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We should not go back to being ruled from being governed because of the benefits of technology: Devashish Bharuka

DB: When I was going through the Constituent Assembly debates, I realised – and this is really opposed to the idea in that book The Colonial Constitution (by Arghya Sengupta) – that the ideas in our Constitution were picked up from various constitutions; the makers were extremely well-read; they knew what kind of revolutions had happened across the world; what happened in India; and what are the legal requirements of the masses in India.

They took the principles of those different constitutions to see how they could be imported into the Indian context and then moulded the provisions of the Indian Constitution in a manner that it can sustain over the decades to come.

If you start right from the beginning, Article 1 of the Constitution – “India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States“. That single Article went through over 50 pages of detailed discussion; why it is India, why is it a Union and doesn’t have the federal structure like the United States, etc.

A very interesting story that has been crafted into the book is about the princely states. When the princely states had to be merged into the Indian system, there was a give-and-take, because these states were sovereigns in themselves with their own revenue system. So what was offered to them to get them into the fold was the privy purse. The privy purse provision was debated intensely. But Sardar Patel stood up said that the give-and-take is extremely critical to get the states on board so as to ensure the sovereign integrity of the country as a whole.

The learned Attorney General called it “constitutional movements” because of how the Government of India Act, 1935 was picked up, to how it was then discussed in terms of requirement and how constitutional principles are evolving in other countries across the world and finally how the entire movement merged into this document of governance.

Source: Barandbench

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