Q. 1. In which year was the Election Commission of India set up and who was the first Chief Election Commissioner of India?
Ans. January 1950; Sukumar Sen
Q. 2. What did the Indian leaders use politics for?
Ans. The Indian leaders used politics to solve the problems and to follow public interest.
Q. 3. Four statements regarding one-party dominance are given below. Mark each of them as True or False:
(i) One-party dominance is rooted in the absence of strong alternative political parties.
(ii) One-party dominance occurs because of weak-public opinion.
(iii) One-party dominance is linked to the nation’s colonial past.
(iv) One-party dominance reflects the absence of democratic ideals in a country.
Ans. (i) True
Q. 4. Name two states where Congress was not in power even after huge victory in the first general elections?
Ans. Orissa (now Odisha), Madras (now Chennai),Kerala.
Q. 5. By the time of Independence, why was the Congress Party called a ‘rainbow-like’ social coalition?
Ans. By the time India gained independence, Congress was a rainbow-like structure with people representing India’s diversity in terms of culture, region and religion.
Q. 6. Which political party laid emphasis on the idea of one party, one culture and one nation?
Ans. Bhartiya Jana Sangh
Q. 7. Which political party of India had leaders like A. K. Gopalan, E. M. S. Namboodiripad, and S.A. Dange?
Ans. Communist Party of India
Q. 8. Who was the founder of Bharatiya Jana Sangh?
Ans. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee
Q. 9. Name the founder President of Congress Socialist Party. What name was given to this party after 1948?
Ans. “Acharya Narendra Dev” was the founder President of the Congress Socialist Party. After 1948, this party was given the name of “ Praja Socialist Party”.
Q. 10. Highlight two features of ideology of Bharatiya Jana Sangh?
Ans. (i) The emphasis was on the idea of one party, one culture and one nation.
(ii) It proposed the slogan of ‘Akhand Bharat’ aiming at reunion of India and Pakistan.
Q. 11. Explain the major difference of ideology between that of the Congress and the Bharatiya Jana Sangh.
Ans. The Bharatiya Jana Sangh aimed at India to be a Hindu nation or promote Hindutva under the umbrella of one party, one culture, one nation. On the other hand, Congress aimed at coalition of various cultures to have a secular nation.
Q. 12. State any two ideologies of the Swatantra Party.
Ans. (i) The party was of the view that prosperity could be achieved only by individual freedom and not under any restrictions.
(ii) The party was also against the ideas of cooperative farming and land ceilings in the field of agriculture.
Q. 13. Identify the factors that contributed to the dominance of the Congress Party during the early years of independence.
Explain any four reasons for the dominance of the Congress Party in the first general elections in India.
Ans. Factors that contributed to the dominance of the Congress Party during the early years of independence:
(i) Congress as social and ideological coalition: It brought together diverse groups, whose interests were often contradictory. Peasants and industrialists, urban dwellers and villagers, workers and owners, middle, lower and upper classes and castes, all found space in the Congress. The Congress was transformed into a rainbow-like social coalition broadly epresenting India’s diversity in terms of classes and castes, religions and languages and various interests.
(ii) Tolerance and management of factions: This coalition-like character of the Congress gave it an unusual strength. Firstly, a coalition accommodates all those who join it. Therefore, it has to avoid any extreme position and strike a balance on almost all issues. 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.
Q. 14. How did the dominance of the Congress Party in the first three general elections help in establishing a democratic setup in India?
Ans. The first general election was the first big test of democracy in a poor and illiterate country. Till then, democracy had existed only in the prosperous countries. By that time, many countries in Europe had not given voting rights to all women. In this context, India’s experiment with universal adult franchise appeared very bold and risky. India’s general elections of 1952 became a landmark in the history of democracy all over the world. It was no longer possible to argue that democratic elections could not be held on conditions of poverty or lack of education. It proved that democracy could be practiced anywhere in the world. The next two general elections strengthened democratic setup in India.
Q. 15. Describe the various steps taken to hold the first general elections in India. How far these elections were successful?
Ans. Initially the first general elections were postponed twice and finally held from October 1951 to February 1952.
The important points of these elections were:
(i) These elections were commonly called 1952 elections because the elections were held in major part of the country in January 1952 only.
(ii) The total duration of the elections starting from campaigning to polling and counting
was six months.
(iii) Every seat had average number of competing candidates as four, resulting in not one-sided elections.
Q. 16. Did the prevalence of a ‘one-party dominant system’ affect adversely the democratic nature of Indian politics?
Ans. No, the prevalence of a one-party dominant system did not affect adversely the democratic nature of Indian politics. This is due to the following reasons:
(i) The key role of the Congress in the freedom struggle gave it a head start over others.
(ii) The Congress Party consisted of various factions inside itself, based on ideological
considerations who never taut together or went out of Congress.
(iii) Despite being taking place of free and fair elections, Congress won the elections in the
same manner again and again.
(iv) The Congress accommodated diversified interests, religions, beliefs and aspirations to strengthen democracy. Thus, it can be concluded from the above mentioned reasons that Congress strengthened the ideals of democracy and held unity and integrity of the country
(iv) The participation by voters was also extremely good.
(v) The losers also took the results in fair view and did not criticise the polling and counting system.
(vi) The elections proved to be a milestone in the international world of democracy.
Q. 17. Highlight the circumstances that compelled the socialists to form a separate Socialist Party in 1948. Mention any two grounds on which they criticised the Congress Party.
Ans. In 1948, the Congress Party amended its Constitution to prevent its members from having a dual party membership. This forced the socialists to form a separate party.
(i) They criticised the Congress for favouring capitalists and landlords.
(ii) For ignoring the workers and the peasants.
Q. 18. How did the coalition-like character of the Congress Party give it an unusual strength?
Explain the functioning of the Congress Party as an ideological and social coalition.
Ans. (i) A coalition accommodates all those who join it and help in striking a balance on almost all issues.
(ii) There is a greater tolerance of internal differences and ambitions of various groups and leaders are accommodated.
(iii) It helped the Congress to retain parity inside it even if a group was not happy.
(iv) Internal factionalism became strength of the Congress Party, which is usually a weakness.