On Jan 26th, India celebrated its 73rd Republic Day. The reason we celebrate the Republic Day is because it was on this day that our Constitution came into effect in 1950. While the Constitution was adopted on Nov 26, 1949 by the constituent assembly, it came into effect on Jan 26, 1950.
There were amazing visuals from Rajpath and our Rockstar Prime Minister wore Netaji’s cap reminding us about the great freedom fighter who unfortunately has been relegated to the foot notes of the Indian Independence movement.
The celebrations peaked on the 29th of January when a 1000 Made in India drones put on a spectacular show. Do watch it here incase you missed the live telecast and/or you are like us – proud Bharat bhakts who watch this on a loop and just get overwhelmed with emotion 🇮🇳.
Hand Written Constitution
Am part of Dr. Gaurav Pradhan’s Telegram group and he had posted about his grandfather’s cousin Mr. Prem Bihari who hand wrote the Consititution of India.
Here is the note by Dr. Gaurav Pradhan –
“….How many Indians know that the Constitution of India was written by hand. No instrument was used to write the whole constitution. Prem Bihari Narayan Rayzada, a resident of Delhi, wrote this huge book, the entire constitution, in italic style with his own hands.
Prem Bihari was a famous calligraphy writer of that time. He was born on 16 December 1901 in the family of a renowned handwriting researcher in Delhi. He lost his parents at a young age. He became a man Friday to his grandfather Ram Prasad Saxena and uncle Chatur Bihari Narayan Saxena. His grandfather Ram Prasad was a calligrapher. He was a scholar of Persian and English. He taught Persian to high-ranking officials of the English government.
Dadu used to teach calligraphy art to Prem Bihari from an early age for beautiful handwriting. After graduating from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi, Prem Bihari started practicing calligraphy art learned from his grandfather. Gradually his name began to spread side by side for the beautiful handwriting.
When the constitution was ready for printing, the then Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru summoned Prem Bihari. Nehru wanted to write the constitution in handwritten calligraphy in italic letters instead of in print.
That is why he called Prem Bihari. After Prem Bihari approached him, Nehruji asked him to handwrite the constitution in italic style and asked him what fee he would take.
Prem Bihari told Nehruji “Not a single penny. By the grace of God I have all the things and I am quite happy with my life. ” After saying this, he made a request to Nehruji “I have one reservation – that on every page of constitution I will write my name and on the last page I will write my name along with my grandfather’s name.” Nehruji accepted his request.
He was given a house to write this constitution. Sitting there, Premji wrote the manuscript of the entire constitution.
Before starting writing, Prem Bihari Narayan came to Santiniketan on 29 November 1949 with the then President of India, Shri Rajendra Prasad, at the behest of Nehruji. They discussed with the famous painter Nandalal Basu and decided how and with what part of the leaf Prem Bihari would write, Nandalal Basu would decorate the rest of the blank part of the leaf.
Nandalal Bose and some of his students from Santiniketan filled these gaps with impeccable imagery. Mohenjo-daro seals, Ramayana, Mahabharata, Life of Gautam Buddha, Promotion of Buddhism by Emperor Ashoka, Meeting of Vikramaditya, Emperor Akbar and Mughal Empire..
Prem Bihari needed 432 pen holders to write the Indian constitution and he used nib number 303. The nibs were brought from England and Czechoslovakia. He wrote the manuscript of the entire constitution for six long months in a room in the Constitution Hall of India. 251 pages of parchment paper had to be used to write the constitution. The weight of the constitution is 3 kg 650 grams. The constitution is 22 inches long and 16 inches wide.
Prem Bihari died on February 17, 1966. He was my Dada ji youngest cousin
Historically, my family tree never charge any penny to serve Nation. Its our Sanatani Duty.”
How fascinating !! Not sure if many of us knew this. I for one did not. Am also not sure if this is mentioned in the school textbooks.
Do read this article by The Better India – Prem Behari Narain Raizada: The Man Who (literally) Wrote India’s Constitution