Ripples A Reflection On Dattopant Thengadi's Third Way - Part 32

Dattopant presents crucial features of constitutions of a number of Nations, developed, and developing rather every kind of nation and its constitution.

NewsBharati    17-May-2022 10:13:02 AM   
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I have been reflecting in my own way on Dattopant Thengadi Ji's Third Way. I present these small "ripples" that it has caused in my mind in a series. I am glad it has found its resonance in many thinking minds alike. I hope the readers have read the earlier article in the series before moving ahead.
Dattopant analyses our constitution with great efforts. He presents crucial features of constitutions of a number of Nations, developed, and developing rather every kind of nation and its constitution. Usually, many focus on the constitutions of major countries and smaller countries do not get place in such compartive study. European countries certainly have been pioneers but non-European countries too have been experimenting in this direction. Rise of nationalism in these countries resulted in emergence of new states. Though European influence can be seen in the present powerful Nations, the local conditions too played a role in modifying the European model.

Some countries like Scandinavian or Latin America have very unique features which haven't caught the attention of many. Usually, a pattern is set up and all the other examples are viewed through it.

Certainly, Britain had many institutions that developed the country over the centuries and have wide influence. Especially in countries governed by Britain.

There can be three kinds of laws Dattopant describes. 1) Social habits that are customs may not be in a legal form. 2) Case laws that are not written but enforced by courts. 3) Written laws passed through a legislature. Britain doesn't have a document called the British constitution. The Queen is the legal sovereign.

Federal system has subsidiary sovereign bodies. States maintain their rights and 'politically, efforts are intended to reconcile unity and power'. Unitary state has supremacy of Central parliament and no subsidiary sovereign bodies exist.

Some major powers have federal constitution.( West Germany, ( then it was divided) Soviet Union, United States, Australia,Canada, Mexico, Argentina and some more belong to this category) ( United Kingdom, France, Norway, Sweden, Japan ,Latin American countriesare are in the other category of unitary state.)

Dattopant gives a very insightful description of the nature of constitutions of all the countries he enumerated.
Ross Anderson in one of his essays observed that the constitution of Australia changed and grew so much that it was hard to recognise that it the child of 1901.(Anderson taught contract, constitutional and administrative law, and public international law.)

Similar would be the case of our constitution too. Dattopant presents a comparison of many constitutions which help readers understand the role and nature of our constitution. ( He presented the comparison of United States and Canada. Which is furnished by C. F. Strong--Author of Modern political constitutions: an introduction to the comparative study of their history and existing forms) The example of South Africa and France are cited. The constitutions of USA and the UK are described at length. He stated that the discussion on comparison usually doesn't pay attention to Latin American countries. The constitution plays a different role in these countries as compared to UK.

The case of UK is discussed in detail as our constitution is based on the Westminster model and it is compared with many. Many commonwealth countries also are referred to.

Vidya Deshpande

Vidya Deshpande has had a journey of more than four decades in the field of education. Her  main expertise is in the subject of Philosophy,  and she has worked as a teacher of philosophy and logic with Nowrosjee Wadia college for 36 years. She has been associated with the Janakalyan Blood bank for last for 38 years and has also carried out the responsibility as a management committee member of Karve Stree Shikshan Sanstha for 10 years. Her special fields of interest are Philosophy of social sciences, school education, development of skills for self reliance,  and top up skills to make students profession ready,