Submitted by Mousumi Roy…
It was on 26th January 1930 that India had declared complete independence from the British Rule. The oppressing British rule came to an end on the 15th August 1947.
And it was on 26th January 1950 that India adopted the constitution made by the people of India to govern themselves. Now it is the proud privilege of all the Indians to celebrate this day every year- for which generations of our forefathers fought and made huge sacrifices.
Indian Constitution is the longest written constitution in the world. The handwritten Constitution was signed on 24th January, 1950, by 284 members of the Constituent Assembly, which included 15 women. It came into force two days later on 26th January. The original Constitution of India was handwritten by Prem Behari Narain Raizada in a flowing italic style with beautiful calligraphy. Each page was beautified and decorated by artists from Shantiniketan.
The constituent Assembly came in to existence on 15 August 1947. The aim of the constituent assembly was to frame the constitution of India. The Constituent Assembly appointed a total of 13 committees to deal with different tasks of constitution-making. Out of these, eight were major committees and the others were minor committees. On the basis of the reports of these committees, a draft of the Constitution was prepared by a seven-member Drafting Committee under the Chairmanship of Dr B R Ambedkar.
The draft Constitution was published in January, 1948 and people were given eight months. After the draft was discussed by the people, the press, the provincial assemblies and the Constituent Assembly in the light of the suggestions received, the same was finally adopted on November, 26, 1949, and was signed by the President of the Assembly. Thus, it took the Constituent Assembly 2 years, 11 months and 18 days to complete the task.
Following the 1919 Amritsar Massacre, there was considerable public outrage against British rule.
Europeans, were targets and victims of violence across India.
In 1920, Mahatma Gandhi and the Congress committed themselves to Swaraj, described as political and spiritual independence.
In 1928, the British government further outraged people across India by appointing a seven-man committee led by Sir John Simon. It was an all – European commission Simon Commission to deliberate on constitutional and political reforms for India. Indian political parties were neither consulted nor asked to involve themselves in the process. The death of a prominent Indian leader, Lala Lajpat Rai, from severe beatings by British police officials further outraged the Indian public.
The Congress appointed an all-Indian commission to propose constitutional reforms for India. Members of other Indian political parties joined the commission led by Congress President Motilal Nehru. The Nehru Report demanded that India be granted self-government under the dominion status within the Empire.
The British ignored the commission, its report and refused to introduce political reform. But the Nehru (Motilal) Report was also controversial within the Congress. Younger nationalist leaders like Subhas Chandra Bose and Jawaharlal Nehru demanded that the Congress resolve to make a complete and explicit break from all ties with the British. Jawaharlal Nehru had been influenced by the idea of Bhagat Singh (“total independence”), which Singh had introduced a resolution demanding in 1927, which was rejected because of Gandhi’s opposition.
Now Bose and Nehru opposed dominion status, which would retain the Monarch of the United Kingdom as the constitutional head of state of India (although in the separate capacity as King of India), and preserve political powers for the British Parliament in Indian constitutional affairs.
As a result of the denial of reforms and political rights, and the persistent ignorance of Indian political parties, the Indian National Congress grew increasingly cohesive – unified in the desire to oust the British from India completely. A very large number of Congress volunteers and delegates, members of other political parties and an especially large public gathering attended the session convened in Lahore in 1929.
Jawaharlal Nehru was elected the President of the Indian National Congress and and veteran leaders like Chakravarthi Rajagopalachari and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel returned to the Congress Working Committee. They approved a Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Independence was officially promulgated on 26 January 1930.
The Assembly met for the first time in New Delhi on 9 December 1946, and its last session was held on 24 January 1950. The hope of the Assembly was expressed by Jawaharlal Nehru.
Jawaharlal Nehru, Constituent Assembly-The Constitution includes twenty-two illustrations chosen to represent various periods and eras of the Indian history.
These are– from the pre-Muslim period:- The Mohenjodaro Seal, A Vedic Ashram (Gurukul), Rama’s victory over the demonic forces of Lanka and the recovery of piety and virtue symbolized by Sita, Shri Krishna propounding the Gita to Arjun, Budha delivering a sermon, A Scene from Mahavir’s life, The preaching of Dharma in India and abroad, Depiction of Hanuman, The court of king Vikramaditya.
The seal of the University of Nalanda, A Hindu sculpture from Orissa, The bronze image of Shiva Natraj, The descent of the holy Ganga on earth.
From the Muslim period:
A portrait of Akbar, Portraits of Shivaji and Guru Govind Singh.
From the British period:
Tipu Sultan, Rani Lakshmi Bai, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and Mahatma Gandhi.
Today is a day of hope that gives all of us Indians an occasion to renew our pledge that we will strive hard to keep India united, democratic, secular and socialist.
Happy Republic Day!
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.