Sunday, 6 August 2017

Let Posterity Judge- Notes

Let Posterity Judge.
 Dr Rajendra Prasad’s speech highlights the salient features of the Constitution of India . He begins by  congratulating the constituent assembly for accomplishing a task of such tremendous magnitude . He states that it is not his task to appraise the values and merits of the assembly and therefore he leaves it to others and posterity .He then elaborates on the facts that show the tremendousness of the task that they Undertook.
  1. The size of the population- it was indeed a difficult task for the Assembly to deal with the population of our country .The population of the country was more than that of the whole of Europe minus Russia
  2. Communal problems- it was one of the knottiest problems which the country had to face . we have got many communities living in this country .we had to make provisions for all including the backward communities and the tribals. The second round table conference failed because of the communal problem remained untackled.
  3. Princely states -another great difficulty was with the princely states. During the British Regime only a small portion of the country was under the direct control of the British .A considerable portion remained under the rule and control of Indian princes.  As part of
    their imperialistic policy the British entered into various kinds of treaties with them but then the British left they transferred the power to India and they declared that all the treaties they had with the princess has lapsed and as a result it became open to any Prince to assume Independence and even to enter into negotiations with any foreign power and thus become Islands of independent territory within the country. therefore assembly had to enter into negotiations with them in order to bring their representatives into the Assembly. Though the first efforts were successful some of those princely provinces refused to yield . Finally when the Indian Independence Act came into force by August 1947 almost all of them except Kashmir and Hyderabad had acceded to India .Kashmir without much delay followed the examples of others but Hyderabad continued the status quo. It was with the wise and farsighted guidance of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel that India solved the problems of princely states. however the Communal problems were also solved with the consent of all parties under the wise guidance of honourable Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel .As a result reservation of seats on communal basis was given up and reservation came to be observed only in favour of 2 classes of people namely the depressed classes who were Hindus and the tribal people on account of their backwardness in education and other respects.
Framing of the Constitution
The first step was to lay down its terms of reference in the form of an objective resolution passed by Jawaharlal Nehru which later became the Preamble . The second step was to appoint a number of committees to deal with different aspects of the constitutional problem which was done by Nehru and Patel . They then appointed the drafting committee that worked on the original draft prepared by BN Rao . Doctor Ambedkar the chairman of the drafting committee pointed out that there were not less than 7635 amendments of which 2473 were moved.

Salient features of the constitution
  1. Quasi Federal constitution Indian constitution is Quasi Federal in form but unitary in Spirit. The constitution of 1935 provided for a federation in which both the provinces and states of India were asked to join .But the federal part of it could not be brought into operation as the terms on which the princess could agree to join it would not be settled, in spite of prolonged negotiation. And when the war broke out that part of the Constitution had to be abrogated
  2. A Republic with President as the constitutional head - we never had an elected head of the state and it is for the first time that it becomes open to the humblest and the lowliest citizen of the country to deserve and become the president .we have provided for the election of the president as well as for an elected legislature. In America the legislature and the president are both elected and both have more or less equal powers . we were in fact confused whether to adopt this American model of the British model where we have a hereditary king who is the fountain of all power but who does not actually enjoy any power . we have adopted more or less the position of the British Monarch for the president . All the power rest in the legislature to which the Ministers are responsible.
  3. Council of Ministers-  Ministers are of course responsible to the legislature and render advice to the President who is bound to act according to that advice
  4. Parliamentary form of Government India has adopted the parliamentary form of government. In the parliamentary system the president is the nominal head and the Council of Ministers headed by the  Prime Minister is the real executive. The Council of Ministers are collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha.  The central legislature consists of two houses- House of people and the Council of states which both together constitute the parliament . In the provinces of states we have a Legislative Assembly
  5. Adult and universal franchise       Indian Constitution provides for adult and universal franchise to all citizens .The voting right has been granted to every citizen of 18 years or more without any discrimination as to caste ,Creed ,religion, race ,sex etc. some people doubted at the wisdom of adult franchise. Dr Rajendra Prasad says that he is not at all dismayed by it . For he himself being a man of the village know the villagers who will constitute the bulk of this vast electorate. In his opinion the village people posess intelligence and common sense .They may not be literate but if things are explained to them they will not only be able to pick up the technique of election but will also be able to cast their votes in an intelligent manner
  6. Independent Judiciary               Judiciary occupy an important place in our constitution it is made independent of the legislative and executive
  7. Other independent Agencies              our constitution has devised certain independent Agencies to deal with particular matters.It has provided for the following Agencies an independent footing: a) Public Service Commission b)Comptroller and Auditor General - the CAG of India audits all receipts and expenditure of the government             c) Election commissioner Election Commissioner conducts and supervisors elections .                          d)the constitution has given in Two schedules- schedule 5 and 6 special provisions for Administration and Control of Scheduled Areas and tribes In States other than Assam the tribes will be able to influence the administration through the Tribes Advisory Council.
  8. Problem of official language              one of the problems which the constituent assembly took considerable time in solving relates to the language for official purposes of the country . For the first time in our history we have accepted one language that is Hindi which will be the language to be used all over the country for all official purposes .There is something special about this choice. The official language Hindi was adopted voluntarily by the people of the country ; it shows the spirit of accommodation and determination of organising the country as one Nation and for this even States whose language does not Hindi who voluntarily accepted it
  9. Constitutional amendments        Another important feature of our constitution is that it enables amendments to be made without difficulty
  10. Directive Principles of State Policy Dr Rajendra Prasad attaches great importance to special provision in our Directive principles ie. our state shall endeavour to promote material peace and security and maintain just and honorable relations between Nations and Foster respect for international law (article 51).                                                        Dr Rajendra Prasad expresses his regret over two areas;  he says that he would have liked to have some qualifications laid down for members of the Legislature The Other regret is that we have not been able to draw up our first constitution of a free Bharat in an Indian language. he also adds that many things which cannot be written in a constitution are done by conventions.                                                    He concludes his speech by expressing his thanks to all members of the Assembly especially Doctor Ambedkar, the chairman of the drafting committee .He also extends  his gratitude towards constitutional advisor Shree BN Rao for his honorary efforts. He also thanks Sri SN Mukherjee ,Mr HVR Iyengaar, Deputy secretary Jugal Kishore Khanna, the chairman Shri GS Gupta, the translation committee, the watch and ward and the like.

Reference
1) Understanding India: Reflections on Indian Polity.
2) www.mgu.ac.in (syllabus).
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