Sunday, February 5, 2023

Constitution Day: Every citizen counts

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By Rishira Jain

November 26 holds special importance for every Indian, as it was on this day in 1949 that the people of India gave to themselves a unique document to govern their national life, the Constitution of India.

The Constituent Assembly, which came together to draft the Constitution of India, held its first session on December 9, 1946 and chose Dr Sachchidananda Sinha as its President. On August 29, 1947, a Drafting Committee was constituted to prepare a Draft Constitution under the Chairmanship of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, remembered as the chief architect of the Indian Constitution.

He led the team to create a dynamic framework that would guide the country being completely aware of its unique social, cultural and religious diversity. These sessions ended on November 26, 1949, when the country adopted the Constitution, signed by 284 members. 

The day is celebrated as Constitution Day. The original Constitution was hand-written, with each page decorated by artists from Santiniketan, including Nandalal Bose. The process was completed on January 24, 1950, when the members of the committee signed two handwritten copies of the document, one each in Hindi and English. On January 26, 1950, the Constitution of India came into force and became the law of the land.

Dr Ambedkar said, “The Constitution can provide only the organs of State such as the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary. The factors on which the working of those organs of the state depend are the people and the political parties they will set up as their instruments to carry out their wishes and their politics. We must note that our political democracy cannot last unless there lies at the base of it social democracy. What does social democracy mean? It means a way of life which recognises liberty, equality and fraternity as the principles of life.”

The Constitution of India is today valued as the most supreme law. Every citizen of the country, irrespective of their power and position, is expected to abide by the set of rules and regulations in this book. It is also the longest constitution in the world.

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