10 less known facts: Constitution of India took relatively short time to draft
As the country once again listens to the usual homilies on yet another Constitution Day, here are 10 less known facts and comparison with other Constitutions
It was on November 26, 1949 that the Constituent Assembly adopted the Constitution of the Republic of India. The world’s longest written Constitution, in hindsight, was finalised in a relatively short time although there was criticism at the time of the allegedly slow progress by the Drafting Committee.
But to put things in perspective, Australia took nine years to draft its Constitution, although it is much shorter than the Indian one. Here is a comparison:
1. The American Constitution was given shape in just a matter of four months and was adopted in 1787.
2. In Canada, the drafting took a longer time, two years and five months, before it became law in 1864.
3. The Australian Constitution took the longest time, nine years between 1891 and 1900, before it was ginalised and adopted.
4. Constitutions of America, Canada and Australia are much smaller than the Indian Constitution.
5. While the Indian Constitution contains 395 articles, the American Constitution has just seven articles, the first four of which are divided into 21 sections.
6. The Canadian Constitution has 147 Articles and the Australian 128.
7. Makers of the Constitutions of America, Canada, Australia and South Africa did not have to face the problem of amendments. They were passed as moved. On the other hand, the Indian Constituent Assembly had to deal with as many as 2,473 amendments.
8. The Indian Constituent Assembly took two years, eleven months and seventeen days since it first met on the 9th of December 1946 to finalise the draft.
9. The Drafting Committee was elected by the Constituent Assembly on 29th August 1947 and held its first meeting on 30th August.
10. At the end of the consideration stage, the number of Articles in the Draft Constitution had increased to 386. In its final form, the Draft Constitution contained 395 Articles and eight Schedules.
The total number of amendments to the Draft Constitution tabled was approximately 7,635. Of them, the amendments actually moved in the House were 2,473.