Criticism of the Constituent Assembly
The Constituent Assembly of India was a sovereign body formed on the recommendations of the Cabinet Mission which visited India in 1946 to draft a Constitution for the country. On 29th August 1947, the Constituent Assembly set up a Drafting Committee under the chairmanship of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar to prepare a Draft Constitution for India. The Constitution of India was adopted on 26 November, 1949 and the Constitution of India came into force on 26 January, 1950.
The Constituent Assembly was given the task of preparing of Indian Constitution. They tried to make this document useful and includes all the things which can make India a welfare state. However, many notable persons criticized the Constituent assembly on various grounds that are given below:
1. Not a Representative Body:
The members of the constituent assembly were not directly elected by the people of India on the basis of universal adult franchise. The Preamble states that the Constitution has been adopted by the people of India but in reality it was adopted by only few individuals that were indirectly elected from British provinces by members of provincial assemblies and also representatives were also nominated by princely states
2. Not a Sovereign Body:
The critics maintained said that the Constituent Assembly was not a sovereign body as it was created by the proposals of the British Government. They also stated that the Assembly held its sessions with the permission of the British Government.
3. Time Consuming:
As per the critics, the Constituent Assembly took unduly long time to make the Constitution. To argue, they stated that the American Constitution was prepared in only four months. Naziruddin Ahmed, a member of constituent assembly called Drafting Committee as ‘Drifting Committee’.
4. Borrowed constitution
Indian Constitution borrowed many provisions from various existing Constitutions. Thus, critics remarked it as borrowed constitution which contains a patchwork of several documents of existing constitutions.
5. Dominated by Congress:
Congress party tried to impose their ideology through this constitution as they dominated the Constituent assembly. Granville Austin, a British Constitutional expert, remarked: ‘The Constituent Assembly was a one-party body in an essentially one-party country. The Assembly was the Congress and the Congress was India’.
6. Lawyer–Politician Domination:
The Constituent Assembly was dominated by lawyers and politicians and other sections of society were not represented. Due to this reason, the Constitution is bulky and contains complicated language.
7. Dominated by Hindus:
The Constituent Assembly was a Hindu dominated body and lacked religious heterogeneity. Lord Viscount Simon called it ‘a body of Hindus’. Winston Churchill also commented that the Constituent Assembly represented ‘only one major community in India’.