21 March 2014

The Constitution of India - Exordium



The Constitution of India - Exordium

Did you ever thought, What if we don't have a Constitution? How all the systems will work without a constitution? How the law and order in our states and our country be implemented?

Why a Constitution?

Even small institutions or companies work following some rules and regulations, some values and principles. If so, why not our huge country, India?
To make the functioning of our country systematic, after our independence, many brilliant brains and intellectuals worked for almost three years to formulate rules and laws for the working of India. We call it the Constitution of India.
Constitution is essential for every democratic country. Our country, India is the world's largest democracy. Government of our country works under certain special acts. They are required to decide how government should perform its functions. One such special act of the state is the Constitution.
Every country needs a constitution. Government in that country is formed and framed according to it. The constitution is a volume of rules and regulations which determine the nature of the state and the system of government.


During the British Rule:

Before we got independence from the hands of the British, our country was under the central authority of the crown. During that time, we don't have any constitution. But, the British rulers ruled us as per their rules and regulations, which don't coincide with the aspirations of the Indians. Those rules were framed by the British for their own benefits. 
As per the time and demand, they formulated many rules, acts and laws.  From among all those, The government of India Act, 1935 has an important role. Our present day constitution to some extent resembles, The Government of India act, 1935. We will discuss about these in the coming days.

When British transfered the power to the Indians, India was constituted by 564 states. Some leaders took up the task of uniting those states, and the role of Sardar Vallabhabhai Patel was important among them. During that time, leaders formed committees to discuss and bring out the constitution. In drafting the constitution of India, the name of Benegal Narsingh Rau, should be noted. Rau prepared a draft Constitution in October 1947. This draft was considered by the drafting committee.


Pt. Nehru on November 30, 1953, made a obituary reference to Rau in Lok Sabha in which he stated: “He was intimately connected with the Constitution-making and he might well be called one of the principal architects of our Constitution.”

There are many leaders who struggled and lost themselves for the sake of the shaping our country, whose names are still in the dark. Who takes the blame???


Constituent Assembly:

A need for constituent assembly to design a suitable form of government was felt after the India got Independence. The Cripps Mission, 1942 proposed to set up a constituent assembly for the first time to prepare the Indian constitution. Elections to the constituent assembly were held in July 1946. It had 292 elected members by the provincial legislative assemblies, and 93 members nominated from the native states. 

Important persons among its members - Dr. Rajendra pradsad, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabhabhai Patel, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Dr. KM Munshi, Dr. Shyam Pradsad Mukherjee, Baldev Singh, Dr. Ambedkar, Dr. Sarvepalli Radha Krishnan, Alladi Krishna Swamy Ayyar, Smt. Sarojini Naidu, Dr. Vijayalakshmi Pandit and others.

The constituent assembly met for the first time on 9th December 1946 and elected Rajendra Prasad as its president. The constituent assembly worked for about 3 years to prepare the constitution of India. Our constitution was born not from the sole ideas, ideals and aspirations of our people, but parts of it were taken from different sources, from the constitutions of different countries, which we will discuss later.


Drafting Committee:

The constituent assembly in the process of framing the constitution of India, formed many committees. One such committee was the Drafting committee. It was constituted on 29th August 1947, with BR Ambedkar as its chairman. It had 8 members. It prepared the draft constitution by February 1948. Lot of discussions on drafting committee and many amendments took place. Finally the revised constitution was approved by the constituent assembly on 26th November 1949. The Constituent Assembly took two years, eleven months and eighteen days for preparing the constitution. It came into force on 26th January, 1950. Our country became sovereign, democratic, republic from that day. Since then, we celebrate every year, that day as the Republic day.

Constitution of India:

Constitution is a special act specifying how government should perform its functions for the welfare of the citizens. The constitution of India is the lengthiest written constitution in the world.
India, also known as Bharat, is a Union of States. It is a Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic with a parliamentary system of government. The Republic is governed in terms of the Constitution of India which was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on 26th November, 1949 and came into force on 26th January, 1950. The Constitution provides for a Parliamentary form of government which is federal in structure with certain unitary features. The constitutional head of the Executive of the Union is the President. 

Our constitution reflects our people's aims, aspirations and ideals. It safeguards their rights and symbolizes their liberty. 

Except for Israel, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, most of the democratic countries of the world possess a written constitution. 

Summary:

  • India is the world's largest democracy.
  • Our present day constitution to some extent resembles, the Government of India act, 1935.
  • The Cripps Mission, 1942 proposed to set up a constituent assembly for the first time to prepare the Indian constitution.
  • Drafting committee was constituted on 29th August 1947, with BR Ambedkar as its chairman.
  • It came into force on 26th January, 1950. We celebrate every year, that day as the Republic day.
  • India is a Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic with a parliamentary system of government.
  • Indian Government is federal in structure with certain unitary features.
  • Except for Israel, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, most of the democratic countries of the world possess a written constitution.

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