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Mains Answer Writing

One of the key components of these exams is the written test, which consists of a number of essay and comprehension questions. Candidates are expected to write clear and well-structured answers that demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the topics being tested.

11-September-2023

1) The Indian Constitution’s fundamental strength comes from its capacity to balance divergent interests. Elucidate.

 Answer:

  • India is a diversified nation with a wide range of vulnerabilities. The Indian Constitution attempts to strike a balance between the interests of a wide range of people, including women, tribal people, scheduled castes, and other linguistic and cultural groups.

The following examples show how the Indian Constitution is able to balance competing interests:

  • Secularism: Because there are many different religions and beliefs in India, articles 25 to 30 of the constitution embody secularism by protecting the rights of individuals and groups to their respective religions. The emphasis on constitutional morality, as evidenced by the Supreme Court’s decisions regarding Triple Talaq and Sabarimala, also paves the way for social changes.
  • Protection of Vulnerable Sections: Articles 14 through 17 support affirmative action and protect equality by outlawing discrimination based on things like race, gender, caste, and religion. Articles 22, 23 provide special protection against the exploitation of vulnerable groups, such as those involved in child labour and human trafficking.
  • Asymmetric Federalism: Accommodates different interests held by different states due to differences in geography, culture, traditions, and languages, among other things. For instance, small and large states
  • 5th and 6th Schedules: These have enabled special protection for tribal rights and constitutional innovations like autonomous district councils in the northeast, respectively. The special provisions have helped in curbing left-wing extremism and tribal insurgencies.
  • Directive Principles of State Policy: Establish a welfare state in India through directives to the government of the day such as the right to work (article 41). Demands like UCC (Uniform Civil Code, article 44) and prohibition of cow slaughter (article 48) are also accounted for securing it.

Despite the constitution’s comprehensive features, there have been apparent failures to balance competing interests, as discussed below:

  • Authoritarianism during the Emergency (1975-1977) created the worst constitutional crisis of post-independence India. Provisions of the constitution were used for the suspension of constitutionally protected civil rights
  • Actions under section 124A of the IPC, IT Rules 2021, and other legal provisions have been utilised to restrain free expression. Ex -, In the year 2021, the CJI had questioned why a colonial law used against Mahatma Gandhi and Bal Gangadhar Tilak continued to survive in the law book after 75 years of Independence
  • Naxalism and other issues like the North-East insurgency continue to undermine the authority of the state. Unfulfilled goals are indicated by ongoing requests for nations like Gorkhaland.
  • All stakeholders have not been satisfied by parliamentary laws. For instance, farmer demonstrations forced the repeal of some farm legislation

“The Indian Constitution’s strength lies in balancing divergent interests by accommodating diverse aspirations. Federalism, fundamental rights, and affirmative action play crucial roles. However, constant vigilance and inclusivity are necessary to address evolving needs and aspirations”.

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