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Constitution Day

  • IASbaba
  • November 29, 2021
  • 0
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Nov 26:  Constitution Day – https://youtu.be/18zQqJKdr6k 

TOPIC:

  • GS-2: Indian Constitution

Constitution Day

Context: Constitution Day also known as ‘Samvidhan Divas’ is celebrated every year on 26th November to commemorate the adoption of Constitution of India on the same day in 1949. It came into effect two months later on 26th January, 1950

By: The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment 

What is the objective of celebrating Samvidhan Divas?

  • 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 per Gandhian thought ‘The true source of rights is duty. If we all discharge our duties, rights will not be far to seek’ 
  • It aims to reinforce that commonality of Indian Identity. Sardar Patel stated ‘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’.

Timeline:

  • 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.

Who does Constitution belong to?

  • 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.

Some of the shaping factors of the Constitution:

  • British colonial rule and the Freedom struggle: The oppression leading to the enhanced importance of the rights of citizens like civil liberties (freedom of speech), etc., and through the freedom struggle has shaped the vision of the constitution.
  • INC session of Karachi’s resolution on Fundamental rights and National economic programme and other similar events.
  • British governance Acts for India: Starting from the Regulating Act of 1773 till the Indian Independence Act of 1947, especially Government of India Act of 1935
  • International events: French revolution (Republic, ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity), Russian revolution (ideals of justice), etc., has led to the increased importance and expansion of rights.
  • Indian philosophy and thinkers: Like Gandhi’s philosophy leading to the self-government institutions i.e, PRI (article 40 under DPSP), etc. Nehru report of 1928, the first attempt in drafting the Constitutional scheme indigenously had most of the present document’s ideals like fundamental rights, responsible government at the centre and in states, etc.

Thus, the Constitution is a gradually evolved document over a period of time and was carefully articulated by the constituent assembly.

NOTE: On the occasion, an Online Course on Indian Constitution has been launched by Union Law Minister. 

  • The launch of this Online Course took place in collaboration with National Academy of Legal Studies & Research, NALSAR, University of Law. 
  • Those who want to apply for this course, can do so free of cost by going to the official website – www.legalaffairs.nalsar.ac.in.  

Can you answer the following questions?

  1. The Constitution of India is a creative blending of the nationalist voice and the colonial system of governance. Elucidate.    
  2. A constitution by itself is just an inanimate object which comes to life once it is complemented by constitutional morality. Comment.

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