National Law Day
National Law Day or Constitution Day in India is celebrated every year on 26th of November as the constitution of India was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on 26th of November in the year 1949 and came into force on 26th of January in 1950.
Dr. Ambedkar is the Father of Constitution of India. After the independence of India Dr. Ambedkar was invited by the Congress government to serve as a first law minister of the India. He was appointed as the Constitution Drafting Committee’s Chairman on 29th of August. He was the chief architect of the Indian constitution and known for the strong and united India. The Constitution of India is the supreme law of India. It lays down the framework defining fundamental political principles, establishes the structure, procedures, powers and duties of government institutions and sets out fundamental rights, directive principles and the duties of citizens.It is the longest written constitution of any sovereign country in the world.
The nation is governed by it. B. R. Ambedkar is regarded as its chief architect.
"If the Indian constitution is our heritage bequeathed to us by our founding fathers, no less are we, the people of India, the trustees and custodians of the values which pulsate within its provisions! A constitution is not a parchment of paper, it is a way of life and has to be lived up to. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty and in the final analysis, its only keepers are the people."
BIRTH OF THE CONSTITUTION
It was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on 26 November 1949, and came into effect on 26 January 1950. With its adoption, the Union of India became the modern and contemporary Republic of India replacing the Government of India Act, 1935 as the country's fundamental governing document. To ensure constitutional autochthony, the framers of the constitution repealed the prior Acts of the British Parliament via Article 395 of the constitution. India celebrates its coming into force on 26 January each year, as Republic Day.
It declares India a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic, assuring its citizens of justice, equality, and liberty, and endeavours to promote fraternity among them.
It imparts constitutional supremacy and not parliamentary supremacy, as it is not created by the Parliament but, by a constituent assembly, and adopted by its people, with a declaration in its preamble. Parliament cannot override the constitution.
The major portion of the Indian subcontinent was under British rule from 1857 to 1947. When the Constitution of India came into force on 26 January 1950, it repealed the Indian Independence Act. India ceased to be a dominion of the British Crown and became a sovereign democratic republic. The date of 26 January was chosen to commemorate the Purna Swaraj declaration of independence of 1930.
On the 14 August 1947 meeting of the Assembly, a proposal for forming various committees was presented. Such committees included a Committee on Fundamental Rights, the Union Powers Committee and Union Constitution Committee. On 29 August 1947, the Drafting Committee was appointed, with Dr B. R. Ambedkar as the Chairman along with six other members assisted by a constitutional advisor. These members were Pandit Govind Ballabh Pant, Kanaiyalal Maneklal Munshi (K M Munshi, Ex- Home Minister, Bombay), Alladi Krishnaswamy Iyer (Ex- Advocate General, Madras State), N Gopalaswami Ayengar (Ex-Prime Minister, J&K and later member of Nehru Cabinet), B L Mitter (Ex-Advocate General, India), Md. Saadullah (Ex- Chief Minister of Assam, Muslim League member) and D P Khaitan (Scion of Khaitan Business family and a renowned lawyer). The constitutional advisor was Sir Benegal Narsing Rau (who became First Indian Judge in International Court of Justice, 1950–54). Later B L Mitter resigned and was replaced by Madhav Rao (Legal Advisor of Maharaja of Vadodara). On D P Khaitan's death, T T Krishnamachari was included in the drafting committee. A draft Constitution was prepared by the committee and submitted to the Assembly on 4 November 1947, which was debated and over 2000 amendments were moved over a period of two years. Finally on 26 November 1949, the process was completed and the Constituent Assembly adopted the Constitution. 284 members signed the document and the process of constitution making was complete. This day is celebrated as National Law Day or Constitution Day.
It was drafted by the Constituent Assembly, which was elected by elected members of the provincial assemblies. The 389 member Constituent Assembly took almost three years (two years, eleven months and eighteen days to be precise) to complete its historic task of drafting the Constitution for independent India, during which, it held eleven sessions over 165 days.
Of these, 114 days were spent on the consideration of the draft Constitution. On 29 August 1947, the Constituent Assembly set up a Drafting Committee under the Chairmanship of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar to prepare a draft Constitution for India.
While deliberating upon the draft Constitution, the assembly moved, discussed and disposed of as many as 2,473 amendments out of a total of 7,635 tabled. Dr B.R. Ambedkar, Sanjay Phakey, Jawaharlal Nehru, C. Rajagopalachari, Rajendra Prasad, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Kanaiyalal Munshi, Ganesh Vasudev Mavalankar, Sandipkumar Patel, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, Nalini Ranjan Ghosh, and Balwantrai Mehta were some important figures in the assembly.
There were more than 30 members of the scheduled classes. Frank Anthony represented the Anglo-Indian community, and the Parsis were represented by H. P. Modi. The Chairman of the Minorities Committee was Harendra Coomar Mookerjee, a distinguished Christian who represented all Christians other than Anglo-Indians. Ari Bahadur Gurung represented the Gorkha Community.
Prominent jurists like Alladi Krishnaswamy Iyer, Benegal Narsing Rau and K. M. Munshi, Ganesh Mavlankar were also members of the Assembly. Sarojini Naidu, Hansa Mehta, Durgabai Deshmukh, Rajkumari Amrit Kaur and Vijayalakshmi Pandit were important women members.
Some of the Characteristics Of The Indian Constitution:
· It has the democratic government – Elected Members
· Fundamental rights
· Liberty of judiciary, travel, live, speech, religion, education
· Single Nationality
· Obliteration of caste system at the National level
· Common civil code and official languages
· Center is similar to a Buddhist ‘Ganrajya’
· Impact of Buddha and Buddhist rituals
· Since the Indian constitution came into act, the females in India got right to vote.
· Various countries all over the world have followed the Indian Constitution.
· One of the neighbor countries, Bhutan has also accepted the Indian Democratic system.
Some Intresting Facts About Our Constitution
1. The Indian Constitution is the longest in the world. It has 448 articles, 12 schedules and 98 amendments. On the other hand, the American constitution is the shortest.
2. It took nearly 3 years to draft the Indian Constitution. The Constituent Assembly had 284 members, out of which 15 were women. The Drafting Committee submitted the draft in November 1949, after which they took three more years to complete it.
3. The Constitution of India was handwritten and calligraphed both in English and Hindi. It wasn’t typed or printed. The original copies are kept safely inside helium-filled cases in the library of the Parliament of India.
4. The Indian Constitution is called the bag of borrowings. The Indian Constitution has taken various features from other constitutions. The concepts of liberty, equality and fraternity were taken from the French Constitution. The idea of 5 year plans was taken from the USSR and the concept of socio-economic rights was taken from Ireland. Most importantly, the law on which the Supreme Court works was taken from Japan. There are many other concepts that have been borrowed from other countries.
5. The national emblem of India was adopted on January 26, 1950. The national emblem of India is an adapted version of the Sarnath Lion of Ashoka.