Ans. Back in the 1920s, the Indian National Congress had promised that once the country won independence, each major linguistic group would have its own province. However, after independence the Congress did not take any steps to honour this promise. There was a reason for this. India had been divided on the basis of religion. As a result of the partition of India, more than a million people had been killed in riots between Hindus and Muslims. Country could not afford further divisions on the basis of language. Both Prime Minister Nehru and Deputy Prime Minister Vallabhbhai Patel were against the creation of linguistic states.
Ans. It offered special privileges for the poorest and most disadvantaged Indians.
i. The practice of untouchability was abolished.
ii. Hindu temples, previously open to only the higher castes, were thrown open to all, including the former untouchables.
iii. A certain percentage of seats in legislatures as well as jobs in government be reserved for members of the lowest castes.
iv. Along with the former Untouchables, the adivasis or Scheduled Tribes were also granted reservation in seats and jobs.
Ans. Many members believed that the English language should leave India with the British rulers. Its place, they argued, should be taken by Hindi. However, those who did not speak Hindi were of a different opinion. Speaking 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.
Ans. The Kannada speakers, Malayalam speakers, the Marathi speakers, had all looked forward to having their own state. The strongest protests, however, came from the Telugu-speaking districts of what was the Madras Presidency. When Nehru went to campaign there during the general elections of 1952, he was met with black flags and slogans demanding “We want Andhra”. In October of that year, a veteran Gandhian named Potti Sriramulu went on a hunger fast demanding the formation of Andhra state to protect the interests of Telugu speakers. As the fast went on, it attracted much support. Hartals and bandhs were observed in many towns. On 15 December 1952, fifty-eight days into his fast, Potti Sriramulu died. The protests were so widespread and intense that the central government was forced to give in to the demand. Thus, on 1 October 1953, the new state of Andhra Pradesh came into being.
Ans. The economic development of India in the early decades after Independence:
i. In 1950, the government set up a Planning Commission to help design and execute suitable policies for economic development.
ii. There was a broad agreement on what was called a “mixed economy” model. Here, both the State and the private sector would play important and complementary roles in increasing production and generating jobs.
iii. It was on Planning Commission to define which industries should be initiated by the state and which by the market, how to achieve a balance between the different regions and states.
iv. In 1956, the Second Five Year Plan was formulated. This focused strongly on the development of heavy industries such as steel, and on the building of large dams.
v. These sectors would be under the control of the State. This focus on heavy industry, and the effort at state regulation of the economy was to guide economic policy for the next few decades.
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