Whenever we talk about the Constitution of India, The First thing which comes in our mind is the lengthiness of our Constitution which is also one of the salient features of Indian Constitution. In this post, we will discuss and try to cover all the salient features of the constitution in brief.
We will go point to point and try to cover almost all the features one by one. So, let's start with our first point/feature of the Constitution of India. I'll try to keep it as simple as possible so that if you read this blog even once, you could be able to fetch all the details in one shot.
Hand-written Constitution: Our Indian Constitution is a handwritten constitution. It is neither printed nor typed. That's really amazing to know that such a lengthy document is handwritten and there is no doubt, it's written with utmost perfection.
Federal Policy Of India: It is the second salient features of Indian Constitution . The Constitution of India is Quasi-Federal in nature. It means, Our constitution is neither totally federal nor totally unitary. This is because our constitution carries the features of both the federal and unitary policies. Some of the federal features which are constitution carries are a division of powers, an independent judiciary, supremacy of the constitution, Bicameralism, Two government, and rigidity of the constitution.
Along with that our constitution also carries the unitary features like emergency provisions, integrated judiciary, single citizenship, single constitution, All India services, and appointment of state governor by the center.
Even after carrying so many features of federal policy, The Indian constitution does not use 'Federal State' rather it uses 'Union Of States'. There is a distribution of powers between the central and state government. Such distribution is compulsory for a country like India. In order to differentiate and distribute the powers among the central and state governments, Three lists are mentioned for the same :
Language Policy: This is also one of the important features among the salient features of Indian Constitution. Hindi and English are the official languages of India. As we know, there are many languages in India, So in order to provide equal importance to all the languages which come from diverse rich cultures of India, There is a policy that any state can adopt its local language as the official language of that particular state. In fact, In Article 343 (1) of the Constitution of India, it is provided that Hindi shall be the official language of the Union.
Well, If we talk about the Hindi language in the current scenario, Then we can notice that under the present government Hindi language is being pushed to get a common status and recognition over the country as a whole. According to a tweet made by our Hon'ble Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah: "I want to appeal to people to promote their native languages but also use Hindi to make the dream of Bapu (Mahatma Gandhi) and Sardar (Vallabhbhai) Patel of one language come true", which was tweeted on Hindi Diwas 2019.
Unique Blend Of Partly Rigid And Partly Flexible: In order to understand that how our constitution is partly rigid and partly flexible, First we need to understand " what is rigid and flexible in terms of the constitution? ". Basically, the parameter of scaling a constitution for its rigidity and flexibility is based on the procedure of the amendment. In simple words, If the process of amendment of the constitution is easy then it's flexible in nature and if the process of amendment is complex or difficult then it's rigid in nature.
Now, since we are clear with the concept of rigidity and flexibility of a constitution, So let's head towards our constitution and understand how this feature fits in salient features of Indian constitution.
If we talk about the Constitution of India, it's neither rigid nor flexible, Confused?? . Let's understand this briefly.
Our constitution is a mixture or you can say a blend of both, It means it's partly rigid and partly flexible. The reason behind this nature of our constitution is because of the process of the amendments. In some cases, our constitution can be amended by just a simple majority of the parliament like in the case of 'creation of a new state in India', While in some cases it needs to amended by the special majority of the parliament. for example, the removal of judges of the Supreme Court and High Court needs a special majority as per Article 368 of the Indian Constitution.
Parliamentary Form Of Government: This feature is third among the salient features of Indian constitution. India has a parliamentary form of government. The parliamentary form of government has some features like :
The leadership of the Prime Minister
Dissolution of Lower House
Confidentiality of procedure
Coordination between Legislature and Executive
Fundamental Rights: One of the most important salient features of Indian constitution is our constitution provides fundamental rights to their citizen. There are six fundamental rights provided by the Constitution of India :
Right to equality
Right to freedom
Right against exploitation
Right to freedom of religion
Cultural and educational rights
Right to constitutional remedies
Fundamental Duties: This is the most important feature among the salient features of Indian Constitution. It's quite obvious that rights come with duties or responsibilities. Well in the original form of the constitution there was no evidence of fundamental duties. It was the time of emergency in the year 1975, after which the fundamental duties were adopted by the Constitution of India by the 42nd constitutional amendment act of 1976. Some examples of the fundamental duties added by this amendment are :
To respect Indian Constitution
To respect National Flag
To respect National Anthem
To protect sovereignty, Integrity, and unity of the country and many more.
There is a total of 11 Fundamental duties after the last addition of fundamental duty by the 86th Constitutional Amendment Act 2002.
Single Citizenship: India provides a single citizenship policy. It means, even if you are born or belongs to any state of the country, you will be treated as an Indian. Basically, the idea behind this single citizenship is to abolish discrimination on any ground by giving equal importance and recognition to all the citizens of the country to be called Indians and enjoy the same rights and duties all over the country.
Emergency Provisions: Another feature among the salient features of Indian Constitution is the provision of emergency provided by the Constitution of India. When the government is incapable of handling the unforeseen situation, Emergency provisions are implemented accordingly. There are three types of emergencies :
National Emergency (Article 352)
State Emergency (Article 356)
Financial Emergency (Article 360)
Universal Adult Franchise: This feature of the Constitution of India provides that any person who is not less than 18 years of age has the right to vote irrespective of their caste, religion, sex, financial condition, literacy, etc. In short, on any of the grounds, no one can discriminate against any Indian citizen for their voting rights. Indian democracy functions on "One person one vote".
Independent Judiciary: Indian Judiciary is free to function without any influence or interruption of any of the bodies either it's Executive or Legislative.
Derived From Many Resources: Many provisions of the Constitution of India are borrowed from the different constitutions of other countries.
These were the Salient features of Indian Constitution that distinguish it from the constitutions of other countries.