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Independent India(The First 30 Years – 1947-77)

Tenth ClassKey points:
  1. Election Commission was setup to take care of the practical matters conducting elections across the length and breadth of the country. A novel idea of having symbols from everyday life to represent political parties and candidates was accepted. India adopted universal adult suffrage.
  2. The first challenge the nation faced was the demand for reorganisation on the basis of language.
  3. The Constituent Assembly had called for social, economic and political justice and equality of status and opportunity; it put social and economic change at the top the agenda of modern India.
  4. The First Five Year Plan focused on agriculture and emphasized the need for increasing food production, development of transport and communications and the provision of social service. Three types of land reforms - abolition of zamindari system, tenancy reforms and land ceilings were implemented.
  5. Second Five Year Plan onwards, the emphasis was shifted to industries.
  6. The 42nd Constitutional Amendment brought about a series of changes. It had the following aims - excluding the courts from election disputes, strengthening the central government vis-a-vis the state governments, providing maximum protection from judicial challenges to the social and economic transformation legislations and making the judiciary subservient to parliament.
  7. Jawaharlal Nehru formulated Panchsheel, which was basis for Indo-China relations, and supported Non-Alignment Movement.
  8. India also setup an impressive institutional framework with independent institutions like the Judiciary, Election Commission, Controller and Auditor General etc.
  9. One of the greatest weaknesses was undoubtedly the low priority given to primary education and public health.
  10. The most important achievement of first 30 years was the establishment of a stable government.
Key words:
  1. State Reorganisation: The process of reestablishment of states. In August 1953, the States Reorganisation Commission (SRC) was appointed with Fazal Ali, K. M. Panikkar and Hridaynath Kunzru as members to address the issue of formation of states on the basis of the linguistic principle. On the basis of its report in 1956 the states reorganisation act was passed in parliament.
  2. One Party Dominance: This mean only one party ruling a country for many years. In Independent India’s first three general elections in 1952, 1957 and 1962, the Indian National Congress won the majority of the seats reducing other participants to almost nothing.
  3. Emergency: Something serious which needs immediate action in order to avoid harmful results. This is part of Indian constitution, which can be declared by the Centre during the times of crises such as war and internal turmoil. With the declaration of Emergency, democracy was put on hold and all the fundamental rights were suspended.
  4. Regional Movements: Agitations for division of regions groups of people who want to start a new state that is separate from an exerting state.
  5. Nationalisation: The act of the government taking control over the industry is known as Nationalisation. Rights of vital assets would be transferred from private ownership to state ownership.
Long Answers Questions
1. How do you understand one party dominance? Would you consider it as dominance only is elections or also in term of ideology? Discuss with reasons?
  1. In the first three general elections held in 1952, 1957 and 1962, the Indian National Congress won with thumping majorities, reducing other participants to almost nothing. Jawaharlal Nehru became the first Prime Minister of India. Nehru made Indian National Congress (INC) a dominant party.
  2. INC won over 70% of the seats where as other parties got not more than 11% of the votes polled.
  3. The congress party formed governments in many states. It was not only dominant force in elections, but also in terms of ideology.
  4. Gradually the ideologies of the political parties know by the people later other political parties also came into the power.
  5. People were given maximum support to the congress party because it’s active role in the freedom movement.
  6. Congress party’s working period in India over more than four decades presents serious short comings and huge challenges.
  7. The other political parties gradually built themselves and became strong contenders for power.
2. Language became a central rallying point in Indian politics on many occasions, either as unifying force or as divisive element. Identify these instances and describe them?
  1. The first challenge of the new nation faced was the demand for the reorganization of states on the basis of language.
  2. The leaders of our country through that if the states were reorganised on the basis of the language may lead to the breakup of the country.
  3. Because of the agitation and death of Potti Sriramulu,a separate state as carved out for Telugu speaking people.
  4. In 1956, government passed state Re-organisation Act. This lead to formation of 14 states and 6 union territories.
3. What measures of Indira Gandhi are called “left turn”? How do you think was different from polices of previous decades? Based on your Economics chapters, describe how it is different from the current policies?
  1. Indira Gandhi charted a new path for the Congress by introducing new policies and programmes. The left turn policy also helped her get control over the party organisation.
  2. Indira took up the challenge in her party and outside by taking a sharp left turns post the 1967 elections. She attempted to create a new social base of her own.
  3. Immediately after the victory in the war, using the popular slogan “Garibi Hatao”, the congress won with record margin in the 1971 General elections and this raised the popularity of Indira Gandhi even more.
  4. By identifying the party with the poor and down trodden. She adopted elimination of poverty from the country. Same was included in the Five Year Plans.
  5. Among the important legislations that were passed during this period ostensibly to achieve the goal of social and economic transformation were the nationalisation of private banks and abolishing of princely persians.
4. Think of other ways in which states could have been created and how would the better than language based reorganisation?
  1. There are other ways to create new states depends upon the demand of the people.
  2. Some states were reorganized based on regional sentiments of people. Maghalaya was created in 1969, Punjab was formed in 1966.
  3. A separate statehood was given to Telangana based on the regional sentiment in 2014.
  4. Linguistic reorganisation actually helped consolidate India and did not necessarily weaken the country as it was anticipated.
Short Answer Questions and Answers
1. Identify statement or statements in bracket that are relevant to statements in italics on left?
Political equality can be identified with (right to get admission in any school/ principle of one person one vote/ right to be enter any religious worship place)
Ans: Principle of one person one vote.

b) Universal adult franchise in the Indian context meant (allowing all people to vote for any political party/ allowing all people to vote in elections/ allowing all people to vote for congress party)
Ans: Allowing all people to vote in elections.

c) Congress dominance would include (being able to attract people from various ideologies/being able to win most states assembly seats after elections /being able to use police force during elections)
Ans: Being able to attract people from various ideologies.

d) Emergency imposed (restrictions on people’s rights/ ensured eradication of poverty/ accepted by all political parties)
Ans: Restrictions on people’s rights

2. What measures were taken to bring in socio-economic change during the initial years after independence?
  1. Social and economic changes are at the top of the agenda of modern India.
  2. The Constituent Assembly had called for social, economic and political justice and equality of status and opportunity; it put social and economic change at highest priority.
  3. The Planning Commission was setup within a month of the inauguration of the new constitution.
  4. For Nehru planning was not only good economics but good politics too. He hoped that planned development would dissolve the divisions of caste and religion as well as other disruptive and disintegrative tendencies and help India to emerge as a strong and modern nation.
  5. The First Five Year Plan focused on agriculture and stressed on the need and the provision of social services.
  6. The strategy favored by Nehru included three components
    a) Land reforms
    b) Agriculture cooperatives
    c) Local self government

3. What were the major changes in political system after 1967 elections?

  1. The 1967 election was a land mark in the history of elections in India. The Congress party faced a crushing defeat. DMK in Tamil Nadu won by great majority. The main losses for Congress were in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
  2. The opposition parties formed a group called Samyukta Vidhayak Dal (SVD) and formed governments.
4. In what ways the emergency period was a setback to the Indian Democracy?
  1. With the Emergency, democratic rights of the people have eroded. Fundamental rights were suspended, arbitrary detention, torture and other violation of civil liberties took place at the whim of Congress party leaders across the country.
  2. The government began a series of repressive measures with the pretext to bring order in the country. Emergency had severly weakened the democratic fabric of the country.
5. What were the institutional changes that came up after the Emergency? The major highlight of this period was the 42nd Amendment which brought about a serious of changes in favour of power control by Congress party. It had the following aim:
  1. Excluding the courts from election disputes
  2. Strengthening the central government vis-a vis the state governments.
  3. Providing maximum protection from judicial challenges to social and economic transformation legislation
  4. Making the Judiciary subservient to parliament.
All these activities would have lead to a perpetual dictatorship of Congress party.
Published date : 17 Dec 2014 03:34PM

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