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TOPIC: General Studies 2
- Indian Constitution
In News: Constitution Day also known as ‘Samvidhan Divas’ is celebrated in our country on 26th November every year, to commemorate the adoption of the Constitution of India.
By: The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment o
Objective: The aim is to publicize the glorious and rich composite culture and diversity of our nation. Further, it aims to create awareness of Fundamental Duties as enshrined in the Indian Constitution. As citizens of our great nation, we believe firmly in Gandhian thought that ‘The true source of rights is duty. If we all discharge our duties, rights will not be far to seek’ and as said by Sardar Patel, ‘Every Indian should forget that he is a Rajput, a Sikh, or a Jaat. He must remember that he is an Indian and he has every right in his country but with certain duties’.
In 2019: With the collective efforts of the Buddhist Association for the blind and the Saavi Foundation and Swagat Thorat, for the first time the constitution will be made available in Braille. As part of the joint project, the constitution will be made available in five parts in Braille for the benefit of visually challenged individuals.
- On December 6, 1949 the Constitution Assembly was formed and its first meeting was held on December 9. Rajendra Prasad was appointed its President and H C Mukherjee its vice-chairman.
- On August 29, 1947, the drafting committee appointed Ambedkar as its chairman and six other members — Munshi N Gopalaswami Ayyangar, Khaitan, Mitter, Muhammed Sadulla, Alladi Krishnaswamy Iyer.
- The members of the Constituent Assembly signed two hand-written copies of the document (one each in Hindi and English) on January 24, 1950.
- On November 26, 1949, the Constitution of India was adopted by the Assembly.
- On January 26, 1950, the Constitution was enforced.
- The words ‘secular’ and ‘socialist’ were added to the preamble post the emergency in 1976.
- When the Constitution was adopted in the year 1949, there were no provisions regarding Fundamental Duties to the Citizens though there was a Part III for Fundamental Rights. The Fundamental Duties of citizens were added to the Constitution by the 42nd Amendment in 1976, upon the recommendations of the Swaran Singh Committee that was constituted by the Government. The Committee suggested that steps needed to be taken to ensure that the individual did not overlook his duties while in exercise of his Fundamental Rights.
India’s constitution is the longest written constitution in the world containing 395 Articles, 22 Parts and 12 Schedules. It took around 2 years, 11 months and 17 days to complete the Constitution.
At the beginning of each part of the Constitution, Nandalal Bose has depicted a phase or scene from India’s national experience and history.
After the Constitution was passed, the historic session of the Constituent Assembly ended with the singing of the National Anthem “Jana-gana-mana adhinayaka Jai Hey, Bharat Bhagya Vidhata,” by Purnima Banerjee, a veteran freedom fighter and sister of the late freedom fighter, Aruna Asaf Ali.
People of India are the ultimate custodians of the Constitution. It is in them that sovereignty vests and it is in their name that the Constitution was adopted. The Constitution empowers the citizen, but the citizen too empowers the Constitution – by following it, by adhering to it, by protecting it, and by persevering to make it more meaningful with words and deeds. The Constitution is nobody’s preserve – and it is everybody’s preserve.
The Preamble to the Constitution of India
“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.”
The Constitution of India declares India a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic, assuring its citizen’s justice, equality and liberty and endeavours to promote fraternity.
Connecting the Dots:
- In what ways does the Indian Constitution provide the framework for an egalitarian state? Explain.
- How does the Indian Constitution act as a source of ethical guidance? Explain with the help of suitable examples.
- The Constitution of India is a creative blending of the nationalist voice and the colonial system of governance. Elucidate.
- A constitution by itself is just an inanimate object which comes to life once it is complemented by constitutional morality. Comment.