Friday, February 13, 2009

The Last Founder Dies

The last surviving member of our Constituent Assembly, Ranbir Singh Hooda, died on February 1. I'm unclear whether Hooda made any significant contributions to the Constituent Assembly's deliberations. This is something I hope to investigate further as part of my ongoing research on how our Constitution was created and adopted. But I suppose it is an achievement, in and of itself, that Hooda outlived all of his other founder colleagues (they were men and women; which is why the use of the collective "founding fathers" is inappropriate). He lived for almost sixty years after the product of their labours came into force.

The Haryana government reportedly plans to create a monument to the founders in Rohtak. Thankfully, it won't be another Delhi-based monument (even if it is very close to the National Capital Territory). I think every state capital needs such a monument as an educational and research institution on the Constitution and the values it embodies. Two years ago, I visited the National Constitution Centre in Philadelphia (not in Washington, DC, if I may point out). It is a truly fascinating interactive museum that explains the meaning and significance of the U.S. Constitution to the people. I wonder when Indian cities will have a similar facility.
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