Q. 1. Regional demands from different parts of India exemplify the principle of unity with diversity. Do you agree? Give reasons.
Ans. This statement is quite true.
(i) India’s democratic politics allows people and groups to address the people on the basis of their regional identity, aspiration and specific regional problems.
(ii) India’s democratic politics focus on regional issues and problems to receive adequate attention and accommodation in the policy making process. That is, regional aspirations of Punjab, Assam, Kashmir, etc.
(iii) Its examples are in the eighties, military erupted in Punjab, problems persisted in the North East, students agitated in Assam and Kashmir valley was on the boil.
(iv) The Government of India settled down some negotiations with these regional aspirations to reduce tensions in many regions.
(v) Mizoram is an example of political settlement to resolve the problem of separation effectively.
Q. 2. Which three lessons do we learn from regional aspirations and their accommodation as an integral part of democratic politics? Describe.
Ans. (i) Regional aspirations are very important part of democratic politics and expression of regional issues is a normal phenomenon.
(ii) Democratic negotiations are the best way to resolve the regional issues.
(iii) Regional matters can be resolved by power sharing within constitutional framework.
(iv) Regional balance and economic development decrease the feeling of regional discrimination. Therefore, the problem of backwardness of regions should be addressed at a priority.
(v) Constitutional provisions already incorporated in resolving regional issues. As the sixth schedule of the Constitution allows different tribes complete autonomy of preserving their practices and customary laws.
(vi) Federalism should be given respect in true sense.
(vii) Any other lesson.
Q. 3. Describe the advantages of the democratic approach to the question of diversity in uniting a large country like India.
Ans. Advantages of democratic approach to diversity:
(i) Democracy allows the free expression of regional aspirations.
(ii) It allows parties and groups to address the people on the basis of their regional identity.
(iii) It strengthens the regional aspirations.
(iv) Regional problems and issues receive adequate attention and accommodation.
Q. 4. While trying to forget and retain unity in diversity in India, there are many difficult issues which are yet to be tackled. Describe any three such areas of tension.
Ans. Areas of tension in the way of retaining unity in diversity:
(i) The issue of Jammu and Kashmir.
(ii) Some areas of North-East about which there was no consensus about them being a part of India or not.
(iii) Strong movements in Nagaland and Mizoram demanding separation from India.
(iv) Mass agitations in many parts for the formation of new state on the basis of language.
(v) First phase of nation-building was not enough. New challenges came up in Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Uttarakhand.
Q. 5. What were the main provisions of the Punjab Accord? In what way can they be the basis for further tensions between the Punjab and its neighbouring states?
Examine the main provisions of the Rajiv Gandhi-Longowal Accord of 1985. How far was the Accord successful in bringing back normalcy in Punjab? Explain
Ans. After coming to power following the election in 1984, the new Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi initiated a dialogue with moderate Akali leaders. In July 1985, he reached an agreement with Harchand Singh Longowal, then the President of the Akali Dal. This agreement, known as the Rajiv Gandhi - Longowal Accord or the Punjab Accord, was a step towards bringing normalcy to Punjab.
It was agreed that Chandigarh would be transferred to Punjab, a separate commission would be appointed to resolve the border dispute between Punjab and Haryana, and a tribunal would be set up to decide the sharing of RaviBeas river water among Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan.
The agreement also provided for compensation to and better treatment of those affected by the militancy in Punjab and the withdrawal of the application of Armed Forces Special Powers Act in Punjab. However, peace did not come easily or immediately. The cycle of violence continued nearly for a decade. Militancy and counter insurgency violence led to excesses by the police and violations of human rights. Politically, it led to fragmentation of the Akali Dal.
The central government had to impose President’s rule in the State and the normal electoral and political process was suspended. It was not easy to restore the political process in the atmosphere of suspicion and violence. When elections were held in Punjab in 1992, only 24 per cent of the electors tuned out to vote. Militancy was eventually eradicated by the security forces. But the losses incurred by the people of Punjab – Sikhs and Hindus alike – were enormous. Peace returned to Punjab by the middle of 1990s. The alliance of Akali Dal (Badal) and the BJP scored a major victory in1997, in the first normal elections in the State in the post-militancy era.
The State is once again preoccupied with questions of economic development and social change. Though religious identities continue to be important for the people, politics has gradually moved back along secular lines.
Q. 6. Give a detailed account of incidents that led to the demand for Khalistan.
Ans. After the reorganisation, the Akalis came to power in 1967 and then in 1977. On both the occasions it was a coalition government. The Akalis discovered that despite the redrawing of the boundaries, their political position remained precarious. Firstly, their government was dismissed by the Centre mid-way through its term. Secondly, they did not enjoy strong support among the Hindus.
Thirdly, the Sikh community, like all other religious communities, was internally differentiated on caste and class lines. The Congress got more support among the dalits, whether Hindu or Sikh, than the Akalis. It was in this context that during the 1970s a section of Akalis began to demand political autonomy for the region.
This was reflected in a resolution passed at their conference at Anandpur Sahib in 1973. The Anandpur Sahib Resolution asserted regional autonomy and wanted to redefine centre-state relationship in the country. The resolution also spoke of the aspirations of the Sikh qaum (community or nation) and declared its goal as attaining the bolbala (dominance or hegemony) of the Sikhs.
The resolution was a plea for strengthening federalism, but it could also be interpreted as a plea for a separate Sikh nation. The resolution had a limited appeal among the Sikh masses. A few years later, after the Akali government had been dismissed in 1980, the Akali Dal launched a movement on the question of the distribution of water between Punjab and its neighbouring states. A section of the religious leaders raised the question of autonomous Sikh identity. The more extreme elements started advocating secession from India and the creation of ‘Khalistan’.
Q. 7. Read the passage and answer the questions that follow. Article 370 gives greater autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir as compared to other states of India. The state has its own constitution. All provisions of the Indian Constitution are not applicable to the state. Laws passed by the Parliament apply to J&K only if the state agrees. This special status has provoked two opposite reactions. There is a section of people outside J&K that believe that the special status of the state conferred by article 370 does not allow full integration of the state with India. This section feels that Article 370 should therefore be revoked and J&K should be like any other state in India.
(a) The people of Kashmir have strongly resisted the question of repeal of article 370 from Indian Constitution. Analyse any three reasons for the same.
(b) Suggest any two steps that can be taken to improve the situation in Kashmir.
Ans. (a) The Kashmiris, believe that the autonomy conferred by Article 370 is not enough. Section of Kashmiris have expressed at least three major grievances. First, the promise that Accession would be referred to the people of the state after the situation created by tribals invasion was normalized, has not been fulfilled. This has generated the demand for a ‘Plebiscite’. Secondly, there is a feeling that the special federal status guaranteed by Article 370, has been eroded in practice. This has led to the demand for restoration of autonomy or ‘Greater State Autonomy’. Thirdly, it is felt democracy which is practiced in the rest of India has not been similarly institutionalized in the state of Jammu & Kashmir. There have been serious allegations of rigging during elections.
(b) (i) The government should generate more employment in the state of Jammu & Kashmir as economic stability always leads to political and social stability.
(ii) Influence and actions of Pakistan should be completely curtailed so as to ensure peace in the region.
Q. 8. Read the passage and answer the questions below:
One of Hazarika’s songs……… dwells on the unity theme; the seven states of North-Eastern India become seven sisters born of the same mother……’Meghalaya went own way…, Arunachal too separated and Mizoram appeared in Assam’s gateway as a groom to marry another daughter.’…… The song ends with a determination to keep the unity of the Assamese with other smaller nationalities that are left in the presentday Assam – ‘the Karbis and the Mising brothers and sisters are our dear ones. —Sanjib Baruah
(i) Which unity is the poet talking about?
(ii) Why were some States of the North-East created separately out of the erstwhile State of Assam?
(iii) Do you think that the same theme of unity could apply to all the regions of India? Why?
Ans. (i) The poet is talking about Assamese unity.
(ii) Because these states felt that Assamese government was imposing Assamese language on them. Hence, regional aspirations began.
(iii) Yes, same theme of unity could apply to all regions of India because Indian government deals with all these regional aspirations with respect to accommodate regional diversities.