Q. 1. The discussions within the Constituent Assembly were influenced by the opinion expressed by the public. Discuss.
Ans. The discussions expressed in the Constituent Assembly were influenced by the public opinion. The discussions reported in the newspapers and proposals were publicly debated. Criticisms and counter-criticisms in the press, in turn, shaped the nature of the decisions that were ultimately reached on specific issues. In order to create a sense of collective participation, the public was asked for submissions. There were many responses, a sample of which, due to the conflict of interest, that the law makers had to consider. The prohibition of cow slaughter was recommended. Lower castes demanded an end of ill-treatment and wanted separate seats in the field of education, jobs and in Assemblies, Government and local bodies. Several regions wanted their regional languages due to the freedom of speech of mother tongue and the redistribution of provinces on linguistic basis. These were some of the issues of the matter discussed in the Constituent Assembly.
Q.2. How was the Constituent Assembly formed? Was Muslim League also a part of this Assembly?
Ans. The members of the Constituent Assembly were chosen on the basis of the provincial elections of 1946. Apart from the members sent by the provinces of British India, the Assembly also had representatives of the princely states in the Constituent Assembly because these states joined the Union of India. The Muslim League boycotted all early sittings, that is, before independence, thus making it a one party members’ the Congress.
Q.3. Why is ‘Objectives Resolution’ of Nehru considered a momentous resolution? Give two reasons.
Ans. The ‘Objectives Resolution’ was introduced by Jawaharlal Nehru on 13th December, 1946. It was a momentous resolution that outlined the significant ideals of the Constitution of independent India. It gave the framework within which the task of Constitution making was to move forward. This resolution declared India to be an ‘Independent Sovereign Republic’, guaranteed its citizens Justice, Equality and Freedom then assured that minorities, tribals and other backward classes would be protected.
Q.4. How did N. G. Ranga describe the minorities?
Ans. N. G. Ranga described the minorities as the masses of the country who are still depressed. The people who lived in the tribal areas have no elementary education. Their lands are snatched away by the land owners or by the moneylenders. They are poor, downtrodden and are oppressed.
Q. 5. Explain the ideals introduced by Jawaharlal Nehru in the ‘Objectives Resolution’ that were kept in mind while framing the Constitution of India.
Ans. The Objectives Resolution proclaimed India to be Independent Sovereign Republic. Ultimate power was to be vested in Indian People. The Head of State or President was to be elected through an electoral college and his post will not be hereditary. Citizens were to be guaranteed Justice, Equality and Liberty. Citizens would not be discriminated on grounds of religion, caste or sex. All will be equal before law and have equal opportunities to progress. Citizens have freedom of speech, expression and action. unreasonable restrictions were not be placed on them. Adequate provisions were provided for the welfare of the minorities, depressed classes and the tribals.
Q. 6. Analyse the provisions of the Cabinet Mission of 1946.
Critically examine the proposals of the Cabinet Mission of 1946.
Ans. The Cabinet Mission recommended that India should be a Union or Federation of British provinces and Indian states having control over foreign affairs, defence and communication. All subjects other than central subjects would be vested in the provinces. The British provinces would be divided into three groups. Group A consisting of provinces having a Hindu majority, Group B with Muslim majority and Group C with mixed population. Each group could draft its own Constitution. A Constituent Assembly would be settled up to frame the Constitution of free India. Till the Constitution was framed and a new government formed, an interim government would carry out the administration. The Cabinet Mission sought to make a compromise between the conflicting claims of the Congress and the Muslim League in order to maintain the unity of India, but the Muslim League criticised the plan because it rejected the idea of Pakistan.
Q. 7. Examine the recommendations of the Constituent Assembly of India regarding the protection to the depressed castes.
Ans. During the freedom struggle, Dr. Ambedkar demanded separate constituencies for the backward classes. Mahatma Gandhi opposed it by saying that it will segregate them from the mainstream of the society. The issue was much debated in the Constituent Assembly. The members of the backward classes stated that the society made use of their labour and services but kept them away from social mainstream. The people of upper castes avoided to meet them. They neither eat with them nor allowed the people belonging to backward classes to visit temples. Nagappa stated that numerically the backward class people were not a minority. They constitute 20–25% of the total population. But they have been kept away from society. They have neither education nor participation in administration. Shri K.J. Khanderkar, addressing the Constituent Assembly, dominated by members of upper castes, stated: “We have been dominated for centuries. We have been so crushed that our brain and body do not work. Now, even our heart has to work, nor we able to move forward. This is our position”. At last, the Constituent Assembly suggested that untouchability will be removed and the Hindu temples will be opened to people belonging to all castes and seats will be reserved for backward classes in the Assemblies and Educational Institutions.
Q.8. “A Communist member, Somnath Lahiri, saw the dark hand of British imperialism hanging over the deliberations of the Constituent Assembly.” Examine the statement and give your own views in support of your answer.
Ans. Somnath Lahiri, a communist member, felt the dark hand of British imperialism hanging over the deliberations of the Constituent Assembly. In the winters of 1946-47, as the Assembly deliberated, the British were still in India. An interim administration headed by Jawaharlal Nehru was in place, but it could only operate under the directions of the Viceroy and the British Government in London. He urged his colleagues to realise that the Constituent Assembly was made by British and was working the British plans as the British should like it to be worked out. This means that the real power was still in hands of the British and power was not finalised.
Q. 9. Examine the views of Govind Ballabh Pant on the problem of separate electorate while framing the Constitution.
Ans. G. B. Pant vehemently opposed the idea of separate electorates and declared that it would be suicidal to the minorities and harmful to them. He felt that it is harmful not only for the nation but also for the minorities. He also agreed with Bahadur that the success of a democracy was to be judged by the level of confidence in people of different class. Pant suggested that the separate electorate would isolate the minorities once for all and make them vulnerable and deprive them of any effective and forceful statement within the government.
Q.10. Why did N G Ranga felt that the minorities should be interpreted in economic terms? Give reasons.
Ans. N G Ranga felt that the minorities should be interpreted in economic terms:
(i) According to N.G. Ranga the real minorities were the poor and the downtrodden.
(ii) The real minorities that need protection from zamindars and moneylenders and their assurances of protection
(iii)In his opinion it was meaningless for the poor people in the villages to know that they now had the Fundamental Right to live, and to have full employment, or that they could have their meetings, their inferences, their associations and various other civil liberties.
(iv) According to him it was essential to create conditions where these constitutionally enshrined rights could be effectively enjoyed. For this they needed protection.
(v) They need to be represent the Assembly.
Q. 11. Examine the views of Mahatma Gandhi on the question of a ‘National Language’ of the country.
Ans. Mahatma Gandhi felt that Hindustani was a language that the common people could easily understand. Hindustani, which was a blend of Hindi and Urdu, was popular among a large section of the people. Moreover, it was a composite language enriched by the interaction of diverse cultures. Over the years, words and terms from many different sources had been incorporated into this language making it easily understood by people from various regions. According to Mahatma Gandhi, Hindustani would be the ideal language of communication between diverse communities. It would help to unify the Hindus and the Muslims and the people from north and south. From the end of the 19th century onwards, language became associated with the politics of religious identities. Hindustani also began to change but Mahatma Gandhi retained his faith in the composite character of Hindustani.
Q. 12. What were the arguments given by Balakrishna Sharma for complete power to the centre?
Ans. The Arguments given by BalaKrishna Sharma for greater power to the centre;
(a) Strong centre could plan well-being of the country.
(b) Mobilise the available economic resources.
(c) Establish proper administration.
(d) Defend the country from aggression.
Q.13 . How was the centre made more powerful and strong by the Constituent Assembly?
Ans. Most of the members of the Constituent Assembly were in favour of strong Central Government for India. Even Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru wanted a strong centre, as he felt, writing a letter to the President of the Constituent Assembly that, “It would be injurious to the interests of the country to provide for a weak central authority”. He was, in fact, convinced that only a strong Central Government could ensure peace and stability. Several attempts were made to make centre more strong and powerful. Regarding the Concurrent List, the Centre and the State shared responsibility. But in case of any disputes, Centre’s decision is recommended. The Union List contains more subjects than the state list. The centre enjoyed control over important mineral and key industries. Article 356 gave the powers to centre to take over a state administration on the recommendation of the governor.
Q.14 . Examine the views of R.V. Dhulekar and Smt. Durgabai on the question of National Language.
Ans. Views of R.V. Dhulekar on the question of National Language was the case for Hindi was mostly advocated by R.V. Dhulekar, a Congressman from the United Province. He wanted that Hindi should be used as the language of constitution–making. When he was told that all the members of the Constituent Assembly did not know Hindi, he felt infuriated and stated that those who did not know Hindustani were not worthy to be the members of the Constituent Assembly. Such members should quit the Assembly. There was a commotion in the Assembly over his remarks and the peace was restored due to the intervention of Jawaharlal Nehru. Dhulekar wanted Hindi to be declared as National Language. Shrimati Durgabai from Madras, informed the House that the South was against Hindi as it may cut the root of all provincial languages, but still she obeyed the call of Gandhiji and carried on the propoganda of Hindi in the South. She started schools and conducted classes in Hindi, and was shocked to see the agitation for Hindi. While accepting Hindustani, as the language of the people that language was also changed, words from Urdu and other regional languages was taken off. She felt, that any move to change and erode the composite character of Hindustani was bound to create fear and anxieties among language of different groups.