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Samvidhan Diwas 2019: Why do we celebrate Constitution Day on November 26

November 26 marks the 72nd anniversary of the day that the Constituent Assembly, after India's independence, adopted the Constitution. The day was first celebrated in 2015 as homage and tribute to Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar, who was the chairman of the drafting committee in 1947. Dr BR Ambedkar also went on to become India's first law minister.

India TV News Desk India TV News Desk
New Delhi Updated on: November 25, 2019 23:43 IST
Samvidhan Diwas 2019: Why are we Celebrating Constitution
Image Source : WDL

Samvidhan Diwas 2019: Why are we Celebrating Constitution Day on November 26?

November 26 marks the 72nd anniversary of the day that the Constituent Assembly, after India's independence, adopted the Constitution. The day was first celebrated in 2015 as homage and tribute to Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar, who was the chairman of the drafting committee in 1947. Dr BR Ambedkar also went on to become India's first law minister. 

26 November 1947

Everyone remembers 26 January as the Republic Day. It was the day when the Constitution came into force in 1950, 2 months after it was adopted by the constituent assembly. A rigorous drafting process that took 2 years, 11 months and 17 days finally ended on 26 November 1947. Earlier, 26 November was celebrated as the National Law Day. 

Timeline of Indian Constitution Drafting process

1946: Britain decides on to grant independence to India and cabinet mission is dispatched to India to discuss modalities for transfer of power
14 August 1947: Proposal for creation of committees is tabled
29 August 1947: Drafting committee is established
6 December 1947: Constituent Assembly formally convenes for the first time, following elections, to start the process of writing a constitution.
4 November 1947: Draft is finalized and submitted
1948 – 1949:  Constituent Assembly meets in sessions open to the public
26 November 1949: Constituent Assembly adopts final draft making it official
26 January 1950: Entry into force of the new constitution
 
In 1946, the British decided to examine the possibility of granting independence to India. As a result, a British cabinet mission was despatched to India to,
  • Hold discussions with the representatives of British India and the Indian States in order to agree on the framework for writing a constitution 
  • Set up a constituent body and an executive council. Following this mission and the ensuing negotiations, a Constituent Assembly was indirectly elected by the provincial legislatures comprising 278 representatives and 15 women. 

Parties represented in the CA were the Congress Party which had a majority, Muslim League, Scheduled Caste Federation, the Indian Communist Party and the Union Party. 

The CA met for the first time in December 1946 and by November 1949 the draft constitution was approved. The constitution went into effect in January 1950 and the CA was transformed into a Provisional Parliament.

The Constitution which is still in force has been amended over 90 times making it one of the most frequently amended constitutions in the world. It is also known to be one of the longest and most detailed in the world with 395 articles and 10 appendixes called schedules. Extensively modeled on western legal and constitutional practice. Its key features include:

  • The establishment of a federal system with residual powers in a central government
  • A list of fundamental rights
  • A Westminster style parliamentary system of government

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's tribute

PM Modi in his latest edition of 'Mann Ki Baat', on Sunday, said that he hopes that the Constitution Day reminds people of their obligation towards upholding the constitutional ideals and values in both word and spirit. 

"I hope that the ''Constitution Day'' reinforces our obligation towards upholding the constitutional ideals and values, thus contributing to nation-building. After all, this was the dream of the makers of our Constitution," PM Modi said.

"My dear countrymen, November 26 is Constitution Day and it is a special day for the whole country," the Prime Minister said."This year it is even more special as we will be completing 70 years of the adoption of the Constitution," he added. 

Here are some of the iconic pictures from Constitution drafting in 1946-47

India Tv - First day (9 December 1946) of the Constituent Assembly. From right: B. G. Kher and Sardar Vallabhai Patel; K. M. Munshi is seated behind Patel.

Image Source : WIKI

First day (9 December 1946) of the Constituent Assembly. From right: B. G. Kher and Sardar Vallabhai Patel; K. M. Munshi is seated behind Patel.

India Tv - Jawaharlal Nehru and other members taking pledge during the midnight session of the Constituent Assembly of India held on 14 and 15 August 1947.

Image Source : WIKI

Jawaharlal Nehru and other members taking pledge during the midnight session of the Constituent Assembly of India held on 14 and 15 August 1947.

India Tv - Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar Chairman, Drafting Committee of the Indian Constitution with other members on Aug. 29, 1947.

Image Source : WIKI

Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar Chairman, Drafting Committee of the Indian Constitution with other members on Aug. 29, 1947.

India Tv - Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar Chairman, Drafting Committee of the Indian Constitution with other members on Aug. 29, 1947.

Image Source : WIKI

Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar Chairman, Drafting Committee of the Indian Constitution with other members on Aug. 29, 1947.

India Tv - B. R. Ambedkar in Constituent Assembly of India.

Image Source : WIKI

B. R. Ambedkar in Constituent Assembly of India.

India Tv - Jawaharlal Nehru addressing the constituent assembly in 1946.

Jawaharlal Nehru addressing the constituent assembly in 1946.

Also Read | For the first time, J&K to celebrate November 26 as Constitution Day

Also Read | Constitution will lose importance if fundamental rights not protected: Supreme Court

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