Objectives Resolution and Drafting of Indian Constitution
Before the framing of the constitution started, an Objectives Resolution (the resolution that defined the aims of the Assembly) was moved by Nehru in 1946. This resolution enshrined the aspirations and values behind the Constitution making. On the basis of the Objectives Resolution, India’s Constitution gave institutional expression to the fundamental commitments: equality, liberty, democracy, sovereignty and a cosmopolitan identity. This made the moral commitment to establish a government that will fulfil the many promises that the nationalist movement held before the people of India.
The summary of the Objective Resolution is as follows:
India is an independent, sovereign, republic
India shall be a Union of erstwhile British Indian territories, Indian States, and other parts outside British India and Indian States as are willing to be a part of the Union
Territories forming the Union shall be autonomous units and exercise all powers and functions of the Government and administration, except those assigned to or vested in the Union
All powers and authority of sovereign and independent India and its constitution shall flow from the people
All people of India shall be guaranteed and secured social, economic and political justice; equality of status and opportunities and equality before law; and fundamental freedoms – of speech, expression, belief, faith, worship, vocation, association and action – subject to law and public morality
The minorities, backward and tribal areas, depressed and other backward classes shall be provided adequate safeguards
The territorial integrity of the Republic and its sovereign rights on land, sea and air shall be maintained according to justice and law of civilized nations
The land would make full and willing contribution to the promotion of world peace and welfare of mankind
Late in the evening of 14 August, 1947 the Assembly met in the Constitution Hall and at the stroke of midnight, took over as the Legislative Assembly of an Independent India.
On 29 August, 1947, the Constituent Assembly set up a Drafting Committee under the Chairmanship of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar to prepare a Draft Constitution for India. While deliberating upon the draft Constitution, the Assembly moved, discussed and disposed of as many as 2,473 amendments out of a total of 7,635 tabled. The Constitution of India was adopted on 26 November, 1949 and the members appended their signatures to it on 24 January, 1950. In all, 284 members actually signed the Constitution. On that day when the Constitution was being signed, it was drizzling outside and it was interpreted as a sign of a good omen.
The Constitution of India came into force on 26 January, 1950. On that day, the Assembly ceased to exist, transforming itself into the Provisional Parliament of India until a new Parliament was constituted in 1952.
The drafting committee was entrusted with the responsibility to prepare the Draft constitution.
The constituent assembly took 2 years , 11 months and 17 days to frame the constitution. It spent 6.4 crore Rupees in the preparation. The final outcome of the almost three year’s long process was the constitution document with 22 parts, 395 articles and 8 schedules.
Though, the constitution came into force on 26 January 1950, some provisions relating to Citizenship, Elections, provisional parliament, temporary & transitional provisions were given immediate effect on 26 November 1949.
This was the basic information about the creation of the constitution of India. In many countries constitutions remain defunct because they are imposed by military leaders or leaders who are not popular and do not have the ability to carry the people with them. The most successful constitutions, like India, South Africa and the United States, are constitutions which were created in the aftermath of popular national movements. Although India’s Constitution was formally created by a Constituent Assembly between December 1946 and November 1949, it drew upon a long history of the nationalist movement that had a remarkable ability to take along different sections of Indian society together.