Constitution and its Making takes a peek into the history of the making of the Indian Constitution, on its 71st birthday. While in the USA, their Founders are revered as demigods and tomes have piled up over 2 centuries and continue to, in India, our Constituent Assembly, its members- 299 of them- and the Debates- over 3 years- they had engaged in, have largely ‘remained in wraps’, to the ordinary folks, as Justice V R Krishna Iyer put it.
With intent to catch the laymen along with the lawmen, the author has gone anecdotal, with nuggets and vignettes of rare and unknown vintage. How many of us know that it was Prem Behari Narain Raizada, Delhi who hand wrote the two copies of Constitution in English and Hindi; and he laid two conditions to Jawaharlal Nehru, who approached him: he would affix his signature at the end of each page and on the last pages of the two copies, he would write his grandfather’s name, in obeisance, for it was he who brought him up, after Raizada was orphaned early. While ours has 395 Articles and has undergone 103 amendments in 70 years, and is the longest, the US’ has 7 Articles and has undergone just 27 amendments in over 233 years. Nandalal Bose and his Shanthiniketan team had illuminated the 2 copies with 22 illustrations on India’s 4000 plus years old civilisational journey. And so many more fascinating facts of delightful melody.
The author has brought to light the stellar contributions of select members of the Constituent Assembly- particularly, the inspiring role of women members, hitherto unfocused. And why the Constituent Assembly debates matter and how they may need to be read.
About the Author
N Vijayaraghavan is a practising Advocate, Madras High Court, with over 3 decades of experience. He has authored several books on motor & marine insurance and has been a resource person with TN Judicial Academy and the National Judicial Academy, Bhopal.