By Ashok Kumar
Sydney, July 07, 2017
The 2016 Australian Census report cited that number of people who do not believe in God or have no religion has gone up to 30 per cent of the population. More than 67 years ago, the Indian Constituent Assembly while making the constitution’, had struck down the name of God unanimously from the preamble. While debating on the motion moved by Mr. H V Kamath moved that the words “in the name of God” should be “included in the preamble.” The motion was vociferously debated and finally rejected by the Assembly.
“The making of the Constitution” talk was presented by Mr. Atul Tiwari, noted script writer, actor and director gave an insight into the developments leading to the creation of the Constituent Assembly, at the Indian Cultural Centre, the Consulate of India on 30 June, 2017. Mr. Tiwari had also acted in the Rajya Sabha TV serial ‘Samvidhan’ the Making of the Constitution, playing the role of Pt. Gobind Ballabh Pant. The serial/documentary was directed by noted Film Director Shyam Benegal in 10 episodes discussing threadbare provisions of the Constitution. Mr. Tiwari revealed that music also played an important part in the making of the Constitution when Sarojini Naidu sang the Vande Matram and others sang the Jana Gana Man Adhinayaka Jaya he. Mr. Tiwari’s talk was interspersed with relevant clippings from the TV serial.
Though the motion was rejected, it took over two decades to include the word “secular” in the constitution. In the talk, Mr. Tiwari touched upon various issues like women’s rights or gender equality, language issue and “in the name of God.”
Of these the issue of language was very interesting. While Mahatma Gandhi wanted Hindustani to be the national language as it contained both Hindi and Urdu. The members wanted Hindi to be the national language since Pakistan had declared Urdu its national language. After a long debate, the house adopted the motion to make Hindi as the National Language. But now it is seen, nevertheless, a large section of the population speaks Hindustani and not pure Hindi not even in the official work.
Some members wanted reservation for women but the women members of the House like Hansa Mehta, Poornima Mukherjee and Rajkumari Amrita Kaur rejected the idea, saying they did not want anything as pity. Today the women are enjoying reservation in Parliament.
On making of the constitution, Mahatma Gandhi gave some tips to Babu Jagjivan Ram that when you are making the Constitution please bear in mind that you have to look at the poorest of the poor and whether your efforts shall benefit him and whether your constitution can bring a smile on his face, only then it is worth to have a Constitution otherwise it is a useless exercise.
It took 2 years, 11 months and 17 days and a series of debates, the Constituent Assembly adopted the Constitution of India. It may be noted that the Constitution we see and enjoy today a lot went into its making. The Rajya Sabha TV must be congratulated for bringing forward the ups and downs of the Making of the Constitution.
The talk was followed by ghazal recital by noted singer Sudhir Narain who enthralled the select gathering of knowledgeable audience. while he sang he also interpreted the meanings of some couplets (shaers). There was not enough time to listen to the mesmerising rendering. Sudhir had 1500 ghazal concerts to his credit. He has been doing concerts overseas for the last over two decades, performing in South Africa, US, UK and various other countries. This was his first concert in Australia.