India finally became an independent nation on the 15th of August, 1947. The partition led to the arrival of 8 million refugees from Pakistan and the merging of the 500 princely states. The new nation was plagued with many problems. The rulers of the princely states were not keen on merging with the rest of India.
India was home to diverse religions, languages and cultures. All Indian citizens had to be treated equally to avoid conflicts.
To ensure equality across the nation, the leaders of the newly-formed India drew up a Constitution that would establish equal laws of governance.
About 300 members of the “Constituent Assembly” held regular meetings held regular meetings at New Delhi, between December 1946 and November 1949. These meetings resulted in the framing of the Indian Constitution, which was adopted on the 26th of January, 1950. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, as the Chairman of the Drafting Committee, supervised and finalized the document.
The Indian Constitution gave every citizen of India above the age of 21 the right to vote and was called as universal adult franchise. It also guaranteed equal rights and opportunities to all its citizens regardless of religion, caste or gender.
The scheduled tribes and adivasis were granted reservation of seats in the legislature and in government jobs. The Constituent Assembly distributed powers between the central government and the state governments. Hindi was declared as the “official language” of India while English was allowed to be used in the courts and the services, and in communications between one state and another.