The above quotation from B.R Ambedkar, the father of the constitution, beautifully projects the real emotion that took birth in the hearts of people on the 26th of January 1950, when the constitution of India came into effect. The historic day is celebrated every year as ‘Republic day’ which marks the beginning of a new era that changed India forever.
With the drafting, enactment and adoption of the new constitution, the colonial laws of the british regime came to an end. A constituent assembly was elected to write the constitution of India. It initially had 389 members which were later reduced to 299 after the partition of India. The constituent assembly took almost 3 years to finish drafting the constitution in eleven sessions.
Babasaheb Ambedkar, the chairman of the drafting committee, took inspiration from various countries in drafting the constitution of India as he had studied the constitution of 60 countries. The constitution of the United Kingdom has its influence on the Indian constitution as the concept of parliament and of single citizenship comes from there. The legislative speaker and the legislative procedure was taken into consideration while making the constitution.
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The Reflection of the constitution of the United States Of America can be seen in the form of Bill of Rights, Federal structure of government, Electoral College, Independent judiciary, separation of powers and many other concepts in our constitution. The Republic of Ireland follows the Directive principles of state policy that also influenced the Indian constitution. Australia follows “Freedom of trade between states” that is something the Indian constitution strongly recommends. Other than that, National legislative power to implement treaties, even on matters outside normal federal jurisdiction, concurrent list and the Preamble terminology had a great deal of Influence on the constitution.
France’s Notions of liberté, égalité, fraternité is nothing but the concept of liberty, equality and fraternity mentioned in the preamble of the constitution of India. Canada’s Quasi-federal government reflecting a federal system with a strong central government and distribution of powers between the central and state governments were also focused upon while drafting the constitution. Whether it was the Soviet Union’s Fundamental Duties under article 51-A and mandated planning commission to oversee economic development or Germany’s Emergency provision under article 356, all of it fell right under its place to lead the constitution in a certain direction. It is important to note that the constitution was not copied and only took inspiration from the above mentioned countries.
Ambedkar presented the final draft of the Indian constitution to C.A President Rajendra Prasad on 25 November 1949. The constitution was signed and accepted with 395 articles, eight schedules and two parts.
The preamble of the constitution reflects the spirit of India and it’s attitude towards democracy. One interesting thing to notice is that the words "socialist" and "secular" were added in 1976 by the 42nd amendment in the constitution. The preamble continues to state that it secures the citizens of India and pledges to give them “Justice”, whether social, economic or political. Secondly, it talks of “liberty” of thought, faith and religion and the freedom of expression. Next, it enforces “Equality” of status and opportunities. At the end it talks of “Fraternity” assuring the dignity of an individual and integrity of the nation.
It is important to note that the word Integrity was also added in the 42nd amendment of the constitution. Other than the preamble, the fundamental rights and duties also stands as an integral part of the constitution.