Constitution of India

India is a Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic Republic. It has a parliamentary form of Government. The constitution of India was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on 26th November 1949. However, it came into force on 26th January 1950.

Salient Features

l. The constitution of India is both rigid and flexible. 2. It is the longest constitution in the world. 3. It proclaims that the people are sovereign. 4. It has adopted the parliamentary form of government. 5. It is united in but Federal in form. 6. It reconciles Parliamentary Sovereignty with judicial supremacy. 7. It provides Fundamental Rights and their Constitutional remedies. 8. It has introduced a universal franchise. 9. It establishes an independent judiciary comprising provisions for judicial review. 10. It incorporates Directive principals of State Policy.

Fundamental Rights

The Constitution of India guarantees the following fundamental rights (basic rights and freedoms) to all its citizens.

l. The right to equality before the law. It provides equal opportunities to the people belonging to different religions, races, sex or place of birth. It also prohibits discrimination of any sort in the matters of seeking education or jobs. 2. The right to freedom of speech and expression. The citizens of India have the right to practice any profession or occupation. They have also the freedom of association and movement. 3. The right against exploitation. It prohibits the practices of forced labor, child labor, and traffic in human beings. 4. The right of freedom to follow the faith and religion of one’s own choice. 5. The right of freedom to minorities to conserve their culture, language or script. They can also establish educational institutions of their choice. 6. ‘[he right to constitutional remedies for the enforcement of Fundamental Rights.

Fundamental Duties

The Constitution of India enjoins certain fundamental duties upon the citizens. They must abide by the Constitution and defend their country. They must render national service in the hour of need. They must promote the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India. They must transcend all the sectional, regional, linguistic and religious diversities.

Parliamentary Form of Government

India follows the Parliamentary system of government. The actual power rests in the Prime Minister. fie heads the cabinet which is collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha. The president is the Head of the Executive at the center. The real power in the states is vested in the Council of Ministers, headed by the Chief Minister, The Council of Ministers is accountable to the Legislative Assembly. The governor is the Head of the Executive in the state.

The Cabinet of Ministers at the Centre takes all the decisions in the name of the President. It continues in office as long as it enjoys the confidence of the majority of the members of the Lok Sabha.

Directive Principles

The directive principles of state policy aimed at securing social justice and minimizing inequalities among individuals and groups. They are not justiciable. They are a sort of ideas for running the administration. They are helpful in taking the country to the goal of peace, progress, and prosperity.

Citizenship

The constitution of India provides for single citizenship, i.e. the citizenship of India. The principle of one citizen-one vote is in fashion without any discrimination of caste, creed, community, region, language, sex, etc.

Fundamental Rights

The Constitution of India guarantees the following fundamental rights (basic rights and freedoms) to all its citizens.

l. The right to equality before the law. It provides equal opportunities to the people belonging to different religions, races, sex or place of birth. It also prohibits discrimination of any sort in the matters of seeking education or jobs. 2. The right to freedom of speech and expression. The citizens of India have the right to practice any profession or occupation. They have also the freedom of association and movement. 3. The right against exploitation. It prohibits the practices of forced labor, child labor, and traffic in human beings. 4. The right of freedom to follow the faith and religion of one’s own choice. 5. The right of freedom to minorities to conserve their culture, language or script. They can also establish educational institutions of their choice. 6. ‘[he right to constitutional remedies for the enforcement of Fundamental Rights.

Fundamental Duties

The Constitution of India enjoins certain fundamental duties upon the citizens. They must abide by the Constitution and defend their country. They must render national service in the hour of need. They must promote the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India. They must transcend all the sectional, regional, linguistic and religious diversities.

Parliamentary Form of Government

India follows the Parliamentary system of government. The actual power rests in the Prime Minister. fie heads the cabinet which is collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha. The president is the Head of the Executive at the center. The real power in the states is vested in the Council of Ministers, headed by the Chief Minister, The Council of Ministers is accountable to the Legislative Assembly. The governor is the Head of the Executive in the state.

The Cabinet of Ministers at the Centre takes all the decisions in the name of the President. It continues in office as long as it enjoys the confidence of the majority of the members of the Lok Sabha.

Directive Principles

The directive principles of state policy aimed at securing social justice and minimizing inequalities among individuals and groups. They are not justiciable. They are a sort of ideas for running the administration. They are helpful in taking the country to the goal of peace, progress, and prosperity.

Citizenship

The constitution of India provides for single citizenship, i.e. the citizenship of India. The principle of one citizen-one vote is in fashion without any discrimination of caste, creed, community, region, language, sex, etc.

Democracy in India

Democracy in ancient societies meant only political democracy. The number of citizens included some feudal lords and the rich people alone. They alone enjoyed the right to participate in government/administration. The slaves who were in majority did hot enjoy any rights. Democracy was only for the masters who ran the administration for their own interests. Modern democracy means that the entire power of deciding the administrative policies and running the government lies in the hands of the people/citizens. People/citizens enjoy equal rights. They participate in running the administration directly or indirectly.

The government is of the people, for the people, and by the people. The representatives of the people form laws in the legislative’s bodies, keeping in view the good of the people. All the people above a particular age are deemed as citizens. They have equal and full rights to take part in the political activities of the country regardless of their caste, creed, sex or status. Modern democracies are indirect democracies. The citizens run the government through their elected representatives who make laws and run the government. They are held responsible to the public for their activities and functions. There is a great difference between the ruled and the rulers.

The people can remove their representatives from office if they fail to come up to their expectations. Modern democracy is based on the principle of equality and liberty. The people are the real source of power in it. All the citizens enjoy equal rights in every sphere in it. No one can remain in power forever. Elections are held periodically after fixed and specified periods in a modern democracy. Authorities get transferred according to the decisions of elections.

All the citizens can contest elections, can exercise the right to vote or can hold an office under the government without any discrimination of any kind. India, the U.S.A and England have ‘Indirect democracies’. India is the largest democracy in the world. She is fraught with the largest number of problems. The illiterate Indian citizens are misled by shrewd politicians. As a result, they elect the wrong type of representatives. The elected representatives spread nepotism and lawlessness and grow their bank balance. The wolves in sheep’s clothing resort to bribery. Corruption and misuse of powers etc.

Nobody is willing to work in the public interest due to a lack of rational and nationals’ character. The narrow barriers of provincialism, communalism, and criticism have created a nation-wide vicious atmosphere. The lingual disputes are splitting up the nation into petty units. On getting elected, the corrupt and selfish people unhinge the democratic set up of a country. Selfish people exploit poor folk by misusing them. their franchise (buying their votes. The citizens lack feelings of patriotism and national unity. Some shrewd politicians change the political parties at will when their vested interest is at stake. This practice of defection makes the administration unstable. It also gives a heavy setback to the progress of democracy. The voters should be very vigilant in casting their valuable votes and electing dedicated and devoted representatives. The political parties must be formed on the basis of national feelings. Defections should be banned. The feelings of freedom, brotherhood and equality must be preached to weed out immoral ideas from the heads and hearts of the people. A sound public opinion should be formed through media.

These measures if adapted in the right earnest would solve the problems of democracy a great deal. The overdue government control should also be softened and local self-governing bodies should be empowered to take decisions over local issues.

Fundamental Rights and Duties of Citizen of India

The citizens of India enjoy certain rights that are necessary for the development of their human personality. The rights enable the people of a free and democratic nation to lead a happy and honorable life. The basic conditions or most important rights of the citizens which are provided in the Indian Constitution are known as fundamental rights. The citizens need them in order to live and act democratically.

They are also considered necessary for the all-round development of an individual’s personality. The legislature and the executive cannot override fundamental rights. Even the government cannot take away or curtail them. A citizen has the right to go to the court of law (the Supreme Court) if he/she is denied these rights.

The fundamental rights ensure all such civil liberties or freedoms to an individual which enable him to live happily in a democracy. They provide equality of status and opportunity to all the citizens irrespective of their caste, religion, sex or race. They protect the citizens from exploitation by an individual or the state. The constitution safeguards the fundamental rights of minority communities.

Every citizen enjoys the right to freedom of religion and the right to cultural and educational freedom. the fundamental rights are not absolute. The. the constitution does not allow anybody to misuse them. The aliens do not enjoy the right to speech and expression or the freedom to speak in any part of India. The fundamental rights are justiciable. They may be curbed or suspended in times of emergency imposed in the country.

The citizens are allowed to practice the religion of their choice and worship in their own way. The religious communities can set up charitable institutions and run educational institutions by such charities. However, the slate can impose restrictions on the freedom of religion in the interest of public order. The communities in minority have the right to preserve their culture. language and script by setting up educational institutions.

All the citizens are equal before law within the territory of law. All citizens of India can become employees of the state. The practice of untouchability is made an offense. The state cannot award any titles based on caste or religion. Only military and academic degrees can be conferred by the state. The state ‘ cannot discriminate against a citizen on the basis of religion, race, sex, etc. However, it can provide special protection and make special provisions for women and children; scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, and backward classes. This is called ‘protective discrimination.’

The citizens are free to express their opinions freely on different matters orally (through speech) or through the press. They can assemble peacefully to exchange their views and to form public opinion. They can also form associations as per their needs and aspirations. They can move freely throughout the territory of India and reside or settle in any part of the country.

They can follow any occupation, trade or business of their choice for their livelihood. But these freedoms can be restricted by our constitution in the interest of morality or integrity of the nation. Our constitution bans traffic in human beings. Bonded labor has been declared a crime and is punishable by law. Children below the age’ of fourteen years cannot be forced to work. They cannot be employed in factories, mines or risky occupations.

Nobody can be illegally arrested or wrongfully detained by the government. Rights without duties are meaningless. The fundamental duties serve guidelines to/for the citizens. The citizens are expected to follow a code of conduct to help the government in performing its diverse duties and promoting ideas of brotherhood, unity, co-operation, etc. It is the duty of the citizens of India to abide by the constitution and to respect its ideals and institutions.

To cherish the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom, to uphold the sovereignty of India, to defend the honor and public property of the country, to promote common brotherhood to preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture, to improve the natural environment, to develop scientific temperament and to strive for excellence in all spheres of national activities are also the duties of the citizens of India.

The Human Rights

Every human being is born with certain basic rights, such as life, health, freedom, justice, and protection against exploitation and crime. These rights are not granted by anyone or the government but are inherent with every person, irrespective of caste, creed, color or poverty. However, it is not mankind, especially the victims of war, prisoners, slaves, apartheid, poor and illiterates. The human rights are often violated by the individuals, police, military and even the government.

Taking cognizance of this fact and concerned with the offense at the international level, the United Nations, on 10th December 1948, adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It enumerates the basic human rights, namely the right to free speech, freedom of movement, judicial rights and rights to take part in the governance of their country. The Social and Economic Rights include the right to equality without any discrimination of sex, caste, creed, race or color. Further, human rights include the right to live with dignity, right to rest and recreation and right of equal pay for equal work.

Reservation

The Caste System is age-old and deep-rooted in India. There are uncountable segmental divisions in Indian Society. The members of each caste usually followed their ancestral occupations rigidly until recently. The situation has changed a great deal now. A large number of young people belonging to even scheduled castes or backward tribes are taking up the non-traditional occupations nowadays. The second ‘Backward Classes’. Commission was appointed by the Janata Government on January l. 1979 under the chairmanship of B. P. Mandal.

The commission had submitted its report on December 3 L 1980. The Prime Minister. Mr. V. P. Singh made an announcement in Parliament on August 7, 1990, in the year of social justice that his government would implement the decision of reservation of 27% jobs in services under Public undertakings and Central government. He declared that the socially and educationally backward classes belonging to both the Mandal list as well as the state lists will be benefited. The new quota of reservation was nicknamed as ‘a political gimmick. The V. P. Singh’s Government toppled down for want of political vision.

The P. V. Narasimha Rao’s Government included the economic factor in job-reservation policy because reservation on a pure caste basis would curb the edge of social justice. It would also include the poor section in the forward classes. The forward classes will also have ample scope to come forward through open competitions as usual. This decision was also criticized as unconstitutional. The quota case was referred to as a nine-judge Constitution Bench.

The government had been directed to make clear its stand on economic criteria and how it would implement the job quota. The Indian Government. has reserved employment quota for the persons belonging to scheduled castes and backward tribes in all the fields. It has provoked the anti-reservation stir and has spread a wave of revengeful dissatisfaction in the hearts of caste-ridden Hindus who consider the caste-system as a healthy institution. They demand the scrapping of reservation on the following grounds:

l. The reservation would promote caste rivalry and would cause national disintegration because meritorious people would be denied the chances of seeking employment and promotions. It would chill the enthusiasm of the people belonging to high castes who are superior in manners, techniques, personalities, and perspectives needed for success in the upper reaches of the occupational hierarchy.

2. The caste disparity is based on injustice. It would cause a rebellious attitude and an atmosphere of riots in the society if the undeserving and inefficient lower strata of society enjoy an upper hand over the competent higher sections of the society.

3. This unfair utilization of national economic resources is against the norms of the secular state.

4. Reservations have a sectarian basis. Therefore, it would promote casteism and the practice of untouchability which has been declared as a crime in the Indian constitution and has been abolished.

5. Democracy can never nourish because caste feelings will make the atmosphere vicious and venomous.

The founder of Reservation consider the agitations as fanatics, seditionists, and secessionists. They give the following plea in support of their claim for reservations.

l. The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes form 22.5 percent of the Indian population. Only 7 percent of them are in government service. Only 6 percent of them are educated. The number of their officers is only 25 per cent of the posts reserved for them and only 4 percent of their personnel have been appointed against the positions reserved for them at top-ranking cadres.

2. The Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe candidates are in a scanty number. Therefore, they cannot grab the employment and promotional opportunities of the persons belonging to high castes.

3. The Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe candidates cannot procure technical degrees and the required job experience for technical posts. There-ore, the advertisement of such posts for them is only a befooling eye-wash. Opportunities should be created for S. C’s and S. T’s to raise their economic levels and adequate means of livelihood and self-sufficiency should be provided to them. The new government has’ further extended the reservation for another ‘O years and is ready to curb the stirs and challenges boldly. It would also be in the fitness of things that a national debate should be initiated on the proposed reservation policy. It should be spearheaded by the representatives of students and the thinkers. The political gods should not be allowed to exploit the situation. The government should be ready to implement the consensus.

Secularism in India

India was declared a ‘Republic’ on 26th January 1950. It is a Sovereign, Socialist and Secular Democratic Republic. Our constitution guarantees Indian citizens full freedom in matters of religious faith. It also grants the citizens the fundamental right to freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion. Indian secularism is fraught with ambiguity. India’s secular character means that there is no state religion.

The government is neither prejudiced nor against any particular sect or religion. All the religions and their followers are equal in the eyes of the law. There is no discrimination whatsoever on the basis of creed, caste, race, sex, faith or religion, etc. between one person and the other. Without any bias, the government regards religion and its practice as the Citizen’s personal affair.

Nevertheless, India is neither irreligious nor anti-religion. Rather it is neutral in the matter, of different faiths. Our country is inhabited by the Hindus, the Sikhs, the Jains, the Jews, the Buddhists. the Muslims, the Christians, the Parsis, and others. All of them follow their respective religions. We can call India a secular country because the diversity of religions is a unique feature of India. There is religious tolerance, amity, and feeling of oneness- in spite of large variety. Many different faiths and religions have ever existed in India. Even in Hinduism, we find numerous sects following diverse practices, rites, and rituals. Sometimes we notice a wide difference between one sector and the other.

Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism were born in India. Though the majority of the Indian population follow Hinduism yet the followers of other religions to enjoy rights and privileges at par with them. Buddhism and Jainism are the offshoots of Hinduism. These religions revolted against many irrelevant rites and rituals. The Mohammedans form the largest religious minority in India. Christianity is older than Islam in India. The Parsis sought refuge in India in the 8th century. The Jews came still earlier about two thousand years ago. It shows that our country has been the place of many faiths and’ religions from the very beginning. Though India is secular yet it is profoundly religious.

Every citizen enjoys the freedom of faith and worship provided it does not interfere in others’ religious freedom. 9 The Indian society provides the same equality before the law even to atheists as it provides to the fanatics who profess certain faiths and religions. According to Nehru, ‘Secularism stands for a single national outlook and equal reverence and tolerance for different faiths.’ Mahatma Gandhi, the father of our nation was deeply religious. At the same time, he had great respect for all the faiths and religions. According to him, religious and communal tolerance and harmony are the basis of true secularism. There is no denying the fact that no religion propounds hatred or animosity. Different religions are like different routes leading to the same ultimate reality. All religions aim at man’s salvation and spiritual elevation.

Different religions call the same God with different names. The father of the Indian Constitution believed that religion is personal. The people of India are secular and peaceful and the communal hatred is mainly due to the selfish and parochial interests of certain narrow-minded political parties. They perpetuate communal disharmony and earn votes from different communities.

Freedom Of Press

In a democracy like India, the Press has a very significant role. A free, frank and fearless press is essential not only in a democracy but in every other form of Government. This powerful ‘Fourth Estate’ of democracy creates a positive and constructive impression on the minds of the people. The collective presentation of news and information keeps the people in touch with what goes in and around the country or the world.

The newspapers are responsible not only for putting forth the achievements of the administrators but also for being the best means of communication of views and opinion between the Government and the masses. A bold presentation of the right news, views, information, and reports help in the formation of a healthy public opinion. The truthful and objective reporting strengthens the bond among the people. Certain newspapers indulge in Yellow journalism. The baseless scoops based news and the effects to create exciting news harm the image of the Press.

Certain newspapers add to the communal feelings which lead to hatred among communities causing religious riots. They poison the thinking rather than unite the people on humanitarian grounds. Such newspapers should be banned. A free press should work for a united cause. In a democratic society, the Press should uphold and support a just and righteous cause. It is a hue that if the Press is not free how can it be possible to stand and fight for the rights and liberties Of the citizens belonging to different sections of the society.

A free Press indicates a free-thinking, independent nation and a liberal outlook. Then alone grows the feeling of brotherhood, love and sharing. The Press should work for the interest of the nation. The wrong deeds of the Government should also be criticized to bring about healthy changes.

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NewsPaper

Twentieth-century is an age of newspapers. They have become a part and parcel of our life. Early in the morning when we get up, we want bed tea. But at the same time, we wait for the newspaper boy. Without reading it, we feel as if we have missed something very useful. The newspaper has a number of uses. It gives us the latest news about our country and foreign countries. Sitting at home, we can know what is happening in our country and other countries.

It not only gives us news but also views and reviews. Through it, we can learn the thoughts and opinions of others. It is also a source of amusement. When we feel dull, we can read a story, a humorous essay can amuse ourselves. It is our companion at home and also in our journey. It is a source of advertisement and propaganda. Businessmen carry on their propaganda through it. If a person is unemployed, he can read the vacancy columns, film fans can the film announcement and a businessman can read the rates of the different articles. In the words of Late Pt. Nehru, the newspaper is our master. It educates us. It molds public opinion and educates the masses. It inspires us and informs us. It is a link between the people and the government.

Through it, we can carry our voice to the government and get out grievances redressed. It safeguards the interests and rights of the people. During the election days, it plays an important part by publishing the policy and program of different parties. It is a bridge that links one country with the other. It can make a leader or unmake him. Without it, we are just like the frog out of a well.

To Live Together

Since the beginning of human life on earth man always had a quest for growth and development. This is a natural tendency of man. Everyone strives to fulfill the development of his or her mental, physical, spiritual, emotional and social worlds.

Mental development is an aspect of knowledge. Physical development means having a healthy body and keeping fit. Spiritual and emotional development deals with the feeling of love, values, and beliefs. An important aspect of development is man’s relationship with family and society. Everyone is interdependent in a society. It is a friend and relatives who give the purpose of life, of love and respect. Man’s existence is based on those relationships.

One with faith another can have a wonderful life. Everyone has the same goal in society, but they have a difference in thoughts, culture, customs, and religion. There is unity in diversity and diversity in unity. Respect for freedom of one’s own faith, customs and culture is the basic need for togetherness. Because people have a right to their own minds; because this earth belongs to all of us. Because the time has come for all of us; to stand together, to work together and to enjoy life together.

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