Constitutional Development of India

This unit has been covered under the following segments-

1. Introduction
2. Historical Underpinnings
3. Constitutional Experiment during The Rule Of The East India Company (1773-1857)
4. Constitutional Experiment Under The British Crown (1857-1947)
5. Evolution and Framing of the Constitution
6. Criticism Of The Constituent Assembly
7. Acceptance of Constitution

Description of the above segments has been laid down below.


The polity evolution of India as an independent and sovereign republic has its immediate historical roots in the period of the British rule in India. Certain features of our Constitution can better be comprehended, only if we start with a brief review of the constitutional set up in the preceding periods. But, it is not necessary to go beyond British Period because modern political institutions originated and developed in that period only. The Constitution of India was drawn up by the Constituent Assembly, initially summoned on Dec. 9, 1946. The Constituent Assembly was not a truly representative body as its members were indirectly elected by those who were themselves elected on a narrow franchise. The Constitution was adopted on Nov. 26,1949 and it came into effect on Jan. 26,1950. It is the longest written Constitution in the world containing 395 Articles and 12 Schedules.

Historical Underpinnings

The origin and growth of the Indian Constitution has its roots in Indian history during the British period. From 1773 onwards, various Acts were passed by the British Government for the governance of India. None of them, however satisfied Indian aspirations mainly because they were imposed by the alien rulers.
The period of British Constitutional historical experiments in India can be divided into two phases:
I. Constitutional experiment during the rule of the East India Company(1773-1857)
II. Constitutional experiments under the British Crown(1857-1947)

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