Constitutional Democracy And Government In India Pdf
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Shop Subscribe Donate. These outlines are works in progress that have been developed by staff of the Center for Civic Education. They have not been widely reviewed by scholars and practitioners in the United States or other nations.
Democracy has oscillated between individualist, collectivist, and organicist notions since the revolutionary era. Similarly, throughout history, democratic movements have agonized over what the power of the people should mean and how it could be exercised democratically. Today, models prevail that transform the fictive will of the people by elective procedures into regimes of limited majority rule based on the representational transmission of power, some representative regimes are complemented by forms of direct popular participation.
Constitutional Government & Democracy in India
Democracy is government of, by, and for the people. It is government of a community in which all citizens, rather than favored individuals or groups, have the right and opportunity to participate. In a democracy, the people are sovereign.
The people are the ultimate source of authority. This is the form of democracy practiced in Germany, Israel, Japan, the United States, and other countries. This framework is intended to assist interested persons in various nations in establishing or improving curricular programs which foster an understanding of and support for constitutional democracy.
The outline must be adapted to fit the circumstances and needs of individual political communities. It is democracy characterized by:. The people are the ultimate source of the authority of the government which derives its right to govern from their consent.
Although "the majority rules," the fundamental rights of individuals in the minority are protected. The powers of government are limited by law and a written or unwritten constitution which those in power obey.
There are certain institutional and procedural devices which limit the powers of government. These may include:. Powers are separated among different agencies or branches of government. Each agency or branch has primary responsibility for certain functions such as legislative, executive, and judicial functions.
However, each branch also shares these functions with the other branches. Different agencies or branches of government have adequate power to check the powers of other branches.
Checks and balances may include the power of judicial review—the power of courts to declare actions of other branches of government to be contrary to the constitution and therefore null and void. Individual rights to life, liberty, and property are protected by the guarantee of due process of law. Elections insure that key positions in government will be contested at periodic intervals and that the transfer of governmental authority is accomplished in a peaceful and orderly process.
The fundamental values of constitutional democracy reflect a paramount concern with human dignity and the worth and value of each individual. Protection of certain basic or fundamental rights is the primary goal of government.
These rights may be limited to life, liberty, and property, or they may be extended to include such economic and social rights as employment, health care and education. A constitutional democracy includes among its highest purposes the protection of freedom of conscience and freedom of expression. These freedoms have value both for the healthy functioning and preservation of constitutional democracy and for the full development of the human personality.
Constitutional democracies recognize and protect the integrity of a private and social realm comprised of family, personal, religious, and other associations and activities.
This space of uncoerced human association is the basis of a civil society free from unfair and unreasonable intrusions by government. Constitutional democracies are based on a political philosophy of openness or the free marketplace of ideas, the availability of information through a free press, and free expression in all fields of human endeavor.
Unitary and federal systems are the most common ways of organizing constitutional democracies. There also are associations of states called confederations.
In a unitary system central government has full power, which it may delegate to subordinate governments. In a federal system power is shared between a central government which has full power over some matters and a set of subordinate provincial or state governments that have power over other matters. In a confederation, a league of independent states, which retain full sovereignty, agrees to allow a central government to perform certain functions, but the central government may not make laws applicable to individuals without the approval of the member states.
These are constitutional mechanisms by which each branch of government shares power with the other branches so that no branch can become absolute. Each branch "checks" the others, because it is balanced against another source of power. All constitutional democracies use separation of powers as an important means of limiting the exercise of political power.
This separation is typically among legislative, executive, and judicial functions. Although primary responsibility for each of these powers may be placed with one or more specific agencies or branches of government, other agencies and branches share the powers.
For example, although one branch may have primary responsibility for creating laws, other branches may draft proposed laws, interpret their meaning, or manage disputes over them.
Governments can be organized as parliamentary or as presidential systems. In a few countries, the two systems are combined and called a "dual executive" system. While law fixes the maximum interval between elections, parliamentary governments may end sooner. If a majority of parliament votes for a motion of "no confidence" in a government, it is obliged to resign.
In this case, the government is said to "fall" and new elections are held. Parliamentary systems require that members of the prime minister's cabinet be members of the legislature parliament. The prime minister is the head of government but not the head of state. A separate office holder, either a constitutional monarch or "president," is head of state.
The chief executive or head of government is not a member of the legislature. He or she serves a term fixed by the constitution and can be removed only in extraordinary circumstances such as impeachment and trial proceedings. The president also is chief of state and represents the policy on ceremonial occasions. In presidential systems, the separation of legislative and executive powers may be incomplete. The executive may exercise some power over the legislature, and vice versa.
Thus, the executive may be able to veto legislation passed by the legislature while the legislature may be able to curtail actions of the executive by cutting off funds for specific executive activities. Although the political system of the United States and other constitutional democracies have been called presidential systems, this term does not reflect the reality of these complex systems with their dispersed and shared powers.
There is a difference between being a citizen in a constitutional democracy and being a subject in an authoritarian or totalitarian regime.
In a democracy, each citizen is a full and equal member of a self-governing community endowed with certain fundamental rights, as well as with certain responsibilities. A subject, in contrast to a citizen, is obliged to obey the commands of others. The relation of the subject to the state is not dependent upon consent. Constitutional democracy requires informed and effective participation by citizens who understand and have a reasoned commitment to its fundamental principles and values, as well as a familiarity with its political processes.
Citizens, of course, cannot know everything they would or should in an ideal democracy, but they should have some understanding of the following:.
Competent and responsible citizenship requires not only knowledge and understanding, but the development of intellectual and participatory skills essential to civic life. Certain traits of public and private character help constitutional democracy to flourish.
While there is no universally agreed upon list of traits of civic character essential to constitutional democracy, the following traits are commonly accepted. CIVILITY which means treating others with respect as individuals inherently worthy of consideration regardless of their positions on political issues. Civility means adhering to commonly accepted standards of discourse while taking part in public debate, refraining from vituperation and personal attacks, and respecting the right of others to be heard.
These responsibilities include taking care of one's self, supporting one's family, friends, and community; adhering to one's moral principles and considering the rights and interests of others.
Tensions between private interests, including the interests of the extended family, and the common good are bound to occur.
Citizens need to understand how to reconcile their personal interests with the needs of the larger community. They consider opposing positions, but reject unsupported generalizations and dogmatism. Compromise may be appropriate when the alternative is political stalemate, indecision, or, in extreme cases, violence.
Citizens should appreciate the benefits of having people of diverse beliefs and ethnic and racial backgrounds as a part of their community, as well as an understanding of how and why diversity can exacerbate tensions. Delays or failure to immediately attain goals appropriate to constitutional democracy should not lead them to abandon their efforts. LOYALTY to principles and ideals which means that citizens act in accord with the fundamental principles of constitutional democracy.
Citizens also should be committed to working toward narrowing the gap between democratic ideals and reality. The following are some of the essential indices that may be used to determine the degree to which a society reflects the fundamental characteristics, principles, and values of constitutional democracy.
How would you rate the progress of your country on each indicator below? Use the following scale for your ratings:. The people are the ultimate source of authority of the government and their sovereignty is reflected in the daily realities of the political system. People agree to abide by decisions of the majority, but there are effective protections for the rights of minorities.
Protection of minority right s assures the legitimacy of government. There are limits on the powers of government which elected and appointed officials obey. There are institutional and procedural devices which effectively limit the powers of government to serving its proper ends. The powers of government are separated and shared among different agencies or branches such as those responsible for legislative, executive, and judicial functions.
Each agency or branch of government has adequate power to check the powers of other branches. Key positions in government are contested at regular intervals. The transfer of power is accomplished through orderly and peaceful means. Freedom of conscience and of worship are protected and individuals are free to profess no religious beliefs. Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression and the right to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas throughany media.
Individuals are free to associate with other individuals and groups free from government interference or intimidation.
Individuals are free from mandated membership in government-sponsored organizations. The government recognizes that there is a private realm into which it may not unreasonably and unfairly intrude. Individuals have the right to freedom of movement and residence in their own country.
Constitution of India
The decisions on who is considered part of the people and how authority is shared among or delegated by the people have changed over time and at different speeds in different countries, but they have included more and more of the inhabitants of all countries. Cornerstones include freedom of assembly and speech , inclusiveness and equality , membership , consent , voting , right to life and minority rights. The notion of democracy has evolved over time considerably,  and, generally, the two current types of democracy are direct and representative. In a direct democracy , the people directly deliberate and decide on legislation. In a representative democracy , the people elect representatives to deliberate and decide on legislation, such as in parliamentary or presidential democracy. Prevalent day-to-day decision making of democracies is the majority rule ,   though other decision making approaches like supermajority and consensus have been equally integral to democracies. They serve the crucial purpose of inclusiveness and broader legitimacy on sensitive issues, counterbalancing majoritarianism , and therefore mostly take precedence on a constitutional level.
Xavier's College Autonomous , Kolkata. Learners enrolled: This course acquaints students with the constitutional design of state structures and institutions, and their actual working over time. The Indian Constitution accommodates conflicting impulses of liberty and justice, territorial decentralization and a strong union, for instance within itself. The course traces the embodiment of some of these conflicts in constitutional provisions, and shows how these have played out in political practice. It further encourages a study of state institutions in their mutual interaction, and in interaction with the larger extra-constitutional environment.
The Politics of India works within the framework of the country's constitution. India is a parliamentary Democratic Republic in which the President of India is the head of state and the Prime Minister of India is the head of government. It is based on the federal structure of government although the word is not used in the constitution itself.
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