At the start of official talks in New Delhi on the eve of India’s 65th Republic Day for which the US President Barack Obama is the first American President to visit India as Chief Guest, Prime Minister NarendraModi presented President Obama with the a reproduction of the telegram that had been sent by USA in 1946 to India’s Constituent Assembly which drafted the country’s Constitution. The goodwill message from the then US Secretary of State Dean Acheson had been read out at the inaugural sitting of the Constituent Assembly on December 9, 1946 andit was, in fact, the first thing that the Assembly did after electing its provisional chairperson. While the official record of debates of the Constituent Assembly is available online, the telegram was reproduced from the original volume of the report that was published in 1947. The gift folio from Prime Minister Modialso has an original commemorative postal stamp at the back that was issued by India on January 26, 1950 at the inauguration of the Indian Republic.
The Constituent Assembly held its first sitting on December 9, 1946, in the Constitution Hall that is now called the Central Hall in India’s Parliament. The Assembly took nearly three years to complete its historic task and held eleven sessions covering 165 days. The Assembly’s membership of 389 was reduced to 299 following the partition of the country upon independence on August 15, 1947. On August 29, 1947, the Assembly set up a drafting committee under the Chairmanship of Dr B R Ambedkar to prepare a draft Constitution. The Constitution was adopted on November 26, 1949 and the members of the Constituent Assembly appended their signatures to it on January 24, 1950. The Constitution came into force on January 26, 1950.
Presented President @BarackObama a reproduction of a telegram from USA to our Constituent Assembly in 1946. pic.twitter.com/pHrv7zTi5O
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 25, 2015
Original commemorative stamp issued on 26th Jan 1950 is on back cover of the US telegram I gifted President Obama pic.twitter.com/YtG4XyIARu
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 27, 2015