71st Constitution Day of India

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71st Constitution Day of India

  • Constitution Day also known as National Law Day, is celebrated in India on 26 November every year to commemorate the adoption of the Constitution of India.
  • On 26 November 1949, the Constituent Assembly of India adopted to the Constitution of India, and it came into effect on 26 January 1950.
  • The Government of India declared 26 November as Constitution Day on 19 November 2015 by a gazette notification. Previously this day was celebrated as Law Day.

History of Constitution Day

  • The constitution of India was made by the constituent assembly of India which was under the cabinet mission plan of 1946.
  • The first meeting for this proposal was held on December 09, 1946, and Dr Sachidanand Sinha was elected as the Provisional President of the assembly.
  • On December 11,1946, Dr Rajendra Prasad, the first president of India and was also the permanent chairman of the assembly.
  • A 13 member committee along with a drafting committee was constituted to frame the constitution under the chairmanship of Dr, BR Ambedkar.Later, based on the committee reports, a draft was prepared by the seven-member drafting committee.

The Constitution of India (supreme law of India)

  • The document lays down the framework that demarcates fundamental political code, structure, procedures, powers, and duties of government institutions and sets out fundamental rights, directive principles, and the duties of citizens.
  • It imparts constitutional supremacy (not parliamentary Usupremacy, since it was created by a constituent assembly rather than Parliament) and was adopted by its people with a declaration in its preamble.
  • It is the longest written constitution of any country.
  • Parliament cannot override the constitution.
  • It was adopted by the Constituent Assembly of India on 26 November 1949 and became effective on 26 January 1950.
  • The constitution replaced the Government of India Act 1935 as the country's fundamental governing document, and the Dominion of India became the Republic of India.
  • To ensure constitutional autochthony, its framers repealed prior acts of the British parliament in Article 395.
  • India celebrates its constitution on 26 January as Republic Day.
  • The constitution declares India a sovereign, socialist, secular, and democratic republic, assures its citizens justice, equality and liberty, and endeavours to promote fraternity.
  • The original 1950 constitution is preserved in a helium-filled case at the Parliament House in New Delhi.
  • The words ""secular"" and ""socialist"" were added to the preamble by 42nd amendment act in 1976, during the Emergency.
  • Our constitution is the longest written constitution in the world, having 395 articles, 22 parts and 12 schedules in it.
  • Our constitution was not printed but handwritten and calligraphic both in Hindi and English.
  • It was completely handcrafted by the artists of Shantiniketan with the guidance of Acharya Nandala Bose and the calligraogy texts made by Prem Behari Narain Raizada in Delhi.

Timeline of formation of the Constitution of India

  • 6 December 1946: Formation of the Constitution Assembly (in accordance with French practice).
  • 9 December 1946: The first meeting was held in the constitution hall (now the Central Hall of Parliament House). The 1st person to address was J. B. Kripalani, Sachchidananda Sinha became temporary president. (Demanding a separate state, the Muslim League boycotted the meeting.)
  • 11 December 1946: The Assembly appointed Rajendra Prasad as its president, H. C. Mukherjee as its vice-chairman and B. N. Rau as constitutional legal adviser. (There were initially 389 members in total, which declined to 299 after partition. Out of the 389 members, 292 were from government provinces, four from chief commissioner provinces and 93 from princely states.)
  • 13 December 1946: An ""Objective Resolution"" was presented by Jawaharlal Nehru, laying down the underlying principles of the constitution. This later became the Preamble of the Constitution.
  • 22 January 1947: Objective resolution unanimously adopted.
  • 22 July 1947: National flag adopted.
  • 15 August 1947: Achieved independence. India split into the Dominion of India and the Dominion of Pakistan.
  • 29 August 1947: Drafting Committee appointed with B. R. Ambedkar as its Chairman.The other six members of committee were Munshi, Muhammed Sadulla, Alladi Krishnaswamy Iyer, N. Gopalaswami Ayyangar, Khaitan and Mitter.
  • 16 July 1948: Along with Harendra Coomar Mookerjee, V. T. Krishnamachari was also elected as second vice-president of Constituent Assembly.
  • 26 November 1949: The Constitution of India was passed and adopted by the assembly.
  • 24 January 1950: Last meeting of Constituent Assembly. The Constitution was signed and accepted (with 395 Articles, 8 Schedules, and 22 Parts).
  • 26 January 1950: The Constitution came into force. (The process took 2 years, 11 months and 18 days—at a total expenditure of ₹6.4 million to finish.)

Preamble to the Indian Constitution

What is a Preamble?

  • A preamble is an introductory statement in a document that explains the document’s philosophy and objectives.
  • In a Constitution, it presents the intention of its framers,the history behind its creation, and the core values and principles of the nation.
  • The preamble basically gives idea of the following things/objects:
  1. Source of the Constitution
  2. Nature of Indian State
  3. Statement of its objectives
  4. Date of its adoption

History of the Preamble to Indian Constitution

  • The ideals behind the Preamble to India’s Constitution were laid down by Jawaharlal Nehru’s Objectives Resolution, adopted by the Constituent Assembly on January 22, 1947.
  • Although not enforceable in court, the Preamble states the objectives of the Constitution, and acts as an aid during the interpretation of Articles when language is found ambiguous.

Key words in the Preamble

  • We, the people of India:It indicates the ultimate sovereignty of the people of India. Sovereignty means the independent authority of the State, not being subject to the control of any other State or external power.
  • Sovereign: The term means that India has its own independent authority and it is not a dominion of any other external power. In the country, the legislature has the power to make laws which are subject to certain limitations.
  • Socialist: The term means the achievement of socialist ends through democratic means. It holds faith in a mixed economy where both private and public sectors co-exist side by side.
  • It was added in the Preamble by 42 Amendment, 1976.
  • Secular: The term means that all the religions in India get equal respect, protection and support from the state.
  • It was incorporated in the Preamble by 42 Constitutional Amendment, 1976.
  • Democratic: The term implies that the Constitution of India has an established form of Constitution which gets its authority from the will of the people expressed in an election.
  • Republic: The term indicates that the head of the state is elected by the people. In India, the President of India is the elected head of the state.