Political Science & The Constitution of India

The Constitution of India was framed by the Constituent Assembly. The Assembly was constituted in 1946. The Constituent Assembly, following the partition of the country in 1947, consisted of 299 members as on 31st December 1947. Of these 229 members were elected by the provincial assemblies and the rest were nominated by the rulers of the princely states. Majority of the members in the Constituent Assembly belonged to the Congress party. All prominent leaders of the freedom movement were members of the Assembly.

Political Science is that part of social science which deals with the foundations of the state and the principles of the government. The term Politics is derived from the Greek word polis which means city-state. That is why many commentators, as you saw, rightly define Politics in terms of the state or government. However, the power that Political Science deals with is, more often than not, the legitimate power. Since science is the systematic study of any phenomenon through observation and experiment, it follows that Political Science studies the state and power in all their aspects. Political Science is not satisfied with describing the state of affairs, it wants to change or improve upon them. Empirical statements are true or false by virtue of what observation shows to be the case. Evaluative statements are ethical/moral imperatives, which are often said not to be true or false in any sense at all. Formal statements (such as the propositions of mathematics) are true or false by virtue of the meanings of their constituent terms alone. Political Philosophy deals with formal statements. Political Science deals with empirical statements and also evaluates the existing political institutions, practices and focuses on how to improve them. Systematic study of Politics started with the Greeks in the fourth century BC. Philosophers like Plato and Aristotle used it in the most comprehensive sense. Aristotle called Politics a “master science”. For him, it comprised of not only the institutions of state or government but also family, property and other social institutions. Politics is considered as an as effort for conciliation and accommodation to bring about rule of order and Justice. Incidentally, the Marxist view of politics comes as a reaction to the liberal view of politics. There is another aspect of Politics that needs to be emphasized. Politics, many a time, implies practical politics. Practicing politics is different from studying it. Practical politics includes actual formation of government, the working of government, administration, laws and legislation. It also includes international politics including matters such as peace and war, international trade and economic order, protection of rights, etc. All these also comprise the subject matter of the study of Politics. The Constitution of India was framed by a Constituent Assembly. This Assembly was an indirectly elected body. It had laid down certain ideals to be included in the Constitution. These ideals included commitment to democracy, guarantee to all the people of IndiaJustice, equality and freedom. It had also proclaimed that India will be a Sovereign Democratic Republic. The Modern State is considered to be a state for the welfare of the people. It is therefore, suggested that it should have a government of a particular form with appropriate powers and functions. The document containing laws and rules which determine and describe the form of the government, the relationship between the citizens and the government, is called a Constitution.

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