Constitutional design means the process of creating a constitution, which is a set of fundamental principles and rules of a government. Through this post, Constitutional Design Class 9 Notes, students will know the concepts and principles of constitutional design. They will understand its definition, objectives, key features, and the process involved in crafting a constitution.
Democratic Constitution in South Africa
The democratic constitution in South Africa was adopted in 1996, marking the end of apartheid and the beginning of a new era of democracy and equality. It guarantees fundamental rights and freedoms for all citizens, regardless of race, gender, or religion.
Struggle Against Apartheid
Apartheid was a system of racial discrimination that existed in South Africa from 1948 to 1994. Under apartheid, the white minority government enforced strict laws and policies to establish and maintain racial superiority and control over the majority non-white population.
The system of Apartheid classified the people into different racial categories, such as White, Black, Colored, and Indian, and the enforcement of separate living areas, schools, hospitals, and public amenities for each racial group.
The white population enjoyed privileges and preferential treatment. Non-white people faced discrimination. They had limited access to education and employment opportunities. They had no right to vote. They could not live in white communities’ areas. All non-whites such as blacks, colored, and Indians fought against the apartheid system from 1950. The African National Congress (ANC), led the struggle for freedom and equality.
Nelson Mandela stood trial for treason by the South African government led by the apartheid regime. In 1964, he was unjustly sentenced to life imprisonment for their courageous opposition to the oppressive policies of racial segregation in the country.
Towards a New Constitution
As the protests and struggles against apartheid increased. The oppressive regime realized that the continued repression of the black population was unsustainable. They changed their policies. Discriminatory laws were repealed, and long-standing bans on political parties and restrictions on the media were removed. Nelson Mandela was released after 28 years in the Robben Island Prison.
In 1994, apartheid came to an end with the first democratic elections in South Africa under the leadership of Nelson Mandela who became the country’s first black president & a multi-racial government was established in South Africa.
All the parties came together to collaborate on the development of a shared constitution. This constitution granted its citizens an exceptional breadth of rights, surpassing those found in most other nations.
Why Do We Need a Constitution?
In the case of South Africa, we see what is the importance of the Constitution & why we need it. The oppressor and the oppressed wanted to establish a democratic society where equality could prevail.
Each section of society wanted to safeguard its interests with social and economic rights. Through negotiations, A compromise was reached, with the white minority agreeing to majority rule and preserving certain rights for the disadvantaged, while the black majority accepted limitations on absolute majority rule and the protection of property rights for the white minority.
To make sure this compromise, it became necessary to establish written rules that would bind all future governments. These rules, known as a constitution, served as the supreme guidelines that no government could disregard.
In every country All over the world, people have different opinions and interests. The Constitution is the supreme law that establishes a framework of fundamental principles and rules that govern a nation.
- It provides a foundation for the functioning of government.
- It protects individual rights and promotes the rule of law.
- It outlines the structure of government and defines the rights and responsibilities of citizens.
- It safeguards democracy, upholds human rights, and promotes stability within a country.
While not all countries with constitutions are necessarily democratic but all democratic countries have constitutions.
Making of the Indian Constitution
The making of the Indian Constitution was a remarkable process, filled with deep discussions and the involvement of everyone. All worked tirelessly to draft a constitution to shape the future of independent India.
The drafting committee was formed Under the leadership of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. They drew inspiration from the constitutions of different countries such as France, Russia, Britain, Russia and the principles of justice, equality, and liberty. They debate on various aspects of the constitution, such as fundamental rights, citizenship, powers of the government, and the structure of governance. Different committees were formed to address specific issues.
The final draft of the Indian Constitution was adopted on November 26, 1949, and came into effect on January 26, 1950, marking the birth of the Republic of India.
The Constituent Assembly
The drafting of the constitution was carried out by the Constituent Assembly. In July 1946, the assembly’s first meeting took place in December. The Constituent Assembly split into the Constituent Assembly of India and the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan due to the division of the country into India and Pakistan,
The Constituent Assembly of India consisted of 299 members. On 26 November 1949, the Assembly formally adopted the Constitution. and came into effect on January 26, 1950, marking the birth of the Republic of India.
Guiding Values of the Indian Constitution
The Indian Constitution shapes its framework and reflects the aspirations of the nation. Some guiding values of the Indian Constitution are Sovereignty, Socialism, Secularism, Democracy, Equality, Justice, and Liberty.
The Dream and the Promise
Mahatma Gandhi was not a member of the Constituent Assembly yet many members of the Constituent Assembly were inspired by the vision of Mahatma Gandhi. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar had a distinct perspective on eliminating inequalities in India, which differed from Gandhiji’s.
Dr. Ambedkar’s vision focused on addressing social and economic inequalities, particularly caste-based discrimination in Indian society. On the other hand, Gandhiji’s vision focused on economic disparities and empowering rural communities.
Both Dr. Ambedkar and Gandhiji played significant roles in shaping the Indian Constitution, each addressing different dimensions of inequality.
Philosophy of the Constitution
The philosophy of the Constitution is to establish a democratic society. India’s democracy is formed by the values which are embedded in the Preamble of the Indian Constitution. Let us understand the meaning of each of its keywords:
We, the People of India: The Constitution has been drawn up by the elected representatives of the people It is not handed down to them by a king.
Sovereign: Sovereign means having supreme power, being independent, and self-governing.
Socialist: An economic and social system that advocates for the equitable distribution of resources and the collective ownership of means of production. Its aim is to promote social welfare and reduce inequalities.
Secular: It means all religious beliefs and practices are treated equally by the Government. All Citizens have the right to freedom to follow any religion. There is no official religion.
Democratic: A form of government where people enjoy equal political rights, elect their representatives, and hold them accountable.
Republic: The head of state is a person elected by the people and not determined by hereditary succession.
Justice: All are equal before the law.No one can be discriminated against on the basis of caste, religion, and gender.
Liberty: It means the freedom and rights enjoyed by the people such as the freedom of speech, religion, assembly, association, and other fundamental rights. It allows them to express their opinions, and make choices without any restrictions.
Equality: All citizens are treated with fairness and have equal opportunities, rights, and protections under the law, regardless of their background, gender, race, religion, or socioeconomic status.
Fraternity: It means the spirit of brotherhood, unity, and solidarity among its citizens. It signifies the recognition and respect for the diversity of individuals and communities.
Institutional design in the constitution refers to the deliberate arrangement and structure of various institutions within a governing system such as the establishment of bodies, mechanisms, and procedures that ensure the effective functioning of the government, and the protection of individual rights.
The Indian Constitution outlines procedures for selecting government officials, allocates decision-making powers, and establishes limits on government actions to protect citizens’ rights.
FAQs of Constitutional Design Class 9 Notes
What is constitutional design short note?
The process of creating and structuring a constitution for a nation. It involves determining the fundamental principles, rules, and institutions that will govern the political system and the relationships between the government and its citizens.
Who made our constitution?
Dr. B.R. Ambedkar
Why do we need Constitution 5 points?
It provides a framework for governance, ensuring the separation of powers, protecting fundamental rights, and promoting social harmony and inclusivity.
When was our Constitution Design?
The constitution design for India took place from 1946 to 1950. It was adopted on 26 November 1949 and became effective on 26 January 1950.
What are the features of the Constitution?
The features of a constitution are:
Separation of Powers
Rule of Law
Conclusion of Constitutional Design Class 9 Notes
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