As India celebrates its Republic Day on January 26th, it is a time to reflect on the significance of the Constitution of India. Adopted on this day in 1950, the Constitution is the guiding document that lays the foundation of the world’s largest democracy. While many are familiar with its basic principles, there are several lesser-known facts about the Constitution that are worth exploring. In this article, we will delve into five things you may not have known about the Constitution of India.
1. Lengthiest Written Constitution
The Constitution of India is not only the cornerstone of the country’s governance but also holds the distinction of being the lengthiest written constitution in the world. It consists of a preamble and 470 articles, which are further divided into 25 parts. The Constitution covers a wide range of topics, including fundamental rights, directive principles of state policy, and the structure and functioning of the government.
2. Borrowed from Various Sources
While the Constitution of India is an original document, it draws inspiration from various sources. The framers of the Constitution took ideas from different countries and adapted them to suit India’s unique needs. For example, the concept of a parliamentary system of government was borrowed from the United Kingdom, while the fundamental rights were influenced by the American Constitution. The Directive Principles of State Policy, on the other hand, were inspired by the Irish Constitution.
3. Longest Time Taken to Draft
The drafting of the Constitution of India was a meticulous process that took several years to complete. The Constituent Assembly, consisting of elected representatives from across the country, began the drafting process in December 1946. After numerous discussions, debates, and amendments, the final version of the Constitution was adopted on November 26, 1949. It came into effect on January 26, 1950, marking the birth of the Republic of India.
4. Multilingual Constitution
India is a linguistically diverse nation, and the Constitution reflects this diversity. The original Constitution was written in English, but it is also available in Hindi and other official languages of India. In fact, the Constitution of India has been translated into several regional languages to ensure accessibility and inclusivity. This multilingual approach reinforces the idea that every citizen has the right to understand and participate in the democratic process.
5. Amended Several Times
Since its adoption, the Constitution of India has been amended multiple times to keep pace with the changing needs of the country. As of now, there have been 105 amendments to the Constitution. These amendments have addressed various issues, such as the inclusion of new fundamental rights, changes in the structure of the government, and the addition of special provisions for certain states. The process of amending the Constitution involves a detailed procedure that requires the approval of both houses of Parliament.
On this Republic Day, let us not only celebrate the spirit of democracy but also take a moment to appreciate the Constitution of India. It is a living document that continues to evolve and adapt to the needs of the nation. The Constitution upholds the values of justice, liberty, equality, and fraternity, which are the pillars on which the Indian democracy stands.