India is a diverse nation. There are different kinds of people and communities in India based on language, religion, class, customs, and practices. If we look at linguistic diversity then we may see that there are many linguistic communities in India like Hindu, Punjabi, Malayalam, Telugu, Tamil, and so on. Similarly, if we look at religious diversity then we may see Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims, Christians, Jains, Parsis, Buddhists, and so on. There are many different classes of people like the rich, middle class, poor, and depressed class, and sometimes these classes intersect leading to more oppression. In such a situation it was really difficult to frame a constitution that can cater to the needs of all the above-mentioned communities. Due to this, the Constituent Assembly decided to appoint multiple committees to deal with different tasks of constitution-making.
COMMITTEES APPOINTED BY THE CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY
There were 8 major and 13 minor committees appointed for this purpose. Some of the important committees were Union Constitution Committee, Provincial Constitution Committee, Advisory Committee on Fundamental Rights, States Committee, and Drafting Committee. Out of all these committees, Drafting Committee was the most important committee which was appointed on 29th August 1947. All the other committees were supposed to send their recommendations to the Drafting Committee, and based on the recommendations and proposals, the Drafting Committee was supposed to prepare a Draft Constitution. Dr BR Ambedkar was the Chairman of the Drafting Committee, which is why he is also known as the Father of the Indian Constitution. JL Nehru was the Chairman of the Union Constitution Committee and States Committee while Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was the Chairman of the Provincial Constitution Committee and the Advisory Committee on Fundamental Rights.
JOURNEY OF THE DRAFT CONSTITUTION
Based on the recommendation of these committees, the Drafting Committee prepared the First Draft of the Indian Constitution in February 1948 and was sent out for feedback based on which changes were made, and a Second draft was published in October 1948. The Final Draft was introduced by Dr. BR Ambedkar on 4th November 1948. Thereafter till November 1949, the debate went on in the Constituent Assembly on the Final Draft of the Indian Constitution. Based on these debates around 7,653 Amendments were proposed to the draft, out of which 2,473 were discussed in the Assembly. Finally, on 26th November 1949, the Motion of Draft Constitution was passed. The Final Draft was signed by all the members and the President of the Constituent Assembly.
ADOPTION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA
After passing the Draft Constitution, the only thing that was left was to implement the Constitution. On this matter, Jawahar Lal Nehru said that the Indian Constitution cannot be implemented right now. This was a shock to all the members of the Constituent Assembly because already too much time was consumed to frame the Constitution. The reasoning given by Jawahar Lal Nehru was that in December 1929, Congress Lahore Session was held in which Poorna Swaraj Resolution was passed in which the Indian National Congress changed its aim from Dominion Status to Poorna Swaraj which means Complete Independence. After the passage of the Poorna Swaraj Resolution in December 1929, Jawahar Lal Nehru celebrated Poorna Swaraj Day on 26th January 1930 at the shore of river Rabi. Jawahar Lal Nehru was opposed by some of the members of the Constituent Assembly due to which only some important provisions of the Indian Constitution pertaining to Citizenship, Elections, Provisional Parliament, and Temporary and Transitional Provisions came into force on 26th November 1949 while the rest of the Constitution was implemented on 26th January 1950 after which India became a Republic which is why it is celebrated as the Republic Day. It is also knowns as the Date of Commencement of the Indian Constitution. As soon as the Constitution of India was passed, the Parliament of India repealed the Government of India Act, of 1935 which was passed by the British Parliament. One thing to keep in mind here is that 26th November 1949 is the date of adoption and 26th January 1950 was the date of implementation of the Constitution of India.
CRITICISM OF THE CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY
The critics of the Constituent Assembly said that since it is not a representative body then how can they frame the Constitution for the whole nation? Some critics said that it is not a sovereign body since it was authorized by the Britishers. Some said that it took a very long time to frame the Constitution of India giving the example of the US Constitution which took only 4 months. There were some other criticisms too like the majority of the members were Hindus, and from Indian National Congress. Some people said that it was dominated by lawyers.
SOME MISCELLANEOUS FACTS ABOUT THE ORIGINAL CONSTITUTION DOCUMENT
- The elephant was adopted as the seal of the Constituent Assembly.
- The original constitution was handwritten by English Calligrapher Prem Bihari Raizada in English and by Hindi Calligrapher Vasant Kishan Vaidya in Hindi.
The framing of the Constitution of India was a very long process and everyone contributed to it. Various committees, members, and people of India were part of the framing of the Constitution. It catered to the needs of the diversity of India keeping in mind the interest of every class, community, race, religion, and gender. No constitution is perfect and has to be amended from time to time but that does not mean it’s not good. While it took 2 years, 11 months, and 18 days to frame the Constitution of India, it is justified by the diversity that India carries which is not there in any other nation like the US.