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Analysis of the Constituent Assembly Debates.

The Constitution of India was enacted by the Constituent Assembly on November 26, 1949. This enactment completes 70 years on November 26, 2019. The Indian Constitution was a product of deliberations of the Assembly for over three years. In this blog, we analyse the participation of members in the Assembly during these debates. Note that these numbers do not measure the quality of contribution of members including during meetings of various sub-committees. We have used number of words as a measure to indicate the relative contribution and time spent on discussing different issues.

Constituent Assembly debates can be broadly divided into four parts.

The Assembly discussed the text of the Constitution for 101 days

·   The Assembly met for a total number of 165 days between 1946 and 1950.

·   46 days were spent on preliminary discussion in the Assembly and 101 days were spent on the clause by clause discussion of the draft Constitution.

·   Approximately 36 lakh words were spoken during Assembly debates.  Two-thirds of all deliberations were during the clause by clause discussion in the second reading.

14% of the clause by clause discussion was on Fundamental Rights

·   From November 1948 to October 1949, the Assembly met for clause by clause disscussion on the draft Constitution. They met for 101 days during this period.

·   Fundamental Rights were included in Part III of the draft Constitution.  These were discussed for 16 days. 14% of the total clause by clause discussion was dedicated to Fundamental Rights.

·   Directive Principles of State Policy were included in Part IV.  These were discussed for six days.  4% of the clause by clause discussion was dedicated to Directive Principles.

·   Provisions related to Citizenship were included in Part II. It was discussed for three days.  2% of the discussion was dedicated to this part.

Sources: Constituent Assembly Debates, Centre for Law and Policy Research.

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