Birth of a Democracy.

Birth of a Democracy. On this day, in 1950, the Constitution of India came into force. Although independence from British rule occurred on August 14, 1947, the draft constitution was deliberated by a 308 member Assembly for nearly 3 years in sessions fully open to the public.

Sir Anthony Eden, then British Prime Minister, said, “Of all the experiments in government, which have been attempted since the beginning of time, I believe that the Indian venture into parliamentary government is the most exciting. A vast subcontinent is attempting to apply to its tens and thousands of millions a system of free democracy… It is a brave thing to try to do so. The Indian venture is not a pale imitation of our practice at home, but a magnified and multiplied reproduction on a scale we have never dreamt of. If it succeeds, its influence on Asia is incalculable for good. Whatever the outcome we must honour those who attempt it.”

Republic Day is a national holiday in India. The National Anthem was written by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore in heavily Sanskritized Bengali.

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24 Responses to Birth of a Democracy.

  1. Rajini Rao says:

    Jai Hind, Suhail Manzoor πŸ™‚

  2. Jai Hind …………..:)

  3. Think India has been having mostly a good run last year. A few issues come to mind thinking of last year. One was the whole protest movement centred around Anna. The other was yet another overt lurch towards censorship with respect to social media. I still feel that India is some ways away from coming to a place where she is a civil society, where we are all equal under the law and nothing but the law. But sadly, at least to me, she keeps adding conditions to all the freedoms we as citizens enjoy under the constitution.

  4. Freedom is an ideal Shanker. The idea of a book of laws is that it defines the defaults. The goal being that one becomes more free over time, not less, wouldn’t you agree?

  5. Yiyou Wu says:

    Congratulations! hope it birth in China soon.

  6. My best wishes to a wonderful country!

  7. Constitution of India is the longest written roughly constitution of any sovereign country in the world, containing 450 articles in 24 parts, 12 schedules and 96 amendments, for a total of 117,369 words in the English language version.

    After getting Independence it took a marathon 3 years to write a marathon Constitution.Its fascinating to think how difficult it would be to frame a common Constitution for people of different religion,culture.It also must be noted that unlike America there is no separate Constitution for each state but only a single federal Constitution common to all people.If there is a clause in constitution which is unacceptable to a particular group,there would have been another partition or terrorist groups.But there was nothing(prominent).Even for a marriage,there is a separate rule for Hindus (polygamy not permitted,I hate this clause ;).) and Muslims (polygamy permitted)

    The Election Commission of India another milestone of this great Constitution which stands as an example for the other natios.

    It is said that Constitution is the superior of all-Governments,Parliaments.And there is only one superior to Constitution- People. Still there are nations which are not democratic,hope every people in this whole world has proper constitution to protect their rights..

    Happy Republic day !!

  8. Rajini Rao says:

    Great info, thanks Vysakh Sreenivasan ! Of course it would have to be the longest Constitution: why would any Indian say in a few words what could be said in more? πŸ˜‰ just kidding.

    BTW, I hate the polygamy provision too. There should be one law, equally applied to all. But that would be (politically) a tough medicine to sell.

  9. Matt Kuenzel says:

    India is fascinating in the kaleidoscope of peoples, languages, and cultures that it contains. It’s something like the U.S. in that. I wonder if there is a way to quantify the “diversity index” of a country? Also, it’s interesting that an American hero who we recently celebrated, Dr. King, patterned his movement on Mr. Gandhi. I’m hoping to visit India one of these days!

  10. Matt, as regards the diversity index, I’ve heard that there are over 800 distinct dialects spoken in India, simply among those who were born there – but what should one expect with a culture that goes back well over 3000 years :-). And that’s not to say anything of the distinct ethnic groups…

  11. Rajini Rao says:

    The diversity comparison is interesting in that the cultures/customs have managed to stay distinct in India as Charles Stern notes, whereas the US is the ultimate melting pot. When I visited Brazil, I saw the same melting pot phenomena as in the US, perhaps an even better integration into a beautiful composite!

  12. I’d argue about the melting pot concept in some sense, Rajini Rao , and counter it by saying that people, up until recent times, were sort of expected to adopt to the dominant (and generally benign) ethos. My own broken analogy is that it was more about adding a pinch of garlic to a stew than a pound of carrots. The good thing about American culture is that difference is accepted; the bad thing is that it’s only a fairly narrow range of difference.

  13. J Stasko says:

    Charles Stern: you’re right, the act of immigration is a filter.

  14. Arun Shroff says:

    Really enjoyed the rendition of India’s national anthem in the embedded Youtube clip – the beautiful and inspiring lyrics of Tagore accompanied by some of India’s best musicians and singers! Always brings back fond memories of school days in India πŸ™‚ .

  15. Congratulations to all the citizens of India! That is an awesome anthem.

  16. Arun Shroff I have to say I was so moved by the anthemn (which I had never heard before). It’s really the spirit of India.

  17. Deepak Varma says:

    Happy Republic Day to all Indians

  18. Arun Shroff says:

    Giovanni Ranzo That is indeed the power of the original composition! It is even more moving if you understand the lyrics in the original Bengali or Hindi version IMHO. You can find them as well as Tagore’s original English translation and its fascinating history at

  19. Rickie B says:

    Well done and Happy Constitution Day to our dear friends in India – from those of us who have worked in New India ie in North Americas as they used to be called when first discovered and mapped – Rsj

  20. Rajini Rao says:

    +1 to Finnair for putting on a surprise Bollywood style dance in the aisles on a flight to New Delhi today, in celebration of Republic Day πŸ™‚

    Surprise Dance on Finnair Flight to celebrate India’s Republic Day

  21. Kapil Ranade says:

    Jai Hind, Dr Rajini Rao

  22. Thank You.. Rajini Rao.. Thank you so much….

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