On 15th of August 1947 India attains independence, a new nation is born.
But the biggest and the most challenging task at hand was drafting a Constitution for India! And it was amidst the repercussions of the Second World War and the ensuing Cold War, that the Constitution of India was framed keeping in mind the teachings of the past and the needs of the future.
The Drafting Committee, set up on 29 August 1947 with Dr BR Ambedkar as its chairman, drafted a constitution within 2 years, 11 months and 17 days! The Constituent Assembly adopted the Constitution of India on November 26, 1949, but brought it into effect on January 26, 1950, whereby declaring India as a Republic Nation. The Assembly met, in sessions open to open, for 166 days, spread over a time of two years, 11 months and 18 days before embracing the Constitution.
26 January was picked as the Republic day since it was on this day in 1930 when Declaration of Indian Independence (Purna Swaraj) was announced by the Indian National Congress rather than the Dominion status offered by British Regime. On the said day, Dr Rajendra Prasad took an oath as India’s first President and unfurled India’s national flag.
The Constitution of India is truly a fine piece of art, both in terms of its provisions and the illustrations!
Though the Constitution of India draws its governance guidelines from different nations, it is famous for the unique balance that it strikes between rigidity and flexibility, rights and duties, Center and state. With 395 articles, 22 parts, 12 schedules and 100 amendments, it is one of the lengthiest written constitutions of the world!
It gave the citizens of India the power to govern themselves by choosing their own government. A country ruled by a government “by the people, for the people, of the people” finds its foundation in the four pillars of democracy.
And here’s something that you probably didn’t know about our Constitution:
The original copy of our constitution is kept in a special helium-filled case in the Parliament Museum.
World’s longest at 90,000 words, our Constitution is hand-written in both Hindi and English and is also the ONLY one to have images! The calligraphy of this handwritten-handmade book is credited to Prem Behari Narain Raizada.
These images in the original manuscript of the Constitution were hand-drawn and illustrated by Nandalal Bose!
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