NCERT Textbook - Challenges of Nation Building Humanities/Arts Notes | EduRev

Political Science Class 12

Created by: Uk Tiwary

Humanities/Arts : NCERT Textbook - Challenges of Nation Building Humanities/Arts Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


In this chapter…
The first few years in the life of independent India were full of challenges. 
Some of the most pressing ones concerned national unity and 
territorial integrity of India. We begin the story of politics in India since 
Independence by looking at how three of these challenges of nation-
building were successfully negotiated in the first decade after 1947. 
•	 Freedom 	 came	 with	partition, which resulted in large scale violence 
and displacement and challenged the very idea of a secular India.  
•	 The	 integra tion	 of	 the	 princely 	 states	 into 	 the	 Indian 	 union	 needed	
urgent resolution.  
•	 The 	 internal	 boundaries 	 of	 the	 country	 needed 	 to	 be 	 drawn	 afresh	 to	
meet the aspirations of the people who spoke different languages.  
In the next two chapters we shall turn to other kinds of challenges faced 
by the country in this early phase.
Credit: Sunil Janah
In a moment of 
optimism, Hindus and 
Hindus and Muslims in 
Kolkata in 1947 marked 
the end of communal 
violence by jointly flying 
the flags of India and 
Pakistan from trucks 
patrolling the city. 
This rare photograph 
captured the joy of 
freedom and the tragedy 
of partition in India and 
in Pakistan.  
2015-16(21/01/2015)
Page 2


In this chapter…
The first few years in the life of independent India were full of challenges. 
Some of the most pressing ones concerned national unity and 
territorial integrity of India. We begin the story of politics in India since 
Independence by looking at how three of these challenges of nation-
building were successfully negotiated in the first decade after 1947. 
•	 Freedom 	 came	 with	partition, which resulted in large scale violence 
and displacement and challenged the very idea of a secular India.  
•	 The	 integra tion	 of	 the	 princely 	 states	 into 	 the	 Indian 	 union	 needed	
urgent resolution.  
•	 The 	 internal	 boundaries 	 of	 the	 country	 needed 	 to	 be 	 drawn	 afresh	 to	
meet the aspirations of the people who spoke different languages.  
In the next two chapters we shall turn to other kinds of challenges faced 
by the country in this early phase.
Credit: Sunil Janah
In a moment of 
optimism, Hindus and 
Hindus and Muslims in 
Kolkata in 1947 marked 
the end of communal 
violence by jointly flying 
the flags of India and 
Pakistan from trucks 
patrolling the city. 
This rare photograph 
captured the joy of 
freedom and the tragedy 
of partition in India and 
in Pakistan.  
2015-16(21/01/2015)
Challenges for the new nation
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 
that you are familiar with. 
This was the moment Indians had been waiting for.  You have read in your history 
textbooks that there were many voices in our national movement. But there were 
two goals almost everyone agreed upon: one, that after Independence, we shall run 
our country through democratic government; and two, that the government will be 
run for the good of all, particularly the poor and the socially disadvantaged groups. 
Now that the country was independent, the time had come to realise the promise of 
freedom.
This was not going to be easy. 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. Freedom came with the partition of the country. The year 1947 was a 
year of unprecedented violence and trauma of displacement. It was in this situation 
that independent India started on its journey to achieve several objectives. Yet the 
turmoil that accompanied independence did not make our leaders lose sight of the 
multiple challenges that faced the new nation. 
Challenges of 
nation Building 1
Chapter
Credit: PIB
Prime Minister Jawahar 
Lal Nehru speaking from 
the red Fort, 
15 August 1947
2015-16(21/01/2015)
Page 3


In this chapter…
The first few years in the life of independent India were full of challenges. 
Some of the most pressing ones concerned national unity and 
territorial integrity of India. We begin the story of politics in India since 
Independence by looking at how three of these challenges of nation-
building were successfully negotiated in the first decade after 1947. 
•	 Freedom 	 came	 with	partition, which resulted in large scale violence 
and displacement and challenged the very idea of a secular India.  
•	 The	 integra tion	 of	 the	 princely 	 states	 into 	 the	 Indian 	 union	 needed	
urgent resolution.  
•	 The 	 internal	 boundaries 	 of	 the	 country	 needed 	 to	 be 	 drawn	 afresh	 to	
meet the aspirations of the people who spoke different languages.  
In the next two chapters we shall turn to other kinds of challenges faced 
by the country in this early phase.
Credit: Sunil Janah
In a moment of 
optimism, Hindus and 
Hindus and Muslims in 
Kolkata in 1947 marked 
the end of communal 
violence by jointly flying 
the flags of India and 
Pakistan from trucks 
patrolling the city. 
This rare photograph 
captured the joy of 
freedom and the tragedy 
of partition in India and 
in Pakistan.  
2015-16(21/01/2015)
Challenges for the new nation
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 
that you are familiar with. 
This was the moment Indians had been waiting for.  You have read in your history 
textbooks that there were many voices in our national movement. But there were 
two goals almost everyone agreed upon: one, that after Independence, we shall run 
our country through democratic government; and two, that the government will be 
run for the good of all, particularly the poor and the socially disadvantaged groups. 
Now that the country was independent, the time had come to realise the promise of 
freedom.
This was not going to be easy. 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. Freedom came with the partition of the country. The year 1947 was a 
year of unprecedented violence and trauma of displacement. It was in this situation 
that independent India started on its journey to achieve several objectives. Yet the 
turmoil that accompanied independence did not make our leaders lose sight of the 
multiple challenges that faced the new nation. 
Challenges of 
nation Building 1
Chapter
Credit: PIB
Prime Minister Jawahar 
Lal Nehru speaking from 
the red Fort, 
15 August 1947
2015-16(21/01/2015)
4                                                                    Politics in India since Independence
Three Challenges 
Broadly, independent India faced three kinds of challenges. The first 
and the immediate challenge 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. There were serious questions about the 
future of India: Would India survive as a unified country? Would it do 
so by emphasising national unity at the cost of every other objective? 
Would it mean rejecting all regional and sub-national identities? And 
there was an urgent question: How was integration of the territory of 
India to be achieved?
The second challenge was to establish democracy. You have 
already studied the Indian Constitution. You know that the 
Constitution granted fundamental rights and extended the right to 
vote to every citizen. India adopted representative democracy based 
on the parliamentary form of government. These features ensure that 
the political competition would take place in a democratic framework. 
Hindustan Times, 19 July 1947
 Tomorrow we shall be 
free from the slavery of the 
British domination. But 
at midnight India will be 
partitioned. Tomorrow will 
thus be a day of rejoicing as 
well as of mourning.
Mahatma Gandhi  
14 August 1947, 
Kolkata.
“
“
2015-16(21/01/2015)
Page 4


In this chapter…
The first few years in the life of independent India were full of challenges. 
Some of the most pressing ones concerned national unity and 
territorial integrity of India. We begin the story of politics in India since 
Independence by looking at how three of these challenges of nation-
building were successfully negotiated in the first decade after 1947. 
•	 Freedom 	 came	 with	partition, which resulted in large scale violence 
and displacement and challenged the very idea of a secular India.  
•	 The	 integra tion	 of	 the	 princely 	 states	 into 	 the	 Indian 	 union	 needed	
urgent resolution.  
•	 The 	 internal	 boundaries 	 of	 the	 country	 needed 	 to	 be 	 drawn	 afresh	 to	
meet the aspirations of the people who spoke different languages.  
In the next two chapters we shall turn to other kinds of challenges faced 
by the country in this early phase.
Credit: Sunil Janah
In a moment of 
optimism, Hindus and 
Hindus and Muslims in 
Kolkata in 1947 marked 
the end of communal 
violence by jointly flying 
the flags of India and 
Pakistan from trucks 
patrolling the city. 
This rare photograph 
captured the joy of 
freedom and the tragedy 
of partition in India and 
in Pakistan.  
2015-16(21/01/2015)
Challenges for the new nation
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 
that you are familiar with. 
This was the moment Indians had been waiting for.  You have read in your history 
textbooks that there were many voices in our national movement. But there were 
two goals almost everyone agreed upon: one, that after Independence, we shall run 
our country through democratic government; and two, that the government will be 
run for the good of all, particularly the poor and the socially disadvantaged groups. 
Now that the country was independent, the time had come to realise the promise of 
freedom.
This was not going to be easy. 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. Freedom came with the partition of the country. The year 1947 was a 
year of unprecedented violence and trauma of displacement. It was in this situation 
that independent India started on its journey to achieve several objectives. Yet the 
turmoil that accompanied independence did not make our leaders lose sight of the 
multiple challenges that faced the new nation. 
Challenges of 
nation Building 1
Chapter
Credit: PIB
Prime Minister Jawahar 
Lal Nehru speaking from 
the red Fort, 
15 August 1947
2015-16(21/01/2015)
4                                                                    Politics in India since Independence
Three Challenges 
Broadly, independent India faced three kinds of challenges. The first 
and the immediate challenge 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. There were serious questions about the 
future of India: Would India survive as a unified country? Would it do 
so by emphasising national unity at the cost of every other objective? 
Would it mean rejecting all regional and sub-national identities? And 
there was an urgent question: How was integration of the territory of 
India to be achieved?
The second challenge was to establish democracy. You have 
already studied the Indian Constitution. You know that the 
Constitution granted fundamental rights and extended the right to 
vote to every citizen. India adopted representative democracy based 
on the parliamentary form of government. These features ensure that 
the political competition would take place in a democratic framework. 
Hindustan Times, 19 July 1947
 Tomorrow we shall be 
free from the slavery of the 
British domination. But 
at midnight India will be 
partitioned. Tomorrow will 
thus be a day of rejoicing as 
well as of mourning.
Mahatma Gandhi  
14 August 1947, 
Kolkata.
“
“
2015-16(21/01/2015)
Challenges of Nation Building                                                                              5  
A democratic constitution is necessary but not sufficient for 
establishing a democracy. The challenge was to develop democratic 
practices in accordance with the Constitution.
The third challenge was to ensure the development and well-
being of the entire society and not only of some sections. Here again 
the Constitution clearly laid down the principle of equality and 
special protection to socially disadvantaged groups and religious and 
cultural communities. The Constitution also set out in the Directive 
Principles of State Policy the welfare goals that democratic politics 
must achieve.  The real challenge now was to evolve effective policies 
for economic development and eradication of poverty.
How did independent India respond to these challenges? To what 
extent did India succeed in achieving the various objectives set out 
by the Constitution? This entire book is an attempt to respond to 
these questions. The book tells the story of politics in India since 
Independence so as to equip you to develop your own answers to 
big questions like these. In the first three chapters we look at how 
the three challenges mentioned above were faced in the early years 
after Independence.
In this chapter, we focus on the first challenge of nation-
building that occupied centre-stage in the years immediately after 
Independence.  We begin by looking at the events that formed the 
context of Independence.  This can help us understand why the 
issue of national unity and security became a primary challenge 
at the time of Independence. We shall then see how India chose to 
shape itself into a nation, united by a shared history and common 
destiny.  This unity had to reflect the aspirations of people across 
the different regions and deal with the disparities that existed 
among regions and different sections of people. In the next two 
chapters we shall turn to the challenge of establishing a democracy 
and achieving economic development with equality and justice.
I always wanted a time 
machine, so that I can 
go back and participate 
in the celebrations of 
15 August 1947. But 
this looks different 
from what I thought.
These three stamps were issued in 1950 to mark the first republic Day on 26 January 1950. What 
do the images on these stamps tell you about the challenges to the new republic? If you were asked 
to design these stamps in 1950, which images would you have chosen?
2015-16(21/01/2015)
Page 5


In this chapter…
The first few years in the life of independent India were full of challenges. 
Some of the most pressing ones concerned national unity and 
territorial integrity of India. We begin the story of politics in India since 
Independence by looking at how three of these challenges of nation-
building were successfully negotiated in the first decade after 1947. 
•	 Freedom 	 came	 with	partition, which resulted in large scale violence 
and displacement and challenged the very idea of a secular India.  
•	 The	 integra tion	 of	 the	 princely 	 states	 into 	 the	 Indian 	 union	 needed	
urgent resolution.  
•	 The 	 internal	 boundaries 	 of	 the	 country	 needed 	 to	 be 	 drawn	 afresh	 to	
meet the aspirations of the people who spoke different languages.  
In the next two chapters we shall turn to other kinds of challenges faced 
by the country in this early phase.
Credit: Sunil Janah
In a moment of 
optimism, Hindus and 
Hindus and Muslims in 
Kolkata in 1947 marked 
the end of communal 
violence by jointly flying 
the flags of India and 
Pakistan from trucks 
patrolling the city. 
This rare photograph 
captured the joy of 
freedom and the tragedy 
of partition in India and 
in Pakistan.  
2015-16(21/01/2015)
Challenges for the new nation
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 
that you are familiar with. 
This was the moment Indians had been waiting for.  You have read in your history 
textbooks that there were many voices in our national movement. But there were 
two goals almost everyone agreed upon: one, that after Independence, we shall run 
our country through democratic government; and two, that the government will be 
run for the good of all, particularly the poor and the socially disadvantaged groups. 
Now that the country was independent, the time had come to realise the promise of 
freedom.
This was not going to be easy. 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. Freedom came with the partition of the country. The year 1947 was a 
year of unprecedented violence and trauma of displacement. It was in this situation 
that independent India started on its journey to achieve several objectives. Yet the 
turmoil that accompanied independence did not make our leaders lose sight of the 
multiple challenges that faced the new nation. 
Challenges of 
nation Building 1
Chapter
Credit: PIB
Prime Minister Jawahar 
Lal Nehru speaking from 
the red Fort, 
15 August 1947
2015-16(21/01/2015)
4                                                                    Politics in India since Independence
Three Challenges 
Broadly, independent India faced three kinds of challenges. The first 
and the immediate challenge 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. There were serious questions about the 
future of India: Would India survive as a unified country? Would it do 
so by emphasising national unity at the cost of every other objective? 
Would it mean rejecting all regional and sub-national identities? And 
there was an urgent question: How was integration of the territory of 
India to be achieved?
The second challenge was to establish democracy. You have 
already studied the Indian Constitution. You know that the 
Constitution granted fundamental rights and extended the right to 
vote to every citizen. India adopted representative democracy based 
on the parliamentary form of government. These features ensure that 
the political competition would take place in a democratic framework. 
Hindustan Times, 19 July 1947
 Tomorrow we shall be 
free from the slavery of the 
British domination. But 
at midnight India will be 
partitioned. Tomorrow will 
thus be a day of rejoicing as 
well as of mourning.
Mahatma Gandhi  
14 August 1947, 
Kolkata.
“
“
2015-16(21/01/2015)
Challenges of Nation Building                                                                              5  
A democratic constitution is necessary but not sufficient for 
establishing a democracy. The challenge was to develop democratic 
practices in accordance with the Constitution.
The third challenge was to ensure the development and well-
being of the entire society and not only of some sections. Here again 
the Constitution clearly laid down the principle of equality and 
special protection to socially disadvantaged groups and religious and 
cultural communities. The Constitution also set out in the Directive 
Principles of State Policy the welfare goals that democratic politics 
must achieve.  The real challenge now was to evolve effective policies 
for economic development and eradication of poverty.
How did independent India respond to these challenges? To what 
extent did India succeed in achieving the various objectives set out 
by the Constitution? This entire book is an attempt to respond to 
these questions. The book tells the story of politics in India since 
Independence so as to equip you to develop your own answers to 
big questions like these. In the first three chapters we look at how 
the three challenges mentioned above were faced in the early years 
after Independence.
In this chapter, we focus on the first challenge of nation-
building that occupied centre-stage in the years immediately after 
Independence.  We begin by looking at the events that formed the 
context of Independence.  This can help us understand why the 
issue of national unity and security became a primary challenge 
at the time of Independence. We shall then see how India chose to 
shape itself into a nation, united by a shared history and common 
destiny.  This unity had to reflect the aspirations of people across 
the different regions and deal with the disparities that existed 
among regions and different sections of people. In the next two 
chapters we shall turn to the challenge of establishing a democracy 
and achieving economic development with equality and justice.
I always wanted a time 
machine, so that I can 
go back and participate 
in the celebrations of 
15 August 1947. But 
this looks different 
from what I thought.
These three stamps were issued in 1950 to mark the first republic Day on 26 January 1950. What 
do the images on these stamps tell you about the challenges to the new republic? If you were asked 
to design these stamps in 1950, which images would you have chosen?
2015-16(21/01/2015)
6                                                                    Politics in India since Independence
The Dawn of Freedom
Faiz Ahmed Faiz
This scarred, marred brightness,       
this bitten-by-night dawn - 
The one that was awaited, surely, this is not that dawn. 
This is not the dawn yearning for which 
Had we set out, friends, hoping to find    
sometime, somewhere 
The final destination of stars in the wilderness of the sky. 
Somewhere, at least, must be a shore for the languid   
waves of the night, 
Somewhere at least must anchor the sad     
boat of the heart … 
Translation of an extract from urdu poem  Subh-e-azadi
We should begin to work in that spirit and in course of time all these 
angularities of the majority and minority communities, the Hindu community 
and the Muslim community – because even as regards Muslims you have 
pathans, punjabis, Shias, Sunnis and so on and among the Hindus you have 
Brahmins, Vaishnavas, Khatris, also Bengalees, Madrasis, and so on – will 
vanish. … You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to 
go to your mosques or to any other place of worship in this State of pakistan. 
You may belong to any religion or caste or creed – that has nothing to do with 
the business of the State. 
Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Presidential Address to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan at 
Karachi,  11 August 1947.
Faiz Ahmed Faiz (1911-1984) Born 
in Sialkot; stayed in Pakistan after 
Partition. A leftist in his political 
leanings, he opposed the Pakistani 
regime and was imprisoned. Collections 
of his poetry include Naksh-e-Fariyadi, 
Dast-e-Saba and Zindan-Nama. 
Regarded as one of the greatest poets 
of South Asia in the twentieth century.
Dawn, Karachi, 14 August 1947
6                                                                    P
2015-16(21/01/2015)
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