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Few Historical Background behind the Constituent Assembly of India?

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  • Milap Choraria
    Few Historical Background behind the Constituent Assembly of India? Some Very Important Historical Backgrounds indicate that some thing was behind the record
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 2, 2009

      Few Historical Background behind the Constituent Assembly of India ?


      Some Very Important Historical Backgrounds indicate that some thing was behind the record between our National leader Shri Jawahar Lal Nehru and Admiral Viscount Mountbatten, who was then elevated as the Lord by British Majesty. Otherwise, till 18th March, 1947, the British Government had not accepted the partition of India , while at the same time was also determined to transfer the powers to Indians not later than June, 1948, with a flexibility, to within one month. Some thing happens between 18th March, 1947 and June, 1947 (when Lord Mountbatten declared a scheme of partition), thus, in July, British Parliament passes the Indian Independence Act, 1947, thus having advanced the date for transfer of power to 15th August, 1947? According to one article under heading `Discovery of Nehru' by one Mr. T R Jawahar, alleged about the love affairs between Lady Edwina Mountbatten and Nehru interalia described in the manner: "So, was our Jawaharlal set up? One cannot be faulted for assuming so. The British, realising that it would help to have a pliable premier ruling their erstwhile colony and also being alive to the chinks in Nehru's moral armoury, probably unleased the oldest trick known to humanity, a trick that Lord Indra himself played on Vishwamitra; and the lonely but romantic Nehru fell hook, line and sinker. In 1946, a year before Independence , the British government invited Nehru to Malaysia and Singapore . Over to veteran journalist and political observer, Satya Dev Narayan, who writes in his book interalia: '....the chance rush of the crowd in the Red Cross building in Singapore where Edwina as Red Cross chief was waiting to show her work to the distinguished visitor, her falling down on the ground in that rush and being promptly and gallantly lifted by Nehru himself to be carried to safety and quiet where the doctor could go to work: every little bit looks suspiciously like part of an elaborate plan to hook the coming man, Nehru. A carefully contrived plan, with much attention to timing and finesse in execution. If successful, it would no doubt give Britain a great deal of advantage during negotiations in the final phases of transfer of power. It would be a great situation to be in if, of the two representing their respective sides and facing each other at the conference table, one was the hooker and the other, the hooked..."  and that "Thus Nehru's chivalry became the nation's curse. Edwina's daughter also informs us that though her mother had many lovers, Nehru was very special. What an honour for the nation that its top man also topped Edwina's lovers' list! But why not? It is not often that PMs come calling at your door! And the daughter adds with a touch of respect: 'My father knew all about my mother and was inured to it'. And why not, again? Having gotten used to the ways of his wayward wife, why would Mountbatten bat an eyelid when it came to his 'best friend' Nehru?" and that "How does it feel, as a nation, to know that the man it so implicitly trusted with its fate, future and fortune, could be so easily compromised? Whether it was platonic love or plain adultery, the nation has paid a stiff price for Nehru's extra-curricular activities!"


      In my message dated 30th January, 2009, I have said that Dr. Ambedkar himself, on 2nd September 1953, has made a statement in the Rajya Sabha (Parliament) that "People always keep on saying to me, so you are the maker of the Constitution. My answer is I was a hack. What I was asked to, I did much against my will. I am quite prepared to say that I shall be the first person to burn it. It does not suit anybody."  In fact, the Constituent Assembly of India was not at all free to make the Constitution with its free will; rather it had its own limitations under Section 8 of the Indian Independence Act, 1947, as was passed by the British Parliament. Whereas, one of my friends has told me that he was taught by Political Pundits as well as Professors in the University during the then British Raj that "1919 Act brings in the play of the mechanism of diarchy, while 1935 Act is a Roll's Royals Administration in a Bullock Cart Country", and that is how both these Acts were decried and denounced by all those, who were at the helm of the affairs, whether it be in the academic world or in the realm of freedom struggle. Now the question is whether there is any remotest possibility of the relationship between aforesaid love affairs of Nehru and Edwina, and compromise, if any behind the scene? A very important development has to be kept in mind that may cause some serious thinking about the fact as to how and why the timing for the constitution of the Constituent Assembly was set only after the trip of Shri Jawahar Lal Nehru to Malaysia and Singapore was over.   


      Because, on 20th February, 1947, the British Prime Minister A. R. Attlee made a Statement in the House of Common interalia that "His Majesty's Government desire to hand over their responsibility to authorities established by a constitution approved by all parties in India in accordance with the Cabinet Mission plan.", and thereby fixed the date for transfer of the powers (not freedom to India) stating that "his Majesty's Government wish to make it clear that it is their definite intention to take necessary steps to effect the transference of the power to responsible Indians by a date not later than June, 1948."  In the same statement he also declared about the appointment of Admiral Viscount Mountbatten, that "who will be entrusted with the task of transferring to Indian hands responsibility for the government of British India in a manner that will best ensure the future happiness and prosperity of India .     


      On 18th March, 1947, the British Prime Minister A. R. Attlee wrote a letter to Admiral Viscount Mountbatten, interalia that "It is the definite objective of His Majesty's Government to obtain a unitary Government for the British India and the Indian states, if possible within the British Commonwealth, through the medium of a Constituent Assembly, set up and run in accordance with the Cabinet Mission's plan, and you should do the utmost in your power to persuade all parties to work together to this and, and advise His Majesty's Government, in the light of developments, as to stop (or step) that will have to be taken."


      He further wrote: "It is of course, important that Indian States should adjust their relations with the authorities to whom it is intended to hand over power in British India; but as was explicitly sated by the Cabinet Mission His Majesty's Government do not intend to hand over their powers and obligations under paramountcy  to any successor Government. It is not intended to bring paramountcy as a system to a conclusion earlier than the date of the final transfer of power, but you are authorized, at such time as you think appropriate, to enter into negotiations with individual States for adjusting their relation with the Crown."


      Whereas he reminded that "The date fixed for the transfer of power is a flexible one to within one month; but you should aim at June 1, 1948, as the effective date for the transfer of power."


      Some of the provisions of the Indian Independence Act, 1947 provides as under:-

      Section 8. (1) In the case of the new Dominions, the powers of the Legislature of the Dominion shall, for the purpose of making provision as to the constitution of the Dominion, be exercisable in the first instance by the Constituent Assembly of that Dominion, and references in this Act to the Legislature of the Dominion shall be construed accordingly.

      (2) Except in so far as other provision is made by or in accordance with a law made by the Constituent Assembly of the Dominion under subsection (1) of this section, each of the new Dominions and all Provinces and other parts thereof shall be governed as nearly as may be in accordance with the Government of India Act, 1935; and the provisions of that Act, and of the orders in Council, rules and other instruments made thereunder, shall, so far as applicable and subject to any express provisions of this Act, and with such omissions, additions, adaptations and modifications as may be specified in orders of the Governor-General under the next succeeding section, have effect accordingly:

      (3) Any provision of the Government of India Act, 1935, which, as applied to either of the new Dominions by subsection (2) of this section and the orders therein referred to, operates to limit the power of the legislature of that Dominion shall, unless and until other provision is made by or in accordance with a law made by the Constituent Assembly of the Dominion in accordance with the provisions of sub-section, (1) of this section, have the like effect as a law of the Legislature of the Dominion limiting for the future the powers of the Legislature.


      Milap Choraria

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