Constituent Assembly Of India Debates (proceedings)- Volume VII
Dated: November 05, 1948
The Constituent Assembly of India met in the Constitution Hall, New Delhi, at Ten of the Clock,
Mr. President (The Honourable Dr. Rajendra Prasad) in the Chair.
TAKING THE PLEDGE AND SIGNING THE REGISTER
The following members took the Pledge and signed the Register:
MOTION re. DRAFT CONSTITUTION-(contd.)
Mr. President: I have received an amendment to the Honourable Dr. Ambedkar's motion from Seth Damodar Swarup which is more or less of the same nature as that which was moved by Maulana Hasrat Mohani yesterday, but as it is slightly different I will allow him to move it. I propose that members should have limited time for speaking on this motion. I understand there are many members who desire to participate in the discussion and I therefore suggest that we might sit to-day and to-morrow for general discussion instead of to-day only, and to-morrow we will finally dispose of the motion moved by Dr. Ambedkar. Then I will give two days i.e. Sunday and Monday for amendments, and from Wednesday we will sit and take up the Articles one after another. To enable the largest number of members to participate in the discussion today I think ten minutes would be enough for each member, and if the House approves of it I should like to stick to that time limit.
Mr. President: I am afraid I have no information about meetings of committees, etc., and I should have been consulted about the fixation of these meetings while the Assembly was going to sit. Therefor I propose to give priority to meetings of this House.
Shri T. T. Krishnamachari: Sir, while the fixing of a time limit is no doubt desirable, I submit that in a matter of such importance even if one deals with only one aspect of the subject it is not possible to say anything relevant or to the point in ten minutes. Therefore I humbly suggest that such a time limit should not be adhered to.
Otherwise the discussion will be stifled and nobody can make any point. I have something to say myself on the financial provisions.
Mr. President: If I find that any particular member is making a useful contribution to the debate I will relax the time limit in his favour.
Pandit Lakshmi Kanta Maitra (West Bengal: General): Sir, I should like to suggest that two or three more days may be given for the general discussion because in considering the Draft Constitution the general discussion will be a very important feature of the thing and members can know the feelings of people from different parts of the country on different aspects of the Constitution. That will help us greatly in drafting our amendments and deciding whether to move or not to move particular amendments. As a matter of fact even for ordinary legislation two or three days are always given. In the Finance Bill which operates only for one year five or six days are given for the general discussion. Here if you give us two or three days more the time will not be lost. That will give us an idea as to the direction in which the minds of different members are working on different aspects of the question. So I suggest that you may be pleased to give us two or three days more for the general discussion.
Shri K. Hanumanthaiya ( My sore State): Sir, in a house of three hundred members two days are hardly sufficient. It is only about ten members who can speak and it would not allow all sections to participate in the debate. Even five days would hardly be enough.
The Honourable Shri K. Santhanam (Madras: General): Sir, I suggest that a discussion of the entire Constitution will not be of much use. It will not be possible for any one to make any useful contribution in less than 45 minutes or one hour. So I suggest that as we take up each Para. we may have a short general discussion on that Para. and then proceed to pass it. In that way we can have a useful general discussion than if the debate ranges over the entire constitution.
Mr. President: I think we had better not take any more time in discussing how we shall proceed. Let us proceed and we shall see.
Shri B. Das (Orissa: General): Sir, I wish to support the suggestion made by my friend Shri Santhanam. I wish to point out, however, that several documents have not been made available to members as yet. For instance, the report of the Boundary Committee we have not received so far. Then certain documents were available to the Drafting Committee which the House has a right to see. For instance, there are the opinions of the provincial Governments on the draft constitution, the views of the High Courts and the Federal Court on the various provisions about the judiciary. There are legal aspects of many issues which we must know and the views of the High Courts and Federal Court are therefore very important; these documents should therefore be made available to us; then only we can carry on further discussion.
Mr. President: We shall try to supply members with copies of opinions of provincial Governments, High Courts and such other important bodies, say by Monday or Tuesday next.
Shree R. K. Sidhwa (C. P. and Berar: General): On a point of information, Sir. You said that you will allow Seth Damodar Swarup to move the motion of which he has given notice. Yesterday, Maulana Hasrat Mohani moved a similar motion. May I know whether this motion will be taken up independently of the general discussion for which you have allowed two days?
Mr. President: I shall take votes on the adjournment motion immediately after discussion on these two propositions is over and then we shall proceed with the general discussion.
Shri H. V. Kamath (C. P. and Berar: General): I have given notice of an amendment to the original motion.
Mr. President: We will take it up when we have finished the adjournment motion.
Maulana Hasrat Mohani (United Provinces: Muslim): It has been published in the 'Statesman' of the 4th November that the Preamble will be debated and put to vote last. I understood from the observation made by you that you will adopt that course. If this is so,..........
Mr. President: I am not concerned with what the newspapers publish.
Maulana Hasrat Mohani: You stated in your observations yesterday that this matter will be decided now and that it should not be taken up again. Do you mean that the Preamble will be taken up now?
Mr. President: I never said anything about the Preamble or any part of the Constitution.
Maulana Hasrat Mohani: I want to move the amendment to the Preamble at this stage.
Mr. President: No amendment to the Preamble or any part of the Constitution can be taken up at this stage. We shall take up all amendments in due course.
Shri Damodar Swarup Seth (United Provinces: General): *[Mr. President, with your permission I want to place this amendment before the House:
Sir, before speaking on this amendment I deem it necessary to point out that I had given notice of a separate resolution to the effect that the consideration of the Draft Constitution should for the time be postponed. But unfortunately for some reason that resolution of mine has not been admitted. Therefore I have no option but to move an amendment for the same purpose as the resolution.
Shri S. Nagappa (Madras: General): Mr. President, I would like to know from the honourable member who is moving this motion whether, when he was elected to this august body, he did not recognise this as a sovereign body competent to act as the Constituent Assembly? It not why did he agree to become a member? (Laughter.)
Mr. President: That is not a point of order.
Shri S. Nagappa: I would like to know whether he is in order in saying that this body is not a Constituent Assembly and that a new Assembly should be constituted on the basis of adult franchise.
Mr. President: He is in order in moving his motion. (Renewed laughter)
Shri Damodar Swarup Seth: *[Sir, I was saying that it is easy to ridicule a resolution or amendment or to ridicule the views of its supporters but it requires some courage to understand the reality and to appreciate it. I am afraid that this amendment of mine may displease some of my friends. But everyone has a duty to perform. It is the duty of every man unhesitatingly and fearlessly to give expression to the voice of his conscience and nature before his fellow beings regardless of the consequences that may follow or of the opinion people may form about him and this because I believe, Sir, that in the lives of nations as in the lives of individuals also there is sometimes a situation in which they have to swallow the bitterest pill. I think that the consideration of the Draft Constitution has brought such an occasion in our country and therefore we need not worry about our views being welcome or unwelcome to one person or the other. We have to perform out duty. I shall at first try to throw light on the representative character of this Constituent Assembly which is assembled here and which is going to consider the Draft Constitution and to pass it.
Sir, the first characteristic which a constitution-making body of a free country should possess is that it should be able to claim that it represents the will of the entire people of that country. Sir, with your permission I would put it to the Honourable Members present in this House whether they can sincerely claim that they represent, in this House, the entire people of India. I can emphatically say that this House cannot claim to represent the whole country. At the most it can claim to represent that fifteen per cent of the population of India who had elected the members to the provincial legislatures. The election too, by virtue of which the members of this House are here, was not a direct one, they are here by virtue of an indirect election. In these circumstances, when eighty-five percent of the people of the country are not represented in this House and when they have no voice here, it will be in my opinion a very great mistake to say that this House is competent to frame a Constitution for the whole country. Besides the representative character of the Draft Constitution that is being placed before the house, we have also to consider its nature. We see that the Constitutions of United States of America and Britain have been copied in this Constitution. Some articles have been borrowed from the Constitutions of Ireland, Australia and Canada. A paper has rightly remarked that this is a slavish imitation of the Constitutions of these countries. Sir, the conditions that prevailed in America, Britain, Canada or Australia do not obtain in our country. The conditions prevalent in our country can be compared only with those of Russia - Russia of pre-Soviet Republic days. Besides, we have seven lakh villages in our country and the village is its smallest unit. Thanks to Mahatma Gandhi, our struggle of freedom reached the villages and it was because of the villages and because of their might that India became free.
I want to ask whether there is any mention of villages and any place for them in the structure of this great Constitution. No, nowhere. The constitution of a free country should be based on 'local self government'. We see nothing of local self-government anywhere in this Constitution. This Constitution as a whole, instead of being evolved from our life and reared from the bottom upwards is being imported from outside and built from above down-words. A constitution which is not based on units and in the making of which they have no voice, in which there is not even a mention of thousands and lakhs of villages of India and in framing which they have had no hand, - well you can give such a constitution to the country but I very much doubt whether you would be able to keep it for long.
Sir, our Indian Republic should have been a Union - a Union of small autonomous republics. All those autonomous republics by joining together would have formed the bigger Republic of India. Had there been such autonomous republics, neither the question of linguistic provinces nor of communal majorities or minorities or of backward classes would have arisen. The autonomous Units of the Union could have joined the unions of their choice according to their culture. The Union that would have been formed in our country in this way, would not have required so much emphasis on centralization as our learned Doctor Ambedkar has laid. Centralization is a good thing and is useful at times but we forget that all through his life Mahatma Gandhi emphasised the fact that too much centralization of power makes that power totalitarian and takes it towards fascist ideals. The only method of safeguarding against totalitarianism and fascism is that power should be decentralized to the greatest extent. We would have thus brought about such a centralization of power through welding of heart as could not be matched anywhere in the world. But the natural consequence of centralising power by law will be that our country which has all along opposed Fascism - even today we claim to strongly oppose it - will gradually move towards Fascism. Therefore, Sir, I want that this House should seriously consider these matters. This is not an ordinary matter. We should not treat this constitution-making as a light and playful business. On the contrary it is a step pregnant with historic consequences. After hundreds, nay, thousands of years I would say, and it would be no exaggeration to say so, that in the history of India it is for the first time that we have this opportunity of framing the Constitution of the whole of India. Therefore no amount of thought we can give to this Constitution can be too much. We may be told and we have been told that let this Constitution be adopted, for the assembly, elected on adult franchise provided therein, would be quite competent to effect the necessary amendments in it.
But Sir, when the Constitution is once framed, there will be legal difficulties in amending it. Moreover it would be no matter of pride for us that a task of such importance in the history of India, which we are expected to complete, should have been left half-finished by us to be completed by others. The coming generations will only deplore such a course of action on our part. Therefore if we take into consideration the unrepresentative character of the Draft Constitution that is before us and its nature and structure, we come to the conclusion that it is not in harmony with our present conditions, our culture and our customs. Therefore it is necessary that we should postpone its consideration for the time being and should form a new Constituent Assembly on the basis of adult franchise so that it may go through this constitution, consider it and amend it where necessary. Till the formation of this new Constituent Assembly the present Constituent Assembly can function as the Parliament of India. We do not want that there should be any delay in this. No doubt we have taken two years to do this work and we might take an year or so more but one or two years are nothing in the life of a nation. So long as this Constitution is not finalised we can continue to function as we have been doing so far. As I have said we are going to frame the Constitution of United India; it should be a new and ideal Constitution.
Today after India has attained freedom it is not necessary for me to tell you that the world is looking up to India. It expects something new from India. At such a times as the present one it was necessary that we should have placed before the world a Draft Constitution, a Constitution, which could have been taken as an ideal. Instead we have copied the constitutions of other countries and incorporated some of their parts and in this way prepared a Constitution. As I have said, from the structure of the Constitution it appears that it stands on its head and not on its legs. Thousands and lakhs of villages of India neither had any hand nor any voice in its framing. I have no hesitation in saying that if lakhs of villages of India had been given their share on the basis of adult franchise in drafting this Constitution its shape would have been altogether different. What a havoc is poverty causing in our country! What hunger and nakedness are they not suffering from! Was it not then necessary that the right to work and right to employment were included in the Fundamental Rights declared by this Constitution and the people of this land were freed from the worry about their daily food and clothing? Every man shall have a right to receive education; all these things should have been included in the Fundamental Rights. But, Sir, I need not say anything else except point out that even Honourable Dr. Ambedkar has had to realize and has also admitted in his speech that many objections have been raised in regard to the Fundamental Rights. Not withstanding the reasoning of the learned Doctor, I find it difficult to accept that the Fundamental Rights and other rights are one and the same thing. I understand that Fundamental Rights are those rights which cannot be abrogated by anybody - nay, not even by the government. One can be deprived of these rights only as a punishment for an offence, awarded by a Court of Law. But if the Fundamental Rights were to be at the mercy of the government, they cease to be Fundamental Rights. Sir, what I mean by all this is that if the thousands of villages of the country, the poor classes and the labourers of India had any hand in framing this Constitution, it would have been quite different from what it is today.
Mr. President: *[The motion is before you; those who desire to speak may do so.]
Pandit Balkrishna Sharma (United Provinces: General): *[Mr. President, my friend Seth Damodar Swarup has submitted a motion before the House today that we should postpone the consideration of the Draft Constitution placed before us. In support of his motion he has advanced some arguments. Before taking up an analysis of those arguments I would like to draw the attention of the Assembly to one or two important matters. The first thing that strikes me is that the motion moved by my friend is absolutely undesirable. After all, for what purpose have we assembled here? We have assembled here having been elected to frame the Constitution. The political party, to which the Honourable Member belongs, once decided that this Constituent Assembly is not an independent sovereign body, and so it should be boycotted. Again that party, under what considerations I know not, decided that they should seek election to it. They were elected to this Assembly but some of their party-men did not attend the Assembly in the beginning. But later, again under a consideration, of which I am not aware, they decided to participate in this Assembly. Now you can imagine what opinion can be formed of a group, party or an individual whose policy changes every moment, which is satisfied at one moment and discontented the next. I think the idea that we should not frame the Constitution in this House struck the mind of my friend Seth Damodar Swarup rather too late. In my humble opinion, the arguments advanced by him are weak, groundless, uninteresting and senseless to such a degree as cannot be defined. His first argument is that the Constituent Assembly does not have a representative character. I would like to submit that there is ridiculous aspect of democracy, and that comes to the surface when to make democracy fully representative in character, we evolve such institutions as proportional representation and thereby establish fascism amongst ourselves. In Germany, Italy and France, wherever attempts were made to establish this type of Democracy, the only result was that it was soon transformed into fascism. The argument, that we are the representatives of 15 per cent of the population and that the representatives of 85 per cent of the population are not with us and therefore we should postpone on that ground the consideration of the Constitution, is a fallacious one - fallacious because nowhere in the world can a model assembly be constituted. We have represented the whole of the country in this Assembly. Sethji had been a member of the Congress till recently; on the basis of the formation of such associations, could he say that the Congress was a body representing the whole of India? While he could not say that on numerical basis, my friend Sethji has always considered himself to be a divine lieutenant in India. Even though not even one poor man, not even a farmer, and a worker has elected him to represent India, yet he considers himself to be a representative. And why does he do so? As the saying goes in the Russian language "we are the will of the peoples". We are the representatives of the will, emotions and ambitions of the people, and in this capacity representing the whole of India we are framing our Constitution, though our representation is not based on numbers. Hence, I think that it is not proper to raise this fallacious argument about percentages.
The second point which he has raised is that we have borrowed in our Constitution many articles from the constitutions of other countries. I think that Honourable Dr. Ambedkar has very nicely answered this question in his yesterday's speech. I would only like to say that if my friend Seth Damodar Swarup runs so much after originality which I believe he intends to do, I am afraid he would make himself extremely ridiculous. It will be because when he talks of originality he himself is not really original. His eyes are fixed on Russia and he comments that Russian Constitution has not been followed in framing this Constitution. This means that had we followed Russia we would have been original, but because we have followed Australia, Canada, U.S.A. and U.K. or borrowed many articles from them or received an inspiration from them, we are not original. Now it is for us to choose which one to follow. Sethji and Maulana Hasrat Mohani incline towards Russia. We favour friendship with Russia. With great interest and sympathy we witness the great experiment Russia is making to organise men; but it is definite that we cannot accept even in dream its policy to subordinate or annihilate the individual for the sake of the state in all important stages of life. Sethji has quoted Mahatma Gandhi, who was against over-centralisation. My friend should remember that Mahatma Gandhi was essentially an anarchist. He was a philosophical anarchist. His view was that in the ultimate analysis anarchism was beneficial, for his aim was to raise man to a pedestal were he does not need external restraint. You and we are not such great souls. It would be ridiculous for us to attempt to talk of anarchism by simply repeating the words of Gandhiji and trying to put it into actual practice. Hence, it is useless to repeat the words of Mahatma Gandhi here. By quoting Mahatma Gandhi in support of his arguments Sethji has not revealed any special power of reasoning. He wants to know what position is held by villages, labourers, farmers, and local self-governments in this Constitution. I would like to submit humbly that if he will take the trouble of studying the whole of the Constitution carefully, he would come to know that even today in the making of this Constitution we are not ignoring that sacred inspiration of Mahatma Gandhi which led him to give us a message that India does not consist of cities but of the seven lakhs of villages. Mr. President, I, therefore, oppose the motion of Sethji and I am sure that the House will not at all hesitate in rejecting it outright.]*
Prof. Shibban Lal Saksena (United Provinces: General ): Mr. President, Sir, Seth Damodar Swarup's amendment should not be dismissed so lightly as my Honourable friend Shri Bal Krishna Sharma has done. We ourselves, when the Cabinet Mission were in India, wanted that this Assembly should be elected on adult suffrage; but the Britishers never wanted election on adult suffrage. They forced on us this method of election. If they had acceded to our demand, we would have been elected on adult suffrage. Seth Damodar Swarup knows full well that the Congress party which is in the majority in this House, would have welcomed it. The issue which he has raised is a fundamental one and we must all admit that an Assembly elected on adult suffrage would be the real Constituent Assembly, though I am sure a large majority of these same members would be again returned.
But, today, the question is a practical one: can we adjourn now and wait for a year or so to have a new election for the Constituent Assembly and then frame our constitution? I think the present Constitution which has been framed by a foreign Parliament is not one under which I would like to remain a minute longer than I can help. I therefore think that today we must go on with the consideration of this Draft Constitution but when we come to the chapter for changing the Constitution we must make changes in the Constitution in the first ten years much easier than it is at present in the Draft. I think we must make it possible for any change in the Constitution to be made by simple majority and not by two-thirds majority.
Sethji has also raised other issues. He has said that this Constitution does not give any voice to the villages. He is thinking of the Soviet Constitution. Mahatma Gandhi's own Constitution, of which an outline was given by Shri S. N. Aggarwal, was also based on village republics or village panchayats, and I think we shall have to discuss this point carefully when we come to that aspect of the Constitution. I was pained to hear from Dr. Ambedkar that he rather despised the system in which villages had a paramount voice. I think we will have to amend that portion properly. This Assembly is now entering upon its task and is fully entitled to change the entire Constitution. Sethji has today given his amendments and we shall be very glad to discuss them. I do not think that Sethji is alone in the views he expressed. We must not dismiss these things with the lightness with which my predecessor has dismissed them. In this Assembly we must discuss every aspect of this Constitution with seriousness and everybody must be treated with respect. Other things which he has said, can also be discussed at the proper time. He has said that there is no provision in this Constitution for Local Self Government in units. It is an important thing which must be included in the Constitution and at present there is this omission in the present Constitution. But I don't think that Sethji's advice that we should adjourn now and wait for a year for the Constitution to be made by a new Constituent Assembly is proper, because the new Assembly will have to be elected afresh and this House will have to make some rules for electing a new Constituent Assembly and that will take some time. Then we will have to sit now to make some rules for election of the new Constituent Assembly and then to have the new Constitution discussed by it. I think the new Houses of Parliament in this Draft Constitution elected under adult suffrage will have full power to change the Constitution, and if that clause which makes it difficult to change the Constitution is removed, the purpose of this amendment will have been served. I therefore suggest that when that portion comes, we will discuss that, but at present the adjournment will not be proper. I therefore oppose this amendment.
Shri S. Nagappa (Madras: General): Mr. President, Sir, I am sorry that I have to oppose my Honourable friend's motion that is before the House. My friend has been saying that he has not been returned to this Assembly in order to make a Constitution. I am at a loss to understand what is the purpose for which he contested these elections. I think it was clear to him when he got into this Assembly that he was coming here only in order to frame a Constitution. But his point is that this is not a representative body. May I ask him which sort of body will be really representative? Are these members not elected by the elected representatives of the people? No doubt I agree that there was no adult suffrage. Whose fault is it? Is it the fault of the present Government or is it the fault of the previous Government? My friend would have been in order if he had asked the previous Government and he was also aware that the previous Government had not enough time. They were eager to go and so, even if they wanted to prepare the electoral rolls on adult suffrage and conduct elections, they would have taken two years. I don't know whether my friend wanted to have the foreign domination for two more years. We have been elected by the representatives of the people and every member represents some thousands of people. No doubt he does not represent every one of the people that are in that province but he represents the educated that are the cream of the people. When they have sent these members herewith the definite task that they should frame the Constitution and moreover when this was the body that has received the power from the foreigner, it is more in order and more representative than any other. Even if elections are held on an adult suffrage, can my friend guarantee that there will be other than these members? I doubt it. These are the chosen leaders not from to-day or yesterday but for so many years and the people have confidence in them. Even when the country was going through turmoil and difficulties the people had reposed confidence in them.
My friend was saying that there are no poor people's representatives. What are we? I represent the poorest of the poor. He was talking of the depressed classes and backward communities. Are we not depressed class people? What about Dr. Ambedkar? Whom does he represent? He represents the lowest rung of the ladder and can there be any other representative other than Dr. Ambedkar from those people? It is our fortune that the task of framing the Constitution has-been entrusted to the representative - the real representative - of the lowest rung of the ladder and I can't understand when my friend says the poor have not been given a chance to be represented here, and the worker has not been given a chance to be represented here. If that was the case, may I ask why there was no agitation in the country when this Assembly was elected? There were so many organisations and there were so many papers who could have complained and agitated; and almost all people were eager that this body must come into existence as early as possible and relieve the Britisher who was anxious to leave this country. When that was the case I am surprised at my friend's observations. If my friend does not consider this as a representative body, he should have refrained from coming into this Assembly. He did not do that. He was wise enough to get into this and continue for two years and be called a Member of this Assembly. Having done all that, now when the Constitution is ready and ripe for adoption, he calmly comes and says that this is not a representative body. I see no logic or reason in that. Can be prove that except a section of the country which is dissatisfied and a section which could not get into the House or a section which is jealous of the present Government, there is any large body of people in the country who are not satisfied with the representative character of this House?
My friend the Maulana talked in the same strain. I do not know whether he took his inspiration from Shri Damodar Swarup or whether the latter took his inspiration from the Maulana, or whether they conspired among themselves. Anyhow their view seems peculiar not only to me but to large numbers of people. I do not know what the Maulana was trying to impress on the House, but he seems to be more fond of the Soviet Constitution than of his own Constitution. Forgetting that he can frame a better constitution than the Soviet or any other constitution, he told us that he was for adopting the Soviet Constitution. I do not know the reason why he has been tempted to adopt that constitution. If his argument is that as we have borrowed from every constitution we should borrow from the Soviet Constitution also, I can see some reason in it. Here he says that as we have borrowed from America and England and New Zealand we should borrow also from Soviet Russia: But why should he be so fond of that? We borrow from other countries what is fit to be adopted by us, when they suit our conditions and requirements. It is not for the sake of borrowing that we do this and our Constitution is not a combination or mixture of all other constitutions. We study other constitutions and consider our own Customs and usages and usages and culture, and we borrow what suits us best. There is nothing wrong in borrowing something which suits us best.
Sir, I oppose the motion.
Shri Syamanandan Sahaya (Bihar: General): Sir, I propose a closure of the debate on the amendments and move that the question be now put. My Honourable friend Seth Damodar Swarup has done his duty by voicing the opinion of a certain political section of the country and we need not take any more time over this. We may now proceed to discuss the Draft Constitution generally.
Mr. President: The question is:
That the question be now put.
The motion was adopted.
Mr. President: The question is:
That Maulana Hasrat Mohani's motion be adopted.
The motion was negatived.
Mr. President: The question is -
That Seth Damodar Swarup's motion be adopted.
The motion was negatived.
Mr. President: The House will now proceed to a general discussion of the motion by Dr.
mbedkar. Shri H. V. Kamath has an amendment on it.
Shri H. V. Kamath: Sir, I move: "That in the motion the word 'Constituent' be deleted and for the words 'settled by the Drafting Committee' the words 'prepared by the Drafting Committee' be substituted".
It is a purely verbal amendment and there is no need to enter into a discussion or controversy over it. The word "Constituent" is redundant as "Assembly" means the Constituent Assembly. As regards the other part, the copy of the Draft Constitution that we have got says, "prepared by the Drafting Committee". I wish to bring Dr. Ambedkar's motion into line with this even at the risk of being dubbed a stickler or purist. Sir, I move.
Mr. President: I will draw attention to Rule 38-A which uses the words "Draft Constitution of India settled by the Drafting Committee". Dr. Ambedkar's motion takes the word from that rule.
Shri H. V. Kamath: By leave of the President, I shall now speak on the motion itself. While I support the motion I do not accept all the observations that Dr. Ambedkar made in the course of his learned address yesterday. As regards those aspects of the question which deal with the strength of the State, which deal with the provision to convert a Federal State into a unitary one in the event of emergency, as regards the undesirability of the various component units of the State to maintain armies to the prejudice of the security of the Union as a whole, I endorse his observations wholeheartedly. He told us with some pride - I think - that the Constitution is borrowed largely from the Government of India Act and considerably from the constitutions of the United Kingdom, United States and Australia and perhaps Canada also. I listened to his speech with considerable pleasure and not a little profit. But I expected him to tell us what, if any, had been borrowed from our political past, from the political and spiritual genius of the Indian people. Of that there was not a single word throughout the whole speech. This is perhaps in tune with the times. The other day Shrimati Vijaya Lakshmi while addressing the United Nations General Assembly in Paris observed with pride that we in India have borrowed from France their slogan of liberty, equality and fraternity; we have taken this from England and that from America, but she did not say what we have borrowed from our own past, from our own political and historic past, from our long and chequered history of which we are so proud.
On one thing I join issue with Dr. Ambedkar. He was pleased to refer to the villages - I am quoting from a press report in the absence of the official copy - as "sinks of localism and dens of ignorance, narrow-mindedness and communalism"; and he also laid at the door of a certain Metcalfe our "pathetic faith" in village communities. Sir, I may say that it is not owing to Metcalfe but owing to a far greater man who has liberated us in recent times, our Master and the Father of our nation, that this love of ours for the villages has grown, our faith in the village republics and our rural communities has grown and we have cherished it with all our heart. It is due to Mahatma Gandhi, it is due to you, Sir, and it is due to Sardar Patel and Pandit Nehru and Netaji Bose that we have come to love our village folk. With all deference to Dr. Ambedkar, I differ from him in this regard. His attitude yesterday was typical of the urban highbrow; and if that is going to be our attitude towards the village folk, I can only say, "God save us." If we do not cultivate sympathy and love and affection for our villages and rural folk I do not see how we can uplift our country. Mahatma Gandhi taught us in almost the last mantra that he gave in the last days of his life to strive for panchayat raj. If Dr. Ambedkar cannot see his way to accept this, I do not see what remedy or panacea he has got for uplifting our villages. In my own province of C. P. and Berar we have recently launched upon a scheme of Janapadas, of local self-government and decentralisation; and that is entirely in consonance with the teachings of our Master. I hope that scheme will come to fruition and be an example to the rest of the country. Sir, it was with considerable pain that I heard Dr. Ambedkar refer to our villages in that fashion, with dislike, if not with contempt. Perhaps the fault lies with the composition of the Drafting Committee, among the members of which no one, with the sole exception of Sriyut Munshi, has taken any active part in the struggle for our country's freedom. None of them is therefore capable of entering into the spirit of our struggle, the spirit that animated us; they cannot comprehend with their hearts - I am not talking of the head it is comparatively easy to understand with the head - the turmoiled birth of our nation after years of travail and tribulation. That is why the tone of Dr. Ambedkar's speech yesterday with regard to our poorest, the lowliest and the lost was what it was. I am sorry he relied on Metcalfe only. Other historians and research scholars have also given us precious information in this regard. I do not know if he has read a book called" Indian Polity" by Dr. Jayaswal; I do not know if he has read another book by a greater man, "The Spirit and Form of Indian Polity" by Sree Aurobindo. From these books we learn how our polity in ancient times was securely built on village communities which were autonomous and self-contained; and that is why our civilisation has survived through all these ages. If we lose sight of the strength of our polity we lose sight of everything. I will read to the House a brief description of what our polity was and what its strength was:
That is so far as these village republics are concerned. I believe the day is not far distant when not merely India but the whole world, if it wants peace and security and prosperity and happiness, will have to decentralise and establish village republics and town republics, and on the basis of this they will have to build their State; otherwise the world is in for hard times.
Then, Sir, I find in Dr. Ambedkar's speech considerable amount of thunder and plenty of lightning. But I could not find the light that sustains, the light that warms, the light that gives life, the light eternal. I heard what he said about minorities in India. I do not know on what basis he made this remark that no minority in India had taken this stand. After referring to the Redmond-Carson episode in the history of the Irish struggle, he went on to say that no minority in India has taken this stand. "Damn your safeguards" said Carson, "we don't want to be ruled by you."
Dr. Ambedkar said: "They have loyally accepted the rule of the majority which is basically a communal majority and not a political majority."
If, Sir, our minorities had really taken this stand, India's history would have been different. After what has happened during the last two years, can we say that no minority took this stand? It is because a certain minority took this stand and said, "We do not want to be ruled by the majority. Go to hell.", we had the tragedy of the last eighteen months. If Dr. Ambedkar was referring to India before 15th August 1947, I fail to understand him. How can he say that no minority stood for safeguards and said, 'We do not want to be ruled by you'? It is because a certain organisation took the stand, "No safeguards. We do not want safeguards. We want a separate State.", that ultimately Pakistan came into being and we had to witness the tragedy of the past eighteen months.
In 1927, I as a student attended the Madras session of the Congress. Maulana Mahomed Ali and Pandit Malaviya were both present there. There was a question about safeguards and Pandit Malaviya made a moving speech that went straight to the heart. He said: "What safeguards did you ask from the Secretary of State for India or from the Government of India? We are here. What better safeguards you want?" After that speech, Maulana Mahomed Ali came to the rostrum, embraced Pandit Malaviya and said: "I do not want any safeguards. We want to live as Indians, as part of the Indian body-politic. We want no safeguards from the British Government. Pandit Malaviya is our best safeguard." If that spirit had continued to animate us, we would have remained as united India, a single country, a single State and a single nation. This being so, I fail to understand what Dr. Ambedkar means by saying that no minority in India has taken this stand. The majority has always been willing to grant them safeguards, adequate safeguards. But the minority would have nothing to do with it. The minority in India took the same stand as Carson took in Ireland. That is why, to the detriment of the Irish body-politic division was resorted to, as was done in India, resulting in disturbance of the peace and progress of the country.
Well, Sir, there are one or two other aspects of the Constitution I would like to touch upon. One relates to Article 280 of the Constitution, viz., the one about Fundamental Rights.
Mr. President: The Honourable Member has almost exhausted his time.
Shri H. V. Kamath: I only want one or two more minutes, Sir. The Fundamental Rights could be suspended in the event of an emergency and that means that the power of the High Court can be taken away. It is a dangerous provision to make in the Constitution. If I remember aright, even during the last world war, the British Government did not suspend the right of the citizen to move the appropriate courts to issue writs of haebeas corpus and so on. I do not know whether we should go one better, rather one worse, than the British Government.
Then we have the Ordinance-making power given in Article 102. This should be done away with. When we were fighting the British Government, we attacked this power, this ordinance-making power of the Governor-General and the Viceroy. Here we are making this provision, not for an emergency. Article 102 merely says that the President may promulgate Ordinances whenever he is so satisfied. That power should be drastically curtailed, if not entirely done away with.
Now I will conclude by saying that, with all its good points, with all its provisions for making India a united and strong federal-unitary State, there are certain matters which could have been more happily provided for.
Now, what is a State for? The utility of a State has to be judged from its effect on the common man's welfare. The ultimate conflict that has to be resolved is this: whether the individual is for the State or the State for the individual. Mahatma Gandhi tried in his lifetime to strike a happy balance, to reconcile this dwandwa and arrived at the conception of the Panchayat Raj. I hope that we in India will go forward and try to make the State exist for the individual rather than the individual for the State. This is what we must aim at and that is what we must bring about in our own country. Because we have a great spiritual and political heritage, we in India are best fitted to bring about this consummation in our own country; and let me say that unless in the whole world the spirit of empire gives place to the empire of the spirit, in the way that Mahatma Gandhi and all seers before him have conceived it, unless this consummation comes about in the world, there will be no peace on earth. At least let us try to bring about this empire of the spirit in our own political institutions. If we do not do this, our attempt today in this Assembly would not truly reflect the political genius of the Indian people. We have been so much taken in by Western glamour. This glamour has been too much with us. We have become the prisoners of our habit forms and thought forms. They have become almost like the old man in Sindbad the Sailor whom he could not shake off. We have become unable to shake off our old habits. But amid all the mist of confusion, there is still the certainty of a new twilight; not the twilight of the evening, but the twilight of the morning - the Yuga Sandhi India of the ages is not dead nor has she spoken her last creative word; she lives and has still something to do for herself and for the human family. And that which is now awake in India is not, I hope, an Anglicized or Europeanized Oriental people, docile pupil of the West and doomed to repeat the cycle of the Occident's success and failure, but still the ancient invincible Shakti recovering Her deepest Self, lifting Her head higher towards the supreme source of light and strength, and turning to discover the complete meaning and a vaster form of Her Dharma. In that faith and fortified by that conviction, let us march forward into the future, and by the grace of God, victory will crown our efforts.
Seth Govind Das (C. P. and Berar: General): *[Mr. President, I rise to support the motion moved by Dr. Ambedkar. But at the very outset I would like to make it clear that my support to his motion does not mean that I agree to every thing he has said in his speech. On the contrary, in my opinion his speech has not at all been befitting the beautiful motion moved by him. He has raised many controversial issues and it would have been better if he had not raised them at all. While supporting the motion, I would like to make it clear to you that I do not have at present the enthusiasm with which such a motion should be supported. The motion as also the whole Constitution have been presented to the House in an alien language. There has been yesterday considerable discussion on this question and I would not say much on it. But I do feel a regret today that we did not decide the question of national language earlier. Sir, had we taken a decision in this respect earlier, yesterday, there would have been no necessity for you to give an assurance that this Constitution would be placed before this House in the language which would be accepted as the national language and that the articles which would have been passed by the time a decision is taken in this respect would be repassed in our own language. Perhaps you remember, that you had given us an assurance in this respect and that when after your assurance I had raised the question again you had stated in your reply that the original draft of the Constitution would be in the national language. To adopt the Constitution in an alien language is not only a matter of shame for us but it will create many difficulties in the future and will establish supremacy of English in our country. Even during British regime our country produced many learned men who did not know English.
For example, mention of late Pandit Sudhakar Dwivedi may be made. Such a person nowadays is Moulana Abdul Kalam Azad who cannot be said to be a scholar of the English language. If we frame our Constitution in a foreign language, even free India, in spite of having its own national language, will have to depend for ever on those who have specialised in English in so far as the constitutional matters would be concerned. Therefore again, I would appeal to you, as I did yesterday, that the original of our Constitution should be in Hindi.
Moreover, this Constitution is incomplete. Many important matters have not been included in it. No doubt article 99, chapter II lays down "In Parliament Business shall be conducted in Hindi or English", but in the whole of the Draft there is no mention about our national language. Of course, we can amend article 99, and specifically mention the language for transaction of business in our Assemblies. But that alone would not do unless we also specifically declare which language shall be our national language. The mere statement that in Parliament business shall be conducted in this or that language is not enough. We have to declare that a particular language shall be the national language of the country. We have also to declare which shall be the national script of the country. In so far as both these matters are concerned the Constitution is quite incomplete.
Perhaps you might have noticed the fact that in the Irish Constitution there is mention of their National Flag. Though we accepted by a resolution this tri-colour flag as our National Flag, we have made no mention of the National Flag in this draft.
We would like that our Constitution should specifically provide that a particular flag shall be our National Flag just as has been done in the Irish Constitution.
Besides, our Constitution is silent about our National Anthem. On many occasions our Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru has stated that the final decision on the question of National Anthem would be taken by the Constituent Assembly. But I would also like that a provision should be included in our Constitution which specifically fixes our National Anthem.
I would also like to express my views on all these matters that have not been provided for by this draft of the Constitution. In my opinion Hindi alone can be the national language of this country. I think there are only a few members of this House who believe today that English can be made the national language of this country. The Hindi-Hindustani controversy has also come to an end, simply because Article 99 of the Constitution refers to "Hindi or English" alone in relation to the transaction of business in our Parliament. Thus the question of Hindustani also exists no more. As far as the members and residents of South India are concerned, I would agree that business here may be conducted in English also for some years to come. We should not impose anything on them. But Hindi must be our national language and Devnagari our national script.
This Constitution should by a specific provision prescribe the flag that has been accepted before in this House as our National Flag and I suggest that like the Union Jack it should be given a distinctive name of its own. I would like to suggest to you a beautiful name for it. It maybe named "Sudarshan". The word "Sudarshan" means beautiful in appearance. While presenting the flag to the House Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru had described in his speech how beautiful our national flag is. I suggest, therefore, that it be named" Sudarshan". There is also a Chakra or wheel on it. The weapon of Lord Vishnu was also known Sudarshan Chakra and hence this name would be quite suitable.
As far as the question of National Anthem is concerned, I would say that 'Vande Mataram' can be our National Anthem. The history of our struggle for independence is associated with Vande Mataram. If it be said that is tune is not fit for orchestrisation I would submit that this is a difficulty which can be overcome by experts in orchestral music. Lyrical songs of Mahakavi Soordas and Meerabai can be sung not only in one but in many tunes. It is therefore wrong to think that 'Vande Mataram' is not suited for orchestrisation. There is no person who has no respect in his heart for Rabindranath Tagore - the King among poets. The verse "Jana Mana Gana" was composed on the occasion of the visit of the late Emperor George the V to India in 1911. The poem offers greetings, not to Mother India, but to the late King Emperor. Every sentiment in it is in relation to the" Bharat Bhagia Vidhata" and who is meant is clear from the expression "victory to the Emperor" (Jai Rajeshwar). It is evident that in a Republic we cannot in our National Anthem offer any greetings to any 'Rajeshwar'. 'Vande Mataram' alone, therefore can be our National Anthem.
Besides its incompleteness, this Constitution also needs many amendments.
For instance, our country has been named as 'India' in this Constitution. As far as the foreign countries are concerned this name is alright. But if a meeting is held in our country which we have to address, shall we address the gathering 'Ay Indians'? When we want to frame the Constitution of our country in our national language, when we want to make it a secular state, neither 'India' nor Hindustan are suitable names for this country. In my opinion, we should give this country the ancient name 'Bharat'.
One thing more I would like to mention here. Ours is an agricultural country. It should have all that is necessary for agriculture. From this point of view the protection of cows is very essential for us. The problem of cow protection is a matter which has been associated with our civilisation from the time of Lord Krishna. To us it is not only a religious or economic but also a cultural problem. Just as we have declared the practice of untouchability an offence, we can also declare that cow-slaughter in this country would be an offence. We should include some provision in our Constitution for this. We learn from our history that only such regimes, whether during Hindu period or Muslim period, as had prohibited cow-slaughter had been popular and successful in our country. History is a witness to the fact that cow-slaughter was abolished here during the rule of many Muslim Kings. It may be said that it would entail a heavy financial burden. I submit, however, that even if we impose a tax on the people and ask them to pay it in order to protect the cows, I am of opinion that they would pay it quite willingly. The bogey of financial difficulties used to be raised before us by the British Government. But I would like that in the matter of cow-protection this bogey should not be raised before us.
We have to examine the Constitution from every point of view and seek to make it complete in all respects. Ours is not a newly born country. It is an ancient country, it has along history, a hoary civilisation and culture. We should frame our Constitution keeping in view all these facts before us. We do not want to place any minority, whether Muslim or other, under any disabilities. But, certainly we are not prepared to appease those who put the two-nation theory before us. I want to make it clear that from the cultural point of view only one culture can exist in this country. The Constitution that we adopt must be in harmony with our culture and that Constitution would be suitable to us which is in our language.
It is after centuries that we have this opportunity of framing our constitution. We must use it well and frame a constitution that is suited to the genius of our land.]*
Mr. Naziruddin Ahmad (West Bengal: Muslim): Mr. President, Sir, I have a short time at my disposal to deal with this enormous subject and I shall therefore confine myself to one or two specific subjects and reserve my comments on other matters for a latter stage. The first thing to which I wish to draw the attention of the House is the treatment of the expression "States". "States" under the Draft Constitution means almost anything. The idea was to do away with the distinction between the Provinces, the Indian States, the Chief Commissioners' Provinces and similar other things. It was feared, and very naturally feared, at one stage that the Indian States would not align themselves or could not be made to align themselves to the new set up of things, but things have proceeded rapidly and the "States" have quite reasonably aligned themselves or are aligning themselves with the Provinces. I therefore think that this definition of "States" as meaning all sorts of things is no longer necessary. I should think we should revert to the nomenclature of Provinces, Indian States and Chief Commissioners' Provinces and the like. There is no fear of jumbling them together and it is better to treat them as distinct entities. It may have been thought by the eminent draftsmen that unless they did this, there would be some centrifugal forces working, making them drift apart. But, that fear having been allayed, it is now necessary to go back to the original state of affairs. I submit that we are not legislating for the future; we are legislating for the present; though we should have an eye for the future, we must not forget that we are legislating for the present time. In the Draft Constitution we have three distinct items, namely, Provinces, Indian States and Chief Commissioners' Provinces. We should not do away with the present distinctions. If at a future date, these distinct entities would combine into one, as I have no doubt they will, and would be governed by the same or similar characteristics, then will be the time to amend the Constitution and treat them on the same basis.
You would be pleased to find that in Parts VI and XII, "State" means the Provinces. In Part VII, "State" means Chief Commissioners' Provinces. In Part IV "State" means Indian States. In Part III, "State" means a wonderful series of things. By means of article 7, "State" means first of all, the Government of India, secondly it means the Government of the States, meaning all the States, Provinces, Indian States and Chief Commissioners' Provinces, and what is very remarkable, it also means local and other authorities. I suppose these are the municipalities, district boards and other autonomous authorities. I think the passion for a constitutional expression has gone too far. To call a district board, a municipality or a thing of that type as a "State" would be doing violence to language. If English is to remain the language in which the Constitution has to be embodied, I think we should have some respect for the accepted meaning of the word State. A State always means and implies a kind of sovereignty. It may be limited or it may be unlimited. Some kind of sovereignty is implied in the word State. But to call a district board or a municipality a State would be a misnomer. I think the passion for the use of the word 'State' should be checked. If it is a question of nomenclature, if we want to use the same expression for the Government of India and the States, we should distinctly mention the word municipality or district board and not allow these to be comprehended within the meaning of the all-pervading word 'State'. If we allow the word 'State' to be used for allsorts of purposes, the very purpose of this well-known constitutional expression would be lost. I should think therefore that Honourable Members should look into this while drafting amendments. I find it to be an anomaly and it is difficult to find a substitute for this expression. I ask the co-operation of the Honourable members of this House to find a suitable expression for this. The expression has been defined to mean different things in different clauses. These are articles 1, 7, 28, 128, 212 and 247, according to which the word 'State' means different things. There is a danger of using a well-known expression to mean different things indifferent parts of the same statute. This may lead to confusion. It will be difficult for everyone who will have to deal with the interpretation of this Constitution or to understand this Constitution, to keep his head quite clear as to what is the sense in which the word 'State' has been used at a particular place. I submit, Sir, the ultimate purpose which seems to be lying behind this draftsmanship is the ultimate co-ordination and uniformity of all these different institutions. But at present, there is no need for this kind of indiscriminate use of the word 'State'. I should therefore ask Honourable members to consider in giving notice of amendments, whether it would be better to stick to the old and well known expressions Provinces, Indian States and Chief Commissioners' Provinces.
Then, I have one or two things to say with regard to another subject. Coming to the directive principles of State policy, articles 28 to 40, I think that these are pious expressions. They have no binding force. These cannot be enforced in a Court of Law and really, as the Honourable the Law Minister himself candidly admitted, they are pious superfluities. That is the criticism. He has given only one reply that the draft Constitution admits it to be so. I submit it is not a reply, but rather it is a statement of the fact of the criticism. I think every constitutional principle should give a right, and every right should be justiciable in a Court of law and in other places. If there is a right, its violation is a wrong, giving rise, to the well known cause of action. So, there can be no right, the violation of which would not lead to a cause of action. I do not think that people would rush to Court for these things. But, if a constitutional right is defined with a considerable amount of ceremony in a considerably important document like the Constitution of India, and if for the violation of the same no legal remedy is provided, it would be absolutely wrong to insert the so-called rights in the statute. I submit, Sir, these principles are so well known that they do not require to be stated formally in a Constitution, at the same time taking care to see that they are not justiciable in a Court of law. I submit, if these principles of a purely directive character without a binding force be at all introduced in a State. I think there are other principles which should also be equally introduced, as for instance, 'don't tell a lie', 'don't ill-treat your neighbour', and so on and so forth. The Ten Commandments of the Bible and the other commandments from various religions and from practical life should also be introduced on the same principle. As we do not think it practicable to state all these obvious truths, not that these truths are not admissible or are not binding, but because they are obvious. I submit that these directive principles are too obvious to require any mention. If there is any principle which requires to be mentioned, it must be justiciable; it must be enforceable in a Court of law. Otherwise, it should have no place in a Constitution. The Honourable Law Minister himself admitted that there is no principle similar to this to be found in any Constitution, except in the Irish Constitution. If a principle of this broad nature has found place only in one Constitution and that Constitution not being the best, I think it is not a safe guide to be followed. I submit that these directive principles should also receive careful attention from the Honourable members; at the time when this thing will come up, these principles should require careful attention.
As the time is very short, I do not wish to take up the time of the House any further but I would reserve my other comments for suitable occasions if and when they arise.
Sardar Bhopinder Singh Man (East Punjab: Sikh): *[ Mr. President for a country which has passed through the historic phase of subjugation, it is natural that while framing its constitution, it should have a bright vision. Progress is liable to be impeded, if high ideals are not kept in view. It is an essential for progress. Differences do occur among the people, but on such occasions we have to see with what speed to proceed, which would enable us to reach our destination. In political matters it is wrong to ignore a reality and to take any hasty and unbalanced step, howsoever progressive the step may be. I congratulate the Drafting Committee for visualizing the conditions in their true perspective and solving various problems according to the exigencies of the time. Criticism is being levelled from two points of view. A strong Centre and retention of residuary powers have become object of criticism by some people. Undoubtedly the position of the Congress also has-been the same. But under changed circumstances and in the light of old experiences and partition of the country, some people demand a strong Centre. In opposing this the example of Russia is quoted. But it is forgotten that Russia has handed over these powers to her units after a dictatorial regime of 30 years.
I think, slowly and gradually as the country advances socially and economically, different provinces might get this freedom in instalments. In accepting these principles, I do not think it expedient to interfere in the day-to-day working powers of the provinces, which have been handed over to them by the Centre. Clause 226 can be cited as an example. This clause has been discussed in the Assemblies of the different provinces where it has been disapproved.
Another question is the problem of Minorities. While considering this question, the members of the Majority Community are touched. They are influenced by the past happenings. But consider it minutely. Formerly, in our country there used to be the third power which always induced them to become unreasonable. I regret that as a consequent one important minority succumbed to this temptation and adopted an unreasonable attitude and got the country partitioned. But, Sir, this cannot be said regarding other minorities. The minority, to which I belong, has always responded to the call of the country and in spite of their very small number has played a big part in every battle of freedom for the country. Therefore, when I invite your attention towards me, as a member of the minority community, it is not my intention to raise communal issue nor to weaken the nation or the country; rather I say this as a patriot, who feels that to gain the goodwill of the minorities is to add to the glory of the country and to increase the strength of the nation. Now, when there is no third power and the days of the unreasonable attitude of the minorities has come to an end, the responsibility of the majority has increased. The majority has to gain the confidence of the minority. I hope with the attainment of power, the majority will be able to dispel the doubts and misgivings of the minority. It will have to gain the confidence of the minority.]*
Shri R. V. Dhulekar (United Provinces: General): *[ Now there is no minority here.]*
Sardar Bhopinder Singh Man: *[Well, you have already accepted it. You have accepted it in two different clause son the basis of religion and language. Sir, while I say that in the Draft Constitution problems have been solved according to the exigencies of the time, I shall be failing in my duty, if I did not bring to your notice that in clause 13 relating to the fundamental rights and more particularly the rights of citizenship, such difficult conditions have been laid down that all the rights have been rendered nugatory. So far as finance is concerned, special consideration is to be given to East Punjab and West Bengal which have been affected very much due to partition. Along with it the clause relating to the citizenship rights should, in my opinion, be made more elastic for the refugees. It would be difficult for lakhs of refugees coming from far off places to appear before a District Magistrate for filing the declaration that they intent to adopt the citizenship of India.
In many cases it is quite possible that the people will have to come from a distance of 40 to 50 miles and they will have to spend a lot for their journey. Therefore, it is not expedient to force the people like this, more particularly in the Punjab where they have no arrangement of a fixed place of residence.
There is yet another and last point. I have observed it since yesterday that Endeavour is being made to solve the language problem by giving an emotional tinge. In my opinion, there should be no display of sentiment while solving the language problem. At times it takes a religious turn. In my opinion the Congress stand should be maintained in solving the language problem and the numerous resolutions passed by the Congress previously, regarding the language problem, should stand.]*
Mr. Frank Anthony ( C. P. and Berar: General): r. President, Sir, although Dr. Ambedkar is not present in the House I feel that, as a lawyer at least, I ought to congratulate him for the symmetrical and lucid analysis which he gave us of the principles underlying our Draft Constitution. Whatever different views we may hold about this Draft Constitution, I feel that this will be conceded that it is a monMumental document at least from the physical point of view, if from no other point of view. And I think it would be churlish for us not to offer a word of special thanks, to the members of the Drafting Committee, because I am certain that they must have put in an infinite amount of lab our and skill to be able to prepare such a vast document.
Dr. Ambedkar referred to the fact that while there was a necessary minimum of rigidity and legalism in a federal constitution, an attempt had been made to give it the maximum of flexibility by accommodating as much as possible local needs and local circumstances. He also pointed out that this flexibility had not been over-carried to the extent of encouraging chaos. For instance, on fundamental matters an essential unity and integration had been retained by having uniform laws, by having a single and integrated judiciary, by having a Central Administrative Service. Dr. Ambedkar also indicated that the Constitution sought to strike a balance between giving the Centre too much or too little power. He felt that it is a salutary principle not to over-weigh the Centre with too much power under which it might crash. Sir, I know that several Members in this House will not agree with me. I, also, regard as a salutary principle the need for not giving too much power to the Centre. Constitutionally, that is an unexceptionable principle, but in applying it, we must adapt it to local needs and circumstances, and, if we are frank with ourselves, we must admit that in this vast country of ours there is an inherent potential of divergence and disintegration. Because of that I feel that the maximum possible power that can be given to the Centre must be given to the Centre in the interests of the country, in the interests of the integrity and cohesion of the nation. I feel that in three particular matters there should be Central control. I do not know to what extent some of my friends will agree with me here.
The first matter in which control should, I feel, be by and from the Centre is with regard to the Police Administration. I feel that the Police Services throughout the country should be controlled from the Centre. You may not have absolute control. You may qualify it. But there should be some measure of control from the Centre. We have to remember that there was such a thing as the Indian Police Service. It was an all-India service, the members of which filled key appointments in the Police Administrations in the different provinces. In spite of that single unifying link, the Police Administrations in the different Provinces had varying standards. If we are frank, we will admit that in some provinces the Police Administration set general standards of efficiency and integrity. At the same time, we have also to admit that in certain provinces the standards set by the Police Administrations were not far removed from chronic inefficiency and chronic corruption. While we have sought to secure cohesion and integrity, with regard to our judiciary, with regard to the Central Administrative Service (I do not know to what extent members of the Central Administrative Service will be appointed to key positions in the Police Administrations of the different provinces), whatever integrity and cohesion we may secure by having a single judiciary, whatever integrity and cohesion we may secure through the Central Administrative Service, I feel that integrity and cohesion will be largely stultified if the Police Administrations are left at the mercy of the different provincial Governments. I might add here that I feel this measure of cohesion by central control, to some extent at least, is vital. It goes to the roots of a healthy and stable society in our vast country.
The second matter on which I should like to see control from the Centre is education. I know that I am touching on Avery controversial point, that I will be criticised and my suggestion will be completely repudiated by those who, I feel, think - and only think - in provincial terms. At the same time, I feel that my proposal that education throughout the country should be controlled from the Centre will have, the approval and endorsement of eminent educationists of men, of vision and of men with statesmanship. What is happening today? On the threshold of independence (I cannot help saying it) certain provinces are running riot in the educational field. Provinces are implementing not only divergent but often directly opposing policies. And it is axiomatic that a uniform, synthesized, planned education system is the greatest force to ensure national solidarity and national integration. Equally, divergent, fissiparous, opposing educational policies will be the greatest force for disintegration and the disruption of this country. I regret to say, but it is true, if we will only admit it, that educational policies conceived in narrow provincial and even parochial terms are today menacing us with the inevitable danger of raising cultural barriers, mental stockades, of building educational walls, over which it will become increasingly impossible to look. I feel very strongly on this subject, because I have not a little to do with education. I have a great deal to do with education from an all-India point of view, and I feel that if a policy of laissez faire at this stage is conceded or accepted from the Centre, then we are trifling with a force which in its potential for mischief, in its potential for disrupting this country is much greater than any disruptive tendency we have faced from religious communalism.
Finally, Sir, the subject which I feel should be also controlled from the Centre is the not negligible subject of health. Education and health are, to my mind, the two paramount problems which this country is faced with. And we cannot begin to liquidate ill-health and malnutrition, unless we do it on a uniform scale. I do not believe that we can begin to touch this, perhaps our greatest problem, by allowing it to rest at the mercies of the different provincial Governments which are, some of them, bound to have halting policies; some of them are bound to have disparate policies, some of them are bound to have divergent policies.
Lastly, I wish to endorse the sentiment expressed by Dr. Ambedkar when he commended the provisions on behalf of the minorities. I know that it is an unsavoury subject (after what India has gone through) to talk of minorities or in terms of minority problems. And I do not propose to do that I do not propose to commend these minority provisions, because they have already been accepted by the Advisory Committee; they have been accepted by the Congress Party; they have also been accepted by the Constituent Assembly. But I feel I ought to thank and to congratulate the Congress Party for its realistic and statesman like approach to this not easy problem; and I feel we ought particularly to thank Sardar Patel for his very realistic and statesman like approach. There is no point in blinking or in shirking the fact that minorities do exist in this country, but if we approach this problem in the way the Congress has begun to approach it, I believe that in ten years there will be no minority problem in this country. Believe me, Sir, when I tell you that I, at any rate, do not think that there is a single right minded minority that does not want to see this country reach, and reach in the shortest possible time, the goal of a real secular democratic State. We believe - we must believe - that in the achievement of that goal lies the greatest guarantee of any minority section in this country. As Dr. Ambedkar has said ,we have struck a golden mean in this matter. The minorities too have been helpful. There is no doubt that we went more than half-way to meet the Congress Party and the Congress Party also, although it is very difficult for a member who is not a member of a minority community, to appreciate the difficulties and anxieties of a minority, has done that and we are deeply grateful to them for it. I believe that in these provisions we have struck a mean - a mean by which through a process of evolution, through a process of natural and easy transition, if we all play the game (as I believe we will) this country will achieve the only goal which we all want to achieve, namely, a goal where we think of ourselves as Indians first, last and always. One of the realisations which impressed itself very strongly on my mind when I attended, recently, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference was that the eyes of the world are on India. People realise that when India comes into her own, the balance of power, industrial, economic and even military will be affected throughout the world. We all believe that India will come into her own. I am one of those who believe that India will attain her fullest stature in a secular democratic society. There may be shortcomings and imperfections in this Constitution which are inevitably the result of necessary adaptation. But I believe that in this Constitution which are inevitably the result of necessary adaptation. But I believe that in this Constitution we have both the opportunity and the guarantee of a secular democratic society in this country.
Finally, Sir, I wish to say that it is not so much on the written word of the printed Constitution that will ultimately depend whether we reach that full stature, but on the spirit in which the leaders and administrators of the country implement this Constitution of ours and on the spirit in which they approach the vast problems that face us; on the way in which we discharge the spirit of this Constitution will depend the measure of our fulfilment of the ideals which we all believe in.
Shri Krishna Chandra Sharma (United Provinces: General): I join in the pleasant task to compliment Dr. Ambedkar for the well worked out scheme he has placed before the House, the hard work he was put in, and his yesterday's able and lucid speech.
Sir, in considering a Constitution we have to take not of the fact that the Constitution is not an end in itself. A Constitution is framed for certain objectives and these objectives are the general good of the people, the stability of the State and the growth and development of the individual. In India when we say the growth and development of the individual we mean his self realisation, self-development and self-fulfilment. When we say the development of the people we mean to say a strong and united nation.
Sir, ours is a Democratic Constitution. Democracy involves a Government of, by, and for the people. In democracy, the combined wisdom of the people is regarded as superior to that of any single king or tyrant or indeed to a group of men. Moreover, democracy emphasizes the supreme good as being the welfare of the people. Political institutions are justifiable only in so far as they lead to this result and not by any pomp and show attached to them. These being the fundamentals of democracy, we have to judge whether the Constitution placed before us will make India a strong united nation with the possibility of self-fulfilment, self-development and self-realisation of the individual.
Sir, India needs wealth and when we say India needs wealth, we mean that India is a poor country and therefore should be strong enough to compete with any great country in the world and erect it on a footing of equality. Now, there was a time when wealth was regarded to consist in gold and silver or some other resources of the country. In the modern context, the wealth of a nation consists primarily in the limbs of its young men, their character and brain and their working capacity. Now, in this Constitution, there is not a single item or provision anywhere to make the people work or to make them grow. You have got directive principles. There, the State endeavours to give primary education and to find work and employment. The State does not take the responsibility to make the people work, on the principle that he who does not work, neither shall he eat. This is an important question. We should have provision for enforcement of work for able-bodies citizens. So Sir, in the directive principle which a learned friend of mine has criticised, there is no legal obligation imposed on the State to fulfil the rights given in the Constitution. I suggest that we make a provision that any law made in contravention of these principles shall to that extent be void. This will not affect the present position. It will give jurisdiction to a court of law, though only a negative right to the people to move a court that any law which goes against the interests of the people, against providing primary education for the children and against providing work and employment to the people should be declared void. The court will have jurisdiction to declare that such and such a law is void, because it contravenes the general principles laid down in Chapter IV.
The second thing I wish to emphasise in the directive principles is that for the growth of democracy, a free and healthy public opinion is necessary. The position is that in mediaeval times one dared not think freely but in these enlightened times one can dare think freely, but he cannot. Look to the spectacle of the man who by black-marketing and by doing things a decent man will not do amasses fabulous wealth. He buys a dozen of educated women roams about in the world and gets control over twenty Provincial dailies. He by unscrupulous propaganda gets hold on the mind of the people and passes as a benefactor of humanity. Do you think this is democracy? Do you think there is any possibility for the growth of an honest, independent citizen in a country where such a thing is possible? I, Sir, with all the force at my command protest that such a thing should not be allowed to happen in this great country. You should and you can make it impossible for such things to happen by preventing the abuse of wealth or the amassing of wealth in the hands of individuals to that extent. You should do this control of the Press and provide for a healthy and independent press so that effective independent opinion should be possible. For instance, I would refer to the provisions of Chapter II of the Russian Constitution. There are two articles there 14 and 18. They lay down that the State will compel every able-bodied citizen to work and further in another article it is laid down that the Press would not be allowed to prejudice or affect the growth of effective independent opinion. This effective opinion is the backbone of democracy.
Having dealt with directive principles, I pass on to Chapter XIV relating to minorities. As I said, this great country needs unity. The object is a united nation. Much has been said about the rights of minorities. I do not think our minorities are minorities in the real sense of the term or the classes or groups accepted by the League of Nations. We all belong to the same race. We have all lived in this country for centuries, for thousands of years. We have imbibed a common culture, a common way of living, a common way of thinking. Thus I do not understand the meaning of giving these special privileges in Chapter XIV. It creates statutory minorities and to say that the thing will last for ten years only is to forget the lesson of the past. What happened in the past? You gave certain rights and privileges to Muslims as such and those rights and privileges, it was hoped, would in the course of time automatically cease, that the Muslim community would realise the futility of those special privileges and would associate itself with the common people of the land and give up those privileges. But the result was the partition of the country. Once you give to a certain group of people, not on their functions, not because they are doing something for the country, but simply because they belong to a certain group or class, certain special privileges, you perpetuate what is generally the fault in democracy, namely, the giving rise to of groups or classes which would do things detrimental to ends of the groups or classes they belong to Cliques and intrigues will do neither any good to the groups or classes they represent nor to the country, but in the name of that group or clique they will serve their own selfish ends. While it would stand in the way of a united nation it will not do any good to those classes or groups and would perpetuate what is, as I said, generally the defect in democracy. I would therefore suggest that this Chapter better be altogether omitted and if there are any safeguards, or any encouragement, necessary for the backward classes or certain other classes, there might be other means, namely, giving scholarship to deserving students, giving other financial help, opening institutions and other facilities which are necessary for their amelioration and lifting up; but to perpetuate division in the body politic, to perpetuate division in the nation, would be detrimental to the healthy growth of the nation and would do an incalculable harm to us and our posterity.
Shri T. T. Krishnamachari (Madras: General): Mr. President, Sir, I am one of those in the House who have listened to Dr. Ambedkar very carefully. I am aware of the amount of work and enthusiasm that he has brought to bear on the work of drafting this Constitution. At the same time, I do realise that that amount of attention that was necessary for the purpose of drafting a constitution so important to us at this moment has not been given to it by the Drafting Committee. The House is perhaps aware that of the seven members nominated by you, one had resigned from the House and was replaced. One died and was not replaced. One was away in America and his place was not filled up and another person was engaged in State affairs, and there was a void to that extent. One or two people were far away from Delhi and perhaps reasons of health did not permit them to attend. So it happened ultimately that the burden of drafting this constitution fell on Dr. Ambedkar and I have no doubt that we are grateful to him for having achieved this task in a manner which is undoubtedly commendable. But my point really is that the attention that was due to a matter like this has not been given to it by the Committee as a whole. Some time in April the Secretariat of the Constituent Assembly had intimated me and others besides myself that you had decided that the Union Powers Committee, the Union Constitution Committee and the Provincial Constitution Committee, at any rate the members thereof, and a few other selected people should meet and discuss the various amendments that had been suggested by the members of the House and also by the general public. A meeting was held for two days in April last and I believe a certain amount of good work was done and I see that Dr. Ambedkar has chosen to accept certain recommendations of the Committee, but nothing was heard about this committee thereafter. I understand that the Drafting Committee - at any rate Dr. Ambedkar and Mr. Madhava Rau - met thereafter and scrutinised the amendments and they have made certain suggestions, but technically perhaps this was not a Drafting Committee. Though I would not question your ruling on this matter, one would concede that the moment a Committee had reported that Committee became functus officio, and I do not remember your having reconstituted the Drafting Committee. The point why I mention all these is that certain aspects of our Constitution have not had the amount of expert attention that was necessary, the amount of attention that could have been provided to it if a person like Mr. Gopalaswami Ayyangar or Mr. Munshi or certain other persons had attended the meetings all through.
Sir, I would draw your attention to one aspect of the Draft Constitution, viz., the financial provisions in the Constitution. You, Sir, appointed an Expert Committee. Well, to my own mind, the way in which the Committee worked was not altogether satisfactory, though the members of the Committee were eminent enough. I had the opportunity of giving evidence before the Committee and I did come away from that meeting feeling that the Committee was not seized of the seriousness of the matter they were entrusted with, nor were they competent to advise the Drafting Committee in regard to the subjects referred to them. Sir, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. I have with me a copy of the report of the Expert Committee, and I am not satisfied with it. Circumstances happened that the House could not discuss the report of the Expert Committee and I believe that the Drafting Committee were more or less left to decide for themselves whether those recommendations were worthy of being incorporated or not.