Indian Constitution is often described as a “bag of borrowing.” Do you agree? Give arguments to justify your opinion.

Indian Constitution is often described as a “bag of borrowing.” Do you agree? Give arguments to justify your opinion.
Approach:
  • In the Introduction, explain why the Constitution of India is described as a “bag of borrowing” (that is, various provisions borrowed from various Constitutions).
  • Then mention the Constitutional provisions which we have borrowed from other Countries
  • Give your opinion on whether you agree or not and substantiate your position.
Model Answer :
The architects of Indian Constitution went through all the then existing major Constitutions of the world before drafting their own and as Dr. Ambedkar  observed, they tried to accommodate the best possible  and time tested features of each of them to the requirement of the country. Therefore, Constitution of India is often described as a bag of borrowing as it freely drew from the Constitutions of various other countries and the Government of India Act, 1935.
The major Constitutional provisions which we have borrowed from other Countries are as follows:
  • From U.K: Provisions of Parliamentary System, Bicameral Parliament, Prime Minister, Council of Ministers, Single Citizenship, Office of CAG, Writ jurisdiction of court, Rule of law.
  • From USA: The concept of Written Constitution, Fundamental Rights, Supreme Court, President as executive Head of state, Vice President as chairman of council of states, and Judicial Review.
  • From the Australian Constitution: Concurrent List, Cooperative Federalism, and Centre-State Relationship.
  • From the erstwhile USSR: The concept of Fundamental Duties.
  • From Canada: Federal System and Residuary Powers.
  • From Ireland: The concept of Directive Principles of State Policy, Nomination of members to Rajya Sabha by President, and Method of Presidential election.
GoI Act of 1935 remained the biggest influence:
  • However, the Government of India Act, 1935 had the biggest influence on our Constitution. From the 1935 Act, we borrowed the Federal scheme, Declaration of Emergency powers, Ordinance making power of president and governor, Office of governor, Power of federal judiciary, and Administrative structure both at centre and state level.
  • Since, most of them were already in place at the time of the framing of Constitution, it made sense to incorporate the major provisions of this Act.
Conclusion
Although several provisions of the Constitution have been borrowed from other Countries, these provisions have been moulded and fit in accordance with the requirement of ours. Moreover the largest influence in our Constitution was the Government of India Act, 1935. Hence it will not be precise to say that Constitution of India is only a bag of borrowing.

Subjects : Polity

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