Should Grading System Should Be There in Cbse

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 1124
  • Published : February 21, 2013
Open Document
Text Preview
12

India After Independence

d
e

A New and Divided Nation

When India became independent in August 1947, it
faced a series of very great challenges. As a result of
Partition, 8 million refugees had come into the country
from what was now Pakistan. These people had to be
found homes and jobs. Then there was the problem
of the princely states, almost 500 of them, each ruled
by a maharaja or a nawab, each of whom had to be
persuaded to join the new nation. The problems of the
refugees and of the princely states had to be addressed
immediately. In the longer term, the new nation had to
adopt a political system that would best serve the hopes
and expectations of its population.

h
s

T li
Rb
Eu
Cp
N re
©e
b
to
t

Fig. 1 – Thousands gathered on
the occasion of the flag hoisting
ceremony at the Red Fort on
15 August 1947

o
n
160

OUR PASTS



III

India’s population in 1947 was large, almost 345
million. It was also divided. There were divisions
between high castes and low castes, between the
majority Hindu community and Indians who practised
other faiths. The citizens of this vast land spoke many
different languages, wore many different kinds of dress,
ate different kinds of food and practised different
professions. How could they be made to live together in
one nation-state?
To the problem of unity was added the problem of
development. At Independence, the vast majority of
Indians lived in the villages. Farmers and peasants
depended on the monsoon for their survival. So did the
non-farm sector of the rural economy, for if the crops
failed, barbers, carpenters, weavers and other service
groups would not get paid for their services either. In
the cities, factory workers lived in crowded slums with
little access to education or health care. Clearly, the
new nation had to lift its masses out of poverty by
increasing the productivity of agriculture and by
promoting new, job-creating industries.
Unity and development had to go hand in hand. If
the divisions between different sections of India were
not healed, they could result in violent and costly
conflicts – high castes fighting with low castes, Hindus
with Muslims and so on. At the same time, if the fruits
of economic development did not reach the broad masses
of the population, it could create fresh divisions – for
example, between the rich and the poor, between cities
and the countryside, between regions of India that were
prosperous and regions that lagged behind.

Activity
Imagine that you are a
British administrator
leaving India in 1947.
You are writing a letter
home where you discuss
what is likely to happen
to India without the
British. What would be
your views about the
future of India?

d
e

h
s

T li
Rb
Eu
Cp
N re
©e
b
to
t

A Constitution is Written

Between December 1946 and November 1949, some
three hundred Indians had a series of meetings on
the country’s political future. The meetings of this
“Constituent Assembly” were held in New Delhi, but
the participants came from all over India, and from
different political parties. These discussions resulted
in the framing of the Indian Constitution, which was
adopted on 26 January 1950.
One feature of the Constitution was its adoption of
universal adult franchise. All Indians above the age of
21 would be allowed to vote in state and national
elections. This was a revolutionary step – for never before had Indians been allowed to choose their own leaders.
In other countries, such as the United Kingdom and

o
n

Franchise – The right to
vote

INDIA AFTER INDEPENDENCE

161

d
e

h
s

T li
Rb
Eu
Cp
N re
©e
b
to
t

Fig. 2 – Jawaharlal Nehru
introducing the resolution that
outlined the objectives of the
Constitution

o
n
162

OUR PASTS



III

the United States, this right had been granted in stages.
First only men of property had the vote. Then men who
were...
tracking img