Topic outline

    • India After Independence

      Q16. Who was Mira Behn? Find out more about her life and her ideas.

      Ans. Madeleine Slade, also known as Mirabehn or Meera Behn, was a British woman who left her home in Britain to live and work with Mohandas Gandhi, the leader of the Indian Independence Movement. She devoted her life to human development and the advancement of Gandhi's principles. She was the daughter of the British Rear-Admiral Sir Edmond Slade.


      Q17. What did Dr Ambedkar mean when he said that “In politics we will have equality, and in social and economic life we will have inequality”?

      Ans. Through this statement in his final speech to the Constituent Assembly, Dr Ambedkar pointed out that political democracy had to be accompanied by economic and social democracy. Giving the right to vote would not automatically lead to the removal of other inequalities such as between rich and poor, or between upper and lower castes.

      Q18. What was the level of development of India at the time it got independence?

      Ans. At Independence, the vast majority of Indians lived in the villages. Farmers and peasants depended on the monsoon for their survival. So did the non-farm sector of the rural economy, for if the crops failed, barbers, carpenters, weavers and other service groups would not get paid for their services either. In the cities, factory workers lived in crowded slums with little access to education or health care.


      Q19. Give one reason why English continued to be used in India after Independence.

      Ans. In the Assembly, T.T. Krishnamachari conveyed “a warning on behalf of people of the South”, some of whom threatened to separate from India if Hindi was imposed on them. A compromise was finally arrived at: namely, that while Hindi would be the “official language” of India, English would be used in the courts, the services, and communications between one state and another.


      Q20. Name three problems that the newly independent nation of India faced.

      Ans. The three problems that the newly independent nation of India faced were:

                              i.        As a result of Partition, 8 million refugees had come into the country from what was now Pakistan. These people had to be found homes and jobs.

                             ii.        Maharajas or nawabs of princely states (almost 500) had to be persuaded to join the new nation.

                            iii.        The new nation had to adopt a political system that would best serve the hopes and expectations of its population.

      Q21. How have the powers and functions of the central and state governments have been divided by the constitution?
      How does the Constitution divide power between central and state governments?
      How are the powers divided between state and Centre?

      Ans.  The Constitution of India provides for a division of powers between the Union (Centre) and states. It divides all the subjects into 3 lists: a Union List, with subjects such as taxes, defence and foreign affairs, which would be the exclusive responsibility of the Centre; a State List of subjects, such as education and health, which would be taken care of principally by the states; a Concurrent List, under which would come subjects such as forests and agriculture, in which the Centre and the states would have joint responsibility.


      Q22. What created the problems in unifying the people of India after it got independence?

      Ans. The problems were:

                              i.        India’s population in 1947 was large, almost 345 million. It was also divided. There were divisions between high castes and low castes, between the majority Hindu community and Indians who practised other faiths.

                             ii.        The citizens of this vast land spoke many different languages, wore many different kinds of dress, ate different kinds of food and practised different professions.


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