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Important Features of the Indian Constitution

Universal Adult Franchise :


The Constitution adopted universal adult franchise. All Indians above the age of 21 would be allowed to vote in state and national elections.

This was a revolutionary step as Indians have never been allowed to choose their own leaders.

The ‘Right to Vote’ in other Countries :

  • In countries like United Kingdom and the United States, the right to vote was granted in stages.

  • First only men of property had the vote.

  • Next men who were educated had the right to vote.

  • After a long struggle working-class men got the vote.

  • Finally, after a bitter struggle American and British women were granted the vote.

  • Unlike United Kingdom and the United States, India granted the right to vote to all its citizens regardless of gender, class or education.

    II. Equality before Law

    The Constitution guaranteed equality before the law to all citizens, regardless of their caste or religious.

    There was some opposition to this as some leaders wanted India to be a ‘Hindu state’ just a Pakistan was a ‘Muslim state’. Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of Independent India, objected to this.

    The constitution stated that Sikhs, Christians, Muslims, Parsis and Jains would have the same rights as Hindus, who were the majority. Every Indian would have the same opportunities when it came to seeking jobs in government or the private sector and the same rights before the law.

    Abolition of Untouchability and Reservation Policy :

  • Abolition of untouchability and the Reservation Policy was another important feature of the Indian constitution.

  • The Constitution offered special privileges for the poorest and most disadvantaged Indians.

  • The practice of untouchability was abolished.

  • Hindu temples, previously open to only the higher castes, were thrown open to all, including the untouchables.

  • The Constituent Assembly recommended that a certain percentage of seats in legislatures as well as jobs in government be reserved for members of the lowest castes.

  • Many members of the Constituent Assembly argued against the Reservation policy. But many members stated that the policy was necessary to uplift the Harijans as they have been suppressed for thousands of years.

    Along with the former Untouchables, the Adivasis or Scheduled Tribes were also granted reservation in Educational Institutions and jobs. Like the Scheduled Castes, these Indians too had been deprived and discriminated against.

    The new constitution sought to provide them with good education, health care and a profitable livelihood.



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