Topic outline

    • Constitutional Design 

      Q86. Here are different opinions about what made India a democracy.
      How much importance would you give to each of these factors?
      a. Democracy in India is a gift of the British rulers. We received training to work with representative legislative institutions under the British rule.
      b. Freedom Struggle challenged the colonial exploitation and denial of different freedoms to Indians. Free India could not be anything but democratic.
      c. We were lucky to have leaders who had democratic convictions. The denial of democracy in several other newly independent countries shows the important role of these leaders.

      Ans. (a) Though I would acknowledge many good things were learnt from the British rulers and democracy being one of them, I wouldn’t say that democracy was a gift given by them. Indians had to struggle a lot and make many sacrifices to attain freedom from the British rule. These circumstances helped people to gain the experience and training in working of the legislative institutions.

      (b) Yes, Free India could not be anything but democratic because the people had already suffered a lot under the British rule. This made them realize that for people to have a say in ruling the country, it was necessary to make India a democratic country.

      (c) It is indeed true that we were lucky to have leaders who had deep democratic values. It is because of these ideals that India’s freedom struggle can be considered as the only example of a bloodless freedom struggle in the contemporary history. Therefore, absence of such ideals has made many countries undemocratic.


      Q87. Read the following statements about a constitution. Give reasons why each of these is true or not true.
      a The authority of the rules of the constitution is the same as that of any other law.
      b Constitution lays down how different organs of the government will be formed.
      c Rights of citizens and limits on the power of the government are laid down in the constitution.
      d A constitution is about institutions, not about values


      (a) Not True - The constitution is the supreme law of the country and determines the rights of citizens, the powers of the government and how the government should function.

      (b) True - The Constitution has laid down the framework for the government formation. It has put in place the structure, power and functions of the three organs of the government, i.e. executive, legislative and judiciary.

      (c) True – True. The rights of the citizens are laid down in the Constitution as fundamental rights, which are enforceable by law. The powers and functions of the government are divided into the executive, legislative and judiciary. It is done to keep each organ under check by the other organs to ensure power functioning of the government.

      (d) Not True. The Constitution is guided by values which are found in the form of Preamble. Principles and values such as equality, liberty, fraternity, brotherhood, secularism and justice are included in the Preamble of the Constitution.


      Q88. Write a short note on the following: Rajendra Prasad, Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, Jawaharlal Nehru, Baldev Singh and Sarojini Naidu

      Ans. Rajendra Prasad (1884-1963) 

      Born: Bihar

      President of the Constituent Assembly

      Lawyer, known for his role in the Champaran satyagraha 

      Three times the president of Congress. 

      The first President of India.

      Shyama Prasad Mukherjee (1901-1953) 

      Born: West Bengal 

      Minister for Industry and Supply in the Interim Government

      Educationist and lawyer

      Active in Hindu Mahasabha

      Founder President of Bharatiya Jansangh

      Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964) 

      Born: Uttar Pradesh

      Prime Minister of the interim government

      Lawyer and Congress leader 

      Advocate of socialism, democracy and anti-imperialism 

      First Prime Minister of India

      Baldev Singh ( 1901-1961)

      Born: Haryana

      A successful entrepreneur and leader of the Panthic Akali Party in the Punjab Assembly 

      A nominee of the Congress in the Constituent Assembly

      Defence Minister in the Union Cabinet

      Sarojini Naidu (1879-1949)

      Born: Andhra Pradesh

      Poet, writer and political activist 

      Among the foremost women leaders in the Congress 

      Governor of Uttar Pradesh