On November 7, 1951, Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah moved resolution in the Constituent Assembly for appointment of Basic Principles Committee.
Abdullah proposed himself as Chairman of the Basic Principles Committee and seventeen members in the following order: Bakshi Gulam Mohammad, Maulana Mohammad Saeed, Mirza Mohammad Afzal Beg, Pandit Girdhari Lal Dogra, D.P. Dhar, Pandit Shyam Lal Saraf, Bhagat Ram Sharma, Syed Mir Qasim, Sardar Harbans singh Azad, Major Piar Singh, G.M.Hamdani, Moti Ram Baigra, Rajinder Singh, Ram Piara Saraf, Abdul Gani Goni, Mubarik Shah and Assad Ullah Mir. 7. Syed Mir Qasim was proposed to function as the Secretary of the Committee.
The resolution said: “That the Committee shall evolve basic principles for framing a Constitution for the State keeping in view the broad outlines of the statement of the Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah made in the Assembly on the 4th November 1951. The Committee may invite any other person to take part in its deliberations. That the Chairman may delegate his functions to any other member of the Committee during his absence. That the quorum for the Committee shall be one third of the total number of members for the time being of the Committee. That the Committee shall submit its report to the Assembly within four months from this date”.
Below is the speech of Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah and intervention by some members:
Sir, I need not go into the details of the objectives of this Committee. I have already indicated in my statement on the 5th of November, the aims and objectives and other principles, which should guide us while framing the constitution of the Jammu and Kashmir State. I would only like to reiterate those relevant passages so that the Hon’ble members who have been proposed on this committee may take due note of these passages. As a matter of fact, the organization to which we have the honour to belong and which has sent us here has laid down the basic principles for our future constitution in a booklet named New Kashmir. This was done in the year 1938 or 1939. I would again like to remind the Hon’ble members of this House and particularly those whom I have proposed or this committee to fully keep in view the words contained in the ‘New Kashmir’ which are as follow: –
We the people of Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh and the Frontier regions including Poonch and Chenani illaqas commonly known as Jammu and Kashmir State in order to perfect our union in the fullest equality and self determination to raise ourselves and our children for ever from the abyss of oppression and poverty, degradation and superstition from mediaeval darkness and ignorance into sunlit valleys of plenty ruled be freedom, science and honesty in worthy participation of the historic resurgence of people of the east and the working masses of the world and in determination to make this our country a dazzling gem do propose the following constitution for the State. It will be the sacred duty of the members of the committee whom I have proposed to take due note of these inspiring words. As to the main task of this committee they have to lay down broad principles on which future constitution will be framed; and in regard to which I hope drawn particular attention in my statement on 5th November. 1951, in the following words: –
“We shall naturally be guided by the highest principles of the democratic constitutions of the world. We shall base our work on the principles of equality, liberty and social justice which are an integral of all progressive constitutions”.
Naturally the work of this Committee is so important and difficult that it will demand greatest attention towards this task from the members proposed to serve on this committee. I have tried my best to draw best talent that this House could give me in order that these Hon’ble members may study various constitutions of the world and then put before this House suitable suggestions so that this House may appoint a Drafting Committee which would take fullest advantage o the labours of this Committee. I have also tried that this committee may have the guidance of all the important elements belonging to this country so that the principles which this committee may lay down for the Drafting Committee may be acceptable to the entire country. With these words. Sir, I hope the House will give consent to this resolution.
Maulana Mohammad Saeed Masoodi: Mr. President; I stand support this motion which has been moved by the Hon’ble Leader of the House. So far as the aims and objects of the resolution are concerned, they are so clear as do not stand in need of any lengthy speech. In view particularly of the speech which the Quaid-i-Azam delivered in the House two day earlier they do not call for any further
elucidation with regard to the importance of this Committee believe that this Committee is the most important of all the Committees that have so far been constituted because this Committee will prove helpful in framing the reports of the other Committees and the work of the constitution-framing by this House will be dependant on the work of this Committee. It does not admit any doubt that the personnel of the Committee is constituted of not only the best talents of this house but also the ablest personalities produced by the Jammu and Kashmir State during the course of the last twenty years. Seeing this I am confident that our constitution will be framed on those very fundamentals and will be free from all the defects from which a modern constitution should be. There can be no doubt that it will not be founded on capitalists or feudal basis, but I hope the Committee will take stock in its report of the picture impressed upon the public mind by the Quaid-I-Azam and the National Conference during the course of over twenty years’ struggle and thus fulfill all the longings and aspirations that have been generated in the public mind. It is not now the time to say anything more. The appropriate time for this will be when the Committee presents its recommendation to the House. Remaining content with this I support the Hon’ble mover’s motion.
Note:- The Resolution was put before the House and adopted unanimously.