Clause wise Discussion on the Draft Constitution



November 17, 1949 to November 26, 1949






The Constituent Assembly of India met in the Constitution Hall, New Delhi, at Ten of the Clock, Mr. President (The Honourable Dr.Rajendra Prasad) in the Chair. (Thursday the 17th November 1949).

[f1]  Mr. President : We shall now take up the third reading of the Constitution. Dr. Ambedkar.

The Honourable Dr. B. R. Ambedkar (Bombay : General): Mr. President, Sir, I move :

" That the Constitution as settled by the Assembly be passed. "


Shri Mahavir Tyagi (United Provinces : General) : Congratulations.

Shri H. V. Kamath (C. P. & Berar : General) : Let Dr. Ambedkar kindly speak.

The Honourable Dr. B. R. Ambedkar : I propose to speak at the end. It is not the usual thing to speak now.

The Honourable Shri N. V. Gadgil (Bombay : General) : This question be now put (Laughter).

Shri Mahavir Tyagi : What is the opinion of Dr. Ambedkar about this Constitution we are passing ?

Mr. President : I think we must now proceed with the business. Dr. Ambedkar has moved that the Constitution as settled by the Assembly be passed. The Motion is now open for discussion. Yesterday we were discussing the time that we would take for this Third Reading and I requested Members to give me names. Till yesterday evening I had received 71 names of members who want to speak, and some additional names have come this morning; but even as it is, it seems to me that if we take about twenty minutes each and if we sit three days this week and five days next week, we shall have twenty-four hours, and twenty minutes for each speaker will give seventy-two speakers, so far as the time is concerned, I think we can very well manage within this time giving opportunities to every speaker who has expressed a desire to speak. So, it is not necessary to sit longer.



Shri H. V. Kamath : Let us sit for four hours.

Mr. President : At this rate we shall not require to sit four hours.

Shri H. V. Kamath : If we sit four hours, we will be able to finish the session by next Thursday instead of Friday. If we finish earlier, we will have a longer interval before the session of the Legislature.

Dr. P. S. Deshmukh (C. P. & Berar : General) : Some honourable Members may come here later and give their names hereafter.

Mr. President : They may come. We have got some other work also to attend to. Today and tomorrow at any rate or till the end of this week, we sit only for three hours, and if necessary and if we find that sufficient progress is not made, we may have a second session next week.

Shri L. Krishnaswami Bharathi (Madras : General) : Is it from ten to one ?

Mr. President: Yes.

Shri L. Krishnaswami Bharathi : We are quite agreeable.

Mr. President : Now, I do not know in what order I should call members. I suppose I must follow the usual practice. If members stand in their places, I shall select one of them.

Shri H. J. Khandekar (C. P. & Berar : General) : They should be called alphabetically.

Mr. President : I think that would be too mechanical. I shall follow the usual procedure and I hope there will be no difficulty in that. Shri Muniswamy Pillay.

[Selected excerpts from the speed of the members eulogising file services of the Drafting Committee, its chairman Dr. Ambedkar and describing the significance of the Constitution are reproduced here.—Ed.]

Shri V. I. Muniswamy Pillay (Madras : General) : Mr. President, Sir, I stand before this August Assembly to support the motion moved by my Honourable Friend, Dr. Ambedkar....

...Sir, I proceed now to appreciate the great services that have been rendered by the Drafting Committee whose services are so valuable to us; they have not spared days and nights in coming to decisions on important articles. I must say a word of praise to the calibre and capacity of the Chairman of the Drafting Committee—Dr. B. R. Ambedkar. (Loud cheers.) Coming as I do from a community that has produced Dr. Ambedkar, I feel proud that his capacity has now been recognized, not only by the Harijans but by all communities that inhabit India. The Scheduled Castes have produced a great Nandanar, a great devotee, a Tirupazanalwar, a great Vaishnaivite saint, and above all a Tiruvalluvar, the great philosopher whose name and fame is not only known throughout the length and breadth of India but of the whole world.

To that galaxy of great men of Harijans now we have to add Dr. Ambedkar, who, as a man has been able to show to the world that the Scheduled Castes are no less important but they can rise to heights and give to the world their great services. I know. Sir, that he has served the community of the Harijans and also of India by his great service and sacrifice in preparing a Constitution which will be the order of the day from the 26th of January 1950 and I also feel. Sir, of the Chief Draftsman and of the staff that have worked in preparing the Constitution cannot be titled ; they equally receive our praise....

[f2]  Seth Govind Das (C. P. &Berar: General): [Mr. President, I am very happy today on seeing that the third reading of the Constitution, completed by us in about three years, has now begun. On this occasion, I would at first like to congratulate Dr. Ambedkar who has laboured hard to put this Constitution into proper shape. Today he has moved the Motion that the Constitution as settled by the Assembly be passed. It has been said about Dr. Ambedkar that he is the Manu of the present age. Whatever be the truth of that statement, I can say that Dr. Ambedkar was quite equal to the task of constitution making that had been entrusted to him]....

[f3]  Shri Ruhini Kumar Chaudliuri (Assam : General) : On a point of information; in describing Dr. Ambedkar as Manu, was the honourable Member referring to the Hindu Code ?

Seth Govind Das : [f4]  [No, Sir, that statement did not have any reference to the Hindu Code, I believe that the House is aware that I am opposed to many of the provisions of the Hindu Code.]...

[f5]  Shri Laxminarayan Sahu:.. .Even though I sincerely compliment and congratulate Dr. Ambedkar for the hard labour he has put in this connection, yet I am afraid I cannot compliment him for this unnatural product of his labour which under constant changes has almost become shapeless and ludicrous. I know fitly well and I believe that he is likely to say in reply that it is not entirely his handi-work. He had to frame the Constitution in accordance with the wishes of the majority party in the country....



[f6]  Shri R. K. Sidhwa : Now coming to the Constitution, on the 6th of December 1946 before entering this House, this memorable hall which has been renovated particularly for framing of this Constitution which will be remembered in the history of India.... From experience we have seen that today is exactly three years, or rather to be more accurate 15 days less than three years, when we have completed this Constitution. On the 1st of February 1948 after our deliberations from the 9th December 1946 to 1947 a draft Constitution was presented to us. It included 313 articles in the Constitution. Today we have now presented to this House 395 articles, that is to say 82 new articles were inserted. Then there were nearly 220 old articles which were simply scrapped off and in the case of nearly 120 articles the phraseology is materially changed. Accepting the Preamble without a change or a single comma or punctuation, several articles have been changed and I am very glad and the House is also glad that we have by experience thought it desirable that it was not in a hurry that we should prepare a Constitution. We are therefore right in taking this long time and preparing a Constitution for which we shall all be proud. There have been criticisms outside this hall that we have taken a long time and wasted some money. I give no countenance to that. It was also stated that some of us were sending amendments for the purpose of sending amendments and making speeches. We did not countenance or listen to their arguments. We were lighting our battles in this Constitution Hall, to put our views and we have fought our battle very well, and I am glad that the Drafting Committee have taken our battles in the right spirit. We have done our duty. Proceedings in the matter of record are there for future generations to see and the historians will have to judge whether we have wasted the lime or we have done our duty to the people of this country and framed a Constitution, for which all of us are proud and I am very proud too.

[f7]  History will judge this Constitution. It is certainly not perfect; there may be defects; I know there are defects. I told you that I fought my battles in this hall by moving my amendments and I lost them. But, it is my duty to say to the people that this is the best Constitution and I expect every Member of the Constituent Assembly to say, despite any difference of opinion, that this is a Constitution of which we are proud and we must proclaim to the world and the world will realise that this is a document worthy of reference by various countries in the world. Therefore I feel proud of this Constitution when it becomes law on the 26th day of January 1950, the historic day on which we shall inaugurate the Democratic Sovereign State.



[f8]  Shri Kuladhar Chaliha (Assam : General) : Mr. President, Sir, at the outset it is necessary to appreciate the work of the Drafting Committee and more so of Dr. Ambedkar in producing a wonderful Constitution in spite of the difficulties with which they were faced. We must also appreciate the members of the Drafting Committee and especially Mr. Munshi who, though he was busy in many matters, always tried to bring about compromise formulae and we appreciate his work greatly and all those silent workers and staff who contributed greatly to the success of this Constitution. Sir, it is necessary to say that, though we may not have produced the best Constitution, at the same time we must say that it is one of the best that we can produce under the conditions prevailing in India. They faced facts and produced one that was necessary. It is said that members of the Drafting Committee were not in the forefront of the battle for liberty but I think that is an advantage because they could look into it dispassionately and produce the one that was necessary. At the beginning of the discussion of the Third Reading we heard from Mr. Muniswamy Pillay that 60 million people of Untouchables were satisfied with this Constitution. That is a great contribution really and if we have satisfied those untouchables whom we have neglected I think we have done a wonderful work. Therefore, my appreciation is due entirely to the Drafting Committee and to those members of the staff who worked hard without having any voice in it and produced the book that is before us....



[f9]  Shri Gokulbhai Daulatram Bhatt :  [When the Draft Constitution was brought before the House for the first time I observed that it was like a bunch of flowers that had been put together after having been brought from different places. I had proceeded to observe that it contained paper flowers and in some parts roses and also a rare jasmine flower. Thus it contained flowers of different kinds and characters. The bunch that is now before us is one which we had put together ourselves, and I can dare say that some of the flowers that we have put into it have fine and pleasing smell. But we all know that in this world we need all types of things because if it was full of all roses alone and no thorns man would lose his mind because he cannot bear so much good in his life at one lime. I therefore believe that to reduce the excess of the smell of the flowers in this bunch other articles have been put into it....

... It is my fervent hope that our people should very quickly move forward for the reconstruction of the country and for the use of the new Constitution. It is only then that our country would be following the proper course in the matter of reconstruction. Before I conclude I would like to reiterate my thanks to the Members of the Drafting Committee and to the other Members who have put in such labour.



[f10]  Pandit Lakshmi Kanta Maitra: .. .Today I gladly join the chorus— of approbation of the services rendered by the Drafting Committee in which we have some of our most intimate and tried friends. I congratulate them on their achievement. I also want to record my appreciation of the work done by the Joint Secretary, Mr. Mukerji and the other members of the staff who have collaborated with us and made it possible for us to have this Constitution.



[f11]  The Honourable Shri N. V. Gadgil : ...Sir, the Constitution is an instrument and not an end in itself. In the hands of a good workman, it is a good tool to work with. In the hands of a determined workman it will enable him to get what he wants. In the hands of a reluctant workman there is enough for him to complain. This Constitution is in my humble opinion, in spite of its defects (defects there are and I am not indiscriminate in my admiration although I do not, unlike others, want to repudiate like Vishvamitra), calculated to secure those social and economic aims for which the Preamble stands. With a far-sighted President, with a Prime Minister full of vigour and vision, with genial legislators and a responsible opposition, I think there is nothing to prevent us, under this Constitution, to achieve those aims for which every one of us stands.

[f12]  Shri M. Ananthasayanam Ayyangar (Madras : General) : ...All communities have taken part in the framing of this Constitution— Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Parsis, Scheduled Castes and representatives from the Scheduled Tribes. All political interests have been represented here. Leaders of all schools of thought are here. Even Dr. Ambedkar, who merely came to watch has taken a leading part in the framing of this Constitution and he is one of the architects of the Constitution we are now passing. The very person who came to doubt and to criticise has ultimately taken charge of this Constitution and framed it. I congratulate him and I congratulate ourselves for the goodwill shown to him and the manner in which he has reciprocated it. After all, by closer contact we can easily understand one another's view point. So long as we are at a great distance, we make much of the small angularities we have. If this Constitution is worked in the spirit in which it has been framed, I am sure we will be one of the foremost nations of the world.

There are also amongst us a number of eminent jurists like Mr. Alladi Krishnaswami Ayyar, whom we cannot easily forget. In spite of his weak and poor health, both inside the Assembly and outside in the Committees, he has been rendering yeoman service. We have amongst us also administrators like our Friend Mr. Gopalaswami Ayyangar. He has had great experience as a civil servant, and then as Dewan in the States and later in the Council of State. Though latterly he has gone out of the picture and has not been much in evidence in the Assembly here in the matter of the Constitution after Dr. Ambedkar has taken it over. I am sure we will not forget the enormous services that he has rendered. Every section of the Assembly has done its best. Some of our friends who have been very energetic in tabling amendments—Mr. Kamath, Mr. Shibban Lal Saksena, Mr. Sidhva and latterly Dr. Punjabrao Deshmukh who has added himself to this list—have all contributed their mite. Though we have not been able to accept many of the amendments tabled by our Friend, Prof. K. T. Shah, for whose learning, intelligence and capacity I have a good deal of admiration, he has confessed to me outside the House when I talked to him that though we were not going to accept Ills amendments, he tabled them because he wanted to lay his point of view before us. He has accepted the defeats in a spirit of good sportsmanship. Therefore I feel that this Constitution has been framed by every one of us doing his bit gladly. If there has been defeats to some, those defeats have been accepted in the spirit of a minority having to submit to the majority view in the hope of converting the majority view in their favour at some future date.... The peaceful and solemn voice of Mahatma Gandhi from our hearts. With him as our model, let us march on work from peace to peace until peace and prosperity reign supreme in the world. May God bless us.

[f13]  The Honourable Shri B. G. Kher (Bombay : General) : Mr. President, Sir, I cannot let this occasion pass without expressing my gratification at the completion of a task which, it is very difficult to realise, we began quite three years ago. I remember our first meeting was held on 9th December 1946 and, in these three years were crowded events which would normally have taken possibly three decades for us to accomplish. Our Constitution also has undergone modifications as events outside took place. My first impulse therefore is to congratulate this House on having completed a very difficult, gigantic and monumental task and given a Constitution to free India. Every one will agree that it was a difficult task. Even as the manner in which India attained her independence was unique, so was the Constitution of this very Constituent Assembly. I do not think anywhere else a Constituent Assembly has gone on working as the Constitution making body and as the Parliament of the country for such a long period as nearly three years. After three years labour we have built up a Constitution of which we have every reason to be proud....

[f14]  Shri Brabhut Dayal Himat Singka (West Began : General) : .Sir, a lot will depend on how the Constitution is worked and the person who works it. If you put X in charge of a thing he may do it very successfully but if you place another person, in spite of the fact that he has the same resources available to him, he may make a muddle of the whole thing. A lot will depend on how it works, who works it and the manner in which it is worked. People will always be able to find fault but on the whole it has been a very satisfactory Constitution and if properly worked and supported properly by those who can do it, I think the whole thing should proceed in a satisfactory manner....



[f15]  Shri H. V. Pataskar : ...In spite of the shortcomings we have made a very good provision in the Constitution, namely, the article by which it can be amended when occasion arises. A constitution is a living growth and I hope in course of lime this provision will be made use of by those who come after us and according to changed circumstances change the constitution in any manner they like.

[f16]  Shri B. A. Mandloi (C. P. & Berar : General) : ...In conclusion, I would be failing in my duty. Sir, if I do not say a word about the Drafting Committee. It is well known that the Committee had an arduous and very important task. The Members of the Committee under the chairmanship of Dr. Ambedkar did their job willingly and splendidly and presented us with a Draft Constitution. I know that during many controversial debates in this House the Chairman of the Drafting Committee put forward his point of view variably and succeeded in bringing the controversy to a satisfactory conclusion. This House appreciates the services of the Drafting Committee and I congratulate Dr. Ambedkar, Chairman of the Committee for successfully piloting the Constitution of free and independent India. The Constitution has been propped within a record period of three years,—in fact we should eliminate from these three years the period during which we had troubles of unprevented matters and unsettled conditions. This is a great achievement. Sir, it is not enough to have a good Constitution on paper but it is the willingness of the people, the sincerity of the people and the earnest desire of the people to work it that is important. If the Constitution is worked in that spirit I feel sure that our country will have a bright future. We visualise a bright future for our country and we wish her to be one of the foremost countries in the world. If we work the Constitution in the spirit in which we have made it, I feel sure there is a bright future for the country. With these words I support the motion.



[f17]  Pandit Thakur Das Bhargava (East Punjab : General) : ...I would like. Sir, on this occasion to thank the other friends also who have helped us in drafting this Constitution. I would like particularly to mention Dr. H. C. Mukerjee who had presided over the proceedings of this House with great ability and tact at the time when you were lying sick and I offer my thanks to him. I do not know. Sir, the terms in which I should thank the Drafting Committee, particularly words fail to convey the gratitude that all of us feel for the legal acumen, the untiring industry, the consummate skill and the firmness, tempered with moderation, with which the Chairman of the Drafting Committee has piloted this Constitution through this House and has solved all the knotty questions arising in connection with it. In view of the great public spirit manifested by him I would appeal to Dr. Ambedkar—I regret he is not in the House today—who has so far considered himself the leader of the Scheduled Castes alone, to join the Congress. He has made for himself a high position in our hearts and I do hope that he shall thereby be able to enter the circle of Congress High Command—a position which is much more significant and important than the narrow one he is occupying today....

[f18] ...Sir, therefore, I am now going to conclude my observations with the remark that Constitutions are only a piece of paper and they by themselves cannot enable us to achieve our ideals. It is the spirit with which the Constitutions are framed and with which they are worked that enables a nation to achieve the objective underlying its Constitution. Therefore, on this occasion. Sir, when we are going to pass our Constitution, I would like to impress upon the minds of the Members who will be appending their signatures to this document on the 26th of January, 1950, that their task is not over by simply preparing the Constitutions but their real task is ahead. It is for them to work the Constitution in such a manner as may enable the people to have real freedom, happiness and prosperity.

Now with your permission. Sir, I would like to refer to only one more matter. It is very dear to me. We have given much to Scheduled Castes. We have provided reservation for them. We have embodied in the Constitution article 335 wherein assurance has been given to them in regard to services; we have provided facility for reservation for them in services under article 16. But I hope we will have not to see the day when the Government reserves posts for them. If we really want to establish here the classless society of Mahatma Gandhi, every one of us who signs the document of the Constitution must do so with the determination rather the pledge, that he must bring the depressed classes at par with him within ten years. He will be false to himself who signs the Constitution but does not work according to its principles....



[f19]  Mr. President : We shall now continue the discussion. Mr. Kamath.

Shri H. V. Kamath (C. P. & Berar- : General) : Mr. President, I rise to. extend my limited and qualified support to the motion moved by Dr. Ambedkar. We. Sir, the people of India have come to the end of a long journey which is, however, the beginning of a longer, a more arduous and a more hazardous one.



[f20]  Seth Damodar Swarup (United Provinces : General) : [f21]  [Mr. President, the Second Reading of the Draft Constitution has ended and the Third Reading is going on which will also conclude in three or four days. After that the inauguration of this Constitution will be held over till the historic day of the 26th January. All this is good and for that the Honourable Dr. Ambedkar and his other colleagues of the Drafting Committee deserve the congratulations of the whole House, because they have drafted this Constitution with great skill and labour....

[f22]  Shri T. Prakasam (Madras : General) : ...The Constitution is a great document and the friends who have been in charge of this framing of this—Dr. Ambedkar—is a great lawyer, is a very able man. He has shown by the work he has done here, how he would be competent to be a king's Counsel of Great Britain, to be perhaps competent to sit on the Woolsack only; but this is not a Constitution that we, the people of this country wanted. Mahatma Gandhi when he took up the organisation of this country' in the name of the Congress at once saw how this country could be helped and how the millions could be helped. Therefore he decided that the whole country should be divided on linguistic basis so that the people of each area would be competent to develop themselves....



[f23]  Prof. Shibban Lal Saksena : ...My criticism of the Constitution does not mean that I am blind to the achievements which we have made during these three years. I consider, this framing of the Constitution has by itself been the greatest single achievement of ours during the last three years. The barriers to the dawn of freedom which the British Government had erected by the artificial creation of the problem of minorities, the problem of Princes in the Indian States and the Heaven-born Civil Service, have all been wiped of as if by magic in the short space of the last 2 years. The delay in the framing of the Constitution has enabled us to incorporate in this Constitution simile provisions for the administration of the 566 Indian States which have now been transformed and integrated into nine provinces and put on a par with the other units of the Union. This single achievement will be regarded as the greatest task ever accomplished in any country....



[f24]  The Honourable Rev. J. J. M. Nichols Roy (Assam : General) : Mr. President, Sir, I am very glad to come here to give my hearty support to tine motion moved by Dr. Ambedkar that the Constitution as settled by the Assembly be passed. I consider that this Constitution is the best that could be produced in the present circumstances in India and in the world. Though there are defects no doubt, though we would have liked to have had some provisions in another form, yet. Sir, I believe that this is the best that could be done under the present circumstances. I am glad. Sir, that I have had a part in the framing of this Constitution, though it may be in a very small way. The whole country has had a part in the framing of this Constitution either by way of criticism or by way of suggestions. The Draft Constitution was placed before the country over two years ago, and everyone of us had a chance either to criticise or to send suggestions, and everyone of us here in this Constituent Assembly has had a part in the framing of this Constitution. Therefore we can say that this is a Constitution for the whole country and by the whole country....

...Now, Sir, I want to speak about another thing and that is regarding the Sixth Schedule. I myself am personally indebted to Mr. S. N. Mukerji, the Draftsman, Sir. B. N. Rao and Dr. Ambedkar for giving special attention to the drafting of this Sixth Schedule. I am also indebted to the members of the Drafting Committee who gave us a chance to speak before them....

[f25]  Dr. Raghu Vira (C. P. & Berar : General) : ...[f26]  [lt is only foreign ideals that have been incorporated .in this Constitution. It has nothing Indian about it. I however, hope that some years hence this Constitution would not remain in tlie. form in which it has been passed, and that it will come to acquire a genuine Indian character, and would fulfil the basic and fundamental requirements of the people of this country.]

[f27]  The Honourable Shri K. Santhanam (Madras: General) : .. .looking back, I feel that these three years have not been too long. In fact, it has enabled us to draft a better constitution than it would have been possible if we were able to finish it a year ago. Many criticisms have been made about this Constitution. My honourable Friend Mr. Naziruddin Ahmad has complained about drafting. But reading it as a whole, if we apply the criteria of clarity and precision, I think we have made a very good constitution indeed.



[f28]  Sardar Bhoopender Singh Man (East Punjab : Sikh) : ...However, I feel that it is not the lifeless structure of a Constitution or the written word that ultimately counts. As time passes there are bound to grow certain conventions which are more akin and near to realities, which are more dynamic in character and I feel. Sir, that ultimately it will be the inherent good sense of the people that will count and not the letter but the spirit which shall prevail, and people here in the country will have equal opportunities of justice in every sphere, the sphere of administration and economic structure of the society.

[f29]  Kazi Syed Karimuddin (C.P. & Berar : Muslim) : Mr. President, I congratulate the Drafting Committee for the stupendous work they have done and I have also to congratulate Mr. Naziruddin Ahmad for the arduous work he had undertaken for which he did not receive a word of thanks from the Drafting Committee. I particularly thank Dr. Ambedkar and congratulate him for his brilliant advocacy and the task he had undertaken in drafting this Constitution. I know that he had great handicaps and one of the instances of that handicap is the amendment that I had moved regarding the illegal searches-searches of houses and persons—which he had accepted and which was carried by the House and which was defeated after a week's lime after its postponement....

[f30]  Shri Shankarrao Deo (Bombay : General) : While appointing the draftsmen of our constitution, we were eager to have the knowledge of the constitutional pandits, and the precisions of the constitutional lawyers and we have got them in full measure. Dr. Ambedkar and his associates or his colleagues of the Drafting Committee deserve our gratitude, and I think they could stand comparison to any of the constitution makers and draftsmen of any constitution in any country in the world....



[f31]  Syed Muhammad Sa'adulla (Assam : muslim) : Sir, It is said that sometimes silence is golden while speech is silver. In my humble opinion this should have been one of those occasions when silence would have befitted this August Assembly....

...I cannot stand here today without showing my dual personality, that is being a Member of this August Assembly as well as being a member of the Drafting Committee. To all those friends who have been kind enough to appreciate the hard and dreary labour that members of the Drafting Committee had to undertake throughout the last two years both on behalf of myself as well as on behalf of my colleagues of the Drafting Committee I bow my head in grateful thanks. I am not unmindful of conveying our thanks even to those critics who in their superior wisdom had thought fit to criticise the shortcomings of the members of the Drafting Committee. But I am constrained to say that they have looked into this matter from a perspective that is faulty, from an outlook that is wrong and from a focus that is out of alignment.

Sir, the Drafting Committee was not a free agency. They were handicapped by various methods and circumstances from the very start. We were only asked to dress the baby and the baby was nothing hut the Objectives Resolution which this Constituent Assembly passed. We were told that the Constitution must conform and remain within the four corners of that Objectives Resolution. Moreover, Sir, whatever we did had to be considered and accepted by this House. How dare any member of the Drafting Committee be so arrogant as to thrust the opinion of seven members against a total number of 308 in this House ?

Sir, it is an acknowledged principle of psychology that man is a creature of environments. The Draft Constitution which the members of the Drafting Committee were privileged to place before this House could not evade this universal principle. They had to take the environment and the circumstances prevailing in the country into consideration and many of the provisions which jar against the sense of democracy, even of the members of the Drafting Committee, had to be embodied here on account of forces which were superior to that of the Drafting Committee.

Sir, I remember that many sections of our Draft Constitution had to be recast as many as seven times. A draft section is prepared according to the best in each of the members of the Drafting Committee. It is scrutinised by the particular Ministerial department of Government. They criticise it and a fresh draft is made to meet their criticism or requirements. Then it is considered by the biggest bloc, the majority party in the House—1 refer to the Congress Parliamentary Party, who alone can give the imprimatur of adoption in this House :. and sometimes we found that they made their own recommendations which had to be put into the proper legal and constitutional shape by the members of the Drafting Committee.

Sir, no human-made constitution or document is perfect and it is a trite saying that the actual always falls short of the ideal. Even though I am a member of the Drafting Committee. I have very great objection to many of the principles that have been embodied in this Constitution. It does not lie in my mouth to criticise individual provisions of the Draft Constitution, as I am as much responsible as any other member of the Drafting Committee for the incorporation in our Constitution.



[f32]  Syed Muhammad Sa'adulla (Assam : Muslim) : ...Sir, after two centuries of subjugation and humiliation, we have drafted our own Constitution. The very idea of it is thrilling to my mind; that very thought sends our hearts bumping and racing, but yet we cannot say with our hands on our hearts that we feel jubilation and joy over the present Draft Constitution to that extent. This Constitution which will be passed and come into law within a couple of months is a compromise Constitution. Many honourable Members have said that this is but a transitory Constitution. I do hope. Sir, that future legislators will try to make it as perfect as possible. The test of the pudding is in the eating. Similarly nobody can say that this Constitution is to be commended or condemned. The working of the Constitution alone will show whether it is a workable Constitution of whether it is unsuited to the necessities of the times and the requirements of our people or to the genius of our nation, but if we work it in the spirit of the Preamble, we must say that we have a Constitution which can be made an ideal Constitution by working it in the proper spirit....

[f33]  ...Let us all in all humility try to work this Constitution which has been drafted by people who gave their best to it, and if we work it in the spirit of the Preamble, i.e., try to do justice to all, and try to work it in the spirit of equality and fraternity, we can turn even this dreary Constitution into a garden of paradise.

[f34]  Shri H. J. Khandekar (C. P. & Berar : General) : Mr. President, Sir I stand here to support the motion moved by my Friend Honourable Dr. Ambedkar....

...I congratulate the Drafting Committee for the work that it has done to frame this Constitution. Sir, I also congratulate my Friend, Pandit H. V. Kamath, a devotee of G. G. for taking keen interest in the work of this Constitution-making....

...Now today. Sir, we are enacting a law of Independent India under the genius of Dr. Ambedkar, the President of the Drafting Committee. If I may do so. Sir, I call this Constitution the Mahar law, because Dr. Ambedkar is a Mahar and now when we inaugurate this Constitution on the 26th of January 1950 we shall have the law of Manu replaced by the law of Mahar and I hope that unlike the law of Manu under which there was never a prosperity in the country the Mahar law will make India virtually a paradise....

[f35]  Mr. Mahboob Ali Baig Sahib (Madras : Muslim) : Mr. President, Sir, it is not mere formal or customary expression of appreciation if I express my deep sense of gratitude to you, for the manner in which you conducted the proceedings which left no ground for complaint and if I also congratulate Dr. Ambedkar for the outstanding ability with which he piloted the Draft Constitution. Some of us who did not belong to the dominant party which decided questions outside the House beforehand, either confirming or modifying the views of the Drafting Committee— and as it were, acted as the final arbiter—such of us who did not belong to this party would have been helpless if you had not come to our rescue and allowed us to have our say in the matter, for which fairness on your part. I heartily thank you. Dr. Ambedkar was unique in his clarity of expression and thought, and his mastery over the Constitutional problems including those of finance has been marvellous, unique, singular and complete. But, Sir, unlike you, he was not a free agent. So the evils or the defects in the Constitution as it is placed before us today are inherent in the situation in which he was placed and he cannot therefore be personally responsible for them....



[f36]  Shri S. M. Ghose (West Bengal : General) : ...I have heard in this Assembly something about Manu which I consider is not a proper understanding of what Manu stands for or what Manu really means. Speaking about Dr. Ambedkar an honourable Memeber was pleased to say that he was not a Manu but a Mahar giving us law. But there is no knowing whether Manu belonged to (he Brahmin or to the Mahar caste. But Manu represents a conception of Indian people,—an ideal of law given for humanity. In that sense Dr. Ambedkar was rightly called the Manu of the present age. It is not that anybody who is in charge of making law really makes anything, but he simplifies and codifies the law as seen by rishidrishti, i,e,. seen by intuition. In that sense, whether a man comes from Mahar community or Brahmin community or any other community, if he has that intuition, if he could see and codify things not only for his community, not as his community views livings, but for the whole of humanity, he will be rightly called Manu....

[f37]  Shri P. J. Chacko : (United State of Travancore and Cochin) : I know that the success of a constitutional experiment depends more on the character of the people and on the conditions of the times than on the provisions contained in the Constitution itself. Hence, granting these defects, I know it is our duty now to make an honest endeavour to successfully work it. Let us believe that the darkness will be over soon and that in the morning to come we will be able to amend the Constitution and to treat all States alike, and to give some powers to the Constituent States also. Knowing its drawbacks let us try to successfully work it.

[f38]  Sardar Hukam Singh (East Punjab : Sikh) : Mr. President, Sir, I must start with paying my earnest and sincere tribute to our worthy President whose patience, forbearance and sense of justice have guided us throughout these proceedings and have contributed mostly to our successfully going through all these stages.

I join my other friends in congratulating the Drafting Committee and particularly its leader for cheerfully carrying through this heavy strain during these months. It was a gigantic task and they must be feeling relieved after it....

[f39]  Shri S. Nagappa (Madras : General) : Mr. President, Sir, very many speakers that spoke before me have congratulated the Drafting Committee and its Chairman. I join them, Sir, I do so.

From the point of view of the Scheduled Classes, their point was achieved on the day on which Dr. Ambedkar was elected as Chairman of the Drafting Committee. He had been one of the stoutest champions of the cause of the Scheduled Classes. He was elected as the Chairman. Ever since he was elected, the other members of the Scheduled Classes were very reluctant to co-operate; not because they did not want to co-operate, but because they knew Dr. Ambedkar who was a champion of their cause was there to watch and provide such articles that will be safeguarding the interests of the Scheduled Classes. Well, Sir, this has proved to what heights Dr. Ambedkar, though he is a member of the Scheduled Classes, if an opportunity was given, can rise. He has proved this by his efficiency and the able way in which he has drafted and piloted this Constitution. Now I think this stigma of inefficiency attached to the Scheduled Classes will be washed away and will not be attached hereafter. Only if opportunities are given, they will prove better than anybody else. Now for having played such a great part, on behalf of the Scheduled Classes I congratulate Dr. Ambedkar. It is not the strength of the Scheduled Classes that made him the President of the Drafting Committee but it is the generosity of the majority party and I am very much thankful to them for the same.

Now I call this, a Constitution for the benefit and betterment of the common man. It can be called a Common man's Constitution. This assures the right of common people more than that of the landed aristocracy or of industrialists and capitalists. This will go a long way for the betterment of the common people of this country. It is so because though Dr. Ambedkar happens to be a man of high status in society, yet he has been drawn from the lot of the common people. He has not forgotten the interest of the common people and he has been good enough to do all that is possible for their betterment. Articles 14 to 17 go a long way for the betterment of Scheduled Classes. Article 14 assures equality before law particularly to everyone. This is the most important one....

Mr. President: ...

[f40]  Shri Jaspat Roy Kapoor (United Province : General) : ...Dr. Ambedkar and his colleagues have rightly deserved the praise which has been showered on them by almost every speaker. I had started with a prejudice against Dr. Ambedkar, for I had felt very sore many years ago when Mahatma Gandhi was undergoing last against grant of separate electorates to the Scheduled Castes and I had read in the papers the news that when he had been invited to see Mahatma Gandhi to discuss that question, he once said that for a day or two he was not free because he had to attend to some professional engagements. I felt very sorry then. I do not know how far it is correct. But even if it was so, the great work that he has done during these three years has washed away that particular sin or any other sins which he may have committed. I have developed an admiration and also affection for Dr. Ambedkar for the very useful work and the very patriotic work which he has done. His very first speech in this assembly had dispelled all my doubts and fears in relation to him and today I can say that I consider him to be one of the best patriots of this country. I have always found him to bring to bear upon the subject a very constructive approach. On many an occasion when there seemed to be deadlock, he came forward with suggestions which resolved those deadlocks. I always found him rise to the occasion except, unfortunately, on one occasion and that was when he did not agree to give up reservation of seats for the Scheduled Castes. Every other minority gave up the right of reservation of scats, but unfortunately Dr. Ambedkar would not agree to it. I wish he could have also agreed to it and I could have then been in a position today to say that he rose equal to every occasion, but unfortunately I cannot say it today. Be that as it may, the great work he has done except this must be recognised in very grateful terms....

[f41]  Begum Aizaz Rasul (United Provinces : Muslim) : Mr. President, Sir, this is indeed a very solemn and auspicious occasion that this Constituent Assembly has finished its mighty  task of drafting a Constitution for free India—a Constitution which embodies in itself the hopes and aspirations of the Indian people. If a constitution can be judged by its phraseology, or by the provisions it contains, then, certainly, our Constitution deserves a very high place in the constitutions of the world and I think we are justified in feeling proud of it. I would like to congratulate Dr. Ambedkar and members of the Drafting Committee on their wonderful work and to thank you, Mr. President, for the patient and efficient manner in which you have conducted the proceedings of this House. The Secretariat staff of the Constituent Assembly also deserve our thanks for their hard work and incessant labours,

Sir, the most outstanding feature of the Constitution is the fact that India is to be a purely secular State. The sanctity of the Constitution lies essentially in its affirmation of secularity and we are proud of it. I have full faith that this secularity will always be kept guarded and unsullied, as upon it depends that complete unity of the peoples of India without which all hopes of progress would be in vain.



[f42]  Pandit Hirday Nath Kunzru : ...In this connection. Sir, we must all in fairness pay a tribute to the Drafting Committee for the efficiency and thoroughness with which it dealt with its task. Its members have had to work hard individually and collectively, and while it is impossible for anyone to say that all their recommendations are of such a character as to win the approval of all sections of the House, it must be admitted that they approached their duties, in so far as they were free to give effect to their wishes, with a desire to enlarge the bounds of freedom....



[f43]  Shri Syamanandan Sahaya (Bihar : General) : As I said before, the present is a unique occasion, and it is unique in many respects. It is unique in the annals of history, which depicts the past. If we look back to our history, it will be conceded that although we have had at one time milk and honey, flowing in this country under able rulers, and although we had what we are still striving for, viz,. Ram Rajya; but it was all the rule of a benevolent ruler, and not a law given unto ourselves by the representatives of the people. I therefore say. Sir, that this is a unique occasion even if you compare the present with our hoary past. Even the future, I submit, will have nothing to equal it. We may have reforms in this Constitution, and we may have better timings in the future, but the originality that this Constitution will claim, would not possibly be available to any other....

[f44]  ... Last, though not the least, this Constitution is unique in another respect. Mahatmaji's methods once again proved how with goodwill, towards opponents, one could win over and conquer the worst of critics and we now see a practical example of a high ideal translated into action, namely that the achievement of independence would go to the credit of Mahatmaji, and its codification to one of Mahatamaji's worst critics, viz., the great architect of our great Constitution Dr. Ambedkar. Dr. Ambedkar, Sir, deserves the gratitude not only of this Assembly but of this Nation. He and his colleagues on the Committee have laboured to find out the best things almost all over the world and to suit them to the needs of this country. The masterly way in which they prepared the draft and the masterly way in which Dr. Ambedkar piloted it will ever be remembered not only by us but by the posterity with gratitude. Many a defect has been pointed out in this Constitution. I do not think the framers of this Constitution claim any perfection for it, but it cannot be denied that there has been a sincere and a genuine effort to bring about as large a measure of perfection as it was possible under present conditions....



[f45]  Smt. Hansa Mehta (Bombay : General) : ... The goodness or badness of a Constitution depends on how it is going to work. If it works in the interests of the people, it will be a good Constitution; if it works otherwise, it will be a bad Constitution It is for the future electors to elect the right kind of persons, who will work the Constitution in the interests of the people. The responsibility, therefore, lies with the people. One thing, however, I would like to observe and that is in the circumstances in which we were placed, we could not have produced anything better. With such divergent views in the Assembly, it is indeed a miracle that we have achieved this measure of agreement. At one extreme we had Seth Govind Das, the champion of the cow and at the other extreme we had Professor K. T. Shah, the champion of the underdog, and in-between we had many variations; the last speaker (Shri Rohini Kumar Chawdhari) would supply a good example....

[f46]  Shri Lokanath Misra : ...It is my view and so it may be that this, our Constitution Act will go as a great civilised document of the modem world. But I would not like to indulge in any kind of self-praise, praise either for the Drafting Committee or for the honourable Members or for our honourable President or for anybody else. The reason is, we have only done our duty, as best as we could and it is for the people to judge our labours....



[f47]  Shri Jadubans Sahay (Bihar : General) : Sir, much has been said regarding the different aspects of this Constitution....

.. .The fact is that we are a nation born new and we have to learn the arts of democracy. The lessons of democracy are not taught in any book, but they have got to be developed. It all depends upon the character of a nation, the integrity, the honesty, our love for democratic principles and our zeal to pursue and follow them which can make or mar a constitution. The constitution of a country does not depend upon the cold letters, however beautifully or brilliantly printed in a book. It depends for its growth and development upon the character of a nation. It is the soil— the character of a nation—upon which the seeds of Constitution have got to germinate. If the soil is rocky or barren, then certainly howsoever good the Constitution might be and in howsoever grand language it may be worded, it is sure that the Constitution cannot lead us to our goal. But I have faith. Sir, in the innate genius of our country. I have faith also in the coming generation of tomorrow and we have nothing to despair over what we have done. I think that no amount of guarantees in the Constitution or the filling up of the omissions mentioned will carry us to the goal. It depends upon those who work the Constitution. It depends on how we develop the spirit of tolerance and not on the Constitution or the letter of the law. It depends on the spirit of love towards those that are down trodden and those who call themselves minorities. We may enact in the Constitution that untouchability is abolished in every heart and home but that carries us nowhere. You should have love and sympathy for what we call the ' have-nots '. It does not depend on the Constitution or its articles. It depends upon our own character, our own vitality as a nation....

[f48]  Shri Gopal Narain (United Provinces : General) : Mr. President, Sir, during the last three years when the Constitution was on the anvil I remained a calm and silent observer except twice when I broke the monotony. But at this final and Third Reading stage I wish to record my views plainly, openly and courageously.

At (he outset I congratulate Dr. Ambedkar, the Chairman of the Drafting Committee and the members thereof for producing such a voluminous Constitution in which nothing has been left out. Even price control has been included in it. I venture to think that if they had the time they would have even prescribed a code of life in this Constitution. A word more for Dr. Ambedkar, Sir. There is no doubt, he is lucidity and clarity personified. He has made a name for himself...



[f49]  Shri Ajit Prasad Jain (United Provinces : General) : Mr. President, Sir, it is but once in life that a nation decides to give a Constitution unto itself, and we who have participated in framing this Constitution have a good reason to be proud of our lot. In the history of India, there have been periods of greatness and glory, there have been periods of great empires and expansion and of benevolent and good kings, but never did we have a Constitution framed by the people for the people. Before proceeding further it is necessary that we offer our thanks to Dr. Ambedkar and the Drafting Committee who have sat day after day incessantly and worked hard....

[f50]  Shri S. V. Krishnamoorthy Rao (Mysore state) : Mr. President, Sir, I deem it a great privilege to have had an opportunity of being associated in the framing of this Constitution under your able guidance and I stand before you to add my humble need of praise to the Chairman and members of the Drafting Committee for making an excellent job of the work that was entrusted to them. Sir, I submit that under the heavy stress and strain of time and circumstances under which they had to undertake this task, no other committee or no other body would have given us a better Constitution....



[f51]  Shri Thirurnala Rao : ...Situated as we are, we are in possession of a Constitution which can be turned to best account by the persons that work it, by the legislators and by the Ministers that these legislators would choose. I say that it depends mostly on the Prime Ministers for the next few years of this country to see that the greatest benefit is derived from this Constitution. We have rightly selected. Sir, the Chakra as our emblem, as the historic reminiscence of the period of Asoka. Describing the meaning of this Chakra, Rhys David, the famous orientalist has said that this Chakra is intended to send rolling the Royal Chariot wheel of universal empire of truth and righteousness. If any country which departs from the essential moral principles on which it professes to stand it has no future. But this country in keeping with the ancient traditions and ideals has rightly chosen that Chakra which is called the Dharma Chakra of Asoka and Mahatma Gandhi has blessed this Chakra. With his spirit hovering over this nation and with this emblem of our Hag, it is the duty of this House and the leaders of the future to uphold the Congress principles and fulfil the destiny of this Nation.



[f52]  Shri Ari Bahadur Gurung (West Bengal : General) : Mr. President, Sir, I associate myself with my colleagues in congratulating the Chairman of the Drafting Committee for having brought this stupendous task to a successful conclusion....

[f53]  Giani Gurumukh Singh Musafir (East Punjab : Sikh) : ...One word more and I have finished. In preparing the draft, Dr. Ambedkar and members of the Drafting Committee have worked very hard. They deserve our congratulations for preparing this draft within such a short time and under adverse circumstances....

[f54]  Shri R. V. Dhulekar (United Provinces : General) : Mr. President, Sir, I am here to support the Resolution that has been placed before this House by Dr. Ambedkar. The Constitution has been discussed at very great length in these three years and therefore it is now too late to point out all the defects and the great points that are in the Constitution. I am satisfied that the Constitution on the whole is a very good one. Everybody knows that milk contains more than 75 percent of water and if the balance is good, it maintains our body and strengthens it. It gives a longer life....

[f55]  ... In the end, I have to place my heartfelt thanks on record to you. Sir, the President and Dr. Ambedkar. The work that was before us was a very great task. Dr. Ambedkar has performed a very great work. I would not say Herculean because that is a very small word. He has performed a task worthy of the great Pandava Bhim and worthy of the name that he has— Bhim Rao Ambedkar.—He has certainly justified his name—Bhim Rao— and he has performed the task with clarity of vision, clarity of thought and clarity of language. Throughout, he was very clear. He always tried to understand the opponent's view and he always tried to accommodate him, and he always tried to put his own views in the most clear language. We are very grateful to him....



[f56]  Shri B. P. Jhunjhunwala (Bihar : General) : Mr. President, Sir, there have been various criticisms of this Constitution and one of the criticisms levelled against the Drafting Committee is that they have done nothing more than adopt the Government of India Act of 1935. If this criticism can be levelled against the Drafting Committee, I should say it is most uncharitable. On the other hand, I would say that before adopting any article, the Drafting Committee has taken great pains to go through all the Constitutions of the world and looked into all the amendments with great care both from the point of view of theory as well as from the point of view of their practical application. If they have not accepted any theories it is not because these were not in the Government of India Act 1935, though those theories were applicable and right, but because they could not be practically applied here under the present condition....

[f57]  Shri Alladi Krishnaswami Ayyar : (Madras : General) : Sir, in supporting the motion of the Honourable Dr. Ambedkar for the adoption of the Constitution, I crave the indulgence of the House for a short while. This Constitution has been settled by the Constituent Assembly in the light of the recommendations of the various committees appointed by this House and the draft as originally submitted by the Drafting Committee and as revised later. The Constitution as it has finally emerged, I submit, truly reflects the spirit of the Objectives Resolution with which this Assembly started its work and the Preamble of the Constitution which is mainly founded on the Objectives Resolution....

[f58] . ..Before I conclude, I would be failing in my duty if I do not express my high appreciation of the skill and ability with which my friend the Honourable Dr. Ambedkar has piloted this Constitution and his untiring work as the chairman of the Drafting Committee. Latterly I know he was ably assisted by my friend Mr, T. T. Krishnamachari. I would also be failing in my duty if I do not give my tributes to the services of Sir B. N. Rau and to the untiring energy, patience, ability and industry of the Joint Secretary, Mr. Mukherjee and his lieutenants.

In the end, you will pardon me. Sir, if I make some reference to your work in this Assembly as it may savour of flattery. You have given your whole life to the service of this country and this is the crowning act. There is none who is held in greater esteem and in love than yourself and you have showed yourself to be the worthy President of this Assembly. I am particularly grateful to you because on account of my state of health you have been pleased to permit me to address from my seat and I am also thankful to the Members of this House for the indulgence they have extended to me in that respect. It is some consolation to me that I might have been of some little use in the work of the various committees and in the work of this Assembly. (Cheers).

[f59]  Mr. Hyder Husein : ...This is .not the stage, nor the time for criticising the various provisions of this Constitution. There has been a good deal of it, both inside and outside this hall. My answer is that this is the best that the available talent in the country could produce, and if we expect anything more, we have to produce men of greater intellect and scholarship in the land, if that is possible in the near future. I am however, bound to say that the product is one of which any nation can be proud. Let us then, pledge ourselves to give it our unstilted support, without any mental reservations whatsoever. We have attained political freedom, and the need of the day is the economic uplift of the country, as for this alone freedom was worth fighting for. This requires greater labour, greater work and greater sacrifice than-even the fight for freedom. It is not so difficult to destroy a thing as it to construct it. With the termination of foreign domination in the land, we have full opportunity for constructive work. Let us then strive to build our India which will be worthy of its past and a pride for the future....

[f60]  Shri B. M. Gupte : ...After all, a Constitution cannot be judged merely from its text or on paper.... So it is not the Constitution that matters nor the people who make it, but it is the men who work the Constitution and the spirit in which they work it. Any Constitution may be good on paper, but its success depends upon the manner in which it is worked....

...In spite of the initial trouble and occasional lapses I hope generally and ultimately the common-sense of the common man will triumph. It was for us only to fashion the instrument. It is for others to work it. As far as I can see, we can certainly make the claim that we have fashioned it to the best of our abilities and according to the best of our lights. It is an instrument fairly workable and fairly flexible. It ensures security and stability. If we study the provisions of this Constitution, we find that the one dominating concern of the Drafting Committee was the security of the new State. Therefore, this Constitution ensures security and stability without impeding progress. It promotes collective good without stifling the development of individual personality. But in my opinion, the real test of the Constitution would be whether it is able to bring about any speedy improvement in the miserable lot under which the common man has been suffering for generations past. If this Constitution brings him some solace, I shall certainly feel very proud of my association in the framing of it.

[f61]  Shri Balwant Sinha Mehta : ...The fact is that the Constitution drawn up by us is not only quite detailed but also quite good. I am quite sure that the foreigners would be wonderstruck when they would see how good a Constitution we have been able to give to ourselves. All the Members of this august Body and the members of the Drafting Committee and more particularly Dr. Ambedkar, T. T. Krishnamachari, Sliri Alladi Krishnaswami and others have laboured hard for giving a proper shape to the constitution. I believe, these gentlemen deserve all the praise we can bestow upon them. We must also offer our homage to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel and the other Congress leaders and martyrs....



[f62]  Sardar Sochet Singh : ...Our Constitution carries in it the impress of the high-souled nobility of the President—Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the universal vision of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the unfailing judgment and strength of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the scintillating and penetrating intellectuality of Dr. Pattabhi Sitaramayya, the erudition and labours of Dr. Ambedkar and above all, the Patriarchal blessings and divine inspiration of the Father of the Nation—our revered Mahatma Gandhi. It is my hope and prayer that such a monumental Charter of Freedom of millions of my countrymen will not fail to bring about peace, prosperity and happiness not only for this country, but for the whole world. (Cheers.)

[f63]  Mr. T. J. M. Wilson (Madras : General) : Mr. Resident, Sir, I also join in thanking you, the Rashlrapathi and the Chairman and members of the Drafting Committee for this Constitution....

[f64] ...I now come to the criticism that is levelled against the Constitution that it has not provided for or conferred anything on the common man, that it has not provided for social and economic justice. That, I submit, Sir, is an erroneous contention, because it is based on an erroneous conception of the scope of the Constitution. A Constitution has a limited scope. Its main function is to provide for a machinery of Government, and this Constitution has provided for a machinery of the government, whatever its character. And whatever the privileges or rights put in certain chapters are only those rights and privileges which we have achieved so far. The Constitution embodies and gives sanction only to those rights that are achieved. That is the basic conception which I want to emphasise, because otherwise, if we had embodied certain rights in the Constitution which we have not achieved so far, that would have given a distorted, dishonest and hypocritical picture of the country as a whole, and what is more, the Constitution would have been simply unworkable. Therefore, the Constitution has a limited purpose, and in spite of certain ugly features of the Constitution, for example the provision for the protection of property as a fundamental right, it would not and shall not prevent the country, as Mr. Santhanam has pointed out, from achieving socialism....



[f65]  Shri Dharanidhar Basu Matari (Assam : General) : Mr. President, Sir, I feel I cannot leave the Constituent Assembly to return to my province, Assam, without adding my own tribute to Dr. Ambedkar and the Drafting Committee for their great achievement in producing this Constitution. I think I am right in saying that everyone has some or the other criticism or grievance to air. The Constitution does not, and cannot satisfy every section from all points of view, but, taking everything from an all-India point of view, the Constitution is not disappointing and, in fact, the best that could have been framed under the difficult circumstances after Partition. It is not what has been put down in cold print in the Constitution, in the Articles, in the Schedules, that will matter. It will surely be the spirit in which the purpose of the Constitution is executed. If all sections co-operate honestly and unselfishly, I am certain India will progress along right lines....

[f66]  Shri Ari Bahadur Gurung : Mr. President, Sir, I associate myself with my colleagues in congratulating the Chairman and other members of the Drafting committee for having brought this stupendous task to a successful conclusion. I have only a few observations to make. Firstly, the criticism of the Constitution (hat it does not provide for the establishment of socialism is as irrelevant as the complaint that it is likely to open the way to dictatorship is futile. The real test of democracy is to give the right to people to decide for themselves the nature of the Government they would like to have. The question of dictatorship or totalitarian communism will depend entirely upon the manner in which the people will work the Constitution. The Constitution will be subject to a continuous series of modifications according to the will of the people. Such provisions have been provided already in the Constitution. Sir, I personally feel that a Constitution is something of a sacred character which inspires future generations. It is the embodiment of the living faith and philosophy. Therefore we must not forget this gospel....



[f67]  Shri Manikya Lal Varma (United State of Rajasthan) : [Mr. President, first of all I take this opportunity to offer my thanks to the Honourable Dr. Ambedkar and the Members of this House....



[f68]  Shrimati Purnima Banerji (United Provinces : General) : Sir, at the cost of a little repetition, I would at the outset like to associate myself with my colleagues in their expression of thanks to the Members of the Drafting Committee, to you and to all Others who played such an important and necessary role in the various stages of this Constitution. Without being open to the charge of making any invidious distinction, I would like to add a special word of thanks to you on behalf of the back-benchers of this House. For, at various stages of the Constitution, when we were rightly or wrongly exercised by certain doubts in regard to certain clauses of the Constitution, you used your good influence on our behalf with the Drafting Committee to clear these doubts.

Sir, the Constitution of a country always is a very important and precious document, because it gives us an idea of how the great people of a country fashion their institutions, how they want to live, what are the political arrangements under which they exercise their judgment and what are the hopes and aspirations which they entertain for the future.



[f69]  Shri K. M. Jedhe (Bombay : General) : Mr. President, Sir, I stand here to congratulate Dr. Ambedkar and his colleagues for having taken great pains in framing India's new Constitution. We have spent nearly three years and now we are completing our great work. Some Members while congratulating Dr. Ambedkar have called him the present Manu. I am certain that he would not like this appellation. I know he hates Manu, who has created four castes, the lowest of which is the untouchable class. I remember that he has publicly burnt Manu Smriti in the huge meeting of the untouchables at Mahad in 1929. He is the great leader of the Harijans and is greatly extolled by them as their champion and is worshipped as an idol. They are very proud of him. They call him Bhim and make it known to the public that he has framed Bhim Smriti. I also call it Bhim Smriti though I belong to the Sprasya Class. Dr. Ambedkar is a great lawyer and a man of great ability and intellect; nobody will doubt that. Untouchability has been removed by law and while framing the Constitution, Dr. Ambedkar was very keen and earnest in safeguarding the interests of the Harijans. All Harijans must be grateful to him. At the same time, we must also be grateful to our country's Father, Mahatma Gandhi, who gave us independence. He was a great soul who made great efforts during his life-time to remove untouchability. His great wish was to bring the Harijans to the level of touchables. He is not among us to see his great wish fulfilled and bless us, because he fell a victim to a cruel and villainous plot....




[f70]  Shri Jaipal Singh (Bihar : General) : Mr. President, Sir, may I venture to ignore your counsel against repetition and add my own tribute, unqualified tribute, for the tremendous work Dr. Ambedkar and his hard-worked team have put in the making of the new Constitution and also, Sir, may I humbly add, for the inexhaustible patience you yourself have shown in guiding our deliberations....

[f71]  Shri A. Thanu Pillai : ...In conclusion. Sir, from what I have been able to see of the procedure of this Assembly, I must tell you I am amazed at the patience you have been showing. Even if it be a question of our communication with the Moon, if the rules permitted it, you were prepared to put it to the vote. (2) This was the extent of patience (hat we witnessed here on your part. I must also be permitted to add one word of thankfulness to all those concerned, for the ability of Dr. Ambedkar and Mr. Alladi Krishnaswami Ayyar, for the extreme interest that Mr. T. T. Krishnamachari and Mr. Santhanam and others took in the framing of the Constitution—when I mention a few of these names, it does not mean that there are no other names to be mentioned. Everybody concerned has functioned well....

[f72]  Shri O. V. Alagesan (Madras : General) : Mr. President, Sir, the Drafting Committee and all those that have been connected with its labours have been rightly congratulated and we are sure to miss the stentorian voice of Dr. Ambedkar explaining in a crystal clear manner the provisions of the Constitution and also the shrill voice of my Friend Mr. T. T. Krishnamachari whose contribution to the making of this Constitution everybody acknowledges....

[f73]  ...Sir, another charge is that this Constitution is full of checks and safeguards, and it curtails freedom of the individual and restricts State autonomy. I do not take it in that light. These safeguards are there only as fences intended to protect the infant freedom and democracy from stray cattle. A tiger cannot say, for instance, that it should be free to kill the lambs and take them away. This is my reply when the cry that civil liberty is in danger is raised and all these provisions are thrown in our face....

Sir, under this Constitution, the foundations of a secular democracy have been well and truly laid, and if we are true to ourselves and to our traditions, and to our leader Mahatma Gandhi, we can safely hope that we will march from progress to progress and convert this Constitution into a blessing for this ancient land.


[f74]  Shri L. Krishnaswami Bharathi : Sir, no period in the history of India has contributed more memorable events than the short space of the past three years. Looking back upon the past three years since we commenced the stupendous task of framing this Constitution, one is bound to be struck by the kaleidoscopic changes that have happened in the history of our country.

Five memorable events of great magnitude and significance marked out this eventful period. To state them seriatim, they are : I. the partition of our country, 2. the achievement of independence, 3. the passing away of Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation, 4. the integration of what are known as Indian States, and last but not least 5. the setting of the Constitution of free India....



[f75]  Shri Sarangdhar Das : . ..I disagree with most of my friends, particularly the Hindu friends who expatiate on the existence of the republican system of government, i.e., republics in our old Hindu polity. I disagree with them. My contention is that our lower classes, the lower castes of our society, whom we call Harijans, have all along been kept in a depressed condition. Consequently, there was no democracy. If there was democracy, if there was a republic, it was amongst the higher classes, what we call the higher castes. If you look at the Constitution from that point of view. I think the removal of untouchability and the introduction of adult franchise are two of the very best elements that have been introduced in this Constitution. I may remind you, Sir, that in the American Constitution, the franchise was given only to free white citizens, because in those days, there were also white people who were slaves, working as slaves in the West Indies and the Caribbean Islands. They were debarred from the franchise. The black people, the Negroes, were nowhere. They were denied the vote. They came only in the time of Abraham Lincoln, when they were enfranchised. So, I say, in our Constitution, the conceding of adult franchise, of equality of women and of the removal of untouchability, these three things are the best in the Constitution....

[f76]  Smt. Ammu Swaminathan : ...We have also to pay our tribute to Dr. Ambedkar and the members of the Drafting Committee and the Secretariat of the Constituent Assembly for the very hard work that they had put in for so many weeks and months. I know their task has not been an easy one but they have overcome all difficulties and thus we are today on the eve of passing this great Constitution of our country. ...

[f77]  Shri L. S. Bhatkar (C. P. & Berar : General) : [f78]  [Mr. President, I congratulate Dr. Ambedkar and other members of the Drafting committee for preparing this Draft Constitution with so much labour and industry after our country had achieved its freedom.... Article 17 provides for the abolition of untouchability for which I congratulate the Drafting Committee.... [f79]  Article 338 refers to justice for the Scheduled Castes. Mr. President, I wish to tell you that the position of Harijans in the services hitherto is as follows :





(1931 Census)









Marathas &others



Scheduled Castes












Honourable Shri B. G. Kher gave the following figures in reply to a question in the Bombay Legislative Assembly by Shri R. M. Nalwade :



Population in 1931

No. of Gazetted Officers

No. of non-Gazetted Officers i.e. Clerks.





Depressed classes




Marathas & others

















This demonstrates clearly the necessity of making some provision assuring that such injustice will not continue any more, and there would be speedy action to end it. I request the Government of India and the provincial Governments to apply article 338 for our welfare and recruit Harijans in the services according to their population....



[f80]  Shri Ram Chandra Gupta (United Provinces : General) : Sir, I am very thankful to you for giving me this opportunity of speaking for a few minutes on this motion. The present Constitution will go down, in the annals of this nation, as a great " CHARTER OF FREEDOM ", which our people have today achieved after a long and ceaseless struggle and much suffering. We have therefore every reason to be proud of it; and I have no manner of doubt posterity will continue to remember January 26th, 1950 as the sacred day when real freedom dawned in this country.

This Constitution which consists of nearly 400 clauses is the result of 3 year long hard labour, anxious thought, and much compromise. The country will no doubt feel grateful to all those who have had a hand in the shaping of this Constitution. Our thanks are due to all members of the Drafting Committee—particularly to Dr. Ambedkar, and to you. Sir, Both of you have demonstrated how accommodating you can be to others.

The Constitution, as it stands today, is the result of heated discussion and long debates carried over thousands of amendments moved by the honourable Members of this House. In fact there is not a single word in the Constitution which has not received the notice of some Member or the other. I can go to the length of staling that even punctuations, viz., comma, semi colon, and full stops, have received due notice from our vigilant friend, Mr. Naziruddin Ahmad. It is true that unanimity could not be achieved on every matter, but there is no doubt that all clauses passed by the House always had the support of a very large majority. Almost all the important controversial questions were postponed many times for fuller consideration and the achievement of unanimity, if possible.

In one word, I can say that the present Constitution is the result of many happy compromises effected as a consequence of the spirit of ' give and take ' so liberally manifested by the Members of this House. In such circumstances you cannot expect that all the Members will have the same degree of satisfaction on all matters incorporated in the Constitution. This really explains the mixed reaction accorded to the Constitution by the various speakers. While I myself do not agree with every thing incorporated in the Constitution, I can say without the slightest fear of contradiction, that it has the substantial support of a very substantial section of this House. It is no doubt true that the Constitution as originally drafted has undergone a radical change. Such a change was inevitable under the altered conditions of the country....

                                                              Continued ...

 [f1]CAD, Official Report, Vol. X, 17th November 1949, pp. 607-608.

 [f2]CAD, Official Report, Vol. X, 17111 November 1949, p. 610.

 [f3]Ibid, p. 611.

 [f4]Translation of Hindustani speech.

 [f5]CAD, Official Report, Vol. X, 17111 November 1949, p. 613.

 [f6]Ibid., p. 623.

 [f7]CAD, Official Report, Vol. X, 17th November 1949, pp. 625-626.

 [f8]Ibid, 18th November 1949, p. 642.

 [f9]Ibid., pp. 648-652.

 [f10]CAD, Official Report, Vol. X 18th November 1949, p. 653.

 [f11]Ibid. pp. 660 - 661

 [f12]Ibid. pp. 663.665.

 [f13]CAD, Official Report, Vol. XI, 18th November 1949, p. 665.

 [f14]Ibid„ p. 670.

 [f15]Ibid., p. 674.

 [f16]Ibid., p. 676.

 [f17]CAD, Official Report, Vol. X, 18th November 1949. pp. 682.

 [f18]CAD, Official Report, Vol. X, 18th November 1949, p. 688.

 [f19]Ibid, 19th November 1949, p. 689.

 [f20]Ibid.. p. 693.

 [f21]Translation of Hindustani speech.

 [f22]CAD, Official Report, Vol. X, 19th November 1949, p. 697.

 [f23]Ibid.. p. 707.

 [f24]lbid.. p. 708

 [f25]CAD, Official Report, Vol. X, 19111 November 1949, p. 715.

 [f26]Translation of Hindustani speech.

 [f27]Ibid.,p. 718

 [f28]Ibid., 21st November 1949, p. 723.

 [f29]CAD, Official Report, Vol. X, 21st November 1949, p. 723-724.

 [f30]Ibid., pp. 730.

 [f31]Ibid., pp. 732-733

 [f32]CAD, Official Report, Vol. X, 21st November 1949, p.p. 735-736.

 [f33]Ibid., p. 736.

 [f34]lbid.. p. 736-737.

 [f35]CAD, Official Report, Vol. X, 21st November 1949, p. 742.

 [f36]Ibid., p. 744.

 [f37]CAD, Official Report, Vol. X, 21st November 1949. p. 748.

 [f38]Ibid., p. 749.

 [f39]Ibid.. p. 754.

 [f40]CAD, Official Report, Vol. X, 21st November 1949, p. 758.

 [f41]CAD, Official Report, Vol. X, 22nd November 1949, p. 774.

 [f42]lbid.. p. 782.

 [f43]CAD, Official Report, Vol. X, 22nd November 1949, p. 787.

 [f44]Ibid, p. 788.

 [f45]lbid., pp. 795-796.

 [f46]CAD, Official Report, Vol. X, 22nd November 1949, p. 797.

 [f47]lbid.. p. 800.

 [f48]CAD, Official Report, Vol. X, 22nd November 1949, pp. 803-804.

 [f49]lbid, p. 805.

 [f50]lbid., p. 809.

 [f51]CAD, Official Report, Vol. X, 22nd November 1949, p. 820.

 [f52]lbid.. 23rd November 1949, p. 821.

 [f53]lbid., p. 825.

 [f54]lbid.. p. 826.

 [f55]lbid.. p. 834.

 [f56]CAD, Official Report, Vol. X, 23rd November 1949, pp. 828-829.

 [f57]lbid., pp. 831-832.

 [f58]CAD, Official Report, Vol. X, 23rd November 1949, pp. 840-841.

 [f59]lbid, p. 842.

 [f60]CAD, Official Report, Vol. X, 23rd November 1949, p. 445.

 [f61]lbid., p. 461

 [f62]CAD, Official Report, Vol. X, 23rd November 1949. pp. 855-856.

 [f63]lbid, p. 856.

 [f64]lbid. p. 838.

 [f65]lbid.. p. 867.

 [f66]CAD, Official Report, Vol. X, 23rd November 1949, p. 868.

 [f67]lbid., 24th November 1949, p. 873.

 [f68]lbid., p. 878.

 [f69]CAD, Official Report, Vol. X, 24th November 1949. p. 890.

 [f70]CAD, Official Report, Vol. X, 24th November 1949, p. 893.

 [f71]Ibid., p. 898.

 [f72]lbid. pp. 898-899.

 [f73]Ibid.. p. 901.

 [f74]CAD, Official Report, Vol. X, 24th November 1949, p. 903.

 [f75]Ibid.. p. 913.

 [f76]CAD, Official Report, Vol. XI, 24th November 1949, p. 914.

 [f77]Ibid.. p. 915.

 [f78]lbid., p. 916.

 [f79]Translation of Hindustani speech

 [f80]CAD, Official Report, Vol. XI, 24th November 1949, pp. 919-920.