Exactly 70 years ago, on 26 November 1949, Constituent Assembly President Rajendra Prasad for the last time put a question to the house -
President: It now remains to put the motion which was moved by Dr Ambedkar, to the vote of the House. The question is
That the Constitution as settled by the Assembly be passed.
The Assembly promptly accepted the motion and by doing so, adopted the Constitution of India. The transcripts of the Assembly indicate there was 'prolonged cheers' and members began to, one by one, approach the President and shake his hands. This marked the end of the Assembly's work that began three years ago on 9 December 1946. Prasad in his remarks to the Assembly members said:
‘…The countries of Europe have never been able to join together or coalesce even in a Confederacy, much less under one unitary Government. Here, in spite of the size of the population and the country, we have succeeded in framing a Constitution which covers the whole of it…'
Further, the Assembly's initial sittings were marked with a great deal of uncertainty: the Muslim League and the Princely States had opted out of the proceedings. In 1947, the Assembly had to trudge through the partition and the large scale migration and violence that accompanied it. Also, many forget that when independence came in 1947, the Assembly had to perform duties of a regular legislative assembly as well.
In the midst of tectonic social and political events and additional responsibilities, the Assembly's achievement shines even more.
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