The Indian Constitution is the longest, written constitution in the world, with 448 articles under 25 parts, 12 schedules, 5 appendices, and 98 amendments today. But few know that the salient features of the Indian Constitution are borrowed from countries around the world. How many did you know?
#1 The UK
Considering India was under British rule at the time, it borrowed a great deal from the UK. India has a nominal head, the President, similar to the UK. It also has a cabinet system of ministers, that in turn, allows for the position of the Prime Minister. In terms of style of governance, India has a parliamentary form of government, with two houses of legislation, AKA bicameral parliament. Under this form, the lower house of the Parliament is more powerful than the upper house.
#2 The USA
The USA contributed a great deal to the Indian Constitution. For starters, India has a written constitution, an idea borrowed from the US. It also allows for an executive head of state known as President, he/she is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. In addition, the US Constitution provides for Fundamental Rights, the Supreme Court and the independence of the judiciary from the other arms of the government.
India borrowed the concept of Fundamental Duties and five year plans from Russia. These were instrumental in the planning aspect of governance.
Australia lent the concept of lists, specifically the concurrent list of subjects to govern. In addition, the language of the preamble is also borrowed from the land Down Under.
The law on which the Supreme Court functions is largely borrowed from Japan.
The concept of suspension of Fundamental Rights during an emergency was idea Indian Constitution makers borrowed from Germany. This is exactly what was enacted during the Emergency of the 1970s.
Canada follows a federation form of government with a strong centre, akin to India. Moreover, it allows for the distribution of powers between the centre and the states, finally placing the residuary powers of the government with the centre.
Ireland borrowed the concept of Directive Principles of States Policy from Spain, and India went on to borrow the same from Ireland. In addition, the way the President of India is elected is similar to Ireland.
Also read: Unknown Facts about India’s Partition