The Constitution of India
THE circumstances of constitution-making in India were different from those in which the other great federations of the world have been fashioned and a brief reference to the differences may be profitable. When the U.S.A. came into existence, a number of independent States, previously unconnected with one another except through their common subordination to the British Crown and subsequent rebellion against it, accepted the necessity of federation somewhat grudgingly to meet particular dangers and difficulties. They were therefore determined to limit the authority of the Federal Centre and insisted on retaining for themselves all powers not specifically transferred to the Union. In Canada, on the other hand, a federation was adopted for generally accepted reasons of convenience, after a somewhat unsatisfactory period of unitary government and since the Canadian Federation, according to Berriedale Keith, 'grew up under the shadow of the great conflict between North and South in America' the makers of the constitution were determined not to repeat the American error of leaving the powers of the States undefined. They decided in favour of a strong Central Government with which the residuary powers should rest. In the case of Australia, the Colonies had been autonomous, the Federation was a convenience rather than a necessity and the Federal Government was only given those powers deliberately surrendered by the States.
None of these three patterns obtained in India in 1947. From August 15 the Constituent Assembly was a fully sovereign body, competent to frame either a unitary or a federal constitution without consultation with any outside authority. There were, of course, provincial rivalries and loyalties, but in the first flush of newly gained freedom they counted for little against the universal pride of independence. The leaders of the Congress Party were the unquestioned