There are a few defining dates in our country’s democratic journey; November 26 is one of them. On this day in 1949, the Constituent Assembly adopted our Constitution after extensive deliberations. Following a suggestion by six-time Lok Sabha MP Bhartruhari Mahtab, in 2015, the government started celebrating this day as “Constitution Day” to promote constitutional values among citizens. That year also marked the 125th birth anniversary of B R Ambedkar, the architect of our founding document.
Over the years, suggestions by parliamentarians have shaped our Constitution. During the final days of the Constitution-making process, Constituent Assembly members pressed upon its president, Dr Rajendra Prasad, that there should be a handwritten copy of the document signed by all members. The rationale was not lost on Dr Prasad — that a plain, printed document would not be an appropriate symbol of the occasion as the country embarks on its journey as a republic.