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Showing posts from March 9, 2010

Freedom Struggle

“The period between 1935 and 1939 witnessed no major agitation against the British but the country could manage to garner global support for its freedom struggle.” Comment.
After the Civil Disobedience Movement of 1930 and the Round Table Conferences, no major event took place in the Nationalist Movement till the Second World War broke out in 1939. The Act of 1935 could not alter materially the imperialist character of the British rule. But this period was useful, as several important political events and developments took place, giving a new turn to the nationalist movement. One of the major developments was the ‘globalization’ of nationalist movement due to the increasing interest that the Congress took in the world affairs. British government would invariably send the Indian Armed Forces to any part of the world where there was any armed challenge to the authority of the British rule. Congress opposed  this practice. Jawaharlal Nehru, in particular, opposed the use of Indian Army and…

Election Commission

What are the important provisions relating to the Election Commission in the Indian Constitution? How can the Election Commissioners be removed?
The Indian Constitution provides that there shall be an office of the Election Commission of India which shall be responsible for conducting free and fair elections to the offices of the President, Vice President, the Parliament and the State Legislative Assemblies under Articles 54 and 66. The Election Commission consists of a Chief Election Commissioner and such other Commissioners as the President of India may from time to time decide. In the initial years, there used to be only a Chief Election Commissioner. But in October 1989, the Election Commission of India was made a multi-member. But in 1990, it was again made a single-member. Commission. The position was changed once again in 1993 and since then the Commission continues to be a multi-Member Commission. The Election Commission has the powers of superintendence, direction, control a…

Article 16 of the Indian Constitution

“Article 16 of the Constitution of India is a bundle of contradictions, as on the one hand it deals with equality of opportunity in matters of public employment, and, on the other, it enables the government to provide for reservation in public employment.” Comment.
Article 16 of the Constitution is part of the Fundamental Rights and provides for equality in the matters of employment in public employment. Many people feel that this Article, instead of equality in these matters, perpetuates the inequalities and offers a framework of contradiction. The Fundamental Rights should ideally provide the measures vide which the equality is ensured but the exceptions provided to this right overweigh the right provided. Article 16 provides that there shall be equality of opportunity for all citizens in the matters of employment or appointment to any office under the State. This Article also provides that no citizen shall be ineligible for any office or employment under the State on grounds only of…

Khilafat and Non-Cooperation Movement

Write a detailed note on the Khilafat and Non-Cooperation Movement. Did the outcomes of this movement succeed in achieving its goals?
After the agitation against the government decision to partition Bengal, the most important national level movement against the British Empire was the Non-Cooperation Movement (1919-22), also called the Khilafat Movement. The unique feature of this movement was the united action by the Hindus as well as Muslims. Muslim community was attracted to the Khilafat Movement because of the shabby treatment meted out by the British to the Ottoman Empire and the Caliph of Turkey. The position of the Sultan of Turkey, who was regarded as head of the Muslim community (Caliph) all over the world, was also undermined to a great extent. The Khilafat Committee formally launched the Khilafat Movement on August 31, 1920. Immediately after this, the Indian National Congress convened a special Session in September 1920 in Calcutta, where Gandhi presented a plan for non-coo…

Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA)

UAPA“In view of escalated terrorist attacks in the recent years, the enactment of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) would not have been more contextual and timely.” Comment.
The latter half of 2008 witnessed a series of terrorist attacks in various cities of the country, including Bangalore, New Delhi, Guwahati and Mumbai. The attack on Mumbai was so intense that it did what 20 other terrorist strikes on the Indian mainland outside the State of J & K during the last four years could not do. It coaxed the UPA government to introduce a new anti-terrorist law called Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). The new anti-terror Act has several provisions that were part of POTA. These include detention without bail upto 180 days, police custody for the accused upto 30 days, no provision for bail for foreign nationals arrested under the UAPA and no bail for the Indian nationals if the court is satisfied that the allegation is prima facie true. In addition to the above pro…

Conflicts between Moderates and Extremists

What were the points of conflict between the moderates and extremist in the Indian National Congress during the initial stages of the nationalist movement? Methods of which of the two ideologies ultimately guided the nationalist movement in the later years?
Formation of the Indian National Congress in 1885 was the fist organized step to manifest the need for a nationalist movement. The initial years of the Congress were marked by the learning of the democratic methods. Till the beginning of the twentieth century, the methods of the nationalist leaders continued to be highly democratic and respectful in nature. These methods evolved under the bonafide belief of the leaders that the British government was responsive towards various needs and suggestions of the people of India and were willing to make certain changes as requested by them from time to time. But, gradually the people began to get disillusioned with this method of nationalism. It was realized that on most of the issues the Br…

Role of Gandhi in Independence Struggle

Bring out the role of Gandhi in the struggle for India’s independence.
The struggle for India’s independence is replete with outstanding contributions from various luminary nationalist leaders. The contributions of leaders like Jawahar Lal Nehru, Gopal Krishan Gokhale, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Lala Lajpat Rai, etc have been laudable. But if one were asked to name a leader who undisputedly contributed the most, the name of Mohan Das Karam Chand Gandhi would undoubtedly be at the apex. Before he came to the Indian scene in 1915-16, the nationalist movement was progressing very slowly. There was no leader with the mass appeal and the nationalists were sharply divided in two groups i.e. the moderates and the extremists. The methods adopted by the pre-Gandhi nationalists were too democratic to have any material effect on the colonial power ruling the country. The advent of Gandhi changed the very complexion of the nationalist movement. His methods included the invol…

NREGS

What do you understand by NREGS? What are its main features?
With a view to augment the meagre income sources of the rural households in the country and also to provide assured employment for some part of the year to every needy rural household, the government of India came out with a very novel scheme a couple of years ago, called the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS). Conceptually, this Scheme aimed at providing assured employment for at least 100 days to every rural household, whose members were willing to do the work of manual labour within their own Panchayat areas. With a view to ensure that this guarantee scheme actually guaranteed the said number of assured employment to the rural families, the government introduced this scheme along with a central legislation called ‘National Rural Employment Guarantee Act’ (NREGA). Primarily aimed at reducing the incidence of poverty by supplementing the incomes of the rural and poor households by providing at least 100 days…

Review of Constitution

The working of our Constitution over the years has exposed various weaknesses of the Indian political system and a comprehensive review of the Constitution is necessary.” Do you agree? Give arguments.
Immediately after independence, the Constituent Assembly and its Drafting Committee prepared and adopted the Indian Constitution, which with some changes over the years, has been continuing. Last about six decades of working of the Constitution has exposed certain weaknesses of the Indian political system. At times it is felt by many that a comprehensive review of the Indian Constitution must be carried out to tackle the weaknesses. One of the major weaknesses is that the multi-party system has given scope for so-called ‘horse trading’, which could not be stopped even by the constitutional amendment facilitating the enactment of the Anti-defection Act. Further, it has resulted in evolution of coalition culture, which has increased the political instability of the government. Further, consi…