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Introduction To Polity And Concept Of State | Polity

Introduction | Introduction To Polity And Concept Of State

  • Indian Polity is a discipline that includes a wide range of topics such as the development of the Constitution, Citizenship, Fundamental Rights, Directive Principles, the Executive, the President, the Prime Minister & Council of Ministers, Judiciary, State Governments, Local Government, Election system, and many more.
  • Indian Polity is one of the essential disciplines of Social Science that makes us understand our democratic governance as well as our rights.


The concept of state emerged on the basis of thee important events in the history:

  • Magna Carta 1215
  • Glorious revolution of England 1678
  • French revolution

Magna carta 1215

  • Magna Carta, which means ‘The Great Charter’, is one of the most important documents in history as it established the principle that everyone is subject to the law, even the king, and guarantees the rights of individuals, the right to justice and the right to a fair trial.
  • It is most important document of England signed on 15 June 1215 at Runnymede alongside the River Thames in the English county of Surrey.
  • It was codified for the following purposes:
    • To protect men from illegal imprisonment.
    • The protection of church rights.
    • Justice to all.
    • Limitations on taxation.
  • Unfortunately neither side stood their grounds and the charter was abolished. Later it was revised and after going through rigorous processes it culminated at the end of the 21st century in the present day constitution and most of the part was repealed except for a few.
  • There are strong influences from the Magna Carta in the American Bill of Rights, written in 1791. Indian Constitution has Fundamental Rights that were inspired by American Bill of Rights.
  • Even more recently, the basic principles of the Magna Carta are seen very clearly in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.
  • Montagu-Chelmsford Report (MCR) is known as India’s Magna Carta .    ( Introduction To Polity And Concept Of State)

The Glorious Revolution Of England 1678

  • The Glorious Revolution, also called “The Revolution of 1678” and “The Bloodless Revolution,” took place from 1678 to 1689 in England.
  • It involved the overthrow of the Catholic king James II, who was replaced by his Protestant daughter Mary and her Dutch husband, William of Orange.
  • Motives for the revolution were complex and included both political and religious concerns. The event ultimately changed how England was governed, giving Parliament more power over the monarchy and planting seeds for the beginnings of a political democracy
  • Glorious Revolution of 1678 in England legally established the supremacy of Parliament. It was during this revolution that the Parliament, for the first time, appointed the King.
  • Thus, from a limited constitutional monarchy established by the English Civil War (1642–1651), England transitioned to a Democracy with supremacy of Parliament.

French revolution-Montesquieu Theory of “separation of powers”

  • The theory of Doctrine of Separation of Power was first propounded by Montesquieu, a French scholar and in 1747 published in his book ‘Espirit des Louis’ (The spirit of the laws).
  • Montesquieu found that if the power is concentrated in a single person’s hand or a group of people then it results in a tyrannical form of government. To avoid this situation with a view to checking the arbitrariness of the government he suggested that there should be clear-cut division of power between the three organs of the state i.e. Executive, Legislative and the Judiciary.
  • Montesquieu was not the first scholar to develop the theory of separations of powers. Its origin can be traced back to Aristotle, the father of Political Science.
  • He in his book “The Spirit of Laws” published in 1748 gave the classic exposition of the idea of separation of powers.
  • During his days the Bouborne monarchy in France had established despotism and the people enjoyed no freedom. The monarch was the chief law giver, executor and the adjudicator. The statement by Louis XIV that ‘I am the state’ outlined the character and nature of monarchial authority. Montesquieu, a great advocate of human dignity, developed the theory of separation of powers as a weapon to uphold the liberty of the people. He believed that the application of this theory would prevent the overgrowth of a particular organ which spells danger for political liberty.

Advantages | Introduction To Polity And Concept Of State

  • Separation of powers according to Montesquieu is the best guaran­tee of the liberty of people.
  • Separation of power promotes efficiency in the administration.

Criticism | Introduction To Polity And Concept Of State

  • Complete separation of powers is neither possible nor desirable.
  • Separation of powers is likely to lead to inefficiency in adminis­tration.
  • The theory is based on the supposition that all the three organs of the government are equality important, but in reality it is not so.
  • Liberty of the people largely depends more on factors like their psyche, political culture, consciousness, and institutions than separa­tion of powers


Indian Polity

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