Prem Bihari Rayjada - the original "calligrapher" of the Bible of Indian Governance, the Indian Constitution

Prem Bihari Rayjada - the original "calligrapher" of the Bible of Indian Governance, the Indian Constitution

Indian Constitution is the longest among sovereign countries. It has a Preamble with 22 prts, 448 Articles, 12 Schedules, 5 Appendices and 115 Amendments
Important information about the Constitution of India Prem Bihari Rayjada

It took 2 years, 11 months and 18 days to prepare the final draft of the Indian Constitution, which was championed by Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar. It took 6 months to prepare the first manuscript and original copy of the Indian Constitution, which was in English and handwritten by callipgrapher Prem Bihari Rayjada. Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India had personally requested Prem Bihari to give his services, for whcih he refused to take any remuneration.

Prem Bihari Rayjada did not take any remuneration for this mammoth task, but it took 432 pen nibs and 6 gruelling months for him to complete the handwritten Indian Constitution. The painters from Shantinekatan were given the task of preparing the beautiful cover and each page of the Indian Constitution. It was Prem Bihari's request that each page of the Indian Constitution have his name, with the last page having the name of his grandfather as well. Prem Bihari's grandfather, Master Ram Prasad Saxena was his mentor. Prem Bihari was given a room in the Consitution Hall to write the Indian Constitution, which was later named the Constitution Club.

Important information about the Constitution of India Prem Bihari Rayjada

How are the original handwritten copies stored

The oringinal 233 page copy of the Indian Constitution, whcih is in English, and its original translation copy in Hindi are secured in a transparent sealed box in the library at the Parliament in New Delhi. This box contains Nitrogen, which ensures that the paper does not age with time. Originally, the document was stored with napthalene balls and wrapped up in flannel for nearly 45 years. It was in 1994 that the original copies of the Indian Constitution were placed in a gas chamber. A Gas chamber filled with Nitrogen was built under an agreement between India' National Physical Laboratory and Getty Conservation Institute of USA.

Prem Bihari Narayan Rayjada was born on 16 December 1901 in a family fo Calligraphers. After the death of his parents at a young age, his uncle and grandfather took him under their fold and Prem learned calligraphy from his grandfather Ram Prasad Saxena. Prem Bihari Rayjada died in the year 1966.

Important information about the Constitution of India Prem Bihari Rayjada

The paper and Black Ink used for writing the Indian Constitution were specially imported from Birmigham. The Ink and paper need to be stored at a humidity level of approximately 50gm/cum to be preserved, hence the gas chambers. The humidity is kept constant using monitors and the chamber's gas is refilled once every year and inspected every two months, while being under constant surveillance using CCTV cameras.

Signatures and Paper

Both the original English and Hindi copies are signed on 24 Januarey 1950 by each member of the Constituent Assembly, which drafted the Constitution. The parchment of the English copy was specially treated to render it non-stick. The parchment of the original Hindi copy, handwrittten by Vasant Krishna Vaidya is handmade at Research Centre, Pune. Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was the first person to sign the orignal Indian Constitution. However, the signature of first President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad is above that of Jawaharlal Nehru, and is slanted, as there was no space.

Manuscript and designs

While Prem Bihari wrote the manuscript, it was Nandalal Bose from Shantinekatan and his students who decorated the empty portion of each leaf of parchment. The blanks parts were filled with seals of Mohenjo-daro, mpeccable imagery depicting scenes from Ramayana, Mahabharata, Life of Gautam Buddha, Emperor Ashoka's sermons,the meeting of Vikramaditya, Emperor Akbar and drawings depicting the Mughal Empire.

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