Solved CBSE Sample Papers for Class 12 Political Science Set 16

[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. What does the European Union flag stand for ?
Answer. The flag of European Union stands for peaceful harmony among the European people. The twelve stars symbolise perfection, completeness and unity.

Question.2. Correct and rewrite the following:
The UN Security Council has seven permanent members. A majority of the permanent members can ‘veto’ any decision of the Security Council.
Answer. The UN Security Council has five permanent members. Any one of the permanent members can ‘veto1 any decision of the Security Council.

Question.3. What is meant by’territorial security’ ?
Answer. The notion of ‘territorial security’ implies internal security from all the threats of violence inside and outside a country’s border. There is not much concern about territorial security after the Second World War because after the war, for the most powerful countries, territorial security was more or less assured.

Question.4. Why did Jinnah propose the Two-Nation Theory ?
Answer. The “Two-Nation Theory” was propounded by Muhammad Ali Jinnah in 1940 as being ‘the part of the Muslim league. The main aim of this theory was the “creation of a separate state for Muslims”.

Question.5. What was the Anti-Arrac movement ?
Answer. The Anti-Arrac movement was started by rural women in remote villages of southern Andhra Pradesh in 1992.
They demanded a ban on the sale of alcohol in their neighbourhood.

Question.6. How can NATO be a constraint in the exercise of the US hegemony ?
Answer. The most important constraint on American hegemony was NATO. It is the only organisation in the international system that could possibly moderate the exercise of American Hegemony today through their liberal economic policy.
Actually the US has an enormous interest in keeping alive the alliance of democracies that follow the market economies.

Question.7. Mention two major policy decisions that changed Chinese economy.
Answer. (i) China ended its political and economic isolation with the establishment of relationship with the US in 1972.
(ii) In 1973, Premier Zhou Enlai proposed modernisation in agriculture, industry, science & technology and military.
(iii) By 1978, Deng Xiaoping announced the ‘open door’ policy and economic reforms in China.

Question.8. Give any two reasons why the US and other western countries have encouraged the military’s authoritarian rule in Pakistan.
Answer. The United States and other western countries have encouraged the military’s authoritarian rule in Pakistan for their own benefits such as:

  1.  Fear of the threat of Global Islamic Terrorism.
  2.  The thought of losing the military regime in Pakistan which has served as the protector of western interests in West Asia and South Asia.

Question.9. Highlight any two cultural consequences of globalisation.
Answer. Globalisation leads to both cultural homogenisation and cultural heterogenisation.

  1.  Globalisation leads to the rise of a uniform culture, i.e., culture homogenisation.
    For example, the influence of western culture on.
  2.  While cultural homogenisation is an aspect of globalisation, the same process also generates precisely the opposite effect.,It leads to each culture becoming more different and distinctive. This phenomenon is called cultural heterogenisation.

Question.10. Identify one similarity and one difference between the crisis in Punjab and Assam during the 1980s. 
Answer. Similarity : Both in Punjab and Assam the common factor was regional aspirations being given prior importance and solving the crisis through democratic negotiations.
In Punjab, the Akali Dal started the movement for the formation of a ‘Punjabi Suba’.
In Assam the crisis was against the people who were seen as ‘outsiders’ or migrants. The migrants were considered as competitors to employment opportunities.

Question.11. Write a note on the 9/11 series of attacks on US.
Answer. The 9/11 attacks were one of the major human disasters. On 11 September, 2001, nineteen hijackers, hailing from a number of Arab countries, took control of four American commercial aircraft shortly after takeoff and flew them into important buildings in the US.
Two airliners crashed into the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center in New York.
The third Aircraft crashed into the Pentagon building in Arlington where the US Defence Department is headquartered. The fourth aircraft, presumably bound for the Capitol building of the US Congress, came down in a field in Pennsylvania.
The 9/11 attacks killed nearly three thousand people. The shocking part for the Americans was that they have been compared to the British burning of Washington DC in 1814 and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. However, in terms of loss of life, 9/11 was the most severe attack on US soil since the founding of the country in 1776.

Question.12. “Democracy is an accepted norm in the entire region of South Asia.” Comment.
Answer. From the experience of Bangladesh and Nepal, we can say that democracy is becoming an accepted norm in the entire region of South Asia.
Pakistan and Bangladesh have experienced both civilian and military rules with Bangladesh remaining a democracy in the cold war period. Pakistan began the post-cold war period with successive democratic governments under Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif respectively. But it suffered a military coup in 1999 when General Musharraf took over.
Presently Asif Ali Zardari is the president of Pakistan. He headed a coalition government that forced General Musharraf to resign and he was elected as the president of Pakistan on 6th Sept. 2008.
• Till 2006, Nepal was a constitutional monarchy with the danger of the king taking over executive powers. In 2006, a successful popular uprising led to the restoration of democracy and reduced the king to‘a nominal position.
• In the same way, despite many problems, Sri Lanka and India have successfully operated a democratic system. India’s democracy has many limitations but it has remained a democracy throughout its existence as an independent country. The same is true of Sri Lanka.
Hence, it is proved that the democratic system is an integral part of south Asian political model.

Question.13. Did the prevalence of a ‘one party dominant system’ affect adversely the democratic nature of Indian Politics ?
Answer. No, the prevalence of a one party dominant system did not affect adversely the democratic nature of Indian Politics because:

  1.  The key role of the Congress in the freedom struggle gave it a headstart over others.
  2.  The ability of the Congress to accommodate all interests and all aspirants for political power strengthened the democracy.
  3. The dominance of Congress party in India appeared in a very democratic manner as many other parties contested elections in conditions of free and fair election and yet the Congress managed to win election after election.
  4.  Besides, the Congress party tolerated and encouraged various factions as well. These factions were mostly based on ideological considerations. However, since there was room within the party for various factions to fight with each other, these remained within the Congress rather than go out and form a new party.
    In this way, the dominance of one party i.e. Congress, strengthened the ideals of democracy and realised the goals of Indian nation.

Question.14. Compromise and accommodation are the two essential policies required by states to save planet Earth. Substantiate the statement in the light of the ongoing negotiations between the north and the south on environmental issues.
Answer. It is very significant that compromise and accommodation are the two essential policies required by states to save planet Earth. But there is a difference in the approach to environment between the countries of the north and the south. We can throw light on the ongoing negotiations between the north arid south on environmental issues in the following:
• The developed countries of the north want to discuss the environment issue as it stands now and wants everyone to be equally responsible for ecological conservation.
• At the same time, the developing countries of the south feel that much of the ecological degradation in the world is the product of industrial development undertaken by the developed countries.
• And to the most if developed countries have caused more degradation they must also take more responsibility for ongoing damage now.
On the other side, the developing countries are in theprocess of industrialization and they must not be subjected to the same restrictions which apply to the developed countries. However, the special needs of the developing countries must be taken into account in the development, application and interpretation of rules of International Environmental Law. And this argument was accepted in the Rio Declaration at the “Earth Summit” in 1992 under the principle of common but differentiated responsibility.

Question.15. In which areas Globalisation is not beneficial ?
Answer. Globalisation does not have only positive impact, but, it has some negative impacts/fears or areas which are not beneficial like:
• Though Globalisation provided new job opportunities for few hundred highly skilled workers, it failed to generate sufficient employment opportunities on a large scale.
• Regarding Agriculture, farmers are to be educated enough to take up modern methods of cultivation practiced in developed countries.
• Globalisation process has encouraged the profit motive of the multinational companies.
• It promotes the concentration of wealth in fewer hands and market policy is governed purely by market forces i.e. income inequality.
• Globalisation has led to the exploitation of natural resources and labour force.

Question.16. How was the Congress (O) different from Congress (R) ?
Answer. Comparative Analysis between Congress (R) and Congress (O)

  1.  The new Congress under Indira Gandhi had something that its big opponents lacked— it had an issue, an agenda and a positive slogan. But, the Grand Alliance (Congress) did not have a coherent political programme.
  2. Congress (R) it had only one common programme i.e. “Indira Hatao” (Remove Indira). In contrast to this, Indira Gandhi put forward a positive programme captured in the famous slogan: Garibi Hatao. i.e. Remove poverty.
  3.  Through garibi hatao Indira Gandhi tried to generate a support base among disadvantaged especially landless labourers, dalits, and adivasis, minorities, women and the unemployed youth. Besides, Congress (R) focussed on the growth of the public sector, imposition of ceiling on rural land holdings and urban property, removal of disparity, etc.
    Thus, the slogan of Garibi Hatao and the programmes that followed it were part of Indira Gandhi’s political strategy of building an independent nationwide political support ba^e during the electoral contest of 1971.

Question.17. Answer the following questions based upon the Presidential address of Mohammad Ali Jinnah at Karachi on August, 11,1947:
“We should begin to work in that spirit and in course of time all these angularities of the majority and minority communities, the Hindu community and the Muslim . immunity— because even regarding Muslims you have Pathans, Punjabis, Shias, S’-/!/.is and so on and among the Hindus you have Brahmins, Vaishnavas, Khatris, also Bengalees, Madrasis and so on— will vanish…. You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed— that has nothing to do with the business of the State.”
(a) Do you think that Jinnah’s statement contradicts the theory which was the basis of the creation of Pakistan ? Justify your answer.
(b) What is the essence of Jinnah’s statement in this passage ?
(c) To what extent did Pakistan live up to Jinnah’s expectations in this passage ?
Answer. (a) Jinnah’s statement does not contradict the two nation theory. His does not mean the interference in between other communities like Pathans, Punjabis, Shias and Sunnis.,
His aim was the creation of separate state for Muslims but not to interfere in other communities.
(b) The essence of Jinnah’s statement in this passage is his secular outlook regarding the protection and promotion of every community’s identity. For example, he said that, “You are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any place of worship in this State of Pakistan”.
(c) Pakistan did not live up to Jinnah’s expectations because after independence Pakistan became a ‘Theocratic State’ and did not respect the interest of other communities.

Question.18. Read the given passage and answer the questions mentioned below the paragraph. …Indira Gandhi changed the Congress into highly centralised and undemocratic party organisation, from the earlier federal, democratic and ideological formation that Nehru had led… But this… could not have happened had Indira Gandhi not changed the entire nature of politics. This new populist politics turned political ideology … into a mere electoral discourse, use of various slogans not meant to be translated into government policies… During its great electoral victories in early 1970s, amidst the celebration, the Congress party died as a political organisation…
—Sudipta Kaviraj
(a) What, according to the author, is the difference between the strategies of Nehru and Indira Gandhi ?
(b) Do you agree with the author that Congress as a political organisation died ? Justify your answer by giving one argument.
Answer. (a) According to the author, the main difference between the strategies of Nehru and Indira Gandhi is that Jawaharlal Nehru led the Congress into federal, democratic and ideological nature whereas Indira Gandhi changed the nature of Congress into highly centralised and undemocratic party.
(b) Yes, we do agree with the author that Congress as a political organisation died because with the changed nature of Congress, the new populist politics turned political ideology into a mere electoral discourse and use of various slogans never meant to be translated into government policies. For example, electoral victories of 1970s.

Question.19. Why did Nehru regard1 conduct of foreign relations as an essential indicator of independence ? State any two reasons with examples to support your reading.
Answer. Nehru regarded conduct of foreign relations as an indicator of independence because:

  1.  External relations or affairs of any country have their own share of concerns towards globalera. For example, as a nation born in the backdrop of the World War, India decided to conduct its foreign relations with an aim to respect the sovereignty of all other nations and achieve security through the maintenance of peace. This aim finds an echo in the Directive Principles of the State Policy.
  2.  Secondly, in another way, the conduct of foreign relations reveals the international nature of the independent nation. It advocates its concerns in the international system. For example, Independent India vigorously pursued.the dream of a peaceful world by advocating the policy of non-alignment, by reducing the Cold War tensions and by contributing human resources to the UN peacekeeping operations.
    In this way, by and large India did take an independent stand on various international issues and could get aid and assistance from members of both the blocs.

Question.20. Look at the given cartoon and answer the following questions :
This sounds like joining the Soviet bloc. Can we say that we were non-aligned even after signing this treaty with the Soviet Union ?
(a) To which treaty does the cartoon refer?
(b) How can we say that we were non-aligned even after signing this treaty with the Soviet Union ?
(c) To counteract with which rival forces of India was this treaty signed ?
Answer. (a) The cartoon refers to ’20-years Treaty of Peace and Friendship’ with the Soviet Union in August 1971.
(b) We were very much non-aligned even after signing this treaty with the Soviet Union because this treaty assured India of the Soviet support if the country faced any attack especially by Pakistan.
(c) This treaty was signed to counteract the US and China.

(i) Locate the three social and political regions of Jammu and Kashmir.
(ii) How does Kashmir issue involve external and internal matter ?
Answer. (i) • The Jammu region dominated by Hindus
• The Kashmir valley dominated by muslims
• The Ladakh region dominated by two communities Buddhists and Muslims.
(ii) The ‘Kashmir issue’ involves external and internal matter as well like;
• It involves the issue of Kashmiri identity known as Kashmiriyat and the aspirations of the people of J&K for political autonomy.

Question.22. What do you mean by the Arenas of the Cold War ? Write a detailed note on it.
What was Shock Therapy ? Was this the best way to make a transition from communism to capitalism ?
Answer. The Arenas of the Cold War refer to the areas where crisis and war occurred or threatened to occur between the alliance systems but did not cross certain limits.
• We begin with the Cuban missile crises, which was only one of the several crises that occurred during the Cold War but fortunately both sides, the US and the USSR decided to avoid war.
• The Cold War also led to several shooting wars between the two superpowers which were poised for direct confrontation in
• Korea(1950-53)
• Berlin crisis (1958-62)
• The Congo Crisis (1960s)
Crises deepened as neither of the parties involved was willing to back down, but it is important to note that these crises and wars did not lead to another World War.
• A great many lives were lost in some of these arenas like Korea, Vietnam and Afghanistan, but the world was spared a nuclear war and global hostilities.
• In some cases, huge military build-ups were reported. In many cases, diplomatic ” communication between the superpowers could not be sustained and contibuted to the
• Sometimes, countries outside the two blocs, for example the non-aligned countries, played a role in reducing Cold War conflicts and averting some grave crisis.
In this way, as the Cold War rolled from one arena to another, the logic of restraint was increasingly evident.
(a) 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 amongst 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 transitionsfrom communism to capitalism because it was followed up by several drawbacks lik#fasB»*
• 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 sale in history” as valuable. Industries were undervalued and sold at throwaway 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 gargage sale” in history as valuable industries were under-valued and sold at throw away 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 now 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.
AIKhese 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.

Question.23. What were the major differences in the approach towards development at the time of Independence ? Has the debate been resolved ?
Examine the three challenges which Independent India faced for nation building.
Answer. As the concept of “development has varied scope and complex nature” so any discussion oh development is bound to generate contradictions, conflicts and debates.
The first decade after independence witnessed a lot of debate around the question of development. It was common then, as it is even now, for people to refer to the West as the standard for measuring development. . .
Development was about becoming more modern like the industrialised countries of the West. It was, however, believed that every country would go through the process of “modernisation of the West” which involved the break down of traditional social structures and thtfrise of capitalism and liberalism. Modernisation was also associated with the ideas of growth, material progress and scientific rationality.
On the eve of independence, India had before it two models of modern development:
Hence, there was a debate on the selection of model for our economy. There were some communist leaders, members of the socialist party and leaders like Nehru who supported the “Socialist model”. This reflected a broad consensus that had developed during the national movement.
All these made it clear, that the task of poverty alleviation and social and economic redistribution was being seen primarily as the responsibility of the government. But at the same time there were debates among them like:

  1.  For some Industrialisation seemed to be the preferred path.
  2. For others, the development of agriculture and in particular alleviation of rural poverty was the priority.
    The debate still goes on. India has adopted a mixed model of development.

Immediately afteT independence there were many challenges or problems in Independent India that needed a solution. These challenges can be categorised as :
The challenge to
(a) shape a nation
(b) establish democracy
(c) ensure the development and well-being of the entire society.
(a) Shape a Nation : The first and foremost challenge was the political unification and integration of the territory. India is a land of continental slzfe and diversity. There were around 565 states of varying sizes and population. The partition of the country appeared to prove every one’s worst fears. Hence, there was a serious question about the future of India, i.e., will India survive as a unified country ? Vallabhbhai Patel took upon himself the task of integrating these princely states, which was sometimes completed in stages.
(b) Establish Democracy : Another challenge was to develop democratic practices in accordance with the Constitution. India opted for representative democracy, based on the parliamentary form of government.
(c) Ensure the Development arid Well-being of the Society : The third challenge came
in the form of evolving 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 accommodating social differences, establishing a welfare state and by democratising political institutions.

Question.24. What is Non-Congressism ? Discuss it in the light of Indian Political scene of 1967. Mention Indira Gandhi’s strategy towards the challenges.
Examine the legacy of the Emergency of 1975.
Answer. The Congress party’s decision of devaluation of Indian rupee gave rise to the concept of Non-Congressism. Parties opposed to the Congress, realised that the division of their votes kept the Congress in power.
Thus, the Non-Congress parties with their different programmes and ideologies got together to form anti-Congress fronts. They wanted to topple the Indira Gandhi’s Congress government. This strategy Was named as Non-Congressism by the socialist leader Ram Manohar Lohia.
He gave a theoretical argument that the coming together of Non-Congress parties was necessary for reclaiming democracy for the people.
Indira Gandhi adopted a very bold strategy to meet these challenges:

  1.  She converted a simple power struggle into an ideological struggle.
  2.  She launched a series of initiatives to give the government policy a left orientation.
  3.  She got the Congress Working Committee to adopt the Ten-Point Programme in 1967,
    which included social control of Banks, nationalisation of general insurance, etc.

The proclamation of emergency in 1975 had far reaching consequences and affected every sphere of life such as :

  1.  Effects on civil liberties for citizens
    (a) During Emergency the government made extensive use of preventive detention. Using this’provision, the government made large scale arrests.
    (b) Arrested political workers could not challenge their arrest through habeas corpus petition.
    (c) Many cases were filed in the High Courts and the Supreme Court by and on behalf of arrested persons, but the government claimed that it was not even necessary to inform the arrested persons of the reasons and grounds of their arrest.
    (d) And finally in April 1976, the constitution bench of the Supreme Court overruled the High Courts and accepted the government’s plea. It meant that during emergency, the government could take away the citizen’s right to life and liberty.
  2.  Effect on relationship between the executive and judiciary
    (a) As the impact of emergency, the Parliament also brought in many new changes in the constitution. In the background of the ruling of the Allahabad High Court in the Indira Gandhi case, an amendment was made declaring that elections of Prime Minister, President and Vice-President could not be challenged in the court.
    (b) The forty-second amendment was also passed during the emergency which brought a series of changes in many parts of the constitution like-duration of the legislatures, election can be postponed by one year during an emergency.
  3.  Effect on the function of Mass Media
    (a) Deciding to use its special powers under the emergency provisions the government suspended the freedom of the press. Newspapers were asked to get prior approval for all material to be published, i.e. “Press consorship”. For example, apprehending social and communal disharmony, the government banned Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Jamait-e-Islami. Protests, strikes and public agititations were also disallowed.
    (b) Most importantly under the provisions of emergency the various Fundamental Rights of citizens stood suspended, including the right to move the court for restoring their Fundamental Rights.
    (c) Newspapers like ’the Indian Express’ and ‘the Statesman’ protested against censorship by leaving blank spaces where news items had been censored.
    (d) Kannada writer, Shivarama Karnath, awarded with Padma Bhusan and Hindi writer, Fanishwarnath Renu, awarded with Padma Shri, returned their awards in protest against the suspension of democracy.
  4. Impact on the working of Police and Bureaucracy—These institutions could not function independently. They were turned into political instruments of the ruling party.

Question.25. Do movements and protests in a country strengthen democracy ? Justify your answer with examples.
State the main issues in Indian politics in the period after 1989. What different configurations of political parties these differences led to ?
Answer. Yes, to some extent movements and protests in a country strengthen democracy. We have mixed reactions both for and against.
Arguments in favour: The history of movements and protests help us to understand better “the nature of democratic politics”.

  1.  We have observed that these non-party movements like the Anti-Arrack Movement, the Chipko Movement and NBA are neither sporadic in nature nor are these a problem.
  2.  These movements came to rectify some problems in the functioning of party politics and should be seen as integral part of our democratic politics.
  3.  Popular movements ensured effective representation of diverse groups and their demands. This reduced the possibility of deep social conflict and disaffection of these groups from democracy.
  4.  Besides, popular movements suggested new forms of active participation and broadened the idea of participation in Indian democracy, e.g., the Anti-Arrack movement and the Dalit Panthers Movement.

Arguments Against:

  1. Critics of these movements often argue that collective actions like strikes, sit-ins and
    rallies disrupt the functioning of the government, delay decision making and destabilise democracy.
  2.  The frequency and the methods used by the movements suggest that the routine functioning of democracy did pot have enough space for the voice of these social groups. That is perhaps why these groups turned to mass actions and mobilisation outside the election arena. This can be seen in the recent case of the new economic policies.
  3.  Yet the real impact of these movements on the nature of public policies seems to be very limited. This is partly because most of the contemporary movements focus on a single issue and represent the interest of one section of society, thus it is possible to ignore their reasonable demands.
  4. Democratic politics requires a broad alliance of various disadvantaged social groups. Such an alliance does^not seem to be shaping under the leadership of these movements.
  5. Political parties are required to bring together different sectional interests; but they also seem to be unable to do so. Parties do not seem to be taking up issues of marginal social groups.
  6.  Thus, the relationship between popular movements and political parties has grown weaker over the years, creating a vacuum in politics. And in recent years, this has become a major problem in Indian politics.

Keeping in view both negative and positive arguments, while concluding, we can sum up that movements are not only about collective assertions or only about rallies or protests. They involve a gradual process of coming together of people with similar problems, similar demands and similar expectations.
Movements are also about making people aware of their rights and the expectations that they can have from democratic institutions. Social movements in India have been involved in these educative tasks for a long time and have, thus the contributed to expansion of democracy rather than causing disruptions. The struggle for the right to information is a case in point.
As the decade of the eighties came to a close, the country witnessed five main issues that were to make a long-lasting impact on our politics :
(i) End of the Congress System (ii) Mandal Issue
(iii) New economic reforms (iv) Babri Masjid Issue
(v) Assassination of Rajiv Gandhi
Elections in 1989 led to the defeat of the Congress party but did not result in a majority for any other party, thus, began an era of “Multi-party system”. What happened after 1989 was the emergence of several parties in such a way that no single party secured absolute majority in any Lok Sabha election held since 1989. This development initiated an era of coalition governments at the centre in which regional parties played a crucial role in forming a ruling alliance.
The nineties also saw the emergence of powerful regional parties and movements that represented the Dalits and backward castes. Many of these parties represented powerful regional assertions as well.
Thus, with the election 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, which did not join the government. In this new phase any government could be formed only with the participation or support of many regional parties.
Thus, the Era of coalitions in 1989 symbolically indicated the decline of Congress, i.e., the end of Congress dominance over the iridian Party system. The decade of 1990s saw an era of multi-party system. It also saw the emergence of powerful parties and movements that represented the Dalits and Backward castes.
The role of left parties changed with time regarding alliances. For example, in 1996 it supported BJP and then the Congress government. Now the left is again opposed to the UPA government in which the Congress is the dominant partner.

Question.26. What were the objectives behind the formation of the ASEAN in 1967 ?
Why did the two superpowers need smaller allies during the Cold War? Give any four reasons.
Answer. 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:

  1. The ASEAN Security Community
  2. The ASEAN Economic Community
  3.  The ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community

Objectives of Association of South East Asian Nations (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 of 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.”
As ASEAN is rapidly growing into a very important regional organisation 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 and the East Timor crisis and meets annually to discuss East Asian cooperation.
The components of the ASEAN Vision-2020 are :-

  1. Outward looking role
  2.  Encouragement to Negotiations
  3.  Mediatory role of ASEAN

The two superpowers (USA and Soviet Union) needed smaller allies during the cold war era

  1.  The smaller allies like countries of newly independent states in Asia and Africa possessed
    vital natural resources such as oil, gas and minerals. They are the basic source for their fast development. .
  2.  The territories (Land and Sea) of smaller allies could be used for military bases.
    For Example; USA set up its military bloc in Iran and Afghanistan. Soviet Union set up its military bases in Poland and Cuba.
  3.  These countries were also used for spying purposes which helped the super powers to
    check others’ development.
  4.  The economic support from these smaller nations could provide the basic support (food and other necessities) to their military base (troops) in their locality.
  5. It was believed that countries supporting the super powers directly/indirectly were considered as the supporters or followers of their ideologies. It was also the base medium to spread their respective ideologies.
  6.  It was believed that these nations are ready market for their goods and also to implement
    the technology. (Any four)

Question.27. ‘In the midst of severe competition and many conflicts, a consensus appears to have emerged among most of the political parties”. In the light of the above statement highlight any three points of consensus.
“Even after six decades of independence certain issues pertaining to national integration , are yet to be resolved”. In the light of this statement, explain any three unresolved issues.
Answer. The main elements of consensus are:

  1. Agreement on new economic policies : While many groups (BJP and some regional parties), are opposed to the new economic policies most political parties (For example : The left parties) are in support of the new economic policies. Most parties believe that these policies would lead the country to prosperity and a status of economic power in the world. The new economic policy is based on three concepts, namely liberalisation, globalisation and privatisation. It was also the time that our economic growth rate was very low.
  2.  Acceptance of the political and social claims of the backward castes:
    Political parties have realised that social and political claims of the backward castes need to be accepted to bring balance of power in social and economical aspects. As a result, all political parties now support reservation of seats for the ‘backward classes’ in education and employment. Political parties are also willing to ensure that the OBCs get adequate share of power.
    For example : As per the Mandal Commission recommandations 27% reservation has been made in jobs by central government and various percentages by state governments.
  3.  Acceptance of the role of state level parties in governance of the country : The recent politics clearly shows the role of regional parties at the central level in the form of coalition government and they control the national parties directly or indirectly.
  4.  The coalition politics has shifted the focus of political parties fr6m ideological differences to power sharing arrangements: For example: 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 (October 1999 to May 2004).

Even after 60 years of independence, there are several major issues which need to be resolved. These include:
(a) The issue of reservations for women. Backward classes:

  1.  We talk about equal status for women. In reality there is a vast difference. For example: For the past two decades discussion is going on for 33 per cent reservation for women in the Parliament. But the bill is not yet passed.
  2.  Regarding reservation of Backward classes, the central government has agreed for 27 per cent for OBCs in government jobs, but the state governments have some differences in implementing the policy.

(b) Demand for the creation of more states:
It is to be remembered that three new states were established namely Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh from the states of UP, Bihar and MP respectively. It is not the
end. There are many regions demanding the creation of a separate state. For example: Telangana (Andhra Pradesh).
(c) The challenges of poverty, illiteracy, communalism, regionalism, casteism, etc. have not been tackled. Though somehow the poverty ratio has declined, the poverty alleviation programmes have failed to eradicate poverty.

  1.  Communalism raises its head time and again in some parts of the country. The riots in Gujarat and Maharastra and incidents showing the role of political parties behind such activities threaten the true nature of Democracy.
  2. Casteism prevails not only in the name of person, but also in political parties, social organisations and socio-cultural processes. Some other challenges to the national integration are terrorism, people’s involvement in destroying national property and mass poverty.
  3.  Judicial activism has brought many changes but more than 60 lakhs cases are still pending and people are looking for speedy justice.
  4.  The literacy rate seems to be progressive (male— 75%, female— 54% as per 2001 census) but road to achieve complete literacy is too far and all these problems pose a challenge to the younger generations.