- November 26, 1949, the Constitution of India was adopted, coming into effect on January 26, 1950. Since 2015, the day has been observed as Constitution Day, or ‘Samvidhan Diwas’.
What were the apprehensions about the Constitution?
- It was necessary to identify how a newly independent, newly fragmented nation would define and govern itself, hence the crafting of India’s Constitution was a massive undertaking.
- The Constitution was questioned in relation to its approach to federalism, the defence of minorities’ rights, and the fact that it had taken a lot of inspiration from other constitutions across the world as the exercise progressed.
- But Dr B R Ambedkar in his speech on November 4, 1948 has addressed these apprehensions. His arguments for the following criticisms:
Borrowed from other documents –
- He straight away questioned that whether there can be anything new in a Constitution framed at this hour in the history of the world.
- He also argued that the criticism that the drafted constitution is a blind copy of the Constitutions is because of inadequate study of the Constitution
Village Republics –
- Another criticism against the Draft Constitution is that no part of it represents the ancient polity of India.
- According to some, the new Constitution ought to have been created using the traditional Hindu form of a state, and instead of adopting Western theories, it ought to have been raised and based on Village republic model of ancient India.
- Ambedkar countered this allegation by stating that, What is the village but a sink of localism, a den of ignorance, narrow-mindedness and communalism? I am glad that the Draft Constitution has discarded the village and adopted the individual as its unit
Fundamental Rights –
- The Draft Constitution’s section on fundamental rights has received the most criticism. It is believed that Article 13, which outlines essential rights, is so rife with exclusions that they have completely consumed the rights.
- The critics contend that unless they are also absolute rights, fundamental rights are not truly fundamental.
Source The Hindu