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Chapter 3: The Story Of Indian Democracy
Like so many other features of modern India, we need to begin the story about modern Indian democracy from the colonial period.
You have just read about the many structural and cultural changes that British colonialism brought about deliberately. Some of the changes that came about happened in an unintended fashion.
The British did not intend to introduce them. For instance, they sought to introduce western education to create a western-educated Indian middle class that would help the colonial rulers to continue their rule.
A western educated section of Indians did emerge. But, instead of aiding British rule, they used western liberal ideas of democracy, social justice, and nationalism to challenge colonial rule.
This should not, however, suggest that democratic values and democratic institutions are purely western.
Our ancient epics, our diverse folk tales from one corner of the country to another are full of dialogues, discussions, and contrasting positions.
Think of any folk tale, riddles, folk song, or any story from any epic that reveals different viewpoints. We just draw from one example from the epic Mahabharata.
Many of these issues were thought of much before India became free. Even as India fought for its independence from British colonialism a vision of what Indian democracy ought to look like emerged.
As far back as in 1928, Motilal Nehru and eight other Congress leaders drafted a constitution for India.
In 1931, the resolution at the Karachi session of the Indian National Congress dwelt on how independent India’s constitution should look like.
The Karachi Resolution reflects a vision of democracy that meant not just formal holding of elections but a substantive reworking of the Indian social structure in order to have a genuinely democratic society.
The Karachi Resolution clearly spells out the vision of democracy that the nationalist movement in India had.
It articulates the values that were further given full expression in the Indian Constitution. You will notice how the Preamble of the Indian Constitution seeks to ensure not just political justice but also social and economic justice.
You will likewise notice that equality is not just about equal political rights but also status and opportunity.
In 1939, Gandhiji wrote an article in the ‘Harijan’ called ‘The Only Way’ in which he said “… the
Constituent Assembly alone can produce a constitution indigenous to the country and truly and fully representing the will of the people” one based on “unadulterated adult franchise for both men and women”.
The popular demand in 1939 for a Constituent Assembly was, after several ups and downs conceded by Imperialist Britain in 1945.
In July 1946, the elections were held. In August 1946, The Indian National Congress’ Expert Committee moved a resolution in the Constituent Assembly.
This contained the declaration that India shall be a Republic where the declared social, economic and political justice will be guaranteed to all the people of India.
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NCERT Solutions Class 12 Sociology Chapter 3 The Story Of Indian Democracy
- Interest groups are part and parcel of a functioning democracy. Discuss.
- Interest groups are organized to pursue specific interests in the political arena,
operating primarily by lobbying the members of the legislative bodies.
- When certain groups feel that their interests are not being taken up, they may move to form an alternative party.
- Democracy is a form of government for the people, by the people and of the people. In this system interest groups are formed for specific interests.
- Interest groups are a private organisations. They are formed to influence public policy.
- These are nonpolitical systems and their main goal are to take care of their own interest.
- Political parties are established organizations with the aim of achieving governmental power and using that power to pursue a specific program. Different interest groups will work towards influencing political parties.
- These organizations are regarded as movements until they achieve recognition.
- The interest groups play a significant role in Indian democracy and they perform various important functions such as:
(a)Formation of Public Opinion: Using various forms of propaganda and communication, they mold public opinion. To get the goodwill of public opinion and change in the administrative system in their own favor they use T.V., radio, Email, and various forms of social media, including Twitter and Facebook.
(b)Function at the time of Natural Disaster: These interest groups provide help during natural calamities like the Himalayans Tsunami at Kedamath or earthquakes etc. By doing such social activities they get public attention and favour and they influence the government.
2. Read the snippets from the debates held in the Constituent Assembly. Identify the interest groups. Discuss what kind of interest groups exist in contemporary India. How do they function?
Ans. Snippets from the debates
•K.T. Shah said that the right to use full employment could and should be made real by a categoric obligation on the part of the state to provide useful work to every citizen who was able and qualified.
•B. Das spoke against classifying the functions of the government as justiciable and non-justiciable. “I think it is the primary duty of Government to remove hunger and render social justice to every citizen and to secure social security…”.
The teeming millions do not find any hope that the Union Constitution… will ensure them freedom from hunger, will secure their social justice, will ensure them a minimum standard of living and a minimum standard of public health”.
Ambedkar’s answer was as follows:
•“The Draft Constitution as framed only provides machinery for the government of the country. It is not controversial to install any particular party in power as has been done in some countries. Who should be in power is left to be determined by the people, as it must be, if the system is to satisfy the tests of democracy.
•On land reform Nehru said, that social forces were such that law could not stand in the way of reforms, an interesting reflection on the dynamic between the two. “If law and Parliament do not fit themselves into the changing picture, they cannot control the situation”.
On the protection of the tribal people and their interests, leaders like Jaipal Singh
were assured by Nehru in the following words during the Constituent Assembly „ debates: “It is our intention and our fixed desire to help them as possible; in as efficient a way as possible to protect them from possibly their rapacious neighbors occasionally and to make them advance”.
•Even as the Constituent Assembly adopted the title Directive Principles of State Policy to the rights that courts could not enforce, additional principles were added with unanimous acceptance. These included K. Santhanam’s clause that the state shall organize village panchayats and endow them with the powers and authority to be effective units of local self-government.
•T.A. Ramalingam Chettiar added the clause for the promotion of cottage industries on co-operative lines in rural areas. Veteran parliamentarian Thakurdas Bhargava added that the state should organize agriculture and animal husbandry on modem lines.
• Interest groups are people outside the government who support the political parties to gain favors from them when they are in power. These are private organizations formed to influence public policy.
They are nonpolitical groups whose main aim is to uphold their own interest. Political parties are not political parties. In India, interest groups adopt two methods i.e. to influence the legislative committees and to help people at the time of natural calamity.
•In contemporary India ASSOCHAM, FICCI, Labour Unions, Student’s Union, Farmers unions, and women’s organizations are examples of pressure groups and interest groups.
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NCERT Class 12 Sociology Textbook Chapter 3 The Story Of Indian Democracy With Answer PDF Free Download