CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY DEBATESVolume 7
15 Nov 1948
The Constituent Assembly of India met in the Constitution Hall, New Delhi, at Ten of the Clock, Mr. Vice-President (Dr. H. C. Mookherjee) in the Chair.
Sir, I beg to state that on the 6th November, I have notice of an amendment to this effect:
“That the consideration of the Draft Constitution clause by clause be postponed till after it has been finally decided which of the following three sets of words are to be incorporated in the Preamble of the same –
Sovereign Independent Republic,
Sovereign Democratic Republic,
Sovereign Democratic State.”
It has not yet been decided which of these three sets is to be incorporated in the Constitution, and yet I understand that the Congress Party has decided to consider this Constitution, clause by clause, without deciding the most important question of what words should be there – Republic or State, in the Preamble.
I have a complaint to make. All the amendments of which notice was given to your office have been printed, but my amendment has been left out. May I know the reason why this has been left out?
I understand that this has come about at as a result of the form of procedure, and the amendment is out of order. I am fortified in my decision by what I am told is the procedure adopted in the House of Commons where the Preamble comes last of all.
May I point out one thing, Sir? On a previous occasion, when the same thing was done by me, it was decided by the President of the Constituent Assembly, and he has definitely given a ruling that my amendment to this very effect which I have proposed today, was in order. He has definitely said so. I may read out his very words which have been printed in the official report –
“I think the amendment is in order. It is open to the House to throw it out.”
So I have every right to propose my amendment. Of course, it is open to the House to accept it or reject it. So I say this thing has been settled by the President. If you like you may ask the President if it is a correct ruling or not.
Again, when the Union Constitution was presented before this House in July, on that occasion also, I raised objection to this very effect, and then also the President of the Constituent Assembly definitely said that my amendment cannot be ruled out of order. If you like, I may read out his exact words:
“I actually give a promise that whenever you move an amendment to that effect, it will not be ruled out of order.”
So I request you not to rule me out of order, as it has been finally decided by the President that my amendment should be allowed. Of course, it is open to the House to accept or reject it, as on a previous occasion, when the Union Constitution was proposed byPandit Nehru. It is very unfortunate that instead of Pandit Nehru, we have todayDr.Ambedkar. I think he has reversed the whole order of the business. I submit I have got every right to request you to protect my rights and allow me an opportunity to give my reasons for what I say. Of course, if the House is not willing to accept my amendment, the House can throw it out, as it did on a previous occasion. But I think I must not be discouraged in this way. My right to move any amendment must be protected.
I make a distinction between the time when the Preamble is to be considered and your right to move an amendment. When the time comes, you have, of course, every right to move your amendment. My ruling is that the Preamble is not to be taken up first of all. That is final.
Mr. President, before you take up the consideration of this constitution, I want to draw your attention to an important matter. Have I your permission to do so?
Please come to the mike.
Mr. President, I want to submit that two or three days back a report appeared in the papers that many Hindu Members of the Sind Assembly had been unseated because a large number of Sindhis had left Sind and had come over to India. Those people who have come to India appear to be fourteen lakhs in number and therefore, it appears to be necessary that these Sindhi brothers, who were compelled to leave their place and have come here leaving behind their homes and hearths, should find some representation in this Assembly. We are going to frame a constitution for the whole of India. In framing that constitution it is necessary that these brothers, who have been compelled to leave their homes, should find some representation. I want that some such arrangement may be made as may enable those people who have come here from Sind to get representation in this House. If you permit us, we shall move a regular resolution to that effect so that those people may be represented in this House.
This question cannot be taken up here.
It seems that I made a mistake in the procedure to be adopted. What I have to say now is that Article I should stand as part of the Constitution.
I understand that there is something to be said on this matter by our friend Mr.Ayyangar. As regards the amendments, he has certain proposals to make.
Sir, I submit that amendments Nos. 83 to 96, both inclusive, may kindly be allowed to stand over. They relate to the alternative names, or rather the substitution of names – BHARAT, BHARAT VARSHA, HINDUSTAN – for the word INDIA, in Article 1, clause (1).
It requires some consideration. Through you I am requesting the Assembly to kindly pass over these items and allow these amendments to stand over for some time. A few days later when we come to the Preamble these amendments might be then taken up. I am referring to amendments Nos. 83 to 96, both inclusive, and also amendment No. 97 which reads:
“That in clause (1) of article 1, for the word ‘India’ the word ‘Bharat (India)’ and for the word ‘States’ the word’ Provinces’ be substituted.”
Is that agreed to by the House?
Of course I would have no objection, Sir, if you defer consideration of these amendments for two or three days, but I beg to bring to your notice that amendment No. 85, which stands in my name, does not only mean to change the name of India into ‘Bharatavarsha’, but it means something more and I am afraid if you hold over this amendment those things would be inappropriate at a later stage. I am submitting that I may be allowed to move this amendment, of course without committing myself to the change of the name of India to ‘Bharatavarsha’ or otherwise. Though I am not insisting on the change of name just now, I ask that I may be allowed to move the other part of my amendment.
My request was that amendments relating only to the name may stand over and in his case on the understanding that the word ‘India’ be changed to some other name, he may move his amendment. I am not asking that the other portion of this amendment may not be moved.
So the Honourable Member may take the opportunity of moving the second part of his amendment at the proper place.
Now we shall go to the amendments. Amendment No. 98 stands in the name of Professor K. T. Shah.
Sir, I beg to move:
“That in clause (1) of article 1, after the words ‘shall be a’ the words ‘Secular, Federal Socialist’ be inserted.”
and the amended article or clause will read as follows:
“India shall be a Secular, Federal, Socialist Union of States.”
In submitting this motion to the House I want first of all to point out that owing to the arrangements by which the Preamble is not considered at this moment, it is a little difficult for those who would like to embody their hopes and aspirations in the Constitution to give expression to them by making amendments of specific clauses which necessarily are restricted in the legal technique as we all know. Had it been possible to consider the governing ideals, so to say, which are embodied in this Preamble to the Draft Constitution, it might have been easier to consider these proposals not only on their own merits, but also as following from such ideals embodied in the preamble as may have been accepted.
As it is, in suggesting this amendment, I am anxious to point out that this is not only a statement of fact as it exists, but also embodies an aspiration which it is hoped will be soon realized. The amendment tries to add three words to the descriptions of our State or Union: that is to say, the new Union shall be a Federal, Secular, Socialist Union of States. The Draft Constitution, may I add in passing, has rendered our task very difficult by omitting a section on definitions, so that terms like “States” are used in a variety of meanings from Article to Article, and therefore it is not always easy to distinguish between the various senses in which, and sometimes conflicting senses in which one and the same term is used. I take it, however, that in the present context the word “Union” stands for the composite aggregate of States, a new State by itself, which has to be according to my amendment a Federal, Secular Socialist State.
Take first the word ‘Federal’. This word implies that this is a Union which however is not a Unitary State, in as much as the component or Constituent parts, also described as States in the Draft Constitution, are equally parts and members of the Union, which have definite rights, definite powers and functions, not necessarily overlapping, often however concurrent with the powers and functions assigned to the Union or to the Federal Government. Accordingly it is necessary in my opinion to guard against any misapprehension or misdescription hereafter of this new State, the Union, which we shall describe as the Union of India.
Lest the term ‘Union’ should lead any one to imagine that it is a unitary Government I should like to make it clear, in the very first article, the first clause of that article, that it is a `federal union’. By its very nature the term ‘federal’ implies an agreed association on equal terms of the states forming part of the Federation. It would be no federation, I submit, there would be no real equality of status, if there is discrimination or differentiation between one member and another and the Union will not be strengthened, I venture to submit, in proportion as there are members States which are weaker in comparison to other States. If some members are less powerful than others, the strength of the Union, I venture to submit, will depend not upon the strongest member of it, but be limited by the weakest member. There will therefore have to be equality of status, powers and functions as between the several members, which I wish to ensure by this amendment by adding the word `Federal’.
So far as I remember, this word does not occur anywhere in the constitution to describe this new State of India as a Federation and this seems to me the best place to add this word, so as to leave no room for mistake or misunderstanding hereafter.
Next, as regards the Secular character of the State, we have been told time and again from every platform, that ours is a secular State. If that is true, if that holds good, I do not see why the term could not be added or inserted in the constitution itself, once again, to guard against any possibility of misunderstanding or misapprehension. The term` secular’, I agree, does not find place necessarily in constitutions on which ours seems to have been modelled. But every constitution is framed in the background of the people concerned. The mere fact, therefore, that such description is not formally or specifically adopted to distinguish one state from another, or to emphasis the character of our state is no reason, in my opinion, why we should not insert now at this hour, when we are making our constitution, this very clear and emphatic description of that State.
The secularity of the state must be stressed in view not only of the unhappy experiences we had last year and in the years before and the excesses to which, in the name of religion, communalism or sectarianism can go, but I intend also to emphasis by this description the character and nature of the state which we are constituting today, which would ensure to all its peoples, all its citizens that in all matters relating to the governance of the country and dealings between man and man and dealings between citizen and Government the consideration that will actuate will be the objective realities of the situation, the material factors that condition our being, our living and our acting. For that purpose and in that connection no extraneous considerations or authority will be allowed to interfere, so that the relations between man and man, the relation of the citizen to the state, the relations of the states inner se may not be influenced by those other considerations which will result in injustice or inequality as between the several citizens that constitute the people of India.
And last is the term `socialist’. I am fully aware that it would not be quite a correct description of the state today in India to call it a Socialist Union. I am afraid it is anything but Socialist so far. But I do not see any reason why we should not insert here an aspiration, which I trust many in this House share with me, that if not today, soon hereafter, the character and composition of the State will change, change so radically, so satisfactorily and effectively that the country would become a truly Socialist Union of States.
The term `socialist’ is, I know, frightening to a number of people, who do not examine its implications, or would not understand the meaning of the term and all that it stands for. They merely consider the term `socialist’ as synonymous with abuse, if one were using some such term, and therefore by the very sound, by the very name of it they get frightened and are prepared to oppose it. I know that a person who advocates socialism, or who is a declared or professed socialist is to them taboo, and therefore not even worth a moment’s consideration……
It is absolutely wrong.
Thank you. If the assurance given by some friends is correct, I hope the House would have no objection to accept this amendment. I trust that those friends here who are very loud in this assertion will induce others in the House to set aside party barriers, and support me in this promising description, this encouraging epithet of the State.
By the term `socialist’ I may assure my friends here that what is implied or conveyed by this amendment is a state in which equal justice and equal opportunity for everybody is assured, in which everyone is expected to contribute by his labour, by his intelligence, and by his work all that he can to the maximum capacity, and every one would be assured of getting all that he needs and all that he wants for maintaining a decent civilised standard of existence.
I am sure this can be achieved without any violation of peaceful and orderly progress. I am sure that there is no need to fear in the implications of this term the possibility of a violent revolution resulting in the disestablishment of vested interests. Those who recognise the essential justice in this term, those who think with me that socialism is not only the coming order of the day, but is the only order in which justice between man and man can be assured, is the only order in which privileges of class exclusiveness property for exploiting elements can be dispensed with must support me in this amendment. It is the only order in which, man would be restored to his natural right and enjoy equal opportunities and his life no longer regulated by artificial barriers, customs, conventions, laws and decrees that man has imposed on himself and his fellows in defence of vested interests. If this ideal is accepted I do not see that there is anything objectionable in inserting this epithet or designation or description in this article, and calling our Union a Socialist Union of States.
I have one more word to add. As I said at the very beginning this is not merely an addition or amendment to correct legal technicality, or make a factual change, but an aspiration and also a description of present facts. There are the words “shall be” in the draft itself. I therefore take my stand on the term “shall be”, and read in them a promise and hope which I wish to amplify and definitise. I trust the majority, if not all the members of this House, will share with me.
Mr. Vice-President Sir, I regret that I cannot accept the amendment of Prof. K. T. Shah. My objections, stated briefly are two. In the first place the Constitution, as I stated in my opening speech in support of the motion I made before the House, is merely a mechanism for the purpose of regulating the work of the various organs of the State. It is not a mechanism whereby particular members or particular parties are installed in office. What should be the policy of the State, how the Society should be organised in its social and economic side are matters which must be decided by the people themselves according to time and circumstances. It cannot be laid down in the Constitution itself, because that is destroying democracy altogether. If you state in the Constitution that the social organisation of the State shall take a particular form, you are, in my judgment, taking away the liberty of the people to decide what should be the social organisation in which they wish to live. It is perfectly possible today, for the majority people to hold that the socialist organisation of society is better than the capitalist organisation of society. But it would be perfectly possible for thinking people to devise some other form of social organisation which might be better than the socialist organisation of today or of tomorrow. I do not see therefore why the Constitution should tie down the people to live in a particular form and not leave it to the people themselves to decide it for themselves. This is one reason why the amendment should be opposed.
The second reason is that the amendment is purely superfluous. My Honourable friend,Prof. Shah, does not seem to have taken into account the fact that apart from the Fundamental Rights, which we have embodied in the Constitution, we have also introduced other sections which deal with directive principles of state policy. If my honourable friend were to read the Articles contained in Part IV, he will find that both the Legislature as well as the Executive have been placed by this Constitution under certain definite obligations as to the form of their policy. Now, to read only Article 31, which deals with this matter: It says:
“The State shall, in particular, direct its policy towards securing —
(i) that the citizens, men and women equally, have the right to an adequate means of livelihood;
(ii) that the ownership and control of the material resources of the community are so distributed as best to sub serve the common good;
(iii) that the operation of the economic system does not result in the concentration of wealth and means of production to the common detriment;
(iv) that there is equal pay for equal work for both men and women;….”
There are some other items more or less in the same strain. What I would like to ask Professor Shah is this: If these directive principles to which I have drawn attention are not socialistic in their direction and in their content, I fail to understand what more socialism can be.
Mr. Vice-President, the amendment moved by my honourable friend, Prof. K. T. Shah is, I submit somewhat out of place. As regards the words `secular and socialist’ suggested by him I personally think that they should find a place, if at all only in the Preamble. If you refer to the title of this Part, it says, `Union and its Territory and jurisdiction’. Therefore this Part deals with Territory and the jurisdiction of the Union and not with what is going to be the character of the future Constitutional structure.
As regards the word `Union’ if Prof. Shah had referred to the footnote on page 2 of the draft Constitution, he would have found that “The Committee considers that following the language of the Preamble to the British North America Act,1867, it would not be inappropriate to describe India as a Union although its Constitution may be federal in structure”. I have the Constitution of British North America before me. Therein it is said: “Whereas the provinces of Canada, Nova Scotia, have expressed a desire to be federally united”, but subsequently the word “federal” is dropped, and only the word “Union” retained. Similarly, in our Constitution the emphasis should be on the word `Union’ rather than on the word `Federal’. The tendency to disintegrate in our body politic has been rampant since the dawn of history and if this tendency is to be curbed the word `federal’ should be omitted from this Article.
You might remember, Sir, that the content of Federation has been incorporated in the Constitution and we have various Lists prescribed for Union, etc. So long as the essence is there in the Constitution, I do not see any reason why the word `Federal’ should be specifically inserted here to qualify the word `Union’. I therefore oppose the amendment of Professor Shah.
The question is:
“That in clause (1) of Article 1 after the words `shall be a’ the words `Secular, Federal, Socialist’ be inserted.”
The motion was negatived.
I want to make one thing clear. After the reply has been given by Dr.Ambedkar, I shall not permit any further discussion. I have made a mistake once. I am not going to repeat it. (Laughter).
Mr. Vice-President, Sir, I move:
“That in clause (1) of Article 1 for the word `States’ the word `provinces’ be substituted.”
You, Sir, will remember that when Dr.Ambedkar moved the motion for the consideration of this Draft Constitution, when he was dealing with the form of Government, he stated that……….
We do not want a discussion of this nature. I appeal to the Honourable Member to speak only if he has something new to say.
Dr.Ambedkar stated, when dealing with the form of government, that there are two forms of government, one unitary and the other federal.
On a point of order, Sir. We have already voted down the amendment of Prof. K. T. Shah. It contained the word “Federation” and the House has already given its decision on that question. If the mover of the present amendment moves his amendment, the House would be reconsidering the same question. Therefore, in view of the fact that this amendment, was already covered by the previous amendment and discussion and voting had taken place on it, I think he is out of order in moving this amendment. I hope the Chair will use its discretion in the matter so that we may do our work quickly.
I agree with you in thinking that the question has been discussed, but I think he is still in order if he insists on moving this particular amendment.
Dr.Ambedkar asserted that in the Draft Constitution the government that is proposed is federal and not unitary, but subsequently he stated that nothing turns upon the term used, whether you call it a Union or a Federation. He further went on to say that the word `Union’ has been used advisedly so that the constituent parts may not have the freedom to get out. I take it that I am correct in interpreting the view taken by Dr.Ambedkar. Now, Sir, a Constitution is either unitary or federal, but if the framers of the Draft Constitution had in the back of their minds a unitary government and yet called it federal………
Since the time at our disposal is short, please confine yourself strictly to the point.
If Dr.Ambedkar says that the word “Union” was used not with any great significance, there is no reason why we should not use the correct word “Federation”, but if on the other hand the word ” Union” was used with a purpose so that in course of time this federal form of government may be converted into a unitary form of government, then it is for this House now to use the correct word so that it may be difficult in future for any power-seeking party that may come into power easily to convert this into a unitary form of government. So, it is for the House to use the correct word “Federation” instead of the word “Union”. This is my justification, Sir, for moving this amendment. If you mean that the government must be a federal government and not a unitary government and if you want to prevent in future any power-seeking party to convert it into a unitary form of government and become Fascist and totalitarian, then it is up to us now to use the correct word, which is “Federation”. Therefore, Sir, I move that the word “Federation” may be substituted for the word” Union”.
I do not accept the amendment.
I now put the amendment to the vote.
The amendment was negatived.
Then Amendment No. 100 to be moved byMr.Lari. I think it is covered by amendment No. 99. Does Mr.Lari insist on moving it? (Mr.Lari was not in the House). Then we pass on to amendment No. 101. Mr.Kamath.
I am moving only the second part of it, Sir. At the outset may I submit to you……..
What do you want to say, Mr.Ayyangar?
So far as this amendment is concerned, I do not want any postponement. I do not see any serious objection to the latter part of it being moved.
Amendment No. 104 is on the same subject, Sir.
At the outset, may I bring to your notice, Sir, that I originally sent this amendment separately as two amendments. Unfortunately the office has lumped them together into one. Had these amendments been printed separately, no difficulty would have arisen. The first amendment was to insert the word “Federal” before the word “Union”, and the second was to substitute the word “Pradeshas” for the word “States”.
May I now proceed to the amendment itself. The second part of the amendment only is before the House. I move, Sir:
“That for the word `States’ in clause (1) of Article 1,the words `Pradeshas’ may be substituted.”
On a point of order, Sir. This is not an amendment. The word “Pradeshas” is only a Hindi translation of the word “States”. If we accept translations of words as amendments, it will create endless complications. The Draft Constitution is in the English language and we should adhere to English terminology and not accept other words, whether they be from Hindi or Hindustani.
May I point out that it is not really a point of order, but an argument against the use of the word “Pradeshas”? Please allow Mr.Kamath, if he so wishes, to address the House.
I am glad, Sir, that several friend shave already made their observations, because that shows how much interest the House is taking in this matter. So I now proceed fortified by that conviction. My reasons for substitution of the word “State” by the word “Pradesha” are manifold. Firstly, I find that in this Draft Constitution, the word “State” has been used in more senses than one. May I invite your attention and the attention of the House to Part III, Article 7, of India and the Government and the Legislature of each of the States and all local or other authorities within the territory of India. Here we use the word “State” in quite a different sense. So the first reason for my amendment for the substitution of the word “State” by the word “Pradesha” is to avoid this confusion which is likely to arise by the use of the word “State” in different places in different senses in this Constitution. Secondly, Sir, – I hope my suspicion or my doubt is wrong, – but I feel that this word “State” smacks of a blind copying or imitation of the word “State” which you find in the Constitution of the United States. We have been told by Dr.Ambedkar in his first speech on the motion for the consideration of the Draft Constitution that we have borrowed so many things from various constitutions of the world. Here it strikes me that word “State” has been borrowed from the Constitution of the U.S.A. and I am against all blind copying or blind imitation. Thirdly, Sir, looking at our own history, at least during the last 150 years, the word “State” has come to be associated with something which we intensely dislike, if not abhor. The States in India have been associated with a particular type of administration which we are anxious to terminate with the least possible delay and we have already done so under the sagacious leadership of Sardar Patel. Therefore, this malodorous association with the British regime, which, happily, is no more, I seek to get rid of through this amendment which I have moved before the House. To those friends of mine, who are sticklers for the English language, who think that because this Constitution has been drafted in English, we should not bring in words that are our own, I should like to make one submission and that is this, that the bar to my mind is not against all words that are indigenous, that are Hindi or Indian in their etymological structure. I am reading from the “Constitutional Precedents”, regarding the Constitution of the Irish Free State – it was adopted in 1937 – which was supplied to us a year and half ago by the Secretariat of the Assembly. If we turn to 114 of this Constitutional Precedents, we find there is a footnote on that this effect.
“Also in the Irish language.”
This means that the Constitution of 1937 was adopted firstly in English, because the footnote says it was adopted also in the Irish language. That means to say that originally it was adopted in the English language and later on adopted in the Irish language. If you look at the Constitution of Ireland, we find so many Irish words and not English words, words like – I do not know how they are pronounced in the English language – Oireachtas, DailEireann, Taois each (for the Prime Minister) and SeanadEireann. All these words are purely Irish words and they have retained these words in the Irish Constitution adopted in the English language, and they did not bother to substitute the equivalent word sin the English language. Therefore it is for this House to decide what words we can incorporate in our Constitution though they are Indian, Hindi or any other language of our country.
So, Sir, for the reasons that I have stated already the word “State” should never be used in our Constitution in this context. Firstly, because it smacks of blind imitation.Secondly, because of its association with a regime which, by our efforts and by the grace of God, we have put an end to. I will make one other submission, Sir. In the new integratedStates – former States or Indian States which we have been able to unite into one unit – we have already used the word “Pradesh”, and we have called the Himachal Union as the Himachal Pradesh and the Vindhya Union as the Vidhya Pradesh, and there is a movement afoot in Assam to call the union of States there as Purbachal Pradesh.
Another point is that we are going to constitute provinces on a new basis in the near future. Already the provinces of Madras, of C. P. and of Bombay have got merged in themselves some of the former Indian States and so the new provinces are going to be different from the old Provinces and therefore the word “Pradesh” is much better and much more apt than the word “State”.
Sir, the last point that I want to make is this. My friend Mr. G. S. Gupta has also tabled an amendment to this article. That would arise only if my amendment is adopted. If this fails, the amendment of my friend will not arise. If my amendment is adopted, then certainly consequential changes will have to be made throughout the text of the Draft Constitution.
Therefore, I move this amendment, Sir:
“That in clause (1) of Article 1, for the word `States’ the word `Pradeshas’ be substituted.”
Sir, I would like to submit this with regard to my amendment. Mr.Kamath has given an amendment which only says that in clause (1) of article 1 for the word ‘States’, the word `Pradeshas’ be substituted. That would mean, that in other clauses, in other articles, the word may not be substituted. If that contingency arises, it may not be all right. Therefore, my amendment No. 104 may either be treated as an amendment to Mr.Kamath’s amendment or I may be allowed to move it now, so that no further complication may arise. Because, it would be really absurd if the word ‘ States’ is changed into `Pradeshas’ only in clause (1) of Article 1. Sir, I shall read Article 1. Clause (1) of Article I say: “India shall be a Union of States.” This is the only place where Mr.Kamath has sought to change. It means instead of `States’ we shall have, “India shall be a Union of Pradeshas.” In clauses (2) and (3) and in other clauses, the word `State’ will continue.
May I interrupt with your permission. If this amendment of Mr.Kamath is rejected, then, amendment No. 104 comes in. Even if it is carried, then, your amendment will come in subsequently and you will have a subsequent chance. I think that would economise the time of the House.
Sir, the procedure that I suggest would really economise the time of the House. If I move my amendment as an amendment to Mr.Kamath’s amendment, the time of the House will be saved. Otherwise a contingency may arise – I do not say it will. Suppose Mr.Kamath’s amendment is carried and mine is rejected…….
Sir, I move:
“That in Article 1 for the word `State’ whenever it occurs, the word `Pradesh’ be substituted and consequential changes be made throughout the Draft Constitution.”
The reason why I want to make this motion just now is what I have already submitted. If Mr.Kamath’s amendment is carried, then it will mean that only clause (1) of Article 1 will be amended, and the rest of it will not be amended. But, if my amendment is carried, then, not only in clause (1) of Article 1 we shall have substituted the word `Pradesh’ for the word `State’, but in the subsequent portions of Article 1 and throughout the Draft Constitution, wherever the word `State’ occurs, so that it would be quite consistent. Otherwise, there would be some absurdity left. The reason why I want the word `States’ in Parts I and II are really provinces and the States in Part III are what are called Indian States at present, none of which are States in the accepted sense of the term. One reason for using the word `State’ may be to synchronise the two, and the other reason could be to follow the American Constitution. The American Constitution has no parallel with us, because, originally the American States were all sovereign States. Our provinces are not at all sovereign; they were never sovereign States. Our provinces are not at all sovereign; they were never sovereign of the Centre. The Indian States also are not sovereign. We want that India should not only be one nation, but it should really be one State. Therefore, I submit that it should be, “India shall be a union of Pradeshas.” I avoid the word ‘provinces’ because, it will not fit in with what are now called Indian States, we want that both may be synchronised. This word `Pradesha’ can suit both the provinces and what are now called Indian States. Indian States are merging and merging very fast, thanks to our leaders. Moreover they themselves are choosing that word. For instance, they call the Himachal Pradesh, and Vindhya Pradesh. If we use this word for our Provinces as also for the States, all anomaly would be removed. This is all that I have to say.
Sir, I have regretfully to oppose that amendments moved by friends Mr.Kamath and Mr. Gupta. I have to state that by whatever name the rose is called, it smells sweet. Here, the Drafting Committee has advisedly called India a Union of States. My friends want to call the same by the name of a Union of Pradeshas. I do not want that this occasion should be utilised for any language controversy. I would appeal to the House not to take this question in that light. The word Pradesh, as admitted on all hands, is not an English word. We are considering the Draft in the English language. I would respectfully appeal to my honourable friends who have moved the amendments to show me in any English Dictionary the word Pradesh. We cannot go on adding to the English language unilaterally all the words that we think suitable. The English language has got its own words. We cannot make the Draft Constitution a hotchpotch of words of different languages. Besides, the Constitution, I respectfully submit, is a legal document. Words have got a fixed meaning. We cannot incorporate new words with vague meanings in this Constitution and take the risk of misinterpretation in courts of law. I would therefore beg the mover and the seconder not to press this word to be incorporated in the Draft Constitution. If my friends are very enthusiastic about the Hindi language, we are not far behind them; we will support them. But, this is not the place, this is not the occasion to insert Hindi words in the Draft Constitution. Therefore, Sir, purely as a matter of convenience and legal adaptability, the Drafting Committee’s word “State” is quite good. To substitute it by the word “Pradesh” would be to open the flood-gates of controversy, and if there are other amendments to the effect that Kannada words, Tamil words and Hindi words should be substituted in the different Articles of the Constitution then, as I said, the whole draft, as placed before the House, would be a hotchpotch of linguism. I would earnestly request the members not to press these amendments, because it is merely a translation, and not to introduce non-English words into an English Draft.
Mr. Vice-President, I have very carefully listened to the speech just delivered by my honourable friend Mr.Hanumanthaiyaopposing the amendment of my honourable friend Mr.Kamath. I must tell at once my honourable friend Mr.Hanumanthaiya that he need not have unnecessarily scented a sort of underhand effort to import Hindi linguism by this amendment. In the course of my speech on the general motion for consideration of the Draft Constitution I dilated at considerable length on the question of States. I pointed out then and point out even now that the expression ‘State’ has got a peculiar connotation in the Constitutional literature of the world. (Cheers). ‘State’ always connotes an idea of sovereignty, absolute independence and things like that. In the United States of America there was a States Rights School. It seriously contended that the States had independent status and the bitterness which was generated by the long drawn out controversy culminated in the bloody civil war. That is the evidence of history. Therefore when we want to describe our country as a Union of States, I apprehend that it is quite possible that the provinces which are now being given the dignified status of States, the native States which had hitherto been under the Indian Princes, but have now either acceded to or merged in, the Indian Union may at a later stage seriously contend that they were absolutely sovereign entities and that the Native States acceded to the Indian Union ceding only three subjects, viz. Communications, Defence and External Affairs. In order to avoid all these likely controversies in the future, I suggested to the House that best efforts should be made to evolve a phraseology in place of ‘States’. We must eliminate the chances of this controversy in the future. I am prepared even now – let my friends ransack and find out a substitute. This word has an unsavory smell about it. In the absence of ‘State’ it has been suggested that the word ‘Pradesh’ should be substituted. Let me tell my friend Mr.Hanumanthaiyaand those of his way of thinking that the word may be used in Hindi but it is a Sanskrit word. It is not an English word but there will be no difficulty if it is used. Here you describe in article 1 sub-clause (2) that –
“The States shall mean the States for the time being specified in Parts I, II and III of the First Schedule.“
If you look to Part I of the Schedule, you will find the States that are enumerated there are the Governors’ provinces of Madras, Bombay, West Bengal, United Provinces, Bihar, Central Provinces, Assam and Orissa, if you look to Part II you will find Delhi, Ajmer-Merwara, including PanthPiploda and Coorg. I seriously ask, are you going to describe the City of Delhi as a State? Are you going to describe Coorg as a State? Are you going to describe PanthPiploda as a State? Are you going to describe Ajmer-Merwara as a State? If you do it, it will be simply ridiculous. Therefore in the absence of any other suitable expression I do feel that the term ‘Pradesh’ which is of Sanskrit origin and which means a country of big area – would be quite suitable. There will be no harm if, in the first schedule, in the description, the words ‘Pradesh’ I know it is an English translation. There is some force in what my honourable friend said that in the English draft itself you should not introduce Sanskrit words. But my friend coming from Mysore should be the last person to describe his own territory as an Independent State. Does it require any argument? Has he not so far pleaded that these States should have no sovereign existence and that they should be merged with the Union? Therefore there ought to be no sanctity about the word ‘State’. I am perfectly prepared if the Draftsmen or anybody in this House could find an expression which would denote and connote what we want. We have always pleaded for a strong Centre. In the Draft we have a federal structure but the Drafting Committee has rightly imported to it a unitary bias. We appreciate it. If we are to give effect to that view we have got to find out an expression which will thoroughly embody the concept which we have in view. From this point of view I am convinced that nothing would be lost if we describe the States as Pradesh. In that case all categories of States, Governors’ provinces, Chief Commissioners’ provinces and what have hitherto been called Native States could all be included under ‘Pradesh’ and ‘Pradesh’ could be enumerated in the First Schedule I support the amendment to substitute ‘Pradesh’ in place of ‘State’.
Sir, in future I would ask you to allow me to speak from the nearest mike because the long distance which we have to travel from the seat to this place sometimes helps us to forget our ideas.
I want to oppose this amendment. First of all I oppose Mr.Kamath’s amendment and it is very easy to ask the House to throw it out. He has asked the word ‘Pradeshas’ to be used in place of the word ‘States’. How does he come to the conclusion that ‘Pradeshas’ if anything. It cannot be ‘Pradeshas’. Therefore on that ground as well as on the ground that if you change the word ‘Pradeshas’ in article 1 and you do not touch the rest of the article, then it becomes meaningless. Therefore on these two grounds I oppose the amendment which has been moved by Mr.Kamath. But I must be careful when I go to oppose the amendment of a person like my friend Mr. Gupta who is the Speaker of the C. P. Assembly.
Nevertheless, I cannot understand the object of the change he proposes. There may be some sentiment behind it which I may understand, but not appreciate. Here, Sir, you have a Constitution in English and the same Constitution in the language called the National Language – call it Hindi or Hindustani. When you write the Constitution in Hindustani, it is but natural that you should use the word ‘Pradesh’ in place of the word ‘State’ or ‘Province’. But when you are writing the Constitution in the English language, it is not conceivable why you should seek to change the word ‘State’ to ‘Pradesh’. What is the object? That is what I would like to know. If the object is to acquaint people who are not acquainted with Hindi, with the word ‘Pradesh’, that I can understand. People from South India do not understand Hindi, and so first of all, let them begin by learning the word Pradesh in the Hindi Language. You start with the word Pradesh now, and next time you give them some other word to learn, and bit by bit bring the language on the people of South India. (Laughter). Is that the object?
Then again, it will be most unaesthetic as suffix to the word ‘Pradesh’ for the United Provinces or the Central Provinces. Would you call then United Provinces Pradesh or the Central Provinces Pradesh? And if you were to translate the word Province also into Pradesh, then there would be two Pradesh Pradesh, and all this is rather odd.
Come to Bengal. What would you call West Bengal? Would you call it West Bengal Pradesh? PaschimBanga Pradesh. I can understand, but I cannot understand putting in the word Pradesh alone.
All these complications will arise if the word is changed. It will help nobody. On the other hand, it will not go against the sentiments of anyone if the word ‘State’ is used. So I would request Honourable Mr. Gupta to consider this point again.
If by any mischance, this amendment is carried, you, Sir, will kindly allow us time to make amendments in the First Schedule, because it looks very awkward to say U. P. Pradesh, or C. P. Pradesh. I would also like to change from Assam Pradesh toKamrup Pradesh, because the word Assam jarson everyone’s ears as I find now-a-days.
First of all, Sir, I want to assure the honourable members of the non-Hindi speaking provinces, that our object in moving this amendment is not to force Hindi on any one. The language controversy need not have arisen so far as this amendment is concerned. We wanted to drop the word ‘State’, and therefore, this amendment is being moved.
I was rather surprised to hear the speech of my Mr.Rohini Kumar Chaudhari. He asked us, if Pradesh is accepted, what is going to happen to U. P. and to C. P.? I want to tell him that it would be Samyukta Pradesh or Madhya Pradesh. It will not be the U. P. Pradesh or C. P. Pradesh. Mr.Rohini Kumar, I think, knows Sanskrit well, and he will agree with me that even if we adopt the word Pradesh in our Constitution, it does not mean that the English word Provinces or Province would be used along with the word Pradesh. If we want to get rid of the word ‘State’ because it has got different meanings in different countries, the only way is to put in the word Pradesh there.
Now, as far as the word Provinces is concerned, another controversy is there. There are newly formed States or Unions of States which may not accept the word Province in the beginning. Though all the provinces would be treated alike in the future, in the beginning, to name these State Unions as Provinces will not be a proper thing. Therefore, in view of these difficulties, we thought that the word ‘Pradesh’ would be the proper word. Even in the English version of the Constitution, I think there should not be any difficulty inputting the word Pradesh. There are many other words which have been taken in the English language, for instance words like ‘bazaar’ or ‘Rajyas’. For these words, when we form the plural of these words, we add the letter ‘s’, and say’ bazaars’ or Rajyas’ in English. Similarly to make Hindi word into its plural form in the English language you need add only ‘s’. I do not see what difficulty there is to adding ‘s’ to Pradesh also and say Pradeshas when we want the plural form.
I hope, Sir, that controversy of language and other questions will not be raised here, and if we think the word ‘ State’ should be dropped, and under the present circumstances, the word ‘provinces’ cannot be taken up, I think the best thing would be to put in the word ‘Pradesh’ both in the Hindi Constitution and in the English Constitution.
Sir, I do not wish to enter into any lengthy arguments on this question, but only wish to point out what my own reaction to this proposal is. When we met some time back in the two committees – the Union Constitution Committee and the Provincial Constitution Committee – we met jointly, and we considered this matter, and also as to what the names of the Houses should be. After considerable discussion, we came to the conclusion that one of the Houses should be called the House of States. So I say this matter was discussed then in various forms. Now I feel that at the present moment, if any change is made in the name of a province, and it is called a Pradesh, personally I think it would be a very unwise change. (Hear, hear). For the moment, I am not going into the merits of it. It may be, we may have to change, but if so, there should be some uniformity about these changes all over the place. It is not right to push in one or two words here and there. They do not fit in aesthetically, artistically, linguistically or in any other way.
Apart from all this, the argument that was advanced, that “State” somehow meant something which we did not wish our units to mean, I think, was not a very strong argument. The example of the United States of America was given. A State is just what you define it to be. You define in this Constitution the exact powers of your units. It does not become something less if you call it a “Pradesh” or “Province”. On the other hand “Pradesh” is a word which has no definition. No one knows what it means. With all respect, no one present in this House can define it because it has not been used in this context previously. It has been used in various other contexts. It is a very good word, and gradually it may begin to get a significance, and then of course it can be used either in the Constitution or otherwise, At the present moment, the normal use of the word varies in hundreds of different ways and the word “State” is infinitely more precise, more definite, not only for the outside world which it is, but even for us. Therefore, it will be unfortunate if we used a completely improvised word, which becomes a linguistic anachronism for a Constitution of this type. Now, I can understand the position when our constitution is fully developed and we have it in our own language with all the appropriate words. Whether “Pradesh” is the right word or not, I cannot say. That is for the experts to decide and I will accept their decision. For the moment we are not considering that issue. We are considering what words should be brought into this present English draft of the Constitution and bringing in words which will undoubtedly sound as odd and inappropriate tom any ears in India is not good enough. The use of the word in a particular context is foreign. One has to get used to it, especially in regard to the context, and the more foreign words we introduce, the more you make it look odd and peculiar to the average man. My own test would be not inputting up linguistic committees and scholars, but taking a hundred odd people from the bazaar and discussing the matter with them and just seeing what their reactions are. We talk in terms of the people but in fact we function often enough as a select coterie forgetting what the people think and understand. Obviously in technical matters you cannot go to the people for technical words, but nevertheless, there is an approach that the people understand. Therefore, I would beg this House to consider it from this point of view and maintain the normal English word in the English Constitution and later on consider the matter as a whole as to what other words in our language you will be putting in our own draft, which will obviously have an equal status. But putting it in this would be confusing, and looking at it from a foreign point of view, it would be very confusing because no one would be used to it and it would take a long time even to understand the significance of these changes. For myself I am clear that there should be no difference in the description of what is now a province and what is now a State. There should be a uniformity of description in the two. The proposal is that the word “State” should apply to both, and the second House, if approved, should be called the House of States.
There is another matter. This touches, whether we wish it or not, several other points of controversy in this House. They may be linguistic or call it by any other word. I think it would be unfortunate if we brought in those particular controversies in this way, as if by a side door. Those have to be faced, understood and decided on their merits. There is undoubtedly an impression that changes brought about in these relatively petty ways affect the general position of those issues. I think in dealing with the Constitution, we should avoid that. The Constitution is a big enough document containing principles and deciding our political and economic make-up. As far as possible I should like to avoid those questions which, though important we could decide in the context of the drafting of the Constitution. Otherwise, what is likely to happen is that we shall spend too much time and energy from the constitutional point of view on irrelevant matters, although important, and the balance of our time and energy is spent less on really constitutional matters. Therefore, I beg the House not to accept the two amendments moved and to retain the word “State”.
I oppose the amendment.
The question is:
“That in article 1 for the word “State” wherever it occurs, the word “Pradesh” be substituted and consequential changes be made throughout the Draft constitution.”
I ask for a division.
It seems to me that the “Noes” have it. It is not necessary for me to call for a division. I have the power not to grant this request. I would request honourable Members to consider the position. It seems to be quite obvious that the “Noes” have it.
I accept the position that the “Noes” have it.
May I suggest that instead of making our requests, we could raise our hands. That would give a fair indication how the matter stands.
Does the Honourable Shri G. S. Gupta admit that the “Noes” have it?
I accept the position that the “Noes” have it.
The amendment was negatived.
On a point of order, Sir, you kindly put my amendment to the House and it was lost but Mr.Kamath’smotion must be put to the House formally.
The question is:
“That in clause (1) of article 1, before the word’ Union’ the word ‘Federal’ be inserted and for the word’ States’ the word ‘Pradeshas’ be substituted.”
The motion was negatived.
Sir, I beg to move:
“That in clause (1) for the word ‘States’ the word’ provinces’ be substituted.”
On a point of order, Sir, in view of the fact that the previous amendment has been rejected by the House this amendment would be out of order.
The only thing that has happened is the rejection of the word “pradesh“.
Mr. B. Dasrose to a point of order to the effect that this is not in order. The amendment that has been thrown out by the House is to the effect that the word ‘Pradesh’ be substituted for the word ‘State’, which does not rule out this amendment, viz., the substitution of the word ‘State’ by any other word, if the House so chooses. I have therefore moved my amendment that for the word ‘State’ in the article and wherever it occurs throughout the Draft in this context the word’ Province’ be substituted. The formal amendment is that in this particular clause the word ‘State’ be replaced by the word ‘Province’. When I moved my first amendment with regard to the word ‘Pradesh’ I made my position clear as to why I am against the retention of the word ‘State’. I do not wish to repeat those arguments which I then advanced before the House. I might just recall them by saying that the word ‘State’ smacks of imitation as the word finds a place in the constitution of the U. S. A. Secondly the word ‘State’ has a bad connotation or bad odour about it, because of the association of the Indian States with the British regime which is now dead. I would therefore in all circumstances plead with this House the word ‘State’ should be eliminated at all costs and by all means and if the House is not in a mood to accept the word ‘Pradesh’ I would certainly entreat them to accept the word ‘Province’, as the lesser of the two evils. Our position today is that we have dispensed with or eliminated the old Indian States; and have we not already adopted the terms Himachal Pradesh and Vindhya Pradesh? We want to level them up to the position of the Indian Provinces and therefore in the new set up I feel that the word ‘Province’ is more happy and would express the meaning of the structure of the component units amendment and commend it to the acceptance of the House.
Sir, if after every motion is moved by a member and you ask Dr.Ambedkar whether he agrees to it and after allowing him to express his views you debar other members from speaking on the subject, it will be very hard on the House.
I am afraidPanditHirdayNathKunzru has not realised exactly my position. I am always prepared to give every possible facility to every member here, which I need not demonstrate further than by reference to what I have done in the last few days. But just now we are pressed for time. After Mr.Kamath moved his amendment I waited for some time to see if anybody would stand up and nobody stood up and when specially I found that Mr.Kamath had repeated the arguments which had been formerly stated by him, I thought that I would not be going against the wishes of the House by asking Dr. Ambedkar the question whether he wished to reply. If I failed to understand the attitude of the House I am very sorry.
You are perfectly within your right in not allowing discussion of a clause which you regard as trivial and on which you think there has been sufficient discussion. You have the power to stop discussion and ask the Member in charge to reply. If in exercise of this power you asked Dr.Ambedkar to reply, there can be no objection to what you have done.
Then I will put the amendment to vote. The question is:
“That in clause (1) of Article 1, for the word ‘States’ the word ‘Provinces’ be substituted.”
The motion was negatived.
Amendment 108, Shri Mahavir Tyagi.
You are a little late.
Sir, I am not very keen to have all the words mentioned in my amendment inserted. I do not also want to make a speech and waste the time of the House. However, I want to make one point clear and with that end in view, I shall formally move this amendment:
“That in clause (1) of article 1, for the word ‘States’ the words ‘Republican States and the sovereignty of the Union shall reside in the whole body of the people’ be substituted.”
In the Draft Constitution I find that the residence of sovereignty has not been described. Where sovereignty lies has not been definitely laid down. I want that this may goon record. I shall be content if the Honourable mover of the Constitution would place before the House either in connection with the Preamble or some other Article of the Constitution, an amendment which will clearly lay down that the sovereignty shall reside in the whole body of the people. The word ‘State’ has one meaning in one place and another meaning elsewhere. It will therefore not be satisfactory to say that the sovereignty should rest in the States. What does the Honourable Member suggest? Whether the sovereignty reside in the Union or in the States? From the Draft it is not clear. My amendment therefore seeks to lay down definitely where sovereignty resides or shall reside in future.
I want also to make one thing clear. If we remain in the family of the United Kingdom and remain attached to them, sovereignty will probably technically remain with the King. I want to save the country from that danger. I want to make it absolutely clear that the sovereignty virtually, technically and practically resides in the whole people……….
May I point out that the proper place for an amendment of this nature is the Preamble?
It is neither defined in the Preamble in so many words. I want that it should be clearly defined. I am a layman. I would like to know from the expert draftsmen whether the Preamble forms part of the body of the Constitution. Since the Preamble is not an Article of the Constitution, may I know if it comes in the body of the Constitution proper? Can Preamble always override the law? I don’t think it does. What I want is that sovereignty should be defined in one of the Articles of the Constitution. The Preamble mentions only casually that we are constituting India into a sovereign union. From this my friends of the Drafting Committee draw the conclusion that the sovereignty resides of in the “people”. That does not satisfy me. We cannot depend on the implication drawn. I insist that sovereignty should be defined in the body of the Constitution itself. I want that sovereignty should reside in the whole people of the country, and not in State or Union. State may only mean to be a sort of Governmental structure in the Centre, or it may include the people as well, or it may be only the union or one or more states. The Provinces will also be known as States hereafter. Let us therefore define in unambiguous terms the actual residence of sovereignty for future. I may submit that in the Constitution of China it is stated that the sovereignty rests in the whole people. We may lay down the same thing in our Constitution also. I therefore beg to move this amendment.
Mr. Vice-President, I come from an Indian State and I have a particular interest in this amendment, and I wish the House accepts it. There are also Indian States coming in as states in this Constitution, We do not want the Rajpramukhs and others to be there permanently. Of course, as the convenants have been signed, let them be there for some time. But, in the Constitution, we should lay down that even the common people can become heads of the provinces and States, and this will be one of the methods by which we will bring the States into conformity with the provinces. This is an important question. This issue must have been engaging the attention of the States Ministry. This is therefore a very urgent affair. Even before we finish our labours at Constitution-making, we must make all attempts to see that the States do come on par with the provinces. This amendment can achieve that object. Sovereignty is a very important power and, as has been pointed out, it has been laid down in the Chinese constitution also. So there is no harm in accepting this amendment. I request the Honourable Members to vote for it.
Mr. Vice-President, Sir, the amendment moved by Mr. Tyagi is a very important amendment. I have myself given notice of a similar amendment (No. 189) which runs as follows:
“That the following new Part be inserted after Part I and the subsequent Parts and articles be renumbered accordingly: –
Part I-A General Principles
6. The name of the Union shall be BHARAT.
7. Bharat shall be a sovereign, independent, democratic, socialist Republic.
8. All powers of government, legislative, executive and judicial, shall be derived from the people, and shall be exercisable only by or on the authority of the organs of the government established by this Constitution.
9. The National Flag of Bharat shall be the tricolour of saffron, white and green of pure hand-spun and hand-woven Khadi cloth, with the Dharmachakra of Asoka inscribed in blue in the centre in the middle stripe, the ratio between the width and breath being 2:1.10. Hindi written in the Devanagri script shall be the National language of Bharat:
Provided that each State in the Union shall have the right to choose its own regional language as its State language in addition to Hindi for use inside that particular State.
11. English shall be the second official language of Bharat during the transition period of the first five years of the inauguration of this Constitution.
12. The National Anthem of Bharat shall be the” Vandemataram” which is reproduced in the Second Scheduled.
13. The Arms of Bharat consist of the Three Lions above the pedestal and the Dharmachakra, as are depicted on the top of the Asoka pillar at Sarnath.”
I personally think that this amendment should not be incorporated in this clause. There should be a separate Clause containing the substance of the amendment I have given notice of. In Chapter II they have defined sovereignty. In my amendment I have suggested how this should be put in. All powers of Government, legislative, executive and judicial shall be derived from the people and shall be exercisable only by one on the authority of the Government established by this Constitution. So, the sovereignty shall reside in the people and all powers of the State, legislative, executive and judicial, shall belong to the people.
Sir, my friend from the States just now pointed out that the matter is a very important one because, if we do not say here that the source and the fountain of all authority is the people, the theory that kings have got divine rights will continue. Therefore, it is important that it should be stated in the Constitution that it is the people who have sovereignty. Here in our country where the States have been a standing sore which we hope to wipe out very soon, I think this provision should find a place in the Constitution. I would request my learned friend, Dr. Ambedkar to say, when he replies to this amendment, that he accepts this principle, I hope he will find a suitable place for its insertion in the Constitution. On the Irish model, I suggest that the next chapter should contain definite provision relating to the name of the Union, its language and other things. It may be stated therein that all power of government legislative, executive and judicial, is derived from the people. I think this is an amendment of fundamental importance and as such I hope that it will not be rejected summarily and that Dr. Ambedkar will insert it in some suitable place in the Constitution.
Sir, I rise to support the amendment moved by Mr. Mahavir Tyagi for the reason that it conforms to the spirit of the Objectives Resolution of this House. Our Prime Minister has repeatedly stated that the Constitution should be in conformity with the Objectives Resolution not only recently but from the very beginning. He stated — I am reading from this printed book. “We are not changing the Objectives Resolution at all. The Objectives Resolution is history and we stand by all the principles laid down in it.“
May I remind my friend, Dr. Ambedkar, that when a Committee was formed to frame the Constitution, it was expressly mentioned that they will have to conform to the Objectives Resolution. Now Dr. Ambedkar has gone out of his way. He has not conformed to the Objectives Resolution and I request all of you to see what he has done. Instead of drafting the Constitution in conformity with the Objectives Resolution, he wants to make the Objectives Resolution conform to what he is proposing now. This Draft Constitution is a bundle of inconsistencies and is worth throwing only into the wastepaper basket. He has gone his own way and therefore all his efforts are only waste of time and energy.
Please confine yourself to the amendment, MaulanaSaheb.
I support this amendment because it is strictly on the lines of the Objectives Resolution. Instead of conforming to the Objectives Resolution, Dr.Ambedkar has changed the word “Republic” into a “State” and the word “independent” into “Democratic”. This shows the way his mind is working. The Draft Constitution makes me sure that he wants to establish a unitary Indian Empire which will again be subject to the greater Anglo-American Empire consisting of America and its satellites, the Brit is Commonwealth and some of the Western Powers of Europe.
I will ask you again to confine yourself to the amendment.
Sir, I support the amendment of Mr.Tyagi and I oppose the whole Constitution. May be Dr.Ambedkar produced this Draft because as Law Minister he was asked to do it. But what he has produced is a wretched thing and therefore I think that he should make amends for the mistakes he has committed. With these words I support the amendment.
Sir, I beg to oppose the amendment. It is absurd that an attempt should be made to put words here and there. The Draft Constitution is a complete framework and where sovereignty lies, what power is given to the executive and the legislatures, etc. have been defined by the different sections in it. To make an attempt to put in words here and there will be dangerous and if we accept such amendments, I think the whole Draft Constitution may upset and we do not know where we will be landed. Of course, if there is anything to be said on principle, that may be allowed, but to make verbal alterations in the Draft which has been considered by the Committee will mean a considerable waste of time and we should not accept amendments in this fashion.
I beg to oppose the amendment. In the preamble it is stated that “We, the people of India, having solemnly resolved to constitute, etc.” We are the persons who have met to give a Constitution for ourselves. Unless we are sovereign, we cannot give a Constitution for ourselves. Hitherto it was the Parliament in the United Kingdom that framed Constitutions. The fact that we have been elected by the various legislatures and come here for framing a Constitution shows that sovereignty is inherent in the people.
Of course we are here as a sovereign body. But what about the future? This sovereignty has been transferred to us by the British, why do you not vest it back with the people?
Allow him to proceed.
I will answer Mr. Mahavir Tyagi. We have not come here on adult franchise, but we represent three hundred odd million people and are gathered here to frame a Constitution for ourselves. If we are in a position to give a constitution on behalf of the people, if follows that in future the House elected on adult franchise representing larger interests, will be even more sovereign. From this it follows that sovereignty rests with the people. Therefore I cannot find any difficulty in leaving it as it is and no such introduction as is contemplated in the amendment is necessary. I would only draw the attention of the House to the preamble in the Constitution of the United States which says:
“We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity……..”
There are a number of articles in this Constitution. Later on the constitution was amended. The framers of the Constitution or the people of the United States who subsequently amended that constitution never said that there was a lacuna in the Constitution or that the sovereignty vested in themselves rather than with the people. Therefore, it is unnecessary. A doubt is created and to avoid that doubt an amendment is sought to be moved. There is another difficulty also. I want the sleeping dogs to lie. So far as the States are concerned, the States rulers in some places have been claiming sovereignty and we are trying to liquidate these rulers. Many of them have been liquidated, and these rulers have come into these States. In part III of the 1st Scheduled the States are there with the rulers in some forms or other. The people are already beginning to assert themselves and the whole thing will disappear even on that ground. I do not want the clause to be inserted here as the amendment contemplates. It is enough to leave the Preamble to itself and to work itself. We are sovereign and in that capacity we have gathered here and we shall give unto ourselves a Constitution. It is unnecessary to create a ghost and then afterwards lay it. I oppose this amendment, Sir.
Mr. Vice-President, Sir, one of the honourable members of this House has opposed this amendment on the ground that by the acceptance of this amendment, the whole structure and the whole scheme of the Draft Constitution will be changed. It seems to me that this is a bold statement and I will not like to digest a statement like this. This structure of the Constitution will be changed as if we are committed not to change it or we will abide by anything that will not change it. It seems to me therefore to be a dangerous statement to say that we will not accept because the structure of the scheme of the Draft Constitution will be changed. We are here to change it, if need be. Indirectly, it means also that the very basis, the scheme, or the structure of the Constitution is such that it militates against the very principle that underlies this amendment. If that is so, it is still more dangerous because this amendment clearly says–and no more than that – the sovereignty of India rests in the whole body of the people of India.
Now, one of my friends has just said that it does really vest with the people of India and therefore it will not be necessary. I submit it is a sort of a hypocritical statement, because I remember to have heardDr.Ambedkar, while he was speaking somewhere that this sovereignty rests with the Government of India and I want to make a difference between the Government of India and the people of India; they may be identical, they may be different. It might be that the Government of India will be supposed to be one thing and the people of India might be supposed to be another thing. They were so one day. Therefore, we must make it clear where, after our freedom, sovereignty vests. In the people of India?In the Cabinet?In the Government?In the President or somewhere else? I therefore think that to avoid this snag once and for all, we ought to declare that the sovereignty vests in each one of the citizens of India and for that purpose at least this amendment is very appropriate. I do not want to insist that this amendment should be passed and put in here, but it must be clear that there need be no reservation in the minds of us that sovereignty does not lie in each one of the citizens of India. I therefore support the spirit of this amendment and reiterate that really India’s sovereignty vests in each one of her citizens, however high or low, pandit or no pandit, fool or wise; it belongs to the people, each one of them, once and for all.
Beyond doubt it vests with the people. I might also tell my friend that I shall not have the least objection if this matter was raised again when we are discussing the Preamble.
Then I beg leave of the House to withdraw my amendment.
The amendment was, by leave of the Assembly, withdrawn.
Mr. Vice-President, Sir, I beg to move:
“That in clause (1) of Article 1, after the word States’ the words `equal inter se’ be added.”
In commending this amendment to the House, I would like to express my gratitude to the Chairman of the Drafting Committee for giving us a new version of what the Constitution is intended to be. It was somewhat new, to meat least, to hear that a Constitution is a mechanism for regulating the various organs of Government and their functions; and that any desire to include in it any aspiration of the people might be regarded as somewhat out of place. I am grateful for this view of the matter, as in future I shall conduct myself in my amendments and in my speeches accordingly. I must, however, add that when reference is made to the chapter on the Directives I can assure Dr.Ambedkar that I too have read them, though perhaps not with as much frequency and intensity with which he may have read it. The ‘Directives’ are, in my opinion, the vaguest, loosest, thickest smoke-screen that could be drawn against the eyes of the people, and may be used to make them believe what the draftsmen never intended or meant perhaps. When those matters are brought before the tribunals for adjudication or arbitration, they might not be interpreted in the sense the people might believe those clauses to convey.
In proposing this particular amendment, Sir, I have no illusion about the actual state of affairs. In the States today, including both – what are called the Provinces and which have still to be called the States proper – I realise there is no equality, of population or possibilities, area or resources.
But I also recognise that even if equality of political status does not exist today, we have, at any rate, to strive towards a state of affairs in which they would really and truly be equal amongst themselves, as members of a Common Federation. If this Union is to be a true federation, as we are assured it is going to be, if this Union is going to be a democratic federation, as we have also been promised again and again, then, I suggest that it is of the utmost importance that the constituent parts of the Union should be and must be equal amongst themselves.
This equality, I may assure the House, does not exist, and need not consist in area or population, in revenue or resources, in industrial or educational development. Unfortunately, we are all aware that the various parts of this country, politically divided or geographically demarcated, are not all equally developed and advanced. It must be the first task of the Union to see that those who have, for no fault of theirs, lagged behind, shall not continue to remain backward, and those who have had, for some Adventitious reasons, some advantage over others and moved forward more than others, shall also not be so selfish as to insist upon retaining their position and keeping those who are backward still lagging behind. The country cannot progress, the ideals we have all in view regarding the future growth and prosperity of this country will not be realised, if any single part of it is not able to pull its full weight in the advance of the country. That is one reason why I suggest that we must, here and now, insert in the Constitution is properly framed and working, the units shall be regarded as politically equal amongst themselves. I mean equal politically, in the sense that if one unit, however large it may be has the power of taxation of a certain kind, other units, however small, shall also have that power; if one unit has the right to maintain and use its own police force, the others also would have it; if one unit has the right to maintain its exclusive army, then another unit also shall have it. This being my conception of equality of States inter se, the existing differentiation between those which have been called provinces and between those which have been called States, those States which have merged and those which have acceded will have to be abolished at the earliest opportunity, even though today it may be an unfortunate fact of our position.
This is not the only reason which actuates me inputting forward this suggestion before the House. I look forward to the day when this Union of India shall consist of a body of Village Panchayats, knit together amongst themselves as co-operative republics, which will combine together not only for the greater advancement of their own inherent resources, but also for the greater prosperity of the country as a whole. In this view of the destiny of this Union, in this view of the position and potentiality of each component part of the Union, I think it would be the greatest hindrance if anyone is politically considered, or socially regarded as unequal to others. If it is thought that some only should have the leadership while the others have the destiny of always being followers, it would be, I repeat, an untold disaster to the country. Just as we are resolved and are all agreed that we shall have amongst ourselves, as citizens or individuals, equality before the law, just as we have thought that all distinctions of caste and creed shall disappear from the face of this land, so also, I submit, that this country must consist, as soon as we can manage it, of equal units, equal parts of the federation, each anxious, each competent, each equipped with the utmost possible means for development of the resources and the possibilities inherent in it; each also intent upon and each also willing to co-operate in the strengthening and development of the entire country, to the best of its possibilities. We have many parts in this country which are admittedly very backward in all kinds of material or moral development. It is towards them, it is for them, that I feel it necessary to insist that if they are non-equal inter set today, they shall be made equal at the earliest opportunity.
For this reason, the motion that was made just before, regarding the republican character of every component part of the Union, meets with my highest and heartiest approval. All these remnants, all these absurdities of economies, and all those anachronisms of history which are embodied in the so-called Ruling Princes, must disappear. It is only when we have got rid of these autocrats and plutocrats that we shall be able to design a humane and reasonable Constitution and try to attain the aims of life, which our great Teacher has placed before us.
It is for the same reason also that I have, in another part of this Constitution, tabled an amendment to the effect. I hope, Sir, that hereafter, at any rate, the Union of India shall consist of villages or groups of villages, which are each in themselves autonomous units, which are each in themselves republics, and each, if necessary, with the right to co-operate with their neighbours, so that as a result of their combined and collective effort, the Indian people just emerging from political bondage and economic slavery, may soon attain their rightful place in the role of the nations, and make their effective contribution to the progress of mankind.
[Mr. Vice-President Sir, I rise to support the amendment moved by my friend Professor Shah. In view of the fact that the House has not accepted the qualifying word ‘federal’ for the word Union, I think it is necessary for us to define the status of the States. As my friend remarked, the provinces or States or Chief Commissioners’ provinces certainly are not equal amongst themselves. Therefore, for the sake of clarity, for the sake of accuracy, for the sake of precision in constitutional terminology, it is essential for us to define the relationship or status of the States as between themselves. Therefore, the amendment of my friend Professor Shah is very apposite in my estimation. In a Constitution of this sort, which is essentially, as the footnote on page 2 says, federal in structure, there should not be one State superior to another, or one State inferior to another. There should not be any one State which may be called primus inter pares, that is first among equals. We should avoid this in the future constitutional set up. Obviously, it is necessary for us to define that all the States as amongst themselves should be equal. All the States should have only an equal status amongst themselves. If at all there is a superior State or Government or a mechanism, it is the mechanism of the Union Government. That is, if I may say so, it may be a super State or a supra State so far as India is concerned. So far as the States themselves are concerned, they should be absolutely equal amongst themselves. I therefore support the amendment of my friend Professor Shah to the effect that India shall be a Union of States which are equal inter se.
What are the States? So far as representation is concerned, most of the States in Part I of the First Schedule are equal; there is no difference made between the one and the other. So far as the States in Part III of the First Schedule are concerned, they have come in by certain agreements. We have accepted the agreements and until we are able to revoke the agreements or introduce different sets of agreements, we cannot make them equal. Even amongst ourselves, in all the Provinces or States which are included in Part I of the First Schedule, there cannot be an equality of the kind envisaged. This is absolutely an indefinite amendment. So far as the States are concerned, according to the population they have representation both in the Lower and Upper Houses. Therefore this amendment is understandable, vague and impractical and ought not to be accepted.
The amendment was negatived.
Sir, I beg to move:
“That at the end of clause (1) of Article 1, the following be inserted:
‘and shall be known as the United States of India’.”
Sir, this is a non-controversial amendment. It gives a bigger, a more dignified and a more sonorous name to the Union. If any precedent is needed we have it in the “United States of America”. I submit that in order to keep the balance between the Western hemisphere and Eastern hemisphere we should adopt this expression in India. India is the leading country in the East and we should have a very dignified name. As I have submitted it is a non-controversial amendment, and I ask the House to consider it on the merits.
The other amendment is an alternative to this. I move:
“That at the end of clause (1) of Article 1, the following be inserted:’and shall be known as the Indian Union’.”
Sir, I rise to oppose the amendment Nos. 110 and 112. As regards amendment 110 the very argument that my friend advanced that we have a precedent in the United States, is itself an argument against accepting it, in my judgment. He said something to the effect that there should be a meeting of East and West or some words to that effect. I certainly stand for harmony, a synthesis of the East and West, but I certainly do not want any hybrid development. The amendment which my Honourable friend has moved before the House seeks to bring about such a hybrid development between the East and West and we do not want to be suspected at this stage when we are pursuing or supposed to be pursuing a neutral foreign policy. We do not want the faintest indication to be made here in this House that we are going to copy either the U. S. S. R. or U.S.A. As regards U. S. S. R., there is no effect or influence in this Constitution and as regards U.S.A., precisely because this will smack of copying the U.S.A. Constitution, I oppose this amendment which seeks to add “shall be known as the United States of India”.
As regards No. 111. I support the amendment and we will thereby be eliminating or removing that hateful word ‘State’. Just now the House was pleased to throw out that amendment and I do not want the ‘State’ to come in by the back-door again in describing the structure of the Indian Union and therefore I would support my Honourable friend Mr.Naziruddin Ahmad in referring to India as the Union of India.
As regards No. 112, once we accept the words ‘Union of India’ there is no need to consider the third amendment. I think from the point of view of language, sound and its reaction on the ears, the Union of India is a much more dignified expression than Indian Union. I therefore oppose 110 and 112 and support 111.
Sir, I oppose all these amendments. With regard to the first amendment that India should be known as the United States of India, the argument set out by my friend Mr.Kamath is a perfectly valid argument and I accept it wholeheartedly. I have given my own views as to why I used the word ‘Union’ and did not use the word ‘Federation’.
With regard to the other amendment that India should be known as the Union of India, I also say that this is unnecessary, because we have all along meant that this country should be known as India without giving any indication as to what are the relations of the component parts of the Indian Union in the very title of the name of the country. India has been known as India throughout history and throughout all these past years. As a member of the U. N. O. the name of the country is India and all agreements are signed as such and personally I think the name of the country should not in any sense give any indication as to what are the subordinate divisions it is composed of. I therefore oppose the amendments and maintain that the Draft as it is presented to the House is the best so far as these amendments are concerned.
I am not moving 113.
But I am moving 114. Sir, I beg to move.
“That in clause (2) of Article 1, the word ‘The’ occurring at the beginning be deleted.”
Sir, this part really tries to define the words “The States”. I submit the word ‘The’ is a definite article and not a part of the name or nomenclature. Though the word has been used in this context, the word has been used also in other combinations like ‘A State’ ‘Any State’ `Every State’ and all sorts of States.
Sir, I raise a point of order. My point of order is that this is not an amendment. Unless it changes the substance of the original proposition, it is not an amendment. I am trying to find out the reference in May’s Parliamentary Practice. But I would like to raise this point at this moment. If my friend will forgive me, I think he is in the habit of moving all sorts of amendments, asking for a comma here, no commas there and so on and I think we must put a stop to this sort of thing in the very beginning.
My reply to the point or order raised is this. I want to remove the word “The” from the article and therefore it is an amendment. This is certainly a drafting amendment. It may be opposed on the ground that it is insignificant, illogical or purposeless or useless and so forth. But Dr.Ambedkar is not right in asserting that it is not an amendment at all. It cannot be ruled out on the technical ground that it is not an amendment.
And with regard to my Honourable friend’s remarks as to my habit of moving amendments like punctuations and other changes, I am happy to inform him and the House that I have ceased to follow that habit so far as this amendment is concerned. (Laughter).
You say it is a drafting amendment. Can’t we leave it to the Drafting Committee and its Chairman for seeing to it at the third reading? I am sure they will accept these amendments if there is any substance in them.
In that case, it would be leaving the matter to the Drafting Committee, instead of leaving it to the judgment of the House. The spokesman of the Drafting Committee has already given out his mind. Therefore, if I were to agree to leave it to the Drafting Committee, it would be as good as withdrawing it. Therefore, I have to submit, again, that the word “The” is not part of the name.
I am waiting to hear Dr.Ambedkar on this point.
Sir, I do not know why the Honourable Member objects to the word ‘the’. ‘The’ is a definite article, and it is quite necessary, because we are referring to the States in the Schedule. We are not referring to States in general, but to certain specific States which are mentioned in the Schedule. Therefore the definite article ‘the’ is necessary. It refers to the definite States included in the Schedule.
Secondly, I would like to submit this, it would be wrong – and I speak about myself – for any Indian to presume such precise command over the English language as to insist in a dogmatic manner that a comma is necessary here, a semi-colon is necessary there, or article ‘a’ is proper here and article ‘the’ would be proper there and so on. But if my friend chooses to arrogate to himself the authority of a prefect grammarian so far as English is concerned, I would like to draw his attention to the Australian Constitution from which we have borrowed these words and the definite article ‘the’ is used there. So I take shelter or refuge under the Australian Constitution which, I suppose, we may take it, was drafted by men who were good draftsmen and who knew the English language and whom we cannot hold guilty of having committed an error in the language.
I put the amendment to vote.
The amendment was negatived.
Amendment No. 119, Mr.Naziruddin Ahmad.
Sir, I beg to move:
“That in sub-clause (c) of clause (3) of Article 1, after words ‘as may’ the word ‘hereafter’ be inserted.”
Sir, I have moved this amendment after, I believe, taking great risks of having to displease the Honourable Chairman of the Drafting Committee. But I have to submit most respectfully that things which occur to Members should be placed before the House and the opinion of the House should be taken. If I have offended any member by moving.
Thereis no question of offending anyone.
Sir, I beg to submit that the context indicates the word “hereafter” that is, States which may hereafter be acquired. So the word ‘hereafter’ would be appropriate and I beg the House to consider insertion of this word.
I say it is quite un necessary, and I oppose it.
I put the amendment to vote.
The amendment was negatived.
Tomorrow, I understand, is a bank holiday. So we postpone further consideration of this to Wednesday 10 O’clock. We start from amendment No. 126.
The House then adjourned till Ten of the Clock, on Wednesday, the 17th November, 1948.