NCERT Textbook - Constitutional Design Class 9 Notes | EduRev

NCERT Textbooks (Class 6 to Class 12)

Created by: C K Academy

UPSC : NCERT Textbook - Constitutional Design Class 9 Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


40 D D D D DEMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCRA A A A ATI TI TI TI TIC C C C C P P P P PO O O O OLITI LITI LITI LITI LITICS CS CS CS CS
CHAPTER 3
CONSTITUTIONAL
DESIGN
O O O O OVER VER VER VER VERVIE VIE VIE VIE VIEW W W W W
We noted in the previous chapter that in a democracy the rulers are not
free to do what they like. There are certain basic rules that the citizens
and the government have to follow. All such rules together are called
constitution. As the supreme law of the country, the constitution determines
the rights of citizens, the powers of the government and how the government
should function.
In this chapter we ask some basic questions about the constitutional
design of a democracy. Why do we need a constitution? How are the
constitutions drawn up? Who designs them and in what way? What are
the values that shape the constitutions in democratic states? Once a
constitution is accepted, can we make changes later as required by the
changing conditions?
One recent instance of designing constitution for a democratic state is
that of the South Africa. We begin this chapter by looking at what happened
there and how the South Africans went about this task of designing their
constitution. Then we turn to how the Indian Constitution was made,
what its foundational values are, and how it provides a good framework
for the conduct of citizens’ life and that of the government.
Page 2


40 D D D D DEMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCRA A A A ATI TI TI TI TIC C C C C P P P P PO O O O OLITI LITI LITI LITI LITICS CS CS CS CS
CHAPTER 3
CONSTITUTIONAL
DESIGN
O O O O OVER VER VER VER VERVIE VIE VIE VIE VIEW W W W W
We noted in the previous chapter that in a democracy the rulers are not
free to do what they like. There are certain basic rules that the citizens
and the government have to follow. All such rules together are called
constitution. As the supreme law of the country, the constitution determines
the rights of citizens, the powers of the government and how the government
should function.
In this chapter we ask some basic questions about the constitutional
design of a democracy. Why do we need a constitution? How are the
constitutions drawn up? Who designs them and in what way? What are
the values that shape the constitutions in democratic states? Once a
constitution is accepted, can we make changes later as required by the
changing conditions?
One recent instance of designing constitution for a democratic state is
that of the South Africa. We begin this chapter by looking at what happened
there and how the South Africans went about this task of designing their
constitution. Then we turn to how the Indian Constitution was made,
what its foundational values are, and how it provides a good framework
for the conduct of citizens’ life and that of the government.
41
3.1 3.1 3.1 3.1 3.1 D D D D DEMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCRA A A A ATI TI TI TI TIC C C C C     C C C C CO O O O ONSTITUTI NSTITUTI NSTITUTI NSTITUTI NSTITUTIO O O O ON N N N N     IN IN IN IN IN
S S S S SOUTH OUTH OUTH OUTH OUTH A A A A AFRI FRI FRI FRI FRICA CA CA CA CA
“I have fought against white domination
and I have fought against black
domination. I have cherished the ideal of
a democratic and free society in which all
persons live together in harmony and with
equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I
hope to live for and to achieve. But if
needs be, it is an ideal for which I am
prepared to die.”
This was Nelson Mandela, being
tried for treason by the white South
African government. He and seven
other leaders were sentenced to life
imprisonment in 1964 for daring to
oppose the apartheid regime in his
country. He spent the next 28 years
in South Africa’s most dreaded
prison, Robben Island.
S S S S Str tr tr tr truggle against apar uggle against apar uggle against apar uggle against apar uggle against apartheid theid theid theid theid
Apartheid was the name of a system
of racial discrimination unique to
South Africa. The white Europeans
imposed this system on South
Africa. During the seventeenth and
eighteenth centuries, the trading
companies from Europe occupied it
with arms and force, in the way they
occupied India. But unlike India, a
large number of ‘whites’ had settled
in South Africa and became the
local rulers. The system of
apartheid divided the people and
labelled them on the basis of their
skin colour. The native people of
South Africa are black in colour.
They made up about three-fourth
of the population and were called
‘blacks’. Besides these two groups,
there were people of mixed races
who were called ‘coloured’ and
people who migrated from India.
The white rulers treated all non-
whites as inferiors. The non-whites
did not have voting rights.
The apartheid system was
particularly oppressive for the
blacks. They were forbidden from
living in white areas. They could
work in white areas only if they had
a permit. Trains, buses, taxis,
hotels, hospitals, schools and
colleges, libraries, cinema halls,
theatres, beaches, swimming pools,
C C C C CO O O O ONSTITUTI NSTITUTI NSTITUTI NSTITUTI NSTITUTIO O O O ONAL NAL NAL NAL NAL D D D D DESI ESI ESI ESI ESIGN GN GN GN GN
Sign on Durban beach
in English, Afrikaans
and Zulu
In English it reads:
‘CITY OF DURBAN Under
section 37 of the Durban
beach by-laws, this bathing
area is reserved for the sole
use of members of the
white race group’.
1
2
1
2
A signboard emblematic of
the tense relations of the
apartheid era, 1953.
Nelson Mandela
South Africa History Online
John Mullen, Wikipedia, GNU Free Documentation License
Page 3


40 D D D D DEMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCRA A A A ATI TI TI TI TIC C C C C P P P P PO O O O OLITI LITI LITI LITI LITICS CS CS CS CS
CHAPTER 3
CONSTITUTIONAL
DESIGN
O O O O OVER VER VER VER VERVIE VIE VIE VIE VIEW W W W W
We noted in the previous chapter that in a democracy the rulers are not
free to do what they like. There are certain basic rules that the citizens
and the government have to follow. All such rules together are called
constitution. As the supreme law of the country, the constitution determines
the rights of citizens, the powers of the government and how the government
should function.
In this chapter we ask some basic questions about the constitutional
design of a democracy. Why do we need a constitution? How are the
constitutions drawn up? Who designs them and in what way? What are
the values that shape the constitutions in democratic states? Once a
constitution is accepted, can we make changes later as required by the
changing conditions?
One recent instance of designing constitution for a democratic state is
that of the South Africa. We begin this chapter by looking at what happened
there and how the South Africans went about this task of designing their
constitution. Then we turn to how the Indian Constitution was made,
what its foundational values are, and how it provides a good framework
for the conduct of citizens’ life and that of the government.
41
3.1 3.1 3.1 3.1 3.1 D D D D DEMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCRA A A A ATI TI TI TI TIC C C C C     C C C C CO O O O ONSTITUTI NSTITUTI NSTITUTI NSTITUTI NSTITUTIO O O O ON N N N N     IN IN IN IN IN
S S S S SOUTH OUTH OUTH OUTH OUTH A A A A AFRI FRI FRI FRI FRICA CA CA CA CA
“I have fought against white domination
and I have fought against black
domination. I have cherished the ideal of
a democratic and free society in which all
persons live together in harmony and with
equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I
hope to live for and to achieve. But if
needs be, it is an ideal for which I am
prepared to die.”
This was Nelson Mandela, being
tried for treason by the white South
African government. He and seven
other leaders were sentenced to life
imprisonment in 1964 for daring to
oppose the apartheid regime in his
country. He spent the next 28 years
in South Africa’s most dreaded
prison, Robben Island.
S S S S Str tr tr tr truggle against apar uggle against apar uggle against apar uggle against apar uggle against apartheid theid theid theid theid
Apartheid was the name of a system
of racial discrimination unique to
South Africa. The white Europeans
imposed this system on South
Africa. During the seventeenth and
eighteenth centuries, the trading
companies from Europe occupied it
with arms and force, in the way they
occupied India. But unlike India, a
large number of ‘whites’ had settled
in South Africa and became the
local rulers. The system of
apartheid divided the people and
labelled them on the basis of their
skin colour. The native people of
South Africa are black in colour.
They made up about three-fourth
of the population and were called
‘blacks’. Besides these two groups,
there were people of mixed races
who were called ‘coloured’ and
people who migrated from India.
The white rulers treated all non-
whites as inferiors. The non-whites
did not have voting rights.
The apartheid system was
particularly oppressive for the
blacks. They were forbidden from
living in white areas. They could
work in white areas only if they had
a permit. Trains, buses, taxis,
hotels, hospitals, schools and
colleges, libraries, cinema halls,
theatres, beaches, swimming pools,
C C C C CO O O O ONSTITUTI NSTITUTI NSTITUTI NSTITUTI NSTITUTIO O O O ONAL NAL NAL NAL NAL D D D D DESI ESI ESI ESI ESIGN GN GN GN GN
Sign on Durban beach
in English, Afrikaans
and Zulu
In English it reads:
‘CITY OF DURBAN Under
section 37 of the Durban
beach by-laws, this bathing
area is reserved for the sole
use of members of the
white race group’.
1
2
1
2
A signboard emblematic of
the tense relations of the
apartheid era, 1953.
Nelson Mandela
South Africa History Online
John Mullen, Wikipedia, GNU Free Documentation License
42 D D D D DEMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCRA A A A ATI TI TI TI TIC C C C C P P P P PO O O O OLITI LITI LITI LITI LITICS CS CS CS CS
public toilets, were all separate for
the whites and blacks. This was
called segregation. They could not
even visit the churches where the
whites worshipped. Blacks could not
form associations or protest against
the terrible treatment.
Since 1950, the blacks, coloured
and Indians fought against the
apartheid system. They launched
protest marches and strikes. The
African National Congress (ANC) was
the umbrella organisation that led
the struggle against the policies of
segregation. This included many
workers’ unions and the Communist
Party. Many sensitive whites also
joined the ANC to oppose apartheid
and played a leading role in this
struggle. Several countries de-
nounced apartheid as unjust and
racist. But the white racist govern-
ment continued to rule by detain-
ing, torturing and killing thousands
of black and coloured people.
ACTIVITY
? Make a poster on the life and struggle of Nelson
Mandela.
? If available, read some portions of his autobi-
ography, The Long Walk to Freedom, in the
classroom.
T T T T To o o o ow w w w war ar ar ar ards a ne ds a ne ds a ne ds a ne ds a new c w c w c w c w constitution onstitution onstitution onstitution onstitution
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 the
jail as a free man. Finally, at the
midnight of 26 April 1994, the new
national flag of the Republic of South
Africa was unfurled marking the
newly born democracy in the world.
The apartheid government came to
an end, paving way for the formation
of a multi-racial government.
How did this come about? Let us
hear Mandela, the first president of
this new South Africa, on this extra-
ordinary transition:
“Historical enemies succeeded in
negotiating a peaceful transition from
apartheid to democracy exactly because
we were prepared to accept the inherent
capacity for goodness in the other. My
wish is that South Africans never give up
on the belief in goodness, that they
cherish that faith in human beings is the
cornerstone of our democracy.”
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.
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 discussion and
debate 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 the 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. The preamble to the South
African Constitution (see page 50)
sums up this spirit.
What would have
happened in South
Africa if the black
majority had
decided to take
revenge on the
whites for all their
oppression and
exploitation?
Page 4


40 D D D D DEMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCRA A A A ATI TI TI TI TIC C C C C P P P P PO O O O OLITI LITI LITI LITI LITICS CS CS CS CS
CHAPTER 3
CONSTITUTIONAL
DESIGN
O O O O OVER VER VER VER VERVIE VIE VIE VIE VIEW W W W W
We noted in the previous chapter that in a democracy the rulers are not
free to do what they like. There are certain basic rules that the citizens
and the government have to follow. All such rules together are called
constitution. As the supreme law of the country, the constitution determines
the rights of citizens, the powers of the government and how the government
should function.
In this chapter we ask some basic questions about the constitutional
design of a democracy. Why do we need a constitution? How are the
constitutions drawn up? Who designs them and in what way? What are
the values that shape the constitutions in democratic states? Once a
constitution is accepted, can we make changes later as required by the
changing conditions?
One recent instance of designing constitution for a democratic state is
that of the South Africa. We begin this chapter by looking at what happened
there and how the South Africans went about this task of designing their
constitution. Then we turn to how the Indian Constitution was made,
what its foundational values are, and how it provides a good framework
for the conduct of citizens’ life and that of the government.
41
3.1 3.1 3.1 3.1 3.1 D D D D DEMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCRA A A A ATI TI TI TI TIC C C C C     C C C C CO O O O ONSTITUTI NSTITUTI NSTITUTI NSTITUTI NSTITUTIO O O O ON N N N N     IN IN IN IN IN
S S S S SOUTH OUTH OUTH OUTH OUTH A A A A AFRI FRI FRI FRI FRICA CA CA CA CA
“I have fought against white domination
and I have fought against black
domination. I have cherished the ideal of
a democratic and free society in which all
persons live together in harmony and with
equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I
hope to live for and to achieve. But if
needs be, it is an ideal for which I am
prepared to die.”
This was Nelson Mandela, being
tried for treason by the white South
African government. He and seven
other leaders were sentenced to life
imprisonment in 1964 for daring to
oppose the apartheid regime in his
country. He spent the next 28 years
in South Africa’s most dreaded
prison, Robben Island.
S S S S Str tr tr tr truggle against apar uggle against apar uggle against apar uggle against apar uggle against apartheid theid theid theid theid
Apartheid was the name of a system
of racial discrimination unique to
South Africa. The white Europeans
imposed this system on South
Africa. During the seventeenth and
eighteenth centuries, the trading
companies from Europe occupied it
with arms and force, in the way they
occupied India. But unlike India, a
large number of ‘whites’ had settled
in South Africa and became the
local rulers. The system of
apartheid divided the people and
labelled them on the basis of their
skin colour. The native people of
South Africa are black in colour.
They made up about three-fourth
of the population and were called
‘blacks’. Besides these two groups,
there were people of mixed races
who were called ‘coloured’ and
people who migrated from India.
The white rulers treated all non-
whites as inferiors. The non-whites
did not have voting rights.
The apartheid system was
particularly oppressive for the
blacks. They were forbidden from
living in white areas. They could
work in white areas only if they had
a permit. Trains, buses, taxis,
hotels, hospitals, schools and
colleges, libraries, cinema halls,
theatres, beaches, swimming pools,
C C C C CO O O O ONSTITUTI NSTITUTI NSTITUTI NSTITUTI NSTITUTIO O O O ONAL NAL NAL NAL NAL D D D D DESI ESI ESI ESI ESIGN GN GN GN GN
Sign on Durban beach
in English, Afrikaans
and Zulu
In English it reads:
‘CITY OF DURBAN Under
section 37 of the Durban
beach by-laws, this bathing
area is reserved for the sole
use of members of the
white race group’.
1
2
1
2
A signboard emblematic of
the tense relations of the
apartheid era, 1953.
Nelson Mandela
South Africa History Online
John Mullen, Wikipedia, GNU Free Documentation License
42 D D D D DEMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCRA A A A ATI TI TI TI TIC C C C C P P P P PO O O O OLITI LITI LITI LITI LITICS CS CS CS CS
public toilets, were all separate for
the whites and blacks. This was
called segregation. They could not
even visit the churches where the
whites worshipped. Blacks could not
form associations or protest against
the terrible treatment.
Since 1950, the blacks, coloured
and Indians fought against the
apartheid system. They launched
protest marches and strikes. The
African National Congress (ANC) was
the umbrella organisation that led
the struggle against the policies of
segregation. This included many
workers’ unions and the Communist
Party. Many sensitive whites also
joined the ANC to oppose apartheid
and played a leading role in this
struggle. Several countries de-
nounced apartheid as unjust and
racist. But the white racist govern-
ment continued to rule by detain-
ing, torturing and killing thousands
of black and coloured people.
ACTIVITY
? Make a poster on the life and struggle of Nelson
Mandela.
? If available, read some portions of his autobi-
ography, The Long Walk to Freedom, in the
classroom.
T T T T To o o o ow w w w war ar ar ar ards a ne ds a ne ds a ne ds a ne ds a new c w c w c w c w constitution onstitution onstitution onstitution onstitution
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 the
jail as a free man. Finally, at the
midnight of 26 April 1994, the new
national flag of the Republic of South
Africa was unfurled marking the
newly born democracy in the world.
The apartheid government came to
an end, paving way for the formation
of a multi-racial government.
How did this come about? Let us
hear Mandela, the first president of
this new South Africa, on this extra-
ordinary transition:
“Historical enemies succeeded in
negotiating a peaceful transition from
apartheid to democracy exactly because
we were prepared to accept the inherent
capacity for goodness in the other. My
wish is that South Africans never give up
on the belief in goodness, that they
cherish that faith in human beings is the
cornerstone of our democracy.”
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.
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 discussion and
debate 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 the 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. The preamble to the South
African Constitution (see page 50)
sums up this spirit.
What would have
happened in South
Africa if the black
majority had
decided to take
revenge on the
whites for all their
oppression and
exploitation?
43
The South African constitution
inspires democrats all over the
world. A state denounced by the
entire world till recently as the most
undemocratic one is now seen as a
model of democracy. What made this
change possible was the
determination of the people of South
Africa to work together, to transform
bitter experiences into the binding
glue of a rainbow nation. Speaking
on the South African Constitution,
Mandela said:
“The Constitution of South Africa speaks
of both the past and the future. On the one
hand, it is a solemn pact in which we, as
South Africans, declare to one another that
we shall never permit a repetition of our
racist, brutal and repressive past. But it is
more than that. It is also a charter for the
transformation of our country into one
which is truly shared by all its people — a
country which in the fullest sense belongs
to all of us, black and white, women and
men.”
This image captures the spirit of South Africa today. South
Africans call themselves a ‘rainbow nation’. Can you guess
why?
Does the story of South African struggle for freedom remind you of the Indian national movement?
Make a list of similarities and dissimilarities between the two on the following points:
? Nature of colonialism
? Relationship between different communities
? Leadership: Gandhi/ Mandela
? Party that led the struggle: African National Congress/ Indian National Congress
? Method of struggle
3.2 W 3.2 W 3.2 W 3.2 W 3.2 WHY HY HY HY HY     DO DO DO DO DO     WE WE WE WE WE     NEED NEED NEED NEED NEED     A A A A A     C C C C CO O O O ONSTITUTI NSTITUTI NSTITUTI NSTITUTI NSTITUTIO O O O ON N N N N? ? ? ? ?
CHECK
YOUR
PROGRESS
The South African example is a good
way to understand why we need a
constitution and what do
constitutions do. 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.
C C C C CO O O O ONSTITUTI NSTITUTI NSTITUTI NSTITUTI NSTITUTIO O O O ONAL NAL NAL NAL NAL D D D D DESI ESI ESI ESI ESIGN GN GN GN GN
Wikipedia, GNU Free Documentation License
Page 5


40 D D D D DEMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCRA A A A ATI TI TI TI TIC C C C C P P P P PO O O O OLITI LITI LITI LITI LITICS CS CS CS CS
CHAPTER 3
CONSTITUTIONAL
DESIGN
O O O O OVER VER VER VER VERVIE VIE VIE VIE VIEW W W W W
We noted in the previous chapter that in a democracy the rulers are not
free to do what they like. There are certain basic rules that the citizens
and the government have to follow. All such rules together are called
constitution. As the supreme law of the country, the constitution determines
the rights of citizens, the powers of the government and how the government
should function.
In this chapter we ask some basic questions about the constitutional
design of a democracy. Why do we need a constitution? How are the
constitutions drawn up? Who designs them and in what way? What are
the values that shape the constitutions in democratic states? Once a
constitution is accepted, can we make changes later as required by the
changing conditions?
One recent instance of designing constitution for a democratic state is
that of the South Africa. We begin this chapter by looking at what happened
there and how the South Africans went about this task of designing their
constitution. Then we turn to how the Indian Constitution was made,
what its foundational values are, and how it provides a good framework
for the conduct of citizens’ life and that of the government.
41
3.1 3.1 3.1 3.1 3.1 D D D D DEMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCRA A A A ATI TI TI TI TIC C C C C     C C C C CO O O O ONSTITUTI NSTITUTI NSTITUTI NSTITUTI NSTITUTIO O O O ON N N N N     IN IN IN IN IN
S S S S SOUTH OUTH OUTH OUTH OUTH A A A A AFRI FRI FRI FRI FRICA CA CA CA CA
“I have fought against white domination
and I have fought against black
domination. I have cherished the ideal of
a democratic and free society in which all
persons live together in harmony and with
equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I
hope to live for and to achieve. But if
needs be, it is an ideal for which I am
prepared to die.”
This was Nelson Mandela, being
tried for treason by the white South
African government. He and seven
other leaders were sentenced to life
imprisonment in 1964 for daring to
oppose the apartheid regime in his
country. He spent the next 28 years
in South Africa’s most dreaded
prison, Robben Island.
S S S S Str tr tr tr truggle against apar uggle against apar uggle against apar uggle against apar uggle against apartheid theid theid theid theid
Apartheid was the name of a system
of racial discrimination unique to
South Africa. The white Europeans
imposed this system on South
Africa. During the seventeenth and
eighteenth centuries, the trading
companies from Europe occupied it
with arms and force, in the way they
occupied India. But unlike India, a
large number of ‘whites’ had settled
in South Africa and became the
local rulers. The system of
apartheid divided the people and
labelled them on the basis of their
skin colour. The native people of
South Africa are black in colour.
They made up about three-fourth
of the population and were called
‘blacks’. Besides these two groups,
there were people of mixed races
who were called ‘coloured’ and
people who migrated from India.
The white rulers treated all non-
whites as inferiors. The non-whites
did not have voting rights.
The apartheid system was
particularly oppressive for the
blacks. They were forbidden from
living in white areas. They could
work in white areas only if they had
a permit. Trains, buses, taxis,
hotels, hospitals, schools and
colleges, libraries, cinema halls,
theatres, beaches, swimming pools,
C C C C CO O O O ONSTITUTI NSTITUTI NSTITUTI NSTITUTI NSTITUTIO O O O ONAL NAL NAL NAL NAL D D D D DESI ESI ESI ESI ESIGN GN GN GN GN
Sign on Durban beach
in English, Afrikaans
and Zulu
In English it reads:
‘CITY OF DURBAN Under
section 37 of the Durban
beach by-laws, this bathing
area is reserved for the sole
use of members of the
white race group’.
1
2
1
2
A signboard emblematic of
the tense relations of the
apartheid era, 1953.
Nelson Mandela
South Africa History Online
John Mullen, Wikipedia, GNU Free Documentation License
42 D D D D DEMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCRA A A A ATI TI TI TI TIC C C C C P P P P PO O O O OLITI LITI LITI LITI LITICS CS CS CS CS
public toilets, were all separate for
the whites and blacks. This was
called segregation. They could not
even visit the churches where the
whites worshipped. Blacks could not
form associations or protest against
the terrible treatment.
Since 1950, the blacks, coloured
and Indians fought against the
apartheid system. They launched
protest marches and strikes. The
African National Congress (ANC) was
the umbrella organisation that led
the struggle against the policies of
segregation. This included many
workers’ unions and the Communist
Party. Many sensitive whites also
joined the ANC to oppose apartheid
and played a leading role in this
struggle. Several countries de-
nounced apartheid as unjust and
racist. But the white racist govern-
ment continued to rule by detain-
ing, torturing and killing thousands
of black and coloured people.
ACTIVITY
? Make a poster on the life and struggle of Nelson
Mandela.
? If available, read some portions of his autobi-
ography, The Long Walk to Freedom, in the
classroom.
T T T T To o o o ow w w w war ar ar ar ards a ne ds a ne ds a ne ds a ne ds a new c w c w c w c w constitution onstitution onstitution onstitution onstitution
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 the
jail as a free man. Finally, at the
midnight of 26 April 1994, the new
national flag of the Republic of South
Africa was unfurled marking the
newly born democracy in the world.
The apartheid government came to
an end, paving way for the formation
of a multi-racial government.
How did this come about? Let us
hear Mandela, the first president of
this new South Africa, on this extra-
ordinary transition:
“Historical enemies succeeded in
negotiating a peaceful transition from
apartheid to democracy exactly because
we were prepared to accept the inherent
capacity for goodness in the other. My
wish is that South Africans never give up
on the belief in goodness, that they
cherish that faith in human beings is the
cornerstone of our democracy.”
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.
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 discussion and
debate 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 the 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. The preamble to the South
African Constitution (see page 50)
sums up this spirit.
What would have
happened in South
Africa if the black
majority had
decided to take
revenge on the
whites for all their
oppression and
exploitation?
43
The South African constitution
inspires democrats all over the
world. A state denounced by the
entire world till recently as the most
undemocratic one is now seen as a
model of democracy. What made this
change possible was the
determination of the people of South
Africa to work together, to transform
bitter experiences into the binding
glue of a rainbow nation. Speaking
on the South African Constitution,
Mandela said:
“The Constitution of South Africa speaks
of both the past and the future. On the one
hand, it is a solemn pact in which we, as
South Africans, declare to one another that
we shall never permit a repetition of our
racist, brutal and repressive past. But it is
more than that. It is also a charter for the
transformation of our country into one
which is truly shared by all its people — a
country which in the fullest sense belongs
to all of us, black and white, women and
men.”
This image captures the spirit of South Africa today. South
Africans call themselves a ‘rainbow nation’. Can you guess
why?
Does the story of South African struggle for freedom remind you of the Indian national movement?
Make a list of similarities and dissimilarities between the two on the following points:
? Nature of colonialism
? Relationship between different communities
? Leadership: Gandhi/ Mandela
? Party that led the struggle: African National Congress/ Indian National Congress
? Method of struggle
3.2 W 3.2 W 3.2 W 3.2 W 3.2 WHY HY HY HY HY     DO DO DO DO DO     WE WE WE WE WE     NEED NEED NEED NEED NEED     A A A A A     C C C C CO O O O ONSTITUTI NSTITUTI NSTITUTI NSTITUTI NSTITUTIO O O O ON N N N N? ? ? ? ?
CHECK
YOUR
PROGRESS
The South African example is a good
way to understand why we need a
constitution and what do
constitutions do. 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.
C C C C CO O O O ONSTITUTI NSTITUTI NSTITUTI NSTITUTI NSTITUTIO O O O ONAL NAL NAL NAL NAL D D D D DESI ESI ESI ESI ESIGN GN GN GN GN
Wikipedia, GNU Free Documentation License
44 D D D D DEMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCRA A A A ATI TI TI TI TIC C C C C P P P P PO O O O OLITI LITI LITI LITI LITICS CS CS CS CS
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 majority rule
would not be absolute. They agreed
that the majority would not take away
the property of the white minority.
This compromise was not easy. How
was this compromise going to be
implemented? Even if they managed
to trust each other, what was the
guarantee that this trust will not be
broken in future?
The only way to build and
maintain trust in such a situation
is to write down some rules of the
game that everyone would abide by.
These rules lay down how the rulers
are to be chosen in future. These
rules also determine what the
elected governments are empowered
to do and what they cannot do.
Finally these rules decide the rights
of the citizen. These rules will work
only if the winner cannot change
them very easily. This is what the
South Africans did. They agreed on
some basic rules. They also agreed
that these rules will be supreme,
that no government will be able to
ignore these. This set of basic rules
is called a constitution.
Constitution making is not unique
to South Africa. Every country has
diverse groups of people. Their
relationship may not have been as
bad as that between the whites and
the blacks in South Africa. But all over
the world people have differences of
opinion and interests. Whether
democratic or not, most countries in
the world need to have these basic
rules. This applies not just to
governments. Any association needs
to have its constitution. It could be a
club in your area, a cooperative
society or a political party, they all
need a constitution.
ACTIVITY
Approach a club or cooperative society or union or
political party in your locality. Get a copy of their
rule book (it is often called Rules of Association)
and read it. Are these rules in accordance with
principles of democracy? Do they give membership
to any person without discrimination?
Thus, the constitution of a country
is a set of written rules that are
accepted by all people living together
in a country. Constitution is the
supreme law that determines the
relationship among people living in
a territory (called citizens) and also
the relationship between the people
and government. A constitution does
many things:
? First, it generates a degree of trust
and coordination that is necessary
for different kind of people to live
together;
?Second, it specifies how the
government will be constituted,
who will have power to take which
decisions;
?Third, it lays down limits on the
powers of the government and tells
us what the rights of the citizens
are; and
?Fourth, it expresses the
aspirations of the people about
creating a good society.
All countries that have constitutions
are not necessarily democratic. But
all countries that are democratic will
have constitutions. After the War of
Independence against Great Britain,
the Americans gave themselves a
constitution. After the Revolution, the
French people approved a democratic
constitution. Since then it has
become a practice in all democracies
to have a written constitution.
This is not fair!
What was the point
in having a
Constituent
Assembly in India if
all the basics were
already decided?
Read More
Offer running on EduRev: Apply code STAYHOME200 to get INR 200 off on our premium plan EduRev Infinity!

Complete Syllabus of UPSC

Dynamic Test

Content Category

Related Searches

mock tests for examination

,

Sample Paper

,

Free

,

video lectures

,

Exam

,

Previous Year Questions with Solutions

,

NCERT Textbook - Constitutional Design Class 9 Notes | EduRev

,

MCQs

,

pdf

,

practice quizzes

,

Important questions

,

Summary

,

past year papers

,

shortcuts and tricks

,

study material

,

Semester Notes

,

NCERT Textbook - Constitutional Design Class 9 Notes | EduRev

,

NCERT Textbook - Constitutional Design Class 9 Notes | EduRev

,

Objective type Questions

,

ppt

,

Viva Questions

,

Extra Questions

;