On In History & Religion

Critical (But True) Blunders in The Indian Constitutions that You Didn't Know about 

December 9, 1946: Indian Constituent Assembly was formedNovember 26, 1949: The drafting of Constitution was completedJanuary 24, 1950: The handwritten Constitution was signed by 284 members of the Constituent AssemblyJanuary 26, 1950: The Constitution came into forceIt took precisely 2 years, 11 months and 18 days for the assembly to come up with the final draft of Indian Constitution, a supreme rulebook that binds the nation together in one.It was handwritten with beautiful calligraphy by Prem Behari Narain Raizada and each page was beautified and decorated by artists from Shantiniketan. 25 parts that have 448 Articles and 12 Schedules, Indian Constitution stands as the longest written constitution of any sovereign country in the world. But there are still some instances from the history that many people are not aware of. Have a look. 

#1 The temporary/permanent provision under Artice 370 

According to the Constitution of India, Article 370 provides temporary provision to the state of Jammu and Kashmir, granting it special autonomy. Since, the law was mentioned in Part XXI of the Constitution, i.e., Temporary, Transitional and Special Provisions, it had to be discussed again. But unfortunately, the state constituent assembly, that was assigned to finalise it, dissolved, and Article 370 was made a permanent feature of the Indian Constitution. Now the question is, how can the word 'temporary' be associated with 'permanent'?

Dr. BR Ambedkar was against adding Article 370 in the Indian Constitution 

According to India Today, Dr. BR Ambedkar had refused to draft Article 370. Later in 1949, the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru commanded Kashmiri leader Sheikh Abdullah to make the draft of a proper article to be inserted in the Constitution. And it was finally drafted by Gopalaswami Ayyangar.

"I am quite prepared to say that I shall be the first person to burn it," said Dr. Ambedkar

According to Firstpost, speaking in a debate in the Parliament in 1953, Dr. BR Ambedkar said, "Now sir, we have inherited a tradition. People always keep saying to me 'oh, you are the maker of the Constitution.' My answer is I was a hack. What I was asked to do I did much against my will."Later on, he said quite clearly, "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. I do not want it. It does not suit anybody..."

#2 The Reservation system was just limited to 10 years

According to the CONSTITUTION ASSEMBLY OF INDIA - Volume VIII, India’s first Prime Minister Mr. Jawaharlal Nehru while addressing the Constituent Assembly in May 1949 said, "I try to look upon the problem not in the sense of religious minority, but rather in the sense of helping backward groups in the country. I do not look at it from a religious point of view or a caste point of view, but from a caste point of view that a backward class ought to be helped, and I am glad that this reservation will be limited to ten years."If the system was supposed to expire in 10 years, how was it extended till 2010?

Now the debate is that reservation violates the provisions of Constitution...

According to Article 14, 15(1), 16(1) and 16(2) of the Constitution, it guarantees equality to all. Article 14 says "The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India." And the article 16(2) says "No citizen shall, on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, descent, place of birth, residence or any of them, be ineligible for, or discriminated against in respect or, any employment or office under the State." But at the same time Article 16(4) says "Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making any provision for the reservation of appointments or posts in favor of any backward class of citizens which, in the opinion of the State, is not adequately represented in the services under the State."

#3 Did you know that English language had an expiry date?

According to the Indian Constitution, the use of English in parliamentary proceedings was supposed to phase out at the end of fifteen years. But Parliament chose to extend its use, which was done through the Official Languages Act, 1963.

In 1964, there were attempts to put an end to the use of English

This resulted in protests in states such as Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, West Bengal, Karnataka, Puducherry and Andhra Pradesh. Some of which also turned violent.According to sources, again, in 1967, an amendment was made that the use of English will not end until a resolution to that effect was passed by the legislature of every state that had not adopted Hindi as its official language, and by each house of the Indian Parliament. 

#4 Why India has 'Procedure Established by Law'?

According to Article 21, no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.According to sources, 'Procedure Established by Law' means that a law, that is duly enacted by the legislature or the concerned body, is valid if it has followed the correct procedure. In simple words, the state could take away a person's right to live according to the procedure established by law without even thinking if the law is unjust or unfair. 

Was it supposed to be 'Due Process Of Law?'

According to 'Due Process Of Law,' if Supreme Court finds a law that is unfair or unjust, it will declare it as null or void. Because under this doctrine, a state must respect all the legal rights owed to a person. Procedure Established by Law has been included in Indian Constitution and Due Process Of Law was not. It is there in the constitution of The United States Of America. 

#5 What is more supreme?

The question is what is supreme, fundamental rights under the Constitution or the Parliament?According to Parliamentary Privileges Article 105, "In other respects, the powers, privileges and immunities of each House of Parliament, and the members and the committee of each House, shall be such as may from time to time be defined by Parliament by law, and until so defined, shall be those of that House and of its members...".

Does "until so defined" mean an absolute power? 

There is no mention of the answer in the constitution of India. And this is why the 'sovereign people of India' have a limited right to free speech but 'their representatives' have an unlimited freedom of speech in the Houses. Isn't this unfair? There are many more undefined theories in the Constitution that come to the limelight very often. Do you recall any? Share with us in the comment section. Cover image: SourceAnd if you have something unusual to share, do write to me at guneet@wittyfeed.com