Q.1. Regarding the constitution-making, what was the compromise reached between the blacks and whites?
Ans. The constitution of South Africa was drawn together by the party of whites which had rules through oppression and the party that led the freedom struggle. The constitution gave its citizens the most extensive rights available in any country. After long negotiations, both parties agreed to a compromise. The whites agreed to the principle of majority rule and that of one person one vote. They also agreed to accept some basic rights for the poor and the workers. The blacks agreed that the majority rule would not be absolute. They agreed that the majority would not take away the property of the white minority.
Q.2. What does the constitution effectively do that makes a country a democratic one?
Ans. A constitution does many things to make a country a democratic one :
(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 and who will have the power of taking 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.
Q.3. Why did the makers of the Indian constitution have anxieties about the present and the future of the country?
Ans. The makers of the Indian constitution had anxieties because the making of the constitution for a huge and diverse country like India was not an easy affair. The country was born through the partition on the basis of religious differences. At least ten lakh people were killed on both sides of the border in partition related violence. Another problem was that the British had left it to the rulers of the princely states to decide whether they wanted to merge with India or with Pakistan or to remain independent.
Q.4. Describe how the Constituent Assembly worked to prepare the constitution for India.
Ans. The Constituent Assembly worked in a systematic, open and consensual manner. First, some basic principles were decided and 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, clause by clause. More than 2000 amendments were made. The members deliberated for 114 days spread over 3 years. Every document presented and every word spoken in the Constituent Assembly was recorded and preserved. These are called ‘Constituent Assembly Debates’.
Q.5. In his speech ‘Tryst with Destiny’, Nehru said, ‘Freedom and power bring responsibility.' Explain what he meant by this.
Ans. By saying that ‘Freedom and power bring responsibility’, Nehru meant that it is the responsibility of Indians to not relax with ease after having got the freedom but to constantly strive to fulfil the pledges taken. He said that the service of India meant the service of the millions who suffered, it meant the embing of poverty and ignorance and disease and inequality of opportunity.
Q.6. What is the preamble of the constitution? What is the significance of 'We the people of India' and 'secular' in the preamble?
Ans. It is an introductory part of the constitution. It is called the key of the Constitution. "We the people of India" means the constitution has been drawn up and enacted by the people through their representatives. Secular means that citizens have complete freedom to follow any religion. But there is no official religion.
Q.7. Describe any three features of the Indian constitution.
(i) It establishes a Sovereign, Democratic, Republic in India
(ii) It establishes a secular state in India
(iii) It provides Fundamental Rights and Fundamental Duties.
(i) The Constitution begins with a short statement called the preamble. Sovereign means people have the supreme right to make decisions on internal as well as external matters. No external power can dictate the government of India. Democratic means a form of government where people enjoy equal political rights, elect their rulers and hold them accountable. Republic means the head of the state is an elected person and it is not a hereditary position.
(ii) Secular means citizens have complete freedom to follow any religion – Government treats all religions beliefs and practices with equal respect.
(iii) The Indian constitution provides justice – social, economic and political. Liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship. Equality of status and opportunity. Fraternity assuring the dignity of the individual and unity and integrity of the nation.
Q.8. What is a constitution? Why do we need a constitution?
Ans. It is a set of written rules that are accepted by all the people of a country. It is needed as it is the supreme law that determines the relationship among citizens of a country. It defines how the government will be formed and also limits the powers of the government and defines the rights of the citizens.
Q.9. The Indian constitution is both rigid and flexible. Explain.
Ans. The Indian Constitution is neither wholly flexible nor wholly rigid. It is partly rigid and partly flexible. It is not so flexible as the British constitution is, nor so rigid as the American constitution is.
Some of the articles of the constitution can be amended by a simple majority of the parliament, e.g. changing the names of states, altering boundaries of states, matters relating to citizenship etc. Some of the articles of the constitution can be amended with 2/3 majority of the members of parliament, e.g. the election of the president of India. If any change in it is intended then it has to be passed first by a majority of the total members in each house of parliament.
Q.10. Mention the landmark years in the making of the Indian constitution. [2010 (T-1)]
Ans. As far back as 1928, Motilal Nehru and eight other Congress leaders drafted a constitution for India. In 1931 at the Karachi Session of the Indian National Congress leaders pondered what India's constitution should be like. Elections were held in 1937 to provincial Legislatures and Minister all over British India. It was beneficial for Indians to gain experience. That is why Indian Constitution adopted many institutional details from colonial laws like the Government of India Act 1935.
Q.11. What is the aim of a socialist state? How can that be achieved? [2010 (T-1)]
Ans. We are all generated socially and should be shared equally by society. Government should regulate the ownership of land and industry to reduce socioeconomic equalities. Social inequalities have to be reduced, Government should work for the welfare of all.
Q.12. What was the African Policy of Apartheid? How could that come to an end? [2010 (T-1)]
Ans. Apartheid was the name of a system of racial discrimination unique to South Africa. The White Europeans imposed this system on South Africa. The native people of Africa are black. They had 3/4 of the population. The whites treated all non-whites as inferiors. The non-whites did not have voting rights. The blacks were forbidden from living in the white area. Trains, buses, hospitals, schools, hotels, taxis, cinemas etc were all separate for the whites and blacks. The blacks, coloured and Indians fought for their rights-arranged marches protests and strikes. The racist government tortured them. On 26 April 1994. Apartheid came to an end with the birth of the Republic of South Africa.
Q.13. Define the following terms mentioned in the Preamble to the constitution of India.
(a) Sovereign (b) Socialist (c) Secular (d) Republic [2010 (T-1)]
Ans. Sovereign means people have the supreme right to make decisions on internal and external matters. No external power can dictate to the Government of India. Socialist means that wealth is generated socially it should be shared equally by society. Secular means that citizens have complete freedom to follow any religion but there is no official religion.
Republic means the head of the State is an elected person and not a hereditary position.
Q.14. What is the Preamble? Explain any three guiding principles explained in the Preamble. [2010 (T-1)]
Ans. Preamble is a short statement of the basic values of the constitution. Taking inspiration from the American model, most countries have adopted constitutions with a preamble. The preamble of the Indian constitution reads like a poem on democracy. It contains the philosophy on which the entire constitution has been built ;
1. Democratic–It will have a democratic government where people will enjoy equal rights ;
2. Equality–All citizens will be equal before the law; and
3. Fraternity–All world would behave as if they are members of the same family.
Q.15. Why do we need a constitution? Give any four points. [2010 (T-1)]
Ans. Every country has diverse groups of people. People have differences. Hence the need to have a set of rules. To maintain trust it is best to write down these rules. Thus the constitution of a country is a set of written rules that are accepted by all. A constitution.
1. generates trust and coordination.
2. specifies how the government will be constituted.
3. lays down limits on the powers of the government.
4. expresses the aspirations of the people.