Republic, "res publica" or public interest, or affair matters regarding public. In this forms of government, the soveriegnty or the ultimate authority that rules over things, would rest with people or their representative.
The underlying concept is the --source-- of legitimacy. The sovereign in the case of a Republic Legally and constituionally are the --People--, who elect their representatives, to create laws, form government and of course change the laws or those governments via a known process based on the voting process. This is in contrast to other forms, where the sovereign get's his/her legitimacy from sources OTHER than people: Be it god or other "god-related" forms.
The same way, when we buy a TV or get medical care, we try to find what is the best available, when it comes to running of government we need to find the best forms available, learn from Humanities experience and adopt the best. I find the composition of India, a very interesting one, here's the CIA fact book on Iran and India:
Persian and Persian dialects 58%, Turkic and Turkic dialects 26%, Kurdish 9%, Luri 2%, Balochi 1%, Arabic 1%, Turkish 1%, other 2%
Shia Moslem 89%, Sunni Moslem 9%), other (includes Zoroastrian, Jewish, Christian, and Baha'i) 2%
Hindi 41%, Bengali 8.1%, Telugu 7.2%, Marathi 7%, Tamil 5.9%, Urdu 5%, Gujarati 4.5%, Kannada 3.7%, Malayalam 3.2%, Oriya 3.2%, Punjabi 2.8%, Assamese 1.3%, Maithili 1.2%, other 5.9%
Hindu 80.5%, Muslim 13.4%, Christian 2.3%, Sikh 1.9%, other 1.8%, unspecified 0.1% (2001 census)
A quick glance at the above, shows how diverse Iran is but also how much more diverse India is! In some way, India is very similar to Iran, but with an order of magnitude in complexity! Yet inspite all the shortcoming due to the Huge population of close to 1.2 billion, India is a thriving economy and the constitution is written with rights of all groups respected and enforced by law.
India's constituion was draffed in 1947 by an assembly in sessions open to public that lasted almost 6 months! After many delibration and modification the assembly signed a docmuent which became law of all India.
of interests are the order (part I defines the state, part II defines citizenship, and part III defines FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS). Then in latter parts we have structure of government etc etc. The order is important as it unequivocally and clearly defines citizens rights, without *ifs* and *buts*. Which insures India, is a Republic before all, of and by people. As we all know there are many other regimes that may carry the name Republic, like Egypt or Iran, but with additionsl like "islamic" or "arab" which negates the essence of Republic.
Here are couple of interesting statements about Indian Constitution:
Sir Anthony Eden, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, said at the time about Indian constituion:
-- Of all the experiments in government, which have been attempted since the beginning of time, I believe that the Indian venture into parliamentary government is the most exciting. A vast subcontinent is attempting to apply to its tens and thousands of millions a system of free democracy.It is a brave thing to try to do so. The Indian venture is not a pale imitation of our practice at home, but a magnified and multiplied reproduction on a scale we have never dreamt of. If it succeeds, its influence on Asia is incalculable for good."
American Constitutional authority, Granville Austin, wrote that what the Indian Constituent Assembly began was "perhaps the greatest political venture since that originated in Philadelphia in 1787."
And 60 years later the outcome is not questioned by anyone. Happy Republic Day India!
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