November 26 is celebrated as Constitution Day to mark the day on which the Constitution of India was adopted. The day is also known as known as Samvidhan Diwas. While the adoption of the Constitution took place on November 26, 1949, it came into effect on January 26, 1950. On November 26, 1949, the Constituent assembly had met and with loud and prolonged cheers and thumping of desks greeted the passing of the Constitution.
Dr. Rajendra Prasad, President of the Constituent Assembly, in his speech before putting the motion to pass the Constitution, paid tributes to Mahatma Gandhi and said that I shall only hope that all those whose good fortune it may be to work this Constitution in future, will remember that it was a unique victory which we achieved by unique method taught by the Father of the Nation, and it is upto us to preserve and protect the Independence that we have won and to make it really bear fruit for the man in the street.”
After the Constitution was passed, the historic session of the Constituent Assembly ended with the singing of the National Anthem “Jana-gana-mana adhinayaka Jai Hey, Bharat Bhagya Vidhata,” by Purnima Banerjee, a veteran freedom fighter and sister of the late freedom fighter, Aruna Asaf Ali.
It was on November 19, 2015, when the government of India with the help of a gazette notification declared November 26 as the Constitution Day. There is no public holiday on this day.
Although the constitution was the result of efforts of various leaders, its chief architect was B R Ambedkar, who was the chairman of the drafting committee. He also served as the first Law and Justice Minister of independent India.
As the country commemorates the Constitution Day 2021, here are some inspirational quotes by Dr Ambedkar which help understand the true meaning of democracy and independence:
1. “Political democracy cannot last unless there lies at the base of…social democracy. What does social democracy mean? It means a way of life which recognizes liberty, equality and fraternity as the principles of life…”
2. “Democracy is not merely a form of government. It is primarily a mode of associated living, of conjoint communicated experience. It is essentially an attitude of respect and reverence towards fellow men”
3. “However good a constitution may be, if those who are implementing it are not good, it will prove to be bad. However bad a constitution may be, if those implementing it are good, it will prove to be good”
4. “If we wish to maintain democracy not merely in form, but also in fact, what must we do? The first thing in my judgement we must do is to hold fast to constitutional methods of achieving our social and economic objectives”
5. “I measure the progress of a community by the degree of progress which women have achieved”
6. “The Constitution can provide only the organs of State such as the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary. The factors on which the working of those organs of the State depend are the people and the political parties they will set up as their instruments to carry out their wishes and their politics.”