Why Ambedkar Opposed an Indian Constituent Assembly
April 1, 2021
B.R. Ambedkar’s seminal contribution to Indian constitution-making as the Chairman of the Drafting Committee is widely celebrated and acknowledged. Less known was his initial critique of an Indian Constituent Assembly in the mid-1940s. On 6 May 1945, Ambedkar addressed a gathering of the All-Indian Scheduled Castes Federation. Instead of speaking about the sectional interests of the Scheduled Castes, he chose to speak on a ‘topic which is general and has wider appeal, namely, the shape and form of the future Constitution of India’.
November 1948: Ambedkar presents Draft Constitution, Indian Constitution-Making Shifts into High Gear
November 7, 2020
4th November 1948 was a critical date in India’s constitution-making process: B.R. Ambedkar, Drafting Committee Chairman, formally introduced the Draft Constitution in the Constituent Assembly. This ‘formidable’ (as Ambedkar referred to it) document, containing 315 Articles and 8 Schedules, was the culmination of the Assembly’s work, particularly its committees, that began on 9th December 1946. From this point onwards, all of the Assembly’s debates – 114 out of 165 sittings – centred around this Draft. These debates mark the most intense phase of Indian constitution-making.
Alcohol and State Revenue: The Debate in the Constituent Assembly
May 30, 2020
One of the first steps that many Indian States embarked on as part easing coronavirus related lockdown measures was to allow liquor shops to sell alcohol. Serpentine queues were a common sight at liquor shop across States in India. The restlessness of the State governments to open liquor shops was quite evident – bringing its dependence on alcohol-based revenue into sharp relief.