- TPOICS COVERED-
- Development of Indian Constitution
- Government of India act, 1919
- Government of India Act,1935
- Constituent assembly
- How members of Constituent Assembly were elected
- Important Facts about Indian Constitution
Indian Constitution is the longest written constitution in the world. Originally, the Constitution had 395 articles, 22 Parts and 8 scheduels. The Indian national congress had officially, for the first time, demanded a constituent assembly in 1935, the idea was the brainchild of M.N Roy. The Constitution can be amended through the process which has been laid down in it, but the basic features of Constitution can not be amended by the Parliament.
DEVELOPMENT OF INDIAN CONSTITUTION
. Many articles of the Constitution has also been borrowed from the Constitution of other nations, like USA, Germany, Japan, Australia, France, UK and Ireland. Apart from them, many Articles of the Constitution have connection with the Laws and Statutes that were enacted by the Britishers when India was under their rule. The key among them was the Government of India Acts of 1919 and 1935.
GOVERNMENT OF INDIA ACT, 1919-
In 1918, Edwin Montagu, the Secretary of State, and Lord Chelmsford, the Viceroy, came up with the Constitutional reforms with the help of this Act. These reforms were also known as Montagu-Chelmsford (or Mont-Ford) Reforms. This law gave representation to Indians in the Government. The subjects with were of National Importance and which were related to more than one province came under it. For Eg. Defence, External Affairs, Civil and Criminal Laws etc.
Bicameral legislature which had a Lower House and a Upper House was also formulated under this act. The legislators were given more rights than before, for instance they could ask questions, vote a part of the budget. Centeral Government had more powers than Provincial Government, and also exercised great control over it.
GOVERNMENT OF INDIA ACT, 1935
This act was enacted when the Indian leaders felt the need for other set of Constitutional Reforms and inclusion of Indians in the administration of the country. The act divided the powers between the Provincial and Central Government. It also formulated the Council of Ministers to advice Governor, who was the head of executives. This act introduced the direct elections for the first time. It also created three types of list which divided the subjects between the two types of Government-
- Federal List- Contained the subjects for Central Government. At present we have Union List
- Provincial List – Contained subjects for Provincial Government. At present we have State List.
- Concurrent List – Contained subjects for both types of government. At today, both Central and State Governments can make laws on it.
Federal Scheme, Office of Governor, Judiciary, Public Service Commissions, Emergency provisions, Administrative details present in the Constitution got its existence from this Act.
CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY, 1948
In 1946, Britishers decided to give Independence to India. As a result of which they sent British Cabinet Mission to India which was given the duty of discussing about the framework and the writing of the Constitution for an Independent India along with the formulation of Constituent Assembly (CA) with the representatives of the people of India. The members of CA were indirectly elected by the members of Provential Legislature. CA met for the first time in December 1946 in Constitution Hall, in Delhi which is today known as Central Hall of Parliament House and the final draft of the constitution was ready by 26 November 1950, which is remembered as Constitution Day. But, we adopted the Constitution of India on 26 January 1951, to commemorate the declaration of Purna Swarajya. In 1930, Indian National Congress declared Purna Swarjya to proclaim full Independence for India and rejected the offer of Dominion Status.
HOW MEMBERS OF CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY WERE ELECTED ?
The members of CA were not elected by the people of India. But, they were elected by those who were directly elected by the people of India through a single transferable vote. At that time, there was limited franchise. The representatives of all communities for the membership of CA were elected by the members of Provencial Legislative Assembly. The heads of Princely states nominated their members who represented the Princely States in CA.
The majority members were Hindu, as India always had a majority of Hindus in it population. Most of the members were of Indian National Congress. All the Communities were given a fair representation in the Constituent Assembly.
SOME IMPORTANT FACTS
- Constituent Assembly took two years, eleven months And seventeen days to draft the Constitution of India. It held eleven sessions covering a total of 165 days.
- As to its composition, members CA were chosen by indirect election by the members of the Provincial Legislative Assemblies. This scheme was recommended by the Cabinet Mission. The planned arrangement was: (i) 292 members were elected through the Provincial Legislative Assemblies; (ii) 93 members represented the Indian Princely States; and (iii) 4 members represented the Chief Commissioners’ Provinces. The total membership of the Assembly thus was to be 389. However, as a result of the partition under the Mountbatten Plan, a separate Constituent Assembly was set up for Pakistan and representatives of some Provinces ceased to be members of the Assembly. As a result, the membership of the Assembly was reduced to 299
- On 13 December, 1946, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru moved the Objectives Resolution which laid down the underlying principals of Constitution of India, which later became the Preamble of the Constitution.
- Dr B.R Ambedkar was the Chairperson of Drafting Committee which was responsible for preparing the draft of the Constitution.
- Dr. Rajendra Prasad was the President of Constituent Assembly and later, he became the first President of Independent India. But, the first President of Constituent Assembly was Dr. Sachidanand Sinha.
- The Indian Constitution is also known as Bag of Borrowings as many underlying Principles of the Constitution have been borrowed from the Constitution of other nations. Despite having borrowing features, its a unique Constitution that’s successfully limited the powers of the ruling government and has unified the great diversity of the nation.
- The Indian Constitution was not printed but was handwritten and calligraphed in both English and Hindi by Prem Behari Narain Raizada. The original copies of the Constitution are now kept in special helium-filled cases in the Library of the Parliament of India.
- Muslim League played no role in the constituent assembly as it had boycotted the meeting citing their demand for partition
- The National Flag of the Union of India was adopted on 22 July 1947. The Tricolour stands for courage and sacrifice, peace and truth, and faith and chivalry. The Ashoka Chakra in the Centre is also known as Dharma Chakra which is associated by the great emperor Ashoka. This Drama Chakra shows his first serious attempt to unite all of India under a single government
- On 24 January 1950, ‘Jana Gana Mana’ was adopted as the National Anthem. It was written by Rabindra Nath Tagore
The Indian Constitution, The Tricolour, and The National Anthem of India, symbolises the sacrifices that the Indian Freedom Fighters made for the Independence of this nation. None of the above mentioned, represents a particular religion or community. As a citizen of this nation, its our duty to preserve and respect the three symbols of Indian Freedom Fighters. Constitution of India, has successfully preserved the rights of the Indian citizens and has successfully checked the powers of the state.