A written and lengthy constitution:
The Constitution of India is a written constitution. It was framed by a Constituent Assembly which was established for the purpose in 1946. It has 395 Articles and 12 Schedules. A number of amendments, (about 96) passed since its enforcement in 1950, have also become a part of the Constitution. The Constitution of India is the lengthiest constitution in the world as no other constitution contains as many articles. The constitution of USA has 7 Articles, of China 138, Japanese 103, and Canadian 107 Articles.
Sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic, republic:
The Constitution declares India to be a Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic, Republic. The words, 'Socialist' and 'secular' were added in the Preamble of the Constitution by 42nd amendment which was passed in 1976.
Means absolutely independent; it is not under the control of any other state. Before 1947, India was not sovereign as it was under the Britishers. Now it can frame its policy without any outside interference.
Word 'Socialist' was added in the Preamble by 42nd Amendment of the Constitution which was passed in 1976. This implies a system which will endeavour to avoid concentration of wealth in a few hands and will assure its equitable distribution. It also implies that India is against exploitation in all forms and believes in economic justice to all its citizens.
The word 'Secular', like Socialist, was also added in the Preamble by 42nd Amendment of the Constitution. There is no state religion in India. Every citizen is free to follow and practise the religion of his/her own choice. The state cannot discriminate among its citizens on the basis of religion.
Means that the power of the government is vested in the hands of the people. People exercise this power through their elected representatives who, in turn, are responsible to them. All the citizens enjoy equal political rights.
Means that the head of the State is not a hereditary monarch but a President who is indirectly elected by the people for a definite period.
Partly rigid and partly flexible:
The Constitution of India is neither wholly rigid nor wholly flexible. It is partly rigid and partly flexible. It is because of the fact that for the purpose of amendment, our constitution has been divided into three parts:
(a) Certain provisions of the constitution can be amended by a simple majority in the Parliament.
(b) Certain provisions can be amended by a two-third majority of the Parliament and its ratification by at least fifty percent states.
(c) The remaining provisions can be amended by the Parliament by two-third majority.