News Update

Constituent Assembly Of India -Volume IX

Dated: September 12, 1949

Sir, having taken up that position, the, other thing that is necessary and essential is whether the executive of the province is to take up acquisition themselves suo motu without having any power from the Legislature. To that, clause (1) of article 24 is the answer. I entirely agree with my honourable Friend from Bihar who pleaded with all vehemence that the rest of the article is unnecessary. I must frankly confess, despite all the respect and reverence I have for the Honourable Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, that it is revolting to my sentiment to call this a Fundamental Right and bring it as a rider on the powers that have already been vested by a vote of this House on the States. You cannot have a cake and eat it too. You have provided for power under: he Constitution to the States to legislate on certain aspects of the Constitution. Wherein lies the justification and the justice for you to come now and say "Well, my good boys, I have given you power, but here are the safeguards for the,, vested interests". To me this is a contradiction in terms. I must frankly confess and record my protest that you have already treated the States, and State Legislatures with scant courtesy. You have given autonomy to the provinces, but you have wiped off the very autonomy which you have professed to have given them. The States are show of all the autonomy that they enjoyed even under the Act of 1935. To quote an instance, you have, provided in this Constitution the powers to levy taxation, realise taxation and distribute it according to a certain principle to be decided by the President. The responsibility of levying taxation which is a responsibility of the State Legislatures has been taken away from the States. The responsibility of assessment, which is a responsibility of State Legislatures, has been taken away from the States. And now you come with another important proposal in the realm of provincial activity by taking away, in the guise of Fundamental Rights, the right to legislate on the question of acquisition of properties. Let there be plain speaking at least. Let us stand erect and say "Here are you, States. We refuse to confide in you. You can have your two hundred members for each State and 'have a salary of Rs. 150 for each member per month, but you shall not have the power to legislate either on assessing taxation or to legislate on anything worth the name". Until that is done I think we are not playing the role that is expected of us. How long are you going to keep the States spoon-fed in this manner ? In may other provisions in the body of the Constitution, you hive already provided to keep the States spoon-feeding. I warn you that so long as you resot to spoon-feeding you can never inculcate the, sense of responsibility that you so much desire to have in the State Legislatures. The United Statesof America or Australia have given far more powers to the States. Is there any protest or any score that these powers vested in the States have been misused ? Why then this suspicion on the future working of State Legislatures when you have not seen either in the present India or in any other part of the world any instances of such misuse in the working of State Legislatures?

Having stated so much about the responsibility that is going to be vested in the States. I now come to the actual body of article 24. I have my strongest objection to clause (6). This clause is an outrage on any sense of legislation, much less to speak of any constitution. Why should you at all have clause (6) ? What is the sin that Madras and Bihar have committed ? They have passed a legislation in terms of section 299 of the Government of India Act, 1935. The Government of India Act, 1935, lays down very important and essential safeguards in this regard. Provision has been made that previous sanction of the Governor is necessary. And these unfortunate Ministries have got this sanction for the Bills they introduced in their Legislatures. The Bins have been thoroughly scrutinized by both Houses of the legislature which these unfortunate provinces have. When the Government of India Bill, 1935, was on the Parliamentary anvil it was justified in the House of Lords that second chambers have been provided because they will act as a check on any irresponsible work of the first chambers in Provinces. In these two cases both the Lower and the Upper House have approved these pieces of legislation of these Provinces. The Governors as also the Governor-General have been parties to it. Why then should you take the most unnatural course of putting to shame and disgrace these Legislatures by having to submit their Acts again for the approval of the President ? Where is there any parallel to this outrageous act of the Constituent Assembly in this regard, in the matter of an Act already passed by the Legislature, approved by the Governor, assented to by the Governor-General, having again to be submitted to the President of the Union ? ['his to me is an outrageous act on any Legislature--not to speak of Constitution-makers. I therefore record my strongest protest in this regard against clause (6).

Having stated so much about clause (6), I come to clause (4). Now compare and contrast between these three provinces. Why should you on the one hand kick these two provinces for their sin of having taken the earliest course of passing a certain pieces of legislation. 'This is a point on which I expected the Honourable Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru to furnish this House with an explanation. I waited to get that explanation but unfortunately there are none. Will at least the Drafting Committee do us the favour of 'explaining why this difference has been made ? If clause (2) is so very innocent and innocuous and so very useful, why is clause (4) necessary ? On behalf of the rest of the provinces of India, I record my strongest protest against clause (4). Why should you have clause (4) ? You are making acquisition of zamindaris in other provinces like Orissa, Bengal, Assam and the rest of India impossible hereafter. Having read this many times more than some of the Member, have attempted to do, I must claim that it will make acquisition of zamindaris hereafter, after a year, impossible under this Constitution. Zamindars. clever as they are, with their long purse, with their clever brain, their intelligence and intellect, and above all with the hired brain that India is capable of placing and talented Universities are capable of providing there, they will make this Constitution as a barricade against progess in future in this regard. I warn the honourable members of the Constiuent Assembly through you, Sir, And it pains me very much in this regard--even to the point of shedding tears--because I was the first in India to inaugurate tenancy organisations. I was running two tenancy organisations--the Andhra Zamindari Ryots' Association and the Presidency Proprietary Ryots' Association in Madras-- two powerful tenancy this regard from 1920 at a time when there was no talk of tenancy Organisation anywhere in India. I thought that at least in Free India, though not in India under the bondage of Britain, we would be able to realise our aims. Two years after achievement of Freedom for India, I see that I am where I was 'in 1920. My apprehensions in regard to this article are the result of mature consideration of the same. The moment I assumed office I wanted to take legislation for the liquidation of zamindaris I recollect today that, when we were discussing this very question in Bombay at a conference of Ministers and I raised this question, one of the biggest guns of the Congress High Command pounced upon me saying: 'You are offering to pay compensation to the zamindars'? Sir, I stand where I did, but I find that a change has come over others. From the speeches of friends demand for fair and equitable compensation for the zamindars is put forth. What is a zamindari except an office. That is the view expressed in the Permanent Settlement Regulations. Sir, assuming it is not an office, look at the Prakasam Committee Report which was supported not only by the Lower House but also by the Upper House of the Madras Legislature. This monumental official Report speaks of the Permanent Settlement in terms of the Congress Resolution. We stand not only on our pledges given to the electorates, but also by the changes taking place resulting from our freedom in the country.

I would not detain the house longer. I know it is impatient. But, Sir, references have been made to election pledges. Yes, we have given pledges to the electorate and we have fought elections or those pledges. The question of zamindari abolition was stressed in our, pledges to the people in the elections of 1937 and 1946. How are you going to honour that pledge ? In the year 1937, in the Congress pledge we have unfortunately stated that we are going to fight the Government of India Act of 1935. Soon after the election we were called upon to assume office. I was one of the unfortunate few who assumed office and undertook to form a Cabinet. At that time the direction given to us was that we should create deadlocks and make the working of that Act difficult and impossible.

Sir, I must congratulate my honourable Friend the Chairman of the Drafting Committee and Shri Alladi Krishnswami Ayyar and other friends for their expert knowledge of affairs and for' having excelled all others in this matter of sugar-coating the provisions in such a way that they have made the impossible possible today. Look at the draft of the Constitution ? You will find nothing there about the liquidation of the Act of 1935. If the Act of 1935 was so good that we could now so fully embody its provisions in our Constitution, were we, congressmen, fools when we resolved to fight that Act and create deadlocks? Anyway I must thank the members of the Drafting Committee for making us swallow this sugar-coated pill which contains nothing but that same Act of 1935. In these circumstances I have no option but to support my friends in demanding that except clause ( I ), every other clause in article 24 should be wiped off. If this is not done I warm my friends that we will not be able to liquidate the the zamindaris any where except in the three provinces of madras, Bihar and the United provinces.

Honourable Members : The question may now be put.

Mr President, Sir, I am wondering whether- after waiting for so long,-, it is my good fortune or bad fortune to be called upon to speak of this, very important and controversial

Begum Aizaz Rasul United Provinces Muslims): matter after the speech of the Honourable the Premier of my Province Pandit Govind Ballabth pant. But in a way I think it is just as well, because after my speech he will not be able to make any reply to anything that I might say about my provice, though I feel sure that I stand on strong ground when I answer some of the remarks he has made. The Honourable the Prime Minister, in moving this amendment to article, 24 yesterday, rightly remarked that few articles in the Constitution have evoked greater and more keen discussion than this article. There is no doubt that for more than a year Members of this House as well as people outside, have been greatly concerned as to the shape and manner in which principles regarding acquisition of property and compensation will be laid down in the Constitution. Sir, with due respect to he Honourable the Prime Minister I am constrained to say that the amendment proposed by him does not lay down principles based on fairness and justice. There are two principles laid down in this article: One is; acquisition of property, clause (1), and the second is the manner and mode of the payment of compensation, clause (2). Now, Sir, under the following article 25(1) it is clearly laid down that every person will have the right to approach the Supreme Court. This of course is not only in regard to acquisition of property but for every purpose. But ordinarily also any person has a right to file a suit attacking an Act authorising the acquisition of property if the compensation is not proper in his opinion. Therefore, Sir, my contention is that when a right has been given to every person living in this Union to approach the Supreme Court, to have recourse to justice, why should this right be taken away under clauses (4) and (6) from only those people who are being deprived of their property in the three provinces of the U.P., Bihar and Madras who are being subjected to legislation which will deprive most of them of their only source of livelihood. I contend that in the Constitution of a country such exceptions cannot be made and therefore I feel that if clauses (4) and (6) of this article are allowed to remain, it will be a great-blot upon this Constitution. The Constitution of a country is not made merely for a few years, or to suit this programme or exigencies of a political party :-it is made for generations and for all peoples and to keep a provision such as is provided in clauses (4) and (6) will not do credit to the Constitution-makers and will remain an ugly blot. Therefore I earnestly hope that wiser counsels will prevail and that such an absurd provision will not be included.

It may be considered by some people that I am speaking in this strain because I am being affected by it personally, but, Sir, I may say that, although my voice may be feeble in this House, I know that I am voicing the feelings and sentiments of hundreds of thousands of people when I say that such discriminating clauses should not find a place in the Constitution, many newspapers in India have written leading articles on this and expressed their strong disapproval.

The Honourable the Premier of the U.P. stated that the Zamindari abolition Bill that he has introduced in the House and which is now before a select Committee of which I have the honour to be a member, can be shown in any court of law and that the provisions that he has made regarding compensation would be borne out to be fair by any legal authority. I my respectfully suggest to him that if this is the case, then why the inclusion of this clause (4) which, it is well known, has been inserted at his insistence ? If he feels that he is on such safe ground that he can challenge any court of law about the validity the fairness and the equity of the compensation that he is giving to the zamindars of U.P., then I submit that he should not deprive us of that right that is being given to every man under this Constitution to approach a court of law The Honourable the Premier of U.P. also made the remark that the Taluqdars of Oudh have a lust for litigation. Sir, I should have thought that that would have gone in our favour. If we share our riches with other people and help lawyers in getting rich, I do not think that we should be condemned for that, I had given notice of amendments for the deletion of clauses (4) and (6),because I feel that such provisions, which are more on the lines of Parliamentary legislation, should certainly not find a place in the Constitution of a country.

My objection is based on two grounds; one is as already stated that certain provinces where legislation for acquisition of property is pending or has already been passed are being debarred from having recourse to the basic and fundamental right given to every citizen in India, namely, the right to approach the Supreme Court. The second reason is the discrimination between industrial and zamindari property because only zamindari property is on the anvil of legislation in the three provinces. Not only that but it also means that it any zamindari legislation is brought up in any other province of the, Indian Union, say the C.P., the East Punjab, Rajasthan, etc., the people of those provinces will have justiciable rights. I feel strongly that a Constitution of a country should not find a place for this sort of discrimination. Sir, I am afraid, that you will not give me time......

Mr. President: I think you had better conclude because before I close the discussion at 12.30, I want to give an opportunity to another Member to speak for some time.

Begum Aizaz Rasul: I only want to say something about U.P.

Mr. President: I do not think it is necessary.

Begum Aizaz Rasul: I am grateful to you for having given me an opportunity to speak but I am sorry I will not be able to make out my case properly at all, because the time that has been given to me is so short. I would like to ask the Premier of the U.P. to kindly consider whether by inserting this clause (4) he is not also taking upon himself the right of not giving any compensation at all if the legislature feels that oh account of financial reasons, it Is not in a position to do so. The Honourable the Prime Minister yesterday said that the legislature is supreme and no court can override its decisions If that is so, then why are fundamental rights incorporated in the Constitution ? It is only because there is a fear that people might encroach upon other people's rights and therefore some basic fundamental rights are laid down, which are beyond the purview of any legislation and which cannot be touched by the provincial or the Central legislature. Therefore my contention is that either article 24 should not be placed in the Fundamental Rights chapter and if it is, it should be without clauses (4) and (6). In the U.P. nearly a crore of people are being affected by the zamindari legislation. The compensation proposed is so meagre that it will be extremely difficult for these people to plan their lives and exist. Has our Premier given thought to the fact as to what will happen to these people? They are being. turned on the streets with no proper provision for their livelihood. Socialisation of the country means all round socialisation. You must guarantee free education to our children--free medical aid and guarantee of employment to every citizen and we will not ask for any compensation-I warn the Premier of U.P. that by depriving the zamindars of their source of. livelihood without making any proper provision for them he is creating problems for himself which it may be difficult for him to cope with. With these few words I hope I have been able to convince some honourable Members of the injustice of these clauses.

Mr. President: Maulana Hasrat Mohani, Maulana Sahib, I wish to remind you that We are closing ,it 12.30.

Maulana Hasrat Mohani (United Provinces : Muslim) : I will try to keep to time, Sir.

Shrimati Renuka Ray (West Bengal : General) : Mr. President, Sir, you have just said that you want to close the discussion at 12.30. I would appeal to youthat this is the most fundamental clause in the whole Constitution and a large number of Members wish to speak on this article. I hope you will allow full discussion.

Mr. President: The question has been discussed sufficiently.

Maulana Hasrat Mohani: Mr. President, Sir, almost at the very outset I declare that I am very seriously opposed to this whole process, I mean the process adopted by the U.P. Government and its Premier, Pandit Pant, who pretends that his scheme will lead to the abolition of the Zamindari. I think that it will do nothing of that kind. I submit that I have used the words "pretend" purposely because I am pretty sure that a shrewd politician like my honourable Friend, the Premier of U.P. must realize by this time, if he has not already realized, that his scheme will not lead to the abolition of the Zamindari but it will lead, I say to the perpetuation and establishment of such a Zamindari system in the worst form and in this way he proposes only to take the zamindari of a small number of big zamindars and he wants to distribute the lands so obtained among the petty tenants and even landless tenants if they pay ten times the rent which they pay now. Well, I submit, Sir, it will not make any difference. He says that he will make these tenants, if they pay ten times the rent, "Bhoomidars" I say that nobody will be deceived by this jugglery of words. What does it mean ? There is no difference between a 'Bhoomidar' and a Zamindar. Perhaps Pandit Pant might have said that be,cause "Zamin" is a Persian word and the word "Bhoomi" is a Sanskrit word, and therefore he wants to substitute one for the other. I say that this will not deceive anybody. I call it merely a jugglery of words. All those 'Bhoomidars' whom he is going to create afterwards will be Zamindars and as I say they will only deprive some big zamindars who pay a land revenue of more than Rs. 5,000 and they will create in their place a large number of small zamindars. It is no use our discriminating between a big zamindar and a small zamindar. The Zamindars will remain there and I admit it would have led to the abolition of Zamindari if his scheme had been based on a more justified basis. I say that if he had based his scheme on getting this land transferred from these big Zamindars to the people or to the State, that might have been something.

Our Premier the Honourable Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru himself admitted in his opening speech the other day when he said. "This resolution that I beg to move tries to avoid that conflict and tries to take into consideration fully both these rights, the rights of individuals and the rights of the community." Further on he says, "that we have to keep these things in view; we have to take property for the State and we have to see that fair and equitable compensation is given to them." I say that if you accept this version of our Premier and also accept that the proprietorship of land will be transferred from the Zamindars to the State, of course, I can understand that and it would mean something.' What are you going to do ? You are adopting a very curious process; you confiscate the land of a few big zamindars and directly take that into the open market; you are going to sell it at a profit to all these would be 'Bhoomidars' and tenants. I say "with profit" because' Pandit Pant has himself admitted that the will realize something like 180 crores of rupees from these future Bhoomidars and that he will pay compensation to the extent of Rs. 140 crores. I say that this surplus sum of Rs. 40 crores (I cannot give it any other name), I say that this is a form of black-marketing of the worst type. We are all condemning the black-marketing going on in the food grain markets and in the cloth markets and I say that we must condemn this all the more. We take possession without any rhyme or reason from these big Zamindars and want to go into the open market and sell them to those people who are also smaller zamindars.Therefore, what I submit is that I can never admit that this scheme is a scheme for the abolition of Zamindari. I insist on that. Instead of abolishing the Zamindari it will tend to establish and perpetuate an evil system of Bhoomidars that you am going to create who will have the same paraphernalia with them. We have been objecting to the Zamindars that they take advantage of their being zamindar and that they do not allow anything to go to the cultivators of the land. But if you create the smaller zamindars, they will practise the same thing and there is no escape from that. I submit, Sir, that if he says that I am indulging in negative criticism, then I have something to suggest to my honourable Friend, Pandit Pant, and that is be must take courage in both his hands and come forward and say that he will postpone the consideration of this Bill in the United Provinces Legislature, realizing at least the difficulties that will lie in his way and also the criticism of not only the Zamindars but the criticism I have uttered here. I challenge him to come forward and refute my argument. If not he not he should postpone the consideration of this article here in this House and also postpone the present Bill in the U.P. Assembly. I am not suggesting anything extraordinary. It has happened here the other day when my honourable Friend, Dr.Ambedkar proposed the Hindu Code Bill. After realizing that there is such a large antagonism against that Bill, he undertook to postpone its consideration. To save his face, he did not say it himself, but he entrusted the work to the Sardar who at the next meeting said:

"We postpone its consideration."

I think that discussion has been postponed sine die; it will never come up_again. I suggest, Sir, that my honourable Friend Pandit Pant should also adopt the same procedure and postpone the whole thing; otherwise, he must come forward and reply to my criticisms first.

Several Honourable Members : The question be now put.

Mr. President: Closure has been moved.

Mr. Algu Rai Shastri : (United Provinces: General) : *[Mr. President, I would like to submit to you, Sir, that this matter is of very great importance and gravity.]

Mr. President: *[I do not think its importance will suffer in any way if its consideration is cut short by a few hours. I am, therefore, of opinion that it is not necessary to prolong its consideration any further. I am going to put the question of closure to the House.]

The question is:

"The question be now put."

The motion was adopted.

Mr. President: Pandit Nehru.

The Honourable Shri Jawaharlal Nehru: (United Provinces: General) : It you will permit, Sir, my honourable Friend Mr. Munshi would reply.

Mr President: Mr. Munshi will reply.

Shri K.M.Munshi: Mr. President, Sir, after patiently hearing the speeches of those who moved the different amendments, I came to the conclusion that the article moved by the Honourable the Prime Minister cannot be more aptly described than in his own words as a just compromise which should be accepted by the whole, House unanimously.

The points of view have been ably put forward by all sides. After the masterly exposition of the Prime Minister, and my honourable Friends, Shri Alladi Krishnaswami Ayyar and the Premier of the United Provinces, very little need be said. But I may just refer in passing to a few amendments which deserve notice.


*[] Translation of Hindustani Speech.

The amendments fall under four categories One set of amendments says that there should be no compensation at all. The second set of amendments says that Parliament should not seize property under the Fundamental Rights, but the President should, that is, the Executive should. That is a reversal to barbarism; I need not touch the point any further. A third set says that Parliament should be fully empowered without any judicial review to take over property after fixing the compensation which may be "fraudulent or inequitous", I am quoting the very words of the amendment, thus giving to Parliament the right by constitution to pass a law which may be fraudulent or inequitous. The fourth

Shrimati Renuka Ray: Mr. President, Sir, I must point out that is a misunderstanding of the whole thing. The point is that it must be Parliament who will decide whether principles are fraudulent or not, and not a court of law. The amendment does not advocate that fraudulent grounds should be allowed but that it must be Parliament who shall decide whether any enactment contains fraudulent provisions or not. This misreading should be corrected.

Shri K. M. Munshi: I do not want to misconstrue or misinterpret anybody. much less my respected Friend, Mrs. Renuka Ray. The amendment she wants to be put on the Statute book runs thus:

"No law making provision as aforesaid shall be called in question in any court either on the ground that the compensation provided for is inadequate or that the principles and the manner of compensation specified are fraudulent and inequitous."

She wants to go to the international assemblies with this Constitution in her hands. I do not want to say anything further.

The other set of amendments is of this nature not that when there is a fraud of Fundamental right, parties should go before the courts but the principles the form and the manner should all be scrutinised by the courts so that as the Honourable the Prime Minister said, the Supreme Court should become a third revising Chamber more powerful than both the Chambers of Parliament. That is the third set of amendments.

The fourth set refers to Zamindaris, that is, seeks the elimination of clauses (4) and (5) which has been fully dealt with by my honourable Friend Pandit Govind Ballabh Pant.

We cannot, Sir, go back upon the decisions of this House, nor upon the ledges of the Congress Party, nor upon the pledges of our Government. So far as our pledges are concerned, they are well known and find a place in the manifesto. We have promised even equitable compensation to the Zamindars by our Election Manifesto of 1945. As regards this House, Sir I submit, without being charged with inconsistency, it cannot go back upon the proposition that had been adopted by it. When this matter came up before the Advisory Committee, it unanimously accepted clauses (1) and (2). It was then anticipated that Zamindaris would be liquidated long before we came, to the final conclusion of our deliberations in this Constituent Assembly. Sardar Patel while moving it in the House said thus.:

"Land will be acquired for many public purposes. not only land, but so many other things may have to be acquired. The State will acquire them after paying compensation and not expropriate them."Proceeding further, he said with regard to Zamindaris:

"This clause here will not become law tomorrow or the day after. It will take at least a year more."

Of course, at that time we thought that our speed would be so great as to finish our Constitution in one year. That is, his reference; but his hopes have been unfortunately belied:

"It will take at least a year more. Before then, most of the Zamindaris would have been liquidated. Even under the present laws, different provinces have brought legislation to liquidate the Zamindaris either by paying just compensation or adequate compensation or whatever the legislature there think fit. The process of acquisition is already there and the legislatures are already taking steps to liquidate Zamindaris."

This House therefore, two years ago set the seal on this resolution by saying that whereas Zamindaris would be liquidated long before we passed this Constitution, so far as the other properties were concerned, they would be acquired on the lines of clause (2) of this particular article.

Therefore this House has accepted the position that acquisition can only be by law, that Parliament when it acquires property by law can fix the compensation, and that as Zamindaris would have been liquidated, there was no necessity for making a provision for that in this article. This is the decision of the House. This article carries out that decision, except in so far as it has become necessary to modify it in the light of circumstances that exist today.

We have extended very much, as has been already pointed out, the scope and powers of Parliament. Members will please refer to entry 55 in list III which this House has passed. Powers of legislating on the principles of compensation, and the form and manner, have been solely left to Parliament and the State Legislatures. In the language of section 299 of the Government of India Act as Members know the words used are 'payment of compensation' which implies, at least on one view, that payment should be in cash and that payment is a pre-condition of acquisition.

Shri T. T. Krishnamachari : (Madras: General) : May I correct my honourable Friend : is he referring to List III of Schedule VII, item 35?

Shri K. M. Munshi: My Friend, Mr. T. T. Krishnamachari's memory is certainly much more accurate than mine. It is entry 35, I apologise, not 55. He must realise that I am a very old man-

An Honourable Member: You do not look it any way.

Shri K. M. Munshi: Compared to my honourable Friend.

It is not correct to say that Parliament has not been given full powers. It can fix the form and the manner of giving compensation; it can give bonds or land in exchange for the land acquired. It has much wider powers than the Legislatures in India ever possessed before. Therefore, Parliamentary powers have been enlarged. But Parliament, remember,-in spite of what has been said about justiciability and particularly against the tribe of lawyers more than once-is the sole judge of two matters. First, it is the sole judge of the propriety of the principles laid down, so long as they are principles. Secondly, it has been authoritatively laid down there is no doubt about it-as has been stated by my honourable Friend, Shri Alladi Krishnaswami Ayyar that principles may vary as regards different classes of property and different objects for which they are acquired, We find on the English Statute Book several Acts, the Land Acquisition Act, the Land Clauses Act, the Housing Act, in all of which a varying basis of compensation has been adopted to suit not only the nature of the property but also the purpose for which it is to be acquired. Parliament therefore is the judge and master of deciding what principles to apply in each case.In this connection, if I may, I will mention an instance in my own experience. In 1938 when the Bombay Government wanted to-it was the Kher Ministry in which I bad the honour to be a Member-acquire Bardoli lands, the property in one case was worth over 5 lakhs and had been acquired for something like 6,000/-, in a market in which there was no other purchaser, for which the Commissioner had brought down an old Dewan of a State in order to purchase the property. The income of that property was something like 80,000/- a year which he had enjoyed for about ten years. We drafted the Bill stating that the purchase of this property having been made under conditions where there was no fair market and that on account of serious political circumstances Do purchaser was ordinarily forthcoming and that therefore a principle had to be laid down by which the then owner was to be repaid the amount invested plus 6 per cent. etc. At that time the Government of India I was given to understand-referred the matter to their legal advisers and sought their opinion on two questions. First whether the basis of compensation that we had laid down in that Act contained principles within the meaning of Section 299 of the Government of India Act of 1935 and secondly, whether it was within the power of the Bombay Legislative Assembly to depart from the principles laid down in the Land Acquisition Act. On both these points our stand was held to he legal and the Governor-General gave the sanction to the Bill.

Principles are not rigid canons to be applied mechanically. They have to be formulated in the light of the circumstances of each situation; in the light of the reforms sought to be carried out; in the light of the purposes for which the property is acquired. The Parliament is to judge in each case as to what is fair and equitable and whether the principles laid down are calculated to yield compensation, fair and equitable in the light of such circumstances.

The question of justiciability, I fear his been unnecessarily brought into this controversy. In a civilised country, every article of the written Constitution,if there is one, and every law made by Parliament is justiciable in the sense that the Courts can examine each of them to decide that the law-making authority acted within the ambit of its powers and to ascertain the meaning and effect of its provisions. Even if you use the words "compensation shall not be questioned in Court", the Courts will have a right to adjudicate upon what is the meaning of 'questioned in Court'; whether the thing questioned is compensation at all; whether in law the Legislature was acquiring property for compensation. Let there be no mistake: unless you revert to the tribla law, where the word of the tribal chief is the last word, you cannot escape the tribe of lawyers. But one thing is clear. The rule of the tribe of lawyers is any day better than the rule of the tribe of tyrants.

An Honourable Member: Why not put the lawyers in a schedule?

Shri K. M. Munshi : We may put them in a schedule; they will be too glad to legislate upon themselves; but they will take the law to the Law Courts and come out successful-schedule or no schedule.

The question is what is the extent of justiciability it his article ? The article requires that if the Legislature is to exercise the responsibility entrusted to it by the Constitution, it must lay down the principles of compensation;

it must determine the manner and form in which the compensation is to be paid; and provided it yields compensation that is an equivalent recompense, no Court will go behind the policy of the measure. This has been laid down again and again by the Courts of the British Commonwealth as also by the Supreme Court in America, where the words in the Constitution are "just compensation" ind ",here there is the 'Due Process Clause' in the ConstitutionThe Courts will not substitute their own sense of fairness for that of Parliament they will not judge the adequacy of compensation necessarily from the standars of market value; they will not question the judgement of Parliament, unless the inadequacy is so gross as to be tantamount to a fraud on the fundamental right to own property.

In the minds of people who fear justiciability, there is a lurking feeling that if a law laying down principles of compensation goes to Court, the Court will invariably apply the market value standard. This has never been the case, In America, as I said, where the, words in the Constitution are "just compensation" and where the 14th Amendment arms the Supreme Court with the Due Process clause, it has never been so held. In one American case--it was ail extreme and extraordinary case-one dollar was paid by way of compensation The Court held that looking to the circumstances of that case, even one dollar was just compensation. We need not assume therefore that our Suprem Court will consist of a set of stupid people who will indiscriminately apply the market value rule to every kind of acquisition.

In fairness, we cannot omit this kind of clause from our Constitution. I is necessary that the right of the Legislature in matters relating to acquisition of property should be property defined. It is equally necessary that judicial review should be permitted where there is a wrongful deprivation of the fundamental right to own property contained in our Constitution; where the Legislature has seized property by acting outside its powers or without fixing the amount of compensation or the principles on which to determine such compensation or where there is expropriation under the guise of acquisition; where the principles laid down are illusory or where the principles or the manner or the form of compensations are not calculated- to yield a fair equivalent; or where the whole thing amounts-as my eminent friend pointed- out-to a fraud on the Constitution. The draft as now placed before you, therefore, I submit, satisfies every approach which has been put forward in this House by any section of the honourable Members.

The, only other question is of zamindari and after the able and lucid exposition by my honourable Friend, Premier Pant, I need not say anything more. I do not however want this debate to be a controversy between the Premier of the United Provinces and the Zamindars of U.P., as at one stage of this controversy it looked. You must look at the country as a whole. This Constituent Assembly two years ago expected that before this Constitution took final shape, zamindaris will be liquidated. Therefore we are riot going back upon, the decision of the Constituent Assembly in incorporating clause,, (4) and (6). Look at the figures involved in this question. Imagine the dangers there are there. I am not concerned with the merits of this controversy nor with the origin of Zamindari which my Friend, Kala Venkata Rao described. I am only concerned with pointing out that these three Bills of Madras, Bihar and U.P. are already before the country. Action has already been taken under them. We cannot allow a vast number of people to have their rights left in uncertainty after the coming into force of this Constitution.

Begum Aizaz Rasul: May I know if one test case in one province is not enough to decide the principles regarding compensation?

Shri K. M. Munshi: You will realise that I am not concerned with the, merits of it. What will happen if clauses (4) Lind (6) are omitted ? I do not belong either to Madras, U.P. or Bihar nor have I any zamindari but we cannot allow the validity of these legislations fought out before any Court when the issues involved are so far-reaching and millions of people are affected by them. That is the reason why I have agreed to this and I think it is the soundest reason. Safeguards have been provided for the three zamindari legislations. All the three Bills will come before the President and he will, if bethinks proper, advise or consult the Provincial Ministries with a view to seeing that justice is done. There shall, however, not be a judicial review of the legislations.

Dr. P. S. Deshmukh: (C.P. & Berar: General) : May I know, Sir, whether he is arguing for or against the article?

Mr. President: You may draw your own conclusions.

Shri K. M. Munshi: If you go to a judicial review, I will tell you what will happen. By these three legislations, seven crores forty lakhs acres have been affected. Secondly, seven crores twenty lakhs of agriculturists, tillers of the soil are affected. If you take the number of zamindars who are to receive less than 16 years purchase which is always considered a liberal measure of compensation, there are 13,000 of them if you take 12 years purchase 5,000 people are only affected as against seven crores and twenty lakhs of tillers. Do you want that the rights of all these people should be hung up for six years so that the laborious process of litigation may proceed from the Subordinate court to the District Court, from the District Court to the High Court and so on, and that all these new adjustments which have come into being should be upset? We cannot afford to do that. It will mean a revolution. We cannot go back, only for the sake of safeguarding the interests of some 5,500 zamindars in the........

Begum Aizaz Rasul: May I know, how you have calculated this figure?

Shri K. M. Munshi: I have got the figures from the Ministers here and they have got them from the documents in their possession. If what they have given me is not correct, then I am not correct.

Begum Aizaz Rasul: May I inform the Honourable Member that only in the U.P. there are 22 lakhs of people directly affected, besides their dependents?

Shri K. M. Munshi: I have got the figures for U.P. also. In the U.P. there are only 10,000 zamindars who have got less than thirteen years purchase. These are the figures that I got from Pandit Pant, and there is no reason why they should be disputed. But even assuming that it is not 10,000 but 30,000 can you compare that figure to seven crores and twenty lakhs ? Are you going to have a revolution in the country-an agrarian revolt-so that a few thousand people may be kept entrenched in their luxuries and may have all that they have been having all these centuries?

An Honourable Member: What about the individual loss?

Shri K. M. Munshi: Sir, I am not looking at it from the individual point of view. I know sonic of my friends who but yesterday had an income of 5,000 per month have been reduced to 500 today. But we cannot look at the zamindari legislation from the point of view of individuals. It is a national and social revolution which we have achieved and we cannot go back on it.

An Honourable Member: How is the State........

Shri K. M. Munshi: I wish you stop interfering with my speech, I submit that this is the best compromise, a just compromise arrived at after discussing all the most important factors, and I want the House to accept it.

Sir, there are some amendments which I am going to accept. One is No. 405 of Shri Yadubans Sahai asking for addition of the words "and given" after the words "the compensation is to be determined". These words were omitted by a typing mistake.The other amendments that I accept are Nos. 504 and 505 which are verbal in nature. And then I accept No. 428 moved by my Friend, Kala Venkata Rao. He wants the period of one year to be extended to eighteen months because some people feel that the dates for the Madras and Bihar legislations cannot be fixed accurately. And the other amendment I accept is the one moved by Shri Jaspat Roy Kapoor with regard to evacuee property. On the suggestion of the Honourable Gopalaswami Ayyar, be has re-drafted it and made some verbal improvements, with a' view to bring accuracy.

Subject to these five amendments, I oppose all the others. I hope the House will carry this article with these amendments.

Shri Jaspat Roy Kapoor (United Provinces : General) : May I put a question to Mr. Munshi as to......

Mr. President: I do not think any further questions need be put or answered.

Dr. P. S. Deshmukh: My friend has accepted the amendment of Mr. Sahai, but my amendment should have been preferred to his because the word "paid" is certainly better than the word "given".

Mr. President: I do not know, it is for them to accept or not. No more questions. I am putting the amendments.

The procedure that I desire to follow with regard to the voting on this question is this. I will take, first of all those amendments which seek to replace the original amendment 369. And after these are disposed of, I will take the thing paragraph by paragraph and I will take the amendments to each paragraph.

Now, the first amendment which seeks to replace the whole thing is No. 383, moved by Shri Damodar Swarup Seth.

The question is:

"That in amendment No. 369 of' List VII (Seventh Week), for the proposed article 24, the following be substituted:-

'24. (a) The property of the entire people is the mainstay of the State in the development of the national economy.

(b) The administration and disposal of the property of the entire people are determined by law.

(c) Private property and private enterprises are guaranteed to the extent they are consistent with the general interests of the Republic and its toiling masses.

(d) Private property and economic enterprises as well as their inheritance may be taxed, regulated, limited, acquired and requisitioned, expropriated and socialised but only in accordance with the law. It will be determined by law in which cases and to what extent the owner shall be compensated.

(e) Expropriation over against the States, local self-governing institutions, serving the public welfare. may take place only upon the payment of compensation'."

The amendment was negatived.

Mr. President: Then I put No. 384 of Prof. Saksena.

The question is:

That with reference to amendments Nos. 720 to 769 of the List of Amendments, for article 24, the following be substituted :-

"24. (1) No person shall be deprived of his property save by authority of law.

(2) No property, movable or immovable, including any interest in, or in any company owing, any commercial or industrial undertaking, shall be taken possession of or acquired for public purposes under any law authorising the taking of such possession or such acquisition except on payment in cash or bonds or both of the amount determined as compensation in accordance with principles laid down by such law.

(3) Nothing in clause (2) of this article shall affect-

(a) the provisions of any existing law, or

(b) the provisions of any law which the State may hereafter make for the purpose of imposing or levying any tax or for the promotion of public health or the prevention of danger to life or property."

The amendment was negatived.

Mr. President: Then I take No. 385 of Shri Brajeshwar Prasad.

The question is:

That for amendment No. 720 of the List of Amendments, the following be substituted That for article 24, the following be substituted :-

"24. (1) All private property in the means of production may be acquired by the Government of India.

(2) The President shall determine in each case to what extent, if any, the owner whether a' private, individual, a State, a local self-governing institution or a company, shall be compensated.

(3) That within four years from the date of the commencement of this Constitution, the Union Government shall become the owner of all private property in land which is being used or capable of being used for agricultural purposes.

(4) Any existing law or the provisions of any law

which may thereafter be made contrary to the provisions of this article shall be null and void.

(5) The provisions of this article may be amended if ratified by the People signified by 51 per cent. of the total number of voters on the electoral list framed on the basis of,adult franchise."

The amendment was negatived.

Mr. President: Then No. 472 of Mr. Tripathi.

Shri Krishorimohan Tripathi: (C.P. & Berar State): Sir, I beg leave to withdraw my amendment.

The amendment was, by leave of the Assembly, withdrawn.

Mr. President: Then I take amendments to clause (1). The first amendment is No. 386 moved by Mr. Kamath. The question is:

"That in amendment No. 369 of List VII (Seventh Week), in clause (1) of the proposed article 24, after the word 'property', the words 'except in national interest and' be

The amendment was negatived.

Mr.President: The next one is No. 387 moved by Mr. Brajeshwar Prasad. The question is:

"That in amendment No. 369 of List VII (Seventh Week), in clause (1) of the pro24, for the word 'law' the words 'the President' be substituted."

The amendment was negatived.

Mr. President: Next is No. 388 of Prof. K. T. Shah. The question is:

"That in amendment No. 369 of List VII (Seventh Week), at the end of clause (1) of the proposed article 24, the following proviso be added :-

"Provided that no rights of absolute property shall be allowed to or recognised in any individual partnership firm, or joint stock company in any form of natural wealth, inch as land, forests, mines and minerals, waters of rivers, lakes or was surrounding the coasts of the Union; and-that ultimate ownership in these forms of natural wealth shall always be deemed to vest in and belong to the people of India collectively; and that they shall be owned, worked, managed or developed by collective enterprise only, eliminating altogether the profit motive from all such enterprise'."

The amendment was negatived.Mr.President: Then we go to the amendment which covers all the clauses (2)to (6). I will take them separately also, but now I take No. 389 which seeks the deletion of all these five clauses. The question is:

"That in amendment No. 369 of List VII (Seventh Week), clauses (2), (3), (4), (5) and (6) of the proposed article 24 be deleted."

The amendment was negatived.

Mr. President: Then I come to clause (2). There are several amendments to this clause,. I take No- 394 of Prof. K. T. Shah. The question is:

"That in amendment. No. 369 of List VII (Seventh Week), in clause (2) of the proposed article 24,-

(i) for the words 'No property' the words 'Any property' be substituted;

(ii) for the words 'shall be taken' the wards 'may be taken' be substituted;

(iii) for the words 'unless the law provides for compensation' the words 'subject to such compensation, if any' be substituted:

(iv) for the words 'acquired and either fixes the amount of the compensation, or specifies the principles on which, and the manner in which, the compensation is to be determined', the words 'acquired as may be determined by the principles laid down in the law for calculating the, compensation' be substituted:

(v) the following be added at the end

"Provided that no compensation whatsoever shall be payable in respect of:-

(a) any public utility, social service, or civic amenity which has been owned, worked, managed or controlled, by any individual, partnership firm, or joint stock company for more than 20 years continuously immediately before the day this Constitution comes into force;

(b) any agricultural land forming Part of the proprietory of any landowner, howsoever described, which has- remained uncultivated or undeveloped continuously for ten years or more immediately before the day this Constitution comes into force;

(c) any urban land. forming part of the proprietory of any individual, partnership firm or joint stock company, which has remained unbuilt upon or undeveloped in any way for fifteen years or more continuously immediately before the day this Constitution comes into effect;

(d) any agricultural land forming part of the proprietory of any land-owner, howsoever described, which has remained in the ownership or possession of the same land-owner or his family for more than 25 years continuously immediately before the date when this Constitution comes into operation;

(e) any mine, forest or mining or forest concession which has remained in the ownership or' possession of the same individual, partnership firm, or joint stock company for at least twenty years immediately before the day this Constitution comes into operation;

(f) any share. stock, bond, debenture or mortgage On any joint stock company, owning. working, managing or controlling any industrial or commercial undertaking which has been owned, worked, controlled or managed by the same joint stock company, or any combination or amalgamation of it with any other company for more than thirty years continuously immediately before the day this Constitution comes into operation;


which has paid in the course of its operations and existence, in the aggregate in the shape of dividend or interest, a sum equal to or exceeding twice the paid-up value of its shares, stock, bonds or debentures:


whose total assets (not including goodwill) at the time of the acquisition by the State of any such undertaking are less in value than its total liabilities;."

The amendment was negatived.

Mr. President: Then No. 395 of Mr. Kamath. The question is:

That in amendment No. 369 of List VII (Seventh Week), in clause (2) of the proposed article 24, for the words 'taken possession of or acquired' where they occur for the second time, the words 'to be taken possession of or acquired' be substituted."

The amendment was negatived.

Mr. President: No. 397 moved by Shri B. Das. The question is:

"That in amendment No. 369 of List VII (Seventh Week), in clause (2) of the proposed now article 24, for the words 'unless the law provides for compensation' the words 'unless law provides for fair and equitable compensation' be substituted."

The, amendment was negatived.

Mr. President: Then No. 400, moved by Mr. Nagappa.

Shri S. Nagappa: (Madras: General) : I wish to withdraw my amendment, Sir.

Amendment No. 400 was, by leave of the Assembly, withdrawn.

Mr.President: Then No. 402. The question is:

"That in amendment No. 369 of List VII (Seventh Week). in clause (2) of the proposed article 24,-

'before the word "principle" the word "appropriate" be inserted.'-

The amendment was negatived.

Mr. President: No. 403, moved by Mr. Kamath. The question is:

'That in amendment No. 369 of List VII (Seventh Week), in clause (2) of the proposed article 24, after the words 'to be determined' a comma and the words 'provided that such principles or such manner of determination of compensation shall not be called In question in any Court' be added."

The amendment was negatived.

Mr. President: No. 404 moved by Dr. Deshmukh. The question is:

That in amendment No. 369 of List VII (Seventh Week), in clause (2) of the proposed articles 24, after the words 'is to be determined' the words 'and paid' be added.'

The amendment was negatived.

Mr. President: Then comes No. 405 which has been accepted by Mr. Munshi.

Mr. President: The question is:

"That in amendment No. 369 of List VII (Seventh Week) in clause (2) of the proposed article 24, after the words 'the compensation is to be determined' the words 'and given' be added."

The amendment was adopted.

Mr. President: The question is:

'That in amendment No. 369 of List VII (Seventh Week), after clause (2) of the proposed article 24, the following proviso be added:-

'Provided that when any such law provides the acquisition by any State of the interests of the Zamindars of various degrees and other intermediaries for the purpose of abolishing the Zamindari system, it shall be sufficient if the law provides for the payment of compensation amounting to not less than twelve times the estimated average net income of the Zamindar of any degree or intermediary whoseinterests are to be acquired."

The amendment was negatived.

Shri Phool Singh: (United Provinces: General) : Sir, I would like to withdraw my amendment No. 475.

The amendment was, by leave of the Assembly, withdrawn.Shri Guptanath Singh: (Bihar: General) : Sir, I would like to withdraw my amendment No. 476.

The amendment was, by leave of the Assembly, withdrawn.

Mr. President: The question is:

"That in amendment No. 369 of List VII (Seventh Week), in clause (2) of the proposed article 24, for the words 'provides for compensation' the words 'provides for fair and equitable compensation based on market value' be substituted."

The amendment was negatived.

Mr. President: The question is:

"That in amendment No. 369 of List VII (Seventh Week), in clause (2) of the proposed article 24, for the words 'unless the law provides for compensation for the property taken possession of or acquired and either fixes the amount of the compensation, or specifies the principles on which, and the manner in which, the compensation is to be determined' the words 'unless due compensation is paid for', or, alternatively, 'unless the law provides for due compensation' be substituted."

The amendment was negatived.

Shri P. D. Himatsingka: (West Bengal: General) : Sir, I wish to withdraw my amendment.

The amendment was, by leave of the Assembly, withdrawn.

Shri B. P. Jhunjhunwala: (Bihar: General) : Sir, I wish to withdraw my amendment.

The amendment was, by leave of the Assembly, withdrawn.

Mr. President: The question is:

"That in amendment No. 369 of List VII (Seventh Week), in clause (2) of the proposed article 24, after the words 'or specifies the' the word 'proper' or, alternatively, 'fair' be inserted."

The amendment was negatived.

Mr. President: The question is:

"That in amendment No. 369 of List VII (Seventh Week), at the end of clause (2) If the proposed article 24, the following new proviso be added :-

'Provided that no compensation shall be payable to any owner or holder of any movable or immovable property, who, having owned or held such property for thirty years continuously immediately before the coming into force of this Constitution, has either not habitually resided within the State where such property is situated, or has not done anything to develop such property.'

The amendment was negatived.

Mr. President: The question is:

"That in amendment No. 369 of List VII (Seventh Week), for clause (3) of the proposed article 24 be deleted."

The amendment was negatived.

Mr. President: The question is:

"That in amendment No. 369 of List VII (Seventh Week), for clause (3) of the proposed article 24, the following be substituted:-

(3) No such law as is referred to in clause (2) of this article made by the Legislature of the State shall have effect, unless such law receives the assent of the President "'

The amendment was negatived.

Mr. President: The question is:

"That in amendment No. 369 of List VII (Seventh Week), in clause (3) of the proposed article 24, for the words 'unless such law having been reserved for the consideration of the President has received his assent' the words 'has received the assent of the President' be substituted."

The amendment was negatived.

Mr. President: The question is:

"That in amendment No. 369 of List VII (Seventh Week), in clause (3) of the proposed article 24, for the words 'having been' the word 'is be substituted,"

The amendment was negatived.

Mr.President: The question is:

'That in amendment No. 369 of List VII (Seventh Week), for clause (4) of the proposed ;article 24, the following be substituted:-

'(4) Any Bill pending before the Legislature of a State at the commencement of this Constitution shall not, after its subsequent enactment, be called into question in any Court on the ground that it contravenes the-provisions of clause (2) of this article."' The amendment was negatived.

Mr. President: The question is :

"That in amendment No. 369 of List VII (Seventh Week), in clause (4) of the proposed article 24,-

(i) for the words 'If any' the word 'Any' be substituted;

(ii) for the words 'has, after it has been' the words 'may be' be substituted;

(iii) the words 'received the assent of the President,' be deleted; and

(iv) for the words 'assented to' the word 'passed' be substituted."

The amendment was negatived.

Mr. President: The question is:

"That in amendment No. 369 of List VII (Seventh Week), in clause (4) of the proposed ;article 24, after the word 'Constitution' the words 'and designed to execute a scheme of agrarian reform by abolition of Zamindari and conferring rights of ownership on peasant proprietors for such compensation as- the Legislature of the State considers fair."'

The amendment was negatived.

Mr. President: The question is:

'That in amendment No. 369 of List VII (Seventh Week), for clause (4) of the proposed article 24, the following be substituted:-

(4) No law making provision as aforesaid shall be called in question in any court either on the ground that the compensation provided for is inadequate or that the principles and the manner of compensation specified are fraudulent and inequitous.' "

The amendment was negatived.

Mr. President: The question is:

"That in amendment No 369 of List VII (Seventh Week), at the end of clause (4) of she proposed article 24, the following explanation be added:-

"Explanation The provision of this clause shall not refer to the system of land tenure called Ryotwari anywhere in the Union including the Indian States."

The amendment was negatived.

Mr. President: The question is:

"That in amendment No. 369 of List VII (Seventh Week), for clause (5) of the proposed article 24, the following be substituted:-

if you learn the international numerals also and use them for all-India official purposes ? Rather, it will be to your benefit, specially for your higher educational curriculum. I would ask Babu Purshottam Das Tandon, and appeal to him that in this matter he must rise, equal to the occasion. It is not a matter which need be carried by a majority of votes. Even if some of there. feel against the all-India use and recognition of the international numerals in addition to Hindi numerals, even if he feels that this is not fair and just, or is not to his liking, for the very fact that Hindi which is the language of his own province is being accepted by the entire people of India, tie should have the statesmanship to get up and say that in spite of his personal feelings, he accepts the compromise and approves the resolution.

We have passed many important resolutions in this House during the past years. We have faced many crises together. It will be making a childish affair if on a matter connected with numerals, the Constituent Assembly of free India commanded by one political party divides. We shall be making a laughing stock of ourselves and the whole of India and we would be strengthening the hands of our enemies. Let us emphasise not on the differences but on the substantial achievement of our common aim. Let us tell the whole world that we have done so without rancour and with unanimity. Let us not look at the matter from a political angle.

It pains to find that in some areas, acceptance of international numerals may become a first class political issue. It depends on the leaders of those provinces to take courage in both hands, get up here and say that they have accepted this compromise for the good of India and that they are going to stand together. If the leaders say so, I have not the slightest doubt that the people also will accept it. We have not banned the circulation of Hindi or Devanagari numerals in any province where the State legislature so decides or even for allIndia purposes. All that we have recommended is the acceptance of a formula which we feel will be fair and just to all. I hope that before the debate concludes it will be possible for the representatives of the different view-points to meet together and come forward before the House with the declaration that the proposition of Mr. N. Gopalaswami Ayyangar is going to be unanimously accepted.

Mr. President: The House stands adjourned till 4 O'clock.

The Assembly then adjourned for Lunch till Four of the Clock in the afternoon. The Assembly re-assembled after Lunch at Four P.m., Mr. President (the Honourable Dr. Rajendra Prasad), in the Chair.

Mr. President: We shall now continue the discussion. Mr. Chacko.

Shri P. T. Chacko (United State of Travancore & Cochin) : Sir, my position is that English should continue to be used for a period to be fixed and the question of a national language should be left to the future Parliament. A national language has to evolve itself and is not to be created artificially. The national language for a great country like India should have certain minimum requirements. It should be capable of expressing all the needs of modern civilisation. To be capable of meetings all modern demands, it should have a lore of scientific literature. Language as the vehicle of thought determines to a large extent our mental makeup. The capacity for thought, and for thought development, to a great degree is limited by the thinker's language of expression. Each language has a vocabulary, a method of construction and a scheme of thought process distinctly all its own.

A person who knows only a primitive language cannot, of course, think in the same lines as one who speaks a well-developed language. The national language of a great country like India should also be great. Some of our languages in India am really rich in literature. But, Sir, I do not think that any of our languages contain a good scientific literature. It would be almost impossible to teach Chemistry, Physics and such other sciences in any of our languages in India. A language cannot be artificially moulded for ready use. It has to develop itself and that takes time. The adoption of a language from the languages which we are having in India will most probably,, retard our national progress. It may prevent our higher studies. It may prevent scientific researches which we need. Therefore, I believe we will have to wait till the time when a language in India develops itself and matures to that stage when we can make it our official language and our national language.

To replace an international language like English, very expressive, rich ill vocabulary, easy and simple in construction, and one which is recommended to be the international auxiliary language, is almost impossible. Probably Shakespeare decided the national language of England once for all, and for Italy probably Dante decided it. Like that, some literary genius will in future, according to me, decide the national language for India.

A national language can be, decided upon only by mutual agreement. It cannot be done by taking votes; that is what I believe. No language can be imposed upon an unwilling people. No nation has ever succeeded in imposing the language of the majority upon the minority. In the day of Czarist Russia, speaking Lithuanian language was absolutely forbidden and the penalty for breaking this law' was very severe, sometimes amounting to death. Nevertheless, when after two centuries, Lithuania declared itself independent, it was found that about 93 per cent. of the people still spoke the Lithuanian language Likewise, in Spain, the Catalan language was prohibited in 1923, but after a strenuous struggle which ensued in 1932, the State had to recognise that language.

On the other hand, we know what happened in Britain. Even now there are about six spoken languages in the British Isles. English evolved itself as a national language and the people willingly recognised it. The result was that Welsh in Wales and Gaelic in Scotland slowly were abandoned by the people. Likewise we will also have, to wait for some time till a language emerges from among the languages which exist in India. We will have to wait till it matures and reaches that position when we can make it our lingua franca.

Before deciding upon the official language, to me it appears that we have to decide one or two very important questions. Firstly Sir, the question iswhether we should have one language or more languages as our official language. In Switzerland, for example, there are four languages spoken by the people. In schools the medium of instruction is that language which is spoken by the people in the locality where the school is located. In higher classes a second national language is compulsory and later on a third language. All the four languages are recognised as official languages.

In pre-war Czechoslovakia, though there were about twelve languages, besides some dialects spoken by the people, two languages were recognised as official. In public offices the language of the region in which the office was situated was used. In many other countries 'also more than. one language is recognised as official language.

Therefore it is a question to be decided whether we should have one single language as the official language of India or we should have more than one-for example Bengalee, Tamil, Hindi and even English. If we decide on one national language, we will again have to decide whether we should allow the Union Government to use any other language than the official language. In the U.S.S.R., for example, in European Russia itself there are about 76 languages spoken besides innumerable dialects and only one language is the official language of the U.S. S.R. But in offices the language of the region is also officially used. Where many languages are spoken and there are many other dialects also the question is to decide whether we should permit the Union to use only the official language or other languages also in public offices situated in particular regions.

I wish to point out that in Eire even now the English language is used for all official purposes. During the days of the Irish struggle for independence they were almost resisting the use of English. In 1893 a Gailic League was formed which played a most predominant part in the Irish struggle for freedom. In their schools now Irish is taught as a compulsory language. Though the Irish people want Irish to be their only official language yet they find it very difficult to replace English by Irish.

We are all almost agreed that English should continue for a period of fifteen years. So this is not an urgent question, though it is a very important question. It is a sound principle in democracy to know the wishes of the people and to respect the wishes of the people when there is doubt among the representatives themselves as regards the decision which may be taken by them. Though it is an important question, since it is not an urgent question I would request that we take time to go back to the people to get a mandate from the people and for that we should leave the question to be decided by the future Parliament.

Why should we worry ourselves with the problem when we are faced with several very urgent problems which affect the life of the millions of people of the country ? When people who valiantly fought for the freedom of the country are dying for want of food and shelter, when trade and commerce is becoming duller day by day, when unemployment is rampant, especially in the South, when in the North we are having the Kashmir problem and in the South the menace of the Communist hooliganism--even today I got a telegram from my country that the son of a Congress worker who devoted twenty years in the service of the country was stabbed by a communist on Sunday last-and when the future of the very nation itself is hanging on the solution we might find for the food problem I ask why should this august Body waste its time over this question, the solution of which we intend to implement only after fifteen years, according to the agreement almost reached by every one in the House.

After having seen a sort of fanaticism in action in the matter of a comparatively smaller question of the numerals and after having heard a section of the people of this House speak as if all that mattered in life was the Devanagari system of numerals, I feel that it would be better for us to leave the decision onthis question to soberer men. We can hope that our posterity will be more tolerant and wiser and hence they may be able to find an agreed solution for this problem. Our intolerance has already divided India. Let it not divide it again. Instead of imposing a language on posterity I believe it will be better for us if we leave this problem to be decided by posterity themselves.

Shri B. Das (Orissa: General) : Sir, this question of Hindi as the, lingua franca has caused us a lot of misgivings. I will 'not be true to myself , my conscience and my God if I do not express my feelings. I will not be true to my great leader, Mahatma Gandhi, who is in Heaven, if I do not express truly and correctly the apprehensions that I have come to entertain during the last three weeks, and which have been aggravated more and more by the dominating attitude of my friends from U.P. and C.P.

As we want a lingua franca I do accept Hindi as the official language, but that does not mean that we have no apprehensions, we have no suspicions or that we have no fears. My Friend Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerji this morning indicated some of the fears and suspicions that non-Hindi speaking provinces including those in the South do harbour. This morning when Pandit Lakshmi Kanta Maitra was speaking I was almost persuaded to accept Sanskrit as the official language of the State, so that everybody will start with an even keel in that mother of all languages. There will then be no rivalry between the sons and daughters of the leaders of U.P. and C.P. that are present here and them sons and daughters of leaders of Orissa or Madras. They will all learn Sanskrit.

The fears and suspicions that we harbour today were harboured by us till a couple of years ago, when the officialdom was manned by the Britishers and the civil service examinations were conducted in London. Naturally, the Englishmen preponderated in service. Now that the civil services and other examinations are being held in Delhi, naturally hereafter the Hindi-speaking provinces (I am not talking of the immediate future but of fifteen years hence) the people of the Hindi-speaking provinces such as U.P. and C.P. will preponderate in the civil and other services of our country.

What shall be the standard or ideal of education and examination in Hindi language ? I do not know much of Hindi. I know a little of what is called Hindustani which the ordinary people use, that inferior Hindustani in which official folks talk to the servants and ordinary workmen. That much Hindustani I. know. According to my investigation Hindi is the only language in the world which requires its verbs to have different inflections according to the gender.

An honourable Member: What about German?

Shri B. Das: I am sorry I tried to learn German but with the advent of first war I gave it up. However, in my old age, I am not prepared to start speaking Hindi-all the time labouring under the dread that I might make a mistake, in the proper gender of the verbs I used and the nervousness that I may not be laughed at by Hindi-speaking ladies and gentlemen over mistakes, I have made.

But that is not the problem. Our children will have to learn a language so like the German where they will have to see that they do not make mistakes in their sentences by using wrong verbs. That is a misgiving, yet I am willing to overlook it. But I am not willing to reconcile myself to the position that for the next fifteen, twenty or thirty years the sons of the Hindi-speaking people, whether they belong to U.P. or to the C.P., will preponderate in the all-India services.

I have watched during the last twenty-One years the spread of Rashtrabhasha Hindi throughout the country. I do say, that very little has been done totrain up Hindi speakers : excepting for the efforts of my Friends Mr. Satyanarayana and Shrimati Durgabai there, very little has been done, so that those who are today capable of a smattering of Hindi reading in Orissa or Madras, can they hope to compete with the Hindi-speaking people or can they compose music or songs like my Friend Pandit Balkrishna Sharma or write beautiful stories like my Friend Shrimati Kamala Chaudhri ? That may not count for my generation but it will count in later generations and affect them.

We know we must have a lingua franca. We accept Hindi. Why is it that the leaders of U.P. and C.P. are so intolerant ? I found leader after leader coming from those benches and talking in Hindi knowing that they are not appealing to the Members of U.P. or C.P. or even in Bihar. They are raising their voices to speak to the people of South India and even to the people of Orissa like me or to the Members from Bengal who talk just a smattering of Hindi. Everybody knows that the Bengali is a little bit conservative : he seldom learns an Indian language gracefully although he masters the English language. Sir, I do hope that when the next speakers rise from the benches of U.P., C.P. or Bihar let them address in English those Members of South India and those like me who cannot understand Hindi so very well. If they are so fond of their mother tongue, let them reserve it for other occasions. Let their arguments show that they have spirit of tolerance, that they want to concede and that they are not in that aggressive mood of, "You must have Hindi as lingua ,franca, we care a rap what happens to you, your sons or grandsons".

We are not going to allow that sort of attitude in speakers from U.P. or C.P. That way you will not make us co-operate in future or even now. Sir, that is what is agitating me and if I speak out my mind I do so in obedience to the dictates of my conscience.

Shri H.J. Khandekar (C.P. & Berar : General): I would like to tell the honourable Member that C.P. is not a purely Hindi-speaking Province; it speaks Marathi as well as Hindi.

Shri B.Das: All right, Sir. I accept my Friend's correction. It is the Jubbulpore district which I have in mind which gave birth to the, President of the Hindi Sahitya Sammelan, my Friend Seth Govind Das.

Sir, I have said already that we are human beings and the problems of loaves and fishes affect us as much as the problems of higher national ideology. Let the leaders of U.P. that will speak hereafter tell us how they are solving that problem so that they do not get an overriding weightage on the other Provinces like Orissa, Assam, Bengal, or the Southern Provinces and States like Madras, part of Bombay, Mysore and Travancore. That is a problem they will have to solve.

They will have to tell us how they are going to teach Hindi to the thirty ,odd crores of people of this sovereign India. Nobody has told us that, Simply passing the Resolution and making Hindi the lingua franca does riot solve the problem. Even during the last 21 years how many teachers bad U.P. sent out to the other Provinces ? Not more than 100. Do they expect that every village school teacher of U.P. will go to Orissa, Bengal, Assam and Madras and sufficiently teach Hindi so that our sons and daughters could equally compete, will the sons and daughters of U.P. and North C.P. ? If my friends of U.P. had tolerance they would not have caused us these heartburns for the last three or four weeks.

The question of numerals has loomed so much in the horizon that they do not appreciate the concession when the, United India, in a spirit of co-operation. agreed to accept Hindi as the lingua franca of India. Why do they not yield? The world is not stationary. What we may incorporate in the Constitution to day may be a dead issue five or ten years hence. We, Hindus, know how the world is changing; we know how our conception of God bag been changing fromtime immemorial. From the days of Rigveda down through the Vistas of Upanishads, Puranas and the Bhagvatam to the present concept, we are changing all the time. Why are my friends from U.P. so insistent that only the Devanagari numerals be used and not also the Indian numerals of international character as many of us want ? I have supported the proposition to have these international numerals along with the numerals; our fears might prove to be wrong; ten or twenty years hence it might be proved that it was a wrong thing to have introduced international numerals, but at present the fear does exist and hence both the numerals the House should accept.

We do not want to fight over this small issue of numerals,. Why should not my friends of U.P. and North C.P. agree that both the numerals will be allowed for another fifteen years ?-then most of us will not be here, at least I won't be in this world fifteen years hence. Then those who succeed, with the resurgence of the spirit of independence and after working the independent Constitution for fifteen years, let them meet together and solve the problem whether the international numerals should continue along with the Devanagari numerals.

With the advancement of science as Dr. Mookerjee rightly pointed out this morning, and with more and more international co-operation, more and more contact with outside world, more and more of the spirit of one world, we should have recourse to international numerals at least in the scientific and technical fields. What is right or wrong it is not for me to judge; it is for me to see that we evolve a common formula whereby all of us unanimously pass these articles which shall be incorporated in our Constitution. Let there be no bickerings. Let not South resent the discussions of the North. Let not North be overbearing to the South when they want the numerals of ancient times to be brought back in modern administration. If some of us who revere the memory of him who brought us this independence and was incarcerated and out of that memory we try 10 co-operate and not hurt the feelings of each other, it is expected of the leaders of U.P. who have pressed this question of language and numerals to show a spirit of tolerance which is expected of them.

Dr. P. Subbarayan (Madras : General) : Mr. President, Sir, this is the first time I venture to address this august Assembly' and I feel rather overcome by that sensation. My amendment is a very simple one and all the other amendments actually follow in its wake.

My amendment is that the language of the Union should be Hindustani in Roman script. I feel that we ought to get akin to the world. The world is getting narrower today and we ought not to think in narrow terms of our own provinces but more with the idea of a "One World". If you do really believe in One World and peace, as Mahatma Gandhi preached to the world, then I am sure most of you, if you search your hearts, will be inclined to vote for the proposition I have propounded today.

Shri R. K. Sidhva (C.P. and Berar: General): Mahatma Gandhi did not say Hindustani in Roman script.

Dr. P. Subbarayan: Hindustani in Roman script, what I advocate, as two scripts are a difficulty and may be an acceptable solution.

There is also another thing which I would like to touch upon. Why all this awkwardness about English ? All this hatred against English ? With the coming of freedom I thought we had abandoned hatred altogether, and we bad become friendly with the English people. I would like to quote the American example. Today, if you take the American population, about 20 per cent. only belong to the British Isles. The very nature of the men who represent them in sporting contests, of which alone I am well aware, come of races which cannot be described as Anglo-Saxon by any stretch of imagination. In the lastDavis Cup against Australia the two representatives who did battle for America and won were Schroeder and Gonzales. Can you think of more strange names than Schroeder and Gonzales-the one a German and the other a Portuguese?

Therefore, all there people who conic of different nationalities residing in the United States have agreed to adopt the English language is their own. I would far rather that we were bold enough to say that English which has been with us for nearly a century and a half, and we who have imbibed as much of the, heritage of the English language as anyone else, adopted as our common language.

But unfortunately we are not placed in such circumstances because there is still, in spite of all that has been said. the spirit of hatred, the spirit that feels that we should not touch the language of the conquerer though he, has ceased to be the conquerer and willingly left our country without the firing of a shot merely because he felt the time had come when he ought to accept the decision of a whole nation. But still I am willing to give in to national sentiment.

I would, however, like honourable Members to take their minds back to Mahatma Gandhi. I have been told that we should not utter the name of Mahatma Gandhi in this controversy about language. Why not, I ask. Because day in and day out honourable Members mention the sacred name and only run quite counter to what he taught us. When that is the case, Mr. President, why should I not appeal to Gandhiji's name for Hindustani being adopted as the language of the nation ?

Shri R. K. Sidhva: Quite right. He should be quoted correctly. Not for Hindustani in Roman script.

Dr. P. Subbaravan: Mr. Sidhva, if you will have a, little patience and hear me develop my argument you will know what I am driving at-I was not quoting him for the Roman script; I was quoting him for the name Hindustani. Well, Sir, to proceed with my argument, English being out of the way, then the next best thing we can adopt is Hindustani in the Roman script, because it keeps us akin to the world.

What is all this nonsense about numerals, I say. Do you want to be archaic and go back to things which have been forgotten for a long time, which you have revived today because you think it is Your own ? May I tell you, Sir, that these numerals are older than the numerals you so fondly bug to today.

Pandit Balkrishna Sharma: Question

Dr. P.Subbarayan: There is no question of questioning that. It is a fact.

Pandit Balkrishna Sharma: It is not a fact.

Dr. P.Subbarayan: You may say what you like. I have my own opinion about it.

Pandit Balkrishna Sharma: Your opinion is not what matters.

Dr. P.Subbarayan: It is not my opinion. It is a fact and not an opinion. Yours is an opinion with which you want to change the fact. Well, Sir, to go back to this question of numerals, it has been said in the. Encyclopaedia Brittanica-it is merely to prove facts I am reading it,, MT. Sharma, for your edification.

Pandit Balkrishna Sharma: Say for your enlightenment. Dr. P. Subbarayan: I am enlightened enough. "Several different claims. each having a certain amount of justification, have been made with respect to the origin of our present numerals, commonly spoken of as Arabic, but preferably as Hindu-Arabic. These include the assertion that the origin is to be found among the Arabs, the Persians, the Egyptians and the Hindus. Intercourse between traders served to carry such symbols from country to country, so that our numerals may be a conglomeration from different some. The country, however, which' first used, so far as we know, the largest number of our numeral forms is India "One, four and six are found ill the Asoka inscriptions of the third century B.C., long before your numerals were thought of. Two, four, six, seven and nine appear in the Nana Ghat inscriptions a century later.

Pandit Balkrishna Sharma: Is Nana Ghat situated in Europe?

Dr. P. Subbarayan: That is why I say they are our numerals, which you do not unfortunately accept. I am only proving that these numerals originated in India and nowhere else. Two, three four, five, six, seven and nine in the, Nasik caves of the first and second century of our era.

Pandit Balkrishna Sharma: Have you seen these numerals on caves in the Nasik ? Can you enlighten the House whether these numerals are exactly like the ones now in use?

Dr. P. Subbarayan: I am not going to enter into an argument with the honourable Member. He will have his turn to make his observations, For the moment he may kindly bear with me in patience. Two,.. three, four, five, six and nine there are in the Nasik caves of the first and second century of our era. They bear considerable resemblance to our numerals. If the Honourable Member had waited in patience he would have understood my point. Those numerals have considerable resemblance to our own, our two and three being well recognised derivation, from two and three.

None of these early Indian inscriptions gave any evidence of place value or of a zero. That would make our place value possible. Hindu literature gives some evidence that the zero might have been known before our era. But we have no actual inscriptions containing such symbols before the ninth century. The first definite external reference to the Hindu numerals is contained in a note of Severus Sebokht, a bishop who lived in Mesopotamia about 650. Since he speaks of nine signs the zero seems to have been known to him.

Mr. President: Are you going to decide this question on the basis of his verdict?

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