Here we are providing Class 12 History Important Extra Questions and Answers Chapter 15 Framing the Constitution: The Beginning of a New Era. Class 12 History Important Questions are the best resource for students which helps in class 12 board exams.
Class 12 History Chapter 15 Important Extra Questions Framing the Constitution: The Beginning of a New Era
Framing the Constitution Important Extra Questions Very Short Answer Type
When was the Indian Constitution framed?
Between 9 Dec. 1946 and 26 Nov. 1949 A.D.
Who was the President of the Constituent assembly?
Dr Rajendra Prasad.
Who was the Chairman of the Drafting Committee?
Dr B.R. Ambedkar.
How many members of the Constituent Assembly were there?
How many members remained in the Constituent Assembly after the partition of India?
Who gave an objective resolution of the Constituent Assembly?
Under whose recommendation, the Constituent Assembly was formed?
Under the recommendation of the Cabinet Mission.
Who was the Constitutional Advisor of the Government of India?
Who was the Chief Draughtsman of the Indian Constitution?
Name the official language of India.
When was the Indian Constitution framed? When was it enforced?
The Indian Constitution was framed from December 1946 to November 1949 and was enforced on 26 January 1950.
Discuss the significance of the Indian Constitution. Give any two points.
- It wanted to heal the wounds of the past.
- It enabled people belonging to different classes, castes, and communities to share a new political experience by coming together with each other.
- It strengthened democratic institutions in the country.
What were the demands of low-caste people and linguistic minorities at the time of making the Indian Constitution?
- The low-caste people demanded an end to ill-treatment by the upper-caste people.
- They also demanded reservation of separate seats, on the basis of their population, in legislatures, government departments, and local bodies.
- The linguistic minorities demanded freedom of speech in their respective mother-tongue. They also demanded redistribution of provinces on linguistic basis.
Name any six leaders who played an important role in the Constituent Assembly.
- Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru
- Sardar Patel
- Dr. Rajendra Prasad
- Dr. B.R. Ambedkar
- K.M. Munshi
- Alladi Krishnaswami Aiyar
Who was the President of the Constituent Assembly? Who was the Chairman of its Drafting Committee?
- Dr. Rajendra Prasad was the President of the Constituent Assembly.
- Dr. B.R. Ambedkar was the Chairman of the Drafting Committee of the Constituent Assembly.
In the 19th century, what efforts were made by the social reformers for social justice and what efforts were made by communists and socialists for economic justice? Give one point each.
- The social reformers opposed child- marriage and supported widow-remarriage.
- The communists and the socialists brought all laborers and peasants together. In other words, they organised them.
What provisions were made in the Constitution to make the Centre more strong? Give any three arguments.
- More subjects were included in the union list.
- The Union Government has control over many minerals and important industries.
- Article 356 empowers the center to take over the state administration on the recommendation of the Governor.
What argument was given against Hindi being made a national language?
The people in South India were strongly opposed to Hindi. They viewed every propaganda for Hindi as cutting the very root of the provincial languages.
Which two features of the Indian Constitution had a substantial agreement?
- Granting the right to vote to every adult citizen of India. It was called the Universal Adult Franchise.
- Emphasis on secularism. It is the soul of the Indian Constitution.
In what way was the right to vote to every adult Indian a unique provision?
The right to vote to every adult citizen of India is a unique feature of the Indian Constitution. The people in the United States and the United Kingdom got this right after a long struggle. But the Indians got it during the framing of the Constitution.
What Fundamental Rights enshrined in the Indian Constitution ensure religious freedom?
They are as follows:
- Right to Equality
- Right to Freedom of Religion
- Cultural and Educational Rights.
Mention any two arguments given by Balakrishna Sharma for greater power to the Centre. (C.B.S.E. 2013 (O.D.))
Bal Krishna Sharma stated that only a strong centre can make plans for the interest of the country, can provide requisite resources, can establish proper order and can save the country from foreign invasion.
Why is ‘Objectives Resolutions’ of Nehru considered a momentous resolution? Give any two reasons. (C.B.S.E. 2013 (D.))
- It proclaimed India as an ‘Independent, Sovereign Republic’.
- It guaranteed its citizens justice, equality, and freedom.
How were the discussions in the Constituent Assembly influenced by the opinions expressed by the public? State any two examples. (C.B.S.E. 2013 (O.D.))
- Calcutta based All India Varnashrama Swarajya Sangh suggested that our Constitution should enshrine principles as given in ancient Hindu books.
- Some people proposed the abattoirs should be closed and slaughter should be prohibited.
Mention how the provisions of the Government of India Act, 1935 were incorporated in the Indian Constitution by the Assembly members. (C.B.S.E. 2013 (O.D.))
Government of India Act, 1935 had a provision of the strong and united centre. This provision was incorporated in the Indian Constitution by the Assembly members and they gave a very strong centre to the country.
Framing the Constitution Important Extra Questions Short Answer Type
India is a Secular, Democratic, Republic. Explain.
The Constitution established Secular, Democratic, Republican system in India. A secular state means that all religions are given equal treatment in the state. All religions enjoy equal freedom. In secular states, there is no particular state religion. The citizens are not discriminated on the basis of religion. All the people can adopt any religion which they like. They also enjoy the freedom to worship.
A Democratic state means that all citizens enjoy equal rights. The administration is run by the representatives elected by the people during periodical elections.
The Republic means that the head of the state will not be an emperor. He will be the President who is indirectly elected by an Electoral College.
In the Constituent Assembly, Congress itself was a broad front. Elucidate.
About 82% of members of the Constituent Assembly were from the Indian National Congress. These members had diverse views such as:
- The Congress had many members who lacked identical views. It had atheists who did not believe in the existence of God. It also had secular members who gave equal respect to all religions. There were also many members who were technically Congressmen but spiritually associated with Hindu Mahasabha and R.S.S.
- Viewed economically, a few members of the Constituent Assembly were socialists in their economic philosophy. Contrary to it, there were also members who supported landlords and Zamindars.
- The Congress also had many independent members. These members were drawn from different castes and religious groups.
- There were also many members who represented the women.
- There were also members who were experts in the law.
Thus, Congress seemed like a broad front. All its members held a wide range of views and had the diversity of opinions.
Which problems did India face at the time of its Independence? Briefly explain any of the two problems.
India had faced two main problems at the time of Independence:
1. Problem of Refugees: There was an atmosphere of joy and hope on Independence Day 15 August 1947. But this was an unforgettable moment for innumerable Muslims and Hindus and Sikhs who lived in Pakistan. Millions of refugees moved from one place to another. Muslims were moving towards East and West Pakistan and Hindus and Sikhs were moving towards West Bengal and the Eastern part of Punjab. Many of them died before they reached their destination and those who survived had to be rehabilitated.
2. Problem of Local Kingdoms: There was another serious problem in front of the country and that was the problem of local kingdoms. During the British rule, almost one-third part of the country was under the control of those nawabs and maharajas who owed allegiance to the British crown.
They had the freedom to run their territory as they wished. When the British left India, the constitutional status of these nawabs and maharajas remained ambiguous. Few of these maharajas were dreaming of independent power in divided India. Indian freedom was incomplete without taking these states into the Union of India.
What were the limitations of the Constitutional reforms during the colonial period?
The Constitutional reforms, during the colonial period, were in the response to the increasing demand of representative government. But Indians had no direct role in the passing of these different Acts (1909, 1919 and 1935). They were also enforced by the colonial government.
There was definitely an expansion of the electorate that elected the provincial bodies. But even in 1935, this right remained limited to 10-15% of the adult population. Till then, there was no arrangement of Universal Adult Franchise. The legislatures which were elected under the Act of 1933 were operating within the framework of colonial rule. They were responsible to the Governor appointed by the British.
How was the centre made more powerful and strong by the Constituent Assembly?
Most of the members of the Constituent Assembly were in favour of the strong central government for India. Even Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru wanted a strong centre as he felt, writing a letter to the President of the Constituent Assembly, that, “it would be injurious to the interests of the country to provide for a weak central authority.” He was, in fact, convinced that only a strong central government could ensure peace and stability.
The following points make it clear that several attempts were made to make the center more strong and powerful:
- The Union list contained more subjects than the State list.
- Regarding the Concurrent list, the center and the state shared responsibility.
- The center enjoyed control over many important mineral and key industries.
- Article 356 empowered the center to take over a state administration on the recommendation of the Governor.
- The position of the center was also strong in fiscal affairs. It kept all the proceeds from customs duties and company taxes. However, it shared with states income from Income Tax and Excise Duties.
Which provisions of the Constitution ensure secularism and religious freedom?
The following provisions of the Constitution have ensured secularism in the country:
- The word ‘secular’ has been included in the Preamble of the Constitution by 42nd Constitutional Amendment in 1976.
- There is a guarantee for equal treatment to all religions. No one can be discriminated on the basis of religion.
- The state considers all religious institutions as equal. No government school or college can impart any religious education.
- While granting employment, no discrimination can be made on the basis of religion. However, there is a scope for social reforms. That is why the practice of untouchability was prohibited in the Constitution.
- All citizens are free to adopt and preach any religion of their choice. They can also manage their religious affairs.
Explain how the Constituent Assembly reflected the diversity of the people of India and their opinions. (C.B.S.E. 2008 (D))
The election of the members of the Constituent Assembly was held in 1946 on the basis of provincial elections. The Constituent Assembly included members from the British provinces besides representatives from Princely states. They were included because many of the Princely states had, one by one, become a part of the Indian Union. The Muslim League, prior to the independence of India, boycotted the meetings of the Constituent Assembly. So at that time, the Constituent Assembly was dominated by only one political party, that is the Indian National Congress. 82% members of the Constituent Assembly were Congress-men.
Congress in itself was a very big and extensive force. Its members held different views about different issues. Many of them were either atheists or seculars. A few members of the Constituent Assembly belonged to R.S.S. or Hindu Mahasabha. Economically speaking, a few members had socialist leanings and the others favoured the big landlords and zamindars.
Explain how the constructional developments before 1946 were different from those made by the Constituent Assembly. (C.B.S.E. 2008 (D))
The constructional efforts made before 1946 were quite different from the constructional efforts made for the setting up of the Constituent Assembly. The Indians had no role in the passing of Government of India Acts of 1909, 1919 and 1935. These laws were framed and implemented by the colonial government. However, the number of members in the Provincial Assemblies were increased. But till 1935, only 10 to 15% of the adult population enjoyed the right to cast vote. There was no provision for Universal Adult Franchise.
The Provincial Assemblies elected under the Govt, of India Act, 1935, were working under the colonial rule. They were responsible to Governor-General who was appointed by the British Government. On the other hand, Nehru on 13 December 1946 talked of a constitution for an independent and the sovereign Indian Republic.
Explain the problems raised in the Constituent Assembly about the tribals. What did they want for them? (C.B.S.E. 2008 (O.D.))
The issue of the tribals was raised in the Constituent Assembly mainly by N. G. Ranga and Jaipal Singh. N. G. Ranga referred to them as the oppressed people. He highlighted their problems which are as under:
- They were uprooted from the place where they lived.
- They were devoid of the jungles and meadows.
- They were forced to run in search of new houses.
- They were looked down upon by society as they were primitive and backward.
- The tribals had their own laws and lands. No one can snatch them. But many traders bought their land in the name of the open market. They enslaved the tribal people and kept them as slaves from generation to generation.
Jaipal laid stress on the point that the hiatus between the tribals and the rest of the society must be filled. The emotional and material gap between them and the society must be filled up. He pleaded that seats must be reserved for the tribals in the
Assembly. It will compel the people to hear the voice of the tribals and to go near them.
Explain why many leaders demanded a strong centre during the debates in Constituent Assembly? How were powers to legislature finally divided? (C.B.S.E. 2008)
1. The issue of the relation between the center and states was highly debated in the meetings of the Constituent Assembly. Those who were in favour of the strong centre included Jawaharlal Nehru. In a letter addressed to the President of the Constituent Assembly, he had said, “As the partition has now become a reality, “a weak central government will be quite harmful to the country because a weak centre will not be able to establish peace, coordination and raise voice at the international level.”
2. Similarly, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar had also stated that he wanted a strong and unified center. It should be much stronger than visualized in the Govt, of India Act of 1935. Referring to the massacre on the roads on account of the partition of the country, many members emphasised on the need for a strong centre so that violence may be curtailed. Replying to the demand for more powers to the state, Gopalaswami Ayyar had stated, “the Centre should be as strong as possible.”
3. Bal Krishan Sharma, a member of the United Province, threw a lot of light on the need for a strong center. He stated that only a strong centre can make plans for the interest of the country, can provide requisite resources, can establish proper order and can save the country from foreign invasion.
So as compared to states, the centre has been made strong in India. The states have been empowered to frame laws on subjects mentioned in the State list. All subjects of national importance have been kept in the Union list.
Why did several members in the Constituent Assembly support the cause of the depressed classes? What did the Assembly finally recommend for them? (C.B.S.E. 2008 (O.D.))
During the freedom struggle, Dr Ambedkar demanded separate constituencies for the backward classes. Mahatma Gandhi opposed it by saying that it will segregate them from the mainstream of society. The issue was much debated in the Constituent Assembly.
1. The members of the backward classes stated that society made use of their labour and services
but kept them away from the social mainstream. The people of upper castes avoided to meet them. They neither eat with them nor allow the people belonging
backward classes to visit temples.
2. Nagappa stated that numerically the backward class people were not a minority. They constitute 20 to 25% of the total population. But they have been kept away from society. They have neither education nor participation in administration.
3. Sh. K. J. Khandelkar, addressing the Constituent Assembly dominated by members of upper castes, stated: “We have been crushed for centuries. We have been so crushed that our brain and body do not work. Our heart has become feelingless. Now we are not able to move ahead. This is our plight.”
At last, the Constituent Assembly suggested the following:
1. Untouchability will be eradicated.
2. The Hindu temples will be opened to people belonging to all castes.
3. Seats will be reserved for backward classes in the Assemblies and Educational Institutions.
How were the discussions within the Constituent Assembly influenced by the opinions expressed by the people? Explain. (C.B.S.E. 2009 (D))
The discussions within the Constituent Assembly were also influenced by public opinions. The arguments of different sections were published in newspapers and there was a public debate on all the proposals. In this way, criticism and counter-criticism in the process had a great impact on the consensus that was ultimately reached on specific issues. The public was also asked for submissions to create a sense of collective participation. Hundreds of responses came. Religious minorities asked for special safeguards as well.
Framing the Constitution Important Extra Questions Long Answer Type
The years immediately preceding the making of the Constitution had been exceptionally tumultuous. Give examples in support of this statement.
Before the independence of India on 15 August 1947, the political and social conditions in the country were tumultuous. No doubt the people had great hope for free, peaceful and prosperous India but they also felt depressed and disappointed due to many incidents such as communal riots that followed our independence and in which more than two lakh people were killed.
- Indian independence accompanied the partition of the country. The country was divided into two parts namely India and Pakistan.
- The people still remembered the Quit India Movement of 1942. It was perhaps the most widely popular movement against the alien rule.
- The people were still reminiscent of Azad Hind Fauj constituted by Subash Chandra Bose with foreign aid, the purpose of which, of course, was to win freedom.
- During the late 1940s, there were mass protests of workers and peasants in different parts of the country.
- There was a lack of social harmony as the Congress and the Muslim League repeatedly failed to arrive at any reconciliation.
- There were persistent riots in northern and eastern India. There were many killings in Calcutta in August 1946.
Discuss the role of six most important members of the Constituent Assembly. Throw light on their contribution.
There were nearly three hundred members in the Constituent Assembly. But the most dominant voices in the House were a few. They included Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabh Bhai Patel, Rajinder Prasad, B.R. Ambedkar, K.M-. Munshi and Alladi Krishnaswamy Aiyar. All of them played a significant role in the meetings and deliberations of the Constituent Assembly.
Jawaharlal Nehru: He presented the Objectives Resolution in the Constituent Assembly on 13 December 1946. It not only outlined the ideals of the Constitution but also provided a framework within which the constitution was to be framed. He also moved a resolution which proposed that the National flag of India should be a horizontal tri-colour of saffron, white and dark green in equal proportion, with an Ashok Chakra in navy blue at the centre.
Sardar Patel: He did not remain at the fore-front and worked mostly behind the scenes. He played an important role in the drafting of various reports. His role was very crucial as he worked mostly to reconcile opposing and contradictory points of view put forward by different members of the House.
Rajinder Prasad: As he was the President of the Constituent Assembly, his role naturally ought to be very important and impressive. He steered the discussions and deliberations in such a way that constructive decisions easily cropped up. He ensured that all the members of the Assembly got a chance to speak and express their views freely.
Dr, B.R. Ambedkar: He was a lawyer and an economist. He was in fact a non-Congress member. He was the Chairman of the Drafting Committee of the Constitution and the law minister in the Union Cabinet. He scrutinised and compiled the reports submitted by various committees of the Constituent Assembly. He prepared a Draft Constitution and presented it before the Constituent Assembly for perusal, discussion and approval. His role was quite significant.
K.M. Munshi: He was a lawyer from Gujarat who helped a lot in the drafting of the Constitution.
Alladi Krishnaswamy Aiyar: He was a lawyer from Madras. He, like K.M. Munshi, gave crucial input in the writing of the Constitution.
Examine any four major issues that went into the making of the Indian Constitution.
The making of the Indian Constitution was greatly influenced by many subjects or issues. These issues were such without which the establishment of real democracy was not possible. Out of these important issues, the main was as follows:
1. Political equality and socio-economic justice
The right to Universal Adult Franchise was the symbol of political equality. However, this political equality was incomplete without social and economic justice. So, it was essential to abolish social and economic discrimination.
2. Issues concerning the Dalits and the untouchables. It was essential to give special patronage for the upliftment of the Dalits and the Untouchables. The same was needed for the scheduled tribes.
3. Centralised federation:
A federal government with a strong centre was set up to maintain the unity and integrity of the nation. This federation was a symbol of unity amidst diversity.
4. Separate electorate:
The Dalits and minority communities were demanding separate electorate so that they may be able to get their representatives elected in the legislature. But it could endanger one’s loyalty towards the state. t So this view was rejected and to remove this apprehension or misgiving, seats were reserved for the Dalits. The reservation of seats for the Dalits in the Legislature was a solution to the demand for a separate electorate.
Framing the Constitution Important Extra Questions HOTS
What was the fear or concern of many leaders regarding the grant of community rights?
Though community rights were considered important yet many leaders feared that they might divide the loyalty of the citizens. They will be a hurdle in national unity and make a state weak.
What did the Language Committee of the Constituent Assembly suggest regarding the issue of Hindi as a national language?
The Language Committee of the Constituent Assembly had suggested the following:
- Hindi in the Devanagri script would be the official language in India.
- The transition to Hindi would be gradual. For the first fifteen years, English would remain in use for all official purposes.
- Each province will be allowed to opt for one regional language for official work in the province.
How was the Constituent Assembly organised? This Assembly represented the whole country, then why had it become a group of one party?
The members of the Constituent Assembly were elected on the basis of provincial elections held in 1946. It included members not only from the British provinces but also from princely states of India. The members of princely states were inducted in the Assembly because most of the princely states had already merged with India.
The Constituent Assembly included popular leaders from all over the country. Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, Dr Rajinder Prasad, Sardar Patel and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad were members of the Indian National Congress. The members who were from other political parties included Dr B.R. Ambedkar, Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherji and Frank Anthony. There were also a few women members such as Sarojini Naidu and Vijay Laxmi Pandit.
Thus, the Constituent Assembly basically represented the whole country but the Muslim League boycotted its early meetings. Because of the absence of the members of the Muslim League, the Constituent Assembly had mainly members from the Congress party. 82% of members of the Constituent Assembly were Congress-men. Thus, it is right to say that though the Constituent Assembly represented the whole country, yet it had mostly members belonging to the Congress party.
In the Constituent Assembly, our law-makers had to discern many conflicting interests. Give a few examples to explain this statement.
“The discussions within the Constituent Assembly were also influenced by the opinion expressed by the public.” Examine the statement. (C.B.S.E. 2012 (O.D.))
The Constituent Assembly of India encouraged public debates. It was always influenced by the opinions expressed by the public. All its recommendations and deliberations were reported in newspapers. It was done to reach a consensus on specific issues. It also encouraged public participation. On many intricate issues, the public submitted its responses. Hence, there were views and counter¬views. Therefore, our law-makers had to take an account of many conflicting interests. A few examples are given here below:
- Calcutta-based All India Varnashrama Swarajya Sangh suggested that our Constitution should enshrine principles as laid down in ancient Hindu books.
- Some people proposed the abattoirs should be closed and cow-slaughter should be prohibited.
- The people belonging to low-castes demanded that their ill-treatment by upper-caste people must end. They also wanted reservation of seats in the legislature and government departments.
- Religious minorities demanded special safeguards.
“A communist member, Somnath Lahiri, saw the dark hand of British imperialism hanging over the deliberations of the Constituent Assembly.” Examine the statement and give your own views in support of your ‘.answer. (C.B.S.E. 2012 (O.D.))
A communist member, Somnath Lahiri, saw the dark hand of British imperialism hanging over the deliberations of the Constituent Assembly. He urged the members especially Indians, to completely free themselves from the influences of imperial rule.
During the winter of 1946-47, when the Assembly was constituted, the British were still in India. An interim administration headed by Jawaharlal Nehru was in place, but it could only operate under the directions of the Viceroy and the British Government in London. Lahiri exhorted his colleagues to realise that the Constituent Assembly was British made and was working the British plans as the British should like it to be worked out.
The problem of separate electorates was an intricate problem that confronted the Constituent Assembly. Discuss the debate held in the Assembly over this issue.
Arguments in favour of Separate Electorates
- It is a political framework in which minorities can live in harmony with people who are in majority.
- It is an arrangement which can minimise differences between different communities.
- It can provide good representation to the minorities in the political system of the country.
- It enables others to hear the voice of the minority and take into account its views and opinions.
- Only the minority people can choose their true representative.
Arguments against Separate Electorates
- It was a measure deliberately introduced by the foreign rulers to divide the people.
- It can lead to riots, violence and civil war.
- It is a poison in any political system.
- It divides the nation and causes bloodshed as one community turns against the other.
- It is a mischief left behind by the British.
- It is harmful not only to the nation but also to the minorities. It is rather suicidal to the minorities.
- It is self-destructive as it isolates the minorities from the majority.
- It divides the loyalty of the citizens towards their nation.
Framing the Constitution Important Extra Questions Source-Based
Read the following passages and answer the questions that follow:
“We are not going just to copy”
This is what Jawaharlal Nehru said in his famous speech of 13 December 1946:
My mind goes back to the various Constituent Assemblies that have gone before and of what took place at the making of the great American nation when the fathers of that nation met and fashioned out a Constitution which has stood the test of so many years, more than a century and a half, and of the great nation which has resulted, which has been built upon the basis of that Constitution. My mind goes back to that mighty revolution which took place also over 150 years ago and to the Constituent Assembly that met in that gracious and lovely city of Paris which has fought so many battles for freedom, to the difficulties that Constituent Assembly had and to how the King and other authorities came in its way, and still, it continued.
The House will remember that when these difficulties came and even the room for a meeting was denied to the then Constituent Assembly, they betook themselves to an open tennis court and met there and took the oath, which is called the Oath of the Tennis Court, that they continued meeting in spite of Kings, in spite of the others, and did not disperse till they had finished the task they had undertaken. Well, I trust that it is in that solemn spirit that we too are meeting here and that we, too, whether we meet in this chamber or other chambers, or in the fields or in the market-place, will go on meeting and continue our work till we have finished it.
(i) How was the American Constitution finalised and explain its results?
There were certain problems in the making of American Constitution-keeping in mind the interests of all the constituent states and making proper provisions for the strength of the federal system. There was another problem that to what extent voters could be limited. Even then the Nation-builders formed such a Constitution which is standing high even today and which has become base of formation of a great nation.
(ii) What does Nehru’s determination to pass The Constitution Show? Explain any two such difficulties that were faced by the Constituent Assembly. (C.B.S.E. 2010 (D))
Nehru Ji believed that the work of framing the Constitution which the Constituent
Assembly has taken in its hands, will definitely be completed. Following problems were there in its way—
(a) To solve the problem of separate electorate.
(b) To solve the language problem and to determine the national language.
“That is very good, Sir – bold words, noble words”
Somnath Lahiri said:
Well, Sir, I must congratulate Pandit Nehru for the fine expression he gave to the spirit of the Indian people when he said that no imposition from the British will be accepted by the Indian people. Imposition would be resented and objected to, he said, and he added that if need be we will walk the valley of struggle. That is very good, Sir – bold words, noble words.
But the point is to see when and how are you going to apply that challenge. Well, Sir, the point is that the imposition is here right now. Not only has the British Plan made any future
Constitution dependent on a treaty satisfactory to the Britisher but it suggests that for every little difference you will have to run to the Federal Court or dance attendance there in England or to call on the British Prime Minister Clement Attlee or someone else. Not only is it a fact that this Constituent Assembly, whatever plans we may be hatching, but we are also under the shadow of British guns, British Army, their economic and financial stranglehold-which means that the final power is still in the British hands and the question of power has not yet been finally decided, which means the future is not yet completely in our hands.
Not only that, but the statements made by Attlee and others recently have made it clear that if need be, they will even threaten you with division entirely. This means, Sir, there is no freedom in this country. As Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel put it some days ago, we have freedom only to fight among ourselves. That is the only freedom we have got… Therefore, our humble suggestion is that is it not a question of getting something by working out this Plan but to declare independence here and now and call upon the Interim Government, call upon the people of India, to stop fratricidal warfare and lookout against its enemy which still has the whip hand, the British Imperialist and go
together to fight it and then resolve our claims afterwards when we will be free.
(i) Why did Somnath Lahiri congratulate Pandit Nehru? Explain.
Jawaharlal Nehru said that no imposition from the British will be accepted fly the Indian people. Any imposition would be resented and objected to. If any need arises then we will walk the valley of struggle. That is why Somnath Lahiri congratulated Pandit Nehru.
(ii) Explain the intentions of the British in not framing the Constitution beforehand. What did they want?
British wanted to divide the country by dividing the people. They wanted to keep India as its slave indirectly even after independence and it should remain under their shadow. That is why the British were not framing the Constitution in hand. If they could have done then the country’s constitutional problem could have solved earlier which they did not want to do so.
(iii) Explain the views of Sardar Yallabhbhai Patel on the issue. (C.B.S.E. 2010 (D))
Sardar Patel said that we have freedom only to fight among ourselves. That is the only freedom we have got. Therefore, our humble suggestion is that it is not a question of getting something by working out this plan but to declare independence here and now and call upon the interim government and Indian people to stop fratricidal warfare and lookout against its enemy which still has the whip in hand, the British imperialism and go together to fight it and then resolve our claim afterwards when we will be free:
What should the Qualities of a National Language be?
A few months before his death, Mahatma Gandhi reiterated his views on, the language question:
This Hindustani should be neither Sanskritised Hindi nor Persianised Urdu but a happy combination of both. It should al§o freely admit words wherever necessary from the different regional languages and also assimilate words from foreign languages, provided that they can mix well and easily with our national language.
Thus, our national language must develop into a rich and powerful instrument capable of expressing the whole gamut of human thought and feelings. To confine oneself of Hindi or Urdu would be a crime against intelligence and the spirit of patriotism.
(i) Which language was supported by Mahatma Gandhi as the national language and why? Give any two reasons.
Mahatma Gandhi supported Hindustani as the national language for India.
(a) Hindustani was a blend of Hindi and Urdu. It was a very popular language in the country. It was spoken by a large number of people.
(b) It was a composite language enriched by the interaction of different cultures.
(ii) What kind of language did he want? Write any four points.
(a) Gandhiji wanted that Hindi should not be Sanskritised nor Persianised.
It should be a mixture of the two.
(b) It should imbibe words even from the regional languages.
(c) It should incorporate words and terms from different sources and foreign languages.
(d) It should have a composite character expressing human views and values.
(iii) What did Mahatma Gandhi consider against patriotism and loyalty?
He did not remain confined to Hindi or Urdu. He considered it a sin, to stick to any one of these two languages, against patriotic spirit and wisdom.
“The Real Minorities are the Masses of this Country”
Welcoming the Objectives Resolution introduced by Jawaharlal Nehru, N.G. Ranga said:
Sir, there is a lot of talk about minorities. Who are the real minorities? Not the Hindus in the so-called Pakistan provinces, not the Sikhs, not even the Muslims. No, the real minorities are the masses of this country. These people are so depressed and oppressed and suppressed till now that they are not able to take advantage of the ordinary civil rights. What is the position? You go to the tribal areas.
According to law, their own traditional law, their tribal law, their lands cannot be alienated. Yet our merchants go there, and in the so-called free market, they are able to snatch their lands. Thus, even though the law goes against this snatching away of their lands, still the merchants are able to turn the tribal people into veritable slaves by various kinds of bonds and make them hereditary bond-slaves.
Let us go to the ordinary villagers. There goes the money-lender with his money and he is able to get the villagers in his pocket. There is the landlord himself, the zamindar, and the malar and there are the various other people who are able to exploit these poor villagers. There is no elementary education even among these people. These are the real minorities that need protection and assurances of protection. In order to give them the necessary protection, we will need much more than this Resolution
(i) How is the notion of minority defined by N.G. Ranga?
According to N.G. Ranga, the masses or the common people of India were the real minorities. These people have been so depressed that they never enjoyed any civil right.
(ii) Do you agree with Ranga? If not, mention who are the real minorities according to you and why?
Yes, we agree with Ranga’s view because only backward, depressed and oppressed classes could be considered as minorities who must be given necessary facilities to bring them back in the mainstream of society.
(iii) Explain the condition of ordinary villagers.
Condition of ordinary villagers is quite a pity. There goes the moneylender with his money and he is able to get the villagers in his pocket. Zamindar and malguzar exploit these poor villagers. There is no elementary education even among these people.
(iv) Describe the living conditions of the tribals. (C.B.S.E. 2010 (O.D.))
The living condition of tribal people was not good. According to law, their own traditional law, their tribal law, their lands cannot be alienated. Yet our merchants go there and in the so-called free market, they are able to snatch their lands. Thus, even though the law goes against the snatching away of their lands, still the merchants are able to turn the tribal people into veritable slaves by various kinds of bonds and make them hereditary bondslaves.
“I believe separate electorates will be suicidal to the minorities”
During the debate on 27 August 1947, Govind Ballabh Pant said:
I believe separate electorates will be suicidal to the minorities and will do them tremendous harm. If they are isolated forever, they can never convert themselves into a majority and the feeling of frustration will cripple them even from the very beginning. What is it that you desire and what is our ultimate objective? Do the minorities always want to remain as minorities or do they ever expect to form an integral part of a great nation and as such to guide and control its destinies?
If they do, can they ever achieve that aspiration and that ideal if they are isolated from the rest of the community? I think it would be extremely dangerous for them if they were segregated from the rest of the community and kept aloof in an airtight compartment where they would have to rely on others even for the air they breathe… The minorities if they are returned by separate electorates can never have any effective voice.
(i) How will separate electorates prove suicidal to the minorities? Explain the views of G.B. Pant.
G.B. Pant was of the view that the separate electorate will prove suicidal not only to the minorities but for the whole nation as well. It would permanently isolate the minorities from the majority community. As a result, minorities will not have an effective say within the government. It would cripple the minorities and make them feel frustrated.
(ii) Will the creation of separate electorates solve the problem of minorities? If so, how?
From one point of view, the separate electorate
can solve the problems of minorities. They will get a chance to choose a representative from their own community. As a result, their participation in administration will increase and they will get the right status in society. But this way will be proved fatal for national unity.
(iii) Suggest any one way to solve the problem of minorities. (C.B.S.E. 2010 (O.D.))
The most important way to solve the problem of minorities is to reserve seats for them in different institutions.
“The British element is gone, but they have Left the mischief behind”
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel said:
It is no use saying that we ask for separate electorates because it is good for us. We have heard it long enough. We have heard it for years, and as a result of this agitation we are now a separate nation … Can you show me one free country where there are separate electorates? If so, I shall be prepared to accept it. But in this unfortunate country, if this separate electorate is going to be persisted in, even after the division of the country, woe betide the country; it is not worth living in. Therefore, I say, it is not for my good alone, it is for your own good that I say it, forget the past. One day, we may be united … The British element is gone, but they have left the mischief behind. We do not want to perpetuate that mischief. (Hear, hear). When the British introduced this element they had not expected that they will have to go so soon. They wanted it for their easy administration. That is all right. But they have left the legacy behind. Are we to get out of it or not?
(i) What did Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel say in opposition to the provision of separate electorates?
Sardar Patel stated that there was no provision of separate electorates in any free country of the world.
(ii) What were the evil-effects of the separate electorates?
The provision of separate electorates was not good for the country. It has led to the partition of the country. It has brought woes to the people.
(iii) What did he say while making an appeal to abolish separate electorates?
According to Sardar Patel, the provision of separate electorates was like a poison in the political system. It had turned one community against another. It had divided the nation and caused bloodshed.
(iv) According to Patel, whose mischief it was to provide for separate electorates? Why had they done so?
According to Sardar Patel, the provision of separate electorates was the mischief of the British. They have gone but left their mischief behind. They deliberately introduced it to divide the people.