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
- 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