Today, India celebrates 70th Republic Day. It is one of the important national festival of India. The reason behind the celebration is establishment of the Constitution of India to administrate the country as a Sovereign Socialist Democratic Republic. On 26th January, 1950, the Constitution of India came into effect.
The constitution of India is the supreme law of our country that frame the outline of fundamental political principles. Moreover, it establishes the structure, procedures, powers, and duties of government establishments. It also sets the fundamental rights, directive principles, and duties of a citizen.
The constitution we have today has undergone a very interesting journey . Let us know the amazing facts of the Constitution of India.
The Longest Constitution in the World
As a matter of fact, the Constitution of India is the longest constitution in the world. It constitutes 26 Parts, 12 Schedules, 448 Articles. There has been 101 amendments till date. More importantly, we have scripts in both Hindi and English.
The Indian Constitution has a total of 117,369 words in its English version
The original copies are kept in special helium-filled cases in the Library of the Parliament of India.
Not Typed or Printed. It is indeed Handwritten Constitution!
Prem Behari Narain Raizada originally hand-drafted the Constitution of India in a flowing italic style with beautiful calligraphy. He devoted 6 months to complete the writing where he used 254 pen-holder nibs of No.303. The government of India has allotted a room to Prem Behari in the Constitution House to execute the prominent work. Instead of any kind of salary he asked permission to write his name on every page of the constitution and the name of his grandfather with his name on the last page.
A Constitution with Artistic Ingenuity
The Constitution of India is a perfect example of hand crafted creativity. This momentous task of accomplishing the creative work was assigned to Acharya Nandalal Bose in Kala Bhawan, Shantiniketan. Nandalal Bose himself painted the major images and guided his students in designing other art work. The face of the Constitution “The Preamble” is the most important page which the student of Nandala Bose, Beohar Rammanohar Sinha had designed.
Constitution Narrating an Extensive Journey
After a long expedition with the Constituent Assembly, our Constitution came into existence. Under the Chairmanship of Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar, also known as “Father of Indian Constitution” the Constituent Assembly created a Drafting Committee on 29th August 1947 to prepare a Draft Constitution. They discussed and passed 2473 amendments out of 7635 tabled. Therefore, the drafting of the constitution by the assembly took exactly two years, eleven months. and seventeen days. And finally, after 2 days on 26th January 1950, the Constitution of India came into force and thus we celebrated our First Republic Day.
26th January! The date has a history behind it!
India demanded “Purna Swaraj” ” (Complete Independence) during 1929-30. After a prolonged struggle and sacrifice of the Indians to free India from British rule, the Indian Declaration of Independence was drafted and on 31st December 1929, Jawaharlal Nehru hoisted the tricolor flag with Gandhi charkha in centre. For the next 17 years India celebrated “Indian Independence Day” on 26th January 1930, which was publicly issued. But in 1947, Lord Mountbatten choose 15th August to grant freedom officially instead of 26th January. Henceforth, this the reason why India declared 26th January 1950 as its republic day.
Indian Constitution, a Bag of Borrowings
Our Constitution is a melting pot of the result of experiences gained by other Constitutions across the globe. The different Constitution includes the following elements:
British Constitution- Parliamentary form of Government, Rule of Law, Law making procedure, Single Citizenship, Institution of Speaker, Doctrine of pleasure tenure of civil servants.
American Constitution- Judicial System, Fundamental Rights.
Canadian Constitutions – “ Federal System with a strong central authority, Residual powers, Centre State Relation.”
Irish Constitution-“Directive Principles, Elections of the President of India”
Australian Constitution –“Concurrent list, Freedom of Trade and Service within Country”
Weimar Constitution has – “Emergency Provision”
Soviet Constitution – “Five Year Plans, Fundamental Duties”
South African Constitution – “Amendment of Constitution”
And finally the Govt. of India Act 1935, “Office of the Governor, Powers of the federal jury”
World’s Best Constitution
The Constitution of India is the best constitution in the World. It had been amended only 101 times though it is the longest constitution. Hence, in 68 years considering the length of the Constitution the number of amendments are less.
Indian Constitution has a Preamble
The constitution of India begins with a Preamble that defines the source of authority, Indian State, and the objectives.
The Preamble can be read as:
WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a sovereign socialist secular democratic republic and to secure to all its citizens, JUSTICE social, economic, and political; LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith, and worship, EQUALITY of status and of opportunity: and to promote among them all FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY this twenty-sixth day of November 1949, do HEREBY ADOPT, ENACT, AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION.
Constitution with Parliamentary Form of Government
India has a parliamentary form of government where the executive is answerable and responsible to the legislature.
In parliamentary form of government, the executive and the legislature work in close cooperation. The executive is responsible to the legislature for all of its actions. Moreover, the Council of Minister is collectively responsible where they belong to the same political party which maintains a homogeneous body.
The Prime Minister leads in the parliamentary form of government.
Indian Constitution Guarantees Fundamental Rights
The Constitution of India constitutes the ‘Fundamental Rights’ that guarantee civil freedom to all the citizens of India to allow them to live in peace and harmony.
There are six fundamental rights mentioned in the Constitution.
Right to Equality: Equality before the law. No partiality based on race, religion, caste, creed, gender, or place of birth.
Right to Freedom: Right to speech and expression, to assemble peacefully or to form an association, to move freely throughout the territory of India, to life and liberty, reside and settle in any part of India etc.
Right to Freedom of Religion: Freedom of conscience and profession, to run religious affairs and to give religious instructions in certain institutions.
Right against Exploitation: Banning of forced labour and prohibition of employment of children in perilous jobs.
Cultural and Educational Rights: Preservation of language and culture of minorities and right of minorities to establish educational institutions.
Right to Constitutional Remedy: To move the courts for issuance of writs & explains the writs of Habeas corpus, Mandamus, Prohibition, Quo Warranto, Certiorari.
Indian Constitution Sanctions Single Citizenship
In India, there is a single and uniform citizenship for the whole country. The Constitution of India says that all Indian citizens should be obligated to the Indian Union. Moreover, there is no distinction between the citizens of two or more States. But, in Kashmir there is a different rule where
a permanent resident of Kashmir can only acquire landed property.