Tuesday, the 9th November, 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.
Mr. Vice-President (Dr. H. C. Mookherjee): I take it as the unanimous desire of the House that the general discussion on the Honourable Dr. Ambedkar's motion should be concluded to-day. I have noticed endless repetitions of the same arguments and I appeal to those who will speak to-day that they will avoid issues which have been already dealt with.
Shri R. Sankar (Travancore): Sir, I must at the very outset congratulate the framers of the Draft Constitution on the very efficient manner in which they have executed their duty; and I must particularly congratulate Dr. Ambedkar on the very lucid and able exposition of the principles of theDraft Constitution that he gave us by his brilliant speech.I do not propose to go into the details of the Draft Constitution but will content myself with dealing with one or two aspects of it. I think the most salient features ofthe Draft Constitution are a very strong Centre and rather weak but homogeneous Units. Dr. Ambedkar made a fervent appeal to the representatives of the States to take up such an attitude as to make it possible for all the States and the provinces to follow the same line, and in course of time to establish homogeneous units of the Federation without any distinction between the States and the provinces. But I think there are certain things which differentiate the States among themselves, and the States as a class and the provinces. There are some which are very well advanced and others which are not only not so well advanced but are really backward. There are States in which literacy is less than 5 per cent. There are States in which literacy is more than 50 per cent. There are States which levy income-tax.There are others which do not levy income-tax at all. In fact, there is such a great difference between the States amongst themselves than between some of the States and the provinces that it is very difficult to find much in common between the States and the provinces as they are constituted at present. For an example of a State which is advanced, I might take the case of Travancore, which I have the honour to represent. Travancore is, I think, one of the most advanced States in the whole of India. In certain respects she is ahead even of the provinces. She has been able to work herself up to the present position on account of the fact that all her revenue resources had been tapped for along time and the Rulers had tried to develop the State fromvery early times. To-day, she is one of the most highly advanced industrial areas in all India. More than 50 percent. of her people are literate. Though a small State with an extent of only 7662 square miles, she has a revenue of nearly Rs. 9 crores. She spends about Rs. 2 crores on education now, more than half a crore on medicine and public health and as much on village uplift; and in other nation-building activities she spends very large sums. But if this Draft Constitution becomes law tomorrow, what is going to be the fate of this State? That is what concerns the people of the States as a whole and the people of Travancore in particular. Our customs revenue is nearly Rs. 1 1/2 crores. Our revenue from income-tax is nearly Rs. 2 crores and other federal items will come to nearly another crore. In other words, about 45 per cent of the income of the State will be central revenue from the day this Draft Constitution becomes law. The result would be that a State like Travancore will not be able to maintain,much less improve upon her present administrative efficiency. The States people now look at this picture more or less from this angle. The Princes, who were till now the stumbling block, have most of them decided to introduce responsible government in their realms, and the Ruler ofTravancore has made no reservation whatever in this respect.The people are now anxious how they
will be in a position to carry on the administrative functions of the State at least as it was carried on under the old irresponsible regime. I believe the Honourable Members of this House will see that it is a very hard case for a state like Travancore. Unless there be some provision by which a sort of fiscal autonomy is allowed to a state like mine it will be simply impossible for the State to maintain the high level of development ithas been maintaining till to-day. The people after the long struggle are looking forward to the present responsible governments in the States to find a solution for thehundreds of problems, especially economic problems, that they are faced with, and if the States, instead of being ina better position, are in a worse position from tomorrow,they will certainly find it impossible to do anything and to solve any problem that they face. This aspect has to beborne in mind when this Draft is considered by this Body.
Another thing about which I would like to speak one word is the linguistic affair. There appears to be very much enthusiasm on the part of Honourable Members from the North whose mother tongue is Hindi or Urdu to force it all of a sudden upon others who scarcely understand a syllable of it now. Though much work has been done in the field of propagating the national language, Hindi-Hindustani, in theSouth, if you go out to the villages you will find that not even 1 per cent of the population knows Hindi. Even if you take such an educationally advanced State as Travancore and another State which is educationally far advanced - Cochin - ,not even 1 per cent of the population can even today understand either Hindi or Urdu. I would therefore request the members who are very enthusiastic about this thing - this common national language to wait for a time, to give an opportunity to the people of the South and the East to get themselves sufficiently acquainted with it. Hindi, ofcourse, is in favour everywhere. Only some time - probably a decade or two - will have to be allowed. In the meanwhile,English must continue to enjoy the position it does to-day.If that be done, I think there will be none from any part ofIndia who will stand in the way of Hindi being recognised as the national language of India.
As my time is up, I close with these remarks.
Shri M. Thirumala Rao (Madras: General): Mr. Vice-President, Sir, as a new recruit to this Constitution-making body, I seek the indulgence of the House for the few remarks I have the privilege of making here presently.
We are now on the eve of great changes and we have been endowed with the power of shaping our future in a manner that suits our genius and tradition. Of course the past 150years of Brit ish rule has made an indelible impression on the Constitution that has been presented to us. I do not want to go into the details of the Constitution. I want to deal only with one aspect of it, viz., whether this country should remain a part of the Brit ish Common wealth of Nations.
Sir, the Objectives Resolution has clearly laid down that the basis of our State should be a complete Sovereign Independent Republic. I feel, Sir, that in the present set-up of world affairs, it is but meet that India should from the very first make an attempt to stand on her own legs and show that we are capable of developing our own institutions on the lines best suited to us. No doubt, Brit ish statesmen and all those people who are accustomed to be imperialists are looking askance at us wondering whether we will cut ourselves away from the Brit ish Empire. It is too late in the day to think of having any constitutional ties with the word 'Empire' which smacks so much of a feeling that had been engendered in the past. But one thing necessary is that we should not excite any jealousy on the part of powers like Russia or America by permanently tying ourselves to the apron strings of Brit ish Imperialism or Brit ishCommonwealth.
Now, whatever one may say, the balance of power is yet influencing world affairs; and India, strategically situated as she
is in the Indian Ocean, midway between the Pacific and the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, has a special responsibility and an important role in maintaining world peace. Though we are a young nation, with very ill-equipped defences, it must be our duty to see that we estrange nobody in the world with regard to our position in international affairs. As such, if we make it plain that complete sovereign independence is our ideal and also the practical basis on which we are building up our Constitution, we may not estrange people like the Americans in the future.
In spite of all the tall talk that has been indulged in with regard to the Anglo-American Bloc, an under current of jealousy still persists in America against the Brit ish Empire. But they have realised - even Republican papers in America have realised - that they must make a little sacrifice of their trade monopoly in order to strengthen India and build up a bulwark against the forces that are now sweeping the East from Russia. From that point of view I feel that we must have complete Republican and independent sovereignty in our Constitution and from that point of view,we may command some respect and also some assistance from countries which seek our help and co-operation in the near future.
With regard to other matters, we must borrow a lesson from the Australian and Canadian Constitutions where the provinces and Centre have evolved a sort of relationship which is still the bone of contention in their law courts.The recent instance in Australia where Nationalisation of Banking was attempted is an example: the Centre wanted to nationalise the banks but the provinces resisted. So also in our future development, the relationship between the provinces and the Centre has to be evolved in the best interests of the country. We require no doubt a strong Centre, but a strong Centre should not mean weak provinces.The provinces also should be equally strong to enable them to perform their multifarious duties and to develop schemes.They should be left with sufficient financial resources to discharge their duties and contribute to the strength of the Centre.
With regard to Defence, we have been unfortunately split up by the machinations of Brit ish diplomacy. Whether it is Pakistan or India, India is one and indivisible as far as the defence of the country is concerned; Pakistan, which is separated on the north-east and north-west by long stretches of the Indian Union territory, is much too small to defend herself and will have to co-ordinate her defences with India. Our frontiers lie much further than Pakistan;our eastern frontier lies much beyond Assam and if we are to integrate these, we will have to keep the States well-knit and to enter into a sort of alliance with Pakistan by enclosing it within a super-federation of this federation.
Sir, I visualise a day when it will be impossible for the new States to remain as separate entities for long.There was wisdom in the proposal that these two States could combine for certain purposes like international trade,currency and defence. I will not rule out the possibility of such a combination in the near future, in the next decade,if we are to develop our Constitution on proper lines.
One more point, Sir. We have been talking too much of a secular State. What is meant by a secular State? I understand that a secular State may not allow religion to play a very important part to the exclusion of other activities of the State. But we must make it clear that the ancient traditions and culture of this country will be fully protected and developed by the Constitution and through the Constitution.
Mr. Vice-President, I see that my time is up. With your permission I will conclude in another minute.
Wherever you go, to the Mother of Parliaments or to other Brit ish Institutions, you find invariably the Church associated with them, with their universities, with their Parliament, with their Courts of Law and so on. Although Ido not want to impose our religion in our institutions to that extent, I do plead that we
should protect our culture,our peculiar national characteristics and traditions. These should be protected by the Constitution. We should not forget, wherever we go, that we are not a hybrid nation or a disproportioned mixture of several cultures, but that wehave a culture and a Government and a civilization of our own. This should be reflected in our Constitution.
Shri Raj Bahadur (United State of Matsya): Mr. Vice-President, Sir, I have sought this opportunity from you to speak during the discussion of the Draft Constitution, only because I felt impelled by a sense of duty that I should draw the attention of this august Assembly to two problems which I think are really constituting a grave danger to our newly-won freedom and to the unity and integrity of theNation. I hope and wish that this Assembly, in order to safeguard the new and the nascent blossom of our freedom would provide adequate safeguards and provisions in the constitution for the protection of the Nation and of our hard-won liberty from two great perils. These perils,indeed, are too grave to be ignored. The perils I mean are the evils of "provincialism" and "communalism" which, inspite of the "supreme sacrifice", have yet not been laid quite low. By this "supreme sacrifice" I mean the martyrdom of the Father of our Nation. For the time being it appears that the demon of communalism has been definitely laid low,but even so I was a little painfully surprised when yesterday honourable Members like Mr. Ismail and Mr.Lari........
Nawab Muhammad Ismail Khan (United Provinces: Muslim):On a point of information. I never spoke yesterday.
Shri Raj Bahadur: Some of the Members of this House referred to the provision of proportionate representation and separate electorates. I mean to say Sir that, if we went to protect our freedom, we shall have to provide in ourConstitution that just as we have said that there shall beno evil of "untouchability" in our body politic, so also we shall have to see that these tendencies, these idiosyncrasies which have been responsible for the vivisection of our mother-land shall not raise their ugly heads again. If I say this, it is because even to-day when we are finding that the effects of partition are still troubling our body politic, when we are not yet free from the evils of partition, there are people and forces in the country which are still trying to revive and perpetuate communal politics. It is absolutely necessary for us to see when we frame our Constitution that these evil forces do not imperil our freedom.
I may also say that there is another peril from which our country may suffer and that is "feudalism" that is still rampant in some of the States of Rajputana. Owing to the sagacity of our States' Minister, the problem of the States has been squarely dealt with, but may I still submit that the people in the various States of Rajputana are still under the thumb of these feudal landlords? The Jagirdari system is still there and the poor kisans for whom we have been clamouring for freedom are still not breathing the air of freedom. The reactionary tendencies of these Jagirdars are still there and so I hope that, just as the problem of the States has been squarely dealt with, the problem of these feudal landlords will also be dealt with squarely and solved.
When I talk of feudalism, that naturally takes me tothe problem of the States. In introducing the Draft Constitution which has been placed before us by the Honourable the Law Minister for discussion and consideration, he (the Law Minister) spoke of a dual polity.But in this Constitution, I find that there is a "triplepolity" provided therein, in as much as the States are allowed to have constitutions different from the constitution for the provinces. We see that the States are allowed to maintain their own separate armies. We see also that their Constitutions would be devised and adopted by their own separate Constituent Assemblies. They have also been allowed to have their own separate judiciary and the people of the States will not be
allowed to appeal to theSupreme Court even in defence of their Fundamental Rights.These things, separate armies, separate ConstituentAssemblies and separate judiciary, are things which cause great concern to us, the people who have come from theStates, and I feel that it is high time that this disparity,this incongruity between the various units of the Indian Union is done away with. I would submit, Sir, that it can be safely assumed that the Princes just as they have relinquished their powers for the sake of the nation, so also would they favour the bringing of the States on a par with the provinces for the sake of the unification of the country. I feel that it will also be possible for the provision relating to Rajpramukhs to be made analogous to that of the Governors. They may have the same powers as the Governors in the different provinces, but I would support definitely my friend Mr. Vyas in his appeal that the rightof being elected to the high office of governorship may be conceded to the ordinary man in the street also. I do not see any reason why the office or the high post of a Governor should be restricted only to the Princes and depend only ontheir choice in the case of the States.
Then I may also respectfully refer to another factor which has lately come to light in our body politic and that is about the criticism that we see being levelled these days against our Ministers in almost all the provinces. That criticism may not have any justification behind it but still the criticism is there that our Ministers are not following the Gandhian ideals in their life, that they are travelling by aeroplanes, maintaining stately houses and so on and so forth. So I feel that in the Constitution there should be a provision giving a code of conduct for our Ministers so that we may not in future find, when history gives its verdict onus, that we have failed in our duty.
Lastly, I would beg to submit, Sir, that the provision for a Council of States in the Constitution seems to me to be redundant because an upper House has always acted as a dead weight upon the progress of the people. This smacks of a slavish imitation of the West and is quite unnecessary.
I hope these suggestions of mine will be considered bythe House in due course.
Prof. N. G. Ranga (Madras: General): Mr. Vice-President, I am sorry to find that the Members of the Drafting Committee have completely forgotten the very fundamental thing that was really responsible for bringing this Constituent Assembly into existence and for giving them this chance of drafting this Constitution for India. One would have thought that it would be their elementary duty to have suggested to us that this Constitution is being framed by the Constituent Assembly which has been brought into existence by the labours of the countless martyrs and freedom fighters in this country guided and led by MahatmaGandhi, but not a word has been said in regard to thismatter. Therefore I suggest that we should make it clear that this Constituent Assembly comes into existence after India has attained freedom under the inspiring leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, the Father ofour Nation, and that we are grateful for the unremitting struggle of the countless men and women to regain the right of independence for our nation. This is the least that we can possibly say in appreciation of the services rendered by these martyrs in our freedom struggle, and I hope the Housewill make the necessary amendment later on in this Draft.
Next, Sir, I am most unhappy that Dr. Ambedkar should have said what he has said about the village panchayats. All the democratic tradition of our country has been lost on him. If he had only known the achievements of the village panchayats in Southern India over a period of a millennium,he would certainly not have said those things. If he had cared to study Indian history with as much care as he seems to have devoted to the history of other countries, he certainly would not have ventured those remarks. I wish to remind the House, Sir, of the necessity for
providing as many political institutions as possible in order to enable our villagers to gain as much experience in democratic institutions as possible in order to be able to discharge their responsibilities through adult suffrage in the new democracy that we are going to establish. Without this foundation stone of village panchayats in our country, how would it be possible for our masses to play their rightful part in our democracy? Sir, do we want centralisation of administration or decentralisation? Mahatma Gandhi haspleaded over a period of thirty years for decentralisation.We as Congressmen are committed to decentralisation. Indeed all the world is to-day in favour of decentralisation. If we want on the other hand centralisation, I wish to warn this House that would only lead to Sovietisation andtotalitarianism and not democracy. Therefore, Sir, I am notin favour of the so-called slogan of a strong Centre. TheCentre is bound to be strong, is bound to grow more and morestrong also on the lines of modern industrial developmentand economic conditions. Therefore, it is superfluous,indeed dangerous to proceed with this initial effort to makethe Centre specially strong. In the Objectives Resolutionthat we passed in the beginning we wanted provinces to havethe residual powers, but within a short period of two yearspublic opinion rather has been interpreted by those draftersto have swung to the other extreme, to complete centralisation at the Centre and strengthening the Centre over much.
I am certainly not in favour of having so many subjectsas concurrent subjects. As Mr. Santhanam has rightly put itthe other day, what you consider to be a concurrent subject today is likely to become an entirely federal subject inanother five or ten years. Therefore, although I am quiteready to leave the residual powers to the CentralGovernment, I certainly do not want the provinces to beweakened as this Draft Constitution seeks to do.
Sir, one of the most important consequences of over-centralisation and the strengthening of the CentralGovernment would be handing over power not to the CentralGovernment, but to the Central Secretariat. From thechaprassi or the duffadar at the Central secretariat to theSecretary there, each one of them will consider himself tobe a much more important person than the Premier of aprovince and the Prime Ministers of the provinces would beobliged to go about from office to office at the Centre inorder to get any sort of attention at all from the Centre.We know in parliamentary life how difficult it is forministers to have complete control over all that is beingdone by these various Secretaries at the Secretariat. Underthese circumstances, it is highly dangerous indeed toenslave these Provincial Governments and place them at themercy of the Central Secretariat and the Central bureaucracy.
Sir, I am certainly in favour of redistribution of ourprovinces, but in view of the fact that the President of theConstituent Assembly has appointed a Linguistic Commissionto enquire into the possibility of establishing theseprovinces, I do think that any detailed discussion in thisHouse is not in order, when the particular matter, beforethey make their report, is subjudice; whether it is the top-most leaders of our country, the Prime Minister or theDeputy Prime Minister or any humble Member of this House - it is certainly subjudice for any one today to express anyopinion for or against the redistribution of provinces on alinguistic basis until this Commission expresses its ownopinion. Therefore, I do not wish to say anything more,although I have certainly very much to say in favour ofthese linguistic provinces.
What are to be our ideals? We have stated some of ourideals here in the Fundamental Rights chapter as well as inthe directives. But is it not necessary that we should makeit perfectly clear in one of these directives that it is theduty of the State to establish village panchayats in everyvillage or for every group of villages in order to help ourvillagers to gain training in self-government and
also toattain village autonomy in social, economic and politicalmatters, so that they will become the foundation stone forthe top structure of our Constitution?
Next, Sir, I do not want this distinction to be madebetween the provinces and the so-called Indian States. Whyshould it be that the Indian provinces should be degradedinto a kind of District Board status while these India.States would be given so much special power and favours? Whyshould these Indian States be allowed to have their ownseparate Constituent Assemblies and formulate their ownseparate constitutions? Either we should have very powerfulstates including the Indian States and the provinces or weshould have weak provinces and weak States just as is beingproposed in this Constitution. I am certainly not in favourof weak provinces or weak States; I am in favour of strongStates and therefore, I suggest that my honourable friendsfrom the Indian States also should pool their resources withus and then agree that all the provinces as well as theIndian States should be placed on the same footing and theyshould be made as strong as possible.
Sir, in these objectives, nothing has been said aboutall those people who are living in our villages. There issomething here said about the industrial workers. Theindustrial workers, unfortunate as they are, seem to be muchless unfortunate than the rural people. It is high time,Sir, that we pay some attention to this aspect also in ourvillages. Certainly the Bombay Resolution of the IndianNational Congress of August 1942 lays special stress uponthe toilers in the fields, in factories and elsewhere. Butno such mention is made here; special mention is made onlyof industrial workers. I suggest. therefore, that whateverwe want to do must be for the benefit of all those people inthe villages, in the towns, in the fields, in the factoriesand elsewhere.
Sir, in regard to the minorities, I am certainly not infavour of the reservations so far as the great Muslimcommunity is concerned; they certainly cannot claim anylonger to be such a helpless community as to be in need ofthese. One of those friends have come forward to say thatthey do not want to have these reservations.
I am not in favour of second Chambers, in the provincesespecially. These second Chambers will only retard progress.Some people seem to think that some check like this shouldbe put in there; it will only give a special premium toconservatism and therefore we should not have it.
Then there were some friends who said that thisConstitution should be turned into a sort of rigid pole. Iam not in favour of rigid poles; I am in favour of aflexible Constitution. If it had been found necessary withinthe last two years to swing from one side to the other,leaving the residuary powers to the provinces or keepingthem with the Centre, then how much more it would be necessary in the next ten years for us to try to make the necessary constitutional changes in our own Constitution in the light of the experience that we would be gaining. So far we havenot gained any experience. Our Constitutional Adviser hasgone all over the world, he has consulted other statementand he has come back and suggested so many amendments. We donot know how many times we are going to amend our ownconstitution within the next ten years after thisconstitution is accepted and our new legislatures come intoexistence. Therefore, I welcome the suggestion made by theHonourable Prime Minister yesterday that we should try tomake our constitution as flexible as possible and also tomake it easier within the first ten years at least to makethe necessary constitutional amendments to our own constitution.
Shri M. Ananthasayanam Ayyangar (Madras: General): Sir,objections of fundamental importance have been raised to theDraft Constitution as it has emerged from the DraftingCommittee. I agree that there is nothing characteristic inthis Constitution reflecting our ancient culture or ourtraditions. It is true that it is a patch work of some ofthe old constitutions of the west, - not even some of
themodern constitutions of the west, - with a replica of theGovernment of India Act, 1935. It is true that they havebeen brought together and put into a whole. Dr. Ambedkar isnot responsible for this; we alone have been responsible forthis character of the Constitution. We have not thought thatwe must imprint upon this a new characteristic which willbring back to our memories our ancient culture. It is moreour fault than the fault of Dr. Ambedkar.
It is no doubt true that Dr. Ambedkar gave an analysisof the several provisions of the Constitution, andunfortunately emphasised certain aspects of it, and gave hisown views upon village republics, village autonomy anddemocracy. He could have spared us and spared the Assembly acontroversy over these issues. Sir, left to myself, I wouldlike very much that this Constitution must be based uponautonomous village republics. Democracy is not worthanything if once in a blue moon individuals are broughttogether for one common purpose, merely electing X, Y and Zto this Assembly or that Assembly and thereafter disperse.That is the present state of India today. People in thevillages have had absolutely no opportunity to trainthemselves for democracy. They have not sharedresponsibility with anybody; they are absolutelyirresponsible. That was the view that was taken and that wasthe purpose of the Brit ish who ruled us for 150 years. Theydestroyed the elements of our freedom, of our decentralisedeconomy and the village republics that we had. They wantedto centralise the Government and concentrated all power inthe Governor General and ultimately in the Brit ishParliament. It was in that view that they took steps to seethat the villages did not govern themselves. We must seethat the village is the unit for the social fabric that weare going to build. In the village itself, I would like thatthe family should be the unit, though for all-India purpose,the individual must be taken as the unit for voting. Thevillage must be reconstructed on these lines; otherwise, itwill be a conglomeration of individuals, without any commonpurpose, occasionally meeting and dispersing, without anopportunity to come together and rehabilitate themselvesboth economically and politically.
But, as we are situated today, is it at all possibleimmediately to base our Constitution on village republics? Iagree this ought to be our objective. But where are theserepublics? They have to be brought into existence. As it is,we cannot have a better Constitution than the one that hasbeen placed before us on the model of some WesternConstitutions. Therefore, I would advise that in thedirectives, a clause must be added, which would insist uponthe various Governments that may come into existence infuture to establish village panchayats, give them political autonomy and also economic independence in their own way tomanage their own affairs. Later on, a time will come when onthe basis of these republics or autonomous panchayats afuture Constitutionmay be built. I agree with our Leader, the Prime Minister,who spoke yesterday that this Constitution may be kept in atransitional form for a period of five years, so that in thelight of whatever experience we may gather in this period, afuture Assembly which may be elected on the basis of adultsuffrage may re-draft our Constitution or amend or alter it.With that safeguard, I would urge upon this Assembly toaccept the Constitution as it has been placed before us bythe Drafting Committee and finalise it.
There is another criticism that has been levelled, - andaccording to me, it is a more serious one, - against thisConstitution. To the man in the street, political democracyis worth nothing unless it is followed by economicdemocracy. In the Fundamental Rights, the right to speak,the right to address Assemblies, the right to write as onelikes, all these have been guaranteed; but the right to livehas not been guaranteed. Food and clothing are essentials ofhuman existence. Where is a single word in the Constitutionthat a man shall be fed and clothed by the State? The
Statemust provide the means of livelihood for every one. Russiahas addressed itself to this problem and has concerneditself with the growing of food and the feeding of everycitizen of the country by nationalising the means ofproduction. In England, the Government cannot be in thesaddle even for a single day if it allows even a singlecitizen to die of starvation. We have not yet taken anylesson from the 35 lakhs of people who died three or fouryears ago during the Bengal famine. Are we to perpetuatethis tragedy? Is there a single word in the Constitutionthat imposes on the future Governments the obligation to seethat nobody in India dies of starvation? What is the good ofsaying that every man shall have education, every man shallhave political rights, and so on and so forth, unless he hasthe wherewithal to live? In England, either the Governmentmust provide every citizen with employment or give him dolesso that nobody will die of starvation. It is verydisappointing to see that we have not introduced a similarprovision in this Constitution. I would urge upon thisAssembly that even now it is not too late, and that thatmust be our first concern; the other things may stand overif necessary.
There is another important matter to be considered andprovided for. Otherwise India may be engulfed in a war orinternal unrest. Now war clouds are thickening. There aretwo ideologies fighting for power, fighting for thesupremacy of the world. On one side, there is the politicaldemocracy of the West; but there is the economicdictatorship of America. We do not want economicdictatorship at all; but we do want democracy. In Russia,there is no political democracy; but there is economicdemocracy. The two powers are striving for the mastery ofthe world; on account of this a war may come at any time. Isthere anything here in this Constitution to say that westand for economic democracy along with political democracy?There is a vague reference in the Objectives Resolution thatthere shall be social justice and economic justice. Economicjustice may mean anything or may not mean anything. I wouldurge, here and now, that steps should be taken to make itimpossible for any future Government to give away the meansof production to private agencies. We have seen what privateagencies mean. So far as cloth is concerned, within a shorttime of the removal of controls, prices went up. Why shouldwe not take charge of all the mills and produce thenecessary cloth? Even in the matter of food, in spite of allthe exertions of this Government as well as the previousGovernment, are we able to grow sufficient quantity of foodand distribute it in the country? I would therefore say, thetime has come in this country when we must make a departure.We should not follow the economic dictatorship of the Westor the political dictatorship of Russia. In between, we musthave both political democracy as well as economic democracy.If we have to stand out as the protectors of Asia, or chalkout a newline and avoid all wars in the future, this alone can saveus. Let us not be complacent. Communism is spreading. In thenorth there is communism; it has come to our very shores.China has been practically swallowed up by the communists.And likewise Indo-china. Burma is also in the grip of thecommunists. I do not know to whom I could attribute thesabotage of telephonic communications in Calcutta. Iunderstand that there is a movement there to destroy thewater works and destroy the power house also. There is arumour afloat that in Delhi itself, there is going to be astrike in the Water-works Department as also in theElectricity department. Unless we make up our minds to haveeconomic democracy in this country and provide for it in the Constitution, we may not be able to prevent the on-rush of communism in our land.
The next important matter for which provision should bemade is the effective consolidation of our country as earlyas possible. I was really surprised to hear the words of myfriend Mr. Hanumanthaiya yesterday. The people in the Stateswere anxious to fall in line with the rest
of India. Theywanted to get rid of the Rulers; we helped them; when oncethey regained freedom, they want to supersede these Rulersand become the rulers in their own States. Big States andsmall want to be separated from the rest of India. Whyshould not they adopt this Constitution which is framed forthe provinces also?
Shri K. Hanumanthaiya (Mysore): On a point of personalexplanation, Sir, I never claimed any separate status orindependence for any of the States.
Shri M. Ananthasayanam Ayyangar: There is a view thatso far as the States are convened, if they merge in Indiathey will lose the peculiar privilege of having PrimeMinisters in their small places. That is a disadvantage theyhave, I agree, but it is better to fall in line with therest of India. Why should they not adopt the position in therest of India and why should they reserve all the subjectsfor themselves and give only three or four subjects?
(At this stage Mr. Vice-President rang the bell.)
In the case of a Bill there is no question of time.Strangely enough you have imposed a time restriction.
Mr. Vice-President: You must set an example to others.
Shri M. Ananthasayanam Ayyangar: I will accept what yousay; there will be ample opportunities and I shall clear upthis matter later.
Shri Rohini Kumar Chaudhari: (Assam: General): Sir, Iam deeply grateful to you for having given me thisopportunity of participating in this debate of momentousimportance but before I proceed, I should like to pay myshare of tribute to the Members of the Drafting Committee,its worthy President and above all, our ConstitutionalAdviser whose services to our poor Province, Assam, in theheyday of his youth are still remembered with affection andgratitude.
Nevertheless, I must say that this Draft does not claimperfection and there are faults of omission and commissionto which I must refer in the course of my speech. The firstand foremost question which strikes me that this Houseshould consider is whether they want to retain the State ofAssam in the first schedule of this Constitution Act. Theposition has become somewhat difficult now, and you mustonce for all decide and provide in this Constitutionmeasures which would enable Assam to be retained in India. Irefer to the lamentable neglect to make any provision forfinances so far as my province is concerned. It has beenstated in the report that for five years the status quo mustcontinue, which means that Assam at the end of five yearswill cease to exist as any province of importance. Sir, Imust just go into a little detail. Atthe present moment there is a deficit of one crore rupees inthat province and the total revenue of the provinceincluding what is obtained from the Government of India isto the tune of four crores only and already the expenditurehas gone up to five crores. If you have to maintain theminimum standard of administration of an Indian province, atleast an expenditure of eight crores is necessary. Fromwhere is this amount to come? We have said and urged even inthe olden days that we must get a share of the petrol andkerosene excise duty, and a share of the export duty on tea;but nothing has been so far done even though the conditionsare so desperate. The Drafting Committee does not make anyexception in the case of the special condition of thatprovince. Sir, we have gone to the maximum capacity oftaxation. Our rate of taxation is far more excessive thanany other province and we tax ourselves at the rate of 4.3whereas the rest of the provinces tax themselves at the rateof 4.9. We had started levying tax on agricultural incomelong before the rest of the provinces and we had taxedourselves for amusement and luxuries long before others andeven now our conditions are so desperate as this, and Iwould appeal to this House that if you really want to retainAssam in India, you must make some special financialprovision for her and you must pay some special attention,otherwise that province will become bankrupt. India is onebody politic and if one finger of that India is rotten, thewhole India will rot in the long
run. If you allow Assam tobe ruined now, you will see that you will have to sufferultimately for that.
I would like to refer to another point, and that iswith regard to Article 149. Curiously enough, I find an amendment has been suggested which if given effect to willlay down a very dangerous principle, the principle ofconverting a general population into an absolute minority. Irefer to the amendment which had been suggested by theDrafting Committee and which says:
"That in clause (3) of article 149, after the words'save in the case of the autonomous districts of Assam' thewords 'and in case of constituencies having seats reservedfor the purposes of article 294 of this Constituted' besubstituted."
If this is given effect to, it will mean that allcommunities with reserved seats will have constituency ofless than 1 lakh population whereas the general populationmust be restricted to constituencies having only 1 lakhpopulation. This will mean additional weightage being givento reserved seats which is not claimed or asked for by anyof the communities. The proportion of the population in theprovince is as follows:
Hill tribes ... 18 per cent.
Muslim ... 17 per cent.
Scheduled castes ... 4 per cent.
General 34 per cent.
Where have you seen in a province where the generalpopulation is 34 per cent out of a total of 74 per cent thatspecial weightages have to be given to communities rangingbetween 18 and 17 per cent of the total population? And yetif this is accepted it will mean that the general populationwill have to give up some of their seats and will get lessthan what they are entitled to on the basis of population.This is a dangerous principle, and though it refers only toone province it will create a situation in which the generalpopulation will be converted into a minority and weightagegiven to other people for whom seats have been reserved. Ofcourse the proposition which I make will not affect thetribal population at all because they will have theirautonomous districts. I certainly see that there arecomplications in the case of reserved seats if youadopt the formula of one lakh representation; but the bestthing to be done in this matter would be to make anexception in the case of Assam in regard to having aconstituency for a lakh of people.
I will refer to one other act of omission. In the Draft Constitution there is no mention of women. I think thepeculiar composition of the Drafting Committee whichconsisted of people who have no domestic relations withwomen made them nervous about touching on that point. Inthis House there has been no mention of a specialconstituency for women. I know there are Members here whohave unbounded faith in the chivalry of men and who considerthat they will be quite competent to get seats even thoughno special constituency is reserved for them. But outsidethis House that is not the feeling. Women generally havelost faith in the chivalry of men. The young men of to-daydo not show respect to them even in the trams and buses.
Mr. Vice-President: The Honourable Member has reachedhis time limit.
Shri M. Ananthasayanam Ayyangar: Sir, on a point oforder, I do not find in the rules any provision for a time-limit in respect of Bills of this kind.
Mr. Vice-President: That was done with the consent ofthe House. First it was 10 minutes, then it was extended to15 minutes, and then to 20, and again it was brought down to10 minutes.
Shri Rohini Kumar Chaudhari: Sir, from my experience asa parliamentarian and a man of the world I think it would bewise to provide for a women's constituency. When a womanasks for something, as we know, it is easy to get it andgive it to her; but when she does not ask for anything inparticular it becomes very difficult to find out what shewants. If you give them a special constituency they can havetheir scramble and fight there among themselves withoutcoming into the general constituency. Otherwise we may attimes feel weak and yield in their favour and give themseats which they are not entitled to.
Shrimati Renuka Ray (West Bengal:
General): Sir, themain features of the Draft Constitution embody theprinciples of a democratic federation and as such should winthe approbation of all. At the same time there are certainmatters which I feel are not quite explicit or in whichchanges are required, if this constitution is to conform tothose ideals which actuated India during its many years ofstruggle and which are embodied in the Objectives Resolutionto which our Prime Minister referred yesterday. Sir, I agreewith my Honourable friend Dr. Ambedkar that it is the spiritin which we are able to work it, that will make all thedifference, Again, whatever constitution we may draw up to-day, it will not be possible for us to foretell how it willfit in with our requirements in its actual working and withthe inherent genius of our race. It is therefore quiteessential, as the Prime Minister said yesterday, that the Constitution at present should be flexible. I thinkamendments of the Constitution should be by simple majorityfor the next ten years so that there may be opportunitiesfor adoptions and modifications in the light of experience.
Turning to the citizenship clause, I think there shouldbe a categorical statement in it about a single uniformcitizenship with equal rights and privileges. As rightsinvolve responsibilities, so it is necessary that theobligations of citizenship should also be enumerated in thisClause.
With regard to Fundamental Rights, equal rights havebeen prescribed. Quite rightly, it has been laid down thatthe State shall not discriminate against any citizen ongrounds of religion, race or sex. But in view of conditionsin this country and in view of some of the opinionsexpressed by thepublic - and the last speaker's chivalry touched us deeply - Ithink it is necessary to have an explicit provision thatsocial laws of marriage and inheritance of the differentcommunities shall not also have any disabilities attached tothem on grounds of caste or sex. It is of course true thatthe right of equality includes this but there may be different interpretations and much confusion and I thereforeappeal to the House to have a proviso to explain this.
I will not repeat what my Honourable friend ShriAnanthasayanam Ayyangar said but I do feel that in regard tothe economic rights of the common man there is a lacuna.Although I agree that the provision "that no person shall bedeprived of his property save by the authority of the law"is alright, I do not at the same time see why underjusticiable rights one should have the second part of thisclause which goes into details about compensations whenproperty is taken by the State for public purposes inaccordance with law. Surely if there is any need for puttingthis into the Constitution it should be under directives andnot under rights which are justiciable and enforceable incourts of law. It is not right that we should commit thefuture to the economic structure of the present.
Turning to education, which I consider to be one of themost fundamental of rights, I feel there is a greatinadequacy. I do not want to repeat what other speakers havesaid, but I would appeal to the House to include a provisowhereby a definite proportion of the budget is allotted for this purpose. This is nothing very new; it is already therein the Constitution of China which says:
"Educational appropriations shall set apart not lessthan 15 per cent of the total amount of the budget of theCentral Government and not less than 30 per cent of thetotal amount of the provincial, district and municipalbudgets respectively." If we are to progress and prosper Isuggest that in the matter of the two nation-buildingservices of education and public health there should be someprovision in the Constitution of the type that is there inthe Chinese Constitution.
With regard to the reservation of seats for minoritieswe have not of course in a secular State provided forseparate electorates, but I do not see why we should havereservation of seats for minorities. It is psychologicallywrong to lay down, as it has been laid down, that after tenyears the
right shall lapse unless extended by amendment. Iam sure that if this privilege is conceded now there will bea clamour for its extension. It is not fair to theseminorities; it is not self-respecting for them. If the Housewants to ensure representation for minorities I wouldsuggest multiple constituencies which cumulative voting.Some speakers have suggested proportional representation bysingle transferable vote. I think that is a difficultprocedure particularly for India and I would not recommendit. But I think that multiple constituencies with cumulativevoting has a great deal to recommend it. In the first place,it will give much better representation not only to theseminorities without creating a separatist tendency. The lastspeaker Sri Rohini Chaudhuri the erstwhile champion anddefender of women who is against removing their socialdisabilities spoke about special electorates for women. Allalong the women of India have been against reservation ofseats or special electorates. Before the 1935 Act came in wewere against it and put forward our views in no uncertainterms, but it was forced upon us; and to-day, in spite ofthe chivalry of the previous speaker, Indian women will nottolerate any such reservations in the Constitution. I willnot repeat what others have said about village panchayats. Ifeel that freed from the shackles of ignorance andsuperstition, the panchayatof the Gandhian village will certainly be the backbone ofthe structure of this country's Constitution. I do not thinkthere is anything in the Constitution that can bar it.
Coming to the allocation of powers between the unitsand the Centre, I think we must approach this subjectdispassionately. There is a great deal to be said for givingas much provincial autonomy as possible. At the same time,where a country has a tremendous leeway to make up,particularly in the nation-building services, the unifyingforce must be strong and the Centre should be given somepower of a supervisory and coordinating character, in regardto both Education and Health. I do not think the provincesshould be crippled by taking away from them certainfinancial securities. They should at least be given 60 percent of the income-tax according to the recommendations ofthe expert committee, 35 per cent on the basis ofcollection, 20 per cent on the basis of population and 5 percent for hard cases. This is a very good recommendation andI hope this House will agree to embody it in the Constitution. I also feel that a Financial Commission shouldbe set up immediately and not after five years.
Before I conclude, I wish to say something aboutlinguistic provinces. Unity must be our watchword to-day andit is a fatal mistake to allow realignment of provincialboundaries on a linguistic basis at this juncture of ourcountry's history. It has already led to much bitterness andstrife and will lead to more. There is no justice or logicif such a thing is allowed in one part of the country andnot in others. For instance if you allow a province ofMaharashtra to be formed, naturally there will be otherparts which will want it. There is in Bengal a feeling ofgreat bitterness that she who has sacrificed part of herterritories so that the transfer of power could take placeshould be denied her rights, now. It was because of thepolitical expediency of the Brit ish and to suit the purposesof an alien Government that Bengal was forcibly deprived ofmuch of its territory when the movement for the freedom ofIndia started here. I do not subscribe to the theory that weshould have a reallocation on a linguistic basis at thistime. If it is to be done at all it should be done after tenyears when passions have subsided. In any case, foradministrative purposes there is no need for a linguisticrealignment. Linguistic minorities in every province shouldhave a guarantee that they will be given education in theirmother tongue. I would urge that the Linguistic BoundaryCommission should stop work or in any case it should be putoff for ten years. I repeat that the overridingconsideration is that of unity, if we want
that India shouldbe strong and prosperous and should take its rightful placein the comity of nations.
The Honourable Shri Ghanshyam Singh Gupta (C.P. andBerar: General): Sir, it has been said that the language ofthe Union should be simple Hindustani, that the language ofthe Constitution, the language on which we shall frame ourlaws, should be Hindustani. I was in search of this simpleHindustani. I could not find it in C.P. I could not find itin the law books. I could not find it even in the officialproceedings of this August House. The official proceedingsof this House are published in three languages: EnglishHindi and Urdu. I read English, I read Hindi and I got readUrdu with the idea that I might be able to find what theycall simple Hindustani. I could not find it. Urdu was Urduand Hindi was Hindi. There was no such thing as simpleHindustani. I thought that I might find it in thenewspapers. 'The Tej', Limited, the Jubilee of which wascelebrated the other day, publishes news in two languages,one in Hindi called 'the Vijay' and the other in Urdu,called 'the Tej'. I compared the languages of these twoalso. I could not find simple Hindustani. I would not wastethe time of the Honourable House byreading from these publications. I have got a copy of'Vijay' in my hand. It is all Hindi in 'Vijay' and all Urduin 'Tej'. I found two books, elementary text in Delhi mayhave simple Hindustani. I found two books, elementary text-books in Geometry (rekhaganit). I could not find simpleHindustani in them also. I also looked at the ElementaryArithmetic books and also Elementary Geography. I could notfind there what they call simple Hindustani. They were alleither Urdu or Hindi. I shall give you a few illustrations.Now, Sir, in elementary arithmetic multiplication we call (gunan) in Hindi. It is called (zarab) in Urdu. Multiplicand is (gunya) in Hindi, while it is (mazarab) in Urdu.Multiplier is (gunak) in Hindi and it is (mazarbafi) inUrdu. Product is (gunanfal) in Hindi, while it is (hasil-i-zarab) in Urdu. Divisor is (bhajak) in Hindi. It is (maksum-i-lah) in Urdu. Dividend is (bhajya) in Hindi. It is(maksum) in Urdu. Quotient is (bhajanphal). It is (kharf-i-kismat) in Urdu. L.C.M. (laghuttam samapvartya) in Hindi. It is (zuazaf-i-aqual) in Urdu.
I can multiply illustrations. I now take up elementarygeometry. Radius is (trijya) in Hindi. It is (nisfakutur) inUrdu. Isosceles triangle is (samadvibahu tribhuj) in Hindi.It is (musallas-musvai-ul-sakin) in Urdu. Equilateraltriangle is (samatribahu tribhuj) in Hindi. It is (musallas-musavi-ul-zila) in Urdu Right-angled Isosceles triangle is(samakon samadvibahu tribhuj) in Hindi. while it is(musallas musavius-saquan quamuzzavia) in Urdu.
I can quote hundreds of such illustrations. I could not findsimple Hindustani even in these elementary text-books. Ifelt somewhat puzzled when ladies and gentleman loudlyproclaim that they can have simple Hindustani for our laws.It is only in the bazaar that I could find simpleHindustani. When we cannot have simple Hindustani even inthe elementary school-books, how can our laws be made in it?I have done, Sir.
Shri Mahavir Tyagi (United Provinces: General): I thankyou very much, Sir, I have been waiting for the last threedays to speak on this Draft Constitution. I am glad you havepermitted me to speak for a few minutes.
I must start by thanking and congratulating theDrafting Committee for the high level of legal language andphraseology which they have used in the Draft from beginningto end. I do not want to criticise the Drafting Committee.They have done their work very efficiently. They havecollected together bits of the principles of Constitutionthat we lay before them in irregular instalments, and havegiven us a complete picture for our review.
Sir, when we sat for the first time to draw a pictureof the Constitution of India, we had a blank canvas apaceand many of us did not actually know which side to startfrom and what colour to fill. It is all due to the abilityof these talented lawyers that we have now got a completepicture to look
at. When you wish to judge an artist's work,you should take the opinion of a layman. If it appeals tothe layman, it must be good. That is my criterion. Thelawyers have finished their work and the complete picture isbefore us. I, as a layman, want to put before you my ideasabout it. The circumstances have changed from what they werewhen this work was entrusted to the Drafting Committee. It is very unfortunate that, in the history of India, the lampwhich lit our hearts with pleasures of freedom was put outsuddenly and we were steeped in sorrow. Then again,populations have changed and the whole face of the countryhas changed. The ideology also has changed to a greatextent. Now to give that old picture on the canvas will bemaking the picture a back number. We must keep in mind todaythe present environments, the present conditions and thegrowing ideologies. So, Sir, we must examine the picture inthe light which gave us freedom. In fact, we must examine itfrom the point of view of Gandhiji, through his eyes. Hiseyes are not with us, but still there are persons in thisHouse who have the glimpse of his eyes. We can all recollectwhat Gandhiji thought about Swaraj. It must not be forgottenthat this Constituent Assembly is the fruit of the labour ofthose who worked day and night for about thirty years intheir attempt to win freedom. it is their achievement. It isthey who should have given us the Constitution. They aloneare competent to draw up the Constitution. The Constitutionshould have been the work of revolutionaries alone. Butsince this Assembly has been constituted by the Brit ish, wecannot think of the other possibilities and it could not bepurely a Gandhian Constitution altogether. I admit this. Butagain, we are in the majority and we should see to it thatthe Gandhian outlook does not vanish from the country sosoon after his death.
In this Constitution, I must confess, I am very muchdisappointed. I see nothing Gandhian in this Constitution.It is not the fault of the Drafting Committee. It is our ownfault. When we decided upon the principles of thisConstitution we gave them certain basic principles to workupon. But conditions have since changed. When we decidedabout the representation of communities, language and othercontroversial matters we had to reckon with the reaction ourdecisions would have in Pakistan. Now the situation hastotally changed. Pakistan has been freed of its minorityproblems altogether; there those problems have vanished.Here also the thorny and the horny ones have migrated awayfrom India; those who fought us under one pretence or theother have forsaken their mother-country and have gone overto the other side, and have adopted a step-mother. We havewith us now only those Muslims, Sikhs and others who want aunited India. India is united today and therefore the Constitution must be suitable to the present set-up ofthings.
So, Sir, from the Gandhian point of view when I look atthis picture, I find one thing very prominently lacking.Gandhiji had always been keen on total prohibition in thecountry, but the Constitution does not say a word about it.Our promises to the electorate on this issue have beenfulfilled only in Madras and in some other provinces.Gandhiji was anxious that in India as a whole there shouldbe complete prohibition. I would suggest that this idea ofGandhiji should be taken in before we sign thisConstitution.
Then, Sir, Gandhiji was very keen on cottage industriesto be organised on the basis of self sufficiency. This itemhad a top priority in his 'constructive programme'. Herethis is also lacking. I am an orthodox Gandhite and surely Iam not a socialist and so I do not want to wipe away all thebig industries. In the context of things to-day, the variousindustries in the country are very helpful, but if and whenthey are to be abolished, they should be abolished en masse.You cannot bring in socialism by stages, by socialising oneindustry after another. When socialism comes, it shouldcover everything, all at a time. If total socialism comesall of a sudden, there will be no loss
to anybody, becausethe loss sustained by anybody on one count will be made upon the other count, because all property becomes absolutelya socialised property. To say in the Draft Constitution thatpeople shall not be deprived of their property withoutadequate compensation means that India will ever belong tothe vested interests. To-day there is not even a blade ofgrass which does not belong to somebody or the other. Thereis not even one particle of sand which does not belong tosomebody or the other. According to this Constitution, ifthe future generations want to socialise all property andall means of production, then every particle of sand andevery blade of grass will have to be compensated for. I wantto know, wherewith will they compensate this total wealth:it would all be in the hands of individuals who will demandcompensation. So, compensation will be impossible. Gandhijihad said that the wealthy should consider themselves only ascustodians of wealth. He never went to the extent to whichwe are going in this Draft Constitution. I therefore tellyou, Sir, that before we sign this Constitution, we shouldsee that we do not sow seeds of a bloody revolution inIndia. Only if revolution is meant to be avoided we shouldlet the door remain open for coming generations, if theyever so desire, to socialise all vested interests and allmeans of production in the country. If we shut the door aswe have done against future socialisation, by our Article24(2), I submit, the youth of India will rise and knock atthe door and smash it and the result would be a bloodyrevolution. (cheers). Therefore, Sir, I would plead that weshould scrap this sub-clause altogether and make it possiblein future for the Parliament to socialise all property andall means of production without being compensated for. It isalso a sort of mistake, Sir, to say that we are a sovereignbody. I do not think we are a sovereign body in the sense inwhich a Constituent Assembly should be. The sovereignty thatwe enjoy is the sovereignty that the Brit ish enjoyed inIndia: It is a transferred sovereignty. Real sovereigntywill belong only to the Parliament which comes after theintroduction of adult franchise. That Parliament musttherefore be more morally and constitutionally competentthan us to decide issues of this nature.
I then come to the question of minorities. I am sorrythat Dr. Ambedkar made the statement that minorities are anexplosive force which if it erupts can blow up the wholefabric of the State. I say that these minorities can donothing of the sort. The reason is simple-they are notfactual, they are a mere fiction having no existence. Ithrow them a challenge. They have no right to be separatelyrepresented here. Whom will they represent? The fiction ofminorities was a Brit ish creation. The Scheduled Castes arenot a minority at all, simply because a few castes of thepoorer classes have been enumerated together in a schedule,they have become a "scheduled minority". This minority is amere paper minority. It is being perpetuated now becausesome of the opportunist families among them want to reservetheir seats in the legislatures. Those people who tookpleasure in calling themselves a minority have migrated awayfrom here. It is only those who believe in one State thatremain. Therefore, Sir, there is no minority now and thereshould not be any provision for minority representationhere, because this has proved ruinous to the so calledminorities themselves. Take the Muslims. I hadseen in Dehra Dun personally, and I know what theirreactions are. The are an absolutely demoralised people to-day. Even the ordinary rights of citizenship they are notmorally free to enjoy. They are so cowardly to-day that theycannot stand erect in India because of the wrong lead theyhad followed in the past. Therefore, Sir, I would ask theScheduled Castes, the Sikhs, the Muslims and the otherminorities and for the matter of that even Hindus not to askfor any kind of reservations for them. We are a secularState. We cannot give any recognition or weightage to anyreligious group of individuals. I
could understand theirclaims as majority or minority if they, had belonged todifferent races. Beliefs or creeds are a purely individualaffair. I also refute Dr. Ambedkar's claim that the majorityin India is "basically a communal majority". The majorityparty is Congress, which is purely political.
Then, Sir, a word about the villages. Dr. Ambedkar saidthat he was happy that the "Drafting Committee has notaccommodated the village". He characterised it as "a sink oflocalism and a den of communalism". It is these sinks ofslavery that were facing all sorts of repression in thefreedom struggle. When these sinks of slavery that werebeing charred, burnt and tortured in Chimoor, the pyramidsof freedom were applying grease on the back of theBrit ishers. Unless I raise my voice against the remarkswhich Dr. Ambedkar has made against villages, I cannot facemy village people. Dr. Ambedkar does not know what amount ofsacrifice the villagers have undergone in the struggle forfreedom. I submit, Sir, that villagers should be given theirdue share in the governance of the country. If they are notgiven their due share, I submit that they are bound to reactto this. I thank you, Sir.
B. Pocker Sahib Bahadur (Madras: Muslim): Sir, I amvery thankful to you for giving me this opportunity to speaka few words on this motion. In the first place, I would justlike to refer to the question of language. When I firstentered this august body, I felt myself to be under a verygreat disability that I was not able to follow theproceedings that were going on. Then I found that a veryconsiderable section of this House was in the sameunfortunate position as myself and the idea struck me thatthe Constituent Assembly, which is going to determine thedestinies of millions of this country for ever, isconducting the proceedings in a manner which does not bringcredit either to this Assembly or to the nation. We havebeen going on speaking about very important and vitalsubjects without every one of us understanding each other.That is really a very unfortunate position. I raised my cryagainst it, but I must say that I did not succeed. Even nowthe disability continues, even though to a lesser extent andI am glad that, at any rate, there was some abatement in thematter of the extent to which that disability is suffered by us.
Now, Sir, in the Draft Constitution, provision is madethat the official language shall be Hindi and English. Isubmit, Sir, that this also will create an anomaly. No doubtprovision is made that arrangements may be made for givingthe substance of all the speeches of one language in theother language, but to what extent and what is the method tobe employed for that, it is yet to be provided for. Isubmit, Sir, that it is very necessary that for somereasonable period, it may be ten years, it may be fifteenyears,-that is a matter of detail-there should be aprovision that the official language should continue to beEnglish. We have no reason to hate the English language. Asa matter of fact we ought to be grateful to the culture thatwe have imbibed from that language, In fact for a great dealof our agitation for freedom and the freedom that we haveobtained large contribution has been made bythe English language and by the culture which we imbibedfrom that language. Therefore, I do not think that there isanything which we should hate in that language; andparticularly, when we have attained our freedom, we areentitled to adopt the best from any nation from any part ofthe earth. I shall also say that there is no proprietorshipin language. The English language cannot be claimed by theEnglishman as their own with any exclusive right forthemselves nor can we claim Hindi as the exclusive languagefor ourselves. There are several languages in the world andtherefore we are entitled to use every language. So we areentitled to use the English language and we must adopt ituntil we are in a position to have one national languageknown to the generality of the public of this country. Untilthat position is attained, we must continue English as theofficial
language so that every one who assembles in theParliament may understand each other. Of course, there maybe some stray cases in which the representatives may not beacquainted with English, but a very large majority of themwill be acquainted with English and there fore, I submit,Sir, that the English language must continue to be theofficial language at least for fifteen years, by which timethe nation may be prepared to have a national language forthemselves.
Now, Sir, coming to the question as to what thatnational language should be, that is a matter to be decidedby this august body. I must say at the very outset that I amnot acquainted either with Hindi language or with Urdulanguage or with Hindustani. Therefore, I am taking adispassionate view of the matter. It is very difficult tosay that it is possible for the people of this country tolearn Hindi overnight. No doubt we must have a nationallanguage, but we must prepare the nation for it by makingprovision for their learning that language. Now if Hindi isto be made compulsorily the official language, the questionwill arise in the elections by adult franchise thatknowledge of Hindi should be the primary qualification of acandidate for election. I think it will be detrimental tothe interests of the country, if that happens, and theknowledge of Hindi becomes the criterion in electing their representatives.
I do not want to dwell more on the subject as the timeat my disposal is very short. I would only submit this. Mysuggestion is that this august body should decide in favourof Hindustani for no other reason than the fact that it isthe solemn testament of Mahatma Gandhi, the father of thenation. He was one who was well acquainted with thiscontroversy about these languages and he knew what thenation was and it is after mature consideration that greatman has suggested that Hindustani with the Devnagari scriptand the Perisan script should be the official language and Ihope that this august body will really revere the memory ofthat great man by deciding on Hindustani with Devanagari andUrdu script as the official language.
Now, Sir, if we do not abide by his advice, the worldmight say that after all the devotion and reverence we showto Mahatmaji is a lip-reverence and a lip-respect and it isnot deeper than that. Let us not give occasion to the worldto say that our reverence for Gandhiji is only lip-respect.Let us not allow ourselves to be accused of the grave chargethat soon after the death of Mahatmaji his views and wisheswere buried nine fathoms deep. At least for the sake of hismemory, I appeal to you, Sir, and to all the Members of thisbody to vote upon Hindustani as the official language.
Now, Sir, I would just like to deal with anotherquestion, and that question is about the freedom of person.Recently we have heard so much about the power ofpromulgating ordinances that is being exercised by thevarious Governments. Particularly I am fully aware of thecircumstances under which the Ordinance rule was enforced inthe Madras Presidency. The legislature was in session. Allon a sudden, it is prorogued one evening and the nextmorning there comes this bomb of an Ordinance, even takingaway the powers of theHigh Court to issue writ of Habeas Corpus under section 491of the Criminal Procedure Code. I refer to this fact inorder to show that if the power of making an Ordinance ispreserved, there is every likelihood of the power beingabused and the liberty of the subject being dealt with in avery reckless way. In pursuance of these Ordinances,hundreds and thousands of innocent people were arrested andkept in custody as if they were chattel, without their evenbeing told what the charge against them was and why theywere detained even as required by the very Public SafetyAct. In this connection, I would only request this House tosee that the powers of the High Court are not in any waytaken away with reference to saving the liberty of thesubject. Neither the legislature nor the Government shouldbe allowed to pass any law or Ordinance which takes away thepower of the High Court to
protect the liberty of thesubject. That is a very fundamental point. We were cryinghoarse when the Brit ishers were ruling that they werekeeping in custody persons without bringing them to trial. Isay this is a sacred right and it must be provided in theFundamental Rights that no man, to whatever religion, or towhatever political creed he may belong, shall be arrested ordetained except after trial by a court of law. This is asacred right of which a citizen should not be deprived. It is said emergencies may arise; even when emergencies arise,there must be power in the High Court to see that the man isbrought to trial and he must be kept in detention only afterproper trial. No power should be given either to make anylaws or to make any Ordinance to enable the Legislature orthe Government to deprive the citizens of their personalliberty without his being brought to trial before a court oflaw. I would therefore request this Assembly to see thatprovision is made in the Fundamental Rights that the libertyof every subject is protected and no man should beincarcerated without being brought to trial before a courtof law.
One word more, Sir, and that is about the salary of theHigh Court Judges. This morning when the memorandumsubmitted by the Chief Justice of the Federal Court and ofthe Chief Justices of the various High Courts was circulatedto us, I realised on going through that memorandum that theyhave made out a very good case for maintaining the presentsalaries. The salaries were fixed about 70 years ago. Afterthat, everything has gone only in favour of retaining it andall circumstances are against reducing the salaries. Thepurchasing power of the Rupee has gone down; income-tax hasbeen increased; modern life has become more costly. In orderto maintain their dignity and to keep the Judges beyondtemptation, it is very necessary that the present salary ofthe High Court Judges should be maintained, without beingreduced.
Just one minute more, Sir. I shall just mention thepoint. I have maintained that the only way of protecting therights of the minorities is by giving separate electorates.I do not want to develop the point further. I know thematter has been discussed in this House before and the Housewas against it. I know the House will be against it evennow. I am giving my honest feeling that it is the only rightway of protecting the rights of minorities and I wouldappeal to the House to consider the questiondispassionately. If for any reason that is not practicable,and if the House thinks that it cannot agree to that,reservation is absolutely necessary. I do not want to gointo the reasons. In any case reservation of seats has to beretained. Election by proportional representation by thesingle transferable vote, or the creation of multipleconstituencies with cumulative voting, may be some of theother remedies. I would only say that separate electoratesis the proper remedy and the right method of givingprotection to the minorities. In any case, if that is notpracticable, reservation must be there, or in any case, theothermethods may be tried. Election by proportionalrepresentation by single transferable vote will be a rathercomplicated method; otherwise, I would have preferred that.
I thank you, Sir.
Shri L. Krishnaswami Bharathi: (Madras: General): Mr.Vice-President, Sir, coming almost at the fag end of thediscussions, I do not think I have anything novel or new totraverse. However, I felt I should discharge my duty bygiving certain views of mine.
Dr. Ambedkar deserves the congratulations of this Housefor the learned and brilliant exposition of the Draft Constitution. No congratulations are due to him for theprovisions in the Draft for the simple reason they are nothis. Honourable Members may remember that most of theclauses in the Draft Constitution were discussed, debatedand decided upon in this House. Only a very few matters wereleft over for incorporation by the Drafting Committee. TheHouse, however, would tender its thanks for his labours inputting them in order.
I am sorry, Sir, that Dr.
Ambedkar should have gone outof his way to make certain references and observations whichare not in consonance with the wishes or the spirit of theHouse, in regard to his references to the villages, and hisreference to the character of the majority and'constitutional morality'. Honourable Members have referredto the question of villages. I only wish to add this: Hesays: "I am glad that the Draft has discarded the villageand adopted the individual as its unit." I would like to askhim where is the individual apart from the villages. When hesays that the villages have been discarded and theindividual has been taken into consideration, he hasconveniently forgotten that the individuals constitute thevillage; and they number about ninety per cent of thepopulation, who are the voters.
There is another matter which has been referred to byhim; that is in regard to the character of the majority. Hesays, "the minorities have loyally accepted the rule of themajority which is basically a communal majority and not apolitical majority." I do not know what he has at the backof his mind. There was only one party which functioned onthe political plane and on the Governmental plane, theIndian National Congress, which was entirely a non-communalorganisation and a political party. And yet Dr. Ambedkarsays it is 'basically a communal majority', which is nottrue in fact. I must say it is wrong, mischievous andmisleading. I want to touch upon four points, viz., the formof Government, the minority question, the language questionand adult franchise and elections. I know with the limitedtime at my disposal I cannot develop those points at anylength. However, I would like to touch upon certain aspectsof the matter.
The Draft Constitution, Dr. Ambedkar said, is federalin composition. A careful reader of the whole Constitutionwould find that it is more unitary than federal. If I am toexpress my idea in terms of percentage, I am inclined tothink it is 75 per cent unitary and 25 per cent federal.Many Honourable Members spoke strongly on the need for astrong Centre. I do not think there was any need for thiskind of over-emphasis, for it is an obvious thing that theCentre ought to be strong, particularly in the peculiarcontext of the circumstances prevailing in the country. But I am afraid they are overdoing it. I fee a strong Centredoes not, and need not necessarily mean a weak province. Anattempt seems to be made and I find there is a tendency toover-burden the Centre and there is a tendency towards over-centralisation. I am glad Dr. Ambedkar has given a kind ofwarning. I am inclined to think that in actual working ofthe Constitution this course of takingmore powers over to the Centre will be a fruitful source offriction. After all let it be remembered the strength of thechain is in its weakest link and the provinces should not beconsidered as a rival Governmental organization. The Centreis trying to chew more than it can digest. I find in thetransitory provision there is an attempt for the first fiveyears to take over even the provincial subjects. It is forthe House to decide how far we can allow that.
Sir, coming to the minority question I am very happy tofind that members belonging to the minority community arenow coming round to the view that it is no good to have thiskind of communal electorate even though in a diluted form inthe form of a joint electorate. I am happy that Begam AizazRasul has discarded this and does not want the separateelectorate. Mr. Karimuddin also said the same thing but hewanted what is known as proportional representation throughsingle transferable voting system. I am sorry to say that it is an attempt to come by the backdoor or side windows whatis denied by the front door. This is not very proper and thesuggestion that it may be done by proportionalrepresentation is absolutely unworkable and impractical,particularly in general elections where large masses of menand women who happen to be illiterates are concerned.Honourable Members may know that in that system the voterhas to put numbers as 1, 2, 3 etc.
against the names ofcandidates and it is very difficult and impracticable andtherefore it is no good; and as Dr. Ambedkar said theminorities must trust the majority. There is one fundamentalfact to be remembered. I am glad Mr. Tyagi emphasized that.Community should not be made the basis of civic rights. Thatis a fundamental principle that we must remember. In asecular State the right to representation is only the rightto represent a territory in which all communities live andif a member is representing in the Assembly, he has theright to speak on behalf of all those living in theterritory, of all communities and classes, men or women.That should be the idea with which we must function. I musttake this opportunity of expressing my great appreciation ofsome minority communities who have been nationalisticthroughout and who have not clamoured for special provisionsonly on the basis of birth or community. I refer to thatcommunity to which you, Sir, Mr. Vice-president, have thehonour to belong. I have had opportunities of coming inclose contact with Christian friends and throughout theyhave not demanded any kind of separate electorate or specialprovisions, and I am happy over that. If some members ofminority community now do not want reservation,. I may notgive all credit to them as they are only making a virtue ofnecessity - this great Christian community have never askedfor special considerations. They have all along been of theview that special electorates are no good and after all wemust all live together and I am glad the Parsee communityalso had not wanted this special representation.
Then Sir, one Honourable Member wanted reservation inservices. I should think though it is not undilutednationalism, we must for some time to come give themreservation in services also. But one thing you must haveclearly in mind. There must be a time limit for all thesepeace or compromise moves and you must make it clear thatafter the lapse of a certain specified period all thesespecial provisions must go. I particularly support Mrs.Renuka Ray's suggestion that the last portion in Article 306where it is stated that after 10 years this may be continuedmay be removed. We must give our view emphatically anddefinitely that it is only as a necessary evil that we aretolerating reservations on communal basis.
I want to say something on the language question. Muchtrouble arises on account of not properly defining what isexactly meant by national language. There is no doubtwhatever that India must have a national language but youmust remember that India is not entirely a country with onelanguage existingat present, and I am glad to find that the Draft Constitution has steered clear of all these controversies.They have simply said in Article 99 that in "Parliamentbusiness shall be transacted in English or Hindi". That isall. I do not think that the House need go into thisquestion at present, as our Prime Minister said, of decidingupon a National language here and now. If at all we musthave, let us have a language for the Central Government andthen it must be made clear beyond a shadow of doubt that inthe provinces the provincial languages and respectiveregional provincial languages shall be the official languagefor the territories comprised in the province. If that pointis made clear beyond a shadow of doubt, much of the heat andmuch of the controversy will disappear. Let it be definitelyunderstood that the regional language shall be both, in thelegislatures and in the High Courts of the Provinces.
Sir, I have only one point more if you will give me twomore minutes. That is regarding the election under adultfranchise. Much doubt and apprehension is entertained in theminds of big constitutional experts like Mr T. R.Venkatarama Sastry of Madras about the efficacy of adultsuffrage; but it is decided and we cannot go back on it. Butthe most important point that I want to emphasize is thatthe elected representatives must truly reflect the will ofthe people. Unfortunately, Honourable Members know howelections are conducted. Today we
find from the papers anHonourable Member of this Constituent Assembly went to pollto cast his vote at an election. He is told: "Your vote isalready cast." That is nothing surprising. That is happeningon a large scale everywhere. I stood for election in 1937and in two or three elections I was personally interested. Iknew actually twice the actual number of votes were notpolled correctly. Some arrangement must be devised by whichthis sort of corruption at elections must be stopped. I havea suggestion and I shall place it before this House forconsideration and leave it at that. Every voter must begiven what is known as an identity card. The identity cardmay contain - it is a matter of detail what the identity markshould be. I would very much like a photo of the voter to beput in a card which he might carry. In the post office weare given what is known as identity cards on a payment ofRe. 1. Our photo is put there and wherever we go we cancarry it. If such a system or something similar to it isdone, the voter must first present this identity card and onpresenting it he will be given the ballot paper and then hewill exercise his vote. I am prepared to discuss thedetails. This arrangement will be a great boon. If thissuggestion is taken up and put in the appropriate place, Ihave no doubt that the elected representatives would reflectthe true will of the people.
Shri Kishorimohan Tripathi (C. P. and Berar States):Mr. Vice-President, Sir, there has been sufficientdiscussion of the Draft Constitution and I have been verycarefully listening to the criticisms. There have been twotypes of criticisms. Some of the critics have criticizedthemselves rather than the Drafting Committee. They tookcertain decisions and all those decisions were embodied bythe Drafting Committee and where the Drafting Committeewanted to make its own suggestions it underlined the Draftand has tried amply to draw the attention of the House tothe suggestions and changes that it wanted to make. Criticshave criticised and in doing so, they have indirectlycriticised their own decision. There has been another typeto criticism which has gone rather astray and critics havetried to bring in things which we need not discuss whilediscussing the constitution of a country. I would not now gointo the details of the Constitution, into the nature of the Constitution, into the economic or other provisions of the Constitution. Much has been said on those issues. But Itried to find out the place of the Chattisgarh States in theDraft Constitution; I looked into the Schedule enumeratingthe various units of administration and found their namesnowhere: whereas as a matter of fact the administration ofthese States has been integrated withthat of C. P. and administrative units, - Districts, - havebeen carved out of these States. I do not know why theseStates have not been treated as a part and parcel of theprovince of C. P. in the Draft Constitution. I would requestfor this change; and when I say so I however do not want tosay that as a result of this integration the people havefelt something very advantageous. In the transitory stage ofintegration, there have been a lot of difficulties topeople. They have, in fact, suffered. Their conditions havebecome rather worse, but I believe, - and believe honestly - that all those are only passing phases and they will go andin the long run these small States when merged andintegrated with C. P. would derive their own benefit. Theyare not in a position to form a Union in any way; they havenot got sufficient economic and other resources to developthemselves and therefore in no case should they be treatedseparately.
Secondly, I will draw the attention of the House to thenecessity of including co-ordination of agriculturaldevelopment and planning in respect of food, its procurementand distribution, in the Union list as a Central subject.When I say so, I want to draw the attention of the House tothe reply the Honourable Minister for Agriculture gave whilereplying to questions in the House when functioning as theAssembly that for want of
proper provision or power it isnot possible for the Centre to deal effectively with thequestion of agricultural development of the country. When wethink of the reconstruction of the economy of India, thefirst and foremost thing that should strike our attention isthe agricultural economy in India. If you want a planneddevelopment in India including agricultural economy, it isessential that agriculture - its development and planning - should find a place in the Union List rather than in theProvincial List. The food problem in India is very grave. It is going to be a serious problem for years to come and wehave been spending most of our dollar and other exchange ingetting imports of food from foreign countries and this haswithheld and will be withholding our industrial developmentto a large extent. It is therefore very essential that acountry-wide planning to develop agriculture to an extentwhere we can be self-sufficient in the matter of food shouldbe treated as essential. I would therefore request theDrafting Committee to take into consideration thissuggestion of mine and place the co-ordination ofagricultural development as a Central subject. I am surethat the attention of the Drafting Committee has also beendrawn to this subject by the Ministry of Agriculture also.
Then, I come to the question of India and herrelationship to the Commonwealth. This question has yet beenleft undecided although references in the papers and in thespeeches of Members have been made to it. I for one wouldlike that India must declare herself an IndependentSovereign Republic. We should make no mention of ourassociation with the Commonwealth in any part of the Constitution itself. Having declared herself a free andindependent nation, India should then go to seek herassociation with one bloc or the other; but jumping from thepresent position of a Dominion to the relationship of theCommonwealth will inevitably mean that we are going toremain still a dependent country, dependent to theCommonwealth and the King of England.
Taking next the question of election in villages, muchhas been said about villages. There has been very sharpcriticism of the view expressed by Dr. Ambedkar when he saidthat "the villages are dens of ignorance". There has beenruthless criticism. I know this criticism is because of agenuine feeling on the part of the House. The House desires that the villages should come forward and play their fullpart in the national reconstruction. Since the desire is very genuine, I would request the House to detail out the election procedure in the Constitution itself. While giving adult franchise to every citizen of India, the eligibility for election to legislatures should be restricted to such persons as neither pay income-tax nor hold land in excess of 100 acres. That, I am sure, would bring in most of the villagers to the legislatures and they will be able to play their best role.
I now come to the question of the linguistic provinces. It is said in examining this question that there distribution of provinces is essential only on the ground of language. That is a wrong theory to my mind. A province should be formed or carved out of India, bearing in mind its economic resourcefulness, so that it could give full opportunity of growth to every citizen in it. The discussion of linguistic provinces, the appointment of a Commission to consider the question only on the basis of language, has already created a sort of wild feeling in the country and even in the political parties this tendency has taken place. I heard the other day that the States of manipur, Tripura and a district of Cachar are demanding themselves to be a separate province in the Congress body. There are other small unions who desire to continue to be separate units. This is very harmful to the nation and must be prevented.
Then coming to the question of language, I am one who wants that Hindi should be accepted as the national language of India, but when I say so I do not mean the Hindi which wefind in the translation of the Draft Constitution.
Mr. Vice-President: The Honourable Member has already exceeded his time.
Shri Kishorimohan Tripathi: Well, Sir, as I have no time, I close with these few words. I support the motion moved by Dr. Ambedkar.
Shri Vishwambhar Dayal Tripathi (United Provinces:General): Sir, it is with a certain amount of hesitation that I am going to speak before you in English. It appears that a sort of misunderstanding has been created amongst a section of our Friends, particularly those from Southern India, that we speak in Hindi because we want to shut them off from our own ideas. I must assure them that it is not a fact. The real fact is - and I want to say so quite frankly - that we can express our ideas ten times better in Hindi than in English. This is he only reason why some of us always speak in Hindi. But in deference to the wishes of those friends I am going to speak in English.
To come directly to the subject matter, it has been a formality with almost all the speakers to congratulate the Members of the Drafting Committee and its Chairman on the labour they have put in and also on the merits of the Constitution. I would not undergo that formality. There is no doubt, of course, that they have put in a good deal of labour and have placed before us a complete picture of a Constitution on the principles that we laid down in this Constituent Assembly. I am also aware that there is a good deal of merit in the draft Constitution. They have no doubt thoroughly studied the constitutions of different countries and have tried to make a choice out of them and to adapt those constitutions to the needs of this country. This is the chief merit of this Draft Constitution. In one word, it is an 'orthodox' Constitution.
But along with its merits we have also to see as to what are the defects or demerits and omissions in this Draft Constitution. We should then try to remove those defects andomissions.
Before I point out these glaring defects and seriousomissions, I would like to draw your attention to certainobservations made by the Mover of the Draft Constitution. Iwould not go into unnecessary details, because those pointshave been effectively dealt with by a number of previousspeakers. But I cannot refrain from making certainobservations. The one thing - and to me it appears veryobjectionable - which I wish to reply to is Dr. Ambedkar'sremark that the Indian soil is not suited to democracy. I donot know how my friend has read the history of India. I ammyself a student of history and also of politics and I cansay with definiteness that democracy flourishedin India much before Greece or any other country in theworld. The entire western world has taken democratic ideasfrom Greece and it is generally regarded that Greece was thecountry where democracy first of all flourished. But I sayand I can prove it to the hilt that democracy flourished inIndia much earlier than in Greece. I shall not go into thefacts and figures, yet I would draw his attention to two orthree points with regard to this matter. He might remember,as I know he has read history and he is also a scholar ofSanskrit, that even during the time of Buddha, democracyflourished in India. It is an oft-quoted phrase which I wantto repeat here and it is this: that certain traders wentfrom northern India to the south. The King of southern Indiaasked them as to who was the ruler of norther India. Theyreplied: "Deva, Kechiddesha Ganaadhinah Kechid Rajaadhina"It means: some of the countries in the north are governed asrepublics, while there are others which are governed by kings.
Then, coming down to the period of Alexander, we findthat the historians of Alexander have praised very much thecity-states of northern India which were governed ondemocratic lines as republics. There is no doubt that lateron the course of political development was arrested forsometime on account of invasions from outside. Yet we findthat the same democracy continued to function in ourvillages under the name of village republics. This, theMover himself has admitted in his address. It is
veryunfortunate that he should have made such remarks as are notborne out by the facts of history.