Constituent Assembly Debates

Constituent Assembly: First item on agenda, goodwill messages from across India

A group photograph of the Members of the Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir

The Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir met for the first time in the Constituent Assembly Chamber, Srinagar, on Wednesday, October 31, 1951.

After reading out the announcement of commencement of business by Hirananad Raina, the Secretary Constituent Assembly, Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah invited Maulana Masoodi to take the chair as temporary president.

Messages of goodwill, from leaders across the country, for the Constituent Assembly and the people of Jammu and Kashmir was first item on the agenda. Maulana Masoodi asked Secretary Hirananad Raina to read out the messages.

Below is the full text of messages read out on first sitting of the Constituent Assembly:

President of India: On this historic occasion of the inaugural meeting of their Constituent Assembly, I send my sincerest greetings to the people of Kashmir and their beloved leader Sheikh Abdullah and hope that the Assembly will be guided in its deliberations by the single aim of shaping the life of the people of Kashmir as to make them happy and prosperous.

Yuvaraj Karan Singh: It gives me great pleasure to send my greetings and congratulations to you on this great day in our history, for which we have waited for many years when the chosen representatives of our people have gathered for the first time to embark upon the momentous task of framing a Constitution for our country.

Alongside the rejoicing that mark this historic day and throughout your deliberation, you must fully realize grave responsibilities that devolve upon you as representatives of the people. It is a sacred trust that has been reposed in you. You are the architect of the future, and the destiny of the people will be greatly influenced by your deliberations in this Assembly.

Yours is by no means an easy or simple task, It is one that requires the whole-hearted cooperation and support of the people and I trust that all sections will bury their past differences and bickering to face the common problems that confront us all. I am confident that under the able guidance and statesman like leadership that you so fortunately possess, you will rise equal to the difficult and delicate task that lies ahead of you. I wish you all success in your deliberations and I sincerely hope that you will evolve a Constitution worthy in all respects of the great traditions of our ancient land.

Ganesh Vaudev Muvalankar, Speaker, Lok Sabha: Very happy Jammu and Kashmir people exercising birth right of self-determination through Constituent Assembly. I Hope Constituent Assembly will frame Constitution guaranteeing equality before Law. But we must remember that mere letter of the Constitution will not bring what we desire we must cultivate spirit of democracy and I pray Almighty will give us all strength to acquire it.

Jawahar Lal, Prime Minister of India: I send you greetings and good wishes on the memorable occasion of the first meeting of your Constituent Assembly.

Rajagopalachary, Minister for Home Affairs: Best Wishes.

Gopalaswami Ayyangar: As an old friend and well-wisher of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, it gives me great please to send them my sincerest greetings on the occasion of the inauguration of their Constituent Assembly. The Assembly has been elected on the basis of Adult franchise and reflects the unanimity of opinion in the State on the major issues confronting it today. The commencement of the first session of the Assembly marks the fulfillment of the process of democratization, which, however, restricted a form started twelve years age, during the time when it was my privilege to function as the Prime Minister of the State. Ever since I came into contact with the people of Jammu and Kashmir it has struck me that their reaction to political fundamentals is more pronounced and better regulated, that they have a more lively realization of leadership and discipline, and that the rank and file exhibit a greater loyalty to those whom the acknowledge as their guides in political actions than perhaps in any other part of India. I have no doubt, therefore, that the representatives gathered in the Constituent Assembly will order their proceedings and reach their decisions with a adequate and sober realization of their responsibilities and of the magnitude of the issues that await their consideration. The proper solution of these issues which affect the people of both Jammu and Kashmir and the rest of India demands statesmanship, goodwill and sense of mutual cooperation. The age long affection which comes of a common culture loyalty to high ideals and strong ties based upon centuries of intimate association will continue to bind Kashmir with the rest of India. At the insistent request of the Ruler and the representative leaders of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, India accepted the solemn instrument of October Twenty Seventh, 1947. On the basis of this accession the State became one the Constituent Units of the Union under the Constitution of India; and as indicated in that Constitution, the Constituent Assembly has been convened for the purpose of framing a Constitution for the State. The people of the State have my warmest wishes for accomplishing this task of great moment with credit to themselves. May the deliberations of the Assembly conduce to their greater happiness and prosperity and to the fulfillment of their destiny as honoured partner in the Indian Union.

Sardarv Baldev Singh, Defence Minister: My heartfelt greetings to Kashmir Constituent Assembly and prayers that its work under the guidance of Kashmir’s illustrious leader Sheikh Abdullah may be crowned with success.

M. Munshi, Food Minister: Wish Constituent Assembly every success in building up new Kashmir in close cooperation with the rest of India.

Ajit Parshad Jain, Minister for Rehabilitation: I am glad to learn that your Constituent Assembly will meet on the 31st October and subsequent dates, to decide the fate of Kashmir, and its future political structure. Kashmir has passed through difficult day but it has stood unflinchingly for self-determination. The freedom loving Kashmiris have refused to be coerced. Although a part of Kashmir is yet not free to exercise self-determination yet this great Assembly which has been elected by adult franchise has all the qualities to decide the great problems facing the Kashmir. I wish and pray that the members of the Constituent Assembly should proceed boldly and courageously undaunted by threats and fears and determine the future of the great and beautiful land of Jammu and Kashmir to its best advantage.

Maharaja of Bhavnagar, Governor of Madras: On behalf of the Government and people of Madras State, I send my sincere greetings and best wishes for the success of the Jammu and Kashmir State Constituent Assembly, that is being convened on 31st October.

Raja Maharaj Singh, Governor of Bombay: I wish all success to the Constituent Assembly Thirty first October will always be remembered as a great day in the history of Jammu and Kashmir. Through this Constituent Assembly the people of this ancient land so famous in the annals of India will give to themselves a free Constitution. Kashmir today presents wonderful example of union of hearts between different communities and all Indians will send them warmest greetings and best wishes to their fellow citizens of Jammu and Kashmir for success in their national endeavour.

Kumaraswami Raja, Chief Minister of Madras: I congratulate the people of Jammu and Kashmir on the successful realization of their objective of self-determination; which has been given expression to in the form of the Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir, which they have constituted by election of their popular representatives. I am glad that the first meeting of the Constituent Assembly is going to be held on the 31st October, 1951, which will be an eventful day of significance and importance in the annals of Jammu and Kashmir and the people. I hope that the first foundations of the real democracy lad in the shape of the formation of the Constituent Assembly will stand in good stead for the erection of the future edifice thereon, for promoting the welfare and happiness of the people. May God crown the aspirations and endeavours of the people of Jammu and Kashmir with success and glory even as He has already designed that region as a spot of beauty, grandeur and grace.

G. Kher, Chief Minister of Bombay: I congratulate the people of Jammu and Kashmir on convening Constituent Assembly to determine future of State. Its first meeting is an epoch making event in the history of struggle for self-determination. May it carry on its proceedings with wisdom and statesmanship under Sheikh Abdullah’s able leadership. My wishes.

C. Roy, Chief Minister of West Bengal: My sincerest good wishes for a successful session of Jammu and Kashmir Assembly. I am sure Assembly will be highly effective under wise guidance of Sheikh Abdullah.

Sree Krishna, Chief Minister of Bihar:  The meeting of the Constitution Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir is truly historic even for decades. The people of Jammu and Kashmir had to endure autocratic rule, under which their many sided genius could not find full expression and when freedom came to the rest of the country in 1947 the people of Jammu and Kashmir had to pass through a severe ordeal, before they could move forward towards political and social progress. But thanks to the quality of the people and the wise, courageous and inspiring leadership with which they have been blessed, they have made tremendous strides during the last four years and in the matter of communal harmony and agrarian reform Jammu and Kashmir is a model for the whole country, I am confident that the people of Jammu and Kashmir will give to themselves through their Constituent Assembly a Constitution which will foster all their virtues and under which they will build up a new society based on freedom for want of social justice, liberal culture, and true good will among men. On the occasion of its inaugural meeting, I send to the Constituent Assembly my best wishes for the success in its deliberations.

Visnuram Modhi, Chief Minister of Assam: I on behalf of myself, my colleagues, and people of Assam send our Good wishes and heartiest greetings to the members of the Consembly at its first meeting for successful framing of the Constitution benefiting Kashmir and India. May such Constitution lead Jammu and Kashmir to progress and prosperity with full association of rest of India.



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