DU SOL BA 3rd Year History of India NotesChapter 6 Independent India: Economy and Polity
Examine the Composition of constituent Assembly of India. Evaluate its objectives and perspectives on the Indian Polity.
Constituent Assembly And Establishment Of The Republic:
Indian National Congress demanded a Constituent Assembly elected by adult suffrage. This was on the eve of Second World War, the Congress Working Committee demanded in November, 1939: ‘We hold that the Constituent Assembly is the only democratic method of determining the Constitution of a free country.
In 1942, Sir Stafford Cripps gave a proposal that after the War, India’s demand for a Constituent Assembly should be accepted. On 15th March, 1940, Attlee declared in the House of Commons that Indians should frame their own. Consequently the Cabinet Mission was sent to India immediately and it proposed the formation of a Constituent Assembly.
Composition of Constituent Assembly:
In July 1946, the elections to Constituent Assembly were held. According to the Cabinet Mission Plan, the Constituent Assembly was to consist of 389 members, 292 member’s from British provinces, 4 from Chief Commissioner’s provinces and 93 from princely States. Out of 292 seats of British India, Congress secured 211 seats, Muslim League won only 73 seats, Sikhs secured 7 seats and other seats were secured by independents. The Constituent Assembly was indirectly elected by Legislative Assemblies of various provinces.
The elections were held on communal basis by single transferable vote system. It was not a sovereign body in the beginning. It was after 15th August, 1947 that the Constituent Assembly became a sovereign body.
Working – The first session of Constituent Assembly was held on 9th December, 1946. It continued up to 23rd December, 1946. Muslim League boycotted this meeting. Dr. SachidanandSinha was elected as a temporary Chairman of Constituent Assembly. Later on Dr. RajendraPrasad was elected as a permanent Chairman of the Constituent Assembly. On 13th December, 1946, Pt. JawaharLal Nehru moved the objectives Resolution. It was unanimously passed on 22nd January, 1947.
India got independence on 15th August, 1947 India was partitioned. The Constituent Assembly appointed Mountbatten as the first Governor-General of Free India.
On 29th August, 1947 a Drafting Committee was formed under the Chairmanship of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar on the basis of reports of different. Committees, the Drafting Committee, formed a report. The draft Constitution was put before the Constituent Assembly. It was finally ready on the 26th November, 1949 and came into force from 26th January 1950.
Objectives of Resolution of the Constitution:
The fundamentals and philosophy of the Indian polity were laid by the objectives resolution. These are as follows.
(i) The Constituent Assembly declared its firm and solemn resolve to proclaim India a an independent sovereign republic and toe draw up for her future governance a Constitution.
(ii) Where in the territories that now comprise British India, the territories that now form the Indian States and the States as well as other territories as are willing to be constitute into the independent sovereign India shall be a union of them all;
(iii) Where in the said territories, whether with their present boundaries or with such others as may be determined by the Constituent Assembly and thereafter according to the law of the Constitution, shall possess and retain the status of autonomous units, together with residuary powers and exercise all powers and functions of government and administration, save and except such powers and functions as are vested in or assigned to the union or as are inherent or implied in the union or resulting therefore; and
(iv) Where in all power and authority of the sovereign independent India its constituent parts and organs of government are derived from the people; and
(v) Wherein shall be guaranteed and secured to all the people of India justice, social, economic and political, equality of status, of opportunity and before the law, freedom of thought, expression, belief, faith, worship, vocation, association and action subject to law and public morality and
(vi) Wherein adequate safeguards shall be provided for minorities, backward and tribal areas, and depressed and other backward classes; and
(vii) Wherein shall be maintained the integrity of the territory of the republic and its sovereign rights on land, sea and air according to justice and the law of civilised nations; and
(viii) This ancient land attains its rightful and honoured place in the world and makes its full and willing contribution to the promotion of world and makes its full and willing contribution to the promotion of world peace and the welfare of mankind.
There objectives resolution was adopted on January 22,1947. These win were to be the fundamentals of the Constitution and guide its Polity.
It is a rare and unique occasion in the history of a nation when it takes upon itself the framing of a Constituent Assembly began its work. For the first time, Indians were free to shape their own political destiny and pursue their long proclaimed aims and aspirations. The members of the Constituent Assembly pursued these tasks with remarkable idealism and strength of purpose.
Having participated in the struggle for freedom, they were anxious to create a Constitution which would embody the goals and ideals of the struggle. However, it should be noted that there were also a number of differences of opinion among them regarding the nature of the Constitution and the future Indian polity. These differences had their roofs in the freedom struggle itself and had their impact on the Constitution.
(i) Impact on the Views of Constituent Assembly – Three Different Ideological Perspectives of Indian Polity. The Congress movement before independence had a heterogeneous character and included numerous and sometimes opposing groups. The strategy followed by Congress leaders was one of accommodation and of building linkages with as many influential groups as possible.
This inclusive character of the Congress before independence was reflected also in the Constituent Assembly which represented, as has been pointed out earlier, many different groups and ideologies. Among the most important ideological groups represented in the Assembly were the Socialists, the Gandhiuns and the Rightists. The Socialist group was divided between a few Marxism socialists, who advocated revolutionary reconstruction of society, and democratic socialists who wanted to transform society through peaceful – and parliamentary methods.
Both groups were opposed to the private ownership of the important means of production and wanted to work towards an egalitarian society. Nehru may be an important spokesman of the second group. The Rightist group of which SardarPatel may be considered a leader, supported the interests of the private enterprise, the landed classes and advocated the right to private ownership of property. The Gandhians criticised the capitalist mode of production and wanted the revival and promotion of village and small- scale industries for making rural communities self-sufficient.
He propounded the theory of trusteeship. On the political plane, he proposed a decentralised democracy based on village panchayats. All these three schools of thought had different perspectives of Indian polity and had some impact on the Constitution. But the dominant influence was that of liberals and democratic socialists led by Patel and Nehru.
(ii) Impact of Various Problems facing India on the Eve of Independence – The problems of India was facing on the eve of Independence had a significant impact on the Constitution and the future polity of India. Partition accompanied by great bloodshed, undeclared war between India and Pakistan over Kashmir, the problem of integration of the princely States, peasant revolt in Telengana, and economic crisis are some of the important events of the time. Such events made the leadership conscious of the importance of unity and stability for the country.
They also felt the need to incorporate provisions sin the Constitution which would give the Indian State power to deal with threats to the stability of the country. This can be seen for instance, in the arguments which the leaders used to defend the Emergency provisions of the Constitution.
(iii) Impact of the Ideals of Freedom Struggle – Another important factor should be kept in mind, i. e., during the freedom struggle the national leaders had convinced the people that ail their problems and miseries were due to British rule. Alter independence all the problems would be solved as a consequence of rapid economic growth and social change. This they were committed to socioeconomic transformation of society.
The Assembly’s task was to frame a Constitution that would bring about the desired socio-economic change. In addition most of the leaders were committed to liberal democratic traditions and the concept of a welfare State. The influence of such ideals can be seen in the Constitution; for instance, in the Preamble to the Constitution and in the Chapters on Directive Principles of State and Fundamental Rights.
Perspectives of the Indian Polity as Adopted by the Constituent assembly – The Objectives Resolution, moved by Nehru in the Constituent Assembly on 19th December, 1946 expressed the aspirations and ideals for which the people of India had worked and struggled and the broad objectives which the Constituent Assembly was to set before itself The objectives laid down in the resolution were general in character. It provided the basic frame of reference for the new Constitution and also chalked out the path on which our country was to march after independence. It was adopted on 22nd January, 1947 with almost universal acclaim.
According to the objective resolutions, the Constituent Assembly was to proclaim India an independent, sovereign republic. It was to draw up a Constitution for a Union Constituting of British India and the princely States. Moreover, the Constitution was to guarantee classical western freedoms, such as freedom of thought, expression, belief, faith vocation, etc. Besides, the objective resolutions also sought to provide adequate safeguards for minorities, backward classes and Scheduled Castes ans Tribes.
Two Models – Gandhian & Euro-American – The Constituent Assembly had two alternatives models before it when it undertook the task of framing the Constitution of India. One model was that of Gandhiji based on village Panchayats. The second was Euro-American Constitutional model. There was a wide consensus in the Assembly in favour of the second one. A wide consensus in the Assembly was in favour of western style parliamentary institutions although lip service was also paid to Gandhian idea. Therefore, the Assembly decided in the favour of a centralised Parliamentary Constitution,. while panchayats got only a passing reference in the Directive Principles of State Policy.
Nature of Political Institution – Whether Parliamentary or Presidential – Some debate also took place in the Assembly regarding the nature of the political institutions which should be adopted. There were, for instance, supporters of both Parliamentary and Presidential forms of government. Mr. K.T. Shah supported a modified form of the Presidential system. But this was rejected on the ground that India had some experience of Parliamentary system which had been operating in a qualified form in the provinces since the Act of 1919. So most of the members of the Constituent Assembly believed that we should not experiment with a new model. Thus the Constituent Assembly went for the Parliamentary form instead of Presidential one.
A Federal Polity with Unitary Features – Along with Parliamentary democracy, the Constituent Assembly opted for a federal Constitution. Ever since the Second Round Table Conference (1932), a federal Constitution for India had commanded general support. It was embodied in the Government of India Act of 1935. So the decision to adopt a federal Constitution was accepted without much controversy.
The majority of the Assembly were in favour of a strong Central government. In view of the disintegrating forces operating within the country and the need to promote socio-economic transformation the framers of the Constitution opted for federation with a strong Central government. Such a federation it was hoped, would provide unity, stability, security and social justice to the people. Certain centralising features like emergency provisions, position and role of Governor, a single judicial system, single citizenship, all India services, etc. were included in the Constitution. Thus a federal system with some unitary features was adopted.
Socialist Ideals – The Constituent Assembly was in the favour of social revolution of social transformation. In other words, it wanted to bring about fundamental changes in the structure of Indian Society. Quite a large number of members ware committed to Socialism. Supporters of all types of socialism, from Marxism to Fabianism, were represented in the Assembly.
It provided the basis for Directive Principles of State Policy and many aspects of executive, legislative and judicial provisions. Still the tom Socialism was neither included in the Objectives, Resolution nor in the Constitution. It has since been incorporated in the Preamble of the Constitution by the 42nd Constitutional amendment.
Liberal-Democratic Ideals – No doubt, the Constitution reflected some of the features of social democratic philosophy, but the ideology of liberal democracy is dominant in the Constitution. It is represented in the provisions for individual liberty with equality of opportunity for all, dignity of the individual and the unity of the nation.
Fundamental rights and liberties are granted, thought subject to reasonable restrictions. Federalism and the concept of the Welfare State are also reflective of liberalism. Thus the Constitution contains the good aspects of both socialism and liberalism. The main objective was to assure a minimum standard of living for all and set a framework for a humane and progressive society.
Ideals of a Secular Polity – The Constitution makers also envisaged Indian polity to be a secular one. It means that Indian State was neither religious nor irreligious nor anti-religious. It simply means that it is neutral in religious matters. Thus, all the citizens have been granted freedom of conscience and are free to profess, practice and propagate religion of their choice.
NO person can be compelled to pay any taxes for the promotion or maintenance of any particular religious denomination. No religious instructions are to be provided in any educational institution wholly maintained out State funds. In matters of appointment also no discrimination is made on grounds of caste, colour, creed or religion.
Adult Franchise – Should adult franchise be introduced, involving an increase in the electorate from 35 million to 170 million? Maulana Azad advocated its deferment for 15 years. Prasad and Nehru plumped for adult franchise as an act of faith. The vote favouring it war carried amidst acclamation.
Jammu and Kashmir – Nehru favoured incorporation of a section establishing a special relationship with the State of Jammu and Kashmir, thus inferentially recognising the State’s right to frame its own Constitution within the Indian Union. Patel wanted the State to be fully integrated with the Union.
The cabinet was divided on the issue and the trend in the Constituent Assembly favoured the Sardar’s stand. But when the matter came before the Assembly,
Patel put the unity and solidarity of the Government before everything else and backed the Nehru formula.
Reservation for Minorities – The most delicate issue related to safeguards for minorities. Azad wanted reservation of seats for the Muslims and other minorities within the framework of general electorates. Patel opposed such safeguards. Nehru left it to Patel to jump the hurdle as Chairman of the Advisory Committee on minorities. Two women members played a key role in this high-strung drama. Amrit Kaur, speaking for the Indian Christians, said that reservation of seats and weightage based on religion or sect would lead to fragmentation of the Indian Union. The Sikhs demanded the same treatment as given to the Muslims.
After the Committee had wrestled with the problem for weeks, Patel decided to clinch the issue at its final meeting. He called on Begum Aizaz Rasul of Lucknow to State the Muslim view. She was a zealous Muslim Leaguer before partition and had even gone to the length of giving upSaree and adopting the costume worn by the Begums of Oudh. The Muslims left behind in India, she said nervously, were an integral part of the nation and needed no safeguards. Patel, seized this crucial movement to declare that the Muslims were unanimously in favour of Joint electorates and adjourned the meeting.
Office of the President and Governors – Much heat was generated on whether the President of the Republic and Governors of Constituent States should be elected by popular vote and whether they should have discretionary Powers. Legal luminaries and Constitutional expats had a field day, but Nehru and Patel brought a practical approach to bear, on the issue.
They opposed popularly elected heads. Indeed, Nehru as Prime Minister took steps to see that the Union President even though chosen by an electoral college consisting of all the members of the Central and State Legislatures, would be a Constitutional figure head. Patel a Home Minister made sure that Governor of a State was the nominee of the Union Government and had enough discretionary powers to act as the executive agent of the Centre in an emergency.
Link Language – The question of a national link language posed the most difficult hurdle. Swami Dayanand and Mahatma Gandhi, both from Gujarat and Tilak and Savarkar, from Maharashtra had zealously pleaded for Hindi as the symbol of nationhood. Prasad and Patel strongly supported Hindi, while Nehru left it to the Hindi lobby to work out a formula acceptable to the non-Hindi regions especially Madras and Bengal. Finally, the formula providing for replacement of English by Hindi in fifteen years was embodied in Constitution, along with each side did it with mental reservation.
Fundamental Rights – A great deal of excitement caused over the issue; should the Fundamental Right to be embodied in the Constitution guarantee fair payment for private property acquired by the State and should the right be made justiciable? Nehru was against making the right justiciable. Patel stood rock like for the Fundamental Rights adopted by the Congress Party undo- his Presidentship in 1931 in Karachi. After a prolonged tug-of-war Patel won because he had the lacking of the distinguished lawyers, who were fashioning the Constitution, and of the overwhelming majority of members of the Constituent Assembly.
Village Panchayat – The word Panchayat did not once appear in the Draft Constitution within a few months a reaction to this omission set in as Assembly members had time to consider the Draft. President Prasad was the most prominent among the critics. On 10 May, 1948, Prasad wrote to B.N. Rauthat “ I like the idea of making the Constitution begin with the village and go up to the Centre. The village has been and will ever continue to be our unit in this country.”
Prasad believed that the necessary articles could be redrafted and making the village Panchayats the electoral college for electing representatives to the Provinces and the centre. But Rau rejected Prasad’s suggestion. In his reply Rau said that the Assembly had already decided on direct election of lower houses both at the centre and the provinces and that he was doubtful if the vote could be reversed a remark that indicated the general popularity of a Parliamentary Constitution.
Conclusions – The Constituent Assembly was able to conclude its labours within a period of less than three years – 2 years, 11 months and 17 days, to be exact. On the 26th November, 1949, it could proudly declare on behalf of the people of India that “We do hereby adopt, enact and give to ourselves this Constitution.” It embodied all the objectives of democracy, secularism an economic and social justice.
In a sense, the Indian Constituent Assembly occupied a peculiar position. It was created by agreement with the British Government, yet it was also an embodiment of the revolutionary spirit of India. It was not fully representative of the people, yet it represented all important parties and communities of India. It was not, in the beginning, legally Sovereign, yet it enjoyed Sovereignty for all practical purposes. And though, it was to create a new independent Republic with a new Constitution, yet it relied heavily on the provisions of the Government of India Act, 1935.
We also find that the members of the Constituent Assembly had a variety of perceptions about the future of Indian polity. But ultimately all the perceptions were accommodated in favour of the larger interests of the nations as a whole.
Discuss the objectives of Economic planning in the Nehru Mahalanobis era.
Examine the main features and rational of the Mahalanobis strategy of development adopted in India’s Five-Year Plans. Comment on its economic consequences.
Economic And Social Change 1950 – 1970 : Planning:
What is Economic Planning?
Economic planning is a process by which we take a rational decision as to what and how much is to be produced, how, when and where is to be produced and for whom to be produced. Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru once said, “Economic planning does not mean simply making a list of activities to be followed.
Planning is a process, rational and scientific system according to which we determine our economic and social objectives and work hard to achieve them, ” According to H.D. Dickinson, “Economic planning is the making of major decisions what and how much is to be produced, how, when and where, it is to be produced and to whom it is allocated by the conscious decision of a determinate authority on the basis of a comprehensive survey of the economic system as a whole.
” Economic Planning is essentially a way of organising and utilising and utilising resources to maximum advantage in terms of defines social ends. The two main constituents of the concept of planning are –
(a) a system of aids to be pursued, and
(b) knowledge of available resources and their optimum allocation.” The definition give by the Planning Commission seems to be appropriate as it emphasises maximum social welfare by using all human and material resources.
Objectives of Economic Planning in.India :
The long term objectives of economic planning in India have been spelt out in plan documents: Broadly, the main objectives are –
- Rapid economic growth,
- Increase in employment or ramoval of unemployment,
- Reduction of income inequalities,
- Elimination of poverty, and
Some of these objectives were elaborately discussed in Second and Third Plans. In subsequoit plans, these were simply reiterated. Various plan did not place equal emphasis on these objectives. Whereas, earlier plans laid stress on economic growth, the later plans attached greater importance to self reliance, employment generation, removal ofpoverty and modernisation. We shall now discuss these Objectives of economic planning in India in some details. India’s economy, on the eve of planning, was caught in the firm grip of deep rooted stagnation.
India’s economy was mainly based on agriculture in which outmoded production methods were used by the millions of ignorant and too, did not period, there were a few fairly developed consumer goods industries, but the basic and heavy industries were conspicuously absent and thus making India’s development with the problem of evolving a suitable development strategy to achieve a quicker pace of development within the constraints imposed by the prevailing economic situation.
The development strategy refers to a basic long term policy to realise certain objectives. India being an underdeveloped country and scarce in resources cannot develop its economy on balanced growth model, i. e., it cannot start the development work in all the backward sectors.
Therefore, India preferred the unbalanced growth model by identifying some leading sectors for development and investment were made in these identified backward sectors. This policy was considered to result in a breakthrough to put the stagnated economy on rail. At the time of independence, the political leaders and industrialists advocated economic planning. The economic planning was started from April 1951.
There was no development strategy in the First Five-Year Plan, though development of agriculture (including irrigation and power) and transportation and communication was given a higher priority because without a substantial increase in food and raw materials needed for the industrial development, it was not possible.
It mains aim was to rectify the imbalance created in the economy by World War II and the partition of the country in 1947- These factors aggravated the problems of resources disequilibrium, both in agriculture and industry. Important wheat and rice producing areas were lost of Pakistan, crating problem of food shortage in the country. The two industries of lndia at the time viz., jute and cotton textiles too suffered a severe setback in their supplies of raw materials because 80 percent ofraw jute and nearly 40 percent of cotton producing areas fell in the share of Pakistan.
Strategy for Heavy Industries Mahalanobis Model:
It was only with the Second Five Year Plan that there was a clear shift in the long run strategy of development. Prof. P. C. Mahalanobis, the architect of the Second Five Year Plan, enunciated the strategy of development which was based on the Russian experience. The strategy emphasised the investment in heavy industry to achieve industrialisation.
Industrialisation induces the development of other sectors such as agricultural and service sectors. With the development of agriculture-based industries such as cotton, jute, vanaspati, edible oil, sugar etc., the demand for raw materials for such industries is increased. Therefore agriculture development is necessary for the development of industries and with the development of industries, supply of fertilizers, pesticides, farm implements etc., increases which help in raising agricultural productivity. Other infrastructures like transport, communication, insurance, banking and power etc. are dependent on the development of industries.
Development of industries provides job opportunities to a large number of unemployed youth.
Emphasis on Heavy Industries:
In the strategy of planned development, a high priority was given to heavy capital goods industries. The experience of other countries has clearly shown that unless a country develops some basic industries like iron and steel, heavy engineering, machine tools, heavy chemicals industries, pace of development cannot be accelerated. Dependence on foreign countries for capital equipment is a big obstacle to development.
Because of lack of capital for development purposes, India adopted the strategy of unbalanced growth, thus development purposes, India adopted the strategy of unbalanced growth thus developing the capital goods industries in preference to consumer goods industries and agriculture. Growth of consumer goods industries and agriculture was left to market forces.
The strategy, however, has its own defects. In the later years of the Second Five Year Plan, India experienced the shortage of food grains on account of bad harvest. In view of this experience, agriculture was give preference
incoming plans but still consumer goods industries continued to retain the secondary place in the strategy of development.
It was stated in the Second Five-Year Plan – ”In the long run, the rate of industrialisation and the growth of national economy would depend upon the increasing production of coal, electricity, iron and steel, heavy machinery, heavy chemicals and heavy industries generally – which would increase the capacity for capital formation. One important aim is to make India independent as quickly as possible of foreign imports of producer goods so that the accumulation of capital would not be hampered by difficulties in securing supplies of essential producer goods from other countries. The heavy industries must therefore, be expanded with all possible speed.”
The justification for the adoption of the strategy of rapid economic development thought high priority to heavy industries was explained on the following grounds –
(i) During British rule., India was forced to concentrate on agriculture and agro-based industries whereas, the country with its vast human and natural resources might be developed industrially. However, it was ignored in the interest of British rulers. The planners felt that the resources should be applied more to industries rather than to agriculture, in the best of the country.
(ii) Due to heavy pressure of population on land, agriculture was already suffering from the low productivity of labour. It was thought that the marginal productivity of labour in land might be zero or even be negative. The best way to reduce the pressure of population on land and to raise agricultural productivity, was to develop industries to shift the pressure on land. It would raise agricultural productivity, on the one hand, and expand the industrial sector, on the other hand. It would also provide employment to the unemployed.
(iii) Rapid industrialisatioon was the essential condition for the development of agriculture as well as of other sector in the country. For instance, with the expansion of industries, and the shifting of labour from rural to urban area, demand for food grains and agricultural raw materials (such as cotton, jute, oilseeds, etc.) would increase.
At the same time, increased production and supply of fertilisers, pesticides, agricultural machinery etc. would help in expansion of agricultural production. With rapid expansion of markets and with rapid industrialization, there would be expansion in trade and commerce, in transportation and in banking.
(iv) Productivity of labour is much higher in manufacturing than in agriculture. Growth rate is also much higher in industry than in agriculture. Rapid increase in national and per capita income is possible only through rapid industrialisation.
(v) The export capacity of a developing country is limited because of two reasons—<a) the protection policy of importing countries and (b) low exportable surplus because of lower production capacity. There fore, imports cannot be paid out of exports and the problem of balance of payment may arise. India adopted the policy of import substitution rather than export promotion to solve the adverse balance of payment problem.
Role of Public Sector:
The development strategy assigned a dominant role to the public sector. As the investment in heavy industries was too large and the gestation period was too long and it was also with low profitability, the Government considered that heavy industry, should be, by and large, in the public sector. Except in few cases private sector was not interested in making large investment in such industries where profitability was low and gestation period was long. Besides private sector was not keen on providing infrastructural facilities.
Besides, the control of the public sector would vest in the control of commanding height with the Government and this would help the development of a socialistic economy. Above all, the public sector would help in redistribution in income and prevention ofmonopoly ownerships and exploitation with are inherent in private sector. It was the reason why the Government went in a big way for the expansion of public sector from the Second Plan onward. The private sector was not allowed to enter the heavy sector.
Mahalanobis Model of development strategy formed the basis of Second and the successive Plans till the Sixth Plan, wherein there was a decisive departure in favour of the rural development. This strategy was hailed in Second and Third Plans but had came in for considerable criticism since then. Various economist critised the strategy on different grounds. However, there was a commendable progress in certain sectors.
There was a smart rise in savings and investment rates, impressive development in infrastructure speciallyin irrigation energy, transport and communication etc., considerable expansion of capital goods sector visa the dominant role of the public sector, self sufficiency in consumer goods and in basic commodities, diversification and expansion in industrial capacity and impressive growth of science and technology.
Apart from these development, the development strategy was criticised by the economists and the political thinkers. There were question marks on the advisability ofexpansion of capital goods industry The future events proved that this shift away from agriculture and to the neglect of the consumer goods sector was indeed excessive. The Second Plan was not of much success and the Third Plan also proved to be so dismal a failure that for the next three years planning had to be literally abandoned, giving place to the so-called ‘Annual Plans’ aimed at rehabilitating the economy from damages it had suffered, partlyfrom Sino-Indian and the Indo-Pakistan conflicts, but basically from the plans that had chosen a strategy which was unsound and unworkable in the Indian context.
Thus, from the end of the third Plan onwards, attention of the planners was evenly divided between agriculture and industry. Over the three Annual Plans and upto Sixth Five-Year Plan, agriculture seems to have been rehabilitated in the scheme of planned priorities,, its share in the public sector outlays had been kept up around 20- to 25 per cent. The share of the industries too has varied within these two limits, but bias towards development of heavy industries continued to persist during all the successive plans and the Mahalanobis Model can be said to be the guiding factor behind the development strategy of India’s Five Year Plans.
Discuss the changing caste-class relations in rural India.
The Changing Caste-Class Relations On Rural India:
The caste system was legally abolished under the Indian Union’s Constitution, but it has not disappeared. In the eyes of the law, two persons belonging to different castes may many, such marriage occur, but they are rare. Nor does the law recognize untouchability. In theory, it punishes any who openly discriminate against ‘untouchables’.
Our remarks on this subject apply not only to the years immediately following Independence, but are valid for the present day as well.
The Main Characteristics of the Caste System:
C. Bougie defines the caste system by means of ‘these three points’: hereditary specialization, hierarchical organization, mutual repulsion.
L. Dumont defines it from a formal point of view as a system of ‘polarite hierarchique ’adding that India has ‘instituted inequality’.
There still exist a large number of castes among which there is no intermarriage and which have an hereditary specialization. More than two thousand groups have been counted, but the figure is deceptive because many of the castes are divided into endogamous sub-castes.
It is difficult to say how many members anyone caste contains or where they are concentrated. According to Irawati Karve, who defines a caste as an endogamous group, most Indian castes number less than 200,000. There are however larger groups; for example, the Marathas of Maharashtra who number about five million, drawn from various tribal elements.
Our nation of ‘caste’ is that which corresponds to the Sanskrit term ‘Jati ’ (‘he who is born’), a concept used by most French sociologists after the traditional Indian custom.
Two different endogamous castes can do the same work and even use the same name, provided they live in different regions. If they live in the same region, their caste-names will be slightly different. Thus I. Karve notes that in the districts of Khandesh, in the north of Maharashtra, there are two different castes of Khumbars (potters).
One is called Thor Chake (‘with a big wheel’) and the other Lahan Chake (‘with a small wheel’) according to tire traditional size of the potter’s wheel they use. In the whole of Maharashtra, there are about ten castes of Khumbars, each with its own culture and traditions. I. Karve goes as far as to say that these castes are often different ethnic communities with different blood-groups and different bodily proportions.
The castes of any region form a hierarchy in that each is understood to be ‘higher ’ than some and Tower than others. The existence of the hierarchy is proved by the fact that lower castes will accept food from members of a Panch Brahma group accept food from the Brahmins All the castes, with the exception of the Brahmins, accept food from the Komtis, But the latter only from the Brahmins. Members of castes which are more or less on the same standing usually accept food from one another and may eat together (which never happens with members of two castes of different levels); but, according to the rules of the caste system, there can be no intermarriage. In the villages these rules are strictly observed.
Each caste has its religion, ritual, rules for marriage, rules about food, and taboos. The Brahmin castes are vegetarian, except when they are Shivayits, although some of them eat fish (those from Bengal in particular).
Each caste has a Panchayat (council) which makes sure that the caste rules are respected. The members of the panchayat are chosen by traditional methods, hereditary right being one of the important factors.
The cast panchayat has no legal means of enforcing its decisions, but the weight of public opinion – in the villages at least – is enough to prevent any disobedience. However, if a person goes to live in a town he usually escapes the influence of his original Panchayat.
According to traditional and religious teaching, the castes are of four categories of ‘colours’ (Vamas).
Most texts place the Brahmins highest in the order, being the priesthood caste. Then come the Kshtriyas (the warrior castes, theoretically, from whom the kings were chosen): the Vaishyas (merchants); and finally the Sudras (servant castes). The members of the first two Mimas are considered to have been ‘born twice’. This means that their male members undergo initiation ceremonies an are thus spiritually reborn. They then have the right to wear the ‘sacred cord’.
Expect for the Brahmins, the castes do not always conform to the theoretical scheme. L. Dumont shows that the Kallars. who are usually class among the Kshatriyas, can also be counted among the Sudras. Some farmers who should belong to the Vaishyas are classed among the Kshatriyas. (23) Infact, the theoretical classification is not as important as the hierarchy which is accepted in each region.
There are some castes which are not included in the four Varanas, and have been called ‘outcastes’. They have their own hierarchy, and their members live outside the centre of the village. This is the group called the ‘ Untouchables. ’. In point of fact, the theoretical distinction between the Sudras and the ‘Untouchables’ does not always seem to be applied.
Castes and Occupations:
If we are to see how much effect the caste system has on social and economic affairs, we must first find out whether belonging to a certain caste determines a person’s occupation. In theory, the system does not lay down what work a person shall do, but reserves access to certain occupations.
The point which must be understood is that the close relationship between a person’s caste and his occupation is due to the absence or underdevelopment of monetary economy. There must always have been some changes of occupation, but as long as the traditional system of demand and counter-demand exists it will be very difficult for anyone to change his type of work. The community expects contributions of a particular sort from him, and only if he respects the traditions will he be paid in return what is traditionally his reward.
Things change completely where monetary economy is developed. Nothing forbids members of a caste from doing work different from the traditional activity of their caste, except a few specific religious interdictions which are extremely limited in scope.
Irawati Karve remarks on this point:
‘When opportunities for some work other than hereditary occupation arise and are more paying, full advantage is taken of them by all castes.. In the district of Salem in Madras State, weaving is an occupation in which almost every caste except Brahmins are engaged. The author has seen whole villages made up of the castes of Chetty, Reddy and Vellala engaged in weaving, and it is difficult to say whether the hereditary weaver castes. The change in occupation has not affected the endogamous character of the castes.
Example of Brahmins filling very different posts (moneylenders, merchants, soldiers, civil servants, landlords etc.) are quite common and have been so since the eighteenth century. A.H. Hocart gives many illustrations of this point, and remarks that ‘Manu authorises the caste of priests to live by agriculture and manual labour.
The link between these changes and the growing penetration of money into the village economy is well stated by S.C. Dube in his observations on the village he studied.
‘…in the last few decades the occupational character of caste has undergone some modifications. In place of their traditional occupations, people have started accepting other vocations. The traditional system of caste interdependence under which artisan and occupational castes attach themselves to the families of agriculturists is still there.
But the attached labourers of untouchable castes are showing signs of discontent, and figures for the last ten years show twenty-one migrations of Madiga families to the city. Barbers, washermen and carpenters also openly express preference for a basis of cash payment, as that enables them to negotiable and bargain and puts and ends to the uncertainty and occasional high-handedness of the employer under the old system. The traditional arrangements involving the barter of occupational services between artisan castes are now also giving place to a basis of cash payment.
It should be noted that the transition from the system of an exchange of goods and service to one of monetary exchange not only give members of a caste freedom from traditional requirements, but also permits a change in techniques because it becomes possible to buy new production tools. Thus, in Sharmipet, the barbers, carpenters, blacksmiths and metal workers use machine tuned instruments.
Caste wise occupations give birth to the following three classes in rural society.
1. The class of agricultural workers of Mazdoors. They sometimes own small quantities of land which will not produce enough for them to life on. They may be paid in money or kind, or else receive a percentage of the harvest from the land that they help to cultivate.
2. The class of Kisan or peasant workers. They may own land indirectly or be tenants with more or less extensive rights, sometimes with very few rights indeed, the latter type of tenure being more common. Those who have the fewest rights are the cropsharers, who are usually given different parcels of land over the years.
3. The class of Maliks. The Malik may receive income in money or kind, whether he lets his land to tenant-farmers or cropsharers, or whether he works his land by means of hired labour. In the latter case, he may manage the farm himself or leave the job to an overseer or head servant.
The main difference between the Kisan and the Malik is that the Kisan always works his own land, which maybe quite small in extent. If he lets out portions of it or uses hired labour, the income earned will be less than that from his own work.
The Malik’s status varies considerably, both as to his contracts with hired labour and as to the sort of land tenure he possesses. Exactly which sort of land tenure is of little importance, provided it allows him to acquire the main part of his income from land which he does not work personally.
These three classes were long the main element of the social structure in rural India. Even after Independence, this system was still widespread and must be understood if production relations are to be analysed.
However, change have everywhere affected the relationship between class and agricultural output In some cases, the relationship among the agriculturists themselves have been altered.
The main change has been the transformation of the Malik into a rural capitalist : that is to say, he no longer lives on land rent, but manages the process of production by hiring paid labour and by improving his means of production.
Changes of this sort can produce agricultural capitalism – all the more easily since an agricultural proletariat already exists. The only adverse factors is the existence of semi-feudal relationships in the field of production. Most of the basic producers are neither peasant proprietors nor wage-earners paid by capitalist landowners, but hold their London a very unsure basis, having to hand over nearly all their produce to other with rights greater than their own. By Brahmins. It is very difficult to recruit nurses from any but the ‘lower’ castes or the ‘untouchables’. Fortunately, there are exceptions, and in ever increasing numbers.
One questions which must be settled is how much the economic basis of the caste system has changed. It is important to note that the new hierarchy of occupational incomes does not differ greatly from that of the old hierarchy. In other words, those placed by tradition high in the order of castes are often ate the top of the scale in the cities. Professor Gadgil points this out in the report quoted above. Consequently, it can be said that the old degrees of prestige have been replaced by roughly equivalent degrees of economic and social power. But there are certainly many exceptions to this rule, particularly in the case of the Brahmins.
On the other hand, the majority of the Indian capitalist class is not composed of Brahmins. Most commercial and industrial capitalist belong to non-Brahmin communities : Parsees, Vayishyas of Gujarat, and Marwaris. Group solidarity is obviously important in this sphere and especially in business relations. Two trends can be detected.
Firstly, inter-group tension (between the communities for business men, usurers, industrialists, etc.) combined with a dislike of capitalism and of capitalists.
Secondly, the same state of affairs is prevalent among the Brahmins (i.e. among a large section of the intelligentsia).
It is difficult to show exactly How economic and social power replaced prestige. The main reason for die change seems to have been the following. The ‘higher’ castes possessed either money or education or both and thus it was not difficult for them to take the lead in the new commercial, administrative and industrial structures which formed in the towns. The ‘lower’ castes were hampered by their lack of money and of education.
Thus the new class structure has not really replaced the old; it has simply grown up upon the remains of the existing framework. The distance between the castes has not been bridged, but the fact that social classes are not closed to new members has shaken the foundations of the caste system.
It is still true the members of widely separated castes do no generally become friends. One cannot say whether there have been an increasing number of exceptions to the rule larger towns. The distance between the castes is probably at its minimum in Bombay and in Calcutta.
The contrary is true of small noa-industrialized towns like Poona. The phenomenon can be seen geographically, the ‘higher’ castes living in the western part of the town.
The effect of partition and particular the massive exodus of Hindus from Pakistan into India caused unprecedented overcrowding in some areas. Those who could find employment were prepared to accept any job whatsoever, even if their social situation was drastically changed. The disruption of the caste system was undeniable, but took place in a few well-defined areas. It has no real effect on India as a whole.
The Influence of Non-Economic Factors :
In the cities, factors of a different type also helped to weaken the caste system; for example, the extension of education and the imitation ofWestem customers. Workers were forced to collaborate with members of other castes. Class welfare and communal strike actions also played their part. One can see, however, that economic causes lie behind these apparently non-economic factors.
Another important factor was the weakening of class solidarity and class pressure on the individual. In rural districts, any infringement of the unwritten rules would be noticed and perhaps punished by the caste panchayat. In the towns, it is obviously more difficult to control other people’s actions.
The result of the influence exercised by both economic and apparently non-economic factors was that many caste rules (both social and ritual) fell into disuse.
The Survival of the Caste System in Urban Life :
It should not be understood from what has been said above that the caste system no longer has any influence in urban life. Only in exceptional situations are the forces of disintegration strong enough to counter-balance caste influence. But it is certain that modem industrial life is incompatible with the methods of the caste system, which will founder eventually under the growing weight of India’s industrialization.
As Professor Gadgil remarks, the reason why the caste system still exists in certain towns is that they are not industrial centres. The term ‘country towns’ has been used to suggest that this sort of town still has strong links with the villages.
Even when the system appears to have disintegrated, some of its elements remain. There is still a certain economic and political solidarity among the members of the same caste. In urban life, this may give rise to new institutions: associations, federations, or even political parties based on membership of the caste in question. The action of such organizations extends as far as the villages.
The organizations may group members of one caste, or of a group of castes, or of a community. They promote caste consciousness, but in conditions very different from those which were traditional.
The Survival of the Caste System:
Its III Effects:
From a social point of view, the survival of the caste system is a source of tension which cannot be eased because there are no real divisions in urban industrial life which correspond to the caste structures.
We have already noted that the caste spirit is detrimental to political, administrative and economic organizations and that it is contrary to democratic social progress. Even when parties do not base their propaganda on caste or community problems, the electors are often moved by caste or community considerations.
The maintenance of the caste system (or merely of caste spirit) makes he individual feel that his social position has been determined by his birth and family connections. Even in the towns, there is still considerable family pressure, despite the fact that the individual may feel himself completely independent of his family. The pressure of the older generation on the young is essentially conservative.
J.P. Desai writes on this subject: “ JVhen the moment to decide finally comes, the individual does not follow his own tastes and aptitudes. He chose according to the interest of his group, and in particular, of his family. Consequently, his decision may be lesser social importance than it ought to have been, and the caste system continues to reign. The total effect on society is that life goes on and changes are very slow to come. ”
The pressure of the older generation also tends to reduce social mobility, restrain initiative, and perpetuate the existing social structure. Such conditions are highly unfavourable to rapid social and economic process.
Factors Which Help to Maintain the Caste System in Urban Life:
The main reason why the caste system survives in urban life is that it is still enforced in rural life. Although it has been undermined in the towns, the country’s influence is still strong and links between the towns and the country have not been broken. Thus, agrarian reform and newer farming techniques are as important as industrialization if the system is to disappear.
A second factor is the network of economic conditions resulting from the centuries of British economic domination. As we have already pointed out, there as little economic development during the colonial period. Those living in the towns – and especially the poorer classes – had to defend their rights by community action, and the caste system offered the simplest form of association. This presumably explains why caste spirit is strongest among the poorest sections of the urban population, except among the industrial proletariat The latter, according to the information, available, are the least subject to caste influence no doubt because of the equalizing effect of proletarian life.
We know little of caste organization within the industrial proletariat. It is widely thought that they belong mainly to the ‘lower ’ castes or to the outcastes. This may have been true when industrial development first began, but conditions seem to have changed in the last twenty years.
In 1940, a survey of 38,000 workers in the Bombay textile factories showed that 60 percent of the Hindus were Marathas and Kumbis (quite highly placed agriculturalist castes), whereas only 15 percent were Harijans (or ‘untouchable’). However, other surveys in various industries and regions (Delhi, Nagpur and Indore) met with 79
percent of Harijans between 1950 and 1953.
Even among the industrial proletariat there is still a sense of caste separation. Endogamy is still practised and members of different castes do not usually pass their leisure hours in one another’s company. But they have to work side by side, live in the same blocks of buildings and draw water from the same taps. As we have said above, trade union action and class solidarity are stronger than caste solidarity. (19) This will be an important factor in India’s future social and political development.
Discuss universalisation of Education as a catalyst of social change?
Catalysts Of Social Change:
We cannot step into the same river twice. That means water of the river is flowing and changing every moment, though the river seems to be the same. The onlyunchangeable element in nature is change itself. Change is also a permanent feature of society. A stable society also constantly undergoes changing. This change is so slow that seldom we can see. As a plant grows every moment but with naked eyes we cannot see it growing constantly. We can only after interval see this growth.
We cannot see a child daily growing into a youth and youth into an old man. In the same way, we can only guess the changing society every day, and how it is transformed from the primitive stage to the medieval and modem forms. Change and development are almost synonyms. Social development or change includes cultural, social, educational ideological, economic, political, religious, spiritual, scientific and historical change.
Education and Social change :
According to Dr. Radhakrishnan,“Education is a tool of social change. The work which was performed in ancient and medieval societies by family, religion and socio- political institutions, is performed in modem societies by education. ” This is a dual and interdependent process. Social changes result in educational changes and in turn. Changes in educational system cause social change.
Social changes decide what may be the nature and form of education. There is a controversy regarding this. According to Ottawe, “Sometimes it is said that education is the cause of social change, but it is its opposite. That is more true. Educational change follows the social change rather than initiating it. ” On the contrary some thinker say that, “Education is a necessary condition for bringing about social change. ”
Social change by Education:
It can be explained through examples that education brings social change. For instance, in India social changes took place because of education. It was due to English and Western education the whole educational system was changed here Britishers established the new system according to their needs of colonialism. They wanted clerks to carry on routine of administration and a class of Black Europeans’ of slave mentality to serve their interests. However, this education also brought the ideas of democracy and liberalism which inspired patriotism and a sense of national unity in Indians.
They became organised and achieved freedom. A feudal society was transformed into a democratic society. The another example of social change brought by education is that by introduction of scientific education, India was a religion oriented country. Spiritualism and moral values were dominant in society. Scientific education caused influence ofmaterialism and brought a revolutionary change in Peoples’ outlook.
Change in Education by Social Change :
The contrary examples are also available, where social changes were followed by educational changes. For instance, educational changes are made by social needs. Before independence the higher education was imparted through English medium only. The aim of education was the consolidation of British regime and spread of English language and culture.
After independence nationality prevailed and caused various educational reforms. Mother tongue was adopted for higher education. Secular, scientific and technical education was given preference. A special literacy mission is launched for eradication of illiteracy. Special educational institutions were set up for female education. All these changes can be called the follow up changes.
Changes by Cultural Adaptation :
Culture has to forms :
(i) natural or inner. It is involved in language, behaviour, religion, art, literature etc.
(ii) Material or external – This is a man made civilisation, such as buildings, roads, machines, means of communication etc. Today in the educational field Radio, T. V., Computer and such other means are used. Distant education, open schools and universities, new education systems etc., are the examples of such cultural adaptation which is a part of social change.
Various social forces also cause educational change. These forces are such groups which strive to bring changes in education as per social necessities and changing values. For example, Education Commissions suggested means and methods, to formulate national education, and to make it harmonious with the contemporary social needs and aspiration. Later on Rammurti Commission and New Education Policy also directed various educational changes.
There is no place for any such controversy as society verses education in the process of change. It is an artificial and unnecessary controversy. Education is also regarded as a process working in the interest of society. In fact it is helpful in social change. It is not the cause of social change but one of its main tools. It contribution and role in social change is most significant. It is a lopsided thinking that if the form of education is changed, the whole society, or even the whole world can be changed. Education as such, has its own limitations. Man can change oneself by the education, but he cannot dream to change by it the whole society at large. It will simply be a day dreaming. In brief education is not the only factor to social change, although a chief tool it is.
Universalisation of Education :
According to the resolution of the New Education Policy (1986) the government has resolved to develop the education on the basis of the principle of free and compulsory education. Efforts should be made to implement the directive principles under the clause 45 of the constitution, regarding free and compulsory education up to the age of 14 for all children. Wastage and stagnation in the schools should be reduced to make its sure that every student should complete the prescribed course successfully.
Equalisation of Educational Opportunities :
Deliberate efforts should be made to equalise the opportunities of education such as
- regional imbalance regarding educational facilities should be removed and backward areas preferred,
- Common school method according to the Education Commission recommendation should be adopted. Their standard of education should be improved,
- Education of girls should be emphasised,
- Backward classes especially the aboriginal tribes should be swiftly covered for educational development,
- Handicapped and mental by disabled children should have more educational facilities.
Catalyst of social Change :
The N.E.P. proposed work’ oriented elementary education i.e. plumbers, repairing of various tools and devices domesticallyused, etc. This provides scope for designing courses and also for the learners to opt for course of their choices. Non-technical job like body sitting, office attendant, domestic servant, aya and other free-lancing jobs, like mending and stitching of clothes, cooking and domestic and interior decorations etc. Children and adult with skills and knowledge with these would have batter market than uneducated and unoriented. The work oriented elementary education for the urban poor would be more attractive and of interest to them. ‘Each one ‘Teach one’ scheme to help illiterate adults to learn is a good programme.
The University and college students can be encouraged to take up educational survey of the slum areas and organise evening classes in these localities. The student leaders and unions can play a vital role in this regard. The youth wings of political parties can also join hands with these to volunteer for holding the even ing classes if not daily, on week ends. Money spent on ceremonies like oath taking and social gathering can be diverted to the causes of urban poor, in the form of providing books, holding classes, meetings the contingency expenses etc. Student world will feel pride in doing so.
Education of Rural Poor :
The N.A.E.P. aims at developing literacy among the adults between the ages fifteen to thirty five years sat one hand and on the other providing specific educational programmes to specific sections of the society including the rural poor. These incorporates three broader areas;
(i) Literacy should be functional, having practical utility, should help to generate interest and form the attitude for acquiring more information and skills,
(ii) Literacy should help the adults to take interests in community and nations problem and be able to participate in the national and social life,
(iii) Literacy is aimed at developing the fundamental ability that the adult can further enhance his education through non-formal means. Unfortunately, Adult Literacy Programme has been received by the adult learners as ‘Literacy for Literacy sake, ’ and they do not find the utility of it so far as the livelihood is concerned. Making them aware of the environment political, social and economic activities going around them and how does it effect in their personal prosperity or how far their knowledge and skills of the fundamentals of reading and writing can help them to derive the maximum of the developmental programmes going on for their betterment, is therefore essential. If such awareness combs in them they would be motivated from within.
Changing trends in rural life :
The Indian society as a whole has witnessed and experienced currents of change during the past few decades. The developed means of transportation, easy means of communication, electrification, irrigational facilities, educational and health facilities have definitely brought the outward change in the rural life conditions.
Although there is no universal effect in all the rural societies in the country. The most beneficiaries are those who are closer to the urban areas and are having political, thereby Government interests centred round. In general the pattern of rural life, is more or less the same. The superstitions and beliefs, taboos and dogmas still prevail among the people. Many thronged and multifarious schemes launched for the rural development have given less good than ills.
The ill effects :
The greatest ill effect of all these currents of change is the dispersion of the rural population. The bulk of agricultural Migration to towns and cities caused the agriculture labour becoming scarce. This disruptive change can be checked by creating socio-economic politically viable rural/ urban communities. Such communities would be a growth centres, where institutions, services and major markets are located.
Bole of education in a village :
A school in the countryside as it is today, cannot capture the loyalty or imagination of the villagers if it made their childreirstrangers to the life of the village. How could such children contribute anything worthwhile and creative to it? Their tendency would naturally be to cut themselves adrift from the village and try and find some opening in the neighbouring towns or cities.
Thus, the more ambitions and talented youngsters were gradually drawn away from the villages arid this impoverished their tutor e. The business of the rural education, therefore, is to adopt arid ideology and technique which will give village children the desire to stay in the village and train them to serve and enrich and improve village life. This alone can make education real and enlist children’s – interest which is alienated today by a bookish curriculum and unpsychological methods of approach.
Problems of the village and education :
A village is a community where all people work or atleast under socially healthy condition, all ‘should work’. And this work is not with files or books but mainly with men and things and Nature – it is practical, productive and manual work like ploughing the land and growing the crops, tending the cattle, making bricks, weaving cloths etc. Now if the child is to fit in this picture, he should be able to take on willingly and competently and job of practical work that may come his way.
This means that his school education should centre round crafts and practical work, which, was the approach adopted by the Basic Education. Again the village has many problems of sanitation and water supply, health and hygiene, enforced leisure an wasteful methods of work. These can only be solved if the villagers, possess adequate and correct knowledge about than and are trained to apply that knowledge to their life situations. This implies the forming of a syllabus – particularly in social studies and General Science – which is closely related to real problems of rural life, and which is so presented that the conventional walls between school knowledge an life situation disappear.
Thirdly, there are many kinds of prejudices, superstitions and unhealthy and uncivic social practices which retard clear thinking and therefore right, living in our villages. The school should be able to make not only children but their parents realise the stupidity and the dangers of such ideas and practices, and wages war against abscondism and wrong traditions.
Examine as to how India’s development process has been an important objective of India’s foreign policy.
Discuss the relationship between India’s foreign policy and her development process.
Discuss the role of India’s foreign policy in her economic development.
Indian Foreign Policy:
Introduction – No doubt, economic development gets high priority. in the formulation and implementation of India’s foreign policy. After independence; the objective of economic development was two fold: increased production, and a more equitable distribution of wealth and resources. Thus, elimination of poverty and increasing the living standard of our people were the main aims of our policymaker – which were reflected in the making of our foreign policy too.
Impact of Foreign Policy ion Economic Development:
Foreign policy has an impact on the economic development of an underdeveloped country in four ways –
- It may help to secure foreign aid for economic development;
- It may encourage or discourage the flow of foreign private capital;
- It may promote or retard exports, which do have an impact on balance of payment situation as well as an overall economic growth, this can be done through foreign trade policies and trade agreements; and
- It may encourage joint industrial ventures, with parties in other countries and this can give impetus to increased production. Thus, India too made economic development as one of the main objectives of its foreign policy and made it a major priority.
Economic Development – An Objective of India’s Foreign Policy:
To work for peace and avoid war and conflicts was essential for India’s development process to remain continued. War only diverts funds from development to defence. It also affects foreign trade and foreign aid, both of which are essential for development. In a cold war divided bipolar world, to receive aid and simultaneously maintain its sovereignty was the need of the time. Moreover, to attain self-sufficiency it is essential to develop avenues of favourable foreign trade rather than to remain dependent on foreign aid.
For this regional co-operation was a must. Not surprisingly, the demand of economic development has been an important factor in the evolution of India’s policy of non-alignment, friendship with all countries, especially with neighbours, abolition of inequal trade relations and both North-South as well as South-South Co-operation. Indian foreign policy gave special and focussed attention to economic diplomacy at the bilateral, regional and multilateral levels.
Post Cold War Situation – India successfully readjusted itself to the post¬cold war situation. Recognising that the success of India’s reform programmes after the new phase of economic liberalization depended on a favourable international economic co-operation, the attempt was to forge international consensus in support of our reform programmes and articulate the development process.
Development Issues in UNO – India also sought to ensure that the developmental issues were emphasized in various activities of the United Nations, India sought to ensure that the United Nations “Agenda for Development” should be goal oriented and incorporate clear plans of action for development of the developing nations. It should include a commitment to an open, fair and equitable international environment conductive to sustain and accelerated economic growth of the developing countries.
The revised agenda for development represents a success of the Indian diplomacy. There was a constant monitoring of emergent thinking in the UN and the multilateral financial institutions on the issue of development. Wherever, it was felt that India’s developmental interests were not properly safeguarded, the Foreign Affairs Ministry was active in raising consciousness within the country and among other developing and developed countries towards this end.
Uruguay Round of Trade Negotiations – It may be noted here that inspite of the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations, certain developed countries continued their efforts to increase protectionism and create new trade conditionalities and non-tariff barriers. These and other issues affecting market access for Indian goods and services were monitored and sought to be ameliorated and countered.
Economic Co-operation within Trans-regional Groups – India’s engagement in economic co-operation among trans-regional group of developing countries in Asia, Latin America and Africa assumed special significance as the 4th summit of the G-15 was held in New Delhi in March, 1994. It was decided to broaden the scope of intra-G-15 cooperation through the establishment of a Committee on Trade, Investment and Technology (CITT). it was to work towards evolution of trans-regional arrangements for liberalisation, facilitation and promotion of trade, investment and technology transfer.
At the 30th Anniversary commemoration meeting of the Group of 77 held in New York in July 1994, India reaffirmed the purpose and endeavours of the Group of 77 to obtain for developing countries a larger voice in global economic decision-making. Moreover, as part of India’s attempts to establish closer economic ties with the fast growing economies of East-Asia and the Pacific region, India has been establishing contacts with the evolving Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) grouping. In view of the strategic significance and economic potential of the Indian ocean region, there have been moves in several Indian ocean countries for establishment of an Indian Ocean Group for Economic Cooperation. India has been taking initiatives in this regard and has undertaken studies on this concepts.
India’s Foreign Policy in 1990’s – Thus, emphasis os India’s foreign policy in 1990’s in on economic development as well as South-South cooperation. Thus, the Prime Minister stressed on the need for NAM members to intensify South-South cooperation on a practical basis. P.M. Rao’s speech in the crucial 10th Non-aligned Summit held in Jakarta in September 1992, gave the necessary orientation to the NAM emphasising that “if the NAM was relevant in a bipolar world, it is even more relevant as a movement to protect the interests of the developing countries in a unipolar or economically multipolar world. ”
Discuss the internal and international factors responsible for the evolution of India’s Foreign Policy since independence?
Factors Responsible For The Evolution Of India’s Foreign Policy:
Introduction – The importance of the foreign policy of a nation is described by Rajni Kothari, in the following words, “Any discussion of the performance of a political system must sooner or later comes to grips with the facts that it forms part of a larger world setting with which it interacts almost continuously.”
Foreign Policy of a country is largely concerned with promotion of its own interests, while conducting relationship with other states.
India’s foreign policy, like that of many other country, has been determined by a host of factors – both domestic and international. Replying to a debate on foreign affairs in the Lok Sabha in 1958, Mr. J. L. Nehru, spoke of elements of India’s Foreign Policy as follows :
“It is a policy inherent in the circumstances of India, inherent in the past thinking of India, ion the -world mental outlook of India… and inherent in the circumstances of world today. ”
The factors behind India’s foreign policy are mentioned in the above statement. The country’s geographical conditions, economic compulsion, political tradition and ideals, domestic milieu, and the international situation. For convenience, one can divide the factors which have shaped India’s foreign policy under two heads :
A. Domestic Factors, and
B. International Factors.
A. Domestic Factors:
The following are some of the important domestic factors that have shaped India’s foreign policy:
1. Geographic Factors – India occupies a position of great geographic and strategic importance. All the major sea and air route of the world pass through India. Besides, India is an indispensable link in World Trade and Commercial intercourse. Nehru, in 1948, spoke of India as the pivotal centre if South, South-East and Western Asia Again in 1903, Lord Curzon, the then Governor-General of India, predicted that the geographical position of India would more and more push it into the forefront of international affairs. But, at the same time, because of its strained relations with China and Pakistan. India is faced with a security must depend on her command over the Indian access. War with China as well as Pakistan made to necessary for India to have a secured and safe national border.
2. Economic Factors – Nehru said that ‘ultimately foreign policy is the outcome of economic policy. ‘India, as a backward economy, in spite of huge natural resources, cannot groups as leading economic power because oflack of industrial establishment, Besides many obstacle are there on the path of proper ‘industrialization’ can be created only if there is no internal as well as external problems. Supporting the statement Nehru said, “We can not afford war and its devastations, we want to build up our strength in peace and under the shelters of neutrality. ”
In adopting the pattern of economic growth, India pursued a policy of Non-Alignment, which was neither completely based on the liberal-democratic model nor on the Marxism-Socialist model. India’s policy of mixed economy, while conforming the principle of Non-Alignment, ensured the advantage of both the capitalist and the Marxism models and India could have trade with all the countries and seek and from the more prosperous one.
3. Historical and Political Tradition – The Political Tradition of any country is an important determinant of its foreign policy. The same is the importance of Historical tradition. India’s foreign policy is the product of traditional values of her society, and commitment ofnational movement during freedom struggle.
Thus, we can say that the roots of Indian foreign policy are to be found in her civilization, the heritage of British policies, the independence movement and the influence of Gandhian Philosophy. Nehru said: “A country’s Foreign Policy ultimately emerges from its own tradition, urges objectives and more particularlyfrom its recent past. ” Accordingto J.B. Bandhopadhya, following are the political tradition of India:
(a) Rejection of both Western Capitalism and Communism.
(c) Anti-imperialism and Anti-racialism. ‘
(d) Idealist view of politics and power with emphasis on peace and non-violence
(e) Idealist approach to internationalism.
4. National Interest – National interest is another important issue that affects the foreign policy of any country to a great extent. India’s Foreign Policy needs to he oriented towards safeguarding its National Interest in the first instance and then moulded to influence and promote the concept of peace and friendship around and abroad.
5. Personality Factors – Any country’s foreign policy at a given time is the end product of how its ruling elite perceives and responds to the prevailing challenges in domestic fields and external environment. Thus the foreign policy too, depends on ruling elite as well as decision makers; as Prof. Galbraith says : “Foreign policy like domestic policy is a reflection of the fundamental instincts of those who make it. ”
Nehru’s Charismatic personality set the Non-Aligned Movement as well as treaty with U.S.S.R.
B. International Factors:
1. The Indian Outlook on World Affairs – It had two ingredients; One
a strong desire to safe India from the war waged by the big powers for their selfish ends. Two, an urge to play a major role in world affairs. Nehru believed that India could play an effective role in avoiding another world war, provided it did not align itself with any groups of powers. He observed, “I feel that India can play a big part and perhaps an effective part, in helping to avoid war.”
2. Power Politics of the Superpowers – By the time India became free, the world was divided into two block, USSR and America. Polarization of the World War was complete and the consequent cold-war was a reality. India had two choices at that time either aligning itself to any superpower or remain outfit of the bipolar world system. The Indian leaders felt that keeping aloof from the two power blocks would help India preserve its recently obtained sovereignty and would help it, to play in independent role in international politics. Besides, policy of non-alignment would help concentrate on its economic development and state building.
3. Race for Armament – The availability of weapons of mass destruction
i. e., Nuclear Weapon during the Second World War and after that its piling by two super powers has profound consequences on International relations and on India’s foreign policy. India was aware of the consequence of Nuclear Catastrophe. It was convinced that the increase in the number of nuclear state would escalate local as well as global tension and that the tendency to acquire Nuclear Weapon would jeopardize the security of every individual state as well as the whole world. In such a situation India could promote its global interest only by keeping itself out of Nuclear race.
4. Rise of newly independent States in Asia and Africa – These newly independent nations kept themselves out of the two existing power blocs for not to compromise their sovereignty by military entanglements. They formed a different groups in international seme with the policy of Mutual-co-operation and understanding. The formation of this group on the basis of non-alignment completely altered the power balance of the world. Two large groups of states, a third giant (China) and a number of non-aligned states mutually interact, producing a situation totally different from the system before 1945.
5. India’s Anti-Imperialist and Anti-Racialist Stance – India has been anti-imperialist and anti-racialist right from the days of freedom struggle. Indian leaders were convinced that imperialism leads to exploitation, racial discrimination, inequality and mutual distrust. They found imperialism and racialism antithetical to world peace and gave a sharp anti-colonial and anti-imperialist edge to their foreign policy. It did not itself aligned to either capitalist imperialist block (U.S.A.) or Socialist imperialist bloc (U.S.S.R.)
6. India’s Asianth – India’s Asianth was a corollary of its anti-imperialism and anti-racialism Nehru affirmed – “We are of Asia and people of Asia are nearer and closer to us that other. ” In the past, India’ culture had flowed to the other Asian countries and their cultures had in turn, come to India through various channels. What is being emphasised here is that India’s since the days of its liberation struggle had stood for close and friendly relations among the Asian countries so as to enable. Asia to have its own distinct identity in the world. To achieve this goal policy of non-alignment was adopted by India.
7. Emergence of the Third World – International politics changed radically after the emergence of newly independent states of Asia, Africa and Latin America. All these states were economically weak and were unable to safeguard their recently obtained national independence.
India sought to unite all these countries namely “Third World” countries, so that they could be like strong, united force on world arena says Rajni Kothari, “Nehru realised before any of his contemporary in the third world, ihe World War II had drastically altered the nature of the world order: that precisely when the ex¬colonial states were acquiring national autonomy, this autonomy was liable to be threatened. ”
To save the autonomy of the India, Nehru’s strategy was to unite all the Third World Countries on the basis of non-alignment. India’s policy of non-alignment gave the “Third World” a forum and a status in international politics and paved the way for the meaningful role in these states.
8. India’s Role in the United Nation – India opted for non-alignment to play its due role in world affairs, in the interest of world affairs, in the interest of world peace. With non-alignment as its creed, India could use the U.N. platform to spread the message of world peace. The newly dependent states actually utilised the United Nation, not only to defend their territorial and national sovereignty but also to fight against imperialist and racialism and promote the cause of world peace and security. No wonder than that India attached great significance to the United Nations in its foreign policy calculation.
Conclusion – We may conclude by saying that – in the given domestic and foreign situations, the policy of non-alignment was the only policy which suited India’s national interest and the international situation it found itself at the time of independence. Non-alignment was the only answer to the problems of India’s economic reconstruction and state building, its urge to avoid war and wholesale destruction and usher in peace and security, its desire to strengthen the United Nation, and its ambition to promote the solidarity of Afro-Asian countries and create a third world.
Discuss Non-Alignment and its emergence. Examine its relevance in the present day world politics.
Non-Alignment And ITS Emergence
Introduction – Foreign policy is the sum total of the principles, interest and objectives which a state formulates in conducting its relation with other states. The foreign policy ofa country is deeply influenced by the domestic correlation of socialforces and their material course. More importantly, global alignments exercises a direct impact on a country’s foreign policy options. India’s foreign policy is largely a product of her domestic needs as well as changing nature of international politics.
“Whatever policy we may lay down” proclaimed J.L. Nehru in Constituent Assembly. ‘ The art of conducting the foreign affairs of a country lies in what is most advantageous to the country ” This statement clearly shows that national interest was the governing principle of India’s Foreign Policy as conceived b J.L. Nehru, the architect of that policy. It is now common place in the theory of international politics that national interest is the governing principles of foreign policy. J.L. Nehru, while formulating India’s foreign policy accepted the generally held view among statement and writers as international politics.
Objectives Of India’s Foreign Policy:
A careful study reveals three main objectives of India’s foreign policy which J.L Nehru constantly kept before him;
- the preservation of India’s territorial integrity and freedom of policy,
- the promotion of international peace, and
- the economic development of India.
Territorial Integrity – The need for maintaining the territorial integrity of India is self evident is the first duty of a foreign minister to ensure it. The maintenance freedom of policy should equally be self evident for such freedom is implicit in the sovereignty and political independence of policy. The promotion of international peace Nehru gave high priority. He bent his energies to reduce international tensions, to have nuclear tests suspended, and achieve complete disarmament. To achieve the goal of developed economy India has started working on the war-foot level by inviting multinationals and by making collaboration agreements with other countries which could lead our country towards a better economy.
However, two other objectives, though not that important, of India’s foreign Policy is (a) the achievement of freedom of dependent peoples and the elimination of racial discrimination and, (b) the protection of the interests of the people of Indian origin abroad.
Non-Alignment – Non-alignment, as Nehru, conceived it is best defined as not entering into military alliances with any country and in particular with any country either of the Western or of the Communist blocs. The second, essential feature ofNon-alignment is “acting according to out best judgement”, and independent approach to foreign policy, not being tied down to a particular line of action because of the membership of a cold war bloc.
A third essential is an attempt to maintain friendly relations with all countries, whether belonging to military blocs or not. “Non-alignment means not trying yourself with military blocs of nation or with nation. It means trying to view things as far as possible, not military point of view, though has to come in some times, but independently and trying to maintain friendly relations with all countries”, once said Nehru.
However, non-alignment does not mean neutrality or when a war breaks out, India is bound to be neutral.
The Korean crisis of 1950 was the first test of non-alignment. India supported the UN move to rebut the aggression launched by North Korea against South Korea. Similarly, she condemned the Anglo-French action on Egypt in 1956 on the Suez Canal issue. India to was supported by Britain and the U.S.A., when India was threatened by Chinese aggression in October, 1962.
Basic Postulates – There was mainly three basic factors of a foreign policy namely,
(i) national interest,
(ii) regional compulsions and,
(iii) Global concerns. We mention the following as the basic postulates:
- National security, to prevent aggression or threat of aggression to the independence and to the territorial integrity.
- National economic development and political stability to ensure the unity and socio-economic growth of the country.
- Self-reliant, self-generating, industrialization, to protect and promote economic independence.
- Promotion of Goodwill, friendship and co-operation, in the South Asian region for mutual benefit
- Prevention of Big power interventions or intervention or in the internal affairs of South-Asian region and in the neighbouring countries.
- Promotion of the prospect of making Indian Ocean a zone of peace to avoid big power naval confrontation in water close to India.
- Support to liberation movements, democratic struggle for national independence and right of self determinations.
- Opposition of imperialism, colonialism, racism and racial discrimination and to authoritarianism and militarism.
- Opposition to arms race, especially nuclear arms, race and support to the process of comprehensive and complete disarmament.
- Support to global developmental efforts, and to the ushering in of the ‘New International Economic Order’ (NIEO) for ajust, equal and humanitarian world system.
- Support to international peace and security and to peaceful settlement of disputes and the creation of non-violent, nuclear weapon free world.
- Promotion of understanding and trust in place of fear and suspicion between nation and people.
- Support to the ideal implementation of Human rights as a basic condition for a more democratic world.
- Recognition of the right of every state to political and economic independence.
- Promotion of the ideal of peaceful co-existence and economic independence and to choose their system of society and polity.
Discuss the nature of Indian Federation, Do yon think Indian Federalism has strong unitary bias.
Describe the federal as well as unitary features of Indian federal structure.
Do you think Indian Federal Structure is ‘Quasi Federal’? Explain.
Introduction – The Constitution of India provides for a federal system of government though the term ‘federation’ has nowhere been used in the Constitution. On the other hand Article 1 of the Constitution describes India as a ‘Union of States’ an expression which implies two things. Firstly, unlike U.S. A. the Indian federation is not the result of an agreement between the units. Secondly, the units have no right to secede from the federation. In fact the units of the Indian federation have no independent existence of their own. The Parliament can alter their names and territories without their consent.
The founding fathers of the Indian constitution were convinced that a vast country like India could not be efficiently governed from a single Centre and thought it desirable to adopt a federal system of governmental The diversity of race, religion, and language also impelled them to go for a federal policy, because it could ensure unity of the country while assuring autonomy in matters of local importance. It may be observed that the Indian Constitution does not possess all the features of a typical federation and makes many deviations. In view of these deviations the critic have challenged the federal character of the Constitution, and described it as ‘quasi federal’. For example, Prof. K.C. Where says: “Indian Union is a unitary state with subsidiary federal features rather than a federal state with subsidiary unitary features. ”
For resolving the controversy regarding the true nature of the Indian federal system it is desirable to understand as to what is implied by a federal system and what are its special features. State Governments are not agents of the Central Government nor do they draw their authority from them on the other hand both the Central and State Governments draw their authority from the Constitution.
In this sense., we can say that India has a federal structure. Presenting the draft Constitution before the Constituent Assembly Dr. B.R. Ambedkar said : “It establishes a dual polity with the union at the Centre and the States at the periphery, each endowed with sovereign power to be exercised in the field assigned to them respectively be the Constitution. ”
He concluded that the Indian Constitution would be “both unitary as well as federal according to that requirements of time and circumstances.” K.M. Munshsi, a member of the Constituent Assembly, held that the Constitution made India” – a quasi-federal Union invested with several important features of a Unitary Government”. Sir Ivor Jennings wrote, ‘ “India has federation, with a strong centralising tendency.
Why Federation was set up in India? – The federation was necessitated by the special circumstances and environment of the society. The following circumstances compelled the framers of the Indian Constitution to adopt the federal form of government in the country.
- Indian Diversity – In India, there were people with different languages, cultures, religions and customs etc. Federation was necessary to satisfy their variant interests.
- Geographical Factors – India was a big country with a huge population it could not be managed from a single Centre. Thus federal form of government was thought to be ideal for India.
- Necessary for Integration of Princely States – There were a number of princely states which were left independent by the Indian Union, so federation was thought to be the best solution.
- Necessary for Democratic Decentralisation – Federation was set up in India because the Framers of the Indian Constitution did not like the concentration of powers at one place. They wanted to set up a true democracy which could be set up only by devolution of powers at different levels.
Indian Constitution establishes a unique federation it is a type in itself. It combines in itself the features of a federal as well as a unitary form of government. According to D.D. Basu, “the Constitution of India is neither purelyfederal nor unitary but a combination of both. “
Federal Features of Indian Constitution:
The federal features of Indian Constitution are discussed below. These features highlight the nature and characteristic of Indian federalism.
(i) A Written Constitution – The first requirement of a federal system of government is that the Constitution should be in the written form. It is because ‘federation’ is a contract between the two governments – the ‘federal government’ and the ‘federating units’ – and it is essential that the terms of the contract must be explicit and written. The Indian Constitution is a written one it is exhaustively written containing great details. It is because of the fact that it seeks to tackle the complex multiple problems of our country. The Indian Constitution, thus, fulfills the condition of a written Constitution and is, therefore, federal in character.
(ii) Rigidity of the Constitution – The second important features of a federal system is the rigidity of the Constitution. Rigidity does not mean that the Constitution is legally unalterable. It simply means that it cannot be altered or tampered with in a way that the balancing position which regulates the status and powers of the federal and state governments be disturbed to the detriment of either party However, as change becomes necessary to keep the Constitution abreast with the changing times, amendments sin the Constitution can also be made by the following a special procedure and co-opration of both the Union and the State governments. This requirement is also largely fulfilled by the Indian Constitution, though some parts of the Constitution fall in the category of flexibility as they can be amended, by an ordinary and simple procedure.
(iii) Bicameral Legislature – A federal start, as a rule provides for bicameral legislature. The Lower House (Lok Sabha) gives representation to the nation while the Upper House (Rajya Sabha) protects the interests of the component units of the federal state. The Constitution of India also establishes bicameral legislature – the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. The Lok Sabha gives representation to the entire nation. The Rajya Sabha is composed of representatives of the states on the basis of population in each State.
(iv) Division of Powers between the two Sets of Government, i.e., the Union and the States – In a federal system of government, there must necessarily be a clear distribution of powers between the federal and the state governments. This feature is also present in India. The division of powers, between the Union Government and the State Governments is provided under Articles 245 and 246, and the three legislative lists in the Seventh Schedule.
The first – the Union List – enumerates ninety-seven subjects over which the Union Parliament has exclusive law-making power. The second, the State List has sixty-one subject matters of legislation giving exclusive powers to the states. There is a third list – the Concurrent List – with fifty-two items on which both Union and State Legislatures can make laws. The residuary powers are vested with the Centre (Article 248).
(v) Supremacy of the Constitution – In a federal system the Constitution is always supreme. A federal Constitution strike a balance between the powers of the Central Government – and the State governments. It guarantees independence to ‘both sets of governments’ in their respective spheres of action. Neither of the two governments have the power to overrule the provision of the Constitution which define and delimit their powers. The Constitution is blinding on both. This requirement is fulfilled if the Constitution is the “Supreme law of the land’ and all authority flows from, and is subordinate to and controlled by, the Constitution. In India, this requirement is also fulfilled by our Constitution and thus, the inference is that we have adopted a federal system.
(vi) Supremacy of the Judiciary – A federal Constitution, as we have v seen, provides for the division of powers between the ‘federal government’ and the ‘federating units ’.It is but natural that conflicts may arise between the two sets of governments regarding their powers and sphere of jurisdiction of activity. Hence the need for a Supreme independent and impartial judiciary to pronounce the last word with regard to the interpretation of the terms of the Constitution.
This also implies that the authority of the judiciary would help prevent the federal and the State governments from encroaching upon each other’s powers and declare law made by them ultra vires on the ground of excess of power. This condition of a federal system, i. e., supremacy of the judiciary, is to be found in the Indian Constitution. This gives an added weight to the consideration of our systems ad federal in nature.
On the basis of the above discussion it can be concluded that the Indian Constitution is federal in character. And yet, arguments are forwarded against calling the Indian Constitution federal in nature.
Unitary Features Of Indian Constitution:
The unitary features of the Indian Constitution are discussed below:
(i) Union of States – The founding fathers of the Constitution preferred to use the word ‘Union of states’ instead of Federation’. This explain that the framers of our Constitution were more keen to see India as a Union than a Federation.
The word Union has been used for federal as well as unitary states. Moreover, Dr. Ambedkar pointed out that “the word ‘Union’reflects two things clearly – the Indian federation has not come into existence as a result ” of agreement between the federing units, and secondly, the units have no right to secede. ”
(ii) Parliament’s Power to Change the name and Boundary of a State –
Article empowers the Union Parliament to alter the Boundaries of states or to create new states by splitting or merging existing states or parts of the existing L states. Since this action does not imply amendment of the Constitution, a bare majority is needed. For altering the boundaries of states, the Centre has merely to consult the state concerned but is not obliged to obtain their concurrence. The formation of Andhra in 1953 and subsequently of Maharashtra and Gujarat etc. were the result of this power conferred upon the Centre. Article 3 in this way confers a life and death power in the lands of the Centre over the states.
(iii) Governor as an agent of Centre – The provision for the appointment of the Governor of a State by the President was introduced with the object of providing a link between the Centre and the States but more with a view to preventing the emergence of separatist tendencies. The members in the Constituent Assembly asserted differently about Governor as the agent of the Centre. Sc, the precise role he was to play remained undefined. But taken everything into account, Governor is an agent of the Centre. He remains in office during the pleasure of the President and can reserve for the consideration of the President the bills passed by the State Legislature.
(iv) Intervention in State Subject – Even during normal times, if the Rajya Sabha passes a resolution by 2/3rd majority of its members present and voting that a subject in the State List has assumed national importance, the Parliament will become empowered to make law on that subject. This resolution will however, remain in force for one year only. This period can be prolonged for one year at a time by a subsequent resolution and so on. There is no limit on the number of times this resolution may be passed. It may continue for any number of years.
(v) Major and Residual Legislative Powers with the Centre – The Constitution made the Centre perhaps the strongest in any federal system. Consequently, the Centre has got the major sphere of the legislative powers. All the important subjects are included in the Central List.
It has 97 subjects after the 42nd Amendment. In addition thereto, there are 52 subjects on the concurrent list. The Parliament is empowered to make laws on subjects enumerated in the Union List and the Concurrent List. Every State Government is under Constitutional obligation to give due compliance to these laws if a state legislature makes any law in regard to any matter in the concurrent list, which is contrary to the law made by Parliament in the same matter, the state law to the extent of its contravention shall be illegal under Article 254.
(vi) Emergency Provision of the Constitution – Above everything else, the three types of emergency envisages respectively under Art’cle 352, 356 and 360 demonstrate the overriding power of the Centre over the autonomy of the state. Aproclamation of Emergency Undo- Article 352 when there is danger to the security of India has the chance of bringing about a virtual cancellation of the Federal division of powers. In that event, the executive powers of the Central Government extends over states in all matters and confers upon Parliament the Power to make laws on subjects exclusively under the jurisdiction of the states.
A Proclamation of Emergency at the time of failure of Constitutional machinery as provided under Article 356 is far more important. The Union Executive has the power, up to subsequent approval by Parliament, to dismiss the State Council of Ministers and to dissolve or suspend – the state legislature. A Proclamation of Emergency at the time of financial crisis can be made under Article 360. It empower the President to limit the fiscal independence of states. Article 360, according to H.N. Kunzru, treats tlie states “as though they were children and the President a village school-. ‘ master.”
(vii) Absence of Separate Constitutions—In federal countries such as U.S.A., Switzerland and U.S.S.R. the federating units have their own Constitutions. This ensures their independence in local matters. But in India we have only one Constitution for the Centre and the states (J & K is an exception which has its own Constitution). This leads to uniformity in laws.
(Viii) Unequal Representation to States ion the Rajya Sabha—The Upper House in a federation has equal representation to ensure equality to states. But in India, representation of States in the Rajya Sabha is on the basis of population. This goes against the Principle of equality.
(ix) Absence of Double Citizenship – A federation confers double citizenship. Accordingly, every American is a citizen ofhis own state and that of the U.S.A In India, on the other hand, thereis only one citizenship. Whether we are Bengalis or Punjabis, v/e have only one Indian citizenship. This is against the spirit of federation where a balance between the local and central interest has to be achieved.
(x) Financial Dependence of States on the Union – In a federation, the resources of revenue are also distributed between the Centre and federating units in a way to allow the units sufficient amount of autonomy in the financial sphere also. But in India the resources allocated to the states are far from satisfactory. In this way, the states have to depend upon the Centre one who wields power over the purse, wields power in other respects also. In this way, the Centre is in a position to control the policies and administration of the states.
Conclusion – Thus we can conclude that the Indian Constitution would be both unitary as well as Federal according to the requirements of time and circumstances. K.M. Munshi, a member of the Constituent Assembly, held that the Constitution made India a “quasi-federal Union invested with several importantfeatures of a Unitary Government. ” It is true, Indian federal structure does not possess all the features of a typical classical federalism, but India has a true federal polity though with some centralishing tendencies.
Discuss the role of Language in the politics of independent India.
Discuss the merits and demerits of Linguistic states. How did they affect national integration?
Language As a Factor in Politics:
The Indian political system has been deeply influenced by its languages and regional movements. Language is considered as an element of socio-cultural and political identity. Much of the politics of India centres around the questions of language and region. .In fact, linguistic multiplicity in India has imparted a new dimension to the working of its political system. Referring to the question of language, the Sarkaria Commission Report states that, “it has given rise to considerable controversy and bitterness in the development of the political system ofIndia.
” The Report also said that, “some of the states have objected to the use of Hindi as the only official language. “ Some states have even adopted English as their official language. The Sarkaria Commission cautions against the politicization of language that has potentialities of threatening the very foundation of Indian democracy. It also recommended that the three-language formula should be effectively implemented. It also emphasized that the interests of the linguistic minorities must be ‘strictly implemented’.
Impact of creation of Linguistic states:
(i) The creation of linguistic states in India after independence has reinforced regionalisms and has stirred demands for increased date autonomy expressed most stridently by the CPI (M) ion West Bengal and the DMK ion Tamil Nadu. New organisation and pressure groups dedicated to the linguistic cause sprang sup all over India. Demonstrations and agitations were organised in various states of the country as a protest against the imposition of Hindi.
It is often suggested that the South Indians don’t want the imposition of Hindi and that they think of the progress ofHindi as Hindi imperialism. The linguistic reorganisation of Indian states, despite its being the best arrangement under the obtainable circumstances, is fraught with great dangers. State reorganisation provided the framework for expanded participation. It made the people more accessible to political mobilisation and articulation of demands. But these demands have often reflected parochialism of region and language.
(ii) The reorganisation of states on the basis of language made the people conscious of their own language. They began to feel that the study and promotion of their own language or English was likely to get them better fruits than Hindi. Instead of developing a nationalistic outlook they became chauvinistic. Moreover, the regional languages have become increasingly dominant.
In multilingual and poly-cultural city like Hyderabad, the Government’s Zeal to promote the language and culture of Telugu strikes an ominous note. The same is true about Punjab government’s drive to make the study of Punjabi language and culture almost compulsory in Punjab. In Tamil Nadu, any politician, who holds the slightest hope of success in the elections, takes a strong stand against imposition ofHindi. The Muslims of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar demand that the Urdu be given the status of second official language.
Official Language Commissions (1956). – When the recommendations of the Official Language Commission were made public in 1956, they evoked a mixed reaction. While the Hindi speaking states welcomed them the non- Hindi speaking states expressed considerable opposition. The Commission had endorsed the constitutional provision thereby aggravating the non-Hindi opposition which received the implementation of the official language provision as a threat to the political states of the non-Hindi regions.
It also thought that such implementation would restrict over their participation in national politics and disturb the balance ofpower between regions. Thevarious groups from non-Hindi areas united their support of English and opposition to the move the treat the 1965 deadline as rigid one. The result of the agitation was the Presidential Order of April 1960 which indefinitely extended the time¬limit for a final switch-over, followed by legislation ion 1963 to establish the ‘associate official language’ status for English.
Conclusion – It has been argued by scholars like Selig Harrison that the language parochialism would lead to the disintegration of India or the destruction of democracy. But it may be noted here that nothing of this kind has in fact happened. Instead of weakening national unity, linguistic reorganisation of India, some scholars point out, seems to have consolidated it. It is pointed out that the demand for secession has practically withered away after the linguistic reorganisation of India.
Thus, the Akali Dal did not talk of secession, nor did the DMK after they captured power in the state. The formation of linguistic states has brought about a strong attachment of the people to the states and has become the real federal fore. In our opinion, the recent developments have revealed that the effect of reorganisation of states on linguistic lines has given a more intensely regional character to politics. Moreover, it has made the states a much more important lever of power.
Discuss the transition of Indian polities from one party dominant system to multi party system?
Political Parties And Indian Politics 1950-1977:
One Party Rule :
Since independence, Congress has ruled approximately 45 years (from August 1947 to May 1996), with two intervals in between (from January 1977 to January 1980 and from November 1989 to June 1991). In general, the Congress Prime Ministers had enjoyed control over party.
Except for a short wile, when P.D. Tondon was the Congress President and later during 1964-1967, when Kamraj became predominant. After Indira Gandhi became Prime Minister second time in 1971, she organized her own party. After 1980, she became both the party President and also the Prime Minister. After ha- assassination, there were certain apprehensions in some quarters about the position ofRajiv Gandhi vis-a-vis the party stalwarts. But the former retained his grip and held both the posts of the Party President and the Prime Minister. P. V. Narasimha Rao too held both the posts.
Growth and development of Congress Party:
Indian National Congress was founded in 1885 with the initiative of Mr. A.O. Hume, a retired British Officer. The growth, development and working of the Congress passed through four phases:
- Congress under the moderates – 1885-1919.
- Congress under the leadership ofGandhiji (1920-47).
- After the independence – 1948 to March 1977.
- March 1977 to the present.
Congress (I) : Congress (I) was formed in 1978 with Smt. Gandhi as its President. She became the Prime Minister in 1980 without giving up party presidentship. After the death of Smt.. Indira Gandhi, Shri Rajiv Gandhi was elected as the President of Congress (I)
Organisation of the Congress:
- The All India Congress Committee.
- The Working Committee.
- State Congress Committees and
- District, City and Village Congress Committees.
There are three types of Congress members – Primary, Active members and Associate members.
Before Independence, the chief aim of the Congress Party/ vas to attain freedom. After Independence, the task before the Congress is tCvvork for the attainment of social and economic freedom.
Beginning of the Decline :
In the past, decisions critical to India’s future were taken without anyreference to public interest, for instance, the acceptance of the Jinnah thesis by Congress and Nehru’s post-1947 decision to refer the Kashmir issue to the United Nations. The “tolerant” Gandhi manipulated the exit of Subhas Bose and after the death of Sardar Patel the organisation came under Nehru’s control who mooted his daughter as Congress pr evident making it clear that he wished her to succeed him.
The Nehru Dynasty :
While Nehru hid his autocracy behind a screen of populist rhetoric, Indira Gandhi was more candid. Cabinet meetings were reduced to sermons from her., after which signatures would be taken on decisions already arrived at, in her so called kitchen cabinet. Gandhi family was confirmed in its belief that was born to rule.
End of Dynastic Legacy:
Lai Bahadur Shastri was the home spun Prime Minister. Though his reign was too brief to Rao’s Regime it made much change in the prevailing culture. Unlike Moraiji Desai and V.P. Singh, Pamulaparthy Venkata Narasimha Rao was given five years to continue, or to put aside, the legacy of dynasty.
Cabinet meetings under Rao were no different from the many that he had attended under Indira and Rajiv Gandhi. Opposition to his views were treated with contempt, and the offender summarily silenced. Agendas were raced through, without much of the time being spent in discussion. Indian society changed fundamentally. The cause lay in the accretion of strength to other groups within the state, such as the Election Commission, the Judiciary and the media. The initiatives taken by all three were further encouraged by the enthusiastic popular support it received.
Counterbalances to power :
1. While Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi had nipped opposition sin the bud, Rao did nothing to stem the growing tide of dissent outside the party. Outspoken political reforma’s such as T.N. Seshan became cult figures for the common man, already invigorated by the whilff of a new independence that economic liberalisation had ushered into the country. Civic life in all its forms, from consumers consciousness to women’s rights, emerged as an increasingly effective counterbalance to the power of the purely political in public affairs.
2. St. Kitts Chargesheet: In the St. Kitts Chargesheet, a political hand is patent, Both Satish Sharma and R.K. Dhawan have been excluded from it, apparently to prevent them from naming Rajiv Gandhi the individual who probably ordered the operation.
3. In the 1984 riots cases also, no attempts seem to have been made by the slate to determine who ordered the program. Again, culpability need not stop at just a H.K.L. Bhagat but could be proved to extend to Narasimha Rao who was Home Minister at the time and did little or nothing to bring the criminals ‘ to book.
4. The demolition of the Babri Masjid and the Mumbai riots following the bomb blasts further alienated the minority communities from the Congress.
Examples of accountability on top:
- A Viceroy was unconcaned about five million Bengalis dying of famine during 1942-44, so that his troops could be properly fed.
- A Bofors beleaguered Rajiv Gandhi was not prosecuted by V.R Singh, perhaps in memory of earlier kindnesses done by his mother and younger brother to the Raja of Manda.
- Narasimha Rao, more through inertia than by design, showed the wind by allowing other high-level politicians to be convenient scapegoats in the sugar scandal and later the Hawala case. Today Rao has reaped die whirlwind.
The United Front (UF) was a coalition of 13 different political parties. Following circumstances led to its formation.
1. Formation of Janata Party:
On January 18,1977, Mrs. Indira Gandhi dissolved the Lok Sabha and announced fresh elections. Janata Party was formed with Congress (I), Bhartiya Lok Dal, Bhartiya Jana Sangh, Socialist Party and some independent Congressmen. It was for the first time that some important parties had really merged into one to oppose the Congress (I). The formation of Janata Party as an alternative to the Congress fulfilled the long desired need of the nation. The Party was founded with the blessing of Jai ParkashNarayan.
2. The Grand Alliance :
Before and after the split of the Congress in 1969, steps were taken in the direction of forming an alternative to the Congress. But the leaders of various parties like B.K.D. and Swatantra Party could not reach at an agreement. The dissolution of the Lok Sabha and the announcement of mid-term polls provided incentive to the opposition leader to join hands against the Congress Party. The four major parties agreed to form a Grand Alliance for contestingthe forthcoming elections. But theresults of the elections greatly shocked and disillusioned themembers of the alliance and they blamed each other for performance. For the next two years no efforts were made for their unity.
3. Seven Party’s Merger :
Blessed by Jai Prakash Narayan a concrete step towards the evolution of a national alternative was taken in August 1974 when seven big and small parties merged themselves to form the Bhartiya Lok Dal. An appeal was made to other political parties to join it but the leader of Congress (0), Jana Sangh and Socialist Party were not willing to submerge their individual identities.
4. The Allahabad High Court Judgement of June 12, 175 : On June 12,1975 the Allahabad High Court annulled the election of Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi on the ground of corrupt practice and disqualified her for six years to hold a legislative seat. The leaders of the opposition Parties demanded her resignation but she declared internal emergency. The leaders that their survival lies is merger. Janata Party was formally inaugurated on may 1,19077 with Chandrashekhar wads elected as its President. To the surprise of all the Janata Party won the elections.
5. Disintegration of Janata Party: Ever since the formation of the Janata Party the critics had highlighted it heterogenous character and soon in fighting and bickerings assumed serious dimensions. One of the controversial about the disintegration of the party. Mr. Raj Narayan was the first to resign in June 19790 to form Janata (S). When the non-confidence motion was being discussed in the Lok Sabha, some ministers resigned on seeing the Janata Government sinking. On July 1979 Morarji Desai resigned. In the 7th General election the party could secure only 31 seats due to following reasons.
- The Janata Government was incapable of taking up the thread left by the past government so far as the basic problems of rising prices and crime, unemployment and industrial unrest were concerned.
- The enforced Assembly poll was an unheard of solution and a step the like of which no democracy based on peace and written constitution could understand. A deliberate sinister situation was being created to fasten doubt on vital national programmes.
- The gates of freedom of press which had been widely opened were utilised purposefiilly and constructively by intelligent and sincere people for running papers which have a cunning concept of timing for changing their policies and courses.
Charan Singh’s Views:
The caretaker Prime Minister Mr. Charan Singh criticised the Janata Party on the following four points :
1. No worker of the Janata Party, if ever there was a Janata Party in existence in the true sense of the term, could claim that his government had succeeded in cleansing public life, in improving the administration of the country or giving a new hope to the masses.
2. Owing to lack of understanding and political will on the part of the Janata Government leadership, the country had been brought to the brink of economic and administrative chaos which was never witnessed before.
3. It had little or no report with masses, particular the poor, the weak or the downtrodden and therefore, was not aware of the stirrings of their hearts. Sh. Morarji Desai was by nature incapable of wiping out the tears of any eye.
4. Lastly, the extraordinary success which the Janata Party achieved in election to Parliament in March 1977 from the northern part of the country was a very special change and in the extraordinary gathering of villagers that converged on Delhi on December 23, 1977 and on the same date in 1978 the Prime Minister saw a threat to his office. In order to checkmate this imaginary threat the increasingly leaned dn the R.S.S. and adopted other attitudes which only served to encourage communal trends in our society that will disrupt it still Anther instead of welding it into a stronger or more homogenous hole.