Go through these RBSE Class 11 Political Science Notes Chapter 21 The Constituent Assembly: Formation, Objectives and Functional System contain important concepts so that students can score better marks in the exam.
Rajasthan Board RBSE Class 11 Political Science Notes Chapter 21 The Constituent Assembly: Formation, Objectives and Functional System
→ The formation or making of Constitution is done by a representative Constituent Assembly on the basis of social agreement, natural bases, popular sovereignty and the principles of general will.
→ The Governance of a Nation is done according to the Constitution formed by Constituent Assembly.
→ Constituent Assembly is a result or gift of the Great Revolutions of seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in the world.
→ The idea of the Principle of Constituent Assembly was expressed for the very first time in Swaraj Bill of 1895 which was prepared under the leadership of Bal Gangadhar Tilak.
→ In 1922, Mahatma Gandhi had demanded that the political future of India would be decided by Indians themselves.
→ On December 28, 1936, the meaning and importance of Constituent Assembly was explained in Lucknow Session of Congress Party.
→ In 1938, Pt. Jawahar Lai Nehru had said that the formation of Constituent Assembly would be done by means of Adult Suffrage through an elected Constituent Assembly, and no external interference would be accepted in this matter.
→ In the proposal of 1940, the British Government accepted that Indian Constitution would be formed only by Indians.
→ Through the Cripps Proposal of 1942, Britain clearly accepted that there would be an Elected Constituent Assembly in India which will create the Constitution of India. But the Muslim League rejected the proposal as they wanted their separate nation with their separate constituent Assembly by dividing India into two nations.
→ The Cabinet Mission 1946 refused the demand of two constituent assemblies, but presented such a future plan for formation of Constituent Assembly to which Muslim League agreed it at once.
Formation of Constituent Assembly
- According to the proposal of Cabinet Mission, the Constituent Assembly was formed.
- According to the Cabinet Mission Plan, there would be 389 members in the Constituent Assembly, out of which 296 would be representatives from the regions of British India (292 representatives from provinces and four from Commissionaries) and remaining 93 would be representatives from Princely states.
- In the formation of constituent assembly, representatives were elected in all from 11 Governors provinces, 4 Chief Commissioner Provinces and 6 Princely states.
- The nomination of princely states’ Representatives was made by their respective heads.
- Although the selection of members of Constituent Assembly in India did not take place through Adult suffrage directly, but every gender, religion and community got proper representation in the Assembly.
- Prominent members of Constituent Assembly: Important Members of Constituent Assembly were Pt. Jawahar Lai Nehru, Sardar Ballabh Bhai Patel, Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar, K.M. Munshi, Gopal Swami Iyengar, Srimati Durgabai, Pattabhi Sitaramaiya, Thakurdas Bhargava, Puroshottam Das Tandon, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherji, Govind Ballabh Pant, P.K. Sen, Acharya J.B. Kripalani, etc.
- If the Constituent Assembly did not agree on any point, there was a long discussion over it and the law was made only after the consensus, adjustment and amendment.
The Changes brought by Indian Independence Act 1947
- The members of Muslim league of the regions that had merged into Pakistan separated from the Constituent Assembly. As a result, the membership of it fell down to 299 from 389. There were now 229 members from British Provinces and the remaining 70 from Princely States.
- For granting the Constituent Assembly a form of Sovereign Body, all rights and powers were delegated to make amendments, alterations or cancellation of all the laws formed under British Governance.
- The Constituent Assembly was also given the powers of a Legislature.
The objective Proposal of the Constituent Assembly
- On December 13, 1946, Pt. Jawahar Lai Nehru presented the objective proposal resolution in Constituent Assembly and thus began a journey to the way of formation of Constituent Assembly.
- On January 22, 1947 the objective proposal was passed with full consent.
- The language of the proposal of objectives is inherent in the Preamble of the Constitution.
The Functional system of Constituent Assembly
- The main aim of the Constituent Assembly was to frame such a Constitution that could be implemented.
- The different representatives of the Constituent Assembly (communist ideologists’ wing, Right wing (Rightist) and Middle ideologists had different opinions and viewpoints.
- The viewpoint of most of representatives was moderate and they all believed in the importance of safety and security .
- Graville Austin wrote in his book, “Indian Constitution Cornerstone of a nation” that the viewpoint of Indian constitution was based on mainly three principles (i) Unanimosity, (ii) Adjustment and (iii) Amendment.
- The viewpoints of Constituent Assembly were based on the principles of unanimosity. In Constituent Assembly, it was tried to get unanimous consent and agreement instead of taking decisions on the basis of majority.
- In the decisions taken on the basis of unanimosity, the Federal form of the govt., Provisions Related to Language, Introduction or preamble of the Constitution and the Parliament could be cited as examples.
- The Principle of Adjustment was adopted in matters of same lists of subjects. In the field of the Formation of Constitution, it was the fundamental contribution of India.
- In the Constituent Assembly, the Principle of Adjustment was adopted in matters of Federal and unitary system, question of the Membership in Commonwealth Panchayat system and Provisions related to Fundamental Rights and the Election of the President of India. This can be described as an orginal contribution of India in the field of constitution making.
- The viewpoint of the Constituent Assembly was based on the selection after amendment. Many good things from Foreign Constitutions were also adopted.
- The Amendment System in the Constituent Assembly is a good example of the principle of selection with a change or amendment.
The Ideals decided by the Constituent Assembly and the Means of attaining them
- The Constituent Assembly kept the following ideals in its favour. Sovereignty of the people, Individual Freedom and Social and Economic justice, National Security, Cultural Pluralism, Co-operation with World Community Co-existence and Adoption of the Ideals of Peace.
- To obtain the ideals of the constitution provisions of Sovereign Democratic Republic, Mention of Rights and freedoms, Federal and Parliamentary Systems, Public welfare State, Secular State and Independent Judiciary, etc. were made.
Meetings of Constituent Assembly
- The first meeting of Constituent Assembly was held in the central hall of present parliament house on December 9, 1946. The Muslim League boycotted the meeting with the demand of separate Pakistan.
- 211 members participated in the first meeting of the Constituent Assembly. Dr. Sachchidanand Sinha was made the temporary or the interim President of the Constituent Assembly of India on 9 December 1946 in accordance with the French practice.
- On 11 December 1946, Dr. Rajendra Prasand was elected the permanent president of the Constituent Assembly. H.C. Mukherji was selected its Vice President and Sir B.N. Rao as the constitutional advisor.
Important Committees of Constituent Assembly
- For executing different tasks of Constituent Assembly, 8 major and about 15 minor committees were formed.
- Important Committees of Constituent Assembly were—Union Power Committee, Union Constituent Committee, State Constituent Committee, Drafting Committee, Fundament Rights and Minorities Related Advisory Committee, Procedure and Rules Committee, the Committee for States, and Steering Committee.
- Pt. Jawahar Lai Nehru was the head of Union Power Committee, Union Constituent Committee and the Committee for States.
- Sardar Ballabh Bhai Patel was the member of Provincial Constituent Committee and also the President of Fundamental Rights and Minorities Related Advisory Committee.
- Dr. Rajendra Prasad was made the President of Procedure and Rules Committee and the Steering Committee.
- Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar was given the Presidentship of the Constituent Drafting Committee.
- The drafting committee played an important role in framing the Constitution of India.
- The committee with its 7 members prepared the Draft of the Constitution and presented it before Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the President of Constituent Assembly on February 21, 1948.
- The Draft of the Constitution was read three times in the Constituent Assembly and after that Indian Constitution was passed on November 26, 1949.
- The Indian Constitution was adopted and enacted on November 26, 1949. 26 January was considered a historic day in Indian freedom movement so, it was applied, adopted and enforced on 26 January 1950.
- During the making of the Indian Constitution, the constitution of 60 countries were observed under close scrutiny and their good things were Indianized and adopted.
- The forming of constitution took 2 years 11 months and 18 days. During this period, 11, sessions and 165 meetings of the Constituent Assembly were held.
- In all the sections of the constitution, India is described as Union of States instead of federation.
- In 1978, 44th Constitutional Amendment yvas made under which Fundamental Right of Property was converted into a legal right.
- Indian Constitution is the Largest Constitution of the world. At present, besides its introduction there are 12 schedules, 22 parts and 395 articles.
The Constituent Assembly: Formation, Objectives and Functional System Notes Important Terms
→ Constituent Assembly: A Constituent Assembly is a body or assembly of popularly elected representatives composed for the purpose of drafting or adopting a constitution for a country. The constitution of a specific country is made on the bases of the Political Principles of Social agreements, Natural Basis, Popular Sovereignty and Common Will.
The Constituent Assembly is a gift of the great revolutions of the world that took place during seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. A common constitution for the entire union of states of India was proposed by the Cabinet Mission in 1946.
→ Cripps Mission: British Prime Minister Churchill sent a mission to remove constitutional obstructions in India under leadership of Sir Stafford Cripps on March 22, 1942. The Mission was called Cripps Mission.
→ Cabinet Mission: British Prime Minister Attlee sent a group of three members of his cabinet for peaceful transfer of governance and to decide the procedure of making of Indian Constitution on 24 March 1946. This was popularly known as Cabinet Mission. The members of this Cabinet Mission were Fredrick Pathic Lawrence, Sir Stafford Cripps and A.V. Alexander. In India, the Constituent Assembly was formed according to the Cabinet Mission Proposals in November 1946.
→ Princely States: Besides British provinces, there were some small states in India over which, instead of British Government, local Princes and Nawabs had sovereign and control. These types of states were called Princely States. There were about 560 such states. Kashmir, Patiala, Hyderabad, Travancore, Mysore and Baroda were some of large Princely States in the Constituent Assembly.
→ Objective Resolution: The historic objective Resolution was moved (proposed) by J.L. Nehru on 13 December 1946 and was unanimously adopted by the Constituent Assembly on 22 January 1947.
→ Introduction to Constitution: It is also known as the Spirit of Constitution or the Preamble. Grand and sublime words were used in the introduction of the constitution. Every epic starts with its introduction and so is the constitution. The introduction expresses the underlying Philosophy of Constitution.
It also expresses the highest values and fundamental philosophy on which our entire constitution is based.
→ Justice: It is the parameter of fairness in protection of rights and punishment of wrongs. While all legal systems aim to uphold this ideal through fair and proper administration of the law of the land, it is possible to have unjust laws. The justice expressed in Preamble of the constitution is not only limited to legal Justice rather it has been extended in the form of social, economic and political justice.
→ Sovereign: The Indian Republic has been declared a sovereign country. Sovereignty is a symbol of the highest governance on which no internal or external institution has control or supremacy. The Indian republic is the supreme power under its jurisdiction. It has a fundamental power to frame a law on any of the subjects.
→ Socialism: A political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.
→ Democracy: A system of government by the whole population or all the eligible citizens of a state, typically through elected representatives. An elected government of the people, for the people and by the people.
→ Republic: A state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives and which has an elected or nominated president rather than a hereditary monarch. The President of India is the elected head of the nation.
→ Social Justice: Social justice is based on the concept of human rights and equality and can be defined as “the way in which human rights are manifested in every day lives of people at every level of society”. The weaker section of the country does not get benefits of social justice as alms and charity, rather as their rights under social justice.
→ Economic Justice: It is a component of social justice. It is a set of moral principles for building economic institutions, the ultimate goal of which is to create an opportunity for each person so that their economic needs should be fulfilled and the rich and the poor should be treated equally, any difference between them should be removed. Personal property should not be used as a means of exploitation of helpless people. Personal wealth should be commensurate to the merits and labour of the people, not with their privileges.
→ Political justice: It implies that political justice should enable all people to take part in political procedure without any distinction. Rule of law, Civil liberty, Universal Adult Franctise, Democratic Institutions, etc. are essential conditions of Political Justice.
→ Independence: It means freedom from compulsion. Freedom from being governed or ruled by another country or society or state, market or nature.
The desire and effects to be free from compulsion is independence.
In Indian constitution, freedom of speech, faith, religion and worship have been provided to every citizen, and so it is an effort to achieve fundamental elements of freedom.
→ Secularism: India is not a specific religion based country. It ensures religious freedom to all with their faith and belief. The state doesn’t interfere in personal faith and belief till it brings harm to the integrity and sovereignty of the state.
India assures complete freedom of religious faith and belief to its people without any distinction because India is not religion based country.
→ Equality: Equality of prestige and opportunity is a constitutionally determined important objective. People should not be divided on the bases of intelligence, health, age, sex, colour, caste and creed as all these are natural elements. Equality demands no differentiation among them.
→ Brotherhood: Feeling of fraternity, support and mutual understanding among people. It enables, encourages and enhances harmony instead of conflict.
→ Consensus: This is a general agreement about something. An idea or opinion that is shared by all the people or a decision about something taken by a group of people. Consensus or unanimously has been accepted a basis for adjustment of some subject lists in constituent assembly.
→ Adjustment: It refers to co-ordination in two contradictory principles.
→ Adoption: It means taking up or acceptance. The leaders of National Independence movements adopted the constitution of India, so as the best governance might be operated in the country.
→ Dr. Rajendra Prasad: The permanent president of the Constituent Assembly and the first president of independent India. He was also the chairperson of procedure and, rules committee.
→ Pt. Jawahar Lai Nehru: He was the chairperson of union power committee, union constituent committee and the committee for states. He was the First Prime Minister of free India.
→ Sardar Ballabh Bhai Patel: He was the chairperson of the advisory committee of fundamental rights and minorities related, committee besides the member of provincial constituent committee. He was also the first deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister of independent India.
→ Dr. B.R. Ambedkar: The Chairperson of the Drafting Committee and considered as the Father of Indian Constitution.
→ S.C. Mukherji: He was the head of the minorities rights sub-committee.
→ J.B. Kripalani: He was the Chairperson of Fundamental Rights Sub-Committee.