On the auspicious day of 26th January 1950 holy book the constitution of India was accepted by the constituent assembly with the hope of new India, celebrated as Republic day. Albeit the constitution of India came into existence after the independence but the history of India was as old as the Hindu civilization is. No nation can stay alive with disowning its civilization. The depiction of different pictures before every chapters of constitution endorses this. Every pictures has unique meaning and message to the people of India.
The constitution makers were well aware that the constitution is just not a legal document but aspiration of every Indian whose roots lies in history. So when the draft of constitution was at final stage there was detailed discussion in constituent assembly on the issue of artwork. Famous artist Nandalal Bose of Santiniketan was assigned with task of decoration of pictures in the constitution. Indian constitution is hand written in both, Hindi and English. Bose along with other artists decorated the constitution of India with different pictures depicting epochal history of India from Harappa civilization up to Independence in 1947.
Every portrait has different implications and it could be traced in the chapters where it has been depicted. The very first chapter manifests one of oldest civilization of world with a popular Indus Valley seal-mark, the bull. It is vehicle of Shiva and symbol of strength. The second part is of citizenship which is represented by India’s Vedic age. It is a picture of some ‘Gurukul’ where there is clean environment and saints are performing some rituals by worshipping the fire. Fixing these portrait in this particular chapter implies that only an ideal ‘shishy’ can be a good citizen. Here it has been tried to establish that education is strengths of a nation.
Part III of the constitution discusses fundamental rights. This is most important part of constitution, exhibits one of the incident of ‘Ramayana’. The picture shows that part of Ramayana when Lord Rama after defeating Ravana was coming back to Ayodhya in Pushpak Viman. Part three gives the notion of ‘Ram Rajay’ where there is no discrimination on the basis of class. Protection of fundamental rights and the concept of ‘Rule of Law’ is manifestation of Ram Rajay in true sense. Similarly, part IV of the constitution depicts the iconic scene of Mahabharat where Lord Krishna delivers its sermons to the confused Arjuna just before the war. The portrait articulate that the policy of government should be value and principle based to achieve the objective which constitution makers desired and this is possible only when the government follows policy like Arjuna followed the lord Krishna.
When we come to part V we see the picture of Buddha’s Enlightenment. This particular chapter contains the power and function of Parliament, President, Vice-President and Judiciary. This chapter tells how responsibility comes with power. By the 8th century, spiritual and philosophical speculation had advanced and were more Kshatriya in their origin than Brahman. So this was a period of huge change in society. Mahavira consequently dominates the page after. This chapter shows direction and guiding principle for the government. Part VI of the constitution depicts the golden age Gupta period of India. This period was combination of brilliant intellectual and spiritual development characterised by great art and literature. The paintings of Ajanta, the texts of Kalidasa, the mathematical genius of Aryabhatta – it was all part of the Gupta period. At that time, India was contributing to 25% of the World GDP, and held on to the No.1 position for 1000 years.
The next few pages illustrate all that we seemingly remember of our history: A scene from Akbar’s court depicting Mughal rule (known for pioneering art and architecture) which eventually leads to the the Maratha and Sikh renders of Shivaji and Guru Gobind Singh. Shivaji and the Sikh regime eventually weakened Mughal rule and European trade gave way to what we know as Imperial rule. The freedom movement is delineated by line drawings of Mahatma Gandhi’s Dandi march and his tour of Noakhali as the great peacemaker, and of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose saluting the Mahatma from abroad and asking for his blessings in the war of India’s liberation.
Constitution of India is not mere piece of document but it is manifestation of sprit of people of India. Its roots lies in thousands year old ‘Sanatan Dharma’. Constitution makers well aware with the fact that no country can thrive with disowning its civilization. After Independence India was entering into new world but it didn’t lose its identity. The Idea of new India was derived from the past. This idea was deeply embedded in Indian History. Constitution of India guide in present, ensure the future and acknowledges the past. It has fascinating piece of Art which took five years to create. The images in the constitution of India has unique message and purpose of India’s Infinite heritage and legacy. This message is lucid and clear that we have not abandoned our culture and tradition despite of innumerable invasion.
-ABHIJEET KUMAR BHATT (Daksh)
(Extracted from ‘Hamara Samvidhan’ by Sh. Lakshmi Narayan Bhala)