A Comparative Study of the Indian Constitution - Vol. 1

By Sirdar D. K. Sen | Go to book overview

CHAPTER III
NATURE OF THE INDIAN POLITY

The People and the Constitution. The constitution of a State is not a bed of Procustes which demands psychic or physical adjustment of the people. On the contrary, it is the constitution which must be moulded by the genius of the soil; it is the constitution which must reflect the ethos of the people. It is sometimes argued but may be regarded as an exploded myth that a particular type of constitution is intrinsically sound and must, therefore, be accepted by every civilized State. We may consider democracy to be the ideal form of government, but this does not necessarily mean that a nation which has no aptitude for the smooth and successful working of a democratic constitution should and must adopt a democratic pattern of organization. The democratic character of a constitution is one thing, its practical value is a totally different matter. As Orlando, the Italian jurist, has rightly pointed out, "there can be no optimum form of government; a form of government which is good for a particular people at a particular stage of civilization is not necessarily good for another people at a different stage of civilization."1 A particular form of constitution which is successful in one State may prove to be a total failure in a different political climate. A typical illustration of this is furnished by the Constitutions of the Latin American States. Freed from the yoke of the Spanish and Portuguese Empires, most of these States adopted the constitutional pattern which had proved such a great success in the United States of America. In the actual working of these Constitutions, however, the results have been totally different. In most cases the presidential regime embodied in the constitution has led to a monocratic dictatorship owing to the subservience of the legislature. Successions of coups d'état, revolutions and undiluted autocracy have been their normal political

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1
Principii di diritto costituzionale, p. 65.

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