The story behind making of the world’s longest written constitution – 448 Articles in 22 parts, 12 schedules, and 97 amendments – is interspersed by many unheard facts and stories.
Wordhazard brings you some such anecdotes:
Dr. Ambedkar was opposed to the Constitution Drafting Committee:
History takes unexpected turns as happened with Dr. Ambedkar who was opposed to the idea of the Constituent Assembly itself . He was invited to be the Chairman of the Drafting Committee. As Dr Narendra Jadhav states in “Ambedkar: Awakening India’s Social Conscience”, “Dr Ambedkar regarded it as a most dangerous project, which may invoke this country in a Civil War.”
Sanskrit in Constitution: The unadopted National Language
It would come as a surprise to many that Sanskrit the ancient mother language was to become the national language. The then Law Minister, Dr Ambedkar, along with many other members, including T T Krishnamachari, Naziruddin Ahmed, Mrs G Durgabai, Mrs Dakshayani Velayudhan, Dr B V Keskar, Deputy Minister for External Affairs, put forward the proposal but most of the North Indian members, including Syama Prasad Mookerjee, Union Industry Minister, went for Hindi as the national language. The South Indian members objected to it and opted for English. This rift between Hindi and English has deprived India of a National Language till date.
Signatures on the Constitution
The first signature on the Constitution was of Nehru and the last one was of President Dr Rajendra Prasad, who signed in Hindi on top of Nehru’s signature. Sardar Patel, Syama Prasad Mookerjee, Jagjivan Ram and Dr B R Ambedkar, the chairman of the Drafting Committee, put their signatures on the second page. The last page carries signatures of Ramnath Goenka, a newspaper tycoon, followed by Feroze Gandhi, Nehru’s son-in-law. The last signature on the tenth page is of Sundar Lall, who wrote the two-volume “Bharat mein Angareji-Raj”.
Illustrations on the Constitution : Glorious India
The original Indian Constitution, contrary to popular belief,carries the illustrations of Lord Rama, Lord Krishna,Lord Nataraja, etc. by Nand Lal Bose. The framers of the Constitution signed three copies of the Constitution on January 24, 1950. The 479-page calligraphic edition of the Constitution, one each was written in English and Hindi, with borders designed following Ajanta caves paintings. The third copy of the Constitution was a printed one. The Indian Constitution carries the paintings of the scenes of the Himalayas, the desert and the Ocean. Some heritage illustrations are also there. It also features Mughal Emperor Akbar, Chatrapati Shivaji, Tipu Sultan, Jhansi Queen Lakshmibai, Guru Govind Singh, Mahatma Gandhi’s Dandi March and Noakhali visit, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s and other paintings which make India proud. The calligraphic work was done by Rammanohar Sinha who put his signature below the Preamble as “Rama” and Nandlal Bose in line-drawings and gold-work as “Nanda”.
On the ending note Dr. Ambedkar’s warning must be considered seriously: “It is not that India did not know what Democracy is.” Throwing light on the responsibilities, Dr Ambedkar said: “By Independence, we have lost the excuse of blaming the British for anything going wrong. If hereafter things go wrong, we will have nobody to blame except ourselves.”
Resonating the Skies with the Constitution and it’s standing, Wordhazard can’t emphasize more the importance of the principles enshrined in it,and hopes, we, as the better citizens will and surely will bring our great Nation to the zenith of Greatness the world has ever witnessed.