The basic structure of the Indian Constitution
Adding spirit to the democratic form of government, the Constitution of India follows a basic structure which is not only the roots of its construction but also the foundation for amendments and formation of new laws.
Very few know that it took 2years 11months and 18 days precisely in the formation of the Constitution of India. The constituent assembly followed a basic structure while its construction including a preamble, fundamental rights, fundamental duties and directive principles which laid down the true meaning of rights and responsibilities of both the citizens and government of India. Since it’s inspired by the constitutions of the number or other nations Indian constitution is the biggest constitution in the world making it unique.
Apparently, the major idea of the framers was to create it flexible enough to adapt the changes with the time and also rigid enough so that only the necessary amendments can be made. The perk of this formula is for the citizens as the ruling party will not be able to misuse the flexible laws to create new ones according to their own satisfactory policies.
As a father of Indian Constitution B.R. Ambedkar said, “Constitution is not merely a lawyer’s document, but a vehicle of life and its spirit is always the spirit of an age”, it has to change its laws accordingly in order to meet the needs of changed scenario in the society. The basic structure of Doctrine as stated in the Article 368 empowers the Parliament to make amendments by way of addition, variation in any law by the procedure laid down therein, which is completely different from the ordinary legislative procedure.
Components of the Constitution
A preamble is a window to the source of Constitution – “WE THE PEOPLE” hoping for justice, liberty, equality and fraternity for all. It declares India as a socialist, sovereign, secular and democratic republic promoting the unity and integrity of all its citizens.
Fundamental rights are the core rights given to the people as citizens and they are:
- Right to equality
- Right to freedom
- Right against exploitation
- Right to freedom of religion
- Cultural and educational rights
- Right to constitutional remedies.
On the other hand, fundamental duties are some of the duties of the people of India towards its nation like respecting the national flag, respecting national anthem, respecting freedom fighters and soldiers, etc.
The fourth component is the directive principles. Unlike laws these are not imposed rather, they are expected to follow by the people themselves and these are divided into four categories-
According to the Constitution, the power of making laws vests in the hands of the Parliament and the state legislatures. However, if a law violates any provision of the Constitution, the Supreme Court can declare such a law invalid. Whereat first place Article 368 gives the parliament and legislature the absolute right over amendments, Supreme Court manages to overtake that right by preserving the original ideals of the constitution formed by its framers.
The apex court protects the laws and rights to not get distorted or damaged while alteration done by the Parliament. The phrase ‘basic structure’ itself does not exist in the Constitution but got recognized by the Supreme Court first time in the historic Kesavananda Bharati case in 1973.