THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY ON NOVEMBER 25th 1 9 4 9
The constitution is the most important document of our country, as it contains the articles and provisions under which the Judiciary, the Parliament, and the Executive( all departments of the Government at the centre as well as in the States) are governed and the President of India, the Prime Minister of India, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and all its Judges, the Chief Justices and all the Judges of the High Courts of all the States, the Governors of all the States, all the Cabinet Ministers of the Central Government, the Chief Ministers of all the States and all the ministers of their cabinets, are appointed, and hold office. It is the constitution that guarantees to all the citizens of India, their Fundamental Rights, such as the freedom of speech, the right to move anywhere, to hold any office and to belong to any religion. It is the source from which all the laws and enactments made in our country derive authority.
I was recently reading the proceedings of in the Constituent Assembly on November 25th 1949, on which date some of the provisions of our constitution were debated. In this connection, when the Bill for Amendment of the Government of India Act 1935 was introduced the members of the Drafting Committee, which was entrusted with the task of framing the Constitution, discussed at length, the various articles and clauses. While all the learned members spoke on the occasion, the speeches of Dr.Pattabhi Sitaramayya and Dr. B.R. Ambedkar drew my attention in particular. I have given below extracts from their speeches .
Then there was Sir Alladi, with his oceanic depths of learning, and a whole knowledge of the Constitutional Law of the world on his finger tips. He has made great contributions towards the drawing up of this Constitution. He only has to perfect it all by writing a commentary upon it. That was the latest request of Mr. Santhanam to him and I hope he will fulfil it.
THE HONOURABLE Dr.B.R.AMBEDKAR " I am glad to find that with the exception of a solitary member, there is a general consensus of appreciation from the members of the Constituent Assembly of the work done by the Drafting Committee. I am sure the Drafting Committee feels happy to find this spontaneous recognition of its labours expressed in such generous terms. As to the compliments that have been showered upon me both by the members of the Assembly as well as by my colleagues of the Drafting Committee I feel so overwhelmed that I cannot find adequate words to express fully my gratitude to them. I came into the Constituent Assembly with no greater aspiration than to safeguard the interests of he Scheduled Castes. I had not the remotest idea that I would be called upon to undertake more responsible functions. I was therefore greatly surprised when the Assembly elected me to the Drafting Committee. I was more than surprised when the Drafting Committee elected me to be its Chairman. There were in the Drafting Committee men bigger, better and more competent than myself such as my friend Sir Alladi Krishnaswami Ayyar. I am grateful to the Constituent Assembly and the Drafting Committee for reposing in me so much trust and confidence and to have chosen me as their instrument and given me this opportunity of serving the country. " (Cheers)
The rather flattering references that have been made, in the above two extracts to the encyclopedic knowledge of the constitutional law of the world and the legendary legal acumen of Sir Alladi Krishnaswamy Ayyar would enable all readers to see things in the proper perspective( though his major role in framing the Constitution is acknowledged within legal circles throughout the country, it has not received the proper credit due outside, mainly because of lack of publicity). However it a matter of great personal pride for me as he happens to be my grandfather and I have have been singularly fortunate in having had the the benefit of his association in my formative years -- something I cherish till today.
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