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Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. The Indian Constitution is, in a significant sense, a cosmopolitan constitution. Elucidate. (150 Words)

    08 Mar, 2022 GS Paper 2 Polity & Governance

    Approach

    • Define cosmopolitanism and explain the reasons for the Indian constitution being cosmopolitan in character
    • Highlight the constituent assembly’s attempt in exploring and borrowing from the other countries
    • Conclude with the Indian constitution being a guiding light for other developing countries

    Introduction

    Cosmopolitanism is the idea of universalism which believes that all humanity regardless of political and social affiliations are citizens of a single community. Indian Constitution can be called a ‘cosmopolitan’ constitution as it echoes the ideas of universalism and is not constrained by the narrow political reality of the time of its formation.

    In its preamble, the constitution talks of principles of liberty, equality, and fraternity which originated from the ‘French Revolution’. These values are naturally cherished by all human beings across the national boundaries for peace and prosperity.

    Body

    Its values and its jurisprudence have been situated at the major cross-currents of global constitutional law. It represented a confluence of many sources and traditions. For instance, it was profoundly shaped by the system of English Common Law that had effectively been institutionalized in India. The constitution also bore a deep imprint of the Government of India Act 1935. It borrowed Directive Principles of State Policy from the Irish Constitution and was influenced by the American debates over due process—all were made to serve the distinct Indian political and social challenges.

    In its attempt to amalgamate best global constitutional practices, constitution-makers borrowed provisions from almost every successful democracy. However, it was criticized for this and called “a bag of borrowings’ and ‘paper and scissors’ work. But such criticism ignores its transcendental character.

    Conclusion

    Due to its cosmopolitanism rooted in the inviolable principles, the Indian constitution served and continues to serve as an inspirational light to post-colonial countries aspiring for the creation of a democratic society. This cosmopolitanism of India’s constitution is a reflection of the ancient Indian belief in “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” or the world is a family and humanity is One.

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