December is a remarkable time in the journey of India to become an independent country because it was exactly 70 years back on December 9th (1946) that the Constituent assembly of India sat together for the first time to draft the constitution. And not just the constitution but India also acquired its National flag, Anthem and a lot more which accelerated the journey of attaining independence.
Constitution of India
It is a well-established fact that the Constitution of India is the most supreme law of the country and the torchbearer of fundamental political code, powers, and duties of government, procedure, directive principles, and duties of the citizen. Even the Parliament is not allowed to overpower the Constitution because of its constitutional supremacy over parliamentary supremacy and the fact that it was framed through constituent assembly which was headed by Dr. B. R. Ambedkar and not Parliament and its members.
Sovereignty, sociality, secularity is the three claims of the Constitution and it also assures justice, equity, and liberty to people residing in his country.
Initiation of making of the Constitution
The beginning of the idea to draft a constitution came up in the year 1928 when the All Parties Conference summoned a committee in order to draft the Constitution and that report came to be known as the Nehru Report.
In the year 1934, the idea to form a constituent assembly was proposed by Mahendra Nath. Since the majority of colonial India functioned under British rule from 1857 to 1947, as a result, the same legislation continued from 1947 to 1950 because the states were the dominion of Britain for these many years.
Before the commencement of the Constitution, there were legislations which governed the functioning of Indian provinces like the Indian Independence Act 1947 and Government of India Act 1935 but these legislations were repealed by the Constitution after its commencement i.e., from 26 January 1950.
On 14th of August 1947 a meeting of the assembly was held which proposed committees that started working on the draft and finally the committee was appointed and a revised constitution was prepared by the committee and it submitted to the assembly on 4th November 1947.
Some major committees contributing were- the Drafting committee headed by B.R. Ambedkar, Union powers committee headed by Jawaharlal Nehru, Union Constitution committee headed by Sardar Vallabh Patel, Advisory committee on Fundamental rights headed by Sardar Patel, and other sub-committees.
There were few amendments which were suggested and the revised draft constitution was discussed. The final session of the assembly which was convened on the 4th of January 1950 was the day when each member of the assembly signed two copies of the constitution, one was in Hindi and the other was in English. Also, a fact, our constitution is the only constitution which was hand written and was pretty much filled with designs by artists.
The constitution was published at Dehradun and the final constitution took almost 5 years to publish. Before adopting the Constitution, the assembly held eleven sessions in 165 days. Since the constitution was adopted on the 26th of November, we also know that day as the National Law Day or Constitution Day. This day is also known as the day where the significance of the constitution is spread through the thoughts of Ambedkar. The cost estimated for the making of the constitution was 6.3 crores!
The 26th of January 1930 was declared as Independence Day by the Congress but India did not get Independence until 1947 and did not become a republic until 1950. The reason it was considered to become a republic in 1950 was due to the enactment of the Constitution. Even when the country was free from the British Raj still, we used to follow the British monarch which was replaced by India’s newly adapted constitution and so, India became a Republic.
The Constitution of India is not just a book of laws but it is a living document which carries the guidelines to make the working of the government efficient and also puts down the basic framework that defines fundamental political principles and it also lays down the structure, power, procedures, etc. When the constitution was commenced, it had 395 articles in 22 portions and 8 schedules and consisted of almost 80,000 words.
Sir Granville Austin has mentioned that the Indian constitution is the first and foremost a social document and is aided by its parts acting together as its chief instruments in realising the goals set by it for everyone. John Marshall, the fourth Chief Justice of US said that the Indian constitution has great outlines which should be marked, its important object designated and also including the minor instruments. Hence, the substantiality of our constitution is absolutely undeniable and when the legends say so, everyone has got to believe.