Solved CBSE Sample Papers for Class 12 Political Science Set 3
[Time Allowed : 3 hrs.] [Maximum Marks] : 100
- All Questions are compulsory.
- Question numbers 1-5 are of 1 mark each. The answers to these questions should not exceed 20 words each.
- Question numbers 6-10 are of 2 marks each. The answers to these questions should not exceed 40 words each.
- Question numbers 11-16 are of 4 marks each. The answers to these questions should not exceed 100 words each.
- Question numbers 17-21 are of 5 marks each. The answers to this question should not exceed 150 words.
- Question numbers 22-27 are of 6 marks each. The answers to this question should not exceed 150 words.
Question.1. What is ‘Amnesty International’ responsible for ?
Answer. “Amnesty International” is responsible for protecting human rights all over the world.
It is a non-government organisation. Its main aim is to promote respect for all the human beings and human rights in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Question.2. Why should the ‘environmental concerns’ be part of contemporary global politics ?
Answer. “Environmental concerns” should be part of contemporary global politics because environmental concerns have a long history. Awareness of the environmental consequences of economic growth acquired an increasingly political character from 1960s onwards.
Question.3. How far is it correct to say that globalisation results in the erosion of State sovereignty ?
Answer. It is correct to say that globalisation results in the erosion of state sovereignty because all over the world, the old welfare state is now giving way to a more minimalist state that performs certain core functions, i.e., maintenance of law and order.
In the place of welfare state, it is the market that becomes the prime determinant of economic and social priorities.
Question.4. Who was P.C. Mahalanobis ?
Answer. P.C. Mahalanobis was an economist and planner who drafted the Second Five-Year Plan (1956-1961).
It was based on the socialist pattern of society.
Question.5. Why did India not join either NATO or SEATO ?
Answer. India did not join either NATO or SEATO because India took particular care staying away from the two alliances.
Question.6. Why is the fall of Berlin Wall in 1989 treated as the end of bipolarity ?
Answer. The Berlin Wall which symbolised the division between capitalist and the communist world was demolished by the people on 9th November, 1989.
This marked the unification of the two parts of Germany and the beginning of the end of the communist bloc and in turn led to the end of the bi-polar politics.
Question.7. How can we protect the rights of the indigenous people with regard to environment ?
Answer. Indigenous people are the people who help to bring the issues of environment, resources and politics together. Today, they live more in conformity with their particular, social, economic and cultural customs and traditions.
We can protect the rights of the indigenous people through the World Council of Indigenous Peoples formed in 1975. Now, they appeal to governments to come to terms with the continuing existence of indigenous nations as enduring communities with an identity of their own.
Question.8. Mention the role of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel towards India’s integration.
Answer. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, also known as the Iron man of India, was India’s Deputy Prime Minister and the Home Minister during the integration of Indian states. He played a historic ‘ role in negotiating with the rulers of prirtcely states firmly but diplomatically and bringing most of them into The Indian union.
It was a very complicated task which required skilful persuasion. For example, there were 26 small states in today’s Odisha. Saurashtra region of Gujarat had 14 big states, 119 small states and numerous other administrations.
Question.9. How has the method of voting changed from the first General Election of 1952 to the General Election of 2004 ?
- In the first General Election it was decided to place inside each polling booth a box for each candidate with the election symbol of that candidate. Each voter was given a blank ballot paper which he/she had to drop into the box of the candidate he/she wanted to vote for.
- After the first two elections this method was changed. Now the ballot paper carried the names and symbols of all the candidates and the voter was required to put a stamp on the name of the candidate he/she wanted to vote for.
- But since 2004, a new method of EVM, ie., Electronic Voting Machine has been introduced in which a voter has to press the button according to his/her choice. Every button contains the name of the candidate and the symbol of the political party.
Question.10. ‘Regionalism does not imply separation’. Explain.
Answer. All regional movements need not lead to separatist demands because regional aspirations are very much a part of democratic politics. Expression of regional issues is not an aberration or an abnormal phenomenon. Even in small countries like the United Kingdom there are regional aspirations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
For all regional movements the best way to respond is through democratic negotiations rather than through suppression.
For instance, look at the situation in the eighties. Militancy had erupted in Punjab. Problems persisted in the North-East, students in Assam were agitating and the Kashmir valley was on the boil.
Instead of treating these as simple law and order problems, the government of India reached a negotiated settlement with regional movements. This produced a reconciliation which reduced the tensions existing in many regions. The example of Mizoram shows how political settlement can resolve the problem of separatism effectively.
All these examples show that the meaningful and justified regional movement need not lead to separatist demands or encouraged to espouse separatism.
Question.11. What are the reasons behind the rise of international terrorism ?
Answer. Terrorism is a non-traditional threat to security because it is a goal-oriented political weapon. It is a war against democracy and crime against humanity.
- The main reason behind the rise of International terrorism is that it seeks to change by force or threat of force a political context or condition that they do not like.
- International terrorism involves the citizens or territory of more than one country.
- Terrorist groups resort to violence to demoralise the government and put it in a situation of counter-violence.
- International terrorism can take the form of hijacking planes or planting bombs in trairB, cafes, markets and other crowded places.
- The major terrorist attacks in USA on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on 11th September 2001 have made the world realise that now terrorism has become a global phenomena because even a super power is not free from terrorist attacks or threats.
Question.12. What is the significance of Kyoto Protocol ? Is India a signatory to this protocol ?
Answer. The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement setting targets for industrialised countries to cut their greenhouse gas emissions. The protocol was agreed to in 1997 in Kyoto in Japan, based on the principles set out in UNFCCC.
- The Kyoto Protocol also enjoined upon its members to protect the climatic system on the basis of equity and in accordance with their common but differentiated respective capabilities.
- Besides, certain gases, the carbon dioxide, methane, Hydro fluorocarbons, etc are considered responsible for global warming and the rise in global temperature which may have catastrophic consequences for life on Earth. The Kyoto Protocol stands for the protection of Earth from all these dangerous gases.
Yes, India is a signatory to this protocol. India signed and ratified the 1997 Kyoto Protocol in August 2002.
Question.13. Compare and contrast the electoral performance of various political parties in the 2009 elections.
Answer. In 2009 the fifteenth Lok Sabha Elections were held. This General Election lasted from 16th April to 13th May. It resulted in the formation of United Progressive Alliance Government (UPA), led by Indian National Congress.
• The UPA won around 261 out of 543 seats. NDA with 158 seats got second position while 23 seats were won by the left parties.
• Many other regional parties became allies to various national level parties like the Trinamul Congress Alliance, Left Alliance etc.
• There were many surprises and disappointments in these General Elections. Around 714 million people exercised their votes, which led to around 58 per cent voter turnout in the whole country.
• Thus, the Lok Sabha v^as to be one of its kinds due to large turnout. The number of voters increased tremendously. The voters of the country again elected the UPA Government and Dr. Manmohan Singh continued to be the Prime Minister of the country for the second term.
To sum up, fifteenth Lok Sabha of 2009 started the second phase of the UPA Government which continued till 2014.
Question.14. Describe any two advantages and two disadvantages of ‘coalition’ government in India.
Answer. With the elections of 1989, started a long phase of coalition politics in India.
Two advantages of coalition government:
The emergence of the coalition era gave rise to Other Backward Classes as a political force. These are communities other than SCs and STs who suffer from educational and social backwardness. These are also referred to as “backward castes”. Now many of the constituents of the Janata Party, like the Bharatiya Kranti Dal and Samyukta Socialist Party, have a powerful rural base among some sections of the OBCs.
Alliance politics: The coalition government provided ample opportunities for the emergence of powerful parties and movements that represented the Dalit and Backward castes like BSP and Bharatiya Kranti Dal. Many of these parties represented powerful regional assertions as well. For instance, the United Front was similar to the National Front of 1989 for it included* Janata Dal and several regional parties. In fact, the BSP under Kanshi Ram was envisaged as an organisation based on pragmatic politics.
Disadvantages of Coalition Government:
One of the drawbacks of coalition government was the rise of politics based on religious identity. After the emergency of 1975 the Bharatiya Jana Sangh merged into the Janata Party and after the fall of the Janata Party it broke up and the supporters of erstwhile Jana Sangh formed the Bharatiya Janata Party.
In the beginning, it embraced ‘Gandhian Socialism’ as its ideology. But when in 1980 and 1984 elections it did not get success, the party changed its ideology and began to emphasise the Hindu nationalist element in its ideology.
Communal Riots : The emergence of a religion based party led to communal riots. For instance, in February-March 2002, large scale violence broke out against Muslims in Gujarat. It is known as Godhra incident. Incidents like this pose a threat to democratic politics.
Question.15. The phrase ‘Aaya Ram, Gaya Ram’ signifies which concept ? Explain its impact on the Indian political system.
Answer. The phrase ‘Aaya Ram, Gaya Ram’ signifies frequent floor crossing by Legislators or changing of party. The concept was developed by the Haryana MLA Gaya Lai in 1967.
He changed his party*thrice in a fortnight from Congress to the United Front back to the Congress and then within nine hours to the United Front again.
Implications on Indian Politics:
- This incident later became a political joke and developed the culture of defection in Indian politics. It created instability in political parties.
- Now, the Constitution has been amended to prevent this practice.
The “Anti-Defection Law” has been implemented. According to this :
- No MLA or MP can change parties after being elected.
- Now the MPs and MLAs will lose their seat in the Parliament or Vidhan Sabha if they defect.
- Besides, the MLAs and MPs cannot differ from the party leaders, they have to accept what they decide.
Question.16. India’s policy of non-alignment has been criticised for being ‘inconsistent’ and ‘unprincipled’. Do you agree ? Why ?
Answer. India’s policy of non-alignment was criticised on a number of counts like :
- India’s non-alignment was said to be “unprincipled”. In the name of pursuing its national interest, India, it was said, often refused to take a firm stand on crucial international issues.
- Secondly, it is suggested that India was inconsistent and took contradictory postures¬Having criticised others for joining alliances, India signed the Treaty of Friendship with the USSR for 20 years in August 1971. This was regarded, particularly by outside observers, as virtually joining the Soviet alliance system.
The Indian government’s view was that India needed diplomatic and possibly military support during the Bangladesh crisis and that in any case the treaty did not stop India from having good relations with other countries including the US.
Question.17. Read the passage the answer the question below:
Answer. Indian democracy was never so close to a two-party system as it was during the 1977 elections. However, the next few years saw a complete change. Soon after its defeat, the Indian National Congress split into two groups …………….. The Janata Party also went through major convulsions David Butler, Ashok Lahiri and Prannoy Roy— Partha Chatterjee.
(a) What made the party system in India look like a two-party system in 1977 ?
(b) Many more than two parties existed in 1977. Why then are the authors describing this period as close to a two-party system ?
(c) What caused splits in Congress and the Janata parties ?
Answer. (a) The imposition of emergency in 1977 and crisis among political parties (ruling party) made the party system in India look like a two-party system.
(b) Two parties which existed in 1977 were (i) Congress and (ii) Non-Congress.
The authors are describing this period as close to a two-party system because this period saw the end of dominance of single party in India and emergence of Janata Party.
(c) Causes for the splits in Congress and Janata Party were—
(i) For Congress—On the issue of candidates for the presidential election in 1969.
(ii) For Janata Party—Tension among three leaders
Morarji Desai, Charan Singh, and Jagjivan Ram for the leadership in 1979.
Question.18. India’s neighbours-often think that the Indian government tries to dominate and interfere in the domestic affairs of the smaller countries of the region. Is this a correct impression ?
Answer. No, the given impression is not correct because India has various problems with its smaller neighbours in the region. Given its size and power they are bound to be suspicious of India’s intentions.
• The Indian government on the other hand, often feels exploited by its neighbours.
• India does not want rather does not like political instability in these countries, fearing, it can help outside powers to gain influence in the region.
• The smaller countries on the other hand fear that India wants to be a regionally dominant power, but it is not justified because geographically India is located centrally and is therefore the only country that borders the others, hence India has very prominent place which should not be misunderstood.
However, whether Indian government tries to dominate and interfere in the domestic affairs of the regional countries will depend more on the people and the governments of the region than any other outside power.
Question.19. Read the following passage and answer the question below ?
“In the history of nation-building only the Soviet experiment bears comparison with the Indian. There too, a sense of unity had to be forged between many diverse ethnic group, religious, linguistic communities and social classes. The scale – geographic as well as demo-graphic – was comparably massive. The raw material the state had to work with was equally unpropitious: a people divided by faith and driven by debt and disease.” — Rama Chandra Guha
(a) List the commonalities that the author mentions between India and Soviet Union and give one example for each of these from India.
(b) The author does not talk about dissimilarities between the two experiments. Can you mention two dissimilarities ?
(c) In retrospect which of these two experiments worked better and why ?
Answer. (a) The above two statements of M.K. Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru reveal or suggest the agenda such as:
• “Enlightened and secular’democracy” to accommodate social diversity and to promote free and fair electoral politics.
• Economic and technological development of India to promote welfare motive.
• Both nations shaped their nations on the linguistic basis.
• A both India and Soviet Union shared same geographical and demographical reasons for the division of states.
(b) The two dissimilarities which the authors do not mention are Soviet Union divided into 15 independent countries by compromising its unity and integrity which is not in India’s case.
(c) The “Indian experiment worked better because it promoted “linguistic and cultural plurality” of the country without affecting the “unity of the nation”.
Question.20.Look at the cartoon given above carefully and answer the following questions:
(a) Does the cartoon refer to a puppet government ?
(b) Describe the role of such a government in the Indian democratic set-up.
(c) What is meant by ‘Support the Government from outside’ ?
Answer.(a) Yes, the above cartoon refers to a “puppet government” and is an example of coalition government.
(b) Such type of government plays both a negative and positive role.
In a very negative way, the coalition or puppet government provides very unstable form of government. Due to its instability decisions are sometimes delayed or not taken unanimously.
On the other side, in its positive way coalition government provides ample opportunity to the regional parties to play a crucial role in forming ruling alliances.
(c) “Support the government from outside” signifies that not taking significant and direct position in the government but help in the formation of government.
For example, in the 1989 election, the National Front received support from two diametrically opposite political groups, i.e., the BJP and the Left Front. On this basis the National Front formed a coalition government but the BJP and the Left Front did not join this government. This is called supporting the government from outside.
Question.21. Study the given map of the world and answer the following questions in your Answer Book.
(a) Identify and name the countries marked A, B, C and D respectively.
(b) Write the names of the following UN Secretary Generals with the names of the countries they belonged to.
(1) Dag Hammarskj&ld (2) Kurt Waldheim
(3) Boutros Boutros-Ghali (4) Kofi A. Annan
Answer. (a) Countries are :
A – Sweden B – Nigeria
C – France D – Egypt
(b) Names of the UN Secretary Generals with the names of the countries they belonged to:
(1) Dag Hammarskjold [1953-1961] – Sweden
(2) Kurt Waldheim [1972-1981] – Austria
(3) Boutros Boutros-Ghali [1992-1996] – Egypt
(4) Kofi A. Annan [1997-2006] – Ghana
(c) The Secretary General of UN is a world moderator. He is responsible for making an annual report to general threaten international peace and security.
Question.22. What is meant by ‘Shock-Therapy’ ? Assess its consequences on the post-communist regimes.
Examine India’s relationship with the US and USSR during the Cold War.
Answer. The Shock-Therapy was the “State of affairs” which signifies the collapse of communism followed by a painful process of transition from an authoritarian socialist system to a democratic capitalist system. The model of transition in Russia, Central Asia and East Europe was influenced by the World Bank and the IMF.
Shock-Therapy varied in intensity and speed among the former second world countries but its direction and features were quite similar.
No, the Shock-Therapy was not the best way to make a transition from communism to capitalism, because it was followed up by several drawbacks like :
- Russia, the large state controlled industrial complex almost collapsed, as about 90 per cent of its industries were put up for sale to private individuals and companies.
- Since, the restructuring was carried out through market forces and not by government directed industrial policies, it led to the virtual disappearance of entire industries. This was called the largest garage sale in history as valuable industries were undervalued and sold at throw away prices.
The largest garage sale in history signifies the ruin and collapse of industrial complex in Russia. Under the effect of Shock-Therapy the restructuring was carried out through magnet forces and not by government directed industrial policies; it led to the virtual disappearance of entire industries. This was called “the largest garage sale” in history as valuable industries were under-valued and sold at throwaway prices.
Under the influence of Shock-Therapy the old system of social welfare was systematically destroyed.
- The withdrawal of government subsidies pushed large sections of the people into poverty.
- The middle classes were pushed to the periphery of society and the academic and intellectual manpower disintegrated or migrated.
- A mafia emerged in most of these countries and started controlling many economic activities.
- Privatisation led to new disparities. Post-Soviet states, especially Russia, were divided in rich and poor regions.
Hence, in the post-cold war era, unlike the earlier system, there was great economic inequality between people.
Under the transition period with the effect of Shock-Therapy the old trading structure of Russia broke down with no alternative in its place.
- The value of the ruble, the Russian currency, declined dramatically. The rate of inflation was so high that people lost all their savings.
- The collective farm system disintegrated leaving people without food security and Russia started to import food. The GDP of Russia also declined from 1989 to 1999.
All these factors forced the Russian Economy to collapse and industrial complex to decline. Conclusion : All these show that the Shock-Therapy administered in the 1990s did not lead the people into the promised utopia of mass consumption. Generally it brought ruin to the economies and disaster upon the people of the entire region.
India’s foreign policy towards US and USSR during the Cold War era was neither negative nor passive.
- In spite ofbeing the founder member Of NAM, India was in favour of actively intervening in world affairs to soften Cold War rivalries.
- India tried to reduce the differences between the alliances and thereby prevent differences from escalating into a full-scale war.
Indian diplomats and leaders often used to communicate and mediate between Cold War rivals such as in the Korean war in the early 1950s.
Besides, during the Cold War/ India repeatedly tried to activate those regional and international organisations, which were not a part of the alliances led by the US and US5R.
- Jawaharla! Nehru, the key member of NAM, reposed great faith in “a genuine Commonwealth of free and cooperating nations” that would play a positive role in softening, if not ending, the Cold War.
Yes, this policy of India towards US and USSR helped India’s interest to take international decisions and stances.
- India was often able to balance one superpower against the other so neither alliance system could take India for granted or bully it.
Question.23. Evaluate India’s changing relationship with USA.
Analyse the role of USA in global war on terrorism after the attack on the World Trade Center on 9/11 in 2001.
Answer. In this phase of global hegemony India has yet to decide exactly what type of relationship it should have with the US. Three possible strategies have been suggested through debates by Indian analysts.
- Aloofness from US : By observing military nature of US hegemony and closeness between India and the US some Indian analysts suggest that India should maintain its aloofness from Washington and focus upon increasing its own comprehensive national power.
- Take advantage of US hegemony: Other group of analysts see the growing convergence of interests between the US and India as a historic opportunity for India. They advocate a strategy that would allow India to take advantage of US hegemony and the mutual convergences to establish the best possible options for itself. According to them opposing US is a futile strategy that will only hurt India in the long run.
- India should Join coalition to challenge US hegemony: The third strategy suggested by the analysts is that India should take the lead in establishing a coalition of countries from the developing world. And over time, this coalition would become more powerful and may succeed in weaning the hegemon away from its dominating ways.
By observing the above strategies we can conclude that Indo-Us relations are perhaps too complex to be managed by a single strategy. Actually India needs to develop a mixed strategy in its foreign policy to deal with the US by maintaining its own identity in the Global hegemony.
The US response to 9/11 was swift and ferocious. The then President Bush had a much harder view of US interests and of the means by which to advance them.
- As a part of its Global war on terror, the US launched Operation Enduring Freedom against all those suspected to be behind this attack, mainly Al-Qaeda and the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.
- The US forces made arrests all over the world, often without the knowledge of the government of the persons being arrested, transported these persons across countries and detained them in secret prisons.
- Some of the prisoners were kept at Guantanamo Bay, a US naval base in Cuba where prisoners did not enjoy the protection of International law.
Operation Iraqi Freedom was the code name given by US when it launched invasion of Iraq on 19th March, 2003. More than forty countries joined in the US-led Coalition of the willing after the UN refused to give its mandate to the invasion.
Aims and Objectives:
- The main purpose of the invasion was to prevent Iraq from developing weapons of Mass Destruction [WMD]:
- But this was an eyewash, because no evidence of WMD has been unearthed in Iraq, so it is being speculated all over the world that the invasion was motivated by other objectives such as, controlling Iraqi oil fields and installing a regime friendly to the US.
The outcome of Iraqi invasion was very complex and contradictory.
- Although the government of Saddam Hussien fell swiftly, the US has not been able to pacify Iraq.
- A full-fledged insurgency against US occupation was ignited in Iraq.
- Iraqi casualties are very much higher than US. The US lost over 3,000 military personnel in the war.
- It is conservatively estimated that 50,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed since the US led invasion.
On the whole it is now widely recognised that the US invasion of Iraq was, in some crucial respects, both a military and political failure.
Question.24. Explain the factors responsible for the rise of the Chinese economy.
Explain the vision of the ASEAN for 2020.
Answer. With the introduction of Open Market Economy, China is now stepping towards the Global Economy and has been regionally recognised as an economic power. Various factors have contributed to this phenomenon.
(a) Integration of Economy. The integration of China’s economy and the inter-dependencies has enabled China to have considerable influence with its trade partners. Hence, its outstanding issues with Japan, US, ASEAN and Russia have been tempered by economic considerations.
(b) Economic Considerations towards Taiwan. China tried its best to resolve its differences with Taiwan by integrating it closely into its economy.
(c) Stability of the ASEAN economy. The Market economy and open door policy have also contributed to the stability of the ASEAN economies after the 1997 financial crisis.
(d) Outward Investment. China’s outward looking investment and aid policies in Latin America and Africa are also projecting China as a global player on the side of developing economies.
Hence, with all these factors and characteristics of market policy China is emerging as one of the major global economic powers.
As ASEAN is rapidly growing into a very important regional organisation so its Vision-2020 has defined an outward looking role for ASEAN in the international community.
(a) The Vision-2020 builds on the existing ASEAN policy to encourage negotiation over conflicts in the region.
(b) For instance, ASEAN has mediated the end of the Cambodian conflict, the East Timor crisis and meets annually to discuss East Asian cooperation.
Thus the components of the ASEAN vision-2020 are (i) Outward looking role (ii) Encouragement to Negotiations.
(iii) Mediatory role of ASEAN.
Like the European Union in 2003, ASEAN also followed the path of establishing ASEAN Community to broaden its objectives beyond the economic and social spheres. The ASEAN Community comprises:
Objectives of ASEAN:
The ASEAN is the only regional association in Asia that provides a political forum where Asian countries and the major powers can discuss political and security concerns.
(a) The primary objectives ASEAN were to accelerate economic growth followed by ‘social progress and cultural development’.
(b) Another important objective was to promote regional peace and stability based on the rule of law and the principles of the United Nations’ charter.
(c) In the present global world with the fastest growing economies, ASEAN broadened
its objectives beyond the economic and social spheres by establishing an “ASEAN Community.”
Question.25. ‘The emergency declared on June 25,1975 is seen as a blur on Indian democracy.’ Assess its impact on the party system in India.
What is ‘Naxalite Movement’ ? Evaluate its role in Indian politics.
Answer. During emergency the political situation became very quiet though tense. It was a period of political crisis with some changes in the party system such as :
- The party in power had absolute majority and yet its leadership decided to suspend the democratic process.
- The makers of India’s constitution trusted that all political parties would basically abide by the democratic norms. This expectation led to the wide and open-ended powers , given to the government in times of emergency.
- Another critical issue related to the party system during emergency was clear tension between institution-based democracy and democracy based on spontaneous popular participation.
- And this tension may be attributed to the inability of the party system to incorporate the aspirations of the people.
Besides, for the first time, opposition parties came together and formed a new party known as the Janata Party. The formation of the Janata Party ensured that Non-Congress votes would not be divided.
Thus, the 1977 elections turned into a referendum on the experience of the emergency and brought to an end the one party dominance and opened the way for the coalition type of government.
The Naxalites were the Marxist and Leninist agricultural workers of Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar and adjojning areas. They organised massive agitations against the economic injustice and inequality and demanded redistribution of land to cultivators.
Naxalite Role in Indian Politics :
- These movements did not participate in elections formally and yet they retained connections with political parties as many participants in these movements, as individual and as organisations were actively associated with parties.
- These links ensured a better representation of the demands of diverse social sections in party politics.
Question.26. Explain any three challenges for nation building faced by India at the time of its independence.
“The era of coalition started in 1977 at the Central Government level and has come to stay in a big way”. Explain.
Answer. Immediately after independence there were many challenges or problems in Independent India that needed a solution. These challenges can be categorised as :
(a) A challenge to shape a nation.
(b) A challenge to establish democracy and,
(c) A challenge to ensure the development and well-being of the entire society.
(a) To Shape a Nation : The first and foremost challenge was the political unification and integration of the territory. India is a land of continental size and diversity. There were around 600 states of varying sizes and population. The partition of the country appeared to confirm every one’s worst fears. Hence there was a serious question about the future of India, i.e., would India’survive as a unified country. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel took upon himself the task of integrating these princely states, which was sometimes completed in stages.
(b) To Establish Democracy : Another challenge was to develop democratic practices in accordance with the Constitution. India opted for a representative democracy, based on the parliamentary form of government.
(c) To Ensure the Development and Well being of the Society: The third challenge was to evolve effective policies for economic development and eradication of poverty and unemployment. The Indian constitution set out in the Directive Principles of state policy the welfare goals that democratic polities must achieve.
All these challenges required a deliberate effort which India tried to put in the way of accommodating social differences, establishing a welfare state and by democratising political institutions.
The Coalition Era began after the 1967 election when no single party could secure majority. Many non-Congress parties came together to form joint legislature parties and supported the non-Congress govts. They were also called as SVD (Samyukt Vidhayak Dal).
The SVD govt, had different ideologists as their partners, e.g.: The SVD government in Bihar had two socialist parties (SSP and PSP) along with CPI on the left and Jana Sangh on the right.
In Purgab it was called the ‘Popular United Front’ which comprised two Akali rival parties (Sant group and Master group) with both the communist parties (the CPI and the CPI (M)), the SSP, the Republican Party and the Bhartiya Jana Sangh.
The Era of coalitions could be seen after the 1989 elections. The Congress was the largest party in the Lok Sabha but did not have a clear majority. It decided to act as opposition party. This led to the National Front (Alliance of Janta Dal and many regional parties). It received major support (not expected as such) from BJP and the left front. The BJP and the Left Front did not join the govt, but gave support from outside. The coalition Era had many Prime Ministers and some of them held office for short durations. Some of them were :
The coalition era showed that no single party could enjoy the majority for two decades and strengthening of Regional Parties.
Question.27. How was ‘one party dominance’ in India different from the ‘one party system’ of Mexico ? In your opinion, which of the two political systems is better and why ?
Examine the legacy of the Emergency of 1975.
Answer. Main differences between Mexico and India under one party domination were as follows: (i) Mexico one party domination i.e. the domination of Institutional Revolutionary Party was based on the “Perfect dictatorship” whereas, in India the Congress Party’s domination was based on “popular consensus”.
(ii) In Mexico the elections were often rigged and manipulated by the ruling party i.e. PRI but in India elections were based on competition among political parties.
(a) ‘One party dominant systems’ means that a single party enjoys monopoly of power over a long period of time and exclusion of other parties to reach the power.
(b) No. The dominance of one party did not mean that India was really not a democracy. Even though Congress had dominance Era, the Indian political system is still democratic for the following reasons:
- Open nature of the Indian political system, i.e., existence of multi-party system.
- At the time of independence, there was no strong political party except the Congress.
- The role of Congress during our freedom struggle could be remembered and people cast votes as their tribute to the Congress leaders.
- The regional parties gained importance at national levels and multi-party system had come into the picture since 1989.
- The advancement in the electoral system (electronic voting machine, common platform for political agenda) strengthened the democratic pattern.
- Active participation of women and improvement in Panchayat Raj system and its success express Indian political system as democratic.
The legacy of the emergency of 1975 was felt in every sphere of people’s life and the politics of the nation as well.
- Between the elections of 1977 and 1980, the party system had changed dramatically. Now the Congress Party identified itself with a particular ideology, claiming to be the only socialist and pro-poor party.
- With the change in the nature of the Congress Party, other opposition parties relied more and more on what is known in Indian politics as non-Congressism.
- In an indirect manner the issue of welfare of the backward castes also began to dominate politics since 1977. For instance the Northern states elected non-Congress governments in which the leaders of the backward castes played an important role.
- Besides, the emergency and the period around it can be described as a period of constitutional crises because it had its origins in the constitutional battle over the jurisdiction of the Parliament and the judiciary.
- On the other hand, it was also a period of political crisis. The party in power had absolute majority, yet, its leadership decided to suspend the democratic process.
- Another critical issue was the role and extent of mass protests in a Parliamentary democracy. The emergency period saw a clear tension between institution-based democracy and democracy based on spontaneous popular participation for which the party system was to be blamed.