Clause wise Discussion on the Draft Constitution
15th November 1948 to 8th January 1949
Democracy is a form and a method of Government whereby revolutionary changes in the economic and social life of people are brought about without bloodshed.
-from Dr. Ambedkars address at Poona District Law Library on December 22, 1952.
Some of the amendments were not accepted by Dr. Ambedkar initially, hut no detailed explanations were furnished. Some of these amendments are mentioned. But later, during the discussion on each Article, Dr. Ambedkar explained elaborately why he accepted particular amendments and why the others were not accepted. The amendments thus rejected were large enough. Their inclusion would have made the volume bulky and they are not for this reason included. The amendments adopted by the Assembly are given in detail. These accepted amendments along with Dr. Ambedkar's explanation may help the reader to understand the import of the Article.
This volume is mainly concerned with Dr. Ambedkar's work, which incorporates everything he said in the Assembly and which finds place in the Debates. Comments and criticism, by the Hon 'ble Members are included where they are relevant to elucidate and appreciate the views of Dr. Ambedkar and which are related to the specific context and situation.Editor.
[f1] The Honourable Dr. B. R. Ambedkar (Bombay : General) : Mr. Vice-President, Sir, I regret that I cannot accept the amendment of Prof. K. T. Shah [f2]. My objections, stated briefly, are two. In the first place the Constitution, as I stated in my opening speech in support of the motion I made before the House, is merely a mechanism for the purpose of regulating the work of the various organs of the State. It is not a mechanism whereby particular members of particular parties are installed in office. What should be the policy of the State, how the Society should be organised in its social and economic side are matters, which must be decided by the people themselves according to time and circumstances. It cannot be laid down in the Constitution itself, because that is destroying democracy altogether. If you state in the Constitution that the social organisation of the State shall take a particular form, you are, in my judgement, taking away the liberty of the people to decide what should be the social organisation in which they wish to live. It is perfectly possible today, for the majority people to hold that the Socialist organisation of society is better than the Capitalist organisation of society. But it would be perfectly possible for thinking people to devise some other form of social organisation which might be better than the socialist organisation of today or of tomorrow. I do not see therefore why the Constitution should tie down the people to live in a particular form and not leave it to the people themselves to decide it for themselves. This is one reason why the amendment should be opposed.
The second reason is that the amendment is purely superfluous. My Honourable Friend, Prof. Shah, does not seem to have taken into account the fact that apart from the Fundamental Rights, which we have embodied in the Constitution, we have also introduced other sections, which deal with directive principles of State policy. If my Honourable friend were to read the Articles contained in Part IV, he will find that both the Legislature as well as the Executive have been placed by this Constitution under certain definite obligations as to the form of their policy. Now, to read only Article 31, which deals with this matter: It says:
(I) That the citizens, men and women equally, have the right to an adequate means of livelihood;
(iii) that the operation of the economic system does not result in the concentration of wealth and means of production to the common detriment;
There are some other items more or less in the same strain. What I would like to ask Professor Shah is this : If these directive principles to which I have drawn attention are not socialistic in their direction and in their content, I fail to understand what more socialism can he.
Therefore my submission is that these socialist principles are already embodied in our Constitution and it is unnecessary to accept this amendment.
The motion was negatived.
Mr. Vice-President : I want to make one thing clear. After the reply has been given by Dr. Ambedkar, I shall not permit any further discussion. I have made a mistake once. I am not going to repeat it. (Laughter).
"That in clause (1) of articles I, for the word ' States ' the word ' provinces ' be substituted."
You, Sir, will remember that when Dr. Ambedkar moved the motion for the consideration of this Draft Constitution, when he was dealing with the form of Government, he stated that...............
Mr. Vice-President : We do not want a discussion of this nature. I appeal to the Honourable Member to speak only if he has something new to say.
[f4] Mahboob Ali Baig Sahib Bahadur : If Dr. Ambedkar says that the word " Union " was used not with any great significance, there is no reason why we should not use the correct word " Federation ", but if on the other hand the word " Union " was used with a purpose so that in course of time this federal form of government may be converted into a unitary form of government, then it is for this House now to use the correct word so that it may be difficult in future for any power-seeking party that may come into power easily to convert this into a unitary form of government. So, it is for the House to use the correct word " Federation " instead of the word " Union ". This is my justification. Sir, for moving this amendment. If you mean that the government must be a federal government and not a unitary government and if you want to prevent in future any power-seeking party to convert it into a unitary form of government and become fascist and totalitarian, then it is up to us now to use the correct word, which is " Federation ". Therefore, Sir, I move that the word " Federation " may be substituted for the word " Union ".
Mr. Vice-President : The question is : " That in article I for the word " State " wherever it occurs, the word " Pradesh " be substituted and consequential changes be made throughout the Draft Constitution."
I think the Nose have it.
Mr. Vice-President: It seems to me that the " Nose " have it. It is not necessary for me to call for a division. I have the power not to grant this request. I would request Honourable Members to consider the position. It seems to be quite obvious that the " Nose " have it.
Pandit Hirday Nath Kunzru (United Provinces : General) : Sir, if alter every motion is moved by a member and you ask Dr. Ambedkar whether he agrees to it and after allowing him to expresses views you debar other members from speaking on the subject, it will be very hard on the House.
Mr. Vice-President : I am afraid Pandit Hirday Nath Kunzru has not realized exactly my position. I am always prepared to give every possible facility to every member here, which I need not demonstrate further than by reference to what I have done in the last few days. But just now we are pressed for time. After Mr. Kamath moved his amendment I waited for some time to see if anybody would stand up and nobody stood up and when specially I found that Mr. Kamath had repeated the arguments which had been formerly staled by him, I thought that I would not be going against the wishes of the House by asking Dr. Ambedkar the question whether he wished to reply. If I failed to understand the attitude of the House I am very sorry.
Pandit Hirday Nath Kunzru: You are perfectly within your right in not allowing discussion of a clause, which you regard as trivial and on which you think there has been sufficient discussion. You have the power to stop discussion and ask the Member in charge to reply. If in exercise of this power you asked Dr. Ambedkar to reply, there can be no objection to what you have done. Mr. Vice-President: Then I will put the amendment to vole.
The motion of Mr. Kamath was negatived.
[f8] Shri Mahavir Tyagi : Sir, I am not very keen to have all the words mentioned in my amendment inserted. I do not also want to make a speech and waste the time of the House. However, I want to make one point clear and with that end in view, I shall formally move this amendment:
Shri Mahavir Tyagi : Mr. Vice-President, Sir, in view of what the learned draftsman has said, namely, that the sovereignty remains vested, in spite of this draft, in the people, I do not wish to press my amendment. I hope. Sir, Dr. Ambedkar agrees that this draft means that it vests with the people, and his explanation may well go down into the records for future reference.
The Honourable Dr. B. R. Ambedkar: Beyond doubt it vests with the people. I might also tell my friend that I shall not have the least objection if this matter was raised again when we are discussing the Preamble.
[f10] The Honourable Dr. B. R. Ambedkar: Sir, I oppose the amendment.
Mr. Vice-President : I put the amendment to vote.
The amendment was negatived.
"That at the end of clause (1) of Article 1. the following be inserted: ' and shall be known as the United States of India '. "
Sir, this is a non-controversial amendment......
......My other amendment is this. I move:
Sir, I submit these are three alternatives. I would prefer the first but it all depends on the House as to what it thinks about them. [After Mr. Kamath's criticism on the Amendment, Dr. Ambedkar rose to reply.]
[f11] The Honourable Dr. B. R. Ambedkar: Sir, I oppose all these amendments. With regard to the first amendment that India should be known as the United States of India, the argument set out by my friend Mr. Kamath is a perfectly valid argument and I accept it whole-heartedly. I have given my own views as to why I used the word ' Union ' and did not use the word ' Federation '.
With regard to the other amendment that India should be known as the Union of India, I also say that this is unnecessary, because we have all along meant that this country should be known as India, without giving any indication as to what are the relations of the component parts of the Indian Union in the very title of the name of the country. India has been known as India throughout history and throughout all these past years. As a member of the U.N.O. the name of the country is India and all agreements are signed as such and personally I think the name of the country should not in any sense give any indication as to what are the subordinate divisions it is composed of. I therefore oppose the amendments and maintain that the Draft as it is presented to the House is the best so far as these amendments are concerned.
The amendments were, by leave of the Assembly, withdrawn.
Mr. Vice-President: Amendment No. 113.
[f12] The Honourable Dr. B. R. Ambedkar: Sir, I raise a point of order. My point of order is that this is not an amendment. Unless it changes the substance of the original proposition, it is not an amendment. I am trying to find out the reference in May's Parliamentary Practice. But I would like to raise this point at this moment. If my friend will forgive me, I think he is in the habit of. moving all sorts of amendments, asking for a comma here, no commas there and so on and I think we must put a stop to this sort of thing in the very beginning.
Mr. Naziruddin Ahmad : My reply to the point of order raised is this, I want to remove the word " The " from the article and therefore it is an amendment. This is certainly a drafting amendment. It may be opposed on the ground that it is insignificant, illogical or purposeless or useless and so forth. But Dr. Ambedkar is not right in asserting that it is not an amendment at all. It cannot be ruled out on the technical ground that it is not an amendment.
And with regard to my Honourable Friend's remarks as to my habit of moving amendments like punctuations and other changes, I am happy to inform him and the House that I have ceased to follow that habit so far as this amendment is concerned, (Laughter).
Mr. Vice-President : You say it is a drafting amendment. Can't we leave it to the Drafting Committee and its Chairman for seeing to it at the third reading ? I am sure they will accept these amendments if there is any substance in them.
Mr. Naziruddin Ahmad : In that case, it would be leaving the matter to the Drafting Committee, instead of leaving it to the judgement of the House. The spokesman of the Drafting Committee has already given out his mind. Therefore, if I were to agree to leave it to the Drafting Committee, it would be as good as withdrawing it. Therefore, I have to submit, again, that the word "The" is not part of the name.
The Honourable Dr. B. R. Ambedkar: Sir, I do not know why the Honourable Member objects to the word ' the '. ' The ' is a definite article, and it is quite necessary, because we are referring to the States in the Schedule. We are not referring to States in general, but to certain specific States, which are mentioned in the Schedule. Therefore the definite article ' the ' is necessary. It refers to the definite States included in the Schedule.
Secondly, I would like to submit this, that it would be wrongand I speak about myselffor any Indian to presume such precise command over the English language as to insist in a dogmatic manner that a comma is necessary here, a semi-cotton is necessary there, or article ' a ' is proper here and article ' the ' would be proper there and so on. But if my friend chooses to arrogate to himself the authority of a perfect grammarian so far as English is concerned, I would like to draw his attention to the Australian Constitution from which we have borrowed these words and the definite article ' the ' is used there. So I take shelter or refuge under the Australian Constitution which, I suppose, we may take it, was drafted by men who were good draftsmen and who knew the English language and whom we cannot hold guilty of having committed an error in the language.
The amendment was negatived.
Sir, I have moved this amendment after, I believe, taking great risks of having to displease the Honourable Chairman of the Drafting Committee. But I have to submit most respectfully that things, which occur to Members, should be placed before the House and the opinion of the House should be taken. If I have offended any member by moving.......
Mr. Vice-President : There is no question to offending any one.
Mr. Naziruddin Ahmad : Sir, I beg to submit that the context indicates the word " hereafter "that is. States, which may hereafter be acquired. So the word " hereafter " would be appropriate and I beg the House to consider insertion of this word.
Mr. Vice-President : I put the amendment to vote.
The amendment was negatived.
' Provided that within a period not exceeding ten years of the date when this Constitution comes into operation, the distinction or difference embodied in the several Schedules to this Constitution and in the various articles that follow shall be abolished, and the member States of the Union of India shall be organized on a uniform basis of groups of village Panchayats co-operatively organized inter se, and functioning as democratic ' units within the Union '. "
[f15] The Honourable Dr. B. R. Ambedkar: I oppose the amendment.
Mr. Vice-President : I will now put the amendment to vote.
[The amendment (of Prof. Shah) was negatived.]
The motion was negatived.
[f18] The Honourable Pandit Govind Vallabb Pant (United Provinces: General): Sir, I move that we now pass on to Article 2 and postpone discussion on the remaining amendments to Article I. So tar we have not been able to reach unanimity on this important point. I am not without hope that if the discussion is postponed, it may be possible to find some solution that may be acceptable to all. So nothing will be lost....
An Honourable Member: It may be a day, a week or a fortnight.
Mr. Vice-President : I hold that a discussion of these few clauses should be held over till sufficient time has been given for arriving at some sort of understanding. This will be to the best interests of the House and of the country at large.
' 2. Parliament may by law
(a) admit into the Union new States;
(iii) newly acquired territory ;
Provided that no Bill for the purpose shall be introduced in either House of Parliament except on the recommendation of the President and unless
(a) where the proposal contained in the Bill affects the boundaries or name of any State or States for the time being specified in Part I of the First Schedule, the views of the Legislative Assembly or in the case of a bi-cameral Legislature, of both Houses of the Legislature, of the State, or as the case may be, of each of the States both with respect to the proposal to introduce the Bill and with respect to the provisions thereof have been ascertained by the President; and
(b) where the proposal affects the boundaries or name of any State or States for the time being specified in Part III of the First Schedule, the previous consent of the State, or as the case may he, of each of the States to the proposal has been ascertained'.".
The amendments were negatived.
Mr. Vice-President Sir, it appears to me that there is a little lacuna in this Article, which my Honourable friend, the able jurist and constitutional lawyer that he is, will rectify when it is finally drafted by the committee. If we turn to the report of the Union Constitution Committee.1 am reading from the report of the Committee, second series, from July to August 1947, copy of which was supplied to each member last yearthere Article 2 begins thus :" The Parliament of the Federation " of course, we have changed the word Federation into Union but here you import the word ' Parliament ' suddenly in Article 2 without saying to which Parliament it refers. This is a lacuna, because there is nothing so far in the previous article regarding Parliament. So we must say here the " Parliament of the Union. " This lacuna, I hope, will be rectified.
The Honourable Dr. B. R. Ambedkar: We shall take note of what Mr. Kamath has said.
Article 2 was added to the Constitution.
I move :
The Honourable Dr. B. R. Ambedkar: Mr. Vice-President, I am agreeable to the principle of the amendment moved by my friend Mr. Santhanam. The only point is that I like slightly to alter the language to read " or by uniting any territory to a part of any State ".
The motion was adopted.
[f25] Rai Bahadur Syamanandan Sahaya (Bihar : General) : Sir, may I make a submission. I think that if Dr. Ambedkar moves his next amendment things will be clarified and such of us as have amendments in our names will be able to decide whether we should move them or not.
' Provided that no Bill for the purpose shall he introduced in either House of Parliament, except on the recommendation of the President and unless
(a) where the proposal contained in the Bill affects the boundaries or name of any State or States for the time being specified in Part I of the First Schedule, the views of the Legislature of the State, or as the case may be, of each of the States both with respect to the proposal to introduce the Bill and with respect to the provisions thereof have been ascertained by the President; and
(b) where such proposal affects the boundaries or name of any State or States for the time being specified in Part III of the First Schedule, the previous consent of the State, or as the case may be, of each of the States to the proposal has been obtained. '."
Mr. Vice-President, if one were to compare the amended proviso with the original proviso as it was set out in the Draft Constitution, the members will see that the new amendment introduces two changes. One is this : in original draft the power to introduce the Bill was given exclusively to the Government of India. No private Member of Parliament had the power, under the original draft, to propose any legislation of this sort. Attention of the Drafting Committee was drawn to the fact that this was a somewhat severe and unnecessary curtailment of the right of the members of Parliament to move any motion they liked and in which they felt concerned. Consequently we deleted this provision giving the power exclusively to the Government of India, and gave it to the President and stated that any such Bill whether it was brought by the Government of India or by any private Member should have the recommendation of the President. That is one change.
The second change is this : under the original Article 3, the power of the Government of India to introduce legislation was restricted by two conditions which are mentioned in (a) (I) and (ii). The conditions were that there must be, before the initiation of any action, representation made to the President by a majority of the representatives of the territory in the Legislature of the State, or a resolution in that behalf passed by the Legislature of any State whose boundaries or name will be affected by the proposal contained in the Bill. Here again, it was represented that there might be a small minority which felt very strongly that its position will not be safeguarded unless the boundary of the State were changed and that particular minority was permitted to join their brothers in the other State, and consequently if these brothers remained there, action would be completely paralysed. Consequently, we propose now in the amended draft, to delete (I) and (ii) of (a) and also (b) of the original draft. These have been split up into two parts, (a) and also (b). (a) deals with reorganization of territory in so far as it affects the States in Part I, that is to say. Provinces and, (b) of the new amendment relates to what are now called Indian States. The main difference between the new sub-clauses (a) and (b) of my amendment is this : In the case of (a), that is to say, reorganization of territories of States falling in Part I, all that is necessary is consultation. Consent is not required. All that the President is called upon to do is to be satisfied, before making the recommendation, that their wishes have been consulted.
With regard to (b), the provision is that there shall be consent. The distinction, as I said, is based upon the fact that, so far as we are at present concerned, the position of the Provinces is different from the position of the States. The States are sovereign States and the provinces are not sovereign States. Consequently, the Government need not be bound to require the consent of the provinces to change their boundaries ; while in the case of the Indian States, it is appropriate, in view of the fact that sovereignty remains with them that their consent should be obtained.
As regards the amendment moved by Prof. Shah, I do not see much difference between my amendment as contained in sub-clause (a) of the new proviso and his. He says that the discussion shall be initiated in the States. My sub-clause (a) of the proviso also provides that the States shall be consulted. I have not the least doubt about it that the method of consulting, which the President will adopt, will be to ask either the Prime Minister or the Governor to table a resolution which may be discussed in the particular State legislature which may be affected, so that ultimately the initiation will be by the total legislature and not by the Parliament at all. I therefore submit that the amendment of Professor Shah is really unnecessary.
The Honourable Shri K. Santhanam: ......But, unfortunately, in his enthusiasm for what he calls the principle, he has tabled an amendment which altogether defeats his object. I therefore suggest that the amendment should be rejected and the proposition moved by Dr. Ambedkar should be accepted.
Mr. Vice-President, I beg to move:
" that in the amendment of Dr. Ambedkar as just moved, for the words ' the previous consent ' the words ' the views ' and for the words ' has been ' the words ' have been ' be substituted respectively. "
[f27] Shri Rohini Kumar Chaudhari (Assam : General): Sir, it is my misfortune to have to oppose the amendments moved by the two stalwart members of this House, namely. Prof. Shah and Pandit Kunzru. I oppose them not because I like them less, but because I like' Dr. Ambedkar's amendment more, as it meets the present situation. very well.......
With these observations, I support the amendment strongly and I hope
Dr. Ambedkar will clear the point why a differentiation has been made in the case of the States, why he has stated that the views of the legislature should be ascertained in the case of the provinces, whereas in the case of the States he has stated that their previous consent should be obtained.
Maulana Hasrat Mohani : (United Provinces : Muslim) : Sir, I rise to a point of order. Dr. Ambedkar has only moved an amendment and therefore, I submit, he has not got any right of reply. I have got a ruling of this House in which it is said definitely......
Maulana Hasrat Mohani : Dr. Ambedkar has already spoken; he has no right to make any further speech. Mr. Vice-President : Please address the Chair. Maulana Hasrat Mohani : Sir, I beg to point out, that the Ruling says1 am quoting from the printed proceedings of this Housethe mover of an amendment has no right of reply. He cannot make a second speech.
Mr. Vice-President : That makes my position stronger.
The Honourable Shri Ghansbyam Singh Gupta : Not only do I not object, but I want to establish this practice that the mover of an amendment has a right of reply, because our rules differ widely from the rules that have been framed for the legislative side.
The Honourable Dr. B. R. Ambedkar (Bombay : General) : The amendment moved by my friend Mr. Kunzru is an amendment which carries a great deal of my sympathy but unfortunately in the circumstances in which we stand, I am not in a position to accept the same. The arguments urged by my friend in supporting his amendment was that what I had stated originally in moving my amendment was inconsistent with some of the other clauses or articles contained in the Constitution. He said that the plea I had urged in justification of the distinction between the provinces and the States in the matter of the provisions contained in article 3 was inconsistent with Articles 226, 230 and 294. Now my submission is this that there is no inconsistency whatever in the plea I have urged in supporting a distinction between the provinces and the States and the various articles to which he has made reference.
With regard to Article 226 which gives power to the Central Legislature to pass legislation on matters included in Provincial list, my submission is this that that authority will be exercised by Parliament by virtue of a Resolution passed by two-third majority of the Upper Legislature. He will realize that the Upper House or Council of States will include representatives of the States as much as the representatives of the Provinces. They will undoubtedly participate in the proceedings of that particular Resolution which seeks to confer power upon Parliament to legislate on the matters included in that Resolution. Consequently it is hardly fair to say that Article 226 automatically usurps the sovereignty of the Indian States. It is really a measure, which confers sovereignty by a special resolution passed by the Upper Chamber in which the States are fully represented. That is therefore no illustration of inconsistency at all.
With regard to Article 230, my submission is also the same. My learned friend will remember that the Indian States apart from what they do after the Constitution is passed have at any rate for the present, acceded on the basis of three subjects and one of the subjects is Foreign Affairs. Obviously implementation of the treaty is noticing but an exercise of the power conferred upon the Central Parliament for implementation of the treaty which is the subject matter covered by Foreign Affairs. Therefore that again cannot be said to be an usurpation of their sovereignty rights.
With regard to 294 which deals with the extension of the provisions of the protection of minorities in Indian States, that undoubtedly may appear for the moment to be a sort of encroachment of their sovereignty but it is nothing of the kind. It is merely one of the proposals, which we shall be making to the Indian States that when they seek admission to the Indian Union they will have to accept Article 294. I might say that this extension was made by the Drafting Committee because the Drafting Committee heard that the Constituent Assemblies of some of the Indian States were making provisions in this regard so diverse and so alarming that the Drafting Committee thought it best to lay down what sort of arrangements for minority protection the Union Government will accept and what it will not accept.
Now, Sir, with regard to this question of differentiation between the Indian States and the Provinces of British India a great tot has been said, and I quite realise that the House is terribly excited over the distinction that the Constitution seeks to make but I should like to tell the house two things. One is this that we are at the present moment bound by the terms of agreement arrived at between the two Negotiating Committees, one appointed by the Indian Constituent Assembly representing the British provinces and the other of representatives nominated by the Indian States for the purpose of arriving at certain basis for drafting a common Constitution which would cover both parts. Now I do not wish to go into the details of the reports made by the Negotiating Committees but if my Honourable Friend Pandit Kunzru would refresh his mind by going over the report of that Committee, he will find that here is a distinct provision that nothing in the Negotiating Committee Report will be understood to permit the Indian Union to encroach upon the territories of the Indian States. My submission is, if that is an understanding1 do not mean to say a contract or agreementarrived at between the two parties, at this stage we would do well in respecting that understanding. I would like to point out another thing,another article in the Constitution to which I am sorry to say my Friend Mr. Kunzru has made no referencethat is Article 212 which is a very important article and I should like to explain what exactly are the possibilities provided by the Indian Draft Constitution with regard to the Indian States. Honourable members must have seen that Article 3 provides for the admission of the Indian States on the basis of such Instrument of Accession as may be executed by the Indian States in favour of the Indian Union. When a State as such is coming into the Indian Union, its position vis-à-vis the Central Government and vis-à-vis the provinces would and must be regulated by the terms contained in the Instrument of Accession but the Instrument of Accession is not the only method of bringing the Indian States into the Indian Constitution. There is another and a very important article in the Constitution which is 212. 212 provides that any Ruler of an Indian State may transfer the whole of his sovereignty to the Indian Union with respect to his particular State. When the whole of the sovereignty is transferred under the provisions of 212, the territory of that particular ruler becomes so to say the territory of India, with complete sovereignty vested in the Indian Union. Power is then given under Article 212 so that that particular territory the sovereignty over which has been fully transferred by the ruler to the Indian Union can then be governed as a province of India in which case Part II of the Constitution which defines the Constitution of the Indian provinces will automatically apply to that Indian State or it may be administered as a Centrally Administered area ; so that the President and the Central Parliament will have the fullest authority to devise any form of administration for that particular territory. Consequently my submission to the House is that there is no necessityif I may use an expressionto be hysterical over this subject. If we have a little patience I have not the least doubt about it that our minister for the Indian States, who has done so much to reduce the chaos that existed before we started on the making of our Constitution, will exercise the de facto of paramount which the Union Government has obtained and reduce the chaos further and bring about an order either by inducing the Indian States to accept the. same provisions which we have applied to Indian States or to follow the provisions of section 212 and surrender to us complete sovereignty so that the Indian Union may be able to deal with the Indian States in the same way in which it is able to deal with the provinces.
For the present I submit we shall be acting wisely by respecting the agreement, which has been arrived at by the two Negotiating Committees, and following it up until by further agreement we are in a position to change the basis rather with goodwill peace and honour to both sides. Sir, I oppose the amendment (Cheers).
Mr. Vice-President : I shall now put Amendment No. 150, as modified by the amendment of Pandit H. N. Kunzru to vote. (Interruptions). Kindly permit me to conduct the proceedings in the manner I wish it to be conducted.
[f29] Mr. Vice-President : I am going to give my ruling. Under the Rules of the House I am not aware that there is anything, which gives a right to the mover of an amendment to give a reply. If I asked Dr. Ambedkar to give a reply it was because he was asked certain questions and I thought it right and proper and fair that he should be given an opportunity of explaining his position. That is my ruling.
Now I shall put Pandit Kunzru's amendment to the vote.
(Amendment No. 176 was not moved.)
Pandit Lakshmi Kanta Maitra (West Bengal : General) : What will be the position if the Honourable member is allowed to speak on the Article as a whole ? Will Dr. Ambedkar be called upon to reply to that again ?
Mr. Vice-President : Most certainly not.
Mr. Vice-President : No.
The Motion was adopted.
" That the words ' of this Constitution ' be deleted in clause (1) of article 4 and throughout the Draft Constitution wherever the said words occur in the same context; and a new definition (bb) be inserted in clause (1) of article 303: ' (bb) " article " means article of this Constitution '. "
I submit that the word ' article ' need not be repealed as it is done in clause (1) and, in fact in many places in this Draft Constitution.
Then I move:
I move next:
This is very simple amendment.
I now move my last amendment to this article :
This is only a verbal amendment.
The retention of the existing words will lead to some sort of complication. Therefore we should substitute the words ' under article 304'.
Shri H. V. Kamath : Mr. Vice-President, by your leave, I shall make a very brief observation on amendment No. 177 of my Honourable friend Mr. Naziruddin Ahmad. Before you call upon Dr. Ambedkar to reply, may I request him, in case he holds that amendment No. 177 should be rejected, to give us some reasons for his opposition and not merely repeat the trite formula ' I oppose this amendment' ?......
[f32] The Honourable Dr. B. R. Ambedkar : Mr. Vice-President, Sir, I did not think that this was a matter which required any speech from me, but as Mr. Kamath has expressed a desire that I must not merely negative the amendment hut should offer an explanation as to why I was not prepared to accept the amendments suggested by my Honourable Friend, Mr. Naziruddin Ahmad, I have come here to make my explanation. I think it will be agreed that in matters of this sort, which relate merely to phraseotogy and not to the substance of the article itself, it cannot be stated that it is a matter of principle at all. It is a mere matter of precedent how different Constitutions have used language in matters, which are anatogous. My submission is that in the language we have used we are absolutely covered by precedent with regard to the question of repeating the phrase " of this Constitution ". My friend, Mr. Kamath, stated that he has examined several constitutions such as that of Australia and of some other countries but did not find this phrase "' of this Constitution " contained therein. I am sorry that he did not extend his researches to the Irish Constitution. If he had, he would have found that the phraseotogy used in the Draft Constitution is the same as is used in the Irish Constitution. For his reference, I would like to draw his attention to Article 19 of the Irish Constitution, article 27, sub-clause (4), article 32 and article 46, sub-clause (5) where he will find that, wherever the word " article " occurs, it is followed by the phrase " of this Constitution ".
I may also point out to Mr. Kamath that in this respect we have also followed the phraseotogy contained in the Government of India Act 1935. I am sorry I have not had the time to examine all the sections of the Government of India Act but I have just, fortunately for myself, found one section which is 142-A where similar phraseotogy has been used. So tar therefore as the first part of the amendment moved by my Honourable friend, Mr. Naziruddin, is concerned, my submission is that we have not acted in any eccentric manner but that whatever phraseotogy we have used is covered by the Constitutions of other countries as well.
With regard to his second amendment that we should not repeat the word " article " after the word " or " and that we should merely say, " article 2 or 3 ", my submission is again the same. There again we have followed well known Constitutions and if my friend will examine them, he will find that similar phraseotogy occurs elsewhere also. For his information, I would ask him to refer to section 69, sub-clause (3), of the Government of India Act. The word used there is" paragraph ". It says, "paragraph (d) or paragraph (e)". It does not merely say, " paragraph (d) or (e) ". Therefore this can hardly be a matter of debate or a matter of difference of opinion so far as the principle is concerned. It is a mere matter of precedent and the question to be asked is : Have we done something which is not covered by precedent ? And my submission is this, that whatever we have done in the matter of using phraseology is covered by precedent and therefore, there can be no objection to any clause as it stands in the draft.
Mr. Naziruddin Ahmad : Then what about clause (2) of Article 4 ? I think there should be a short notice amendment to use the words " of this Constitution " in clause (2) in order to make the draft clear.
Mr. Vice-President : In that case, I shall put the amendments to vote one by one.
[f34] The Honourable Dr. B. R. Ambedkar (Bombay : General) : Sir, I am sorry I cannot accept either of the two amendments, [f35] Mr. Kamath's amendment is really incorporated in the phraseotogy as it now stands ; the word " Fundamental " occurs, as Mr. Kamath will find, in the very first Article of this part. Therefore his object that these principles should be treated as fundamental is already achived by the wording of this Article.
With regard to (he word " directive " I think it is necessary and important that the word should be retained because it is to be understood that in enacting this part of the Constitution the Constituent Assembly, as I said, is giving certain directions to the future legislature and the future executive to show in what manner they are to exercise the legislative and the executive power which they will have. If the word " directive " is omitted I am afraid the intention of the Constituent Assembly in enacting this part will fail in its purpose. Surely, as some have said, it is not the intention to introduce in this part these principles as mere pious declarations. It is the intention of the Assembly that in future both the legislature and the executive should not merely pay lip service to these principles enacted in this part, but that they should be made the basis of all executive and legislative action that may be taken hereafter in the matter of the governance of the country. I therefore submit that both the words " fundamental " and " directive " are necessary and should be ratained.
The amendment was, by leave of the Assembly, withdrawn.
Amendment No. 841 is a negative one and therefore it is ruled out of order.
Since the Member concerned is not here, Amendment No. 842 falls through.
Mr. Naziruddin Ahmad : I shall be moving Nos. 843, 844 and 846.
I shall not be moving No. 845.
Sir, I move.
[f36] The Honourable Dr. B. R. Ambedkar : Sir, I oppose the amendments of my Friend, Mr. Naziruddin Ahmad. The words " the State " in Article 28 have been used deliberately. In this Constitution, the word " State " has been used in two different senses. It is used as the collective entity, either representing the Centre or the Province, both of which in certain parts of the Constitution are spoken of as " State ". But the word used there is in a collective sense. Here the words " the State " are used both in a collective sense as well as in the distributive sense. If my friend were to refer to part III, which begins with Article 7 of the Constitution, he will see in what sense the word " State " is used. In this part, unless the context otherwise requires, " the State " includes the Government and the Parliament of India and the Government and the Legislature of each of the States and all local or other authorities within the territory of India. So that, so far as the Directive Principles are concerned, even a village panchayat or a district or local board would be a State also. In order to distinguish the sense in which we have used the word we have thought it desirable to speak of ' State ' and also ' the State '. Honourable Members will find this distinction also made in Article 12 of the Constitution. There we say:
" No citizen of India shall accept any title from any foreign State."
There we do not use the words " the State "; but in the first part we use the words ' the State '. We do not want any of the authorities, either of the Centre or of the provinces, to confer any title upon any individual. That being the distinction, the House will realise that the retention of the words ' the State ' in Article 28 is in consonance with the practice we have adopted in drafting this Constitution.
Mr. Vice-President : I shall now put these three amendments to vote.
[All the amendments to article 29 were negatived and the article was adopted.]
Sir, I was rather reluctant to give notice of this amendment, considering that it is of a minor character ; but somehow the word ' the ' jarred upon my ear and ultimately I decided to send it on. I am not so presumpous as to advise my learned Friend Dr. Ambedkar or his wise colleagues of the Drafting Committee on matters of language; but I do hope that in this case, the word ' the ' jars upon their ears as much as it does on mine, and it does violence to the laws of euphony. So I request him to omit it.
Mr. Vice-President : No 871 not moved.
Now the Article is open for general discussion.
Mr. Vice-President : I have given a reasonable time for discussion, both for and against the amendments.
[f40] The Honourable Dr. B. R. Ambedkar : Mr. Vice-President, I see that there is a great deal of misunderstanding as to the real provisions in the Constitution in the minds of those members of the House who are interested in this kind of directive principles. It is quite possible that the misunderstanding .or rather inadequate understanding is due to the fact that I myself in my opening speech in support of the motion that I made, did not refer to this aspect of the question. That was because, not that I did not wish to place this matter before the House in a clear-cut fashion, but my speech had already become so large that I did not venture to make it more tiresome than I had already done ; but I think it is desirable that I should take a few minutes of the House in order to explain what I regard as the fundamental position taken in the Constitution. As I stated, our Constitution as a piece of mechanism lays down what is called parliamentary democracy. By parliamentary democracy we mean ' one man, one vote '. We also mean that every Government shall be on the anvil, both in its daily affairs and also at the end of a certain period when the voters and the electorate will be given an opportunity to assess the work done by the Government. The reason why we have established in this Constitution a political democracy is because we do not want to install by any means whatsoever a perpetual dictatorship of any particular body of people. While we have established political democracy, it is also the desire that we should lay down as our ideal economic democracy. We do not want merely to lay down a mechanism to enable people to come and capture power. The Constitution also wishes to lay down an ideal before those who would be forming the Government. That ideal is economic democracy, whereby, so far as I am concerned, I understand to mean, ' one man, one vote '. The question is : Have we got any fixed idea as to how we should bring about economic democracy '? There are various ways in which people believe that economic democracy can be brought about ; there are those who believe in having a socialistic state as the best form of economic democracy; there are those who believe in having a socialistic state as the best form of economic democracy; there are those who believe in the communistic idea as the most perfect form of economic democracy.
Now, having regard to the fact that these various ways by which economic democracy may be brought about, we have deliberately introduced in language that we have used, in the directive principles, something which is not fixed or rigid. We have left enough room for people of different ways of thinking, with regard to the reaching of the ideal of economic democracy, to strive in their own way, to persuade the electorate that it is the best way of reaching economic democracy, the fullest opportunity to act in the way in which they want to act.
Sir, that is the reason why the language of the articles in Part IV is left in the manner in which this Drafting Committee thought it best to leave it. It is no use giving a fixed, rigid form to something which is not rigid, which is fundamentally changing and must, having regard to the circumstances and the times, keep on changing. It is, therefore, no use saying that the directive principles have no value. In my judgement, the directive principles have a great value, for they lay down that our ideal is economic democracy. Because we did not want merely a parliamentary form of Government to be instituted through the various mechanisms provided in the Constitution, without any direction as to what our economic ideal, as to what our social order ought to be, we deliberately included the Directive Principles in our Constitution. I think, if the friends who are agitated over this question bear in mind what I have said just now that our object in framing this Constitution is really two-fold: (i) to lay down the form of political democracy, and (ii) to lay down that our ideal is economic democracy and also to prescribe that every Government whatever, it is in power, shall strive to bring about economic democracy, much of the misunderstanding under which most members are labouring will disappear.
My friend Mr. Tyagi made an appeal to me to remove the word ' strive ', and phrases like that. I flunk he has misunderstood why we have used the word ' strive '. The word ' strive which occurs in the Draft Constitution, in my judgement, is very important. We have used it because our intention is that even when there are circumstances which prevent the Government, or which stand in the way of the Government giving effect to these Directive Principles, they shall, even under hard and unpropitious circumstances, always strive in the fulfilment of these Directives. That is why we have used the word ' strive '. Otherwise, it would be open for any Government to say that the circumstances are so bad, that the finances are so inadequate that we cannot even make an effort in the direction in which the Constitution asks us to go. I think my friend Mr. Tyagi will see that the word ' strive ' in this context is of great importance and it would he very wrong to delete it. As to the rest of the amendments, I am afraid I have to oppose them.
The amendment was negatived.
Several Honourable Members : Yes.
Shri L. Krishnaswami Bharathi : I object to leave being granted.
Shri H. V. Kamath : There seems to be some conflict in the House over this. One Honourable Member thinks that Dr. Ambedkar has accepted it. I did not know that he had accepted it. If he has accepted it, then, no question of withdrawal arises.
Shri H. V. Kamath : Yes. The amendment was, by leave of the Assembly, withdrawn.
Article 30 was added to the Constitution.
Mr. Vice-President: Yes.
The Honourable Dr. B. R. Ambedkar : Then, it has been agreed between myself and Mr. Tyagi that he will move an amendment to Article 38, and I propose to accept his amendment. So, this matter may be postponed until we come to the consideration of Article 38.
Mr. Vice-President : Then we shall pass on to the next amendment No. 873.
Shri H. V. Kamath (C.P. & Berar : General) : ......I do not want to traverse the ground which I covered in the course of my speech on Dr. Ambedkar's motion. I would only express the hope that where the type of capitalist, parliamentary democracy typified by Europe and America and the centralised socialism typified by the Soviet Union have failed to bring peace, happiness and prosperity to mankind, we in India might be able to set up a new political and economic pattern, and that we would be able to realise the vision of Mahatma Gandhi's Panchayat Raj and, through this system of decentralised socialism, we will lead mankind and the world to the goal of peace and happiness.
I, therefore with your leave formally move this amendment and make a personal request to you to hold this over till such time as the other amendments to this Article are ready for discussion. I shall read my amendment.
Mr. Vice President : I find that there is an amendment, to add a new article 31-A, numbered 927 in the list, standing in the name of Shri K. Santhanam. This, as well as that amendment may be considered together. Is it the wish of the House that this maybe done?
Honourable Members : Yes.
My amendment is only in order to rearrange the phraseology. My only justification is that strength follows health and the phraseology sounds better. Sir, I move.
Mr. Vice-President : I am very sorry. I think there has been sufficient discussion. Dr. Ambedkar.
The Honourable Dr. B. R. Ambedkar : Mr. Vice-President, Sir, of the many amendments that have been moved to this particular article, there are only four that remain for consideration. I will first take up the amendment of Mr. Krishnamoortby Rao. It is a mere verbal amendment and I say straightaway that I am quite prepared to accept that amendment.
Then there remain the three amendments moved by my friend, Professor K. T. Shah. His first amendment is to substitute the words " every citizen " for the words " the citizens ". Now, if that was the only amendment he was moving, I would not have found myself in very great difficulty in accepting his amendment, but he also proposes to remove the words " men and women equally " to which I have considerable objection. I would therefore ask him not to press this particular amendment on the assurance that, when the Constitution is gone through in this House and is remitted back to the Drafting . Committee for the consideration of verbal changes, I shall be quite prepared to incorporate his feelings as I can quite understand that " every citizen " is better phraseology than the words " the citizens ".
With regard to his other amendments, viz., substitution of his own clauses for sub-clauses (ii) and (iii) of Article 31, all I want to say is this that I would have been quite prepared to consider the amendment of Professor Shah if he had shown that what be intended to do by the substitution of his own clauses was not possible to be done under the language as it stands. So far as I am able to see, I think the language that has been used in the Draft is a much more extensive language which also includes the particular propositions which have been moved by Professor Shah, and I therefore do not see the necessity for substituting these limited particular clauses for the clauses which have been drafted in general language deliberately for a set purpose. I therefore oppose his second and third amendments.
[In all eight amendments were negatived. One was dropped. Only one amendment, that of Mr. Krishnamoorthy Rao was accepted and adopted. Article 31 was accordingly amended and added to the Constitution.]
[f1]CAD. (Official Report). Vol. VIII, 15th November 1948, pp. 401-02.
[f2]Amendment of Prof. K. T. Shah is placed after Dr. Ambedkar's speech.
[f3]CAD, Vol. VII, 15th November 1948, p. 403.
[f4]CAD, (Official Report), Vol. VIII. 15th November 1948. p. 404.
[f5]CAD. (official Report), Vol. VII. 15111 November 1948, p. 406.
[f7]CAD. (Official Report), Vol. VII, 15111 November 1948, p. 413.
[f9]CAD, (Official Report), Vol. VII. 15th November 1948, p. 418.
[f10]Ibid. p. 421.
[f11]CAD, (Official Report), Vol. VII, 15th November 1948. p. 422.
[f12]Ibid., pp. 422-24.
[f13]CAD, (Official Report), Vol. VII, 17th November 1948, p. 425.
[f14]CAD, (Official Report), Vol. VII, 15th November 1948, p. 426.
[f20]CAD, (Official Report), Vol. VII, 15th November 1948, p. 431.
[f21]Ibid.,18th November 1948, p. 435.
[f22]Ibid., 18th November 1948, p. 435.
[f23]CAD. (Official Report), Vol. VII. 18th November 1948, p. 435.
[f24] Ibid.,p. 435.
[f25]CAD, (Official Report), Vol. VII, 17th November 1948, pp. 439-40.
[f26]CAD, (Official Report), Vol. VII, 17th November 1948, p. 441.
[f27]Ibid., p. 446.
[f28]Ibid., pp. 456-59.
[f29]CAD, (Official Report), Vol. VII. 18th November 1948, p. 461.
[f30]Ibid., p. 462.
[f31]CAD, (Official Report), Vol. VII, 18th November 1948, pp. 465-66.
[f32]CAD, (Official Report), Vol. VII, 18th November 1948 pp. 467-68.
[f33]CAD, (Official Report), Vol. VII, 19th Novemher l948, p. 474.
[f34]CAD, (Official Report), Vol. VII. 19th November 1948, p. 476.
[f35]This amendment of Mr. Kamathi included No. 838 and 840.
[f36]CAD, (Official Report), Vol. VII, 19tli November 1948, pp. 477-78
[f37] CAD, (Official Report), Vol. VII, 19th November 1948, p.487.
[f38]Ibid ., pp. 487-88.
[f39]Ibid., p. 493.
[f40] CAD, (Official Report), Vol. VII, 22nd November 1948, p.p 494-95.
[f41] CAD, (Official Report), Vol. VII, 19th November 1948, p. 495.
[f42] Ibid, 2211(1 November 1948, p. 501.
[f43] CAD. (Official Report), Vol. VII, 22nd November 1948, p. 501.
[f44] lbid., pp. 503-04
[f45] CAD, (Official Report), Vol. VII, 22nd November 1948, p. 504.
[f46] Ibid., p. 513.
[f48] CAD, (Official Report), Vol. VII, 22nd November 1948, pp. 518-19