It would have been difficult for the Constituent Assembly to complete its historic task of drafting the Constitution for Independent India in just three years but for the experience gained with the Government of India Act, 1935. Discuss.

It would have been difficult for the Constituent Assembly to complete its historic task of drafting the Constitution for Independent India in just three years but for the experience gained with the Government of India Act, 1935. Discuss.

Answer

  • The Constituent Assembly took almost three years (2 years, 11 months and 17 days to be precise) to complete its historic task of drafting the Constitution for Independent India. During this period, it held eleven sessions covering a total of 165 days.
  • To complete Indian constitution was a difficult task in the above mentioned time period in the absence of an earlier legal document which could serve as the basic draft. The GOI 1935 Act acted as a draft as it was a comprehensive legal document for the governance of the country.
  • Similarly, the drastic changes were already known beforehand from the demands and aspirations of freedom fighters, such as democracy based on universal adult franchise. Thus, fundamentals were already known much in advance.
  • The 1935 Act provided the solid foundation on which the changes could be made as per the aspiration of the people of India. India did not have to start from the beginning. However, many new additions were made taking into account the myriad experiences from the polity of other constitutions – Britain, U.S.A, Irish, Canadian, etc.
  • The Act of 1935 had many detailed provisions, which has been preserved intact, because three elections were conducted on the basis of that system, including 1937 provincial elections and the system was becoming familiar for the Indians. Thus, the already known issues with the system made it easier for drafting committee to retain relevant and delete non-suitable sections from the Act and transform it into India’s constitution.

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