Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh): As India celebrates its 75th Republic Day on Friday, Gwalior stands proud as the custodian of the original manuscript of the Indian Constitution. Adorned with signatures of visionaries like former president Rajendra Prasad, former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, and former minister of law and justice Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar, this invaluable document is securely housed in Gwalior's Central Library, showcasing the city's deep connection with the Constitution.
The majestic Central Library in Maharaj Bada not only preserves but proudly displays this historic manuscript annually on Constitution Day, Republic Day, and Independence Day. The library, once located in Moti Mahal, now stands as a symbol of Gwalior's emotional resonance with the Constitution, reflecting the city's commitment to preserving its rich heritage.
Established in 1927 by the Scindia rulers, the library played witness to a defining moment in history. After sacrifices and prolonged struggles, the Indian Constitution took its final form on November 26, 1949. Gwalior, with its strong emotional ties, celebrates Constitution Day on this very date, offering citizens a glimpse of the original manuscript.
The Central Library, now housed in a grand building, continues to attract the youth who gather to witness this historic treasure. Advancements in technology have made it possible for people to access the digital version of the Constitution. From Moti Mahal to the current imposing structure, the library has played a pivotal role in safeguarding and presenting the Constitution to the public.
How Gwalior acquired the original manuscript?
The story of how Gwalior acquired this original manuscript adds to its significance, especially on this Republic Day. Penned entirely in English, the document boasts 11 original copies. One resides in the Parliament building, while the rest are distributed across regions for public viewing. Gwalior's Central Library received one such copy, and special measures have been taken to ensure its security.
An outstanding feature of this manuscript is the last page, bearing the authentic signatures of all 286 members of the Constituent Assembly. As we celebrate Republic Day today, witnessing the signatures of former President Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Chairman of the Drafting Committee Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, and the first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru invokes awe and reverence.
Library officials express their pride in safeguarding this beautifully calligraphed Constitution. Each page reflects the grandeur of India's history from Mohenjo-Daro to the Vedic period, showcasing the nation's rich culture, traditions, governance, and social systems. The manuscript encapsulates not only the essence of the Indian Constitution but also India's proud heritage throughout history.
On this Republic Day, the digital version of the Constitution is accessible in Gwalior's Central Library, offering a broader audience the opportunity to witness this historical treasure. The security measures taken over the years continue to make this experience a source of joy and pride for the youth visiting the library. Gwalior, through its Constitution, stands tall as a beacon of India's glorious past and promising future.