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Speech of Bharat Ratna Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar Detailing the Accomplishments of the Constiuent Assembly of India

Speech of Bharat Ratna Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar Detailing the Accomplishments of the Constiuent Assembly of India

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Published by: Ashish on Aug 31, 2011
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The Honourable Dr. B.R. Abe!"ar
 : Sir, looking back on the work of the Constituent Assembly itwill now be two years, eleven months and seventeen days since it first met on the 9
 of December194! During this "eriod the Constituent Assembly has altogether held eleven sessions! #ut of theseeleven sessions the first si$ were s"ent in "assing the #b%ectives &esolution and the consideration ofthe &e"orts of Committees on 'undamental &ights, on (nion Constitution, on (nion )owers, on)rovincial Constitution, on *inorities and on the Scheduled Areas and Scheduled +ribes! +he seventh,eighth, ninth, tenth and the eleventh sessions were devoted to the consideration of the DraftConstitution! +hese eleven sessions of the Constituent Assembly have consumed 1 days! #ut ofthese, the Assembly s"ent 114 days for the consideration of the Draft Constitution!-.A&A+ &A+/A D& - & A*-0DA&Coming to the Drafting Committee, it was elected by the Constituent Assembly on 29
 August 1943! theld its first meeting on 56
 August! Since August 56
 it sat for 141 days during which it was engaged in the "re"aration of the Draft Constitution! +he Draft Constitution as "re"ared by the Constitutional Adviser as a te$t for the Draft Committee to work u"on, consisted of 245 articles and 15 Schedules! +he first Draft Constitution as "resented by the Drafting Committee to the Constituent Assembly contained 51 articles and 7 Schedules! At the end of the consideration stage, the number of articles in the Draft Constitution increased to 57! n its final form, the Draft Constitution contains 59 articles and 7 Schedules! +he total number of amendments to the Draft Constitution tabled was a""ro$imately 3,5! #f them, the total number of amendments actually moved in the .ouse were 2,435! mention these facts because at one stage it was being said that the Assembly had taken too long a timeto finish its work, that it was going on leisurely and wasting "ublic money! t was said to be a case of/ero fiddling while &ome was burning! s there any %ustification for this com"laint8 et us note thetime consumed by Constituent Assemblies in other countries a""ointed for framing their Constitutions!+o take a few illustrations, the American Convention met on *ay 2
, 1373 and com"leted its work onSe"tember 13, 1373
, within four months! +he Constitutional Convention of Canada met on the 16
#ctober 174 and the Constitution was "assed into law in *arch 173 involving a "eriod of two yearsand five months! +he Australian Constitutional Convention assembled in *arch 1791 and the
Constitution became law on the 9
 uly 1966, consuming a "eriod of nine years! +he South AfricanConvention met in #ctober, 1967 and the Constitution became law on the 26
 Se"tember 1969involving one year;s labour! t is true that we have taken more time than what the American or SouthAfrican Conventions did! -ut we have not taken more time than the Canadian Convention and muchless than the Australian Convention! n making com"arisons on the basis of time consumed, two thingsmust be remembered! #ne is that the Constitutions of America, Canada, South Africa and Australia aremuch smaller than ours! #ur Constitution as  said contains 59 articles while the American has %ustseven articles, the first four of which are divided into sections which total u" to 21, the Canadian has143, Australian 127 and South African 15 sections! +he second thing to be remembered is that themakers of the Constitutions of America, Canada, Australia and South Africa did not have to face the"roblem of amendments! +hey were "assed as moved! #n the other hand, this Constituent Assemblyhad to deal with as many as 2,435 amendments! .aving regard to these facts the charge of dilatorinessseems to me <uite unfounded and this Assembly may well congratulate itself for having accom"lishedso formidable a task in so short a time!+urning to the <uality of the work done by the Drafting Committee, *r! /a=iruddin Ahmed felt it hisduty to condemn it outright! n his o"inion, the work done by the Drafting Committee is not only notworthy of commendation, but is "ositively below "ar! 0verybody has a right to have his o"inion aboutthe work done by the Drafting Committee and *r! /a=iruddin is welcome to have his own! *r!/a=iruddin Ahmed thinks he is a man of greater talents than any member of the Drafting Committee!+he Drafting Committee would have welcomed him in their midst if the Assembly had thought himworthy of being a""ointed to it! f he had no "lace in the making of the Constitution it is certainly notthe fault of the Drafting Committee!*r! /a=iruddin Ahmed has coined a new name for the Drafting Committee evidently to show hiscontem"t for it! .e calls it a Drafting committee! *r! /a=iruddin must no doubt be "leased with his hit!-ut he evidently does not know that there is a difference between drift without mastery and drift withmastery! f the Drafting Committee was drifting, it was never without mastery over the situation! t wasnot merely angling with the off chance of catching a fish! t was searching in known waters to find thefish it was after! +o be in search of something better is not the same as drifting! Although *r!/a=iruddin Ahmed did not mean it as a com"liment to the Drafting committee!  take it as acom"liment to the Drafting Committee! +he Drafting Committee would have been guilty of grossdereliction of duty and of a false sense of dignity if it had not shown the honesty and the courage towithdraw the amendments which it thought faulty and substitute what it thought was better! f it is amistake,  am glad the Drafting Committee did not fight shy of admitting such mistakes and comingforward to correct them! am glad to find that with the e$ce"tion of a solitary member, there is a general consensus ofa""reciation from the members of the Constituent Assembly of the work done by the DraftingCommittee!  am sure the Drafting Committee feels ha""y to find this s"ontaneous recognition of itslabours e$"ressed in such generous terms! As to the com"liments that have been showered u"on meboth by the members of the Assembly as well as by my colleagues of the Drafting Committee  feel sooverwhelmed that  cannot find ade<uate words to e$"ress fully my gratitude to them!  came into theConstituent Assembly with no greater as"iration than to safeguard the interests of he Scheduled Castes! had not the remotest idea that  would be called u"on to undertake more res"onsible functions!  wastherefore greatly sur"rised when the Assembly elected me to the Drafting Committee!  was more thansur"rised when the Drafting Committee elected me to be its Chairman! +here were in the DraftingCommittee men bigger, better and more com"etent than myself such as my friend Sir Alladirishnaswami Ayyar! am grateful to the Constituent Assembly and the Drafting Committee forre"osing in me so much trust and confidence and to have chosen me as their instrument and given me
this o""ortunity of serving the country! >
?+he credit that is given to me does not really belong to me! t belongs "artly to Sir -!/! &au, theConstitutional Adviser to the Constituent Assembly who "re"ared a rough draft of the Constitution forthe consideration of the Drafting Committee! A "art of the credit must go to the members of theDrafting Committee who, as  have said, have sat for 141 days and without whose ingenuity of devisenew formulae and ca"acity to tolerate and to accommodate different "oints of view, the task of framingthe Constitution could not have come to so successful a conclusion! *uch greater, share of the creditmust go to *r! S!/! *ukher%ee, the Chief Draftsman of the Constitution! .is ability to "ut the mostintricate "ro"osals in the sim"lest and clearest legal form can rarely be e<ualled, nor his ca"acity forhard work! .e has been as ac<uisition tot he Assembly! @ithout his hel", this Assembly would havetaken many more years to finalise the Constitution!  must not omit to mention the members of the staffworking under *r! *ukher%ee! 'or,  know how hard they have worked and how long they have toiledsometimes even beyond midnight!  want to thank them all for their effort and their coo"eration!>
?+he task of the Drafting Committee would have been a very difficult one if this Constituent Assemblyhas been merely a motley crowd, a tasseleted "avement without cement, a black stone here and a whitestone there is which each member or each grou" was a law unto itself! +here would have been nothingbut chaos! +his "ossibility of chaos was reduced to nil by the e$istence of the Congress )arty inside theAssembly which brought into its "roceedings a sense of order and disci"line! t is because of thedisci"line of the Congress )arty that the Drafting Committee was able to "ilot the Constitution in theAssembly with the sure knowledge as to the fate of each article and each amendment! +he Congress)arty is, therefore, entitled to all the credit for the smooth sailing of the Draft Constitution in theAssembly!+he "roceedings of this Constituent Assembly would have been very dull if all members had yielded tothe rule of "arty disci"line! )arty disci"line, in all its rigidity, would have converted this Assembly intoa gathering of yes; men! 'ortunately, there were rebels! +hey were *r! amath, Dr! )!S! Deshmukh,*r! Sidhva, )rof! !+! Shah and )andit .irday /ath un=ru! +he "oints they raised were mostlyideological! +hat  was not "re"ared to acce"t their suggestions, does not diminish the value of theirsuggestions nor lessen the service they have rendered to the Assembly in enlivening its "roceedings! am grateful to them! -ut for them,  would not have had the o""ortunity which  got for e$"ounding the"rinci"les underlying the Constitution which was more im"ortant than the mere mechanical work of"assing the Constitution!'inally,  must thank you *r! )resident for the way in which you have conducted the "roceedings ofthis Assembly! +he courtesy and the consideration which you have shown to the *embers of theAssembly can never be forgotten by those who have taken "art in the "roceedings of this Assembly!+here were occasions when the amendments of the Drafting Committee were sought to be barred ongrounds "urely technical in their nature! +hose were very an$ious moments for me!  am, therefore,s"ecially grateful to you for not "ermitting legalism to defeat the work of Constitutionmaking!As much defence as could be offered to the constitution has been offered by my friends Sir Alladirishnaswami Ayyar and *r!! +!+! rishnamachari!  shall not therefore enter into the merits of theConstitution! -ecause  feel, however good a Constitution may be, it is sure to turn out bad becausethose who are called to work it, ha""en to be a bad lot! .owever had a Constitution may be, it may turnout to be good if those who are called to work it, ha""en to be a good lot! +he working of aConstitution does not de"end wholly u"on the nature of the Constitution! +he Constitution can "rovideonly the organs of State such as the egislature, the 0$ecutive and the udiciary! +he factors on whichthe working of those organs of the State de"end are the "eo"le and the "olitical "arties they will set u"as their instruments to carry out their wishes and their "olitics! @ho can say how the "eo"le of ndia

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