Constituent Assembly Of India - Volume V
Dated: August 28, 1947
Mr. President: We shall now take'up Clause 7.
The Honourable Sardar Vallabhbhai J. Patel:; Sir, I beg to move.
There is an amendment that instead of putting this motion in a negative form as it now stands, it should be put in a positive form that "there shall be distributive voting". That amendment will be moved formally and I propose to accept it. I suggest to the Honourable Members of this House, however, that we have to finish this Report before we rise today and therefore as this Report has been thoroughly discussed and main points have been passed, I hope on the amendments, if any, there will not be long speeches and we shall not waste time. I move the clause for the acceptance of the House.
Mr. President: There are two amendments, one by Mr. 'Kesava Rao and another by Mr. Mallick.
(Mr. Kesava Rao and Mr. M. B. Mallick did not move their amendments.)
Shri K. Santhanam, (Madras: General) : Sir, I seek your permission to move only part (2) of my amendment. I don't want to move Part (1). My amendment is:
This amendment is necessary because I want to get the maximum advantage out of the joint electorates which we have adopted. Unless each candidate has to know every section of the electorates and is not able to confine himself to a particular section, the evil spirit of separate electorate will be retaind. The result of my amendment will be, if there is a Scheduled Caste candidate he will not be able to say I want to accumulate only the Scheduled Caste votes' and a Christian candidate will not be able to say 'I want to accumulate the Christian votes only'. Everyone will have to seek every vote from every section, and therefore without any further elaboration, I propose my amendment.
Mr. President: Does any one wish to say anything?
Shri D. H. Chandrasekharaiya (Mysore State) : President, Sir, the amendment standing in my name runs as follows:
In para, 12 of the Report corresponding to para. 7 of the Appendix it has been stated that the system of cumulative voting should not be permitted in the elections to the Central and Provincial Legislatures. But as already admitted by Sardar Patelji no, definite suggestion has been put forward in the report about the actual method of voting to be adopted. To put over this lacuna an amendment has been. moved by Shri K. Santhanam urging the adoption of what is called the compulsory distributive voting system in all elections, under the new Constitution. Sir, before speaking upon my own amendment, I should like to say a few words regarding the method that has been suggested. This method which. is also, called the Block vote permits each voter to have as many votes as there are seats to be filled but he is compelled to give only one vote to a candidate. This is a system which is in vogue in some countries of the World, but its working has brought to light several drawbacks in. it and therefore the opposition of political thinkers and statesmen is steadily increasing Towards it as we see from their writings. Under this system it is only a majority party that will secure full success in elections. I shall take an instance to make my point clear. Supposing there is an electorate consisting of 100 votes, then a party that commands 51 votes will sweep the polls and any other party having even 49 votes will go to the wall. This system will thus make room only for the success of one party and a legislature formed with only one party can never be said to be national in character or representing all important interests and elements in the country. Modern democracy, as we all know, is generally a representative democracy. which means that our legislatures should properly and fully;reflect the. public opinion of the country.Therefore the method that has been proposed is person to serious objections.
With a view to avoid the defects of this system is very necessary to adopt some form of proportional representation other the system of single transferable vote or the system of single non-transferable vote. I will not go into the details of these systems but both of,. them are scientific and elastic and give representation to majorities and minorities exactly in proportion to this voting strengths. When say 'minorities I do-not mean merely communal.minorities. In fact'I personally feel that the sooner this communalism goes out of politics the better it is for our country. But so long as communal minorities exist they will also take advantage of the system that I am proposing. The miniorities that I have more particularly in view are these based on political considerations or economic ideologies or even territorial differences. I am inclined to think that this, subject of method of voting should have more appropriately come in the report of the Union Constitution Committee than in the Report on the rights of Minorities, as it is a general subject relating to the form of representation in Legislatures. Whatever may be the nature of a minority, it,ought to find a place in ' the Legislature adequately. This system is in vogue in several countries of the World. For instance in England some members of the British Parliament are chosen from certain Universities on the principle of proportional representation. In Northern Ireland members are chosen to both the House of Legislature only on,, the basis of this system. In South Africa the Senatorial elections are conducted in accordance with this system. In India we are familiar with. this system in connection with some elections and I am told that the members of this House- were elected from Provincial Legislatures in accordance with the principle of proportional representation by single transferable vote. Therefore a system which Is. fair and just to all, gives representation to all major items and minorities in Proportion to the respective voting strengths and makes the legislature thoroughly representative of all national interests is certainly worth having. The only objection to it may perhaps be that it is a little complicated system. we are now trying big experiments in democracy, I think that no difficulty should be considered as too great for us to, solve. In our country 90 per cent of the population is illiterate, nevertheless elections are being held and political institutions are being run without any serious difficulties. Similarly I feel that the system of propotional representation can get on every well notwithstanding the million of the masses.
If for any 'reason the system of single transferable vote is considered to be unsuitable, then the other system of non-transferable vote which is Simple enough may be tried. According to it, each voter is entitled to cast one vote whatever may be the number of seats to be filled. The result is that in a constituency Consisting of 500 voters, only 500 votes will be polled and no more. This method is less complicated, more simple and Well suited to the circumstances of our country. It Will avoid all the drawbacks and defects associated with the block vote system. I do not want to take any more time of the House, in view of the suggestion made to shorten our speeches as much as possible. Therefore, in order to make our legislatures truly democratic and representative of all important elements and interests in the country, I commend my motion to the kind acceptance of the House.
Shri Ajit Prasad Jain (United Provinces: General) : (Sir, the purport of most of the resolutions which have been moved during the last two or three days. is that some alteration be effected in the joint election (i.e., the system of joint-electorates which is before the House at the moment for consideration).
The meaning of the present resolution is also the name. In elections by means of a single transferable vote, small groups acquire the authority to send their elected representatives. Past experience has shown that whenever the system of Proportional representation by single transferable vote was adopted, even a few individuals could send their representatives. Wherever Muslims or members of Scheduled castes or other small minorities exist, they can have the authority. under this system to elect their own representatives, by means of their own votes exclusively. On the contrary, the system of joint election is a democratic Its significance is to enable the largest possible number of persons to take part in the election of a candidate so 'that if some candidate be a Muslim then in his election both Hindus and Muslims may be able to participate, and if he be a Hindu then also, both Hindus and Muslims may be able to take part in it. But proportional representation is spoilt by the single transferable vote because there a few Hindus and Muslims,', cat separately elect their representatives, thereby defeating the purpose of joint election.
The second part of this amendment is to the effect at a voter should have only one vote Irrespective of the number at candidates This also means-that Muslims or members of scheduled castes are entitled to elect their own representatives.. Therefore. the net result of both these amendments will be that although effort is being made to remove the defect-, of separate elections. they will reappear in a different form and the result of that will be that the minorities ie., Scheduled castes
*[ ] English translation of Hindustani speech.
or Muslims or other minorities will have an opportunity to their elections by appealing to communal sentiments of their people, and thus the decision to create a (proper) atmosphere by means of joint elections, will not materialise in the near future.
Therefore, I think that this amendment is one which will again create division and disturbances in the country, one which contains the fearful possibility of Spreading factional and communal sentiment. I oppose this amendment which the Honourable member has just moved because I fear that it will create obstacles in our way and in the task before us.]
The Honourable Sardar Vallabhbhai J. Patel:; Now, I do not think I need say anything. The amendment which has been moved by Mr. San I propose to accept. The other amendment that has been moved does not suit our conditions, because we are now going to make an experiment of having elections by adult franchise which will bring on the rolls millions of ignorant voters. That being the case, the complicated system that has been suggested will be absolutely unsuited to us. Therefore I do not propose to accept it. I oppose it and move the adoption of the paragraph.
Mr. President: The amendment of Mr. Santhanam. that has been accepted Is this:
I take it, it is in substitution of................
Shri K. Santhanam: Of that latter part regarding cumulative voting.
Mr. President: The amended paragraph 7 is now to be voted upon.
The question is:
The motion was adopted.
The Honourable Sardar Vallabhbhai J. Patel:; This item refers'to representation in the Cabinets. I move 'S. No reservation for minorities.-
This was accepted unanimously in the Advisory Committee by all the minorities and the representatives of the majority communities. I hope the House will accept it- This is exactly a copy of the present provision in the Government of India Act, 1935.
(Messrs. Tajamul Husain S. Nagappa, and V. T. Muniswami Pillai did not move their amendments.
* [ ] English translation of Hindustani speech.
Shri D. H. Chandrasekharaiya: Mr. President, Sir. the amendment which I wish to move runs as follows:-
In connection with the communal minorities it is proposed to follow the convention expressed in para 7 of the Instrument of Instructions. As I said in another connection I have in view not merely the minorities of a communal or religious character but also based on other considerations.
Mr. K. M. Munshi: I rise to a point of order. This is a Minority Committee's report and we are only dealing with minorities and not States.
The Honourable Sardar Vallabhbhai J. Patel:; The States are in a majority. There are 500 States and we are only one State
Shri D. H. Chandrasekharaiya: Regarding the point of order may I say a word ? The report of the committee on minorities does not state what kinds of minorities are dealt with under it. It may refer to any kind of minority.
The Honourable Sardar Vallabhbhai J. Patel:; You are in a majority.
Mr. President: Really you cannot bring the States as a minority. Minority ordinarily refers to communal minority or cultural minority or racial minority.
Shri D. H. Chandrasekharaiya: If this report refers only to communal minorities, then I have nothing more to say.
Mr. President: The whole thing is in reference to minorities and this you will find in the Schedule. Apart from the communal minorities referred to in the report, there is no question of other minorities.
Maulana Hasrat Mohani: You are thinking of your population ratio. This means that we are thinking in terms of communities and nations. Can't you refer to any political party ? Therefore, I raise the objection that the whole of this Minority Report is based on a very fundamentally wrong principle. It must refer to political parties and not to parties on the basis of religion. The whole thing is absurd. You are wasting your time and energy in passing all these amendments. I will raise this objection when you put this final report to the House. Sir, I say, the whole thing is absurd and is a huge humbug.
The Honourable Sardar Vallabhbhai J. Patel:; There is no amendment to this clause and I have not followed Mr. Hasrat Mohani. Therefore I do not propose to reply.
Mr. M. S. Aney (Deccan States): I would request you, Sir, to call upon the Honourable Member to withdraw the word 'humbug'. It Is an insult to this House. It is quite unparbamentary.
Mr. President: Did you use the words 'huge humbug'?
Maulana Hasrat Mohani: Yes: I said It is a huge humbug.
Mr. President: You withdraw that. I will now put clause 8 to vote
Clause 8 was adopted.
The Honaurable Sardar Vallabhbhai J. Patel:
This clause is framed with a view to see that the minorities are properly represented in the Services but it will also see that the efficiency of the administration is not affected. Keeping that point in view the State will also see that the minorities have due representation. I move this proposition for the acceptance of the House.
(Mr. Tajamul Husain did not move his amendment.)
Shri Mahavir Tyagi (United Provinces: General): Sir, my amendment is very innocent. and innocuous. I only beg to request the House to drop the word "guaranteed" in the beginning of the sentence. It would assure guarantee to all minorities.
Mr. N. Gopalaswami Ayyanar (Madras: General): I rise to a point of order, Sir. This amendment relates only to the marginal note. We do not usually proppose amendments to marginal notes.
The Honourable Sardar Vallabhbhai J. Patel:; This amendment has. nothing to do with the proposition.
Shri Mahavir Tyagi: The word is objectionable because in paragraph 14 of the Report it is said "a proposal was made to us that there should be a constitutional guarantee of representation in the public services of the minority communities in proportion to their population. We are not aware of any other constitution in which such a guarantee exists.". The word 'guaranteed was objected to there and now it has somehow or other Crept in here. It was better if we had removed this word from even the heading of this section.
Mr. President: It may be left out from the heading which will read there-
That will be quite enough.
Shri Mnhavir Tyagi: I will be satisfied if the word 'guaranteed' does riot exist there.
The Honourable Sardar Vallabhbbai J. Patel: It does not exist for me.
Shri Mahavir Tyagi: I hope it will not exist for others too. I would rather not press my amendment.
(Messrs. P. Kakkan and Upendranath Burman did not move their amendments.)
Shri Chandrika Ram (Bihar: General): I want to say a few words. I do not want to move, but while withdrawing the amendment that stands in my name, I wish to say a few words.
Mr. President: The question of withdrawing does not arise because your amendment has not been moved, but if you wish to say anything I do not mind. but be short.
Shri Chandrika Ram (Bihar: General): (Sir, in the beginning when this matter was decided. there was a good deal of discussion in the Advisory Committee. We felt that we should be given reservation in provincial services. After discussing it amongst ourselves, some of our Honourable Members suggested that we might discuss it with the Sardar. in view of the note underneath the main item. Therefore we thought it proper that there should be some statutory provision in the provincial services. We do not require (any such provision) in the cetral, because in the central services our position is satisfactory even today- But so far as provinces are concerned our claims have been ignored For example, we know that in the U.P. we number more than 25 per cent. but from news papers and other reports we gather that the seats reserved for us are only 10 per cent. In the provincial services, we have been ignored, and we desire an assistance from Sardar Sahib, that just as he is advocating for the centre, similarly in the provinces as well, services-. be given on population basis, because spending money on education does not mean that we should be denied our due share in services. This is a very important matter. I do not insist on moving this amendment. But I desire an assurance from the Sardar who is the mover of this clause that there will be full protection and that what is contained in this. clause will find' a place somewhere in- the constitution.
With these few words, I withdraw this amendment.]
Mr. President. There is no amendment to this. There is Only the question put by Mr. Chandrika. Ram.
The Honourable Sardar Vallabhbhai J. Patel:; W. Chandrika Ram ,only wants some sort of assurance. I can only give the assurance that if this Minorities Committee Report is passed, everything will be all right for the minorities.
Mr. President: I put clause 9 to vote.
Clause 9 was adopted
Mr. President: Now, we go to clause 10.
Honourable Sardar Vallabhbhai J. Patel: In this clause you will see that the Advisory Committee appointed a Sub-Committee for the consideration of certain concessions which were enjoyed by the Anglo-Indian community. The Committee, the members of which are mentioned here, made a Unanimous Report and I wish to draw your attention to the report of that Committee, and I shall move the recommendations of that Committee as the motion. You will gee paragraph 2 has an introductory part giving the historical background of these concessions. and clause (1) is the real motion. The motion begins from clause (i)-
This is the first part of the motion. The other part refers to educational facilities. I shall move this first. I want to inform the House that this is a sort of an agreed proposition between. the members of the Advisory Committee and the Anglo-Indian community. It has been unanimously, accepted and I hope this agreement will be given effect to by this House.
Mr. President: Does any one wish to say anything about it ?(No Member rose to speak.)
Mr. President: I shall put this to vote.
The motion was adopted.
The Honourable Sardar Vallabhbhai J. Patel:; I move:
This also is an agreed proposition accepted unanimously by the Advisory Committee and the Anglo-Indian representatives in the Advisory Committee. Therefore I hope the House will give effect to this agreement,
Mr. President: Does anyone wish to say anything about this ?
(No member rose to speak.)
Mr. President: Then, I shall put this to vote.
The motion was adopted.
Mr. President: Clause II.
The Honourable Sardar
Vallabhbhai J. Patel: Clause 11'.
This is only an administrative arrangement and I hope the House will accept this.
Mr. President: There are some amendments to this.
(Messrs. Mahavir Tyagi and Tajamul Husain did not move their amendments.)
Mr. President: There is no other amendment. Does anyone want to say anything about this ?
(No member rose to speak.) Mr. President: Then I shall put it to vote.
Clause 11 was adopted.
Mr. President: We go to clause 12.
The Honourable Sardar Vallabhbhai J. Patel:;
This is also an administrative provision for the benefit of the oppressed and the backward classes. I hope the House will accept it.
Mr. President: There are some amendments to this.
(Messrs. Tajamul Husain, P. Kakkan, H. V. Pataskar, and V. I. Muniswami Pillai did not move their amendments.)
Mr. President: There are no other amendments. I put clause 12 to vote.
Clause 12 was adopted.
The Honourable Sardar Vallabhbhai J. Patel:; Sir, now all the Items are over and the Report as amended by the amendments that have been passed and the resolutions that have been accepted, may be adopted.
Maulana Hasrat Mohani: Sir, I should like to have an opportunity to express my views on the whole report.
Mr. President: Now, we have considered each clause of the Appendix and the report of course will be treated as changed to the extent that it is changed by the resolution of the House,
Now the proposition is that the report be accepted. Is it necessary to put it ?
Mr. K. M. Munshi: Sir. this Is a report by the Advisory Committee to the Constituent Assembly 'and not a draft report to be adopted by the Constituent Assembly itself. Therefore I submit this report cannot be amended so that something may be put into the mouth of the Advisory Committee. What has been done technically is that the report has been taken into consideration. The House, having decided to take the report into consideration, the decisions embodied in the report and which find a place in the Appendix, were considered. Those decisions were amended by the House. Therefore I submit, Sir, no decision need be taken on the report itself. It is a report of the Advisory Committee, and should remain as such. There have been certain amendments suggested to the report, but I submit they are out of place because the report can only be adopted by the Constituent Assembly if it is going to the world or going to a third party as the report of the Constituent Assembly. Therefore I submit, Sir, the decisions having been duly amended by the House, nothing need be done with regard to the report. That is my submission.
Pandit Lakshmi Kanta Maitra: What is there to show that the House has considered the report ?
Mr., K. M. Munshi: Mr. Maitra says, "What is there to show that the House ha-, considered the report ?" A resolution was formally passed that the House do consider the 'report. Then it took the Appendix. 'me Appendix contained the operative decisions which find a place in the report. These have been either changed or accepted: but we cannot change the wordings of the Advisory Committee formulated in the report for the purpose of placing before the House. It has been placed here and there ended the matter.
Pandit Lakshmi Kanta Maitra: There should be something on record to say that the House has accepted the report with certain amendments, etc.
Mr. K. M. Munshi: The decisions have been accepted in part, have been amended in part, and the report has been before the House. My point of order is that there cannot be new paragraphs added to the report or anything subtracted from it because it is a report to the House, and decisions having been properly accepted or modified by this House, the report stands as it is.
This, Sir, is an important point of order. I want a ruling because in the past we have been talking that the report is to be either adopted or altered or some paragraphs added to it. It is a very erroneous procedure because you cannot alter the report of a Committee. This is not a sort of Appeal Court. This is only a report placed before the House for consideration.
Maulana. Hasrat Mohani: I do not want either to add anything or subtract anything from the report itself. What I want to say is that whenever I stand up to make any observation, you, Sir, say that this is not the occasion. I say that this whole report should be put to the vote of the House, when I have a right to say what I want to say, while I oppose the whole thing.
Mr. President: Order, order, I am afraid you have missed that opportunity. When the proposition was moved that the report be taken into consideration, that was the right time when you could have expressed yourself. Probably you were not here.
Mr. R. K. Sidhwa (C. P. & Berar: General) : The point of order is that we have taken the'vote of the House for the consideration of the report, and then clause by clause we discussed amendments, and it Is always customary that after the clauses have been amended, the report which was under consideration having been completed, should be put to the House as an amended report for acceptance. That is the usual procedure, Sir, and now it should be put that the report as amended clause by clause should be adopted. That is the proper parliamentary procedure.
Apart from this, there are resolutions given notice of in regard to draft paragraphs of the report. 'Those resolutions stand on a separate footing, though they may be taken up or withdrawn or the whole report may be accepted.
Mr. President: What is the particular item you have in mind at the present moment ?
Maulana Hasrat Mohani: I want to refer to the portion relating to the reservation of seats on communal lines, I say that the whole system Is wrong. I want to refer to nothing else except that which refers to the reservation of seats and communal representation on communal lines. Will you allow me only a few minutes ?
Mr. President: As I said earlier, you have missed the opportunity.
Dr. S. Radhakrishnan (United Provinces: General) : It is quite true that we are not accepting the report which has been sent to us by the Advisory Committee. We have amended certain of the clauses in the schedule and all those amended clauses represent our decisions. In stating the decisions which we have made, we might add one or two sentences by way of preamble "with a view to develop a homogeneous, secular, democratic State, the devices hitherto employed to keep minorities as separate entities within the State be, dropped and loyalty to a single national State developed. While this should be our recognized aim, we do not wish to ignore altogether ' our recent past, so for a period of ten years the following recommendations are intended to secure adequate representation for the minorities Before we put down the decisions, let us have some introductory sentences and make it clear that it is not our desire in this House to, have these minorities perpetuated. We must put an end to the disruptive elements in the State. What is our ideal ? It is our ideal to develop a homogeneous democratic State-that is why we have provided for fundamental rights, we allow no discrimination in public employment, we say, it is a secular State. If you make it an Islamic, Hindu or Christian State, it would eausje apprehension to the followers of other creeds. So we must declare our objective-that it is our desire to set up here a homogeneous, democratic, secular State, and those devices which were hitherto employed to keep the different sections of society apart have to be'scrapped, if we now provide for certain compromise measures, it is simply because we wish to reckon with the past. We have to effect a compromise between the ideal we have in view and the actual conditions which have come down to us. These concessions will operate only for a period of ten years.
My suggestion does not. touch the specific recommendations we have made. It merely states by two sentences the central aims we have in view. Every State, Mr. President, works towards a particular kind of objective. Whether it is the Soviet State or the Nazi State or the American State. What is our objective ? Do we want to keep these minorities over all India as separate entities in the State ? Have we not suffered enouqh ? Are not the tragic happenings of the Punjab directly traceable to the development of disruptive tendencies and deliberate indoctrina ion ? These are not the acts of God but the acts of man. You, will find that in the I.N.A. or in the Indian Army where we wished to develop loyalty to a single State we succeeded; where we wished to disrupt a State we have also succeeded. It is therefore time for us to put our foot ,down on all disruptive tendencies and take care to work for other aims And say that it is not our desire to maintain these minorities as minorities. The measures of compromise are transitional, and will be terminated at the end of the tenth year. So I move formally with the permission of the House that as a preliminary to the items in the schedule we insert the sentences I have mentioned.
Mr. S. M. Rizwan Allah (United Provinces: Muslim) : Sir, I think the first point raised by Mr. Munshi is not in order. Usually the procedure is that a report coming from any committee is considered by this House and then the House adopts it in the amended form as its own report, and then it goes to the drafting committee as such. Therefore the contention of Mr. Munshi that there is no need for adopting the report is ultra vires and does not hold good. In the second place what Prof. Radhakrishnan said is also out of order. He wants to, lay down, a new objective by means of introducing his resolution but that should have been done at the time the 'objectives' resolution was under consideration. it is a new matter which he wants to introduce and so that is also out of order.
Mr. Shankar Dattatrpya Deo (Bombay: General): Sir, we do not know what is exactly before us for consideration.
Mr. President: There are two points that have come up for consideration. The first was raised by Mr. Munshi that now that we have adopted the items in the Appendix it is not necessary for us to say anything about the report itself and it is not open to the House to put something in the mouth of the members of that committee which is not in their report. That is the point of order raised that we should not say anything about the report itself because we cannot say anything about it. And what our views are have also been expressed in the course of the decisions that we have arrived at.
Mr. Shankar Dattatraya Deo: Have you given your ruling on that?
Mr. President: I am explaining the position.
Shri K. Santhanam: Sir, I submit that only those things should be recorded which have to go into the draft and so I support Mr. Munshi's point of view. As for Dr. Radhakrishnan's point it is surely a good resolution but I do not see how it can go into the drafting at all. As a general exhortation it is all right but I do not think it will have any place in the Bill when it comes up. I think it is rather irrelevant.
Shri R. V. Dhulekar (United Provinces: General): Sir, the whole report is now before us and I submit that at this stage it is quite in order for Acharya Radhakrishnan to move that the object of.this whole report is to do away with reservations of all kinds and also to do away with all disruptive forces within ten years so that after ten years we may become one homogeneous nation. So I submit that this is the proper place to bring in Acharya Radhakrishnan's suggestion and the point of order is not A all justified because there is no-other place where it can come in. So I support this amendment.
Mr. President: I think we have had enough discussion on the point of order and I may now be permitted to give my ruling. I am inclined to agree with the view that so far as this House is concerned it is only giving instructions at the present moment to the drafting committee to introduce certain clauses on certain items, and it is for the drafting committee now to take those instructions which are contained in the Appendix which we have just adopted. It is therefore not necessary to say anything more at this stage and it. will be for "the drafting committee to include what is contained in the Appendix as decisions of this House.
The Honourable Sardar Vallabhbhai J. Patel:; Sir, for the information of the House I may mention that so far a.% the, Advisory Committee's work is concerned, the things left over are, first. the part referring to the East Punjab and West Bengal and the other is the Tribal and Excluded Area Committee report which has now been received by the Advisory Committee, but it will take time for its consideration. The third thing is that the last time when we met in the Constituent Assembly we accepted certain fundamental rights and the remaining part of that report has still to be submitted. These proposals will be considered and the final report of the Committee will come before the House when the House meets next. For the present the Advisory Committee's report has been finished. I thank the House for the cooperation it has given and for finishing the work in the scheduled time.
Mr. President: What about the fundamental rights? Shall we take it up now ?
The Honourable Sardar Vallabhbhai J. Patel:; If the House chooses to take it up I have no objection.
Mr. President: As there is no time now we will take-up our normal business tomorrow at 10 o'clock; but I wish to state that this afternoon we are meeting for a short time and for a special purpose, namely, the unveiling of the, portrait of Mahatma Gandhi which has been presented to this House. I therefore propose that we should meet at 3 o'clock for that purpose.
The Assembly then adjourned for lunch till three of the Clock.
The Constituent Assembly of India reassembled after lunch in the Constitution Hall, New Delhi, at three of the Clock, Mr. President (The Honourable Dr. Rajendra Prasad) in the Chair.
PRESENTATION AND UNVEILING OF THE PORTRAIT OF 'MAHATMA GANDHI
Mr. President: Mr. Pattani.
Mr. A. P. Pattani (Western India States): I this my happy privilege to place the following motion before the House-
It is not possible to express in words the happiness I feel today, standing in this Constituent Assembly of my country, to discharge a trust and fulfil the wishes of my late father.
The portrait that is to be unveiled presently, was painted by the great portrait painter, Sir Oswald Birley, in England during the Second Round Table Conference, and my father purchased it. I may inform the House that Sir Oswald had painted that portrait for himself and lie agreed to part with it, because my,father wanted it and' it was for India. When it arrived in India, however. it Was put away. carefully in its original packing. We were not allowed to see it and neither the family nor friends in England could obtain from him information as to what he in tended th do with it. But some time after the Act of' 1935 wag passed,-, he told me. very privately that he intended to present it to the nation when, the new Government under that Act was inaugurated. Time passed, and there was no hope of that Act, coming into operation. My father, passed away in February 1938; almost within ten minutes. of the time when he' had planned to fly from Bhavnagar, on the 16th February, to Haripura to meet Mahatmaji. That programme and that meeting were subsequently cancelled by other circumstances.. But before his 'death he had told me two or three times to bear in mind this portrait and his wishes regarding the same.
As I submitted, Sir, the Act of 1935 did 'not materialise. But when the new Government war. to be established under the Act of 1947, I spoke of the message of my father-which I shall mention presently-and of the portrait, to our Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. That, in brief, Sir, is the history of this occasion.
I would like to take this opportunity to say a few words about Mahatmaji. I do so with reverence and great diffidence, for I am conscious that anything I say about Mahatmaji would be like attempting to measure the mountain of Kailas with a foot-rule, or as it is said in our Shastras trying to, describe the beauty and grandeur of the Himalayas in pen and ink. And yet I myself and some other Honourable Members of this House may be permitted to take a little. pride that we belong to Kathiawar, that land of Sri Krishna, Sudama, Narsi Mehta, Dayananda Saraswati, and Mahatma Gandhi. If we take pride in this fact, we should also try and follow their examples, especially the example of Mahatmaji, whom we have lived with and seen for he has been, and is, a friend of the Princes arid the people. He belongs himself really to no community. He has no country. He has no home. The world is his home, and mankind the community to o which he belongs. Seeking truth and serving God, he cut across all distinctions and loved all who were honest, upright, and God fearing, and it was this high plane of the spirit that attracted my father and made him a humble follower of the Mahatma. It was Bapu himself who told me that their " sambandh" the English language has no word like 'samband'-begar when my father first wrote to him when he was in South Africa. This was, I believe, in the last century.
The great fact of modem life, and in fact of world history, is that the mahatma discovered at the root of all trouble both in India and in England was the influence of foreign rule in this country. Having made this discovery he set himself to solve it; and by leading an unarmed revolt, he brought' India to freedom. It is for us all to make a success of' this achievement, so that the fruit that he has given us may nourish everybody and lead us to a better life.
In conclusion, it was my father's wish that the picture should be delivered to the nation in his own words; these were:-
That, Sir, is the message I am to deliver, and there (pointed to where the portrait was installed) is the portrait. I have done- my duty. I request that the portrait be unveiled.
(The President then unveiled the portrait)
Mr. President: Honourable Members, I am sure I am expressing the sense of gratefulness of all the members of this House to Mr. Pattani for the present which he has made to this House. (Applause). It was a happy inspiration of the late Sir Prabha Sharikar Pattni to have preserved this beautiful portrait for so many years to be handed ever to the nation on the auspicious occasion when India has got her freedom, and it is a happy moment for all of us that we have lived to me this portrait unveiled in this House on this occasion. It would be presumptuous on my part particularly because I happen to be one of those fortunate many who have had the fortune and privilege to serve under Mahatma Gandhi for so many years (Cheers), to say anything about the work which he has accomplished. He come to us at a time when the country was looking for something which have failed. The country had made many attempts to become free it was looking for something that would give it the necessary impetus and, above all, the kind of weapon which will enable it to win its freedom. Mahatma Gandhi aroused that spirit and gave that weapon in the hands of the people, and although we may not have come upto his expectations, we have at least succeeded under his guidance and his inspiration in winning the freedom for which we have all been longing for so many years.
It is not only in the field of politics, but there is hardly any field in life of' a human being which has not been in some way or other touched and bringtened by Mahatma Gandhi. (Applause). 'Whether we go to a village slum, to a city slum or whether we go to a big palace of a rich millionaire or a big Maharaja, there is hardly any place where his influence has not been felt, and felt very well indeed. That influence has permeated our life to an extent which probably we do not ourselves quite appreciate and fully realise, and the greatness of the Mahatma lies in this, that as time passes, as ages pass, the influence which he has exercised not only on our lives but on the current of world history will be more and more appreciated and more and more realised. Such men are not often or easily born. They come once in a way in the History of the World to turn its course, to change its current and here is Mahatma Gandhi whom it is our privilege and our good fortune to serve under today, who has turned the current of history of mankind and who has in his own life-time seen how the work which be has started has borne fruit and is bearing more and more precious fruit everyday. The miracles which he has wrought in our life are so many that if would be impossible for any of us to recount them all in a short speech. We all know how he has made heroes out of clay, how he has moulded men of ordinary calibre into men of great capacity of great culture and of great achievements. He has not only done that he has created in the Nation as a whole apart from mere individuals, a longing for freedom and also, in a way' by his work fulfilled that longing. So it is that we stand here today to pay homage to HIM. This picture which has been presented to us will be in this House reminding every member who sits on these benches of the great part which he had played in our history and the World's history at a most critical and momentous time. It will remind members of the great duty which they owe to this country. It will remind all of us of the great heritage which he represents and which we all of us have got from our forefathers and above I all, it will remind us how the freedom that we have won has to be utilized for the good of all. Let us hope that this picture will serve that purpose and we shall prove worthy Of the great Mahatma who had led us to this goal. (Loud Cheers.) On behalf of the House I formally accept this portrait. I hope you will all agree to this.
Shri H. V. Kamath (C. P. & Berar General): Mr. President, may I Sir, in all humility, venture to suggest that it will be eminently in the fitness of things if alongside this magnificent portrait of Mahatma Gandhi, the father of Indian struggle, the Hall of this Assembly were adorned with a portrait of Lokamanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, the father of Indian unrest and also that of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, the father of Indian Revolution. That, Sir, will be a thoroughly adequate and pictorially symbolic representation of the three distinct, the three well-marked stages of our struggle for political emancipation. I have no doubt, Sir, that this Assembly will accept such portraits with joy and gratitude. Will you, Sir, be good enough to permit the presentation of such portraits on subsequent occasions ?
Mr. President: The House 'Will now adjourn to 10 o'clock to-morrow.
The Assembly then adjourned till Friday, the 29th August 1947, at 10 A.M.
CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY OF INDIA
From Shri G. V. MAVALANKAR, Chairman, Committee on the Functions of the Constituent Assembly under the Indian Independence Act.
Constituent Assembly of India.
On behalf of the members of the Committee appointed by you on the 21st of August 1947 to consider and report on certain matters connected with the future working of the Constituent Assembly, I beg to submit this report.
2. At our first meeting on Friday the 22nd I was elected Chairman. The Committee met also on the 23rd and the' 25th
3. Our terms of reference are:
We proceed to state our views on these terms in the order mentioned.
II. First term of reference:
4.The business to be transacted by the Constituent Assembly falls under two categories:
III. Second term of reference:
5. It is not only possible but necessary for the proper functioning of the Constituent Assembly in its two capacities that its business as a Constitution-making body should be clearly distinguished from its normal business as the Dominion Legislature. We consider that for the purpose of avoiding complications and confusion, different days, or separate sittings on the same day, should be set apart for the two kinds of business.
IV. Third term of reference:
6. We agree that, as implied in the wording of this term of reference, tile members of the Assembly representing the Indian States are entitled to take part in the proceedings Of the Assembly on All days set apart for the business of Constitution-making. They further have the right on days set apart for the functioning of the Assembly as the Dominion Legislature to participate in business relating to subjects in respect of which the States have acceded to the Dominion. Though it is competent for the Constituent Assembly to deny or limit their participation in business ;relating to subjects in respect of which the States have not acceded, we would recommend that no ban or restriction be placed by rule on their participation in such business also.
V. Fourth term of reference:
7. So far as Constitution-making is concerned, the existing Rules of Procedure and Standing Orders made by the Constituent Assembly and its President are adequate and only such amendments need be made therein from time to time as may be considered necessary in the light of experience. As regards the functioning of the Constituent Assembly as the Dominion Legislature, under section 8 (2) of the Indian Independence Act, the relevant provisions of the Government. of India Act' as adapted and the Rules and Standing Orders of the Indian Legislative Assembly have generally to be followed. It will however, be necessary to make modifications and adaptations in these Rules and Standing Orders in respect of matters common to both the classes of business,to be transacted by the-Assembly. We have not been able, within the time at our disposal, to. attempt a detailed examination of these Rules and Standing Orders with a view to make suggestions as regards the modifications, adaptations and additions that may be necessary. We would suggest that necessary modifications, adaptations and additions be made under the orders of the President.
8. We desire to refer to three matters. of importance which, beside being relevant to the main issue remitted to us for consideration, have a,bearing.on the question of the need for the making by the Constituent Assembly or its President of new Rules or Standing Orders and the amendment of existing Rules or Standing Orders.
9. The Provisions for the election of a Speaker in Section 22 of the Government of India Act 1935 have been omitted. This read together with the other modifications carried out in that Act show that the President of the Constituent Assembly is the person to preside over it when function as thed Dominion Legislature also, unless other provision is made in the Rules of Procedure of the Constituent Assembly itself for the election of an officer for the purpose of presiding over the Assembly when transacting ordinary legislative business. It has to be remembered that though transacting two kinds of business, the Assembly is one and can have only one President who is the supreme head of it both on its deliberative side and on its administrative side. We would, however, point out that it would be constitutionally inappropriate for the person presiding over the Constituent Assembly when functioning as the Dominion Legislature being also a Minister of the Dominion Government. It Is obviously desirable that steps should be taken for avoiding this anomaly. We would suggest that for this purpose the following alternatives might be considered:
10. Under the Government of India Act as adapted, the power of summoning and proroguing the Dominion Legislature vests in the GovernorGeneral. We consider that, consistently with the powers which of right belong to the Constituent Assembly and with the Rules already made by it and with a view to secure proper co-ordination of the work of the Assembly in its two spheres, this power of summoning that Assembly for functioning as the Dominion Legislature and proroguing it should also vest only in the President. A new Rule to this effect may be added to the Constituent Assembly Rules of Procedure and a further adaptation of the relevant section of the Government of India Act may be made to bring it into conformity with this new Rule.
11. At present five members of the Dominion Government have no seats in the Constituent Assembly. These Ministers have the right to participate in the business of the Constituent Assembly when functioning as the Dominion Legislature, though they will not have the right to vote. They will, however, not have the right even to participate in the work of the Constituent Assembly when it transacts business connected with Constitution-making. We, however, recommend that such Ministers may by a suitable addition to the Rules of the Constituent Assembly be given the right to attend and participate in its work of Constitution-making, though until they become members of the Constituent Assembly they will not have any right to vote.
(G V Mavalankar)