It is a common myth that USA has seen 33 amendments in last 230 years so it is very rigid. A few nations see their constitution amended almost every week, so they are flexible. Since India have seen 101 amendments in 68 years, it is a mix of rigid and flexible. But it is not the case, let me tell you why flexible and why rigid.
If there is a special provision (different from the ordinary laws) for the amendment for the constitution, it is called a Rigid constitution. For ex: USA Constitution. Process of amendment of USA constitution-
An amendment may be proposed and sent to the states for ratification by either:
- The United States Congress, whenever a two-thirds majority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives deem it necessary; OR
- A national convention, called by Congress for this purpose, on the application of the legislatures of two-thirds (presently 34) of the states.
To become part of the Constitution, an amendment must be ratified by either (as determined by Congress):
- The legislatures of three-fourths (presently 38) of the states, within the stipulated time period—if any; OR
- State ratifying conventions in three-fourths (presently 38) of the states, within the stipulated time period—if any.
Upon being properly ratified, an amendment becomes an operative addition to the Constitution.
The constitution in the same fashion as the ordinary laws. Ex: British constitution.
Both elements are present i.e. rigid as well as flexible. Article 368 provides for multiple ways for amending the constitution.
The Indian Constitution can be amended by following three ways:
- By Special Majority of Parliament : Majority of total membership of each House as well as majority of 2/3rd members of each House present and voting. Provisions like Fundamental Rights, Directive Principles of State Policy can be amended in this fashion
- By Special Majority of Parliament and Consent of States : Special Majority as well as consent from at least 50% of the State Legislatures(by a simple majority). Provisions related to federal structure can be amended in this fashion like election of President, amendment of Seventh Schedule etc
- By Simple majority of Parliament : Majority of members present and voting. Provisions like establishment of new states, Second Schedule etc can be amended in this fashion.
It is clear that not always a special procedure is required to amend the Indian Constitution and sometimes it can be done like an ordinary law (i.e. by simple majority).
Hence the Indian Constitution is not entirely a rigid constitution, rather a mix of rigid and flexible.