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Independent India and Its Constitution

This was my project. In my Project I had tried to to express the event and situation at the time of Independence and how our constitution got framed. It include challenges of our newly independent India like Partition, integration of princely states, and so on. The matter is taken from different sources and complied by me with some of my opinion and somewhat present my view.

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Independent India and Its Constitution

  1. 1. dsUnzh;fo|ky; , 39 thVhlh okjk.klh dSUV- 221002(उ.प्र) ¼ek 0l a0 fo 0 ea=ky;] Ldwy f'k{kk vkSj lk{kjrk foHkkx ) KENDRIYA VIDYALAYA, 39 GTC VARANASI CANTT-221002(UP) (Ministry ofHRD, Deptt. ofSchool Education & Literacy) Website: www. E-Mail : Phone: 0542 – 2503320, 2503347(Fax) CBSE School No: 08629 KV Code: 1852 CBSE Affiliation No: 2100041 Supervisor’s Certificate Certified that the following students of Class- XIID (Humanity) of this Vidyalaya have completed their project on title :- Independent India & its constitution , under my supervision and guidance. Name Roll No. 1. Trishant 32 2. Govind Sonkar 3. Sarvesh Rawat 4. Jairam Rai The project is genuinely their own piece of work and is ready and fit for submission in partial fulfillment of the requirement ‘History Project Work’ in Session 2015-16.
  2. 2. Declaration We are the student of Class XII D, under Department of Humanities of Kendriya Vidyalaya 39 GTC, Varanasi, hereby declare that all the information furnished in this project report is based on my own intensive research and are genuine. This project report does not contain all the best of my knowledge; it contains part of my work which has been submitted for Session 2014-15. Name Roll No. Signature Trishant 35 Govind Sonkar Sarvesh Rwat Jairam Rai
  3. 3. We Trishant, Govind, Sarvesh, Jairam the student of class XII D with our immense pleasure want to do a project on the topic “Independent India & its Constitution”. Under the guidance of Mr. Ravi Ranjan (PGT History) & with special help of Shri A.K Singh, Vice Principal & Shri Sanjay Kumar, Principal of the vidyalaya . We would be dealing with the situation and circumstances in which India got its Independence and how its democratic government will run for good of all. On the basis of text , documents of libraries and internet we shall look the organization of India and its constitution , forces , strategies that shaped its destiny , division of social groups , the crisis it suffered from , economic activities & several other points/topic too. After analyzing the matter we would create the project. So, kindly allow us to do the project on the above mention topic. Name Roll No. Signature Trishant 32 Govind Sonkar Sarvesh Rawat Jairam Rai Sign of supervisor
  4. 4. Acknowledgment We place on record and warmly acknowledge the continuous, in valuable supervision timely suggestion and inspired guidance offered by our guide history teacher “Mr. Ravi Ranjan “ Department of Humanities, Kendriya Vidyalaya, in bringing this report to a successful completion. We are grateful to Vice Principal sir, Principal sir , for permitting us to make use of the facilities available in the department to carry out the project successfully. At last but not the least we express our sincere thanks to all our friends who have patiently extended all sorts of help for accomplishing this undertaking.
  5. 5. Contents :- 1 Introduction 2 Challenges of newly Independent India 2.1 Partition & Integration of Princely States 2.2 Establishing Democracy 3 Reorganization of states 4 The Constituent Assembly 4.1 Election and its Assembling 4.2 Session and Principal committee 5 Draft Committee 6 Fundamental Right
  6. 6. Introduction At the hour of midnight on 14-15 August 1947, India attained independence. Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of free India, addressed a special session of the Constituent Assembly that night. This was the famous ‘tryst with destiny’ speech. India was born in very difficult circumstances. Perhaps no other country by then was born in a situation more difficult than that of India in 1947. Freedomcame with the partition of the country. The year 1947 was a year of unprecedented violence and trauma of displacement. On Independence Day, 15 August 1947, there was an outburst of joy and hope time. But innumerable Muslims in India, and Hindus and Sikhs in Pakistan, were now faced with a cruel choice – the threat of sudden death or the squeezing of opportunities on the one side, and a forcible tearing away from their age-old roots on the other. Problem faced by the new nation was that of the princely states. During the period Jawaharlal Nehru speaking in Constituent Assembly at midnight on 14 August 1947.
  7. 7. of the Raj, approximately one-third of the area of the subcontinent was under the control of nawabs and maharajas who owed allegiance to the British Crown, but were otherwise left mostly free to rule – or misrule – their territory as they wished It was in this situation that independent India started on its journey to achieve several objectives. Yet the turmoil that accompanied independencedid not make our leaders lose sight of the multiple challenges that faced the new nation. Challenges of newly Independent India The first and the immediate challenge of our newly independent nation “India” was to shape a nation that was united, yet accommodative of the diversity in our society. India was a land of continental size and diversity. Its people spoke different languages and followed different cultures and religions. At that time it was widely believed that a country full of such kinds of diversity could not remain together for long. The partition of the country appeared to prove everyone’s worst fears. Partition On 14-15 August 1947, not one but two nation-states came into existence – India and Pakistan. This was a result of ‘partition’, the division of British India into India and Pakistan. The joy of our country’s
  8. 8. independence from colonial rule in 1947 was tarnished by the violence and brutality of Partition. Several hundred thousand people were killed and innumerable women raped and abducted. Millions were uprooted, transformed into refugees in alien lands. Some 15 million had to move across hastily constructed frontiers separating India and Pakistan. The boundaries between the two new states were not officially known until two days after formal independence – they were rendered homeless, having suddenly lost all their immovable property and most of their movable assets, separated from many of their relatives and friends as well, torn asunder from their moorings, from their houses, fields and fortunes, from their childhood memories. Thus Violence and massacre during partition
  9. 9. stripped of their local or regional cultures, they were forced to begin picking up their life from scratch. The bloodbath continued for about a year from March 1947 onwards. One main reason for this was the collapse of the institutions of governance. Amritsar district became the scene of bloodshed. British officials did not know how to handle the situation: they were unwilling to take decisions, and hesitant to intervene. When panic-stricken people appealed for help, British officials asked them to contact Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabh Bhai Patel or M.A. Jinnah. The top leaders of our India were involved in negotiations regarding independencewhile many Indian civil servants in the affected provinces feared for their own lives and property. The British were busy preparing to quit India. Problems were compounded because Indian soldiers and policemen came to act as Hindus, Muslims or Sikhs. In many places not only did policemen help their co-religionists but they also attacked members of other communities. The Partition was most bloody and destructive in the Punjab. The near-total displacement of Hindus and Sikhs eastwards into India from West Punjab and of almost all Punjabi- speaking Muslims to Pakistan happened in a relatively short period of two years between 1946 and 1948. Process of Partition It was decided that ‘the British India’ would be divided into two countries, ‘India’ and ‘Pakistan’. Such a
  10. 10. division was very painful & also very difficult to decide and to implement. It was decided to follow the principle of religious majorities. This basically means that areas where the Muslims were in majority would make up the territory of Pakistan. The rest was to stay with India. There was no single belt of Muslim majority areas in British India. There were two areas of concentration, one in the west and another in the east. There was no way these two parts could be joined. So it was decided that the new country, Pakistan, will comprise two territories, West and East Pakistan separated by a long expanse of Indian territory. Not all Muslim majority areas wanted to be in Pakistan. Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, the undisputed leader of the North Western Frontier Province and known as ‘Frontier Gandhi’, was staunchly opposed to the two-nation theory. The another problem was that two of the Muslim majority provinces of British India, Punjab and Bengal, had very large areas where the non-Muslims were in majority. Eventually it was decided that these two provinces would be bifurcated according to the religious majority at the district or even lower level. The partition of these two provinces caused the deepest trauma of Partition. Minorities on both sides of the border which were Lakhs of Hindus and Sikhs in the areas that were now in Pakistan and an equally large number of Muslims on the Indian side of Punjab and Bengal (and to some extent Delhi and surrounding areas) found themselves trapped. They were to discover that they were
  11. 11. undesirablealiens in their own home, in the land where they and their ancestors had lived for centuries. As soon as it became clear that the country was going to be partitioned, the minorities on both sides became easy targets of attack. The minorities on both sides of the border were left with no option except to leave their homes, often at a few hours’ notice. Consequences of Partition There were killings and atrocities on both sides of the border. In the name of religion people of one Migration on a huge scale and refugees.
  12. 12. community ruthlessly killed and maimed people of the other community. Cities like Lahore, Amritsar and Kolkata became divided into ‘communal zones’. Muslims would avoid going into an area where mainly Hindus or Sikhs lived; similarly the Hindus and Sikhs stayed away from areas of Muslim predominance. Forced to abandon their homes and move across borders, people went through immense sufferings. Minorities on both sides of the border fled their home and often secured temporary shelter in ‘refugee camps’. Thousands of women were abducted on both sides of the border. They were made to convert to the religion of the abductor and were forced into marriage. In many cases women were killed by their own family members to preserve the ‘family honour’. Many children were separated from their parents. Those who did manage to cross the border found that they had no home. It is estimated that the Partition forced about 80 lakh people to migrate across the new border. Between five to ten lakh people were killed in partition related violence. Even after large scale migration of Muslims to the newly created Pakistan, the Muslim population in India accounted for 12 per cent of the total population in 1951.
  13. 13. Integration of Princely State British India was divided into what were called the British Indian Provinces and the Princely States. The British Indian Provinces were directly underthe control of the British government. On the other hand, several large and small states ruled by princes, called the Princely States, enjoyed some form of control over their internal affairs as long as they accepted British supremacy. This was called paramountcy or suzerainty of the British crown. Princely States covered one-third of the land area of the British Indian Empire and one out of four Indians lived underprincely rule. Just before Independenceit was announced by the British that with the end of their rule over India, paramountcy of the British crown over Princely States would also lapse. This meant that all these states, as many as 565 in all, would become legally independent. The British government took the view that all these states were free to join either India or Pakistan or remain independent if they so wished. The ruler of Travancore announced that the state had decided on Independence. The Nizam of Hyderabad made a similar announcement the next day. Rulers like the Nawab of Bhopal were averse to joining the ConstituentAssembly. This response of the rulers of the Princely States meant that after Independence there was
  14. 14. a very real possibility that India would get further divided into a number of small countries. Hyderabad, the largest of the Princely States was surrounded entirely by Indian territory. Some parts of the old Hyderabad state are today parts of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Its ruler carried the title, ‘Nizam’, and he was one of the world’s richest men. The Nizam wanted an independent status for Hyderabad. He entered into what was called the Standstill Agreement with India in November 1947 for a year while negotiations with the Indian government were going on. In the meantime, a movement of the people of Hyderabad State against the Nizam’s rule gathered force. The peasantry in the Telangana region in particular, was the victim of Nizam’s oppressive rule and rose against him. Women who had seen the worst of this oppression joined the movement in large numbers. Hyderabad town was the nerve centre of this movement. The Communists and the Hyderabad Congress were in the forefront of the movement. The Nizam responded by unleashing a para-military force known as the Razakars on the people. The atrocities and communal nature of the Razakars knew no bounds. They murdered, maimed, raped and looted, targeting particularly the non-Muslims. The central government had to order the army to tackle the situation. In September 1948, Indian army moved in to control the Nizam’s forces. After a few days of
  15. 15. intermittent fighting, the Nizam surrendered. This led to Hyderabad’s accession to India. A few days before Independence, the Maharaja of Manipur, BodhachandraSingh, signed the Instrument of Accession with the Indian government on the assurance that the internal autonomy of Manipur would be maintained. Under the pressure of public opinion, the Maharaja held elections in Manipur in June 1948 and the state became a constitutional monarchy. Thus Manipur was the first part of India to hold an election based on universal adult franchise. In the Legislative Assembly of Manipur there were sharp differences over the question of merger of Manipur with India. While the state Congress wanted the merger, other political parties were opposed to this. The Government of India succeeded in pressurising the Maharaja into signing a Merger Agreement in September 1949, without consulting the popularly elected Legislative Assembly of Manipur. Sardar Patel was India’s Deputy Prime Minister and the Home Minister during the crucial period immediately following Independence. He played a historic role in negotiating with the rulers of princely states firmly but diplomatically and bringing most of them into the Indian Union. The government’s approach was guided by three considerations. Firstly, the people of most of the princely states clearly wanted to become part of the Indian union. Secondly, the government was prepared to be flexible in giving autonomy to some
  16. 16. regions. The idea was to accommodate plurality and adopt a flexible approach in dealing with the demands of the regions. Thirdly, in the backdrop of partition which brought into focus the contest over demarcation of territory, the integration and consolidation of the territorial boundaries of the nation had assumed supreme importance. Before 15 August 1947, peaceful negotiations had brought almost all states whose territories were contiguous to the new boundaries of India, into the Indian Union. The rulers of most of the states signed a document called the ‘Instrument of Accession’ which meant that their state agreed to become a part of the Union of India. Accession of the Princely States of Junagadh, Hyderabad, Kashmir and Manipur proved more difficult than the rest. The issue of Junagarh was resolved after a plebiscite confirmed people’s desire to join India. Reorganisation of state The creation of internal boundaries of the Indian state was not just a matter of administrative divisions. The
  17. 17. boundaries had to be drawn in a way so that the linguistic and cultural plurality of the country could be reflected without affecting the unity of the nation. Our national movement had promised the linguistic principle as the basis of formation of states. But things changed after Independence and partition. Our leaders felt that carving out states on the basis of language might lead to disruption and disintegration. It was also felt that this would draw attention away from other social and economic challenges that the country faced. The central leadership decided to postpone matters. The need for postponement was also felt because the fate of the Princely States had not been decided. Also, the memory of partition was still fresh. This decision of the national leadership was challenged by the local leaders and the people. Protests began in the Telugu speaking areas of the old Madras province, which included present day Tamil Nadu, parts of Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Karnataka. The Vishalandhra movement (as the movement for a separate Andhra was called) demanded that the Telugu speaking areas should be separated from the Madras province of which they were a part and be made into a separate Andhra province. Nearly all the political forces in the Andhra region were in favour of linguistic reorganisation of the then Madras province. The formation of Andhra Pradesh spurred the struggle for making of other states on linguistic lines in other parts of the country. These struggles forced the Central Government into appointing a States
  18. 18. reorganisation Commission in December 22, 1953, Jawaharlal Nehru announced the appointment of a commission under Fazl Ali . The other two members of the commission were K M Panikkar and HN Kunzru. The commission submitted its report after taking into account the wishes and claims of people in different regions. The Commission in its report accepted that the boundaries of the state should reflect the boundaries of different languages. On the basis of its report the States Reorganisation Act was passed in 1956. This led to the creation of 14 states and six union territories. One of the most important concerns in the early years was that demands for separate states would endanger the unity of the country. It was felt that linguistic states may foster separatism and create pressures on the newly founded nation. But the leadership, under popular pressure, finally made a choice in favour of linguistic states. It was hoped that if we accept the regional and linguistic claims of all regions, the threat of division and separatism would be reduced. Besides, the accommodation of regional demands and the formation of linguistic states were also seen as more democratic. Linguistic reorganisation also gave some uniform basis to the drawing of state boundaries. It did not lead to disintegration of the countryas many had feared earlier. On the contrary it strengthened national unity. Another major reorganisation of states took place in the north-east in 1972. Meghalaya was carved out of Assam in 1972. Manipur and Tripura too emerged as separate states in the same year. The states of Mizoram
  19. 19. and Arunachal Pradesh came into being in 1987. Nagaland had become a state much earlier in 1963. The Constituent Assembly An idea for a Constituent Assembly of India was proposed in 1934 by M. N. Roy, a pioneer of the Communist movement in India and an advocate of radical democracy. It became an official demand of the Indian National Congress in 1935, and was accepted by the British in August 1940. On 8 August 1940, a statement was made by Viceroy Lord Linlithgow about the expansion of the Governor-General's Executive Council and the establishment of a War Advisory Council. This offer, known as the August Offer, included giving full weight to minority opinions and allowing Indians to draft their own constitution. Under the Cabinet Mission Plan of 1946, elections were held for the first time for the Constituent Assembly. The Constitution of India was drafted by the Constituent Assembly, and it was implemented under the Cabinet Mission Plan on 16 May 1946. The members of the Constituent Assembly were elected by the provincial assemblies by a single, transferable-vote system of proportional representation. The total membership of the Constituent Assembly was 389: 292 were representatives of the states, 93 represented the
  20. 20. princely states and four were from the chief commissioner provinces of Delhi, Ajmer-Mewar, Coorg and British Baluchistan. The Constituent Assembly (elected for an undivided India) met for the first time on 9 June 1946, reassembling on 14 August 1947 as a sovereign body and successor to the British parliament's authority in India. The representatives of the areas incorporated into Pakistan ceased to be members of the Constituent Assembly of India. New elections were held for West Punjab and East Bengal (now in Pakistan); the membership of the Constituent Assembly was 299 after the reorganization, and it met on 31 December 1947.
  21. 21. Election and its Assembling The Constituent Assembly was established while India was under British rule, following negotiations between Indian leaders and members of the 1946 Cabinet Mission to India from the United Kingdom. Provincial assembly elections were held early in 1946. Constituent Assembly members were elected indirectly by members of the newly elected provincial assemblies, and initially included representatives for those provinces which formed part of Pakistan (some of which are now in Bangladesh). The Constituent Assembly had 299 representatives, including nine women. The Congress held a large majority in the Assembly (69 percent of the seats), and the Muslim League held nearly all the seats reserved in the Assembly for Muslims. There were also members of smaller parties, such as the Scheduled Caste Federation, the Communist Party of India and the Unionist Party.. Twenty-eight members of the Muslim League joined the Indian Assembly, and 93 members were later nominated from the princely states; the Congress Party secured a majority of 82 percent. Sachchidananda Sinha was the first president (temporary chairman) of the Constituent Assembly when it met on 9 December 1946, followed by Rajendra Prasad (who would become the first
  22. 22. President of India). Its vice-president was Harendra Coomar Mookerjee, a Christian from Bengal and former vice-chancellor of Calcutta University. Also chairing the assembly's Minorities Committee, Mookerjee was appointed governor of West Bengal after India became a republic. Jurist Benegal Narsing Rau was appointed constitutional adviser to the assembly; Rau prepared the original draft of the constitution, and was later appointed a judge in the Permanent Court of International Justice in The Hague. Sessions The assembly met for 11 sessions: 1. 9–23 December 1946 2.20–25 January 1947 3.28 April – 2 May 1947 4.14–31 July 1947 5. 14–30 August 1947 6. 27 January 1948 7. 4 November 1948 – 8 January 1949 8. 16 May – 16 June 1949 9. 30 July – 18 September 1949 10. 6–17 October 1949 11. 14–26 November 1949
  23. 23. Principal Committee Committee on the Rules of Procedure:Rajendra Prasad Drafting Committee: B.R. Ambedkar Steering Committee: Rajendra Prasad Finance and Staff Committee: Rajendra Prasad Credential Committee: Alladi Krishnaswami Aiyyar House Committee: B. PattabhiSitaramayya Order of Business Committee: K. M. Munshi Ad Hoc Committee on National Flag: Rajendra Prasad Committee on Functionsof ConstituentAssembly: G.V. Mavlankar States Committee: Jawaharlal Nehru Advisory Committee on Fundamental Rights, Minorities and Tribal and Excluded Areas: VallabhbhaiPatel Minorities Sub-Committee: H. C. Mookherjee FundamentalRights Sub-Committee: J. B. Kriplani North-East FrontierTribal Areas and Assam Excluded & Partially Excluded Areas Sub- Committee: Gopinath Bardoloi Excluded and Partially Excluded Areas (Other than Those in Assam) Sub-Committee: A. V. Thakkar Union Powers Committee: Jawaharlal Nehru Union ConstitutionCommittee: Jawaharlal Nehru
  24. 24. Draft Comittee On 29 August 1947, the Drafting Committee was appointed, with Dr B. R. Ambedkar as the Chairman along with six other members assisted by a constitutional advisor. These members were Pandit Govind Ballabh Pant, Kanaiyalal Maneklal Munshi (K M Munshi, Ex- Home Minister, Bombay), Alladi Krishnaswamy Iyer (Ex- Advocate General, Madras State), N Gopalaswami Ayengar (Ex-Prime Minister, J&K and later member of Nehru Cabinet), B L Mitter (Ex-Advocate General, India), Md. Saadullah (Ex- Chief Minister of Assam, Muslim League member) and D P Khaitan (Scion of Khaitan Business family and a renowned lawyer). The constitutional advisor was Sir Benegal Narsing Rau (First Indian Judge in International Court of Justice, 1950–54). Later B L Mitter resigned and was replaced by Madhav Rao (Legal Advisor of Maharaja of Vadodara). Owing to death of D P Khaitan, T T Krishnamachari was chosen to be included in the drafting committee. A Draft Constitution was prepared by the committee and submitted to the Assembly on 4 November 1947. Draft constitution was debated and over 2000 amendments were moved over a period of two years. Finally on 26 Nov. 1949, the process was completed and Constituent assembly adoptedthe constitution. 284 members signed the document and the process of constitution making was complete.
  25. 25. The Assembly met in sessions open to the public, for 166 days, spread over a period of 2 years, 11 months and 18 days before adopting the Constitution, the 308 members of the Assembly signed two copies of the document (one each in Hindi and English) on 24 January 1950. The original Constitution of India is hand-written with beautiful calligraphy, each page beautified and decorated by artists from Shantiniketan including Beohar Rammanohar Sinha and Nandalal Bose. Two days later, on 26 January 1950, the Constitution of India became the law of all the States and territories of India. Rs.1,00,00,000 was official estimate of expenditure on constituent assembly. The Constitutionhas undergone many amendments since its enactment. The Constitution, in its current form till September 2012, consists of a preamble, 25 parts containing 448 articles, 12 schedules, 5 appendicesand 98 amendments to date. Objective Resolution On 13 December 1946, Jawaharlal Nehru introduced the “Objectives Resolution” in the Constituent Assembly. It was a momentous resolution that outlined the defining ideals of the Constitution of Independent India, and provided the framework within which the work of constitution-making was to proceed. It
  26. 26. proclaimed India to be an “Independent Sovereign Republic”, guaranteed its citizens justice, equality and freedom, and assured that “adequate safeguards shall be provided for minorities, backward and tribal areas, and Depressed and Other Backward Classes. The objective of the Indian Constitution would be to fuse the liberal ideas of democracy with the socialist idea of economic justice, and re-adapt and re-work all these ideas within the Indian context. Nehru’s plea was for creative thinking about what was appropriate for India.
  27. 27. Fundamental Right
  28. 28. (Part iii of Constitution of India) Right to Equality • Equality before law. • Abolition of Untouchability. • Prohibition of discrimination on ground of religion, caste, race, sex or place of birth. • Abolition of titles. Right to freeom of Religion • Freedom to manage relgious freedom. • Feedom to attend religious instruction or worship in certain educational institutions.
  29. 29. Cultural & Educatonl Right • Protection of culture,language of minorities. • Right of Minoritis to establish educational institution. Right to Constitutional Remedies • Right to move the courts to issue directions/orders/writs for enforcement of rights.
  30. 30. Reference Themes in Indian History Part 3 Politics in India since Independence Indian Constitution at work   