For a country that bravely fought off its colonisers and won its way towards becoming the world's largest democracy, a constitution that upheld over one billion people's rights and fundamental duties was key to declaring their independence.
The Constitution of India, the world's largest handwritten Constitution that is also said to be 30 times longer than the American Constitution, is a document that Indians continue to hold close and cherish. It was photolithographed by the Survey of India to showcase the flowing italic style and calligraphy works crafted carefully across 251 pages of the document.
Prem Behari Narain Raizada and Vasant Krishnan Vaidya are the two people who beautifully wrote each and every page that carried the ideas and dreams of India's founding fathers. They penned down the nation's highest most power that comes above all and stands for the rights of each and every citizen. On November 26, marked and celebrated as Constitution Day, The Logical Indian remembers the iconic artists who held the pen and the ink for the Indian Constitution.
Not A Penny Charged For Two Years Of Work
The handwriting for the English version of the Indian Constitution was that of calligraphy artist Prem Behari Narain Raizada. Born to a family of calligraphers, Raizada was raised by his grandfather, a scholar of English and Persian. He went on to impart the art of Indian calligraphy to Raizada, who then treasured the art for the rest of his life.
Jawaharlal Nehru called upon him to draft the first copy of the Indian Constitution in the late 1940s. When asked how much he would charge for the same, Raizada humbly responded, "Not a single penny. By the grace of God, I have all the things and am quite happy with my life."
However, he did have one reservation, every page of the Constitution carries his name, and on the last page, he would leave a sign of his name and his mentor - his grandfather's name. According to Wikipedia, the request was honoured, and their names continued to grace each page of the document.
Indian Constitution: Efforts Of Many Artists
While many consider the writings a one-person job, the Constitution continues to reflect the efforts of many other artists, including the decorations done by Kala Bhavan, Santiniketan's Nandalal Bose, and his students. Further, the calligraphy for the Hindi version of the original Constitution was single-handedly carried out by the lesser-known Vasant Krishnan Vaidya.
All these artists came together to work in a room in the Constitution Hall and finally rendered the document that carries a preamble, eight schedules, and 395 articles. The room saw hundreds of pen nibs and parchment papers, which were reflected in the final manuscript, which was 251 pages long and weighed 3.75 kg.
Within two years, 11 months, and 18 days, they moulded a document that holds a lifespan of over a thousand years. It came to its conclusion on November 26, 1949, and the day continues to be remembered in honour of the great artists. Both the original copies, written in Hindi and English, are kept in special helium-filled cases in the Library of the Parliament of India.
Also Read: Constitution Day: World's longest, Indian Constitution Is Unique In Content, Spirit