Solved CBSE Sample Papers for Class 12 Political Science Set 12

[Time Allowed : 3 hrs.]                                                                                              [Maximum Marks] : 100

General Instruction:

  1. All Questions are compulsory.
  2. Question numbers 1-5 are of 1 mark each. The answers to these questions should not exceed 20 words each.
  3. Question numbers 6-10 are of 2 marks each. The answers to these questions should not exceed 40 words each.
  4. Question numbers 11-16 are of 4 marks each. The answers to these questions should not exceed 100 words each.
  5. Question numbers 17-21 are of 5 marks each. The answers to this question should not exceed 150 words.
  6. Question numbers 22-27 are of 6 marks each. The answers to this question should not exceed 150 words.

Question.1. On which ideology was the Soviet political system based ?
Answer. The Soviet political system was based on the ideology of planned economy controlled by the state.

Question.2. Correct the following statement and rewrite:
“The present Secretary General of the United Nations is Ban-Ki-Moon, the first African to hold the post.”
Answer. The present Secretary General of the United Nations is Ban-Ki-Moon from South Korea, the first Asian to hold the post.

Question.3. What did BWC (Biological Weapons Convention), 1972 decide ?
Answer. The BWC (Biological Weapons Convention) of 1972 decided to ban the production and possession of Biological weapons. More than 155 states acceded to the BWC.

Question.4. Why did the leaders of the national movement cherish the ideal of a secular nation ? Give any one reason.
Answer. The leaders of the national movement cherished the ideal of a secular nation in order to protect, preserve and promote the cultural and linguistic diversity of the Indian nation. They also tried to accommodate the social diversities and social divisions.

Question.5. What was Chipko movement ?
Answer. Chipko Movement was an environmental movement started in 1973 in Uttarakhand. It began in two villages when the forest department refused permission to the villagers to fell ash trees for making agricultural tools.

Question.6. Give any two reasons why Veto Power of the permanent members of Security Council can not be abolished.
Answer. Veto Power of the permanent members of Security Council cannot be abolished because:
(a) The world may not be ready for such a radical step. Without Veto Power there is a danger that the great powers like USA, Britain, Russia, etc. would lose interest in the world body.
(b) Secondly, without the support and involvement of great powers the UN would be ineffective and the world would be back to pre- 1945 position.

Question.7. Mention any four threats, except war, to human security.
Answer. Human Security suffers from some non-traditional threats which go beyond military threats like:
(i) Global poverty (ii) Health epidemics
(iii) Terrorism (iv) Human Rights

Question.8. How have technological advancement and recognition of inter-connectedness affected globalisation ?
Answer. Technological advancement and recognition of inter-connectedness hasaffected globalisation in such ways follows as:

  1. Rapid improvement in information and communication technology has stimulated the
    globalisation process.
  2.  The invention of the telegraph, the telephone and the microscope, Internet, e-mail etc. in more recent times has revolutionised communication between actors in different parts of the world.

Question.9. Why was National Fish Workers’ Forum formed ?
Answer. In the nineties the National Fish workers forum was formed to oppose the move of the government to issue licenses to foreign trawlers.

  1.  Actually in 1991 the government permitted entry to mechanised trawlers and technologies like bottom trawling for largescale harvesting of fish in the Indian sea.
  2.  In July 2002, NFF called for a nationwide strike and joined hands with organisations all over the world for protecting ecology and lines of the fish workers.

Question.10. Who are indigenous people ? What institutions do they follow ?
Answer. Indigenous people are the people who help to bring the issue of environment resources and politics together.
The UN defines indigenous population as comprising the descendants of people who inhabited the present territory of a country at the time of arrival of different cultures and people.
They follow particular social, economic and cultural customs and traditions. In 1975, indigenous people formed World Council of Indigenous Peoples which later on got consultative status in the UN.

Question.11. Mention any four realities that have changed the world politics after the Cold War.
Answer. Following are the four main realities which have changed the world politics after the Cold War:
(i) The end of Bipolarity (ii) Collapse of the Second World Power
(iii) Fall of Berlin Wall (iv) Unification of Germany
(i) The end of Bipolarity— With the disintegration of the Soviet Union there was the end of the Cold War and this left open only two possibilities – either only one super power would dominate and create a unipolar system or different countries would come up on the world stage to bring a multipolar system. This signifies the end of Bipolarity.
(ii) Collapse of the Second World Power—The end of the Cold War and the disintegration of Soviet Union brought about a bi§ change in the world scenario. The collapse of the second world power, Le., USSR, and emergence of unipolar world with US as the sole superpower.
(iii) Fall of Berlin Wall— The Berlin Wall which symbolised the division between capitalist • and the communist world was demolished by the people on 9 November, 1989. This marked the beginning of the end of the communist bloc.
(iv) Unification of Germany— Another significant reality that changed the world politics
was the unification of Germany. Germany which was divided after the second world war got unified in the 1990s.

Question.12. Mention the name of any two founders of NAM (Non-Aligned Movement). The first NAM summit was the culmination of which three factors ?
Answer. The roots of NAM go back to the friendship between three leaders;
(i) Josip Broz Tito of Yugoslavia
(ii) Jawaharlal Nehru of India
(iii) Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt
The conference of Afro-Asian leaders held at Bandung in 1955 was known as the ‘Bandung Conference. This conference gave an opportunity for common understanding of international problems.
(i) Nehru, one of the leaders of this conference, touched upon the moral fibre of Non-alignment.
(ii) The conference was symbolic of the nascent solidarity of Asia and Africa and demonstrated the growing maturity of the Afro-Asian nations.
(iii) The Bandung Conference, therefore, represented the desire of Afro-Asian countries to play an independent and constructive role in world affairs.

Question.13. Describe any four issues relating to environmental degradation.
Answer. In the Global Era there are som(e issues related to environmental degradation which have been further considered as global issues and considerably fall within the scope of contemporary world politics. These issues are as follows :

  1. Depletion of Natural Resources— Throughout the world cultivable area is barely expanding any more and a substantial portion of existing agricultural land is losing fertility.
  2.  Loss of Biodiversity— Natural forests which help to stabilise the climate, moderate water supplies and harbour. But majority of the plant biodiversity on land are being cut down and people are being displaced.
  3.  Depletion of Ozone— A steady decline in the total amount of Ozone in the Earth’s stratosphere poses a real danger to ecosystems and human health.
  4. Coastal Pollution— On the other side coastal pollution too is increasing globally. Although the open sea is relatively clear, the coastal waters are becoming increasingly polluted largely due to land based activities.

Question.14. Explain any four conflicts during the Presidential election of 1969.
Answer. The formal split in the Congress took place in 1969 on the issue of Presidential Election. Actually the factional rivalry between the syndicate and Indira Gandhi came in the open in 1969 on the nomination of a candidate for the president’s post.

  1.  Despite Mrs. Gandhi’s reservations, the syndicate managed to nominate her long time opponent and then Speaker of the Lok Sabha, N. Sanjeeva Reddy, as the official Congress candidate for the presidential elections.
  2.  Indira Gandhi retaliated by encouraging the then Vice-President, V.V. Giri to file his
    nomination as an independent candidate.
  3.  During election, the then Congress President, S. Nijalinagappa issued a “whip” asking all the Congress MPs and MLAs to vote in favour of Sanjeeva Reddy.
  4.  On the other hand, after silently supporting V.V. Giri, the Prime Minister openly called for a conscience vote-to vote the way they want.
    And, the election ultimately resulted in the victory of V.V. Giri and the defeat of Sanjeeva Reddy.

Question.15. During the early years of independence, despite the fact that the opposition parties had a token representation, they piayed a crucial role in maintaining the democratic character of the system. How ?
Answer. In the first decade of the electoral politics, India did not have a recognised opposition party. But some of the vibrant and diverse opposition parties had come into being even before the first general election in 1952.
All these opposition parties succeeded in gaining only a token representation in the Lok Sabha and State assemblies during this period. Yet their presence played a crucial role in maintaining the democratic order.

  1.  Offered sustained and principled criticism— These opposition parties offered a sustained and principled criticism of the policies and practices of the Congress Party. This kept the ruling party under check and often changed the balance of power.
  2. Provided political alternative— Not only this, by keeping democratic political alternative alive, these parties prevented the resentment with the system from turning anti-democratic.
  3.  Shaped our country’s ideal— These parties also groomed the leaders who were to play a crucial role in the shaping of our country.
  4.  Provided conducive environment—In the early years there was a lot of mutual respect between the leaders of the Congress and those of the opposition. For example, the interim governmehf that ruled the country after the declaration of independence and the first general election included opposition leaders like Dr. Ambedkar and Shyama Prasad Mukherjee in the cabinet.

Question.16. Why is the decade of sixties labelled as a ‘dangerous’ decade ?
Answer. The 1960s is labelled as the ‘dangerous decade’ because of some unresolved problems like poverty, inequality and communal and regional divisions.
There was speculation that all these could lead to a failure of the democratic projects or even the disintegration of the country.

  1. Economic Crisis— Due to the India-China and Indo-Pak war there was economic crisis in India. So the government of Indira Gandhi decided to devalue the Indian rupee. Consequently, the economic situation triggered a price rise.
  2.  Political Earthquake— the election of 1967 was termed as the Political Earthquake because it jolted the Congress at both the national and state levels. Half the ministers in Indira Gandhi’s cabinet were defeated.
  3.  Food Crisis— Besides, due to faifur’e of monsoons, drought occurred and this created a serious food crisis in India during 1960s.
    Hence, there was speculation that all these challenges could lead to failure of the democratic project or even the disintegration of the country.

Question.17. Read the paragraph given below carefully and answer the following questions:
We have a Muslim minority who are so large in numbers that they cannot, even if they want, go anywhere else. That is a basic fact about which there can be no argument. Whatever the provocation from Pakistan and whatever the indignities and horrors inflicted on non-Muslims there, we have got to deal with this minority in a civilised manner. We must give them security and the rights of citizens in a democratic State. If we fail to do so, we shall have a festering sore which will eventually poison the whole body politic and probably destroy it.
Jawaharlal Nehru, Letter to Chief Ministers, 15 October 1947.
(i) In spite of indignities and horrors inflicted on non-Muslims by Pakistan, why Jawaharlal Nehru wanted to deal with the Muslim minority in a civilised way ?
(ii) Why this minority shotild be given the security and rights on the same footing as to all others in a democratic system.
(iii) If this minority was not provided security and rights what kind of scenario is envisaged ?
Answer. (i) Because Muslim minority in India were large in numbers. It is their right to go anywhere
and settle but in a democratic set up everyone’s given equal opportunity.
(ii) J.L. Nehru argued that we must give the Muslim minority security and the rights of citizens in a democratic state. Apart from ethical and sentimental reasons there are some prudential reasons which helped India to realise its long charised goals and principles such as socialism, equality, liberty and fraternity.
(iii) If we fail to provide security and rights to minorities, it would affect the basic nature of democratic system. It is also against the secular principles of India. It may eventually affect not only India’s foreign policy it may pose a threat to other minorities in India. It may lead to the disintegration of Indian states.

Question.18. Read the passage and answer the following Questions:
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
(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 two-party system?
(c) What caused splits in the Congress and the Janata party?
Answer. (a) The imposition of emergency in 1977 and crisies in 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.

Question.19. Read the passage and answer questions below:
nearly all ‘new social movements’ have emerged as corrective to new maladies environmental degradation, violation of the status of women, destruction of tribal cultures and the undermining of human rights — none of which are in and by themselves transformative of the social order. They are that way quite different from revolutionary ideologies of the past. But their weakness lies in their being so heavily fragmented. a large part of the space occupied by the new social movement seem to be suffering from various characteristics which have prevented them from being relevant to the truly oppressed and the poor in the form of a solid unified movement of the people. They are too fragmented, reactive, ad hocish, providing no comprehensive framework of basic social change. Their being anti-this or that (anti-West, anti-capitalist, anti-development, etc.) does not make them any more coherent, any more relevant to oppressed and peripheralized communities. — Rajni Kothari
(a) What is the difference between new social movements and revolutionary ideologies?
(b) What according to the author are the limitations of social movements ?
(c) If social movements address specific issues, wouldyoosaythattheyam’fragmented’ or that they are more focused ? Give reasons for your answer by giving examples.
Answer. (a) The main difference between new social movements and revolutionary ideologies is that like revolutionary ideologies, none of new social movements are in and by themselves “transformative of the social order” but they emerged as corrective of new maladies.
(b) 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 candidate 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.20. What was the implication of “Aya Ram…”?
(a) To which year does the cartoon refer ?
(b) Name the person for whpm this comment ‘Aya Ram Gaya Ram’ was made.
(c) What was the implication of ‘Aya Ram?
Answer. After the incident the practice of defection ie. changing party allegiance has been declared illegal and a specific Anti-defection law has been passed to minimised the practice of Defection.
(a) The above cartoon refers to the year 1967.
(b) The comment Aya Ram, Gaya Ram’ was made for Haryana’s MLA Gaya Lai. He changed . his party thrice in a fortnight from Congress to United Front, back to Congress and then within nine hours to United Front again.
(c) After the incident the practice of defection ie. changing party allegiance has been declared illegal and a specific anti-defection law has been passed to minimise the practice of defection.

Question.21. Study the map given regarding Assembly Election Results, 1967 and answer the following question:
(i) What picture did results of election 1967 bring into Indian politics ?
(ii) In which four states of the country, did the Congress not get a majority in the state legislature ?
Answer. (i) The election of 1967 brought into picture the phenomenon of coalitions. Since no single party had got majority, various non-Congress parties came together to from joint legislature parties (called Samyukta Vidhayak Dal) that supported non-congress governments. It most of these cases the coalition partners were ideologically incongruent. In Punjab it was called the “Popular United Front” which comprised two rival Akali parties—Sant group and Master group with both the communist parties— CPI and the CPI(M).
(ii) Orissa, Kerala, Bihar and Madras were the states where the Congress did not get a majority in the State Legislature in 1967.

Question.22. How did the New International Economic Order come into being ? What reforms were proposed by UNCTAD in its report in 1972 ?
‘India and the USSR enjoyed a special relationship during the Cold War, which led critics to say that India was a part of the Soviet Camp.’ Do you agree ? Support your answer with any two arguments.
Answer. The idea behind the ‘New International Economic Order’ (NIEO) was to ensure the sustainable economic development of the ‘Least Developed Countries of NAM’. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) brought out a report in 1972 entitled ‘Towards a New Trade Policy for Development.’
The report proposed a reform of the global trading system to

  1.  give the Least Developed Countries [LDCs] control over their natural resources exploited by the developed western countries.
  2. obtain access to western markets so that the LDCs could sell their products and therefore, make trade more beneficial for the poorer countries.
  3.  reduce the cost of technology from the western countries.
  4. provide the LDCs with a greater role in international economic institutions.

No, we do not agree with the statement because Indo-Russian relations are embedded in a history of trust and common interests and are matched by popular perceptions.
Following arguments can be considered in its favour:

  1.  Common view on the multipolar world order : Russia and India share a vision of multipolar world order. For both these countries a multipolar world order is the co-existence of several powers in the international system, collective security, greater regionalism, negotiated settlement of international conflicts, an independent foreign policy for all countries and decision making through bodies like the UN that should be strengthened, democratised and empowered.
  2.  India benefits from Russia : India gets meaningful benefits for having healthy relations with Russia on the issues like Kashmir, energy supplies, sharing information on international terrorism, access to central Asia and balancing its relations with China.
  3.  Russia’s gains: Like India, Russia stands to gain from this relationship because India is the second largest arms market for Russia.
  4.  Besides, Indian military gets most of its hardware from Russia. Since India is an oil importing nation, Russia is important to India and has repeatedly come to help India during its oil crisis.
  5.  In order to meet the demands of energy India is trying to increase its energy imports from Russia and the Republics of Kazakhistan and Turkmenistan. This also broadened the scope for partnership and investment in oilfields.
  6.  India has also strengthened its relations with Russia for her nuclear energy plans and space industry. India gets the cryogenic rocket from Russia whenever needed.
  7.  Thus, we may safely conclude that India has maintained good relations with all the
    post-communist countries. But the strongest relations are still those between Russia and India.

Question.23. Are there any limitations on the hegemony of the US ? Explain briefly.
How has the European Union risen to being a super-national organisation ? What are its limitations?
Answer. As history reveals every empire declines because of its weaknesses inherent in itself, the biggest constraints to American hegemony lie within the heart of hegemony itself. Moreover, we can identify ‘three constraints on American power’, which were actually not in operation in the years following 9/11. Recently all these constraints are slowly beginning to operate. Institutional Architecture : The very first constraint lies in the institutional architecture of the American state. A system of division of powers between the three branches of government places significant brakes upon the unrestrained and immoderate exercise of America’s military power by the executive branch.
Open nature of American society possesses constraint : The second constraint on American hegemony is also domestic in nature and stems from the open nature of American society. In spite of mass media’s promotion or imposition of a particular perspective on domestic opinion in the US, there is nevertheless a deep scepticism regarding the purposes and methods of government in American political culture.
And this factor in the long run, is a huge constraint on US military action overseas, Le., towards the ‘Invasion Policy of America.’
NATO as a constraint on American Hegemony : The most important constraint on American hegemony is NATO. It is the only organisation in the international system that could possibly moderate the exercise of American hegemony today.
Actually, the US has an enormous interest in keeping the alliance of democracies that follow the market economies and therefore it is possible that its allies in the NATO will be able to moderate the exercise of US hegemony through their liberal economic policy.
‘European Union’ was established in 1992 after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The European Union started as an Economic Union but over time it has evolved from Economic Union to increasingly political one.
EU now has started to act more as a nation-state.
(a) It has tried to expand areas of cooperation while acquiring new members, especially from the erstwhile Soviet bloc.
(b) Besides, European Union has its own flag, anthem, founding date and currency.
(c) It has also some form of a common foreign and security policy in its dealings with other nations.
Although, European Union is a super-national organisation and is able to intervene in economic, political and social areas, in many areas its member states have their own foreign relations and defence policies that are often at odds with one another.
(a) For instance, Former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair was America’s partner in the Iraq invasion and many of the European Union’s newer members made up the US-led ‘Coalition of the willing’ whereas, Germany and France opposed American policy.
(b) The integrationist Ag%nda, also at odds, limits the European Union’s ability. For example, Britain’s former Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher kept the UK out of the European market.
(c) Denmark and Sweden have resisted the Maastricht Treaty and the adoption of the Euro. All these odds limit the ability of the EU to act in matters of foreign relations and defence.

Question.24. What were the factors which led to the popularity of Indira Gandhi’s government in the early 1970s ?
“Governments that seem to be unstable and quarrelsome are severely punished by the voters.” Explain with reference to Janata Party rule.
Answer. In the early 1970s the government of Indira Gandhi gained popularity due to various factors such as: .

  1.  During this period the government made conscious attempts to project its socialist credentials.
  2. Indira Gandhi vigorously campaigned for implementing the existing land reform laws and undertook further land ceiling legislation.
  3.  Not only this, in order to end her dependence on the other political parties, she strengthened her party’s position in the Parliament and sought a popular mandate for her programmes. Indira Gandhi’s government recommended the dissolution of the Lok Sabha in December 1970.
  4.  The crisis in East Pakistan and the Indo-Pak War leading to the establishment of Bangladesh added one more feather to the popularity of Indira Gandhi.
  5.  In this way, Indira Gandhi and her government was seen not only as the protector of the poor and the underprivileged but also as a strong government.
  6. The Congress was now in power in almost all the states and restored its dominance. It
    was also popular across different social sections.

The given statement is very much justified because emergency of 1975 at once brought out both weaknesses and the strength of India’s democracy. There are many observers who think that India ceased to be democratic during the emergency.

  1.  It was a period of political crisis with changes in the party system. The party in power had absolute majority and yet its leadership decided to suspend the democratic process.
  2. And, the result of the 1977 election took everyone by surprise. For the first time since independence the Congress Party was defeated and brought to an end-the one party dominance. It opened the way for the opposition and the coalition type of government.
  3.  Basically, the most valid reasons for the defeat of the Congress Party was the people’s verdict which was decisively against emergency. The opposition fought the election on the slogan of ‘Save Democracy’.
  4.  The Janata Party made this election a referendum on the emergency. Its campaign was focussed on the non-democratic character of the Congress rule and on the various excesses that took place during this period.
  5. Thus, the 1977 elections turned into a referendum on the experience of the emergency and proved that Governments that are perceived to be anti-democratic are severely punished by the voters.
    Conclusion—Thus, the statement is very much justified with Janata Party Rule. After the 1977 general election, the Janata Party came into power. But from the very beginning there was stiff competition among fts leaders for the post of Prime Minister, which showed party lacked direction, leadership and a common programme. This ultimately led to the mid¬term election in 1980. Again, Janata Party government could not bring about a fundamental change in policies from those pursued by the Congress.
    Hence, fresh Lok Sabha elections were held in 1980, in which the Janata Party suffered a comprehensive defeat.

Question.25. What were the consequences of the partition of India in 1947 ?
Explain how the General Elections of 1952 in India were a landmark in the history of democracy all over the world.
Answer. The partition year 1947 was the year of one of the largest, most abrupt, unplanned and tragic transfers of population that human history has known.

  1.  Communal Riots: In the name of religion, people of one community ruthlessly killed and maimed people of the other community. There were killings and atrocities on both sides of the border. Cities like Lahore, Amritsar and Kolkata became divided into ‘communal zones’.
  2. Social Sufferings: People went through immense sufferings. They were forced to abandon their homes and move across borders. Many secured temporary shelter in ‘refugee camps’. Thousands of women were abducted on both sides of the border.
    (a) In many cases women were killed by their own family members to preserve the ‘family honour’.
    (b) Many children were separated from their parents. Those who did manage to cross the borderfound that they had no home. Hence, for lakhs of these refugees’ the country’s freedom meant life in ‘refugee camps’.
  3.  Administrative Concerns and Financial Strains : The partition saw not merely a division of properties, liabilities and assets or a political division of the country and the administrative apparatus. What also got divided were the financial assets and things like tables, chairs, typewriters, paper-clips, books and also musical instruments of police band.
    (a) The employees of government and the railways were also divided.
    (b) Above all, it was a violent separation of communities who had hitherto lived together as neighbours. It is estimated that the partition forced about 80 lakhs to migrate across the new border. Between five to ten lakh people were killed in partition related violence.
    (c) Besides, the partition had also created severe conflict between the two communities, i.e., Hindus and Muslims. Keeping all this trauma in view, writers, poets and film makers in India and Pakistan have expressed the ruthlessness of the killings and the sufferings of displacement and violence in their novels, short stories, poems and films. They coined a phrase to describe partition as a ‘division of hearts’.

The general elections of 1952 became a landmark in the history of democracy because of the following reasons:

  1.  Big Test of Democracy— The first general election was the first big test of democracy in a poor and illiterate country. Till then democracy had existed only in prosperous countries like in Europe and North America where everyone was literate.
  2. India experimented^with Universal Adult Franchise— India experimented with Universal Adult Franchise which by that time had not been given in some European countries. It was restricted for women. This appeared as India’s bold and risky step.
  3. Elections were competitive— Not only this, the elections were competitive. There were on an average more than four candidates for every seat.
  4.  Level of participation was encouraging and fair— Even the level of participation in elections was encouraging and more than half the eligible voters turned out to vote on the day of elections. And when results were declared, these were accepted as fair even by the losers.
    Thus, observers outside India were very much impressed. Undoubtedly India’s general elections cf 1952 became a landmark in the history of democracy ali over the world.

Question.26. Explain how the Indian government has been pursuing the path of democratic negotiation to solve the Kashmir issue.
“After the elections in 1989, an era of coalition started in which political parties are not aligning or re-aligning on the basis of ideologies.” Explain.
Answer. The Kashmir issue is not just a dispute between India and Pakistan. This issue has external and internal dimensions. It involves the issue of Kashmir identity known as Kashmiriyat and the aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir for political autonomy.
The Indian government has been pursuing the path of democratic negotiations to solve the Kashmir issue:

  1.  Kashmir has been given a special status by Article 370 in our Constitution.
  2. Article 370 gives greater autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir compared to other states of India.
  3.  Now the state has its own constitution and provisions of the Indian constitution are not applicable to the state.
  4.  Kashmir state legislature has the sole power to pass any law.
  5.  It has democratically elected representatives.
  6. But since 1989 the state has come in the grip of a militant movement mobilised around the demand for a separate Kashmiri nation. To tackle the situation, for a number of years, the state was under President’s rule, the Indian government always pursues the policy of Democratic negotiations to solve the Kashmir issue.

The above statement is justified because in the new era of coalition politics, the emphasis of political parties is on pragmatic considerations rather than on ideological positions and political alliance without ideological agreement. For instance :

  1.  Coalition politics has shifted the focus of political parties from ideological differences to power sharing arrangements.
  2. Thus most parties of the NDA did not agree with the ‘Hindutva’ ideology of the BJP, yet they came together to form a government and remained in power for a full term.
    Conclusion— Thus with the elections of 1989, a long phase of coalition parties began in India. Since then there have been nine governments at the centre, all of which have either been coalition governments or minority governments supported by other parties. In this new phase any government could be formed only with the participation or support of many regional parties without aligning on the basis of ideologies.

Question.27. What was Narmada Bachao Andolan ? What was the criticism against it ?
The Shah Commission was appointed in 1977 by the Janata Party government. Why was it appointed and what were its findings ?
Answer. Narmada Bachao Andolan was a loose collective local organisations’ movement to save river Narmada. This movement opposed the construction of multi-purpose project known as the • Narmada Sagar Project.

  1.  Since its inception the Narmada Bachao Andolan linked its opposition to the Sardar Sarovar Project with larger issues concerning the nature of ongoing developmental projects, efficacy of the model of development that the country followed and about what constituted public interest in a democracy.
  2.  Thus, the movement demanded proper and just rehabilitation of all those who were directly or indirectly affected by the project.
  3.  The NBA movement also questioned the nature of decision making process that go in the making of mega scale development projects.
  4. The NBA also insisted that local communities must have a say in such decisions and that they should also have effective control over natural resources like water, land and forests.

Criticism against Narmada Bachao Andoian
(a) Gujarat state government vigorously opposed the argument and agitation of the movement because the state has benefited from the project. Besides,
(b) the movement’s demand to stop the construction of the dam was severely criticised by many leaders and environmentalists on the following grounds :

  1. The obstruction to the process of development
  2.  Denial to the access to water to many people and
  3. Hurdle to economic development.
    Narmada Bachao Andoian could not gain much support among the main stream apolitical parties including the opposition parties.

The Shah Commission was appointed in May 1977 by the Janata Party government. It was a commission of inquiry headed by Justice J.C. Shah, retired Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India to inquire into:

  1.  Several aspects of allegations of abuse of authority, excesses and malpractices committed and action taken in the wake of emergency, proclaimed on 25th June, 1975.
  2.  The commission examined various kinds of evidences and called scores of witnesses to give testimonies. This included Indira Gandhi who appeared before the commission but refused to answer any questions.

Findings of Shah Commission
The findings of Shah Commission in the form of reports were tabled in the two houses of parliament.

  1.  The investigations by Shah Commission after the Emergency found out that there were many ‘excesses’ committed during the emergency.
  2.  It estimated that nearly one lakh eleven thousand people were arrested under preventive detention laws.
  3.  Several restrictions were put on the press sometimes without proper legal sanctions.
  4. The Shah Commission report also mentions that the general manager of the Delhi Power Supply Coorporation received verbal orders from the offices of the Lt. Governor of Delhi to cut electricity to all newspaper presses at 2 a.m. on 26 June, 1975.