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REPUBLIC DAY 2020: Amazing Facts You Should Know About Indian Constitution

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Republic Day is celebrated every year in India on January 26 to honour the Constitution of India replacing the Government of India Act (1935). On November 26, 1949, the Indian Constitution was adopted by the Indian Constituent Assembly but was legally enforced only after two months on January 26, 1950, with a democratic government system and has now survived 7 decades.

Even after Independence on August 15, 2020, India was depended on the Government of India Act 1935 which is a modified version of the British law. Then just after 2 weeks later only, August 29, 1947, the drafting committee was appointed where Dr B R Ambedkar was the chairman.

This year, 2020, India will be celebrating its 71st Republic Day!

Here we have shared some amazing facts you should know about the Indian Constitution.

  1. Indian Constitution is the Longest Constitution in the World

The Indian Constitution is the longest written constitution of any country on earth that sets out fundamental rights, directive principles, and the duties of citizens. At about 145,000 words, it had 450 articles which are divided into 22 parts and 12 schedules. It started with 395 articles and 8 schedules.

Picture Source: Scroll

  1. Dr Ambedkar, Father of the Indian Constitution, Was Ready to Burn It

Father of the Indian Constitution, Dr BR Ambedkar told this in the Rajya Sabha on September 2, 1953, while debating how a Governor in the country should be invested with more powers.

“My friends tell me that I have made the Constitution. But I am quite prepared to say that I shall be the first person to burn it out. I do not want it. It does not suit anybody. But whatever that maybe if our people want to carry on they must not forget that there are majorities and there are minorities and they simply cannot ignore the minorities by saying, “Oh, no. To recognize you is to harm democracy.” I should say that the greatest harm will come by injuring the minorities”

Picture Source: The Print

  1. The Whole Constitution is handwritten!

The original Constitution is handwritten by Prem Behari Narain which took 6 months. It was neither Typed nor Printed.  He used 254 pen-holder nibs of NO.303 and followed Raizada, italic style with beautiful calligraphy.

Prem Behari Narain didn’t even ask for any remuneration. Just requested to write his name on every page of the constitution and on the last page, the name of his grandfather with his name.

Picture Source: The Better India

  1. The Constitution of India has a Preamble

The constitution has a preamble also known as “FACE OF THE CONSTITUTION”. The preamble sets out the aims and aspirations of the people of India that declares India to be Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic Republic, and secures to all its citizens Justice, Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity.

Picture Source: IPleaders Blog

  1. Constitution has been amended 104 times

There have been 104 amendments as of January 2019 in Indian Constitution since it was first enacted in 1950. In the first 62 years, only 94 times the Constitution was amended.

  1. Each Page of Constitution Was Decorated By Artists from Shantiniketan

The artwork of the Constitution was decorated by artists from Shantiniketan including Nandalal Bose Beohar and Rammanohar Sinha, along with his students.

Acharya Nandalal Bose in Kala Bhawan, Shantiniketan, painted the major images and guided his students in designing other artwork.

The preamble was decorated by one of Nandalal Bose’s student, Beohar Rammanohar Sinha.

  1. Time Taken To Write Indian Constitution

It took almost three years (two years, eleven months and seventeen days) constitution to draft the constitution with the help of 389-member assembly which got reduced to 299 after the partition of India. The assembly holds eleven sessions over a 165-day period where 2,473 amendments were moved, discussed and disposed of out of a total of 7,635.

Picture Source: Isrg Rajan

  1. B.R. Ambedkar studied the constitutions of about 60 countries

As a wise constitutional expert and also known as Father of Constitution of India, B.R. Ambedkar has studied the constitutions of about 60 countries.

  1. Fundamental Rights Guaranteed by the Indian Constitution

Part III of the Constitution of India guarantees the ‘Fundamental Rights’ to all the citizens of India that includes:

  • Right To Equality – Articles 14, 15, 16,17, 18
  • Right To Freedom- Articles 19, 20, 21, 22
  • Right To Exploitation- Articles 23 and 24
  • Right To Freedom of Religion- Articles 25 to 28
  • Cultural And Educational Rights- Articles 29 and 30
  • Right To Constitutional Remedies- Article 32

Picture Source: Wikisource

 

  1. When And Where Constitution was Published

The Indian of the constitution was published in Dehradun and photolithographed by the Survey of India. It became the law of India on January 26, 1950. The final session was convened on January 24, 1950, where two copies of the constitution were signed by each member, one in Hindi and the other in English.

  1. A ‘Bag of Borrowings’: Constitution of India

The Constitution of India is often known as “Bag of Borrowings” as the provisions are borrowed from various foreign constitutions. This includes:

  • The Ideals of Liberty, Fraternity, and Equality came from the French Constitution.
  • Five year plans concept came from the Constitution of USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics).
  • The “procedure established by Law” was borrowed from the Constitution of Japan.
  • During the Emergency rule, the fundamental rights will be suspended: concept came from Weimar Constitution of Germany.
  • “We the People”: the concept is taken from the US Constitution’s Preamble.
  • Freedom of Trade, Concurrent list, and Service within Country” are inspired by the Australian Constitution.
  • Powers of the federal jury and Office of the Governor are taken from from the Govt. of India Act 1935.
  • Elections of the President of India, Directive Principles concept are taken from the Irish Constitution.

 

  1. The Lion Capital of Ashoka was adopted on the same day

On January 26, 1950, India adopted the Lion Capital of Ashoka at Sarnath with the wheel, horse and bull as the National Emblem of India.

  1. The day when the Constitution was signed

It was drizzling outside on the day when the Constitution was assigned and was interpreted as a sign of good omen.

Picture Source: The Hindu

  1. November 26, is not only the date

Every year the Constitution Day is celebrated on November 26 to spread the importance of the constitution and spread thoughts and ideas of Ambedkar. It was declared by the Government of India on November 19, 2015, as Constitution was adopted on the same date on 1949.

  1. January 26, is not only the date

The date of January 26, was chosen because it coincided with Purna Swaraj’s anniversary (January 26, 1930).

Constitution Of India originally written in Hindi and English Picture Source: Wikimedia

 

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Hong Kong Protest Movement Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

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Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement gets nominated for Nobel Peace prize 2020 by US Senator Marco Rubio and Representative James McGovern. China’s co-chair and chair of Congressional-Executive Commission sent the Nobel Peace Prize Committee a nomination letter for Hong Kong as the city was able to organize impressive and coherent protest movement without any leader yet being flexible. According to the letter, this prize would honour millions of people in the city who has bravely inspired the world with immense determination.

This pro-democracy movement began last June over a now axed extradition bill. The protest demonstrators still continue to demand an independent probe into the conduct of police as well as pardon for those who were arrested along with to stop characterizing protests as riots.

This nomination was also signed by Representatives like Chris Smith, Thomas Suozzi and Tom Malinowski, as well as Senators like Jeffrey Merkley, Steve Daines and Todd Young. The letter mentioned that Hongkongers were able to demonstrate civility in courage with extraordinary leadership and strong commitment to free Hong Kong and make it democratic state that would uphold law and order and fundamental human rights and freedom.

There were many like Liu Xiaobo who also made sacrifices to speak up for human rights and got sentenced for the same. His charges were that he was inciting subversion of state power. he was sentenced to 11 years of imprisonment where he passed away in 2017. In 2010, he was even awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his long and non-violent protest for fundamental human rights in China. As he was absent, the prize was presented to an empty chair at the ceremony. Since his death, his widow Liu Xia was under house arrest for several years.

The letter even mentioned that the US and the UK have suspended the sale of police and crowd control equipment to Hong Kong which the government has been accused to use against peaceful protestors excessively and unnecessarily. Last year, Guri Melby who is a Norwegian lawmaker also nominated Hongkongers for the prize as a way to further encourage the movement.

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Sri Lankan Government Finally Admits That 20,000 Missing Tamilians Are Dead

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The new Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa finally admits that the 20,000 missing Tamilians who disappeared during the nation’s civil war are dead. At that time during the civil war, Mr Rajapaksa worked as the defence secretary and he led the government victory over Tamil soldiers but he and his forces were accused of carrying out mass executions and disappearances.

This is the first time that the government has publicly admitted the fact even though it is a complicated affair and the conflict ended in 2009. According to local media reports, this move is revealed as he is about to introduce legislation that would grant immunity to people who carried out abuses.

Mr Rajapaksa announced this during a meeting with the United Nations representative in Colombo saying that official death certificates would be issued. In his announcement, he said that this admission would bring closure to families hoping that Tamil politicians would not use this as a way to cause unrest. According to local media reports today, Mr Rajapaksa is all set to introduce laws that would grant immunity to members of the government who have been accused of human rights violations during the war.

Sri Lanka’s civil war began in 1983 and went on for 26 years till 2009 which is said to have claimed around 100,000 lives. The war was fought along ethnic and religious lines where the Buddhist Sinhalese majority government won over the Hindu Tamil minority which tried to fight for independence.

While atrocities were committed by both sides the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has reports of government troops carrying out unlawful killings, enforced disappearance and gender-based violence on the Tamil population. These abuses in the final year of the conflict have been considered a few of the worst human rights abuses in history.

There were footages captured in mobile phones showing government soldiers executing blindfolded civilians. There was even heavy artillery launched in the so-called no-fire zone killing around 70,000 civilians most of which were Tamilians. Human Rights Watch even documented disappearances of Tamil activists and journalists.

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Thailand claims to cure corona virus with anti-Hiv drug cocktail

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On Sunday, the health ministry in Thailand said that a Chinese woman who was infected with the infamous new coronavirus has shown drastic improvements after she was treated with a cocktail of anti-viral drugs that are used to treat both flu and HIV.

During the health ministries daily press briefing, Dr Kriengsak Attipornwanich said that the 71-year-old patient tested negative for the novel coronavirus 48 hours after the Thai doctors gave her the combination. He even said that along with her positive test turning negative in 48 hours, the patient was extremely exhausted but was able to sit straight 12 hours after the drugs cocktail was given.

This drug cocktail had a combination of the anti-flu drug oseltamivir along with anti-virals like lopinavir and ritonavir which are used to treat HIV. The health ministry is still awaiting proper research results to prove the findings.

This good news comes in as soon as coronavirus claims the first life outside China of a 44-year-old Chinese man in the Philippines while the number of deaths has crossed 330. As per now, Thailand had detected 19 confirmed cases of the virus which has said to have broken out from Wuhan city in China which now is under lockdown. The country seems to have the second-highest number of cases outside China after Japan with 20 people suffering from the novel coronavirus.

Till now only eight patients were able to recover and go back home while the remaining 11 still are in the hospital. According to the video released on Sunday, Anutin Charnvirakul who is the health minister of Thailand visited this patient from Wuhan who has recovered from the coronavirus. He chatted with her in Mandarin and she thanked him and the medical staff.

Thailand’s government is now battling public criticism that the country is lagging behind to evacuate several Thai citizens from the Hubei province which is the centre of the outbreak. According to Anutin Charnvirakul, the evacuation would take place on Tuesday and the people would be kept in quarantine for 14 days.

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Coronavirus Kills First Patient Outside China

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On Saturday, the Philippines confirmed that one of the men who tested positive for the novel coronavirus has died. This 44-year-old man was the second confirmed coronavirus case in the Philippines. According to the officials of the Department of Health in the Philippines, he was the companion of a 38-year-old woman who was the first confirmed case. They were among the 24 other patients who were tested for the virus but only they turned out to be positive.

Both of them were from Wuhan in China which is the epicentre of this outbreak. On Sunday, Chinese officials said that the virus has caused deaths of 304 people and infected around 14,380. Dr Rabi Abeyasinghe who is a World Health Organization representative in the Philippines said on twitter that this is first reported death outside China but however it is necessary to know that this person came from Wuhan China.

On January 25th the man was admitted to the San Lazaro Hospital in Manila after he showed symptoms of fever, cough and sore throat. According to the officials, this man had severe pneumonia because of viral and bacterial infections before stabilizing in his last few days. Yet, his condition kept deteriorating drastically in the last 24 hours leading to his death.

Francisco T. Duque III who is the Health Secretary said in his statement that we would like to let people know that this was an imported case and there is no evidence of local transmission as of now. They are currently working with the Chinese Embassy to ensure that his remains are managed respectfully according to national and international standards to contain the disease.

Coronavirus is a large family of viruses that mostly infect animals. But some can evolve and spread to human beings as well. Symptoms in humans include fever, coughing and shortness of breath which can extend to pneumonia.

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US Air Force Plane Crashes In Afghanistan, Taliban Claims Responsibility

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On Monday, a small US Air Force plane crashes in Afghanistan’s Taliban-held area in the Ghazni province which lies south of Kabul. The number of people on board is yet to be disclosed but according to an Afghan official two pilots were found dead in the wreckage.

Zabihullah Mujahid, who is a spokesperson for the Taliban said that they shot down “an American invader jet” killing many officers. He further claims that the plane had high-ranked CIA officers on board. But none of the above claims was verifiable.

Arif Noori who is the provincial government spokesperson said that the aircraft seemed to be flying around 321 kilometres between Kandahar in the south to Kabul in the north. Noori further added that bodies of two pilots were found amid the crash debris and said that the plane is completely destroyed but he mentions no other casualties.

Though it has been reported that only two bodies were found, locals claim to have seen around five bodies in total. On the other hand, the Afghan government initially claimed that a passenger jet crashed that had more than 80 people on board but they later retracted.

There are several unverified images of the crash circulating through social media which includes a tail end of a crashed aircraft that had the US Air Force insignia. The US Air Force uses the E11A, which is made by Bombardier. It has a twin-engine made for flying command as well as a communications hub.

It is not surprising if the Taliban claims to shoot down this plane as it has been reported from time to time that the Taliban possesses anti-aircraft weapons which are claimed to have been supplied by CIA to fight 1980s Russian occupation. In 2007, a British Chinook helicopter was suspected to have been shot down by the Taliban using a shoulder-mounted surface to air missile.

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