Prem Bihari Narayan Rayzada, a resident of Delhi, wrote this huge book, the entire constitution, in italic style with his own hands.
Prem Bihari was a famous calligrapher of that time. He was born on 16th December,1901 in the family of a renowned handwriting researcher in Delhi. He lost his parents at a young age. His grandfather was Ram Prasad Saxena & uncle Chatur Bihari Narayan Saxena. His grandfather Ram Prasad was a calligrapher. He was a scholar of Persian & English. He taught Persian to high-ranking officials of the English government.
He used to teach calligraphy to Prem Bihari from an early age for writing in a beautiful style. After graduating from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi, Prem Bihari started practicing the art of calligraphy learned from his grandfather. Gradually his name began to spread everywhere because of his beautiful handwriting. When the Constitution was ready for printing, the then Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru summoned Prem Bihari. Nehru wanted to have the Constitution in handwritten calligraphy in italic letters instead of in print.
That is why he called Prem Bihari. After Prem Bihari arrived, Nehruji asked him to write the Constitution in italic style & asked him what fee he would take.
Prem Bihari told Nehruji, “Not a single penny. By the grace of God I have all the things & I am quite happy with my life.” After saying this, he made a request to Nehruji “I have one reservation – that on every page of Constitution I will write my name & on the last page I will write my name along with my grandfather’s name.” Nehruji accepted his request. He was given a house to write this Constitution. Sitting there, Premji wrote the manuscript of the entire Constitution.
Before starting writing, Prem Bihari Narayan came to Santiniketan on 29th November, 1949 with the then President of India, Shri Rajendra Prasad, at the behest of Nehruji. They discussed with the famous painter Nandalal Basu & decided how & which part of the leaf Prem Bihari would write on, & the part to be left blank for Nandalal Basu; who would decorate the rest of the blank part of the leaf.
Nandalal Bose & some of his students from Santiniketan filled these gaps with impeccable imagery. Mohenjo-daro seals, Ramayana, Mahabharata, Life of Gautam Buddha, Promotion of Buddhism by Emperor Ashoka, Meeting of Vikramaditya, Emperor Akbar & Mughal Empire, Empress Lakshmibai, Tipu Sultan, Gandhiji’s Movement, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose & Rupachitra is all reflected in their drawings.
All in all, it is a pictorial representation of the history & geography of India. They painted the pictures very thoughtfully according to the content & paragraphs of the constitution.
Prem Bihari needed 432 pen holders to write the Indian Constitution & he used nib number 303b. The nibs were brought from England & Czechoslovakia. He wrote the manuscript of the entire Constitution for six long months in a room in the Constitution Hall of India.
Prem Bihari died on 17th February, 1986. The original book of the Indian Constitution is now preserved in the library of the Parliament House, Delhi. Later, a few books were published in print under the supervision of the Survey of India in Dehradun.
Within a vault-like room in the Library of the Parliament of India in New Delhi sit helium-filled cases – 30x21x9 inches. The temperature is fixed at 20°C (+/- 2°C) & a 30% (+/- 5%) relative humidity is maintained throughout the year. Within the nitrogen-laden case lies the 251-page bound manuscript. These pages are of parchment. The Constitution is 22 inches long &16 inches wide. It’s weight is 3 Kg. 650 gms. & its title is Constitution of India. It is the original manuscript of the Constitution of India that came into force on 26th January, 1950.
Political pundits count the 22 parts, 395 articles & 8 schedules of the original Constitution. But what catches the eye is its aesthetics. Beautiful borders on each parchment paper & words slanting artistically. The curl at the crown of the Bs & Rs, the neat loop at the beginning of U, perfectly coiled quotation marks & the perfect parentheses. Not one word misplaced, not one blotch of ink anywhere. The italics & the numbers so immaculately penned that it is difficult to surmise that it was written by man. A man named Prem Behari Narain Raizada (Saxena).
The Constitution of India is the longest hand written Constitution of any country in the world.
Hope it will update you.