Indian Constitution at Work on certain procedures there would be something obviously unjust about that government enacting these laws. So the third function of a constitution is to set some limits on what a government can impose on its citizens. These limits are fundamental in the sense that government may never trespass them. Constitutions limit the power of government in many ways. The most common way of limiting the power of government is to specify certain fundamental rights that all of us possess as citizens and which no government can ever be allowed to violate. The exact content and interpretation of these rights varies from constitution to constitution. But most constitutions will protect a basic cluster of rights. Citizens will be protected from being arrested arbitrarily and for no reason. This is one basic limitation upon the power of government. Citizens will normally have the right to some basic liberties: to freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, freedom of association, freedom to conduct a trade or business etc. In practice, these rights can be limited during times of national emergency and the constitution specifies the circumstances under which these rights may be withdrawn. Aspirations and goals of a society Most of the older constitutions limited themselves largely to allocating decision-making power and setting some limits to government power. But many twentieth century constitutions, of which the Indian Constitution is the finest example, also provide an enabling framework for the government to do certain positive things, to express the aspirations and goals of society. The Indian Constitution was particularly innovative in this respect. Societies with deep entrenched inequalities of various kinds, will not only have to set limits on the power of government, they will also have to enable and empower the government to take positive measures to overcome forms of inequality or deprivation. Indian Constitution at Work between the different regions of a nation and the central government should be. This relationship constitutes the national identity of a country. Check your progress Here are some provisions of the Indian and other constitutions. For each of these write the function that this provision performs. The government cannot order any citizen to follow or not to follow any religion Limitations on the power of the government The government must try to reduce inequalities in income and wealth The President has the power to appoint the Prime Minister The Constitution is the supreme law that everyone has to obey Indian citizenship is not limited to people of any race, caste or religion THE AUTHORITY OF A CONSTITUTION We have outlined some of the functions a constitution performs. These functions explain why most societies have a constitution. But there are three further questions we can ask about constitutions:

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