Making of the Indian Constitution

It was in 1934 that 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. 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’.
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
Mission1 was sent to
India. 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.
• The Constituent Assembly was constituted in November 1946 under the scheme
formulated by the Cabinet Mission Plan.
• The total strength of the Constituent Assembly was to be 389. Of these, 296 seats
were to be allotted to British India and 93 seats to the Princely States.
• Each province and princely state (or group of states in case of small states) were
to be allotted seats in proportion to their respective population.
• Seats allocated to each British province were to be divided among the three
principal communities—Muslims, Sikhs and general (all except Muslims and
Sikhs), in proportion to their population.

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• The representatives of each community were to be elected by members of that
community in the provincial legislative assembly and voting was to be by the
method of proportional representation by means of single transferable vote.
• The representatives of princely states were to be nominated by the heads of the
princely states. the Constituent Assembly was to be a partly elected and partly
nominated body.
• Moreover, the members were to be indirectly elected by the members of the
provincial assemblies, who themselves were elected on a limited franchise
The Constituent Assembly held its first meeting on December 9, 1946.The meeting was
thus attended by only 211 members. Dr.Sachchidan and Sinha, the oldest member, was
elected as the temporary President of the Assembly, following the French practice.
Later, Dr. Rajendra Prasad was elected as the President of the Assembly.
Similarly, both H.C. Mukherjee and V.T. Krishnamachari were elected as the VicePresidents of the Assembly.
The Constituent Assembly appointed a number of committees to deal with different
tasks of constitution-making. Out of these, eight were major committees and the others
were minor committees.
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 Constitution. It consisted of seven members.
They were: draft of the new
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
The Drafting Committee took less than six months to prepare its draft.

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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.
The Constitution as adopted on November 26, 1949, contained a Preamble, 395
Articles and 8 Schedules. The Preamble was enacted after the entire Constitution was
already enacted. Dr B R Ambedkar, the then Law Minister, piloted the Draft
Constitution in the Assembly. He was a brilliant constitutional expert and the chief
architect of Indian constitution. He is recognised as the ‘Father of the Constitution of
The Drafting Committee studied the constitution of more than 60 countries such as
U.K, USA, Ireland, erstwhile USSR, France, Switzerland, etc.
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 Munawara day was
celebrated, following the resolution of the Lahore Session (December 1929) of the INC.
Some provisions of the Constitution 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 came into force on
November 26, 1949 itself.
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. With the
commencement of the Constitution, the Indian Independence Act of 1947 and the
Government of India Act of 1935, with all enactments amending or supplementing the
latter Act, were repealed. The Abolition of Privy Council Jurisdiction Act (1949) was
however continued.

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1. Elephant was adopted as the symbol (seal) of the Constituent Assembly.
2. Sir B.N. Rau was appointed as the constitutional advisor (Legal advisor) to the
Constituent Assembly.
3. H.V.R. Iyengar was the Secretary to the Constituent Assembly.
4. S.N. Mukerjee was the chief draftsman of the constitution in the
5. Constituent Assembly.
6. Prem Behari Narain Raizada was the calligrapher of the Indian
7. Constitution. The original constitution was handwritten by him in a
8. flowing italic style.
9. The original version was beautified and decorated by artists from
10.Shantiniketan including Nand Lal Bose and Beohar Rammanohar Sinha.
11. Beohar Rammanohar Sinha illuminated, beautified and ornamented the original
Preamble calligraphed by Prem Behari Narain Raizada.
12. The calligraphy of the Hindi version of the original constitution was done by
Vasant Krishan Vaidya and elegantly decorated and illuminated by Nand Lal
Sessions of the Constituent Assembly at a Glance:
Sessions Period:
First Session – 9–23 December, 1946
Second Session – 20–25 January, 1947
Third Session – 28 April–2 May, 1947
Fourth Session – 14–31 July, 1947
Fifth Session – 14–30 August, 1947
Sixth Session – 27 January, 1948
Seventh Session – 4 November, 1948–8 January, 1949
Eighth Session – 16 May–16 June, 1949
Ninth Session – 30 July–18 September, 1949
Tenth Session – 6–17 October, 1949
Eleventh Session – 14–26 November, 1949

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The Assembly met once again on 24 January, 1950, when the members appended their
signatures to the Constitution of India.
1. Explain the process of Enactment and Enforcement of the Constitution.
2. Discuss in detail about the Making of the Constitution.

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