The Indian Constitution - Key Features
The Indian National movement became active in its struggle for freedom by the beginning of the 20th century. Leaders who were involved in the movement had a lot of plans for Independent India. Under the British rule Indians were forced to obey rules drafted by the British who were foreigners in this Nation. Our freedom fighters wanted India to follow a democratic form of government.
- To have a democratic government a constitution was necessary.
- The constitution, as we saw, is a set of rules by which a country is governed.
- The constitution has to take into account every aspect of governance.
- Framing the constitution was the biggest task ahead of the leaders of the freedom movement.
How did the leaders go about framing the constitution?
- The Constitution was drafted by the Constituent Assembly.
- Jawaharlal Nehru, C. Rajagopalachari, Rajendra Prasad, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and Shyama Prasad Mukherjee were some important figures in the Assembly.
- On August 29, 1947, the Drafting Committee was appointed, with Dr. Ambedkar as the Chairman.
- The Constituent Assembly met, for 166 days, spread over a period of 3 years, before adopting the Constitution.
- After many deliberations and some modifications, the 308 members of the Assembly signed two hand-written copies of the document one each in Hindi and English on January 24th, 1950.
- Two days later, the Constitution of India became the law of all the Indian lands.
Let us look at the factors the Drafting committee had to take into consideration while drafting the constitution.
- The committee had to keep in mind that India was a land of many communities and languages.
- People of all religions were citizens of India.
- India was a land of diverse cultures.
- The partition of the country into India and Pakistan was about to happen.
- The Princely states in India had to be considered.
- The socio-economic condition of a majority of Indians was in a bad state.
Bearing all these factors in mind, the Drafting committee drafted a constitution that reflects a respect for maintaining diversity while preserving national unity.
The constitution aims at eradicating poverty through socio-economic reforms and transforming independent India into a strong, democratic society.
The Indian constitution has six key features
Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, Chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee.
Dr. Ambedkar was an exemplary jurist and scholar. He won great praise for his drafting work.
Highlights of the Text prepared by Dr. Ambedkar
- Constitutional guarantees and protections for individual citizens.
- Freedom of religion.
- Abolition of untouchability.
- Outlawing of all forms of discrimination.
- Economic and social rights for women.
- Reservations of jobs in the civil services, schools and colleges for members of scheduled castes and scheduled tribes.