Concept of Welfare State
Have you ever noticed that the Directive principles of the State policy of the Indian Constitution have been placarding the western European idea of the Welfare State? Have you ever thought why the propelling mechanisms of socio-economic development have been kept in Part IV of the Constitution as an advisory to the State whereas the guarantee of political and civil rights has been made as a non-negotiable guarantee as Fundamental Right? What is the reason? Why could economic rights figure as the part of Fundamental right in the constitution?
It is a reality that the abundance of resources with a minimal population has been the main reason for the successful functioning of welfare State model. The Scandinavian countries are excellent examples of welfare State. Though the Constitution of India strives for a welfare State the non-abundance of resources and a huge population has been the impediment in realizing the goals of the Welfare State.
The concept of welfare State has its origin in Western Europe after the Second World War. The main idea of welfare State is that the government of welfare State plays a vital role in human development. The role of the welfare State extends to the protection and promotion of the well being of its citizens. The economic and social well being of the citizens is based on (1) The principle of equality of opportunity Equitable distribution of wealth (3) Public responsibility for those who cannot afford themselves the minimal provisions for leading a good life.
India before independence was a Colonial State under British rule. Indians were subjects of the English crown. Once India attained Independence, we had our Constitution that has been deeply inspired by the western model of welfare State.