INDIAN POLITY – Making Constitution

The idea of constitution of India was first given by M. N. Roy. In 1927, M. N. Roy talks about the Constituent Assembly in the newspaper “Indian Patriot”. For the first time in 1936, Indian National Congress officially demanded the Constituent Assembly in the Faizapur session. The demand of Constituent Assembly was accepted in August Offer in 1940. But after the approval of Cabinet Mission Plan in 1946, the Constituent Assembly has been set up.

Composition of Constituent Assembly:

In the beginning of Constituent Assembly the total strength of Assembly is 389. Out of 389 seats, 296 seats belong to the British India and the remaining 93 seats from Princely States. Thus the Constituent Assembly includes partly elected members and nominated members. For the 296 seats in British India, elections were conducted from July to august of 1946. In the elections, Indian National Congress won 208 seats, Muslim League won 73 seats and independent members won 15 seats.

Formation of Constituent Assembly:

The first meeting of Constituent Assembly was held on December 9, 1946. The first meeting of Constituent Assembly was boycotted by the Muslim League. 211 members were participated in the first meeting. Dr. Sachidhanand Sinha was elected as the temporary president of the Constituent Assembly which is a French practice. On December 11, Dr. Rajendra Prasad was elected as the President of the Constituent Assembly. H.C. Mukherje was elected as the Vice – President of the Constituent Assembly. B.N. Rau appointed as the Constitutional advisor of the Assembly

Objectives Resolution:

The famous historical Objectives Resolution was moved by Jawaharlal Nehru in the Constituent Assembly on December 13, 1946. The Resolution was anonymously accepted by the members of the Assembly on January 22, 1947. The modified version of Objectives Resolution is the Preamble of the current Constitution.

After Independence:

The General Assembly does two functions simultaneously. While the Assembly met for Constitutional work, the Assembly was headed by Dr. Rajendra Prasad. If he Assembly met for Legislative work, it was headed by G.V. Mavlankar. These two functions worked on separate days. After Independence the number of members in Constituent Assembly was reduced to 299, which were 389 in starting of the Assembly. It is due to the partition of Pakistan from India.

Other functions performed by Constituent Asssembly:

The Constituent Assembly ratified the India’s membership in Commonwealth on May, 1949. In July 22, 1947 the Constituent Assembly adopted the National Flag of India. On January 24, 1950 the Constituent Assembly adopted our National Anthem and the National Song of India. Also in the January 24, 1950 Dr. Rajendra Prasad was elected as the First President of India. The Last meeting of Constituent Assembly was held on January 24, 1950.

The Constituent Assembly meets totally 11 sessions. For the eleven sessions, they take the period of two years, eleven months and eighteen days. They had taken 114 days to prepare the draft Constitution. The members of Constituent Assembly, observes the Constitution of several countries. The members of Assembly verify the Constitution of 60 countries to create the new Constitution for India. The total expenses of the Constituent Assembly are 64 lakhs rupees.

Committees of the Constituent Assembly:

The Constituent Assembly creates several committees to develop the Constitution of India. Of the committees, most important is major eight committees. The Union Powers Committee, Union Constitution Committee and States Committee (Committee for negotiating with States) was headed by Jawaharlal Nehru. The Drafting Committee was headed by Dr. B. R. Ambedkar. The Rules of Procedure Committee and Steering Committee was headed by Dr. Rajendra Prasad.

Provincial Constitution Committee and Advisory Committee were headed by Sardar Vallabhai Patel. The Advisory Committee on Fundamental Rights, Minorities and Tribal and Excluded Areas headed by Patel includes four sub-committees. The sub committees are
1) the Fundamental Rights Sub Committee was headed by J.B. Kripalani
2) the Minorities Sub-Committees was headed by H.C. Mukherjee
3) North East Frontier Tribal Areas and Assam Excluded and Partially Excluded Sub-Committee was headed by Gopinath Bardoli
4) Excluded and Partially Excluded Areas (other than those in Assam) Sub-Committee was headed by A. V. Thakkar

Minor Committees:

There are several minor committees created by the Constituent Assembly. The Committee on the Functions of the Constituent Assembly was headed by G.V. Mavlankar. The Order of Business Committee was headed by Dr. K.M. Munshi. The House Committee and Committee on Chief Commissioners Provinces were headed by B. Pattabhi Sittaramaya. The Ad-hoc Committee on National Flag and Finance and Staff Committee was headed by Dr. Rajendra Prasad. The Special Committee to Examine the Draft Constitution and the Credentials Committee was headed by Alladi Krishnaswamy Ayyar. Ad-hoc Committee on the Supreme Court was headed by S. Varadhachariar.

Drafting Committee:

The most Committee in the Constituent Assembly was the Drafting Committee. It was headed by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. The Drafting Committee was set up on August 29, 1947. The Committee includes seven members. The members are 1) Dr. B.R. Ambedkar was the chairman of the Committee
2) N Gopalaswamy Ayyangar
3) Alladi Krishnaswamy Ayyar
4) Dr K.M. Munshi
5) Syed Mohammed Saadullah
6) B.L. Mitter, after the serious ill he was replaced by N Madhava Rao
7) D P Khaitan, after his death in 1948, T T Krishnamachari was appointed in the Committee.
The First Draft of the Indian Constitution was published in February 1948. The second Draft of Indian Constitution was published in October 1948. The Drafting Committee works for 141 days.

Enactment of the Constitution:

On November 4, 1948 Dr B.R. Ambedkar submits the final draft of the Indian Constitution. The general discussion on the draft was continued for five days. The second general discussion on draft was from November 15, 1948 to October 17, 1949. The members of the Assembly suggest 7653 Amendments on the draft. But finally 2473 were made changes. The General Assembly finally declared that they adopted the draft finally on November 26, 1949. Out of 299 members of the assembly, 284 members were put sign on that final draft. The day November 26, 1949 was declared as the Indian Constitution adopted day. This was indicated in the Preamble of the Indian Constitution.

Dr B.R. Ambedkar:

He was the chairman of the Drafting Committee. He was called as “Father of the Indian Constitution, Chief Architect of the Constitution of India and Modern Manu.

Janauary 26, 1950:

The Indian Constituion was adopted on November 26, 1949. The Indian Constitution was come into force on January 26, 1950. That day was celebrated as Indian Republic Day. In 1930, January 26 was celebrated as “Poorana Swaraj Day” by the Nationalist Leaders of India.

Criticism on Constituent Assembly:

Most of them said that the Indian Constituent assembly was not a representative body. Because the members were not directly elected by the people of India. Granville Austin, “The Constituent assembly was a one-party body in an essentially one-party country. The Assembly was the Congress and the Congress was India”. Lord Viscount Simon says, “it is a body of Hindus”. Winston Churchill said that “the Constituent Assembly represents only one major community in India”.


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