Lone surviving member of Constituent Assembly too unwell to watch paradeJanuary 25th, 2009 - 10:32 am ICT by IANS
Rohtak (Haryana), Jan 25 (IANS) The sole surviving member of India’s Constituent Assembly which framed the country’s constitution will not be able to watch this year’s Republic Day parade. Chaudhry Ranbir Singh, 95, father of Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, is .battling a host of illnesses and is confined to bed.
As recently as two years ago, Singh performed yoga every day and never missed his morning walk. All that is over for the man who went to eight different jails during the struggle for the country’s freedom and with pride listened to Jawaharlal Nehru’s “Tryst with Destiny” speech at the midnight hour of Aug 14/15, 1947, as the Union Jack was brought down for one last time.
Then the Constituent Assembly got to work under the chairmanship of B.R. Ambedkar, and finished in time for it to come into force as India became a republic on Jan 26, 1950. During the Constituent Assembly debates, Singh played a crucial role in securing the national language status for Hindi.
Among those who signed the constitution, Singh is the only one alive now.
After the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly, Singh was a member of the Punjab Assembly before Haryana was carved out of it. He played a leading role in the formation of Haryana. He has been a member of both houses of parliament.
Till recently, Singh was active in voicing his concern against corruption and social evils like female foeticide. But now, he is “unable to talk and walk”, said an official who has known him for a long time.