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Day 1 – Q 3. Does in your opinion, the Indian Constitution draw on the philosophy of Enlightenment? Discuss.

3. Does in your opinion, the Indian Constitution draws on the philosophy of Enlightenment? Discuss.  

3. क्या आपकी राय में, भारतीय संविधान प्रबोधन के दर्शन पर आकर्षित होता है? चर्चा करें।


Give a brief introduction regarding philosophy of Enlightenment. Then write about the various thinkers who have contributed to this philosophy along with its influence on the constitution.


Philosophy of enlightenment is referred to a collective of revolutionary intellectual ideas developed in Europe between 16-18th century.  It broke the shackles of feudal system and built a new structure based on ideas like reason, rationality, humanism, liberty, equality.

These ideas along with some indigenous ideas have influenced the Indian constitution and paved the way for the nation building. Influence can be summarized as below-

  • The democratic nature of the constitution which is built on the idea of sovereignty of peoplecan be traced to the Social contract principle of Rousseau.
  • Preamble talks about the idea of Liberty, equality and fraternity which has been influenced by French Revolution.
  • The rule of law propounded by Article 14 has been influenced by ideas of philosophers like Hobbes, Locke.
  • Separation of powers has been one of the hallmark of Indian constitution and has been derived from the thoughts of Montesquieu.
  • The idea of welfare state underpinned by the Directive Principles of State Policy with Article 35 (social justice), Article 43 (living wage) etc have been influenced by the welfare state idea propounded by the western philosophers.
  • Secularism has been part of the basic structure of the constitution. Article 25 to 30 highlight the nature of secularism in India. These have been inspired from the ideas of John Locke.
  • The philosophy of Enlightenment has been built on rationality and reason. These have been incorporated in Indian constitution. Article 51A (h) has made development of scientific temper as one of the fundamental duties.
  • Not just western thinkers but even Indian thinkers like Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Eshwar Chandra Vidyasagar who were instrumental in Indian Renaissance have also influenced the Indian constitution by conferring ideas like gender equality, educational importance etc.

Thus, it can be said that Indian constitution has given much importance to philosophy of enlightenment and has been instrumental in the overall welfare of Indian society both socially as well as politically.

Best Answer: Kunal Aggarwal

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