A constitution is the upholder of the rights of citizens. It is embedded with several provisions that provide a framework for the administrative machinery. The making of the Indian constitution is a phenomenal story of the great minds of India coming together to give a geographical region a national identity. This topic is essentially covered in Class 9 Social Science as students are taught about the Constitution of the country and its origins. The making of the Indian constitution was initiated in the constituent assembly. Elected members brainstormed to give space to the diverse nature of India. If you are studying this topic or are interested in exploring the beginnings of the Indian constitution, this blog brings you the history of the constitution of India and how it was drafted.
This Blog Includes:
- Democratic Constitution in South Africa
- The Need for a Constitution
- Path to the Indian Constitution
- The Indian Constitution
- Timeline of the Formation of the Constitution
- Guiding Values of the Indian Constitution
- The Philosophy of the Constitution
- The Preamble of the Indian Constitution
Democratic Constitution in South Africa
The discussion about the making of the Indian constitution opens up with the detailed explanation of the democratic constitution which was formulated in South Africa. The resentment of the Black community in South Africa against Apartheid laid the foundation for the Democratic Constitution of South Africa. The discriminatory laws that subjected the Black community to injustice were repealed. The ban on the political parties that were against the apartheid was also lifted. The hero of the struggle, Nelson Mandela, became an international icon for his leadership and his commitment towards securing justice for his community.
The Need for a Constitution
The making of the Indian constitution or any other constitution was deemed necessary to create a modern nation-state. The major reasons why a Constitution is needed for a nation are as follows:
- The Constitution provides us with a set of rules that apply to all citizens. It paves the way for equal rights and proper justice.
- It is the basis of all the relationships between a state and its people.
- A well-defined constitution helps in maintaining trust among the different people residing in a nation.
- A constitution prescribes the methods of electing a democratic government along.
- The constitution provides directives to the governments and also checks their conduct.
- All democratic forms of government must have a constitution. It became a common practice after the Americans and the French adopted a constitution after American independence and the French Revolution respectively.
Path to the Indian Constitution
While the work upon drafting the constitution of India was going on, the idea of what democratic India should look like was constantly evolving during the freedom struggle. In 1928 Motilal Nehru along with other eight Congress leaders curated the constitution of India and then in 1931 resolution of the Karachi session of Indian National Congress emphasized on how independent India’s constitution should look like. These documents contained essential mentions like Right to Freedom and Equality, Universal Adult Franchise along with rights that were stated to protect the minorities in India. All the leaders who were prominent to the constituent assembly accepted all of these basic values. Thus, it was seen that the Indian constitution accepted many vital details as well as procedures from the Indian laws such as the Government of India Act 1935. The chapter also describes that some of the leaders of India were also influenced by the practice of parliamentary democracy in Britain, the French Revolution and the bill of rights in the US.
The Indian Constitution
India is such a diversified nation in terms of people, and languages and is characterised by the complexity of caste and religious groups. Thus, the making of the Indian constitution justice was a challenging task as it had to do justice to every group. The Indian constitution was initiated in the constituent assembly. Elected members brainstormed to give space to the diverse nature of India.
The first meeting of the constituent assembly was held in December 1946. It was a continuous process of debates that gave us our constitution. A total of 299 members of the assembly are credited for their contribution to the making of the Indian constitution. Among the contemporary political parties of India at that time, it was the Indian National Congress that dominated the constituent assembly. It was finally on 26th November 1949 when the Constituent Assembly adopted the constitution and it was put into effect on 26th January 1950 and then this date was commemorated as Republic Day.
Dr B.R. Ambedkar is a renowned name behind the making of the Indian Constitution and is widely respected throughout the political spectrum. He was the chairman of the Drafting Committee which worked on different aspects of the constitution. Along with him, the other members of the Drafting Committee were Mohammad Saadulla, Alladi Krishnaswami Ayyar, N. Gopalaswami, and B.L. Mitter, to name a few. They contributed their expertise in formulating the quintessential constituents of the Indian Constitution.
Timeline of the Formation of the Constitution
December 6, 1946: Formation of the Constituent Assembly (in accordance with French practice)
December 9, 1946: The first meeting was held in the constitution hall. The first person to address was J.B Kripalani, Sachidananda Sinha became temporary president
December 11, 1946: The assembly appointed Rajendra Prasad as its president, H.C Mukherjee as its vice-chairman, and B.N Rau as constitutional legal adviser
December 13, 1946: An ‘Objective Resolution’ was presented by Jawaharlal Nehru
January 22, 1947: Objective Resolution unanimously adopted
July 22, 1947: National Flag Adopted
August 15, 1947: Achieved Independence, India split into the Dominion of India and Dominion of Pakistan
August 29, 1947: Drafting committee appointed with B.R Ambedkar as its Chairman
July 16, 1948: Harendra Coomar Mukherjee and V.T Krishnamachari were elected as vice-president of the Constituent Assembly
November 26, 1949: The constitution of India was passed and adopted by the assembly
January 24, 1950: Last meeting of the Constituent Assembly. The Constitution was signed and accepted
January 26, 1950: The Constitution came into force.
Guiding Values of the Indian Constitution
The making of the Indian constitution was carried out by a well-versed team with expertise in law, rules, and regulations as well as an in-depth understanding of the history, philosophy, and diverse culture of India. Their understanding of India was of an ancient civilisation that needed a new code of conduct, with justice and equality as the primary goal. The vision of Mahatma Gandhi and its opposition by Dr. Ambedkar can be considered as the key to the question of justice and equality in India.
The Philosophy of the Constitution
It is important to remember that the making of the Indian Constitution was preceded by its philosophy which was constituted under the Preamble to the Constitution of India. The Preamble includes certain principles that guide governance and law in India. Some of these principles are:
All the noble ideals of our founding fathers are reflected through the preamble of the constitution. The preamble gives us a sense of togetherness and tells us what we have chosen for ourselves as a nation in a very poetic manner.
The Preamble of the Indian Constitution
We the People of India: The Indian constitution has been drawn upon by the people of India through their representatives and not handed down to them by any superior authority or outside powers.
Sovereign: the people of India have the utmost right to make the decision on external as well as internal matters and no external power can control the Indian government.
Socialist: The Government of India is to regulate the ownership of industries and lands to enhance the economy and reduce socioeconomic inequalities. It believes that wealth is generated socially and shall be shared with all.
Secular: there is no official religion in India and all the citizens are free to follow any religion of their choice. The government looks upon all religious beliefs and practices with equal respect.
Democratic: Equal political rights are to be enjoyed by all the citizens of the country through which they can elect the rulers and hold them accountable.
Republic: the head of the state will always be an elected person instead of a hereditary position.
Justice: The government does not discriminate among citizens on the basis of religion, gender, and caste. Social inequalities shall be reduced as the government aims to work for the welfare of all especially the minority groups.
Liberty: The citizens of India are free to express their thoughts in a peaceful way.
Equality: All citizens are equal before the eyes of the law. The government ensures equal opportunity for all its citizens.
Fraternity: None of the citizens of the country shall be treated as inferior. All the citizens must be treated as members of the same family.
Questions Based on the Making of the Indian Constitution
A. Dr. Rajendra Prasad
B. Sardar Patel
C. Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar
D. Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru
Ans: A. Dr. Rajendra Prasad
A. MA Ayenger
B. Sardar Hukum Singh
C. GV Malankara
D. Ball Ram Bhagat
Ans: C. GV Malankara
A. National Interest
B. The Interest of minority
C. The Interest of public
D. The Interest of the State concerned
Ans: A. National Interest
A. Indian Council Act of 1909
B. Government of India Act 1919
C. Government of India Act 1935
D. India Independence Act 1947
Ans: A. Indian Council Act of 1909
A. Rajendra Prasad
B. Frank Anthony
C. B.R Ambedkar
D. Moti Lal Nehru
Ans: C. B.R Ambedkar
Hence, we hope that this blog helped you understand the key origins and founding fathers behind the making of Indian Constitution. Don’t know which stream to choose after 10th? Our Leverage Edu experts are here to assist you at every step of your academic and professional journey to ensure that you make informed decisions to steer towards a successful career! Sign up for an e-meeting today!