The original Constitution writer

65

The original constitution of India was handwritten by Prem Behari Narain Raizada.

Though we all know that B.R. Ambedkar was the architect of the constitution, little is known about the man who penned the constitution in his own impeccable calligraphy. Prem Behari Narain Raizada (Saxena) of Delhi  wrote the entire constitution in a flowing italic style in the best calligraphic tradition of our country.

Details

Prem Behari Raizada was born in Delhi in the family of Ram Parshad (grandfather) an eminent scholar of Persian and English. He was a great calligraphist too. Shree Prem Behari learnt calligraphy from his grandfather who brought him up along with his four brothers after his parents died. He graduated from St. Stephens Delhi and joined M/s Govan Brothers.

While being selected for this big honorable job, Jawahar Lal Nehru asked him what he would like to charge for the job. Prem Behar replied “Not a Single Penny I need. By the grace of Good I have all things and quite happy with my life. But I have one reservation, that on every page of constitution I will write my name and on the last page I will write my name along with my grandfather’s name.” His wish was granted and he started working. The task was completed in 6 months. 254 pen-holder nibs were used and No. 303 Nib was used for this calligraphy.

The original version was then signed by all the members of the Constituent Assembly in January 1950. The Constitution itself came into force on the 26th of that month. Photolithographed copies of it were then made at the office of the Survey of India in Dehra Dun.

The art work lavished on it was by one of our most eminent painters, Nandalal Bose. Each page had a frame and at the beginning of each part of the Constitution, Nandalal Bose had depicted some scene from our national experience. In doing so he gave us a gallery of some of the greatest figures of our history.

The Vedic period is represented by a scene of gurukula and the epic period by a visual of Rama, Sita and Lakshmana returning homeward and another of Krishna propounding the Gita to Arjuna on the battlefield. Then there are depictions of the lives of the Buddha and Mahavira, followed by scenes from the courts of Ashoka and Vikramaditya. Other great figures of our history who are represented are Akbar, Shivaji, Guru Gobind Singh, Tipu Sultan, and Lakshmibai.

The freedom movement is delineated by line drawings of Mahatma Gandhi’s Dandi march and his tour of Noakhali as the great peacemaker, and of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose saluting the Mahatma from abroad and asking for his blessings in the war of India’s liberation.

There are also beautiful renderings of our landscape and some of the masterpieces of our art. Even the decorations used for the borders exemplify in the Santiniketan style.

There are 11 pages of signatures which begin immediately below the list of languages in the Eighth Schedule. The first to sign appears to have been Jawaharlal Nehru. For some unexplained reason the first page has a preponderance of Constitution-makers from the South — B. Patthabhi Sitaramayya, N. Gopalaswami (without Ayyangar), O.P. Ramaswamy Reddy, Alladi Krishnaswami Iyer, Ammu Swaminathan, T. Prakasam, K. Santhanam, K. Venkata Rao, then an illegible name, then G. Durgabai, M. Thrumala Rau, M. Anantasayanam Iyengar and N. Sanjiva Reddy. The names of Abul Kalam Azad, Vallabhbhai Patel and B.R. Ambedkar appear in the first column of the next page along with those of Baldev Singh, Amrit Kaur, Jagjivan Ram, John Matthai, Syama Prasad Mookerjee, Jairamdas Daulatram, K.C. Neogy, P. Subbarayan and C. Subramaniam.

The very last signature is that of Feroze Gandhi. The president of the Constituent Assembly seems to have affixed his signatures after all the other members had signed. Nobody seems to have thought of leaving a special place for him, and so he has signed his name in the space next to the list of languages. He has also signed in two languages, first in Devanagari and then in the Roman script. Most others have signed in English, the outstanding exceptions being Abul Kalam Azad in Urdu and Purushottam Das Tandon in Devanagari.

One signature which is not there in the Constitution is that of Mahatma Gandhi. Though he was no longer alive when the Constitution was adopted, it embodies something of the vision of social change that Mahatma Gandhi preached and practiced.

Sources:

http://premfoundation.com/

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2000/20000312/spectrum/books.htm

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65 Comments

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  6. The original writer of indian constitution is Dr.B.R Ambedkar who wrote a constitution in period of 2yr 11month n 18 days.no anyone was able to write constitution in india at that time and never becomes. only Dr. B R Ambedkar..not prem bihari….

  7. Mr.S. D. Khadilkar, my father-in-law, was artist the Publicity Department in Simla. I know sure that he did the calligraphy of the first page of the constitution of India and always carried a poster of that and showed us with pride. He died in February 2015 in Pune at the age of 98 years. The publicity department was moved to Delhi in 1955 and became a division of Information and Broadcasting department.

    • You are totally wrong.
      PREM FOUNDATION
      (In the Loving Memory of Late Prem Behari Narain Raizada, who wrote Constitution of India)
      3980, Vyapar Bhawan, 2nd floor, Chawri Bazar, Delhi-110006, PH. 23269573, 23243300 ,7838893842. E-mail :- premfoundation17@gmail.com

      • Original manuscript of our Constitution is a Classic piece of art work & hand-written by Late Shri PREM BEHARI NARAIN RAIZADA on 251 pages of “parchment sheet”of 16”x22” sizes, having a life span of more than 1000 years.

      • 432 Pen holder nibs were used by Late PREM Behari ji, for this calligraphy-writing of our Constitution of India.

      • Sh Prem Behari ji also design it’s “Preamble” which is the soul of our constitution.

      • PREM BEHARI ji completed Constitution Writing work within 6 months & the venue of this historic event was “Room no. 204, Constitution House”, N-Delhi. (This room was allotted to Shree Prem Behari ji for executing this prestigious job for the nation). In early 1940 it was situated at Curzon Road hutments, presently “Civil Services Club” K.G Marg, N-Delhi.
      • Late PREM BEHARI JI did not demand anything, for rendering his services. He did this job only, for his country & countrymen and his love for creative art.
      • This Hand -written manuscript of our “CONSTITUTION OF INDIA” is the only book of it`s kind & one of a valuable treasure of the country. It will long last till the existence of the independent INDIA, and we can say that this is a unique book of the world & one such historical handiwork of our democratic existence.

      • Prem Behari Narain Raizada was born on 17th December 1901, in a Delhi origin “Kayastha family” of Master Ram Parshad (grandfather) a great calligraphist, an eminent scholar of Persian and English.

      • “Shree PREM BEHARI JI did this excellent work merely for his love of Art and his Country, without any demand or expectation even of remuneration” said by Hon`ble G.V.Mavalankar, the first Speaker of “Loksabha” (photo copy of letter of Shree Mavalankar ji encl. herewith)

      • By this artistic hand writing, of original manuscript of our Constitution, Shree PREM JI gives an exceptional & distinguished service to the nation for creating an “EPIC” of the Nation
      • 1st President of Independent INDIA Dr.Rajinder Prasad ji also praise the creativity & writing art, of Shree PREM BEHARI JI, for his contribution & distinguish services for the country. Shree PREM BEHARI JI, presented the original manuscript of our “Constitution of India” to President of India at President House on dated 3rd May 1950. (photo copy of letter enclosed)

  8. In 2000 a beautiful copy of the original hand written constitution was published and given to all MPs at that time. I have seen a copy and we would like to exhibit some of the art work and pages, including the signature of a local man but the book is copyright. How do we get permission to display photos of a few pages for no personal gain?

    • PREM FOUNDATION
      (In the Loving Memory of Late Prem Behari Narain Raizada, who wrote Constitution of India)
      3980, Vyapar Bhawan, 2nd floor, Chawri Bazar, Delhi-110006, PH. 23269573, 23243300 ,7838893842. E-mail :- premfoundation17@gmail.com

      • Original manuscript of our Constitution is a Classic piece of art work & hand-written by Late Shri PREM BEHARI NARAIN RAIZADA on 251 pages of “parchment sheet”of 16”x22” sizes, having a life span of more than 1000 years.

      • 432 Pen holder nibs were used by Late PREM Behari ji, for this calligraphy-writing of our Constitution of India.

      • Sh Prem Behari ji also design it’s “Preamble” which is the soul of our constitution.

      • PREM BEHARI ji completed Constitution Writing work within 6 months & the venue of this historic event was “Room no. 204, Constitution House”, N-Delhi. (This room was allotted to Shree Prem Behari ji for executing this prestigious job for the nation). In early 1940 it was situated at Curzon Road hutments, presently “Civil Services Club” K.G Marg, N-Delhi.
      • Late PREM BEHARI JI did not demand anything, for rendering his services. He did this job only, for his country & countrymen and his love for creative art.
      • This Hand -written manuscript of our “CONSTITUTION OF INDIA” is the only book of it`s kind & one of a valuable treasure of the country. It will long last till the existence of the independent INDIA, and we can say that this is a unique book of the world & one such historical handiwork of our democratic existence.

      • Prem Behari Narain Raizada was born on 17th December 1901, in a Delhi origin “Kayastha family” of Master Ram Parshad (grandfather) a great calligraphist, an eminent scholar of Persian and English.

      • “Shree PREM BEHARI JI did this excellent work merely for his love of Art and his Country, without any demand or expectation even of remuneration” said by Hon`ble G.V.Mavalankar, the first Speaker of “Loksabha” (photo copy of letter of Shree Mavalankar ji encl. herewith)

      • By this artistic hand writing, of original manuscript of our Constitution, Shree PREM JI gives an exceptional & distinguished service to the nation for creating an “EPIC” of the Nation
      • 1st President of Independent INDIA Dr.Rajinder Prasad ji also praise the creativity & writing art, of Shree PREM BEHARI JI, for his contribution & distinguish services for the country. Shree PREM BEHARI JI, presented the original manuscript of our “Constitution of India” to President of India at President House on dated 3rd May 1950. (photo copy of letter enclosed)

      • Rituraj Singh on

        You know, whenever a stenographer ‘writes’ a judgement, the judgement is not credited to him/her but to the Judge who has actually delivered the Judgement.
        No offence to whoever this person Mr. Prem Narain was, but to assert that anybody other than Babasaheb Dr. Ambedkar is the authority on The Constitution of India, is just laughable.

        If you want to credit this person for his calligraphy, sure, go ahead, why not
        But insinuating that he is the ‘author’ is nothing short of malicious intent because this is the appearance that this article seems to push when you cleverly slide in the words ‘original writer’

        • Lalit Madhur on

          sir , pl dont try to demean someone’s hard laboured work by comparing him to a mere stenographer….

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  11. BABA SAHEB STUDENT on

    Kahte hai sakal acchi na ho to baate acchi karni chiye but teri baato se hi lag raha h ki teri na sakal acchi h na baate kuki pahli baat jab tune PREM BIHARI NARAIN ka naam likha to theek but braket me SAXENA likha mtlb uska cast batana chaha ise kahte h jatiwaad…
    Ab aage sun Drafting commety k chairman BABA SAHEB DR. B.R. AMBEDKAR to the hi but unke saath jitne bhi drafting commety k members the sabne last me samvidhaan pura na kar paane ki vajh se resign de dia tab keval akela BABA SAHEBne hi savidhaan ko pura kiya dimaag me gusa le
    Or 1 baat kya tujhe pata h tera baap kaun h…tu to usme bhi proof mangega… Ye to tujhe bhi nahi pata hoga ki kitne log the… Samjha na what i mean
    Abe jisne tujhe janm dia h usi ka maa baap bolte h naa to firr…..samjha bache

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  13. আমরা এইসব তথ্য যানাছিল না ; সবাই কি ভুলে যাব কিছু পরিচিত লোককে তুষ্ট করাই আমাদের উদ্দেশ্য হওয়ার উচিত নয়।

  14. Rituraj Singh on

    You know, whenever a stenographer ‘writes’ a judgement, the judgement is not credited to him/her but to the Judge who has actually delivered the Judgement.
    No offence to whoever this person Mr. Prem Narain was, but to assert that anybody other than Babasaheb Dr. Ambedkar is the authority on The Constitution of India, is just laughable.

    If you want to credit this person for his calligraphy, sure, go ahead, why not
    But insinuating that he is the ‘author’ is nothing short of malicious intent because this is the appearance that this article seems to push when you cleverly slide in the words ‘original writer’

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  16. Karambir Singh rohilla on

    Hi
    I am a typographer , type designer from delhi
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