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Day 6 – Q 2.Colonialism remained a significant force in India’s constitutional democratisation. Do you agree? Critically examine .

2. Colonialism remained a significant force in India’s constitutional democratisation. Do you agree? Critically examine .

उपनिवेशवाद भारत के संवैधानिक लोकतंत्रीकरण में एक महत्वपूर्ण करक रहा है। क्या आप सहमत हैं? समालोचनात्मक से जांच करें।


The Preamble provides for a democratic form of government in India. It ensures people are governed by their own elected representatives and are guaranteed some basic rights and freedom known as fundamental rights.


Democratization as a legacy of colonialism:

  • Rule of law: Colonial bureaucratic structures maintained order through the rule of law rather than through arbitrary authority.
  • Political representation– Colonial government provided for limited representation through various acts like Indian Councils Act, 1909, which was extended through the constitution.
  • Franchise– Colonial government provided limited franchise to less than 10% of the population.1931 Karachi session of Congress thus adopted a resolution for universal adult suffrage, which ultimately found a place in our constitution.
  • Parliamentary system– It has been a legacy of Britain and is a borrowed feature in our constitution.
  • Human capital-Though for their own benefit, British introduced the logical learning and scientific education in Indian society.

Democratization as an indigenous process:

  • Decentralization– India had a long tradition of village panchayats from ancient times, for example sabha and samitis in Chola period.
  • International influence– Ideals of French revolution found space in Indian system, for example Tipu sultan setup Jacobian club in India.
  • Fundamental rights– After years of suppression, Indians demanded fundamental rights through 1931 Congress resolution and which finally became the basic feature of our constitution.
  • Freedom struggle– Development of democratic values was a result of prolonged suppression and denial of rights by the colonial government. It was the struggle of our moderate leaders to introduce democratic elements in the way British governed Indian society.


Thus, our present form of constitutional democracy is partly an inheritance from the British, and partly the result of the genius and foresight of the founding fathers of our Constitution. 

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