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Republic Day 2019: Remembering the man who wrote the entire constitution but didn’t take a paisa

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New Delhi, Jan 26: Today is January 26, the day the Constitution of India was adopted 69 years ago. It was with the adoption of the Constitution in 1950 that India became a republic and its first general election was held in 1952.

Prem Behari Narain Raizada

Though we associate the name of Dr BR Ambedkar more with the voluminous (longest in the world with 395 articles, 22 parts and 8 schedules at the time of enactment) constitution that we have, not much is discussed about Prem Behari Narain Raizada.

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Born in December 1901, Raizada was a man from Delhi who had written the entire document, not with the help of a typewriter or keyword, but with his own hand.

The entire constitution was hand-written and handwriting was impeccable

And despite the fact that it took a long time to write the entire constitution, there was not a single mark of inconsistency and the flowing italic style in which it was penned is one of the best examples of calligraphic excellence.

Raizada, whose grandfather Ram Parshad was an eminent scholar of Persian and English, was a noted calligraphist who also learnt the art from his grandfather who raised him along with his four brothers after his parents died.

A graduate from St Stephens, Delhi, Raizada famously told former prime minister Jawahar Lal Nehru that he would not charge a single paisa for the job of writing the constitution when picked for it.

"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," Raizada had said and his wish was granted."

Over 250 pen-holder nibs were used to produce the work.

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The original version of the constitution which has undergone several amendments since its coming into force, was signed by all the members of the Constituent Assembly in January 1950.

Each page of the document was decorated with high quality art made by eminent scholars from Shantiniketan led by Nandalal Bose. Various experiences and figures from India's history were depicted in those pages of the constitution.

The noble document outlining the country's goals and ideals was signed by a number of leaders except Mahatma Gandhi who was no more when it came into force.

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