If you are a person who is a citizen of India, this is something you should know about the National Law Day. On the 26th of November every year, this day is celebrated.
Constitution Day (or Samvidhan Divas), also known as National Law Day, is celebrated in India on 26 November every year to commemorate the adoption of the Constitution of India . On 26 November 1949, the Constituent Assembly of India adopted the Constitution of India, and it came into effect on 26 January 1950.
As this day is not a public holiday, very few people know the actual significance of the day. Only various government departments and some schools read out the preamble. Many of us didn’t even until few years back, that this day exists. Children are educated about the salient features of the Constitution but few know the importance and the struggle behind it.
The Ministry of External Affairs directed all of the overseas Indian schools to celebrate 26 November as Constitution Day and directed embassies to translate the Constitution into the local language of that nation and distribute it to various academies, libraries, and faculties of Indology.
However, there is more than just reciting the Constitution. India has been ruled by the Britishers for over 100 years. The struggle faced by the then Indians is lot more than we can ever imagine. All the struggle and the hard-work gave birth to our Constitution. The Constitution that maintains law and order in society. The Constitution which base for our justice system.
So, what is the history and significance of this day? Let’s have a look!
Even though the Constituent Assembly had formally adopted the Indian Constitution on November 26, 1949, it came into effect on January 26, 1950. It was the Ministry of Social Justice And Empowerment that decided to commemorate this day as The Constitution Day. The main aim of the day is to make the Indian citizens aware of the Constitutional values.
A report by Scrollthe , which was released between the formal adoption and the enforcement of the Indian Constitution , was utilized for the thorough examination and translation from the English language to the Hindi language , The Constituent Assembly also met for 166 days before even formally adopting the Constitution. This accounts for more than two years.
The Constituent Assembly, the body set up to draft the Constitution of India, held its first session on December 9, 1946, and was attended by 207 members, including nine women. At the initial stage, the Assembly had about 389 members; however, after Independence and Partition, its strength was reduced to 299. The Assembly took over three years to draft the Constitution, spending over 114 days considering the content of the draft alone.
Two hand-written copies, each in Hindi and English, of the Constitution of India, were signed by the members of the Constituent Assembly. This signing took place on January 24, 1950, which is exactly two days prior to the enforcement. There were many debates on the language s , rights and minorities of the country which were to be included in the Constitution.
This day is observed to remember the sacrifices and hard work put in by B.R. Ambedkar and Team in framing the Constitution. He was then appointed as the chairman of the drafting committee of the Constitution on August 29, 1947. B.R. Ambedkar is considered to be the Architect of The Indian Constitution.
18 AMAZING FACTS ABOUT OUR CONSTITUTION
After all this mind-numbing understanding of history and significance here are some mind-blowing facts which you may or may not have known. Let us know how many did you already have in store!
- The first Constitution of India was transcribed by Prem Behari Narain Raizada in a streaming italic style with wonderful calligraphy. Each page was enhanced and designed by specialists from Shantiniketan including Beohar Rammanohar Sinha and Nandalal Bose.
- The father of the Indian Constitution, Dr. B.R Amebedkar was ready to burn it. His exact words were as follows: My friends tell me that I have made the Constitution. But I am quite prepared to say that I shall be the first person to burn it out. I do not want it. It does not suit anybody.
- The first duplicates of the Indian Constitution, written in Hindi and English, are kept in unique helium-filled cases in the Library of the Parliament of India.
- Every individual from the Constituent Assembly who drafted the Constitution, marked signed the duplicates of the constitution, one in Hindi and the other in English.
- There were 15 women in the Constituent Assembly along with 269 other members who signed the handwritten Constitution on 24th January 1950.
- There is a sum of 117,369words in the English adaptation of the Constitution of India which contains 444 articles in 22 sections, 12 schedules,and 115 amendments.
- With 22 sections containing 448 articles and 12 schedules, the Indian Constitution is the longest composed constitution of any sovereign nation on the planet!
- The Constituent Assembly, which initially met on December 9, 1946, took 2 years, 11 months, and 18 days to think and prepare the last draft.
- 2000 amendments were made before the final draft was prepared and was then put forward for debate.
- The Indian Constitution is often called the Bag of Borrowings as the Constituent Assembly took inspiration from over 60 other constitutions across the globe to draft our Constitution.
- The idea of Five Year Plans (FYP) was taken from the USSR.
- The Directive Principles (financial rights) were taken from Ireland.
- The beliefs of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity in our Preamble have been taken from the French Revolution, which is likewise the French witticism.
- The laws overseeing our Supreme Court and the idea of a "system set up by Law" was received from the Constitution of Japan.
- India acquired the idea of suspension of essential rights during Emergency rule was taken from the Weimar Constitution of Germany.
- The Preamble of the Constitution of The United States of America propelled the Preamble for our Constitution , which additionally begins with “We the people.”
- The Fundamental rights perceived by our Constitution have likewise been received from the American Constitution. The Indian Constitution perceives nine major rights as the fundamental common freedoms for all of its residents.
- The Right to Property was additionally one of the fundamental rights. Article 31 of our constitution said, "No individual will be denied of his property save by authority of law." However, the 44th Amendment, in 1978, deleted it from being considered as a fundamental right.
- The Constitution of India was amended 94 times in the first 62 years and as of 2019, there have been 104 amendments to the Constitution of India , since it was first established in 1950. Thus the Indian Constitution stood the test of time.
So is 26th of November only significant as The Constitution Day? We are sure that the wounds of the aghast terrorist attack in Mumbai are still fresh. Salute and respect to all those heroes who lost their lives while saving others. May all their soul s rest in peace. So remembering the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for us here are a few things about the attacks of 26/11.
THE ATTACKS OF 26/11
On the same day, 12 years ago, i.e. on November 26, 2008, there was one of the biggest terrorist attacks that happened in Mumbai.
Ten Pakistani men associated with the terror group Lashkar-e-Tayyiba stormed buildings in Mumbai, killing 164 people. Nine of the gunmen were killed during the attacks, one survived. Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving gunman, who was executed in November 2012.
They traveled from Karachi, Pakistan, to Mumbai via boat. Along the way, they hijacked a fishing trawler and killed four crew members, throwing their bodies overboard. They also slit the captain's throat.
The terrorists docked at the Mumbai waterfront near the Gateway of India monument. They hijacked cars, including a police van, and split into at least three groups to carry out the attacks, according to police. The attackers used automatic weapons and grenades.
This was not a one-day attack. It lasted for 4 whole days. Amid speculation regarding the identity of the terrorists, an unknown group calling itself Mujahideen Hyderabad Deccan claimed responsibility for the attacks in an e-mail; however, the e-mail was later traced to a computer in Pakistan, and it became obvious that no such group existed. The way the terrorists had reportedly singled out Western foreigners at both of the luxury hotels and the Nariman House led some to believe that the Islamic militant group al-Qaeda was possibly involved, but this appeared not to be the case after the lone arrested terrorist, Ajmal Amir Kasab, provided substantial information regarding the planning and execution of the attacks. Kasab, a native of Pakistan’s Punjab province, told investigators that the 10 terrorists underwent prolonged guerrilla-warfare training in the camps of Lashkar-e-Taiba. He further revealed that the team of terrorists had spent time at the headquarters of the second and related organization, Jamaat-ud-Dawa , in the city of Muridke before traveling from Punjab to the port city of Karachi and setting out for Mumbai by sea.
After first traveling aboard a Pakistani-flagged cargo ship, the gunmen hijacked an Indian fishing boat and killed its crew; then, once they were near the Mumbai coast, they used inflatable dinghies to reach Badhwar Park and the Sassoon Docks, near the city’s Gateway of India monument. At that point, the terrorists split into small teams and set out for their respective targets. Kasab—who was charged with various crimes, including murder and waging war—later retracted his confession. In April 2009 his trial began, but it experienced several delays, including a stoppage as officials verified that Kasab was older than age 18 and thus could not be tried in a juvenile court . Although he pled guilty in July, the trial continued, and in December he recanted, proclaiming his innocence. In May 2010 Kasab was found guilty and sentenced to death; he was executed two years later. In June 2012 Delhi police arrested Sayed Zabiuddin Ansari (or Syed Zabiuddin), who was suspected of being one of those who trained the terrorists and guided them during the attacks. Also, David C. Headley, a Pakistani American, pleaded guilty in 2011 to helping the terrorists plan the attacks, and in January 2013 he was sentenced in a U.S. federal court to 35 years in prison.
The terrorist attacks in Mumbai exposed loopholes in the security system that India had in place to deal with this “new brand” of terrorism—urban warfare characterized by symbolic attacks, multiple targets, and high casualties. Subsequent reports indicated that several intelligence warnings by Indian as well as U.S. sources had preceded the attacks but that authorities, citing the lack of “actionable intelligence,” had ignored them. Moreover, there was an inordinate delay in the deployment of India’s elite National Security Guards, whose commandos reached the besieged hotels some 10 hours after the first shootings took place on November 26. The lack of coordination between authorities in the Indian capital of New Delhi and officials in Maharashtra state also weakened the immediate crisis response. India’s interior minister, Shivraj Patil, who was widely criticized in the aftermath of the attacks, tendered his resignation on November 30, 2008, declaring that he took “moral responsibility” for the assault.
One of the most important days of history is National Law Day. The significance of this day is very underrated, especially because people are unaware of today’s significance. As Indians, we must know and celebrate this day just like any other national holiday s. Our ancestors have struggled a lot to gift us this day and it’s only true that we commemorate this historical day. Surely, this day has given the world the longest constitution but many near and dear ones were also lost on this day. The day which marked the individuality of India also bought darkness into the houses of many. But keeping in mind the positive aspects of the day here’s us wishing a HAPPY CONSTITUTION DAY to all of you.
Author: Samayeta Bal
Co-Author: Ishita Desai