Constituent Assembly of India


Constituent Assembly of India
First day (December 11, 1946) of the Constituent Assembly. From right: B. G. Kher and Sardar Vallabhai Patel; K. M. Munshi is seated behind Patel

The Constituent Assembly of India was elected to write the Constitution of India, and following independence served as the nation's first Parliament.

Contents

Nature of the Assembly

The Constituent Assembly, consisting of indirectly elected representatives, was set up for the purpose of drafting a constitution for India (including what are now the separate countries of Pakistan and Bangladesh). In the event, it remained in being for almost three years, acting as the first parliament of India after independence in 1947.

The Assembly met for the first time in New Delhi on 9 December, 1946. The last session of the Assembly was held in November, 1949. Over the course of this period (two years, eleven months and seventeen days), the Assembly held eleven sessions, sitting on a total of 165 days.[1]

Background and election

The Constituent Assembly was set up while India was still under British rule, following negotiations between Indian leaders and members of the 1946 Cabinet Mission to India from the United Kingdom. The Assembly members were elected to it indirectly by the members of the individual provincial legislative assemblies, and initially included representatives for those provinces which came to form part of Pakistan, some of which are now within Bangladesh. The Constituent Assembly had 217 representatives, including 15 women.

The Interim Government of India was formed on 2 September 1946 from the newly-elected Constituent Assembly.

The Congress held a large majority in the Assembly, with 69 per cent of all of the seats, while the Muslim League held almost all of the seats reserved in the Assembly for Muslims. There were also some members from smaller parties, such as the Scheduled Caste Federation, the Communist Party of India, and the Unionist Party.

In June 1947, the delegations from the provinces of Sindh, East Bengal, Baluchistan, West Punjab, and the North West Frontier Province withdrew, in order to form the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, meeting in Karachi.

On August 15, 1947, the Dominion of India and Dominion of Pakistan became independent nations, and the members of the Constituent Assembly who had not withdrawn to Karachi became India's Parliament. Only 28 members of the Muslim League finally joined the Indian Assembly. Later, 93 members were nominated from the princely states. The Congress thus secured a majority of 82%.

Constitution and elections

See Also: Constitution of India

The Assembly formally approved the draft Constitution on November 26, 1949. On January 26, 1950, the Constitution took effect, a day now commemorated in India as Republic Day. At this point, the Constituent Assembly became the Provisional Parliament of India, which continued in existence until after the first elections under the new Constitution took place in 1952.

Organization

Dr. Sachchidananda Sinha was the first president (temporary chairman) of the Constituent Assembly when it met on December 9, 1946. Dr. Rajendra Prasad then became the President of the Constituent Assembly, and would later become the first President of India. The Vice President of the Constituent Assembly was Professor Harendra Coomar Mookerjee, a former Vice-Chancellor of Calcutta University and a prominent Christian from Bengal, who also served as the Chairman of the Constituent Assembly's Minorities Committee; he was appointed Governor of West Bengal after India became a republic.

Committees under the Constituent Assembly

  • Minorities Sub-Committee Harendra Coomar Mookerjee
  • Fundamental Rights Sub-Committee J. B. Kripalani
  • North-East Frontier Tribal Areas and Assam. Excluded & Partially Excluded Areas Sub-Committee Gopinath Bardoloi
  • Excluded and Partially Excluded Areas (Other than those in Assam) Sub-Committee A.V. Thakkar
  • Union Powers Committee Jawaharlal Nehru
  • Union Constitution Committee Jawaharlal Nehru

Members of the Indian Constituent Assembly

Indian National Congress

Muslim League

Others

Scheduled Caste Federation

  • Dr. Ambedkar

Akalis

Communist

  • Somnath Lahiri

List of Members (by province/state)

Madras

O. V. Alagesan, Mrs. Ammu Swaminathan, M. Ananthasayanam Ayyangar, Moturi Satyanarayana, Mrs. Dakshayani Velayudhan, Mrs. G. Durgabai, Kala Venkatarao, N. Gopalaswamy Ayyangar, D. Govinda Das, Revd. Jerome D'Souza, P. Kakkan, K. Kamaraj, V. C. Kesava Rao, T. T. Krishnamachari, Alladi Krishnaswamy Iyer L. Krishnaswami Bharathi, P. Kunhiraman, Mosalikanti Thirumala Rao, V. I. Muniswamy Pillay, M. A. Muthiah Chettiyar, V. Nadimuthu Pillai, S. Nagappa, P. L. Narasimha Raju, B. Pattabhi Sitaramayya, C. Perumalswamy Reddy, T. Prakasam, S. H. Prater, Raja Swetachalapati Ramakrishna Renga Roa of Bobbili, R. K. Shanmukham Chetti, T. A. Ramalingam Chettiyyar, Ramnath Goenka, O. P. Ramaswamy Reddiyar, N. G. Ranga, Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy, Sri Sheik Galib Sahib, K. Santhanam, B. Shiva Rao, Kallur Subba Rao, U. Srinivasa Mallayya, P. Subbarayan, C. Subramaniam, V Subramaniam,, M. C. Veerabahu, P. M. Velayudapani, A. K. Menon, T. J. M. Wilson, Mohamed Ismail Sahib, K. T. M. Ahmed Ibrahim, Mahboob Ali Baig Sahib Bahadur, B. Pocker Sahib Bahadur

Bombay

Balchandra Maheshwar Gupte, Mrs. Hansa Mehta, Hari Vinayak Pataskar, B. R. Ambedkar, Joseph Alban D'Souza, Kanayalal Nanabhai Desai, Keshavrao Marutirao Jedhe, Khandubhai Kasanji Desai, Bal Gangadhar Kher, M.R. Masani, K.M. Munshi, Narahar Vishnu Gadgil, S. Nijalingappa, S. K. Patil, Ramchandra Manohar Nalavade, R. R. Diwakar, Shankarrao Deo, G. V. Mavalankar, Vallabhbhai Patel, Abdul Kadar Mohammad Shaikh, A. A. Khan[disambiguation needed ]

West Bengal

Monomohan Dass, Arun Chandra Guha, Lakshmi Kanta Maitra, Mihir Lal Chattopadhyay, Satis Chandra Samanta, Suresh Chandra Majumdar, Upendranath Barman, Prabhudayal Himatsingka, Basanta Kumar Das, Mrs. Renuka Ray, H. C. Mookherjee, Surendra Mohan Ghose, Syama Prasad Mookerjee, Ari Bahadur Gurung, R. E. Platel, K. C. Neogy, Raghib Ahsan, Somnath Lahiri, Jasimuddin Ahmad, Naziruddin Ahmad, Abdul Hamid[disambiguation needed ], Abdul Halim Ghuznavi

United Provinces

Ajit Prasad Jain, Algu Rai Shastri, Balkrishna Sharma, Banshi Dhar Misra, Bhagwan Din, Damodar Swarup Seth, Dayal Das Bhagat, Dharam Prakash, A. Dharam Dass, R. V. Dhulekar, Feroz Gandhi, Gopal Narain, Krishna Chandra Sharma, Govind Ballabh Pant, Govind Malaviya, Har Govind Pant, Harihar Nath Shastri, Hriday Nath Kunzru, Jaspat Roy Kapoor, Jagannath Baksh Singh, Jawaharlal Nehru, Jogendra Singh, Jugal Kishore, Jwala Prasad Srivastava, B. V. Keskar, Mrs. Kamala Chaudhri, Kamalapati Tiwari, J. B. Kripalani, Mahavir Tyagi, Khurshed Lal, Masurya Din, Mohan Lal Saksena, Padampat Singhania, Phool Singh, Paragi Lal, Mrs. Purnima Banerjee, Prurshottam Das Tandon, Hira Vallabha Tripathi, Ram Chandra Gupta, Shibban Lal Saxena, Satish Chandra, John Matthai, Mrs. Sucheta Kripalani, Sunder Lall, Venkatesh Narayan Tivary, Mohanlal Gautam, Vishwambhar Dayal Tripathi, Vishnu Sharan Dublish, Begum Aizaz Rasul, Hyder Hussain, Hasrat Mohani, Abul Kalam Azad, Muhammad Ismail Khan, Rafi Ahmad Kidwai, Mohd. Hifzur Rahman

East Punjab

Bakshi Tek Chand, Jairamdas Daulatram, Thakurdas Bhargava, Bikramlal Sondhi, Yashwant Rai, Ranbir Singh, Achint Ram, Nand Lal, Sardar Baldev Singh, Giani Gurmukh Singh Musafir, Sardar Hukam Singh, Sardar Bhopinder Singh Mann, Sardar Rattan Singh Lohgarh

Bihar

Amiyo Kumar Ghosh, Anugrah Narayan Sinha, Banarsi Prasad Jhunjhunwala, Bhagwat Prasad, Boniface Lakra, Brajeshwar Prasad, Chandika Ram, K. T. Shah, Devendra Nath Samanta, Dip Narain Sinha, Guptanath Singh, Jadubans Sahay, Jagat Narain Lal, Jagjivan Ram, Jaipal Singh, Kameshwara Singh of Darbhanga, Kamaleshwari Prasad Yadav, Mahesh Prasad Sinha, Krishna Ballabh Sahay, Raghunandan Prasad, Rajendra Prasad, Rameshwar Prasad Sinha, Ramnarayan Singh, Sachchidananda Sinha, Sarangdhar Sinha, Satyanarayan Sinha, Binodanand Jha, P. K. Sen, Sri Krishna Sinha, Sri Narayan Mahtha, Syamanandan Sahaya, Hussain Imam, Syed Jafar Imam, Latifur Rahman,, Mohammad Tahir, Tajamul Hussain, Choudhry Abid Hussain.

Central Provinces and Berar

Raghu Vira, Rajkumari Amrit Kaur, B.A. Mandloi, Brijlal Nandlal Biyani, Thakur Cheedilal, Seth Govind Das, Hari Singh Gour, Hari Vishnu Kamath, Hemchandra Jagobaji Khandekar, Ghanshyam Singh Gupta, Lakshman Shrawan Bhatkar, Panjabrao Shamrao Deshmukh, Ravi Shankar Shukla, R. K. Sidhva, Shankar Trimbak Dharmadhikari, Frank Anthony, Kazi Syed Karimuddin, Ganpatrao Dani

Assam

Nibaran Chandra Laskar, Dharanidhar Basu-Matari, Gopinath Bardoloi, J. J. M. Nichols-Roy, Kuladhar Chaliha, Rohini Kumar Chaudhury, Muhammad Saadulla, Abdur Rouf[disambiguation needed ]

Orissa

B. Das, Biswanath Das, Krishna Chandra Gajapati Narayana Deo of Parlakimedi, Harekrushna Mahatab, Lakshminarayan Sahu, Lokanath Misra, Nandkishore Das, Rajkrishna Bose, Santanu Kumar Das yudhishir mishra

Delhi

Deshbhandhu Gupta

Ajmer-Merwara

Mukut Bihari Lal Bhargava

Coorg

C. M. Poonacha

Mysore

K.C. Reddy, T. Siddalingaiya, H. R. Guruv Reddy, S. V. Krishnamurthy Rao, K. Hanumanthaiya, H. Siddaveerappa, T. Channiah

Jammu and Kashmir

Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah, Motiram Baigra, Mirza Mohmmad Afzal Beg, Maulana Mohammad Sayeed Masoodi

Travancore-Cochin

Pattom A. Thanu Pillai

Madhya Bharat

Vinayak Sitaram Sarwate, Brijraj Narain, Gopikrishna Vijayavargiya, Ram Sahai, Kusum Kant Jain, Radhavallabh Vijayavargiya, Sitaram S. Jajoo

Saurashtra

Balwant Rai Gopalji Mehta, Jaisukhlal Hathi, Amritlal Vithaldas Thakkar, Chimanlal Chakubhai Shah, Samaldas Laxmidas Gandhi

Rajasthan

V. T. Krishnamachari, Hiralal Shastri, Sardar Singhjhi of Khetri, Jaswant Singhji, Raj Bhadur, Manikya Lal Varma, Gokul Lal Asava, Ramchandra Upadhyaya, Balwant Sinha Mehta, Dalel Singh, Jainarain Vyas

Patiala and East Punjab States Union

Ranjit Singh, Sochet Singh, Bhagwant Roy

Bombay States

Vinayakrao Balshankar Vaidya, B. N. Munavalli, Gokulbhai Daulatram Bhatt, Jivraj Narayan Mehta, Gopaldas A. Desai, Paranlal Thakurlal Munshi, B. H. Khardekar, Ratnappa Bharamappa Kumbhar

Orissa States

Lal Mohan Pati, N. Madhava Rau, Raj Kunwar, Sarangadhar Das, Yudhishthir Misra

Central Provinces States

R. L. Malaviya, Kishorimohan Tripathi, Ramprasad Potai

United Provinces States

B. H. Zaidi, Krishna Singh

Madras States

V. Ramaiah

Vindhya Pradesh

Avdesh Pratap Singh, Shambu Nath Shukla, Ram Sahai Tiwari, Mannulalji Dwidedi

Cooch Behar

Himmat Singh K. Maheshwari

Tripura and Manipur

Girja Shankar Guha

Bhopal

Lal Singh

Kutch

Bhawani Arjun Khimji

Himachal Pradesh

Yashwant Ragu Parmar

Sources

  1. ^ Parliament, Indian. "Some facts [about the Constitutive Assembly"]. http://www.parliamentofindia.nic.in/ls/debates/facts.htm. Retrieved 15 June 2011. 

See also

External links

Further reading

  • Austin, Granville. The Indian Constitution, Cornerstone of a Nation. New Delhi: OUP India, 1999. ISBN 78019564958
  • Bipan Chandra, Mridula Mukherjee, and Aditya Mukherjee. India Since Independence, Revised Edition. New Delhi: Penguin Books India, 2008.

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