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Fedralism Essay

4865 words - 20 pages

EMERGING CHALLENGES TO THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA:
FEDERAL STRUCTURE
-ASHUTOSH SHANKAR

INTRODUCTION

India i.e. Bharat shall be a Union of States says Art. 1 of the Constitution of India.
It is also stipulated in the Constitution that India i.e. Bharat shall be a Union of States and the territories and such other territories as may be acquired. The constitution thus, postulates India as a Union of States and consequently, the existence of the federal structure of governance for this Union of States becomes a basic structure of the Constitution of India. All the provisions made in this Constitution are, therefore, liable to be so interpreted as will protect, if not enhance, and ...view middle of the document...

In this regard Prof. Wheare made an important observation that for the existence of a federal principle, it is important that the power of governance is divided between co- ordinate and independent authorities.
Further, an examination of the U. S. Constitution shows that the principle of organization upon which it is based, (the federal principle) is that the field of government is divided between a general authority and regional authorities which are not subordinate to one another.
It is also said that for the in order to be called ‘federal’, it is not necessary that the Constitution should adopt the federal principle completely. It is enough if the federal principle is the predominant principle in the Constitution.
In India, we say that the federal principle is dominant in our Constitution.
Keeping this framework of ‘federalism’ in mind, we next move to state that there are three basic organs of governance, they being: Executive, Legislature and Judiciary.
Now when we say that a country has federal features of governance, it must be understood that the federal principle is present in all these three organs of the government. If it be not so then in actual practice the principle of federalism will be watered down. This is because if the component units themselves do not follow the mandates of the Constitution, then the entire federal structure would lose its significance or rather would not even qualify to be called as federal in nature.

INDIAN CONDITION PRIOR AND AFTER INDEPENDENCE

India became independent in 1947. Its parliament, also serving as a Constituent Assembly
(CA), drafted the new constitution that came into effect on January 26, 1950, establishing the federal union of India.

India is the 7th largest country by geographic area, 2nd most populous, 4th largest in GDP (Purchasing Power Parity), has the 3rd largest military force 1, and is the 12th largest economy in the world. India is a republic consisting of 28 states and seven unions with a parliamentary form of democracy. A country the size of a continent, with an area of 13,654,000 sq. miles,

“India is comprised of 16 percent Dalits, known as scheduled castes. Around 8 percent of the population belongs to one of 461 indigenous adivasi groups. Many Indians speak more than one language. The Indian census lists 114 languages (22 of which are spoken by one million or more persons) that are further categorized into 216 dialects (mother tongues) spoken by 10,000 or more speakers. There is significant cultural diversity within the nation, as 40% of the population belongs to disadvantaged groups; i.e. the scheduled castes (11.6%) and scheduled tribes (31.8%).”

An estimated 850 languages are in daily use, and the Indian Government officially lists 1,652 dialects. The teaching of Hindi and English is compulsory in most states and union territories. Twenty-two languages are legally recognized by the constitution for various political, educational, ethnic -cultural,...

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