Constitution Day: President Kovind, others recall Dr Ambedkar’s contribution at joint session of Parliament

New Delhi: On the 70th Constitution Day on Tuesday, President Ramnath Kovind, Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi recalled the contribution of Dr B R Ambedkar in drafting the Constitution of India, and others, at a joint session of Parliament here.

November 26 has a unique historical significance as it was on this day in 1949 that the Constitution was adopted, and, thereafter, came into force on January 26, 1950, marking the beginning of India as a Democratic Republic.

The Constitution of India—the longest written constitution of any sovereign country in the world—has always been associated with Dr Ambedkar’s sterling contribution.

The first draft of the Constitution, completed on November 26, 1949, was no less than a masterpiece created single-handedly by Prem Behari Narain Raizada (Saxena) that brought the primary contents and the Preamble to the Constitution to life.

Prem Behari Narain Raizada who literally wrote the Constitution of India with artistic calligraphy

Nandalal Bose and his students designed the borders of every page and adorned it with beautiful art pieces.

The newly-minted Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh also celebrated the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution of India for the first time since the Centre’s historic move in August this year on diluting the Article 370, which ended the J&K Constitution that was in place since 1957.

When the draft of the Constitution of India was ready to be printed, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru approached Raizada with the proposal of handwriting it in a flowing italic style. He asked him how much he would charge for the job.

“Not a single penny. By the grace of God I have all the things, and am quite happy with my life,” he told Nehru.

At that point, the draft consisted of a total of 395 articles, 8 schedules, and a Preamble. Raizada took six months to complete the task.

According to the Prem Foundation, 432 pen-holder nibs were used throughout the process, and he used number 303 nibs for this calligraphy.

The original manuscript of the Constitution was written on parchment sheets measuring 16X22 inches which have a lifespan of a thousand years. The finished manuscript consisted of 251 pages and weighed 3.75 kg.