Democratic Politics (NTSE/Olympiad)  

3. Constitution Design

1. Jennings and Young write, “The Constitution is long and complicated, because the Government of India Act, 1935, on which it was in large measure founded, was long and complicated.”
2. Both Rigid and Flexible : The Indian Constitution is partly rigid and partly flexible. The procedure laid down for the amendment of the Indian Constitution is neither as easy as in England nor very difficult as in the case of the United States. It strikes a golden mean and avoids the extreme rigidity of the American Constitution and the extreme flexibility of the English Constitution.
3. Federal in Structure and Unitary in Spirit : The Indian Constitution is federal in structure. In the words of Mr. G.N. Joshi, “The Indian Union exhibits all the normal characteristics of a federation : a written Constitution, a dual policy and distribution of powers between the national government and state governments and supreme Court”. Although the Indian Constitution is federal in structure, it has made the central government so powerful that it has been pointed out that it has become almost unitary in essence. During emergency the President can do away with any State Government and assume all its powers. The Governor of a state is appointed and dismissed by the President alone and not by any provincial government. Again, no province can withdraw from the federating and frame its own constitution. According to Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, “The Union is not strictly a federal polity but a quasi-federal polity with some vital and important elements of unitariness”.
4. Parliamentary Form of Government : The Indian Constitution has established a parliamentary form of Government, both at the Centre and the States. As in England the Executive here is responsible to the Legislature. Though the President is the head of the Executive, the real powers are vested with the Cabinet which is responsible to the Lok Sbha. The Executive here is not all powerful but is responsible to the Legislature and is a part of it.

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