Constitution Day is celebrated in India on November 26 every year. On this day, back in 1949, the Constituent Assembly of India formally adopted the Constitution of India, which came into effect on January 26, 1950.
We bring to you ten lesser known facts about our Constitution, which is considered as one of the most exhaustive documents in the world, highlighting the sovereign, socialist and secular nature of the country. It assures its citizens of justice, equality, and liberty.
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What is Constitution Day?
It is the day on which the Constitution of India was adopted by the Constituent Assembly. While the constitution was adopted in 1949 it came into force on January 26, 1950 (which is celebrated as Republic Day).
The Constituent Assembly framed the document. It consisted of 385 members, of which 292 were elected by the elected members of the Provincial Legislative Assemblies while 93 members were nominated by the Princely States. In addition, it had representatives each from the four Chief Commissioners Provinces of Delhi, Ajmer-Marwar, Coorg and British Baluchistan.
The Chairman of Constitution Drafting Committee and the architect of Indian constitution Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar said, “The democratic values are not imported to India from outside and we must defend our hard-fought freedom through the last drop of blood.”
The Drafting Committee had seven members: Alladi Krishnaswami Ayyar, N. Gopalaswami; B.R. Ambedkar, K.M Munshi, Mohammad Saadulla, B.L. Mitter and D.P. Khaitan. At its first meeting on 30th August 1947, the Drafting Committee elected B.R Ambedkar as its Chairman.
Ten lesser known facts about the Constitution
- The Constitution of India was not typeset or printed but was handwritten and calligraphed in both English and Hindi.
- The original copies of the Constitution of India are kept in special helium-filled cases in the Library of the Parliament of India.
- The Constitution of India contains 448 articles in 25 parts, 12 schedules, 5 appendices and 98 amendments.
- The Constituent Assembly took almost three years (two years, eleven months and seventeen days) to complete the historic task of drafting the Constitution for Independent India.
- The Constituent Assembly met for the first time in New Delhi on December 9, 1946 in the Constitution Hall, which is now known as the Central Hall of Parliament House.
- The Constitution was passed and accepted on Nov 26, 1949. The session of the Assembly was held on Jan 24, 1950, which unanimously elected Dr Rajendra Prasad as the President of India.
- The Indian Constitution starts with the preamble which outlines the main objectives of the Constitution. The idea of the preamble was borrowed from the US Constitution
- The idea of the suspension of Fundamental Rights during the emergency was taken from Weimar Constitution of Germany.
- The concepts of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity were taken from the French constitution and the concept of five year plans was taken from the USSR. The Directive principles were taken from Ireland. The law on which the Supreme Court functions was taken from Japan.
- It is the longest written constitution of any independent country in the world.