INDIAN NATIONAL MOVEMENT
MHI 09 Free Solved Assignment
MHI 09 Free Solved Assignment Jan 2022
Q2. Explain the idea of economic nationalism. Discuss the main views of its earliest proponents.
Ans. Economic nationalism should be understood as a set of practices to create, bolster and protect national economies in the context of world markets.
The rise and institutionalisation of economic nationalism in the 20th century was a product of economic crisis, nationalist movements and enlarged states.
There has been no return of economic nationalism as in a generalised rise in protective barriers to trade since the financial crash of 2011. Unlike the 1930s, sovereign debt has not motivated states to withdraw from global markets.
The integration, complexity and extensity of the world’s economy mean that a reversal of trade as great as during the interwar period would entail an economic Armageddon.
Whatever future ructions the world’s economy experiences due, above all, to chronic levels of sovereign debt, policy makers should be mindful of this reality.
Simultaneously, they should be aware that ongoing instability may entail greater economic nationalism.MHI 09 Free Solved Assignment
The key lesson from the period after the Second World War is relevant now at a more overtly global level: the importance of planning, regulation and respect for models of economic diversity to further global trade.
Although recently there has been a trend by some countries to try to go it alone, such as the United Kingdom leaving the European Union,
there are other examples of economic nationalism-an ideology where governments assume that the role of government is to intervene in the economy,
intervene in the global economy as the best way to protect a country’s economy and its people from the hardships that they may have suffered by operating in a free market economy, under the economic liberalism ideology.MHI 09 Free Solved Assignment
The “Make America Great” slogan and the decisions by the U.S. to withdraw support from international organizations and multilateral trade agreements the U.S .has championed since World War II is a good example of economic nationalism.
Economic nationalism is also referred to as “Mercantilism” and in a wider sense referred to in international relations theory as “Realism,” tends to be a zero-sum game.
It is an approach where countries tend to be in conflict and develop policies that help them gain at the expense of another country or countries.
In an increasingly interdependent world, political and economic cooperation between countries is a positive sum game because both sides win.
The benefit may not be equal, but both sides benefit. On the other hand, economic nationalism undermines the cooperation established at Bretton Woods after World War II where institutions such as the IMF, WTO, and others established multilateral approaches to solve global problems to the benefit of the majority.
Although economic liberalism is a worldview that the U.S. has championed since World War II and although economic liberalism holds that global trade is a benefit for the economy and people of countries that participate, there have been winners and losers.
While the role of government in economic nationalism is to intervene to help their economies, the role of government in economic liberalism is to define and enforce the rules that keep global trade as fair as possible and not intervene.
In fact, in economic liberalism, the extent to which government can minimize interference, the assertion is that global trade will tend to benefit most those nations who participate and result in a positive sum, win-win scenario. MHI 09 Free Solved Assignment
The rise in economic nationalism undermines the tradition of economic liberalism (globalism) and discourages economic and political cooperation between countries.
When a country decides that they can improve the quality of life, increase jobs, and generally improve their economies by breaking away from bilateral or multilateral agreements, thereby undermining the institutions that have provided for agreements between countries that agreed to the rule of law property rights, methods of exchange,
tax collection, public goods provided to poorer countries, checks and balances on official corruption, there has been a benefit.
In short, the rise of nationalism threatens the rule-based trading system championed by the U.S. since World War II.
Without these rules, without the World Trade Organization serving as a mediator and rules police, the trade would continue but the lack of norms and procedures would create more trade conflicts and would lead to more disputes.
The fewer the rules, the more likely that military power would become more important in trade disputes, rather than working through institutions designed to reduce conflict. Transnational investment would be reduced.
Although not all countries benefit equally and economic liberalism has its winners and losers, it does provide the framework within which economic development is possible providing a way for savings to accumulate and investment to grow, thereby making the world, arguably, a better place, where investment helps economies grow.
Countries benefit with cooperation between countries to mutual benefit, becoming too nationalistic at the expense of its partners is counterproductive.
It is an approach that creates conflict. Being more nationalistic tends to be a zero sum game in an increasingly interdependent world economy, where countries depend on other countries for their economic and political and national security wellbeing.
When companies cooperate, they can become more competitive. When they are more competitive, they hire more workers, pay higher salaries, and otherwise contribute to economic growth. Economic nationalism is a bad policy.
Q4. Write a note on the Swadeshi Movement.
Ans. The Swadeshi Movement, now known as ‘Make in India’ campaign was officially proclaimed on August 7, 1905 at the Calcutta Town Hall, in Bengal. Boycott movement was also launched along with the Swadeshi movement.
The movements included using goods produced in India and burning British-made goods.. Bal Gandadhar Tilak encouraged Swadeshi and Boycott movement after the British government decided the partition of Bengal.MHI 09 Free Solved Assignment
Timeline of Swadeshi movement:
• In 1900, Bengal was the major province in British India. The Indian national movement began in Bengal and thus, Britishers decided to part Bengal.
• When Lord Curzon, then Viceroy of India, announced the partition of Bengal in July 1905, Indian National Congress, initiated Swadeshi movement in Bengal.
Swadeshi movement was launched as a protest movement which also gave a lead to the Boycott movement in the country.
• In 1909, the movement had spread across the country and people had started anti-partition and anti-colonial movements. In Andhra Pradesh, the Swadeshi movement was also known as Vandemataram movement
• In 1910, there were many secret associations that had been set up and there were many revolutionary movements, which were synonymous to Swadeshi movement
• Later movements by Mahatma Gandhi from 1915, such as Satyagraha movement, Non
Cooperation movement etc. were based on Swadeshi movement.
Key people in the Swadeshi movement:
•Bal Gangadhar Tilak
•Bipin Chandra Pal MHI 09 Free Solved Assignment
•Lala Lajpat Rai
•Vo Chidambaram Pillai
Impact of Swadeshi Movement
Decline in Imports: It resulted in significant decline in the foreign imports during 1905-1908.
Growth of Extremism: Movement resulted in growth of extreme nationalism amongst youth which took to violence and wanted to bring an instant end to British dominance.
Morley-Minto Reforms: It forced British dispensation to offer some concessions to Indians in forms of Morley-Minto reforms in 1909.
Gopal Krishna Gokhale played an important role in framing these reforms.
Establishment of Swadeshi Institutions: Inspired by Rabindranath Tagore’s Shantiniketan, the Bengal National College and a number of national schools and colleges in various parts of the country were set up.
• In August 1906, the National Council of Education was set up to organise the national education system.
• A Bengal Institute of Technology was set up for technical education.
Growth in Swadeshi Industries: It led to establishments of swadeshi textile mills, soap and match factories, tanneries, banks, insurance companies, shops, etc.
• It also revived the Indian Cottage Industry.MHI 09 Free Solved Assignment
• Indian industries saw regeneration with reawakening of use of indigenous goods.
Boycott of Buyers and Sellers: The foreign goods including clothing, sugar, salt and various other luxury items were not only boycotted, but they were also burned.
• The Swadeshi movement also led to social boycott of not only buyers but also sellers of foreign goods.
The Gradual Suppression of the Swadeshi Movement
Government Repression: By 1908, the Swadeshi Movement was almost over in an open phase due to government’s violent repression.
Absence of Leaders and Organisation: The movement failed to create an effective
organisation. It was rendered leaderless as most of the leaders were either arrested or deported by the time.
Maintaining the high intensity of such a mass movement was a difficult task in absence of effective leaders.
Internal Conflicts: The internal conflicts and difference in ideologies among the leaders did more harm to the movement than good.
Limited Extent: The movement failed to reach the peasantry and was confined to the upper and middle classes only.MHI 09 Free Solved Assignment
Q5. Write short notes in about 250 words each on any two of the following:
(a) The Subaltern View on Indian National Movement
Ans. A few historians started a new approach. Dismissed the earlier historiographies calling them ‘elite’, and claimed to replace this old, ‘bunkered’ schools with a promise of a new people’s or subaltern approach.
Between two social strata: Their theory is that the basic contradiction in Indian society in the colonial epoch was between the elite, both Indian and foreign, on the one hand, and the ‘subaltern’ groups, on the other, and not between Colonialism and the Indian people.
Two-streamed movement: They, too, deny the existence of any anti-imperialist unity among the Indian people and, thus, that there was nothing like an Indian national movement.
Their conclusion is that there were two distinct movement flows, the real anti-imperialist one of the subalterns and the fake national movement of the ‘elite’.
The latter was led by the Indian National Congress, was a disguise for the struggle for power among the elites.MHI 09 Free Solved Assignment
Sad resemblance with the imperialist and neo-imperialist schools: Sadly the subaltern school’s interpretation of the national movement resembles to the imperialist and neo-imperialist interpretations of the national movement to a great extent.
The only difference is that while the imperialist and neo-imperialist historiography do not split the movement into two kinds but calls the entire national movement a sham, ‘subaltern’ historiography divides the movement into two and for elite stream, it takes the neo-imperialist characterization.
Non-recognition of nationalists’ efforts: It also advocates a general ahistorical glorification of all forms of popular militancy and consciousness and advocates an equally ahistorical contempt for all forms of initiative and activity the intelligentsia, organized Party leaderships and other ‘elites’.
In conclusion, it too almost denies to recognize the genuineness of the actual, historical anti-colonial struggle that the Indian people had spiritedly upraised.
(c) Political Philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi
Ans. Today the world is facing the adverse effects of violence. Countries which once thrived on violence and terror are fast realising the futility of hatred.
This article which was published in the Sunday Statesman, Kolkata 8 February 2004, asserts that Gandhi’s philosophy of nonviolence is being accepted worldwide to create a peaceful and harmonious society. MHI 09 Free Solved Assignment
Gandhi is now emerging as the saviour of a world threatened by superpower violence, even in Gandhi’s life time great minds of the world saw in his work the promise of a new world.
One of them is Romain Rolland (1866-1944) who wrote in his Mahatma Gandhi: The Man who Became One With the Universal Being (1924): “With Gandhi everything is nature, modest, simple, pure – while all his struggles are hallowed by religious serenity.”
Gandhi’s gentle religious temper which was active in his politics was, however, observed 15 years earlier in his first biography Joseph J Doke’s Gandhi, A Patriot in South Africa (1909).
If you wish to seize the essence of Gandhi’s political philosophy read his presidential address at the annual session of the Indian National Congress held at Belgaum in 1924.
The Mahatma said at the end of his address: “Satyagraha is search for truth; and God is Truth. Ahimsa and Nonviolence is the light that reveals that truth to me.
Swaraj for me is a part of that truth”. Mahatma Gandhi is slowly but steadily emerging as a spiritual and moral hero on the international scene.
The Great German existentialist philosopher, Karl Jaspers (1883-1969), wrote in his The Future of Mankind (1958): “Today we face the question of how to escape from physical force and from war, lest we all perish by the atom bomb.
Gandhi, in word and deed, gives the true answer: only a suprapolitical force can bring political salvation.” MHI 09 Free Solved Assignment
This is the voice of the world conscience and this is an echo of the voice of Gandhi. The voice may not reach all ears. But they have reached at least some ears.
What is strange is that Germany, a country responsible for the Second World War, is the country which his now stressing the need for Gandhian non-violence in the modern world.
Actually Germany began to understand Gandhi as early as 1931 when Rene Fullop-Miller published his Gandhi: The Holy Man. He said that political problems must be solved in the Gandhian way: “Gandhi’s nationalism contains none of those elements which makes nationalist movements of the West seemvmenace to peace.”
This is a plea for a Gandhian approach to political problems which is now, generally speaking, the German elite’s view of Gandhi’s nonviolence.
Let us see the attitude to Gandhian nonviolence of the greatest physicist of the modern world after Einstein, Werner Heisenberg.
In an essay on Gandhi he says that “Gandhi’s teaching of nonviolence could prove to be stronger than the vague impersonal conception of an international court of justice.
Gandhi’s unique example shows that a true personal involvement together with the total rejection of force could be very successful politically.”
In 1969 Dr Heimou Rau of Max Mueller Bhavan, New Delhi, edited a collection of essays which was published with the title Mahatma Gandhi As Germans See Him.
It contains 16 essays by eminent German intellectuals on the life and teaching of Gandhi. The essays show how Gandhi’s philosophy of nonviolence has influenced the German mind.
How Gandhi’s ideal has touched the soul of the Anglo-saxon world we can see in Ronald J Terehek’s Gandhi Struggling for Autonomy (1999).
The work explains Gandhi’s idea of the swaraj of our soul which alone can fulfill our political and social obligations. MHI 09 Free Solved Assignment
No less important is Gandhi in His Time and Ours by David Hardiman, a professor at the University of Warwick.
Hardiman seizes the essence of Gandhi’s ideas when he says: “Gandhi’s approach represented a state of mind and not any theory.”
Gandhi’s spiritual and moral approach to our political problem is particularly important today after the US declaration of war on terrorism.
To realise this we have to value Gandhi’s idea of reflection on our self and see what we are. The Pentagon’s hitting power will not end terrorism.
It will only make it more rampant. Let us hope that the people of America, once nursed on the idealism of Emerson,
Thoreau and Whitman will soon begin to understand Gandhi and will abandon the spirit of revenge which now regulates the US policy of dealing with terrorists.
You cannot bring peace through violence. The most effective answer to violence is nonviolence.
Gandhi said in one of his articles in his Harijan (1938): “If even one great nation were unconditionally to perform the supreme act of renunciation, many of us would see in our lifetime visible peace established on earth.”MHI 09 Free Solved Assignment
Q8. How did the Gandhian method of mass mobilisation succeed in bringing women into public life?
Ans. Mahatma Gandhi has played an important role in the participation of women in political activities in India. Gandhi becomes uncompromising in the matter of women’s rights.
According to him woman is companion of man and gifted with equal rights of freedom and liberty. Woman is the better half of humanity, not the weaker sex.
Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi was the first man to encourage participation of women in politics.
The Constitution of India guarantees equal rights to men and women as voters and citizens. Presently there are very few women Parliamentarians in India.
It shows that Gandhi’s ideas about women and their role in political life was a departure from those of the 20th century reformers.
In the 21st century, it is clear that quotas for women in politics have not essentially ensured higher equality. MHI 09 Free Solved Assignment
For the success of democracy, active participation of women is essential.. In this paper my focus is on participation of women in politics in India and Mahatma Gandhi’s role in motivating large numbers of women into mainstream politics.
As per modern theory, both men and women are integral parts of social, economic and political set up of a state, Keeping this background in mind, this paper seeks to focus on the share of women in the electoral process of India.
India became independent in the year 1947. In all the elections held since independence, women had equal voting rights.
Women play a dual role in politics – as voters and political representatives. On the voting front, though adult franchise was granted in 1937, the progressive spirit that pervaded the making of the constitution made it a reality.
The Constitution of India guarantees equal rights to men and women as voters and citizens. Generally, in India, registration and participation of women as contestants is less than that of men. Democracy implies equality for all, men and women.
As against this basic notion of democracy what is normally seen is that women are excluded from different walks of life, more visibly in Politics.
According to data maintained by Inter-Parliamentary Union, which maintains a record of women Parliamentarians, the world has only 20% women as political representatives.
10 years ago, the figure was 15.1%. (Sources: Inter Parliamentary Union, UNDP, Centre for Women and Democracy). MHI 09 Free Solved Assignment
Finland is statistically an ideal example among the top countries. There is 42% representation of women in the legislature, there is no reservation and the Gender Inequality Index places Finland at a favorably high rank.
When we analyzed the data on women MLAs across India, we found that Bihar had the highest percentage of women MLAs, and, ironically, the lowest rate of female literacy.
The 2013 Karnataka assembly polls saw only 5 women elected to the Vidhan Sabha out of a total of 224 members.
Several state elections and Parliamentary elections in 2014 are coming up. How will women electoral contenders do this time round? Their numbers have been rising steadily over the years.
India’s ranking in the above parameters does not present a very good picture. The scores for women Parliamentarians as well as gender inequality are poor.
China is one country which closely compares to India for socio-economic and demographic analyses. There is electoral quota for women in China.
It is ranked 54 with 23% women in the national assembly. The GII rank of China is 35. Mahatma Gandhi said ,”Man and woman will attain equality only when the birth of a girl is celebr lated with as much joy as in the case of boy.”
(Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, Vol. 87. p.229) Mahatma Gandhi’s views about Women: Mahatma Gandhi wrote in Young India in 1921 that the female sex is the nobler of the two, as it is the embodiment of sacrifice, silent suffering, humility, faith and knowledge.
“Of all the evils for which man has made himself responsible, none to me is so degrading, so shocking, or so br /utal as his abuse of the better half of humanity, the female sex, not the weaker sex,” (CW. XXI: p. 105). MHI 09 Free Solved Assignment
He said that women have the right to participate in all the activities of life and like men have equal rights of freedom and liberty.
“She is entitled to a supreme place in her own sphere of activity as man is in his,” (In his speech at Bhagini Samaj, Bombay, in Febr /uary 1918).
He realized that the backwardness of woman was a stumbling block in the path of progress. Gandhi’s View about Women: Gandhiji attended the Second Round Table Conference as the sole representative of the Indian National Congress.
All other delegates from India were nominees of the Viceroy, Lord Irwin. In fighting for women rights, however, Gandhiji wanted the women of India, not to imitate the West, but to apply “methods suited to the Indian genius and Indian environment”.
Need of Women Participation: At the RTC’s federal Structure Committee meeting on September 17, 1931, Gandhiji clarified that, though the Congress was not in favour of any scheme of nominating members to legislative bodies to give adequate representation to minorities, the national organization was duty-bound to sponsor candidates giving fair representation to minorities including special cases like women.
If they were left out, he would “have a clause in the Constitution which would enable the elected Legislature to elect those who should have been elected, but have not been elected or unjustly left out by the electorate.”MHI 09 Free Solved Assignment
Sarojini Naidu was a nominated delegate, Gandhiji, heaving a humorous sigh of relief, remarked: “Thank God! The women there did not put forward a claim either for separate electorate or for reservation of specific number of seats in Legislatures!” (Gandhiji’s address to women at Santiniketan in 1940).
Women Participation on Merit basis: Gandhiji wrote, “I am not enamoured of equality or any other proportion in such matters.
Merit should be the only test. Seeing, however, that it has been the custom to decry women, the contrary custom should be to prefer women, merit being equal, to men even if the preference should result in men being entirely displaced by women.
It would be a dangerous thing to insist on membership on the ground merely of sex. Women and for that matter any group should disdain patronage.
They should seek justice, never favour. Therefore the proper thing is for women as indeed for men to advance the spread not of English or Western education among them, but such education on general lines through their provincial languages as will fit them
for the numerous duties of citizenship. MHI 09 Free Solved Assignment
For men to take a lead in this much-needed reform would be not a matter of favour but a simple act of belated justice due to women.”
(Harijan, April 7, 1946). Women Participation for Strengthening Panchyat: Gandhiji said: “In my opinion, it is degrading both for man and woman that women should be called upon or induced to forsake the hearth and shoulder the rifle for the protection of that hearth.
It is a reversion to barbarity and the beginning of the end.”
At the constructive workers’ conference in Madras on January 27, 1946, Gandhi called upon women to enter the legislatures with the idea of serving the people and not politicking on party-basis.
But how many of these would be able to enter the legislatures in a spirit of service, and strengthen the panchayat base, he asked.
Their aim must be to build from below so that the panchayat foundation would be strong and the structure good.
If any mistake occurred while building from the bottom, it could be rectified immediately and the harm done would not be much.MHI 09 Free Solved Assignment
(Addressing a few girls who called on him at New Delhi on April 7, 1947). Role of Mahatma Gandhi in Women’s Political Participation: During the freedom struggle in the 1930s, Gandhiji exhorted women to take part in Satyagraha movement on par with men.
That 17,000 of around 30,000 persons who courted arrest during the Salt Satyagraha were women volunteers is a conspicuous example of their equal role under the leadership of the Mahatma.
The message Gandhi gave to the women of India was of such a nature that they responded to it in a manner which they had never done before.
“His civil disobedience campaigns br/ought about, in a dramatic manner, the entry of women in large numbers into the public life of India. These became the starting points of women’s emancipation in our land.” (Bose: 74).
It shows that the upliftment of women was given an important place in Gandhi’s constructive programme.
Hearing his clarion call to action women came out in large numbers giving up their sheltered and secluded existence to play their role in the national movement.
Aristocratic women discarded their fineries and adornments and cheerfully marched to prison wearing coarse handspun khadi and handmade chappals.
Kamala Nehru, Sarojini Naidu, Anasuya Sarabhai, Sushila Nayyar and Miraben are a few of the illustrious women associated with the Gandhian movement.
The emancipation of the Indian woman has largely been attributed to the political awakening of the pace of national life in all spheres.
The picketing of liquor, opium and foreign cloth shops in the thirties was almost exclusively done by women. MHI 09 Free Solved Assignment
Gandhi played an important role in motivating women to participate in the freedom movement and in politics. Gandhi’s ideas about women and their role in political life was a departure from those of the 20th century reformers.
He saw women as a potential force in the struggle to build a new social & political order. He consciously attempted to articulate the connections between private and public life in order to be /ing women into the freedom struggle.
However, he failed to come to terms with the fact that oppression is not a moral condition but a social and historical experience relating to production relations.
On the other hand even while insisting that a woman’s real sphere of activity was the home, he was instrumental in creating conditions which could help women br /eak the shackles of domesticity.
Present position of Women Participation in India: In the recent past, Indian records show that there has been an increase in the percentage of women voters.
Such participation owes a lot to the mobilization efforts for spreading the importance of women exercising their franchise made by political parties, NGOs, Action Groups and the general awareness amongst the community. MHI 09 Free Solved Assignment
But we can’t forget that its credit goes to Mahatma Gandhi. Because he was the first man to motivate women to participate in India’s political movement.
Again, a note of caution is required; let it be assumed that political participation always indicates political awareness on the part of the woman voter.
Usually, however, countries that do hold regular elections show an improved recognition of women as a political constituency and parties and candidates tend to adopt pro-women stances and appeal specifically to women’s votes, especially at the time of elections.
This becomes very evident when we look at consecutive elections in the Indian context, wherein there is a growing consciousness of the need to woo the woman voter and the need to pay attention to the needs and issues of women, in the election manifestos of political parties.
Q10. Write short notes in about 250 words each on any two of the following:
(a) Role of the Constituent Assembly, 1946-49
Ans. In the year 1946, on 20 November a decision was taken to convene the first session of the Constituent Assembly on 9 December, 1946.
The number of members was decided to be 389. It was also decided that out of that strength, 296 were to be from the British provinces and 93 to be from the princely Indian states. Elections to elect members from British India were held in July-August 1946.
The Congress won 199 out of 210 general categories of seats. The Congress also won three seats out of four Sikh seats from the Punjab, and three out of 78 seats reserved for Muslims and three seats from Coorg, Ajmer, Mewar and Delhi.
The total tally of the Congress was 208 and the Muslim League won 73 out of 78 Muslim seats. MHI 09 Free Solved Assignment
For these elections to the Constituent Assembly, only the Sikhs and the Muslims were reorganized as minorities and elections for the Constituent Assembly was not held on the basis of universal adult franchise.
In order to make the Constituent Assembly, a wide representative body, the Congress Working Committee took special measures to include representatives of scheduled castes, Parsis, Indian Christians, Anglo-Indians, tribals and women in the Congress list for the general category.
The Congress also took extra care to see that only the best intellectuals are chosen to be included in the list of the members of the Constituent Assembly.
The Indian Muslim League tried its best to put hurdles in the smooth functioning of the Constituent Assembly, despite the best efforts of Nehru’s conciliatory gestures.
In this backdrop, the deliberations of the Constituent Assembly began on 9 December, 1946. Before the commencement of deliberations of the Constituent Assembly, Nehru announced, “the first task of this Assembly is to free India through a constitution, to feed the starving people, and to clothe the naked masses, and to give every Indian the fullest opportunity to develop himself according to his capacity”.
The oldest member, Dr Sachchidanand Sinha was made the Provisional President of the Assembly but, the invitations were dispatched by the secretary of the assembly and not by the Viceroy, though he desired to do so. MHI 09 Free Solved Assignment
The first session was attended by 207 members. The Muslim League stayed away from the deliberations and the Congress Muslims attended the session.
On 11 December, Dr Rajendra Prasad was chosen by election as the first permanent Chairman of the Assembly.
Nehru moved the famous objec-tives resolution on 13 December and it was discussed for a week and they postponed the adoption of the objectives resolution as the members of the Muslim League were absent and the princely states were to join the Assembly.
In the session which took place between January 20 and 22, 1947, the objectives resolution was passed.
The third session of the Assembly took place from 28 April to 2 May 1947, and on 3 June the Mountbatten Plan was announced despite the absence of the Muslim League.
The Mountbatten Plan clearly made the partition of India as India and Pakistan certain.
After the declaration of Independence on 15 August, 1947, the Constituent Assembly became a sovereign body and also doubled as the legislature for the new state.
It served as a constitution-making body as well as a law making organ. A number of committees were created and of such committees, one was headed by B.N. Rao and the other to draft the constitution was headed by Dr B.R. Ambedkar.
In July 1946 itself a committee consisting of Nehru as the Chairman and Asaf Ali, K.T. Shah, D.R. Gadgil, K.M. Munshi, Humayun Kabir, R. Santhanam and N. Gopalaswamy Ayyangar as members was constituted to prepare material and proposals for the constitution. MHI 09 Free Solved Assignment
The Constituent Assembly as well as the Congress Working Committee thoroughly discussed all the points.
This was made clear by Austin as follows: “The Congress Assembly Party was the unofficial, private forum that debated every provision of the constitution and in most cases decided the fate before it” reached the floor of the House.
Every one elected to the Assembly on the Congress ticket could attend the meetings whether or not he was a member of the party or even close to it”.
In the constitution-making process, both Nehru and Sardar Patel played a very important role by their keen involvement.
Bipan Chandra rightly observes that it was Nehru who spelt out the philosophy and basic features of the consti-tution and Sardar Patel played the decisive role in bringing in the representatives of the erstwhile princely states into the Constituent Assembly, in seeing to it that separate electorates were eliminated and in scotching any move for reservation of seats for religious minorities.
Bipan Chandra further adds “Rajendra Prasad won acclaim for his impartiality and dignity as President of the Assembly.
Maulana Azad brought his formidable scholarship and philo-sophical mind to bear on many issues of grave importance”. MHI 09 Free Solved Assignment
The credit also should be given to the Congress for its non-sectarian approach. It is pointed out by Austin, the chronicler of the history of constitution making in India as follows: The Constituent Assembly was a one party body in an essentially one party country.
The Assembly was the Congress and the Congress was India.
There was a third point that completed a tight triangle, the government (meaning the apparatus of elected government both provincial and national), for the Congress was the government too one might assume,
aware of the character of the monolithic political systems in other countries, that a mass party in India would be rigid and narrow in outlook and that its powerful leadership would silence dissent and confine policy and decision making to the hands of the select few.
In India reverse was the case. The membership of the Congress in the Constituent Assembly and outside held social, economic and political views ranging from the reactionary to the revolutionary, and it did not hesitate to voice them.MHI 09 Free Solved Assignment
The leaders of the Assembly, who played the same role in the Congress and in the union government, were national heroes and had almost unlimited power, yet decision making in the Assembly was democratic.
The Indian constitution expresses the will of the many rather than the needs of the few.
The Constituent Assembly consisting of eminent Indians made the Constitution of India between the years 1946 to 1950, and it became operative from 26 January, 1950 by borrowing freely and unabashedly from other consti-tutions.
Bipan Chandra observes, “the wisdom of the US constitution and its Supreme Court, the innovations of the Irish constitution, the time tested conventions of the British Parliament, the administrative minutiae of the Government of India Act 1935, and much else, essence of their own people’s struggle for freedom – all went into the design and content of the Indian Constitution”.
The unambiguous commitment to a democratic, secular, egali-tarian and civil libertarian society by the framers of the constitution is a clear indication of the foresight of the learned makers of the constitution and their commitment for the welfare of all but not of the few.
(b) Poona Pact, 1932
Ans. Poona Pact, (September 24, 1932), agreement between Hindu leaders in India granting new rights to Dalits (low-caste Hindu groups then often labeled “untouchables”).
The pact, signed at Poona (now Pune, Maharashtra), resulted from the Communal Award of August 4, 1932, a proposal by the British government which would allot seats in the various legislatures of India to the different communities in an effort to resolve the various tensions between communal interests. MHI 09 Free Solved Assignment
Dalit leaders, especially Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, supported the proposal, believing it would allow Dalits to advance their interests.
Mahatma Gandhi, on the other hand, objected to the provision of an electorate for the Dalits separate from the Hindu electorate, which in his view would weaken India in its bid for independence.
Though in prison, Gandhi announced a fast unto death, which he began on September
Ambedkar refused to abandon his support for separate electorates until Gandhi was near death.
He and the Hindu leaders then agreed to the pact, which declined separate electorates but gave increased representation to the Dalits within the Hindu electorate for a 10-year period.
Ambedkar complained of blackmail, but the pact marked the start of the movement against “untouchability within the Indian nationalist movement.
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