Making Of The Constitution is important topic for Judicial and Civil Services Examination. Efforts and Sacrifice of our founding father

Making Of The Constitution is important topic for Judicial and Civil Services Examination. Efforts and Sacrifice of our founding father


Constitutional Autochthony

  • The etymological roots of ‘autochthony,’ which is not to be confused with ‘autonomy,’ are to be found in the Greek autos(self) and chthon( earth). The goal of constitutional autochthony is to deliver an indigenous Constitution, the source of whose ‘authority’ can be located in the new state’s own soil.
  • The dominant academic view in the middle of the 20th Century was that autochthony could not be achieved simply by drafting an original Constitution or verbally invoking We the People as the source of its authority, for autochthony does not so much concern the content of the Constitution as its pedigree : the chain of legal validity authorising it.

Demand for a Constituent Assembly

  • In 1934: the idea of a Constituent Assembly for India was put forward for the first time by M. N. Roy a pioneer of communist movement in India and an advocate of radical democratism.
  • In 1935: the Indian National Congress (INC), for the first time, officially demanded a Constituent Assembly to frame the Constitution of India.
  • In 1938: Jawaharlal Nehru, on behalf the INC declared that ‘the Constitution of free India must be framed, without outside interference, by a Constituent Assembly elected on the basis of adult franchise’.
  • In 1940: The demand was finally accepted in principle by the British Government in what is known as the ‘August Offer’ of 1940.
  • In 1942: Sir Stafford Cripps, a member of the cabinet, came to India with a draft proposal of the
  • British Government on the framing of an independent Constitution to be adopted after the World War II.
  • The Cripps Proposals were rejected by the Muslim League which wanted India to be divided into two autonomous states with two separate Constituent Assemblies
  • Finally, a Cabinet Mission was sent to India.
    • The Cabinet Mission consisting of three members (Lord Pethick Lawrence, Sir Stafford Cripps and A V Alexander) arrived in India on March 24, 1946 and published its plan on May 16, 1946.
  • While it rejected the idea of two Constituent Assemblies, it put forth a scheme for the Constituent Assembly which more or less satisfied the Muslim League.
  • Finally, a Cabinet Mission was sent to India.
    • The Cabinet Mission consisting of three members (Lord Pethick Lawrence, Sir Stafford Cripps and A V Alexander) arrived in India on March 24, 1946 and published its plan on May 16, 1946.
  • While it rejected the idea of two Constituent Assemblies, it put forth a scheme for the Constituent Assembly which more or less satisfied the Muslim League.

Objectives Resolution

  • On December 13, 1946, Jawaharlal Nehru moved the historic ‘Objectives Resolution’ in the Assembly.
  • It laid down the fundamentals and philosophy of the constitutional structure

Composition of The Constituent Assembly

  • The Constituent Assembly was constituted in November 1946 under the scheme formulated by the Cabinet Mission Plan. The features of the scheme were:
S.No Areas Seats Comment
1 British Indian Province (11) 292 Elected by Provincial Assembly members
2 Princely States (Indian States) 93 Nominated by Kings
3 Chief Commissioners’ Provinces 4  
Total 389  

 

Results of the elections to the Constituent Assembly (July-Aug 1946)

S.No Name of the Party Seats won
1 Congress 208
2 Muslim League 73
3 Unionist Party 1
4 Unionist Muslims 1
5 Unionist Scheduled Castes 1
6 Krishak — Praja Party 1
7 Scheduled Castes Federation 1
8 Sikhs (Non-Cangress) 1
9 COMMUNIST Party 1
10 Independents 8
Total 296

Community-wise representation in the Constituent Assembly (1946)

S.No Community Strength
1 Hindus 163
2 Muslims 80
3 SC 31
4 Indian Christians 6
5 Backward Tribes 6
6 Sikhs 4
7 Anglo-Indians 3
8 Parsis 3
Total 296

COMMITTEES OF THE CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY

S.No Committees Chairman
1 Union Power Committee Jawaharlal Nehru
2 Union Constitution Committee Jawaharlal Nehru
3 States Committee (Committee for Negotiating with  States) Jawaharlal Nehru
4 Drafting Committee ** Dr. B.R. Ambedkar
5 Provincial Constitution Committee Sardar Patel
6 Advisory Committee on Fundamental Rights,  Minorities and Tribal and Excluded Areas Sardar Patel
7 Rules of Procedure Committee Dr. Rajendra Prasad
8 Steering Committee Dr. Rajendra Prasad

Drafting Committee

Among all the committees of the Constituent Assembly, the most important committee was the Drafting Committee set up on August 29, 1947.

  • It was this committee that was entrusted with the task of preparing a draft of the new Constitution. It consisted of seven members.
S.No  Names 
1 Dr. B R Ambedkar (Chairman)
2 N Gopalaswamy Ayyangar
3 Alladi Krishnaswamy Ayyar
4 Dr K M Munshi
5 Syed Mohammad Saadullah
6 N Madhava Rau
7 T T Krishnamachari

Enactment of the Constitution

  • The motion on Draft Constitution was declared as passed on November 26, 1949, and received the signatures of the members and the President.
  • This is also the date mentioned in the Preamble as the date on which the people of India in the Constituent Assembly adopted, enacted and gave to themselves this Constitution

Constitution Day (National Law Day)

  • In India, Constitution Dayis observed every year on November 26 to mark the anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution of the country. In India, 26 November is celebrated as Constitution Day or Samvidhan Diwas.
  • On this day in 1949,the constitution was adopted which came into force on January 26, 1950,marking the beginning of a new era in the history of India. The day aims to spread the importance of the constitution and to spread the thoughts and ideas of BR Ambedkar, the father of the Indian constitution.

Enforcement of the Constitution

  • The Constitution as adopted on November 26, 1949, contained a Preamble, 395 Articles and 8 Schedules.
  • Some provisions of the Constitution came into force on November 26, 1949 itself. It contained:
  • Provisions pertaining to citizenship, elections, provisional parliament, temporary and transitional provisions, and short title contained in Articles 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 60, 324, 366, 367, 379, 380, 388, 391, 392 and 393
  • The remaining provisions (the major part) of the Constitution came into force on January 26, 1950.
  • This day is referred to in the Constitution as the ‘date of its commencement’, and celebrated as the Republic Day.
  • January 26 was specifically chosen as the ‘date of commencement’ of the Constitution because of its historical importance.
  • It was on this day in 1930 that Purna Swaraj day was celebrated, following the resolution of the Lahore Session (December 1929) of the INC

Other Functions Performed by The Constituent Assembly

  • In addition to the making of the Constitution and enacting of ordinary laws, the Constituent Assembly also performed the following functions:
  • It ratified the India’s membership of the Commonwealth in May 1949.
  • It adopted the national flag on July 22, 1947.
  • It adopted the national anthem on January 24, 1950.
  • It adopted the national song on January 24, 1950.
  • It elected Dr Rajendra Prasad as the first President of India on January 24, 1950.

 

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