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Power to the people

A general view of the Military Review and Flag Hoisting by the President. Dr. Rajendra Prasad at Irwin Stadium. ( pubd. on January 28, 1950). PHOTO: THE HINDU ARCHIVES

On January 26, 1950, India woke up with a sense of excitement. The country was to be officially declared a Republic. It was a cold and misty morning in Delhi, as the city prepared for the events.

The atmosphere in the Irwin Amphitheatre (now known as Major Dhyan Chand Stadium) was charged. The chief guest was Sukarno, the President of Indonesia. There were to be many performances, including a flypast and an army marching band.

At 10.18 a.m., a 31-gun salute at the stadium declared India a Republic. Six minutes later, Dr. Rajendra Prasad became the first President and took the first salute at the parade.

The Preamble

WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens:

JUSTICE, social, economic and political;

LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;

EQUALITY of status and of opportunity; and to promote among them all

FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation;

IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY this twenty-sixth day of November, 1949, do HEREBY ADOPT, ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION.

Quick facts

1 The chief architect of the Constitution of India was Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar. It was adopted on November 26, 1949, but came into effect only on January 26, 1950.

2 January 26 was the chosen date, as it marked 20 years since it was decided that the sole aim was to attain Purna Swaraj.

3 The Constitution of India was drafted by a 389-member Constituent Assembly (reduced to 299 after the Partition). It took almost three years to draft with 11 sessions over a 165-day period.

4 It is the longest written constitution of any sovereign country in the world and contains 444 articles in 22 parts, 12 schedules and 118 amendments. The English version is 146,385 words long.

5 The original Constitution was hand-written by Prem Behari in Italic style, with each page decorated by artists from Santiniketan including Beohar Rammanohar Sinha and Nandalal Bose.

6 The National Emblem, The Lion Capital of Ashoka, was adopted on this day. The four Asiatic lions symbolise power, courage, pride, and confidence.

7 It was only after the Constitution of India was enforced that Indian women got the right to vote.

8 The Preamble presents the principles of the Constitution and indicates the sources of its authority: the people, who are the main source of the Constitution’s power.


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Printable version | Apr 22, 2022 6:03:48 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/children/power-to-the-people/article38281205.ece