Context: The Constitution Day also known as 'Samvidhan Divas', is celebrated in India on 26th November every year.
About the Constitution Day:
- Also known as the National Law Day or National Constitution Day.
- The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in 2015 notified the decision to celebrate the 26th day of November every year as 'Constitution Day' to promote Constitution values among citizens.
- This was the year that marked the 125th birth anniversary of BR Ambedkar, the Chairman of the Drafting Committee of the Constitution.
- On 26th November 1949, the Constituent Assembly of India adopted the Constitution of India, which came into effect from 26th January 1950.
The Constitution of India - Timeline of events:
- Demand for the Constituent Assembly to frame the constitution:
- In 1934, the idea of the Constituent Assembly was first mooted by M.N. Roy, a communist party leader.
- In 1935, the Indian National Congress made this a formal demand in a resolution that rejected a British proposal on constitutional reforms for India, which would later become the Government of India Act 1935.
- In 1940, the demand was accepted by the British government and Indians were allowed to draft the Indian Constitution in the August offer.
- In 1946, the British government announced a scheme – the Cabinet Mission Plan – that proposed the setting up of a Constituent Assembly.
- Many aspects of the Plan were controversial, including the election of members on limited franchise and the federal arrangement of ‘grouping’ provinces on the basis of religion.
- The Constituent Assembly starts working:
- On 9 December 1946, the Constituent Assembly for the first time met before independence.
- Initially, the assembly had 389 members, but after independence and the partition of India, the strength was reduced to 299.
- The first president of the Constituent Assembly was Dr. Sachchidananda Sinha.
- On 29 August 1947, a Drafting Committee was constituted to prepare a Draft Constitution with Dr. B.R. Ambedkar as a Chairman.
- The assembly took over three years to draft the constitution, spending over 114 days considering the content of the draft alone.
- On 26 November, 1949, the Committee had finished their work and in this last session of the assembly the Constitution of India was adopted.
- On 26 January (Republic Day of India), 1950, the Constitution of India came into force and became the law of the land after 284 members signed it.
- January 26 was chosen since the Congress’ Poorna Swaraj resolution was declared on this day in the year 1930.
- The Preamble to the Constitution of India:
- On December 13, 1946, Nehru moved the “Objectives Resolution” that was later adopted as the Preamble on January 22, 1947.
- The Constitution of India declares India a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic, assuring its citizen's justice, equality, and liberty and endeavours to promote fraternity.
- The preamble was amended by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act in 1976, in which three new words Socialist, Secular, and Integrity were added.