The Constitution of India 1950 was drafted by the Constituent Assembly from 1946-1950. However, this Constitution drew on a longer history of antecedents documents drafted either as legislation governing British India or aspirational political documents. This section of the website presents carefully selected, edited and human tagged versions of these ‘historical constitutions.’

 

The selected documents may be broadly categorized by their creators: British documents and Indian documents. The British Government of India Acts of 1919 and 1935 left a significant trace on the Constitution of India 1950. The Swaraj Bill 1895 and the Nehru Report, 1928 had a similar effect in shaping Indian constitutional design.

 

Here we present these documents in a manner that uncovers the complex lacing together of ideas shaped by British and Indian political efforts – sometimes in opposition and at others in concert. By tracing the effects of these historical documents on the final Constitution we adopted in 1950, we’ve developed the tools to advance a deeper history and understanding of Indian constitutionalism.