move the Supreme Court by appropriate proceedings for the enforcement of the fundamental rights.
             (ii)            The Supreme Court shall have power to issue directions or orders or writs like habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto and certiorari, whichever may be appropriate, for the enforcement of any of these rights.
           (iii)            Without prejudice to the powers conferred on the Supreme Court, the Parliament may by law empower any other court to exercise within the local limits of its jurisdiction all or any of the powers exercisable by the Supreme Court for fundamental rights.
          (iv)            This article also says that the right guaranteed by this article shall not be suspended except as otherwise provided for by this Constitution.
According to this Article a citizen can move to the Supreme Court for getting his fundamental rights.

Text Box: Features of Fundamental Rights
We can find the followings as features of Fundamental Rights of Indian Constitution:
1. Elaborative and comprehensive Fundamental Rights.
2. Special Rights for the minorities.
3. Both negative and positive rights.
4. Some Rights are for both Citizen and others and some are only for citizens.
5. Fundamental Rights are not absolute.
6. Constitution also looks at enforcement of the Fundamental Rights.
7. Parliament has the power to amend Fundamental Rights.
8. Provision for suspension of Fundamental Rights.
9. Constitutional superiority of the Fundamental Rights.
10. Fundamental Rights apply not only to the state and its agencies but also to private individuals and organizations.

These six are the fundamental rights guaranteed in part III of the constitution. While looking at these rights we can see that some of them are available for all persons and some of them can be claimed only by the Indian Citizens. For examples- equality before law and equal protection of all laws, protection in respect of conviction for offences, protection of life and personal liberty, free and compulsory education for children of 6-14 years, protection against arrest and detention in certain cases, freedom of religion are for all irrespective their citizenship. On the other hand non discrimination on the ground of religion, race, caste, sex etc. equal opportunity in public employment, freedom of speech, expression are only for citizen of India. 

Features and Significance of Fundamental Rights:

Justice Gajendragadkar described, narrating the significance of Fundamental Rights as the very foundation and cornerstone of the democratic way of life ushered in India by the constitution. It represents the basic values cherished by the people of this country. These were included in the constitution because they are essential for the development of every individual and to preserve human dignity. The democracy will not have any meaning without these rights.
              The Fundamental Rights guaranteed under the constitution not only protects but also prevent gross violation of human rights. These rights emphasize on the fundamental unity of India by guaranteeing to all citizens the access and use of the same facilities, irrespective of background.
We already know that some fundamental rights apply for persons of any nationality and others are available only to the citizens of India. This indicates us how these are so important that even a non citizen must enjoy it. We know that some rights are positive and some are negative.  Fundamental rights primarily protect individuals from any arbitrary state actions, but as some are negative they are enforceable against individuals. For example abolition of Untouchability and prohibition of begar by the constitution check both on state action as well as the action of private individuals. You may have heard about Kasab, who was arrested in Mumbai. He was a non Indian citizen and he was arrested for his unlawful activity. India had not punished or killed him without a trial as the constitution in Fundamental Rights does not permit that. This implies the significance of these rights.
Directive Principles of State Policy:
After knowing about the Fundamental Rights, it is also important for us to know about the guiding principles that are available in the Constitution to direct the state. Dr. BR Ambedkar said about the Directive Principles of State Policies as the “Novel feature” of the Constitution. But what we understand by ‘Directive Principles of State Policies’? What is its significance in the constitution? Where these principles are recorded? What is the History of this Directive Principles of State Policy?
            Directive Principles of State Policy    are non-justiciable but fundamental instructions or guidelines to the government in a state. They are the guidelines to the central and state governments, to be kept in mind while policy and law framing. In Indian Constitution Part IV of the Constitution deal with these principles. These are not enforceable in the court, but the principles laid down therein are basic in the governance of the country. The Constitution of India, from Article 36 to 51 lays down the Directive Principles of State Policy. The Directive Principles of State Policy are the restatement of the ideas stated in the Preamble. They are to serve as institutions to the governments to act in a way so as to promote fraternity and equality and to guarantee justice and liberty to the people.
L.M. Singhvi said about it as Directive principles are the life giving provisions of the Constitution and it constitute the stuff of the Constitution and its philosophy of social justice (Avasthi, 2004; 239). The purpose of these is to secure social and economic justice and equality of opportunity and status. In Article 38 of our Constitution, we can find as “The State shall strive to promote the welfare of the people by securing and protecting as effectively as it may a social order in which justice, social, economic and political, shall inform all the institutions of the national life.” It further explains that “The State shall, in particular, strive to minimize the inequalities in income, and endeavor to eliminate inequalities in status, facilities and opportunities, not only amongst individuals but also amongst groups of people residing in different areas or engaged in different vocations.”

Origin of Directive Principles of State Policy in India:
When we were reading the first chapter of this book, we read about the influence of Irish Constitution to our Constitution. The Directive Principles of State Policy, which we are now talking about, is also influenced by that. In Irish Constitution this Directive Principles of State Policy are known as “Directive Principles of Social Policy”. Besides the Irish Constitution, there are some more sources of origin of Directive Principles of state Policy.  Concept of Welfare State has inspired the members of Constitutional Assembly to come out with Directive Principles of State Policies. When we will read the principles included in the constitution, we will see that Declaration of Right of man proclaimed by France Revolution, American Declaration of Independence, United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the experiences collected from British rule and Indian Freedom Struggle have also directly or indirectly influenced the maker of the constitution for incorporating some directive principles.
Text Box: Directive Principles of Social Policy of Irish Constitution:
Article 45 outlines a number of broad principles of social and economic policy. Its provisions are, however, intended solely "for the general guidance of the Oireachtas", and "shall not be cognisable by any Court under any of the provisions of this Constitution" (preamble to Article 45).
The "Directive Principles of Social Policy" feature little in contemporary parliamentary debates. However, no proposals have yet been made for their repeal or amendment.
The principles require, in summary, that:
• "justice and charity" must "inform all the institutions of the national life".
• Everyone has the right to an adequate occupation.
• The free market and private property must be regulated in the interests of the common good.
• The state must prevent a destructive concentration of essential commodities in the hands of a few.
• The state must supplement private industry where necessary.
• The state should ensure efficiency in private industry and protect the public against economic exploitation.
• The state must protect the vulnerable, such as orphans and the aged.
• No one may be forced into an occupation unsuited to their age, sex or strength.
Source: wikipedia
Directive Principles of State Policy in Indian Constitution:

The Constitution of India has incorporated several types of Directive Principles. These principles largely reflect the philosophy of the Constitution and the Preamble. These principles are however not systematically arranged in the constitution and also not classified in any categories. But for understanding it in better way many scholars have categories it in different categories. Prof M.P Sharma has classified these into three categories, viz. Socialistic, Gandhian and Liberal intellectualistic. Here to understand these principles in a better way, we can classify these into four broader categories, viz. Socialistic principles, Gandhian principles, Liberal principles, and Miscellaneous Principles.

Socialistic principles:

The socialistic category of Directive Principles aims at securing a welfare socialist state. These principles say that state shall endeavor to achieve Social and Economic welfare of the people. Let’s see what are the principles that can be include in this category and in which article they are mentioned.
1.      Article 38 of the Constitution declares that the primary concern of the state is to promote welfare of the people and to create a social order in which social, economic and political Justice is ensured by all the national institution. This principle says that state shall try to secure the welfare of people by securing a just social order.
2.      According to Article 39, the state shall direct its policy towards securing-
Text Box: MGNREGA and DPSP of Socialistic State
The act is to ensure livelihood of rural people.
1. Every rural household has right to work.
2. Inclusion of SC, ST and women in the program.
3. Equal pay for equal work for both man and women.
4. Healthy working condition at work site.
a)     Adequate means of livelihood to all citizens, both men and women.
b)     Distributing the ownership and control of the material resources of the community for common good.
c)     State shall try that the operation of the economic system does not result in the concentration of wealth and means of production to the common detriment.
d)      Based on the principle of equality, securing equal pay for equal work for both men and women.
e)      Securing suitable and healthy employment for men, women and children, so that their health is not undermined. State shall also try to see that citizens are not forced by economic necessity to enter avocations unsuited to their age or strength.
f)      To secure that, children are given opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity and to protect children and youth from exploitation and against moral and material abandonment.
3.      According to Article 41 of the Constitution, the State shall, within the limits of its economic capacity and development, make effective provision for securing the right to work, to education and to public assistance in cases of unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement, and in other cases of undeserved want.
4.      This category also includes the Article 42, where it says that state shall make provisions for securing just and humane conditions of work, and for maternity relief.
5.      According to Article 43, to secure to all workers, work, a living wage, conditions of work ensuring a decent standard of life, and full enjoyment of leisure and social and cultural opportunities. According to Article 43(A) state shall secure participation of workers in the management of industries.
6.      Article 46 directs that the State shall promote with special care the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of the people, and, in particular, of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, and shall protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation.

Overview of Articles of Part IV

Art. 36: Provides the definition of the word “state”.
Art. 37: Non-justiciability of any provision contained in this part of the Constitution.
Art. 38: Mandates the state to strive for the social welfare of the people.
Art. 39: Lists the principles to be followed by the state while carrying out its policy, notably, to provide adequate means of livelihood to people, distribution of resources and prevention of concentration of wealth in few hands.
Art. 39A: Secures equal justice and free legal aid for the people.
Art. 40: Provides for organization of Village Panchayats.
Art. 41: Provides work, education and public assistance to unemployed, sick and old age.
Art. 42: Provides for just and humane conditions of work and maternity relief.
Art. 43: Provides for decent standard of life for all workers.
Art. 43A: Directs to provide participation of workers in management of industries.
Art. 44: Mandates a Uniform Civil Code for whole of the country.
Art. 45: Provides for free and compulsory education.
Art. 46: Directs to work for benefit for backward communities.
Art. 47: Mandates to raise the level of nutrition.
Art. 48: Directs to improve animal husbandry and agriculture.
Art. 48A: Provides for improvement for environment.
Art. 49: Provides for care of monuments.
Art. 50: Separation of Judiciary and Executive.
19. Art. 51: Lays down principles of International policy.
7.       Another Directive Principle lays in this category is that state shall, according to Article 47, do its best to raise the standard of living of its people and the improve public health.

Gandhian principles:

There are certain Directive Principles in the constitution, based on the ideals advocated by Mahatma Gandhi. These Principles are as follows:
1.       Article 40 directs the state to organize Village Panchayats and endow them with adequate powers and authority.
2.       Article 43 directs the state to promote cottage industries on an individual or cooperative basis in rural areas.
3.       Article 46 direct the state that it shall promote with special care the educational and economic interests of the weaker sect ions of the people, and, in particular, of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, and shall protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation.
4.       Gandhian Principle covers Article 47. This article guides state to secure the improvement of public health and the prohibition of intoxicating drinks and drugs.
5.       According to article 48, the State shall preserve and improve the breeds and prohibit the slaughter of cows, calves and other milch and draught cattle.

Liberal principles:

There are some liberal principles also to direct the state in India. These principles are-
1.       The Directive Principles of State Policy in Article 39(A) direct the state to provide free legal aid to the poor so that justice is not denied to any citizen because of poverty.
2.       According to Article 44, the State shall endeavor to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India.
3.       The State shall endeavor to provide, according to Article 45, free and compulsory education for all children until they complete the age of fourteen years.
4.       According to the Article 50, the State shall take steps to separate the judiciary from the executive in the public services of the State.

Miscellaneous Principles:

Suggestion by “National Commission to Review the working of the Constitution”

National Commission setup for reviewing the Constitution suggesting improvement in working of Constitutional mechanism stated that the State should derive appropriate mechanism for realization of Directive Principles. In view of the Commission, there must be a body of high status which first reviews the state of the level of implementation of the Directive Principles and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and in particular, 1) the right to work, 2) the right to health, 3) the right to food, clothing and shelter, 4) right to education upto and beyond the 14th year, 5) the right to culture.
 Apart from the above three categories of Directive Principles, there are some general Directive Principles also. We will read these principles as miscellaneous Directive Principles. This category covers directives related international behavior and other directives. Let us see the directives that we can bring in this category.
1.       The Article 48(A) directs the state for protection and improvement of environment and safeguarding of forests and wild life. According to this article “The State shall endeavor to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wild life of the country.”
2.       Protection of monuments and places and objects of national importance is another directive principle in Indian constitution. According to Article 49, it shall be the obligation of the State to protect every monument or place or object of artistic or historic interest, declared by or under law made by Parliament to be of national importance, from spoliation, disfigurement, destruct ion, removal, disposal or export, as the case may be.
3.       Article 51 directs the state to adopt policies on the basis of following principles-
a)  Promote international peace and security.
b)  Maintain just and honorable relations between nations.
c)  Foster respect for international law and treaty obligations in the dealings of organized peoples with one another.
d)  Encourage settlement of international disputes by arbitration.

Significance of Directive Principles of State Policy:

 Now we learn about the Directive Principles of State Policy. We also know that these are non-justiciable. Still why these principles are so important that we recognized it as an important part of Indian Constitution? Here we will learn about its significance and importance in the constitution.
            Many people have criticized the Directive Principles of State Policy as they do not have constitutional significance. But though these are not enforceable, they have value. Article 37 declares it as fundamental in governance. They guide the Union and the State Legislature in enacting social reform legislation. So, it is their responsibility to implement these principles. According to Article 355 it is the duty of the Union to ensure that the Government of every state is carried on in accordance with the Constitution and as these
Implementation of Directive Principles

1.    Abolition of Zamidari System and Land Reforms.
2.    Rejuvenating Rural and Urban Local Government institutions.
3.    Special Protection of weaker sections of the society- women, children, Backward Caste and Tribes.
4.    Support to Small Scale and Cottage Industries.
5.    Free and Compulsory Education Programs.
6.    Development of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry.
7.    Panchsheel and Non-alignment in International Relation.
8.    National Missions and Programs like NRHM, MGNREGA, SSA, Food Security Bill have been launched to uplift health employment, livelihood, Education etc.
Principles are part of the constitution it is the duty of the Union to see that every State taken proper step for its implementation. Apart from these Constitutional Validity of many laws can be maintained and checked with reference to Directive principles.
 Directive principles guide the future policies of the state and declare the ideal of the welfare state. These Principles ensure continuity in the policies of the government and supplement the fundamental rights and freedom of the people. They constitute a manifesto for securing the socio-economic foundation of India which is pleaded for in the Preamble. The Planning Commissions have accepted these policies as useful guidelines for determining their approaches to national reconstruction and transformation. Talking about Directive Principles of State Policy DD Basu said that it is important both in the matter of administration and law making (Basu, 2011: 151). Dr. B R Ambedkar observed in the Constitution Assembly as “if any Government ignores them, they will certainly have to answer for them before the electorate at the election time” (Avasthi, 2004: 242). Austin observed these as aimed at furthering the goal of social revolution (Basu, 2011: 155).

Fundamental Duties:

We have learned about Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles. But Indian Constitution not only talkes about Rights but also duties. Rights and Duties are related to each other in such a way that the rights of one person entail the duties of another (Borbora in Dutta’s editd, 2011: 94). So, for us it is equally important to know about the Fundamental Duties incorporated in Indian Constitution, while understanding its basic structure.

Fundamental Duties are those moral obligations of all citizen of a country that are necessary to uplift a spirit of patriotism and to uphold the unity of the nation. Western Countries have given less prominence to the duties than the rights, but socialist states give equal importance to both. The international documents, such as, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights give importance to fundamental duties. Apart from India Constitutions of Italy, People’s Republic of China, Netherlands, and Poland etc. also contain duties of the citizens.

            The Original Constitution did not have any definite part on Fundamental Duties of the citizen. These were incorporated in the Constitution in Part IV A by the Forty-second Amendment Act of 1976, during the operation of the proclamation of Emergency. A Committee called Swaran Singh Committee was established in February 1976 for suggesting constitutional reforms and it in May, 1976 besides other things, recommended for incorporation of a list of Fundamental Duties. Though it came belatedly, it does not mean that before the Forty-second Amendment the citizens had no duty. In Article 33, the constitution mentioned some responsibilities of the armed forces. Fundamental Rights in Part III also implied a corresponding duty and obligation of the citizens. But only after this Amendment a separate Part as part IV A was created and 10 Fundamental Duties were included in Article 51 A. These duties are in consonance with article 29(1) of Universal Declaration of Human Rights which says “Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible” (Levin, 2008: 129).

            In support for a list of Fundamental Duties it is said that in post independent India, particularly on the eve of emergency in June, 1975, a section of the people showed zeal in emphasizing the fundamental rights and showed no anxiety to fulfil their fundamental obligations of respecting the established legal order and it is fundamental duties which can sober these anti-national spirit.
            We read that 10 duties were incorporated by 42nd Amendment. But Article 51 A was amended by 86th Amendment and the number of Fundamental duties increased to 11. Let us see the duties that are incorporated in the Constitution as Fundamental to its citizen.
National Flag

 (a) To abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem;
(b) To cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom;
(c) To uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India;
(d) To defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so;
(e) To promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities; to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women;
(f) To value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture;
(g) To protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life, and to have compassion for living creatures;
(h) To develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform;
(i) To safeguard public property and to abjure violence;
(j) To strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavour and achievement;
(k) Who is a parent or guardian to provide opportunities for education to his child or, as the case may be, ward between the age of six and fourteen years.

The above duties these were incorporated with an intension of establish democratic balance. These Duties are important for upholding national integration and for social and cultural development. They also promote rights in parallel. So, these duties are very significant. But as there is no provision in the constitution for direct enforcement of it and nor their in any provision to prevent or punish their violation these are not regarded as significant.


In the introduction part of the chapter we had found some questions that asked structure and philosophy of the constitution, guiding principles of the government, duties of citizen etc. Now after reading about preamble, nature, feature and structure of the constitution, fundamental rights, duties and Directive Principles, we have found that the constitution with a definite structure and philosophy guide the citizen and the government some principles and ensure some rights. But this does not complete our whole understanding of our constitution, Government and Politics of India. In the next few chapters we will read more important issues of Indian political system.


Suggested readings:

2.      Avasthi, A.P (2004), Indian Political System, Educational Publishers, Agra.
3.      Basu, DD (2011), Introduction to the Constitution of India, LexisNexis, Nagpur.
4.      Dutta A.R. (ed: 2011), Political Theory: Issues, Concepts and Debates, Arun, Guwahati.
5.      Kashyap, S.C (2011), Our Constitution: An Introduction to India’s Constitution and Constitutional Law, NBT, New Delhi.
6.      Singh, MP& Saxena, Rekha (2010), Indian Politics: Contemporary Issues and Concerns, PHI, New Delhi.
7.      Levin Leah (2008), Human Rights: Questions and Answers, NBT, New Delhi.
8.  লাহন, থানেশ্বৰ (২০০৭), ভাৰতৰ চৰকাৰ আৰু ৰাজনীতি, তুষাৰ, ডিব্রুগড়।


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