When the draft of the constitution of India was ready to be printed, the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru approached the renowned calligrapher Prem Behari Raizada with the proposal of hand-writing the constitution in a flowing italic style, who was born in a family of traditional calligraphists and learned the art from his grandfather.
“Not even a penny. I have everything by the mercy of God and I am happy in my life.” He responded to Jawaharlal Nehru.
He refused any payment for his hard and patient work. However, he had one important request. He wanted to write his name on every page of the Constitution. The last page must contain his name along with his grandfather’s name. Granting his request, the GOI entrusted with Prem Behari.
For the prestigious job of writing the constitution in beautiful calligraphy, he was allotted a room in the Constitution Hall. The original manuscript of the Constitution has written on parchment sheets measuring 16×22 inches. They have a lifespan of a thousand years.
The longest written constitution for any sovereign state in the world!
The Constitution had a total of 395 articles, 8 schedules, and a preamble. It took Prem Bihari 6 months to complete this work. 432 pen-holder nibs used in this entire process. He used the nib of number 303 for calligraphy. The nib was used to write by placing it in a wooden holder and then dipping it in ink.
The finished manuscript consisted of 251 pages and weighed 3.75 kg. In all, Prem Behari used 432 pen holder nibs were for this calligraphy-writing of the Indian Constitution.
Beohar Rammanohar Sinha Completed The “Preamble” Page
They depicted some scenes from our national history. There is a very attractive line drawing of Nataraja, as represented in the Chola Bronze tradition. There are depictions of the lives of the Buddha and Mahavira. Similarly, scenes from the courts of Ashoka and Vikramaditya were there. There are other great figures of our history i.e., Akbar, Shivaji, Guru Govind Singh, Tipu Sultan, and Rani Lakshmibai.
The Vedic period constitutes a scene of Gurukula, and the epic period by a visual of Ram, Sita, and Lakshman returning to home. In addition, scene of Krishna offering the Gita to Arjuna on the battlefield.
The Hand-Written Constitution Is Also a Work Of Art!
The famous painter Nandalal Bose & his students designed the borders of every page. Therefore, they adorned with beautiful art pieces, in a miniature style.
The manuscript of the Indian Constitution is written in English and its Hindi translation. After that, it is kept in two special boxes in the Library of Parliament. These transparent but sealed boxes made of glass contain nitrogen, which does not allow the manuscript paper to deteriorate. US company in California made these boxes.
The first draft of the Indian Constitution was completed on 26th November 1949. It was a masterpiece. The Constitution was first signed by Dr. Rajendra Prasad (the first president of India) and last signed by Feroze Gandhi (the president of the Constituent Assembly) on 24th January 1950.
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