164) How was 'apartheid' practised in South Africa?
Answer: (i) The system of apartheid divided the people and labelled them on the basis of their skin colour.
(ii) The natives of South Africa were the 'Blacks', the people of mixed races were 'Coloured' and the people who migrated from India, 'The Indians'.
(iii) All Non-Whites were treated as inferiors and were deprived of their right to vote.
(iv) They were forbidden from living in white areas.
(v) They could work in white areas only if they had a permit.
(vi) Trains, buses, taxis, hotels, hospitals, schools, colleges, libraries, cinema halls, beaches, swimming pools, public toilets were all separate for whites and blacks.
(vii) The Blacks could not visit the churches where the whites worshipped.
165) What efforts were made to form a new constitution after independence in South Africa?
Answer: (i) After the emergence of the new democratic South Africa, black leaders appealed to fellow blacks to forgive the whites for the atrocities they had committed while in power.
(ii) They thought of building a new South Africa based on equality of all races and men and women on democratic values, social justice and human rights.
(iii) The party that ruled through oppression and brutal killings and the party that led the freedom struggle sat together to draw up a common constitution.
(iv) After two years of discussion and debate, they came out with one of the finest constitutions the world had ever had.
(v) This Constitution gave to its citizens the most extensive rights available in any country.
166) What are the main functions of a Constitution?
Answer: (i) It generates a degree of trust and coordination that is necessary for different kinds of people to live together.
(ii) It specifies how the government will be constituted, who will have power to take which decisions.
(iii) It lays down limits on the powers of the government and tells us what the rights of the citizens are.
(iv) It expresses the aspirations of the people about creating a good society.
(v) Constitution is the supreme law that determines the relationship among people living in a territory and also the relationship between the people and the government.
167) Give a brief description about any five members of the Constituent Assembly.
Answer: The five members of the Constituent Assembly were: 1. Dr. Rajendra Prasad (i) 1884-1693 (ii) Born in Bihar (iii) Chairman of the Constituent Assembly (iv) A lawyer who was known for his role in the Champaran Satyagraha (v) Three times President of Congress (vi) The first President of India
2. H.C. Mookherjee (i) 1887-1956 (ii) Born in Bengal (iii) Vice Chairman of the Constituent Assembly (iv) Reputed author and educationist (v) Member of the All India Christian Council and Bengal Legislative Assembly (vi) Governor of West Bengal
3. BaldevSingh (i) 1901-1961 (ii) Born in Haryana (iii) Nominee of the Congress in the Constituent Assembly (iv) Successful entrepreneur (v) Leader of the Panthic Akali Party in the Punjab Assembly (vi) Defence Minister in the Union Cabinet
4. Sarojini Naidu (i) 1879-1949 (ii) Born in Andhra Pradesh (iii) Member of Constituent Assembly (iv) Poet, writer and political activist (v) Among the foremost women leaders in the Congress (vi) Governor of Uttar Pradesh
5. Jawaharlal Nehru (i) 1889-1964 (ii) Born in Uttar Pradesh (iii) Prime Minister of the interim government (iv) Lawyer and Congress leader (v) Advocate of socialism, democracy and anti-imperialism (vi) First Prime Minister of Independent India
168) How was the institutional design formed for the Indian Constitution?
Answer: (i) A constitution is mainly about embodying the values into institutional arrangements. (ii) It is a very long and detailed document. Therefore, it needs to be amended quite regularly to keep it updated. (iii) So the makers of the Indian constitution made provisions to incorporate changes from time to time. These changes are called constitutional amendment. (iv) The Constitution describes the institutional arrangements in a legal language. (v) Like any constitution, the Indian Constitution lays down a procedure for choosing persons to govern the country. It defines who will have how much power to take which decisions. (vi) And it also puts limits to what the government can do by providing some rights to the citizen that cannot be violated.
169) Write a short note on the main features of the Preamble of the Indian Constitution.
Answer: (i) We the people of India: The Constitution has been drawn up and enacted by the people through their representatives, and not handed down to them by a King or any outside powers.
(ii) Sovereign: People have supreme right to make decisions on internal as well as external matters. No external power can dictate the government of India.
(iii) Socialist: Wealth is generated socially and should be shared equally by the society. Government should regulate the ownership of land and industry to reduce socio economic inequalities.
(iv) Secular: Citizens have complete freedom to follow any religion. But there is no official religion. Government treats all religious beliefs and practices with equal respect.
(v) Democratic: A form of government where people enjoy equal political rights, elect their rulers and hold them accountable.
(vi) Republic: The head of the state is an elected person and its not a hereditary position. (vii) Justice: Citizens cannot be discriminated on the grounds of caste, religion and gender. Social inequalities have to be reduced. Government should work for the welfare of all, especially for the disadvantaged groups.
(viii) Liberty: There are no unreasonable restrictions on the citizens about what they think, how they wish to express their thoughts and the way they wish to follow up their thoughts in actions.
(ix) Equality: All are equal before the law. The traditional social inequalities have to be ended. The government should ensure equal opportunity for all.
(x) Fraternity: All of us should behave as if we are members of the same family. No one should treat a fellow citizen as inferior.
170) How did South Africa get Independence?
Answer: As protests and struggles against apartheid had increased, the government realised that they could no longer keep the blacks under their rule through repression. The White regime changed its policies. Discriminatory laws were repealed. Ban on political parties and restrictions on the media were lifted. After 28 years of imprisonment, Nelson Mandela walked out of jail as a free man. Finally at the midnight of 26th April 1994 the new national flag of Republic of South Africa was unfurled marking the newly born democracy in the world. The apartheid government came to an end, paving the way for the formation of a multi-racial government.
171) How was a new constitution of South Africa formed?
Answer: After the emergence of the new democratic South Africa, black leaders appealed to fellow blacks to forgive the whites for atrocities they had committed while in power. They said let us build a new South Africa based on equality of all races and men and women, on democratic values, social justice and human rights. The party that ruled through oppression and brutal killings and the party that led the freedom struggle sat together to draw up a common constitution. After two years of debate and discussions, they came out with one of the finest constitutions the world has ever had. This constitution gave to its citizens the most extensive rights available in any country. Together, they decided that in search for a solution to the problems, nobody should be excluded, no one should be treated as a demon. They agreed that everybody should become part of the solution, whatever they might have done or represented in the past.
172) What problems were faced by the South Africans before the formation of the constitution?
Answer: The oppressor and the oppressed in this new democracy were planning to live together as equals. It was not going to be easy for them to trust each other. They had their fears. They wanted to safeguard their interests. The black majority was keen to ensure that the democratic principle of majority rule was not compromised. They wanted substantial social and economic rights. The white minority was keen to protect its privileges and property.
173) Is it true that the constitution of India expresses a broad consensus of its time?
Answer: Many countries of the world have had to rewrite their constitution afresh because the basic rules were not acceptable to all major social groups or political parties. In some other countries, the constitution exists as a mere piece of paper. No one actually follows it. The experience of our Constitution is different. Over the last half a century, several groups have questioned some provisions of the Constitution. But no large social group or political party has ever questioned the legitimacy of the Constitution itself.
174) What steps were taken by the Constituent Assembly to form the Indian Constitution?
Answer: The Constituent Assembly worked in a systematic, open and consensual manner. Firstly some basic principles were decided or agreed upon. Then a Drafting Committee chaired by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar prepared a draft constitution for discussion. Several rounds of thorough discussion took place on the Draft Constitution, clause by clause. More than 2000 amendments were considered. The members deliberated for 114 days spread over three years. Every document presented and every word spoken in the Constituent Assembly has been recorded and preserved to form 12 bulky volumes of Constituent Assembly Debates.
175) Nelson Mandela remained in prison for treason for about: (a) 25 years (b) 26 years (c) 28 years (d) 20 years
176) How many members were there in the Constituent Assembly that wrote the Indian Constitution? (a) 299 members (b) 101 members (c) 36 members (d) 206 members
177) When was the Constitution of India completed or adopted? (a) 26 January, 1950 (b) 26 November, 1949 (c) 26 October, 1949 (d) 17 December, 1947
178) The Chairman of the drafting committee was: (a) Dr. Rajendra Prasad (b) Dr. B.R. Ambedkar (c) Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru (d) Mahatma Gandhi
179) A form of government where people enjoy equal political rights is: (a) Socialist (b) Dictatorial (c) Democratic (d) Autocratic
180) What is a constitution? Why do we need a constitution for a country?
Answer:The constitution of a country is a set of written rules that are accepted by all the people living together in a country. It is the supreme law that determines the relationship among people living in a territory and also the relationship between the people and the government. Need of the constitution: (i) It generates a degree of trust and coordination that is necessary for different kinds of people to live together. (ii) It specifies how the government will be constituted, who will have power to take which decisions. (iii) It lays down limits on the powers of the government and tell us what the rights of the citizens are. (iv) It also expresses the aspirations of the people about creating a good society.
181) "Most of the countries of the world keep changing their constitution as needed but Indian Constitutions is accepted even today." Is it an unusual achievement for any constitution? Give reasons in support of your answer.
Answer: (i) The constitution does not reflect the views of its members alone. It expresses a broad consensus of its time.
(ii) Many countries of the world have had to rewrite their constitution afresh because the basic rules were not accepted to all major social groups or political parties.
(iii) The Constituent Assembly represented the people of India. There was no universal adult franchise at that time. So the Constituent Assembly could not have been chosen directly by all the people of India.
(iv) In social terms, the Assembly represented members from different language groups, castes, classes, religions and occupations. It was elected by the members of the existing provincial legislatures, ensuring a fair geographical share of members from all the regions of the country.
(v) The Constituent Assembly worked in a systematic, open and consensual manner. First, some basic principles were declared and agreed upon. Then a Drafting Committee chaired by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar prepared a draft constitution for discussion. These documents were thoroughly studied with several debates and then presented. Over the last half a century, several groups have questioned some provisions of the constitution. But no large social group or political party has ever questioned the legitimacy of the constitution itself. This is an unusual achievement for any constitution.
182) Why Preamble is called the preface of the Indian constitution?
Answer: (i) The Preamble of the constitution contains the philosophy on which the entire constitution has been built.
(ii) It provides a standard to examine and evaluate any law and action of the government, to find out whether it is good or bad.
(iii) It is the soul of Indian constitution. It reads like a poem on democracy.
183) What are the exclusive features of the Indian constitution?
Answer: (i) Indian constitution is a very long and detailed constitution. Therefore, it needs to be amended quite regularly to keep it updated.
(ii) Those who crafted the constitution felt that it has to be in accordance with people's aspirations and changes in society. They did not see it as a sacred, static and an unalterable law.
(iii) They made provisions to incorporate changes from time to time. These changes are called amendments.
(iv) The constitution describes the institutional arrangements in a very legal language.
(v) It put limits to what the government can do by providing some rights to the citizens that cannot be violated.
|1. What is constitutional design?|
|2. Why is constitutional design important?|
|3. What are the key features of a good constitutional design?|
|4. How does constitutional design contribute to a democratic society?|
|5. Can a constitution be changed or amended?|