New Delhi: India is celebrating 73rd Republic Day on Wednesday. It was on this day — January 26, 1950 — that India became a republic and the Indian Constitution came into force two months after being adopted by the Constituent Assembly on November 26, 1949.
The preamble to the Constitution declares India as a sovereign, socialist, secular and democratic republic that aims to secure justice, liberty, equality to all citizens, and promote fraternity.
Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar is regarded as the father of the Constitution of India.
Here are some interesting facts about the Indian Constitution.
- The Constitution of India is the longest in the world.
- The Constituent Assembly of India, which was established in 1946, was tasked with the job of drafting the Constitution for Independent India.
- Dr Rajendra Prasad, who became the first President of India, was the President of the Constituent Assembly, while Ambedkar headed the drafting committee.
- The Constituent Assembly took two years, 11 months and 18 days to complete the task as it held 11 sessions over a period of 165 days.
- During deliberations on the draft Constitution, a total of 7,635 amendments were tabled, of which the Constituent Assembly moved, discussed and disposed of as many as 2,473.
- The Constitution was adopted on 26 November, 1949 and the original document was signed by 284 members of Parliament.
- It is said that it was drizzling outside on that day, and it was seen as a sign of a good omen.
- The Constituent Assembly ceased to exist on January 26, 1950, as the Constitution of India came into force. It transformed into the Provisional Parliament of India until a new Parliament was constituted in1952.
- India’s Constitution is known to have borrowed some of its features from 10 other countries. They are Britain, USA, Japan, Ireland, South Africa, Australia, Germany and Canada.
- The original Constitution is a hand-written document, one of the world’s longest hand-written documents. The English version has a total of 1,17,369 words.
- The hand-written copies are now preserved in helium-filled cases in the Parliament House Library.
- The 42nd amendment act of 1976, enacted during Emergency, saw addition of the word, “socialist”, to the preamble. That was the only time the preamble has been amended so far.