Constitution Day

November 26th was notified as Samvidhan Diwas, in 2015, on the eve of 125th birth anniversary of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar‐ Father of the Indian Constitution.

It was on this twenty-sixth day of November, 1949 (hereinafter- ‘enactment date’), that we– the people of India– adopted, enacted and gave to ourselves the Constitution of India (hereinafter- the Constitution). The supreme law of the land took 2 years, 11 months and 18 days for its formation, was debated upon by the Constituent Assembly of India in 167 sittings over 11 sessions prior to its adoption. As for its prolixity, it initially consisted of 395 Articles and 8 Schedules and ran about 1,45,000 words long.

The Constitution finally came into force on the twenty-sixth day of January, 1950 (hereinafter- ‘commencement date’). There was a specific reason for the aforementioned calendrical reservation but that is for another day.

One concept check regarding the commencement and enactment of the Constitution is that even though the summit law officially came into force on the commencement date, a number of its provisions had been declared into force beforehand right on the enactment date. So which provisions exactly were the early birds? The answer could expressly be found in Article 394 of the Constitution itself. Article 394 declares:

This article and articles 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 60, 324, 366, 367, 379, 380, 388, 391, 392 and 393 shall come into force at once, and the remaining provisions of this Constitution shall come into force on the twenty-sixth day of January, 1950, which day is referred to in this Constitution as the commencement of this Constitution.

Thus, Articles 5 to 9 which pertain to Citizenship, Article 60 which pertains to oath and affirmation by the President, Article 324 which pertains to the powers of the Election Commission, Articles 366, 367, 379, 380, 388, 391, 392, 393 and 394 came into force at once on the enactment date. Remaining provisions came into force on the commencement date.
There is no need to look outside therefore, for the greatest beauty of the Constitution lies in the fact that the answers to the questions pertaining to it could very well be found within the supreme document, either in its expression, or its silences.

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