Constitution is the fundamental law of a country which ordains the fundamental principles on which the government (or the governance) of that country is based. With the exception of United Kingdom (U.K.), almost all democratic countries possess a written constitution. The Constitution of India is the longest written constitution of any sovereign country in the world. While the United States Constitution is the shortest written constitution.
Functions of the Constitution
The Constitution is a political structure, whether it is written or not and followed or not. They have several functions.
a) Expression of Ideology: It reflects the ideology and philosophy of a nation state.
b) Expression of Basic Law: Constitutions present basic laws which could be modified or replaced through a process called extra ordinary procedure of amendment. There is a special law also which usually focus upon the rights of the citizens, for instance, rights concerning language, speech, religion, assembly, the press, property and so on.
c) Organizational frame work: It provides organizational framework for the governments. It defines the functions legislature, executive and judiciary, their interrelationship, restrictions on their authority etc.
d) Levels of Government: Constitution generally explains the levels of different organs of the Government. Whether it is federal, confederal or unitary will be described by the Constitution. They delineate the power levels of national and provincial governments.
e) Amendment provision: As it would not be possible to foretell all possibilities in future with great degree of accuracy, there must be sufficient provisions for amendment of the Constitution. It should contain a set of directions for its own modifications. The system might collapse if it lacks in scope for modification. Inherent capacity to change according to changing times and needs help any system to survive and improve.
The systems of ancient India do have their reflections in the Constitutions of India, the direct sources of the Constitution lie in the administrative and legislative developments of the British period. A concise and chronological description of the Acts, documents and events that culminated in the framing of the world’s largest written constitution is given here.