“Rotten Constitution” – This Observation had made the President of Constituent Assembly a bit Nervous

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

In Constituent Assembly of India, on 17 October 1049, Prof. Shibban Lal Saksena had proposed to amend the Preamble of our Constitution by substituting the draft with the following:

‘In the name of God the Almighty, under whose inspiration and guidance, the Father of our Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, led the Nation from slavery into Freedom, by unique adherence to the eternal principles of Satya and Ahimsa, and who sustained the millions of our countrymen and the martyrs of the Nation in their heroic and unremitting struggle to regain the Complete Independence of our Motherland, 

We, the People of Bharat, having solemnly resolved to constitute Bharat into a Sovereign, Independent, Democratic, Socialist Republic, and to secure to all its citizens:

JUSTICE, social, economic and political,
LIBERTY of though, expression, belief, faith and worship,
EQUALITY of status and of opportunity; and to promote among them all;
FRATERNITY assuring the dignity and freedom of the individual and the unity of the country and the Nation: 

In our Constituent Assembly this;……..day of Vikrami Samvat 2006 (the 26th day of January, 1950 A.D.) do hereby enact, adopt and give to ourselves this Constitution’”.

He was strongly opposed by Shri Brajeshwar Prasad who said,

“I rise to oppose the amendment moved by my friend Prof. Shibban Lal Saksena.

I do not want that the name of Mahatma Gandhi should be incorporated in this Constitution, because it is not a Gandhian Constitution.

The foundation stones of this Constitution are the decisions of the American Supreme Court.

It is the Government of India Act, 1935, repeated again.

If we had a Gandhian Constitution, I would have been the first to offer my support.

I do not want that the name of Mahatma Gandhi should be dragged into the rotten Constitution.

As Sri Prasad described the draft Constitution as “rotten”, the President immediately took steps to preempt any further exposure of the rottenness of the proposed Constitution and said, “I will now put this amendment to vote”.

Prof. Shibban Lal Saksena withdrew his amendment. And, history was halted from recording, why to some of our founding fathers, our Constitution had appeared “rotten”.

This Constitution has created a country of “contradictions”, in terms of what Dr. Ambedkar had told the CA in his final reply to the debates over the draft. It has made majority of people perish due to limitless accumulation of wealth in a very few private hands and has helped them replace our democracy with plutocracy.

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