Q. 1. Read the passage given below carefully and answer the following questions:
The Congress evolved from its origins in 1885 as a pressure group for the newly educated,professionals and commercial classes to a mass movement in the twentieth century. This laid the basis for its eventual transformation into a mass political party and its subsequent domination of the political system. Thus the Congress began as a party dominated by the English speaking, upper caste, upper-middle class and urban elite. But with every Civil Disobedience Movement it launched, its social base widened.
(a) What is meant by a pressure group?
(b) Explain the reason for the Congress to be transformed into a rainbow-like social coalition by the time of Independence.
(c) What made the Congress into a mass political party in the twentieth century?
Ans. (a) An organisation that puts pressure on the government, directly or indirectly, to get its demands fulfilled.
(b) (i) With every mass movement launched by the Congress Party its social base widened.
(ii) It brought together diverse groups – industrialists, peasants, urban as well as rural dwellers, etc. as its members.
(c) (i) It broadly represented India’s diversity in terms of caste, class, religion and language and various interests.
(ii) It’s support base increased with every mass movement.
Q. 2. State the causes responsible for the rise of Congress system in India.
Ans. The causes responsible for the rise of Congress system in India –
(i) The coalition like character of the Congress gave it an unusual strength. A coalition accommodates all those who join it. So, it has to avoid any other extreme position and strike a balance on almost all issues.
(ii) Secondly, in a party that has the nature of a Coalition, there is a greater tolerance of internal differences and ambitions of various groups and leaders are accommodated.
(iii) Even if a group was not happy with its position in the party or with its share of power, it would remain inside the party and fight the other groups rather than leaving the party and becoming an ‘opposition’. These groups inside the party are called factions.
(iv) The factions took different ideological positions making the Congress appear as a grand centrist party.
(v) The other parties primarily attempted to influence these factions and thereby indirectly influenced policy.
(vi) Therefore, political competitions took place within the Congress. In that sense, in the first decade of electoral competitions the Congress acted both as the ruling party as well as the opposition party within itself. That is why this period of Indian politics has been described as the Congress system.
Q. 3 How was the one-party dominance in India different from the one-party system in Mexico? In your opinion which of the two political systems is better and why?
What would you consider as the main differences between Mexico and India under one-part domination?
Ans. There was a huge difference between one-party dominance in India and that in Mexico. In India, the Congress Party was in majority but that does not mean that there was no opposition. There were ways and means by which the government was accountable to the public at large. The two situations are different in the sense that:
(i) In India, Congress Party dominated by democratic voting system whereas in Mexico, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (IRP) dominated by dictatorship.
(ii) The elections in India were free and fair whereas the elections in Mexico were full of malpractices by IRP.
(iii) The places where Congress lost majority (for example, in Kerala, Madras, etc.) were not oppressed but taken as a healthy political competition. In our opinion, the one-party dominance system in India is better because:
(i) The system showed respect for opposition also.
(ii) The system encouraged large number of participation by voters.
(iii) The system accommodated social, cultural and linguistic diversities.
(iv) The system ensured democratic setup.
(v) The system kept a check on government actions and policies by creating accountability through the Parliament.
Q. 4. Read the following passage and answer the questions below:
“Patel, the organisational man of the Congress, wanted to purge the Congress with other political groups and sought to make it a cohesive and disciplined political party. He had sought to take the Congress away from its all-embracing character and turn it into a close- nit party of disciplined cadres. Being a ‘realist’, he looked more for discipline than for comprehension, while Gandhi took too romantic a view of “carrying on the movement”. Patel’s idea of transforming the Congress into strictly political party with a single ideology and tight discipline showed an equal lack of understanding of the eclectic role that the Congress, as a government, was to be called upon to perform in the decades to follow.” —
(i) Why does the author think that Congress should not have been a cohesive and disciplined party?
(ii) Give some examples of the eclectic role of the Congress Party in the early years.
(iii) Why does the author say that Gandhi’s view about Congress’ future was romantic?
Ans. (i) The author wanted to take the Congress away from its all-embracing character and turn it into a close-knit party of disciplined cadres.
(ii) The following examples of the eclectic role of the Congress Party in the early years are in the form of social and ideological coalition of Congress:
(a) It provided a platform for numerous groups, interests and even political parties to participate in national movement.
(b) Congress Party presented the social coalition that represents the diversity of India including various religions, languages and castes.
(iii) The author said this because Gandhi believed in hand-in-hand characteristic of national movement led by the Congress which attracted various groups and societies to form a social and ideological coalition in the Congress.
Q. 5. Highlight the political ideology of the Communist Party of India.
Ans. The political ideology of the Communist Party of India at the time of Independence:
(i) The basic question that troubled the party was the nature of Indian Independence. Was India really free or was freedom a sham?
(ii) Soon after Independence, the party thought that the transfer of power in 1947 was not true independence and encouraged violent uprising in Telangana.
(iii) In 1951 the Communist Party abandoned the path of violent revolution and decided to participate in the approaching general elections.
Q. 6. If Bharatiya Jana Sangh or the Communist Party of India had formed the government after the first elections, in which respects would the policies of the government have been different? Specify three differences each for both the parties.
Ans. Bharatiya Jana Sangh : The policies of Bharatiya Jana Sangh were based on the principles as follows:
(i) It replaced the secular concept by the ideology of one party, one culture and one nation.
(ii) No cultural and education rights as this party opposed the granting of concessions to religious and cultural minorities.
(iii) It focused on the reunion of India and Pakistan under the concept of “Akhand Bharat”. Communist Party of India – CPI would have been different on the principles as follows:
(i) It worked for proportional representation in the government.
(ii) This party followed communist ideology in various policies.
(iii) It emphasised on a control over electronic mass media by an autonomous body or corporation.