KNC501/KNC601 Constitution of India, Law and Engineering
Chapter 2: Indian Constitution
Facts about Indian Constitution
- Father of the Indian Constitution, Dr. Ambedkar was ready to burn it.
On 2 September 1953, while debating how a Governor in the country should be invested with more powers, Dr. Ambedkar argued strongly in favour of amending the Constitution.
- The Constitution was originally written in Hindi and English.
The original copies of the Indian Constitution were written in Hindi and English. Each member of the Constituent Assembly that drafted the Constitution, signed two copies of the constitution, one in Hindi and the other in English
- The English version has 1,17,369 Words.
There are a total of 1,17,369 words in the English version of the Constitution of India which contains 444 articles in 22 parts, 12 schedules, and 115 amendments.
- It is the longest constitution in the world.
With so much writing, the Indian Constitution is the longest of any sovereign country in the world. In its current form, it has a Preamble, 22 parts with 448 articles, 12 schedules, 5 appendices, and 115 amendments.
- The constitution wasn’t typed or printed.
Both the versions of the Constitution, Hindi, and English, were handwritten. It is the longest handwritten constitution of any country on earth.
- It was handwritten by Sh. Prem Behari Narain Raizada.
The original Constitution of India was handwritten by Sh. Prem Behari Narain Raizada in a flowing italic style with beautiful calligraphy.
The Constitution was published in Dehradun and photolithographed by the Survey of India.
- Each page was decorated by artists from Shantiniketan.
The original Constitution is hand-written, with each page uniquely decorated by artists from Shantiniketan including Beohar Rammanohar Sinha and Nandalal Bose.
- The original copies are stored in special cases.
The original copies of the Indian Constitution, written in Hindi and English, are kept in special helium-filled cases in the Library of the Parliament of India.
- The constitution declares India a Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, and Democratic Republic.
The Preamble to the Constitution declares India to be a sovereign, socialist, secular democratic republic and a welfare state committed to secure justice, liberty, and equality for the people and for promoting fraternity, the dignity of the individual, and unity and integrity of the nation.
- Assures its citizens’ Justice, Equality, Liberty, and Endeavours to promote fraternity.
The fundamentals of the Indian Constitution are contained in the Preamble which guarantees its citizens social, economic, and political Justice; Liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith, and worship; Equality of status and opportunity, and to promote among them all Fraternity assuring the dignity of the individuals.
- 9 December 1946: The Constituent Assembly met for the first time.
The Constituent Assembly was the first Parliament of Independent India.
Dr. Sachchidananda Sinha was the first president (temporary Chairman of the Assembly) of the Constituent Assembly when it met on 9 December 1946.
- The Constituent Assembly, which first met on 9 December 1946, took precisely 2 years, 11 months, and 18 days to come up with the final draft.
- When the draft was prepared and put up for debate and discussion, over 2000 amendments were made before it was finalised.
- 26 November 1949: The final draft was ready.
The Constituent Assembly sat for a total of 11 sessions. The 11th session was held between 14 -26 November 1949. On 26 November 1949, the final draft of the Constitution was ready.
- 24 January 1950: Signing of the Constitution.
On 24 January 1950, 284 members of the Constituent Assembly signed the Indian Constitution at the Constitution Hall, now known as the Central Hall of Parliament, in New Delhi.
- 26 January 1950: The Constitution was legally enforced passed by the Constituent Assembly on 26 November 1949, it came into effect on 26 January 1950. The date 26 January was chosen to commemorate the declaration of Purna Swaraj (complete Independence) of 1930.
- 26 January 1950: The National Emblem of India was adopted.
The National Emblem was adopted on 26 January 1950 – the day India has declared a republic with its Constitution coming into effect. A representation of the Lion Capital of Ashoka was initially adopted as the emblem of the Dominion of India in December 1947. The current version of the emblem was officially adopted on 26 January 1950, the day India became a republic.
- Constitution of India: A ‘Bag of Borrowings’
The Indian Constitution is often called a ‘bag of borrowings’. It is called so because it has borrowed provisions from the constitutions of various other countries. However, it is much more than a mere copy of other constitutions.
- Based on a series of statutes enacted by the British Parliament.
Prior to the Constituent Assembly that convened in 1948 to draft the Indian Constitution adopted in 1950 and still in force to date, the fundamental law of India was mostly embodied on a series of statutes enacted by the British Parliament.
- Borrowings from the French Constitution.
The ideals of Liberty, Equality, and fraternity come from the French Constitution. These words appear in the Preamble to the Constitution of India. Many other nations have also adopted the French slogan of “liberty, equality, and fraternity” as an ideal.
- Borrowings from the USSR.
The concept of the five-year plans in the Indian Constitution was borrowed from the Constitution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
- Borrowings from Japan.
The laws governing our Supreme Court and the concept of “procedure established by Law” were adopted from the Constitution of Japan.
- Borrowings from the Weimar Constitution of Germany.
India borrowed the concept of suspension of fundamental rights during Emergency rule was taken from the Weimar Constitution of Germany.
- Borrowings from the US Constitution.
The Preamble of the Indian Constitution was inspired by the US Constitution’s Preamble. Both the Preambles begin with “We the People”.
- Basic Structure of the Constitution Stands on the Government of India Act, 1935.
The Government of India Act 1935 was originally passed in August 1935 and is said to be the longest Act of (British) Parliament ever enacted by that time. The 1935 Act was the second installment of constitutional reforms passed by the British Parliament for implementing the ideal of responsible government in India.
- Amended Only 94 Times in Over 60 Years.
Amended only 94 times in the first 62 years, the Constitution of India has stood the test of time. As of January 2019, there have been 103 amendments to the Constitution of India since it was first enacted in 1950.