Who amended the Indian Constitution 106 times

  • By splitting the amendments across periods, the article tells who amended it 106 times? Is the Constitution a Holy Book? What is the source of the Indian Constitution?

During the 2024 Lok Sabha elections in India some parties kept on accusing the ruling party that it would amend the Constitution of India if voted back to power. While I enjoyed the dig, the question I asked myself, Was the Constitution ever amended after 1950?


According to the Ministry of Law, Government of India the constitution was amended 106 times, the first being in 1951. Times Amended is number of times amended during that period. Period of rule, party and name of PM are given so you know who was PM when amendments were made. I tried to match periods in columns 1 and 5.



2.Times Amended

3.Period of Rule


5.Prime Minister

1951 to 1964





1966 to 1976





1977 to 1984




Mrs Gandhi

1985 to 1990



Janata P

M Desai

1991 to 2004




Mrs Gandhi

2005 to 2014




Rajiv G

2014 to 2024



Janata D

VP Singh





N Rao




United Front

Gowda Gujral










M Singh





N Modi

* Source https://jan.ucc.nau.edu/~sj6/314HND01.htm


The Constitution was adopted in 1950. So till May 2024 i.e. say 73 years, it was amended 106 times whilst India was ruled by the BJP for about 15 years, non-BJP/Congress for about 7 years and Congress 51 years. The Nehru dynasty has ruled India for app 44 years. To this add years by Shastriji (2) and N Rao (5).


If you see left side of table the constitution was amended 67 times till 1990, 11 times between 1991-96 and 6 times between 2005-2014. So together, Congress has amended the constitution app 84 times i.e. 79%. It is nice to see the Congress in 2024 talking of protecting the constitution.


Is the Constitution a Holy Book?

It is not a Holy Book. Bharat is the land of multiple holy books. It has never been governed by one book.


But, what is a Holy Book?

Constitutions throughout the world are the results of collective human effort. But to consider any such human endeavor as a sacred or holy mission is to mix up the categories of the secular and the idea of the Holy. Holiness is universal and the fruits of sanctity are for all humanity.


Constitutions are for a particular nation. To use the nomenclature 'holy' for any constitution does not do credit to anyone. All major religions have their holy texts. By definition, holy books are revealed by the Supreme Godhead for mukti purposes. Conversely, the Indian Constitution was written by those who fought for the nation’s freedom. 


Moreover, Bharat is the land of Sanatana Dharma that was founded by numerous Rishis and Yogis. SD is not based on history centric systems and does not depend on a founder for its existence. In this 1893 address at the Parliament of Religions Chicago, Swami Vivekananda said, “The Hindus have received their religion through revelation, the Vedas. They hold that the Vedas are without beginning and without end. They mean the accumulated treasury of spiritual laws discovered by different persons in different times.” Read  Comparing Indic vs. Abrahamic Faiths – A Primer


Why the Constitution can be selectively amended?

Environment, internal and external, keep on changing. Change is the essence of life. Countries and human beings have to keep adapting to change.


Note that the Constitution was written in the late 1940’s when the only constitutional values were Western. To deep dive on subject, please read Dr Arghya Sengupta’s book The Colonial Constitution. Author is Research Director, Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy. Read  How Indian is the Indian Constitution


Here are some examples of West inspired thoughts –

1. Dr Sengupta wrote in his book, “A significant portion of the Government of Act 1935 made it, unchanged, to the final version of the Constitution adopted by the Assembly in November 1948. The cognitive dissonance was astounding.” Pg 27.  


2. In fact it was the Provincial Legislative List, based on the 1935 Act that stated agriculture and right to tax agricultural income were State subjects. Eight-five years later, India and her agricultural needs have changed but this rule remains. 


3. Senior Advocate Arvind Datar wrote, “It is interesting to note that Article 26 is derived from Article 44 of the Irish Constitution, 1937. This Article 44, in turn, was based on Article 114 of the Constitution of Poland, 1921.” The concept of religious denomination is of Judeo-Christian origin and used in the context of defined denominations that exists in Christianity yet we apply it to India, where followers of Dharma are in majority.


4. The term Scheduled Caste was introduced by the 1935 Act. Ambedkar said he belonged to the Depressed Classes.


5. This Constitution has made Bharat a ‘Rights based society’ when it is actually a Dharma based one. Dr Sengupta wrote, “Channelling Krishna in the Mahabharata, Gandhi believed that everyone’s duty is act; rights are merely the fruits of that action.” Pg 123 


Next, find below key amendments by year. If you wish to know amendments were made in which year mail me for PDF


Period 1951 to 1964 (17 amendments)

1. 1951- Introduced the Ninth Schedule to protect land acquisition laws and limited judicial review of Supreme Court. 7

6. 1956 – Reorganization of states on linguistic lines. 1

9. 1960 – Extending period of reservation of seats for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the Lok Sabha & State Legislative Assemblies till 1970. 1


Period 1966 to 1976  (25 amendments)

7. 1971 – Clarified that Parliament can amend any part of the Constitution including fundamental rights. 7

8. 1971 - Restrict property rights and compensation in case the state takes over private property. 1

9. 1971 – Abolition of privy purses to former rulers. 1

14. 1973 – Increase the number of Parliament seats from 525 to 545. 1

19. 1975 – Terms and conditions for the incorporation of Sikkim into India. 1

20.1975 - Excluded the elections and appointment of Prime Minister, Speaker and President from the scrutiny of the High and Supreme Courts. 7

21.1975 – Formation of Arunachal legislative assembly. 1

23.1976 – Inserted Socialism and Secularism in the Preamble etc. 7

1977 to 1984  (9 amendments)

1. 1977 - Amendment passed during internal emergency by Indira Gandhi. Provides for curtailment of fundamental rights, imposes fundamental duties and changes to the basic structure of the constitution by making India a "Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic". 1

2. 1978 – Included checks for invoking emergency provisions etc. Right to property ceased to be a fundamental right. 7

3. 1980 - Extend reservation for SCs and STs and nomination of Anglo Indian members in Parliament and State Assemblies for another ten years i.e. up to 1990. 1


1985 to 1990  (16 amendments)

5. 1987 - Provision to publish authentic Hindi translation of constitution as on date and provision to publish authentic Hindi translation of future amendments. 1 Took 37 years for Parliament to do so.

8. 1988 – Reduced the voting age for elections from 21 to 18 years.  


1991 to 2004  (25 amendments)

3. 1992 - National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes formed and its statutory powers specified in The Constitution. 1

9. 1994 - Enable continuance of 69% reservation in Tamil Nadu by including the relevant Tamil Nadu Act under 9th Schedule of the constitution. 1

13. 2000 - Permit relaxation of qualifying marks and other criteria in reservation in promotion for SCs and STs candidates. 1

18. 2002 – Free and compulsory education for children from 6 to 14 became a fundamental right and government’s responsibility.


2005 to 2014  (6 amendments)

1. 2005 – Allowed the government to pass laws to give reservations to socially, economically backward classes, scheduled castes and tribes in public and private higher educational institutions. 7


2014 to 2024  (8 amendments)

1. 2014 - Amended the method of appointing judges. SC struck it down. 7

3. 2016 – Introduced the Goods and Services Tax. 7

5. 19.8.21 - To restore the power of the state governments to identify Other Backward Classes (OBCs) that are socially and educationally backward. 1

6. 22.1.20 - To extend the reservation of seats for SCs and STs in the Lok Sabha and states assemblies for another 10 years i.e. up to 2030. 1

8. 11.8.18 - Constitutional status to National Commission for Backward Classes. 1


How Bharatiya is our constitution? How adapted is a Western system of justice and law to Indian culture, ethos, identity and practice? Is the Supreme Court motto, यतो धर्मस्ततो जयः Yato Dharmah Tato Jayah Where there is Righteousness (Dharma), there is Victory (Jaya), reflected in the Constitution?


Also read

1. List of Amendments as per Wikipedia

2. Were Backward classes were always suppressed in India

3. Pictures in the Handcrafted Constitution of India

4. Are Scheduled Tribes converts Christians under UCC

5. Who Drafted and how Indian is the Constitution

6. India is a Union of States not federation like USA

7. Ten Significant Constitutional Amendments

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