The Philosophy Of The Constitution Class 11 Notes Political Science Chapter 10 - CBSE
Chapter : 10
What Are The Philosophy Of The Constitution ?
What Does "Philosophy Of The Constitution" Mean?
- We must first comprehend how the Constitution is conceptually organised. Which does this imply? for example, what could the terms "rights," "citizenship," "minority," and "democracy" signify in the context of the Constitution?
- A coherent vision of society and politics must also be developed, conditional upon how the fundamental ideas of the Constitution are interpreted. The set of values embodied in the Constitution has to be better understood.
- In order to clarify and bring to a higher theoretical plane the justification of values ingrained in the Constitution, the Indian Constitution must be studied in conjunction with the Constituent Assembly debates, according to our final point. If there isn't a thorough defence of a value, a philosophical discussion of that value is incomplete. There must have been a matching set of reasons when the Constitution's authors decided
to use a certain set of values to govern Indian society and governance. Nevertheless, a lot of them might
not have had adequate justifications.
Why in Need ?
A political philosophy approach to the Constitution is required in order to assess its claims, as well as to determine the moral content it expresses. It may also be used to mediate disputes about how various groups
of people perceive the numerous fundamental principles that underpin our politics.
Constitution as a Tool for Democratic Change
- Offer democratic, nonviolent means for bringing about social change. Additionally, constitutions represent
and announce the first actual exercise of political self-determination for a previously colonised people.
- Constitutions exist not merely to restrain those in power but also to empower those who have historically
been denied it.
- The Indian Constitution was created to break the bonds of traditional social hierarchies and to usher in a new era of freedom, equality, and justice. Constitutions can empower disadvantaged individuals to advance
the common good.
What Political Philosophy Underpins Our Constitution?
- This philosophy resists any single label because it is liberal, democratic, egalitarian, secular, and federal;
open to community values; sensitive to the needs of religious and linguistic minorities; sensitive to the needs of historically disadvantaged groups; and committed to fostering a sense of national identity.
- In other words, it is committed to freedom, equality, social justice, and some form of national unity.
- But underneath it all, there is a definite focus on democratic and peaceful actions to carry out this philosophy.
- The Constitution's commitment to individual freedom is the first thing to highlight. Recall Rammohan Roy's
protests against the British colonial state's restrictions on press freedom.
- This fundamental right was intended to be restricted by the terrible Rowlatt Act, which the national movement fiercely resisted.
- Individual rights are always given priority by classical liberalism over calls for social fairness and communal
- The Indian Constitution's liberalism differs from this version in two ways.
- First, social justice was always a factor. The Constitution's reserving clause for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes serves as the best illustration of this. The authors of the Constitution recognised that merely granting these people the right to equality would not be sufficient to end the long-standing injustices they
had experienced or to give their right to vote any meaningful significance.
- To further their interests, special constitutional provisions were needed. Because of this, the constitution's
authors included a number of unique provisions to safeguard the interests of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, including the reservation of seats in legislatures. In accordance with the Constitution, certain groups were also eligible for job reservations by the government.
Respect for Diversity and Minority Rights
- The Indian Constitution promotes intercommunity respect on an equal footing.
- This was challenging in our nation because, first of all, relationships between communities are not
necessarily equal; rather, they frequently have hierarchical relationships (as in the case of caste).
- Second, these societies often turn into rivals when they do see each other as equals (as is the case with religious communities).
- It was crucial to prevent any community from consistently eroding the rights of others. This made recognising community-based rights in our Constitution a requirement.
- One such privilege is the ability of religious groups to form and manage their own educational institutions.
- The Indian Constitution has always been secular; the word "secular" was not used in the beginning.
- The traditional, western understanding of secularism is the mutual exclusion of the State and religion in order to defend values like individual liberty and citizenship rights.
- By mutual exclusion, we mean that religion and State should not interfere with one another's internal matters. The State must refrain from interfering in matters of religion, and religion also has no business dictating how the State should act or conduct itself. In other words, mutual exclusion dictates that State and religion be kept tightly separate.
- Therefore, the State must refrain from assisting religious organisations in order to safeguard the right to practise any religion. Nevertheless, the government shouldn't interfere with religious organisations' decision-making.
Rights of Religious Groups
All religious communities in India are granted rights under the Indian Constitution, including the right to found and operate their own educational institutions. In India, the term "religious freedom" refers to a person's or a group's freedom to practise any religion. By providing funding to religiously affiliated educational institutions, the State might also assist religious communities. Depending on whatever course of action advances values like freedom and equality, the State may support or oppose religious communities.
- First off, the Indian Constitution demonstrates a belief in political discussion. The arguments in the Assembly, however, clearly demonstrate that the Constitution's farmers aimed to be as inclusive as possible in their
design. This open-ended strategy shows people's willingness to alter their current preferences, or, to put it
another way, to defend actions in light of reasons rather than self-interest. It also demonstrates a readiness to see the creative value in difference and debate.
- It also demonstrates an attitude of flexibility and compromise. Compromise and flexibility should not always be viewed with contempt. Not every compromise is a mistake.
Three objections of the Indian Constitution that can be briefly noted are:
- It is cumbersome.
- It is unrepresentative.
- It is foreign to our circumstances.
- The argument that it is cumbersome is predicated on the idea that a nation's whole constitution must be contained in a single, manageable document.
- The fact is that a country's constitution is to be distinguished from other written documents with constitutional status and from compact documents.
- In the case of India, many of these practices, details, and statements are contained in a single document,
which has resulted in that document being somewhat large in size.
- Here, we need to make a distinction between two representational elements: one that may be labeled voice and the other, opinion.
- Voice plays a crucial role in representation. People must be acknowledged in their own voice or language, not in that of the ruling class. When viewed in this light, the Indian Constitution is unrepresentative since
the Constituent Assembly's members were chosen through a limited franchise rather than by universal suffrage.
- If we look at the other dimension, though, we might not find it to be entirely representative. The assertion
that practically all political ideologies were represented in the Constituent Assembly may be slightly exaggerated, but it may not be without foundation.
- It asserts that the Indian Constitution is wholly foreign, piecemeal derived from western constitutions, and incongruous with the cultural character of the Indian people.
- Numerous people frequently make this complaint. Some voices that echo this worry were present even in the
Constituent Assembly itself.
The Limitations Of The Constitution
- The Indian Constitution puts a strong emphasis on national unity, and it also seems to have glossed over several crucial gender justice concerns, notably those that pertain to the family.
- Third, it is unclear why many essential socio-economic rights in a poor developing nation were consigned to
the section on Directive Principles rather than being incorporated into our fundamental rights.