India vs US – Constitution
Being the largest democratic countries in the world, both United States and India are based on federalism in their political structure. US became a Federal Republic State by promulgating its constitution in the year1789; whereas India became a Socialist, Sovereign, Secular, Democratic Republic by formally launching its constitution only in the year 1950.
Similarities between US and India:-
- Written constitution
- Bill of Rights and Fundamental Rights
- Supremacy of the Federal or Union Government
- Division of Labor and Separation of Powers
- Powers of Checks and Balances
Differences between the federalisms of US and India:
- The Constitution of US is more rigid than the Indian Constitution
- While US has the Presidential form of Government, India has the Parliamentary form of Government
- Differences between the legislatures of US and India: In India, the lower house or the Lok Sabha is more powerful and its members are directly elected by the people and the members of the Upper house or Rajya Sabha are indirectly elected every two years. The Lok Sabha members represent their constituencies on the basis of their population strength; In the US, the House of Representatives are elected on the basis of the population strength of a state, but irrespective of the size of the state or its population, each state in the US has only two senate members, totaling 100 members in all in the US. While the Lok Sabha or the lower house is more powerful in India, the House of Senate or the upper house is more powerful in the US. While a Senate member in the US is directly elected, a Rajya Sabha member in India is indirectly elected by a system of proportional and transferable voting system.
- Differences in the judicial system between US and India: While the US has an advanced judicial system, India has a rapidly developing judicial system. India has integrated judiciary with
Supreme Court been given very wide powers, including appellate (Civil and criminal) jurisdiction. The Supreme Court of American has not been given such type of appellate jurisdiction.
- India has single citizenship for Union and state while in USA there is dual citizenship- one Federal Citizenship- another State Citizenship.
- In India Center has been residuary powers while in USA States have residuary powers.
Compare and contrast the First and Fourth Amendments to the American Constitution with the related provisions of the Indian Constitution. (200 Words)
From historical perspective, US constitution was made in period of revolution, when rights given to people were more important than maintaining “unity and security” of the nation. While Indian constitution was made during period of turmoil, religious dis-harmony and communal violence, so rights given to people of India were not at par US Bill of Rights.
US constitution, First Amendment prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, making US secular nation. It also provides Freedom of Speech without restrictions and freedom to Press, right to assemble peacefully. Similarly, Indian Constitution Provides Fundamental Rights (articles: 25 – 28) – for freedom to religion, Article 19 which provides Freedom of expression and speech including freedom of press. In Contrast, Article 19 has certain enabling restriction which are absent in US constitution.
The Fourth Amendment guards against unreasonable seizures; it requires warrants having judicial sanction. It was adopted as a response to the abuse of the writ of assistance, which is a type of general search warrant, in the American Revolution. Indian Constitution, Article 22 (protection against arrest and detention), it applies to all arrests made under any law except in the cases of ―preventive detention. There is no scope of preventive detention in US constitution. India is only country to have “preventive detention” which can be induced in connection with security and public order. The provision of preventive detention is a necessary evil.
Thus, Indian constitution provides Fundamental rights are in prohibitive nature, while US constitution provides rights in enabling nature.