Foreign Policy

Foreign Policy

In this article , we will  deal with topic titled ‘The Foreign Policy of India after Independence.’

 

  • Mainly Nehruvian Policy is part of Post Independence syllabus
  • Main pillars of Nehruvian Foreign Policy
    • World Peace
    • Help Colonies in their struggle against Imperialism
    • Securing national interests ie economic development and growth
    • Peaceful Co-existence of nations with different ideologies

 

 

 

Non Aligned Movement

Concept
  • It is misunderstood as neutrality. But in broad terms , it refers to the freedom to decide each issue on the basis of it’s merit and then to take a stand .

 

Objectives Four broad objectives of NAM are

  • World Peace
  • Fighting against Social injustice and exploitation
  • Economic growth and development
  • To face the challenges confronting the world

 

Reasons behind emergence
  • After World War 2, world was divided into two power blocks. According to Nehru , newly independent nations would gain nothing by allying with any  block. Hence, in order to restore peace and to symbolise the struggle of nations, to ensure sovereignty and independence, NAM was introduced

 

  • NAM also served the purpose of democratization of International Relations

 

Emergence of NAM Events leading to it

Brussel Conference , 1927 It was attended by all the Colonial Countries with purpose of uniting economically and politically to raise voice wrt Right of Self Assertion

 

Delhi Conference, 1947 Purpose was to establish Asian Independence and it’s recognition at world stage .

 

Reoccupation of Indonesia by Dutch, 1948 Nehru called conference and declared that all the facilities provided to Dutch shipping would be abrogated . This created pressure and Indonesian independence was restored

 

Korean War, 1955
  • When North Korea attacked South, India gave support to US to declare Korea as aggressor . But India refused to be part of Joint Command to push back North Korean forces  due to it’s adherence to non-interference in internal affairs .

 

Bandung Conference, 1955
  • It was the first Afro-Asian Conference which took place in Indonesia where the principles of Panchsheel Policies were laid down
  1. Peaceful Co-existence
  2. Non Interference in internal matters
  3. Respect for integrity and sovereignty
  4. Equality and Mutual Benefit
  5. Non-Aggression
Suez Canal Crisis, 1956 There was a formula suggested by India which included

  • Egyptian control on Suez Canal
  • Advisory role for the users and settlement of disputes in accordance with UN Charter

 

Hungry Issue , 1958 India condemned the Soviet aggression (but refused to sign the formal condemnation)

 

Congo Conflict, 1960 India urged UN to play a decisive part , get rid of foreign troops , end the civil war and restore the Government

 

Belgrade Conference At the Belgrade Conference, NAM got politically recognised

 

Criticism by Western powers Former U.S.A. secretary of state, John Foster Dulles accused the non alignment movement with the charge of “immoral neutrality

 

Nehru rebated the charge of Dulles, by saying that Non alignment meant having the freedom to decide each issue on its merits, to understand what was right or wrong, and then take a stand in favour of right.

Question Critically analyse the statement ‘NAM is not immoral neutrality’ in the context of the role played by India in the international affairs during Nehruvian Era.

 

 

 

 

Indo-China War, 1962

  • India was the first country to recognise People’s Republic of China and Nehru had great affliation with China due to common historical experiences and common problem of poverty and underdevelopment
  • India’s support to China was evident in Korean war and also 1954 treaty in which India recognised China’s Right over Tibet and the two countries aggreed to be gòverned in their mutual relation by Panchsheel.

 

Indo-China Issues

  • Border dispute wrt Aksai Chin and McMohan Line
  • Revolt in Tibet in 1959 and asylum to Dalai Lama (however, he was denied to carry out any political activities)
  • Forward Policy by India around McMohan Line (precipitating factor)

=> As a result, China attacked India and the war continued for One month . However, post that China declared unilateral ceasefire. But by that time, India lost the war in all the capacities.

 

 

Analysis of the war

  • It was the biggest blow to India’s self respect which affected the dynamics of politics both within India and at global level. Eg : Nehru faced the first No-Confidence Motion in 1963 and India’s relation with other countries were also impacted
  • Nehru was blamed for not being able to guard nation’s interest as against Communist betrayal . But for some , it was Nehru’s stubborness to not settle the border dispute with China and going ahead with forward policy which antagonised China.
  • Resources for the economic development and third five year plan were diverted for defence
  • However, later analysis believes that the cause of war was more related to China’s compulsion . Eg
      • Impact global stature of India as a leader of Afro-Asian newly independent nations
      • Soviet support to India
      • Border disputes with India ,
      • To topple Nehru and discredit his NAM Policy and
      • more because of Sino-Soviet differences

 

 

Relations with Pakistan

  • Kashmir Issue : Already studied

 

  • Both the government worked together to restore the abducted women to their original families

 

  • Long term dispute of river water sharing was resolved –with world Bank’s mediation and India-Pakistan Indus Water Treaty was signed by Nehru and General Ayub Khan in 1960.

The Congress System

The Congress System

In this article , we will  deal with topic titled ‘The Congress System in India after Independence.’

 

In the initial three general elections, the congress gained overwhelming majority. The congress won three out of every four seats . We will discuss how Congress was able to achieve it.

 

 

One Party Dominance

  • Congress emerged as the single dominant party in India but it was different from One Party Dominance in other countries like China , USSR etc where constitution allowed just one party.

 

Reasons why Congress emerged as Single Dominant Party within India

  • Congress was the main party  fighting for freedom struggle movement . It had inherited the legacy of Indian National Congress Movements and their stalwart leaders.
  • Due to their strong organizational network throughout the country, it reached out to the masses instantly . It was impossible for other political parties to organize themselves in such a short time .
  • Congress was an ideological coalition. It accommodated the revolutionary and pacifist, conservative and radical, extremist and moderate and the right, left and all shades of the centre

 

=> Noted political scientist, Rajni Kothari termed this period of Indian Politics as “The Congress system”

 

 

 

Emergence of Opposition Parties

As the ability of congress to accommodate all interests and all aspirants for political hour steadily declined, other political parties started gaining greater significance.

 

 

Socialist Party

  • Roots of Socialist Party lay in Congress Socialist Party formed in 1934
  • Later after independence, the congress party had changed the rule regarding dual membership and barred the C.S.P members with congress’s membership. This situation compelled CSP leaders to form separate Socialist Party in 1948.
  • Socialist party leaders criticized congress for favouring capitalists and landlord and ignoring teaming masses like workers, peasants.
  • Socialist party was in big dilemma when the congress party in 1955 declared its goal to be the socialist pattern of society. In such scenario, their leader Ashok Mehta offered limited cooperation with the congressMany faction emerged from the split and union of the socialist party viz. Kisan Mazdoor Praja party, Praja Socialist party, Samyukta Socialist Party

 

 

Bhartiya Jan Sangh

  • Formed in 1951  by Shyama Prasad Mukherjee and trace its roots with RSS & Hindu Mahasabha
  • Emphasised the idea of ‘ONE COUNTRY, ONE CULTURE AND ONE NATION
  • BJP in traces its origin to BJS

 

 

Communist Party of India

  • Took inspiration from Bolshevik Revolution . Communists believed in violent uprising, as they thought transfer of power was not genuine. Very few people believed in their ideology and they got crushed by the armed force. They later abandoned violent means and participated in general elections and emerged as second largest opposition party.
  • It had well organized dedicated cadre and healthy machinery to run political party.
  • stalwart leaders included A.K. Gopalan, S.A. Dange, E.M.S. Namboodiripad, P.C. Joshi, Ajay Ghosh and P. Sundarrya.

 

 

Swatantra Party

  • Swatantra party was formed in August 1959 after Nagpur resolution of the Congress which called for
    • land ceilings,
    • takeover of food grain trade by the state,
    • adoption of cooperative farming.

They didn’t believe this resolution.

  • The party believed lesser involvement of the government in economy. It opposed the development strategy of state intervention in economy, central planning, nationalization, Public sector. They opposed progressive tax regime, demanded dismantling of license Raj.
  • It was critical of non-alignment policy and friendly relations with the Soviet Union and advocated closer ties with the U.S.A.
  • The industrialist and big landlords had supported this party.
  • This party has a very limited influence, lacked dedicated cadres, so it didn’t perform well.
  • The stalwart of party were C. Rajagopalachari, K.M. Munshi, N.G. Ranga and Minoo Masani.

Democracy in India

Democracy in India

In this article , we will  deal with topic titled ‘Democracy in India after Independence.’

 

  • In India, view of leaders was different from leaders of other countries which gained independence post World War 2
    • World : National Unity was declared to be priority which couldn’t be sustained with democracy as it would bring differences and conflicts
    • India : In-spite of problems like illiteracy , poverty and diversity, our leaders choose Democracy to be main pillar

 

  • On 26 Jan 1950, India adopted Constitution. New democratically elected government was need of the hour and for this  election commission of India was set up in January 1950 with a constitutional provision to conduct free and fair elections. Sukumar Sen became the first Chief Election Commissioner.

 

  • India has adopted universal adult franchise model of democracy where any person with prescribed condition of age, could vote without any form of discrimination.

 

Many problems were faced by Election Commission

  • No election on this scale had ever been conducted in the world before. At that time there were 17 crores eligible voters
  • Only 15% of these eligible voters were literate.
  • caste ridden, multi religious  and backward society  where voters were prone to vote on irrational basis

 

 

Steps taken by Election Commission of India (ECI)

  • Due to illiteracy , Election Commission devised special method of voting – candidates were to be identified by symbols, assigned to each major party and independent candidates, painted on the ballot papers in the box assigned to a particular candidate and ballot was secret.
  • Over 224000 polling booths, one for almost every 1000 voters were constructed and equipped with over 2.5 million steel ballot boxes one box for every candidate. Nearly 620,000,000 ballot papers were printed.
  • Stable conditions were created for free participation of opposition parties in elections including Jan Sangh & communist party of India (CPI)
  • Election Commission trained over 3 lakhs officers and polling staff to conduct the election

 

People’s response to the new political order was tremendous. At certain places, people treated polling as a festival wearing festive clothes, women wearing their jewelry. Despite higher percentage of poverty and illiteracy, the number of invalid votes cast was as low as 0.3% to 0.4%. A remarkable feature was the wide participation of women: at least 40% of women eligible to vote did so.  When the elections results were declared, it was realized that nearly 46% of the eligible voters had cast their vote.

 

 

Result of first elections

  • Congress had emerged as the single largest party by winning 364 seats with 45% of total polled votes for Lok Sabha
  • Congress formed all the government in all the states and at the centre too. It did not get a majority on its own in four states–Madras, Travancore-Cochin, Orissa, PEPSU but formed governments even there with the help of independents and smaller local parties which then merged with it.
  • Communist performance was big surprise and it emerged as the second largest group in the Lok Sabha.
  • Princes and big landlords still wielded a great deal of influence in some parts of the country. Their party Gantantra Parishad won 31 seats in Orissa Assembly.
  • Despite the numerically dominant position of the congress, the opposition was quite effective in parliament

 

 

Side Note

  • During Nehru Period, In 1957, the communist were able to form a government in Kerala, which was the first democratically elected communist government anywhere in the world.

Tribal Consolidation

Tribal Consolidation

In this article , we will look deal with topic titled ‘Tribal Consolidation in India after Independence.’

 

Phases

At the time of Independence, Tribal Consolidation was one of the major Issue . Tribes were very important because already we were suffering the issue of Territorial Integration and Tribal areas constituted substantial area of India’s territory.

 

Phase 1 : Pre British

  • Policy of Non-Interference
  • Tribals were following their own customary laws and traditions and were self sufficient remaining isolated from the outside world .

 

Phase 2 : British Rule 

Radical Transformation happened

  • Traditional Livelihood suffered due to invasion of colonial machinery and Dikus. Britishers forced them to abandon Jhum Agriculture and practice Settled Agriculture
  • Culture : Forest wasn’t just their source of livelihood but part of their culture as well + Christian Missionaries trying to convert them to Christianity
  • Relation with forest altered : Britishers were interested in the wood and due to this they passed various Forest Laws making it illegal for Tribals to gather resources or cut wood from these forests

 

Phase 3 : Post Independence

At time of Independence, there were majorly two approaches wrt Tribals in India ie Isolationist approach and Assimilationist approach . However, Nehru rejected both these approaches as isolation is not desirable

Different approaches

Isolation
  • By Verrier Elwin
  • Just leave them on their own as they were before advent of British rule

 

Assimilation
  • By GS Ghurye
  • Tribals are just backward hindus who need to be assimilated in Hindu fold

 

Integration
  • Envisaged in Tribal Panchsheel Policy by JL Nehru
  • Nehru rejected both of the above approaches as isolation is not desirable and assimilation would lead to loss of social and cultural identity of tribals . Hence he gave the Panchsheel policy
  1. Tribal should develop along the line of their own genious
  2. Tribal rights in land and forest should be respected
  3. Promotion of tribal languages
  4. No over administration
  5. Tribal assistance should be seeked in managing polity and administration

 

  • To give effect to the Panchsheel policy, following provisions were introduced
  1. Reservation of seats for Tribals
  2. Setting up of Tribal Advisory Councils
  3. Commissioner for STs was appointed to investigate whether the safeguards provided to them are properly observed or not
  4. Provision of 5th and 6th Schedule
  5. Article 46 : State should promote with special care the educational and economic interest of Tribal People and should protect them from social injustice and exploitation
  6. PESA (Panchayat (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act)
  7. Forest Right Act , 2006

 

 

Side Topic : Forest Right Act, 2006

  • It is a framework to ensure local self governance
  • It guarantees following rights  (TURFm)
        • Title Rights : the right in the land is granted to STs and the people who are residing there for 75 years but don’t have documents (maximum 4 hectare)
        • Right of use of resources. Eg : Minor Forest Produce (honey, herbs etc) , Common Property Resource etc
        • Relief and Developmental Rights : in case of any displacement of tribals , proper relief packages should be given
        • Forest Management Rights 
  • Issues wrt Forest Right Act
        • Task of documenting the claims of communities is very tedious
        • Reluctance on the part of bureaucracy
        • Narrow interpretation of the law
        • Opposition from wildlife conservationists
  • Way forward
      • Political will should be there
      • Devolution of fund, functions and functionaries
      • Awareness among the tribals about their rights

 

 

Issues wrt Tribals

Irrespective of Government efforts , Tribal progress has remained dismal due to

  • weak execution of policies and ineffectiveness of state government in administering the policies
  • misappropriation of funds
  • ineffective functioning of Tribal Advisory Council
  • lack of awareness among tribals wrt their rights and entitlements
  • evasion of laws
  • Deforestation
  • neglect of primary education in tribal languages
  • emergence of class differences among tribes due to unequal distribution of benefits of affirmative action
  • Retreatment of tribals into inaccessible stretches due to loss of land, culture , forest rights etc

 

 

Xaxa Committee

  • The Committee was setup in 2013 to study socio-economic, health and educational status of tribals  and also to suggest policy initiatives and interventions for tribal upliftment
  • Following are the suggestions
      • Gram Sabha’s power needs to be increased wrt land alienation
      • Mining rights needs to be given to the tribal cooperatives (eg : Andra Model of Tribal Cooperatives for Mining)
      • Unused land should be acquired and used for tribal rehabilitation
      • Impose penalties on officials for delayed implementation of FRA or PESA
      • Appoint judicial commissions to investigate Naxal cases against tribals and their supporters
      • Instead of large dams, small sized water harvesting should be created

Official Language Issue

Official Language Issue

In this article , we will look deal with topic titled ‘Official Language Issue in India after Independence.’

 

 

  • Our leadership was very clear that India cant have any language as national language since it would lead to curbing the diversity vis a vis language.  However, in order to carry out Official Tasks , there was a need of Official Language.
  • There were majorly two contenders
    • Hindi
    • English

Despite the richness , English language (eg : it was language of diplomacy, international commerce etc) it occupied a very unnatural place in India due to unequal relationship with Britishers . Hence,  our Constitution declared Hindi in Devanagari Script along with Roman Numerals will be our Official Language and English will continue as Associate Official language till 1965 .

 

  • Issue of the time-frame for a shift from English to Hindi produced a divide between Hindi & non Hindi areas.
    • Proponents of Hindi wanted immediate switch over
    • Non Hindi areas advocated retention of English for a long if not indefinite period.

Nehru was in favor of making Hindi the official language, but he also favored English to be continuing as an additional official language.

 

  • Due to the over-zealous attitude of Hindi language proponents to Sanskritise the language on the name of purity led to the emergence of Supra-State Regionalism wrt language. Hence, to contain these riots and violent activities, 1963 Official Language Act was passed . According to this act, English may continue as the official language post 1965. However, this may clause created apprehension among the South Indian states and finally the issue was addressed with the passage of 1967 amendment to Official Language Act according to which the Veto power was given to South Indian States wrt English as Associate Official Language.

 

Question

  1. Implementation of language provision in the constitution proved to be a formidable task even though Congress was in power all over the country. In this regard , discuss the challenges and the manner in which the language issue was resolved .

Rehabilitation of Refugees

Rehabilitation of Refugees

In this article , we will look deal with topic titled ‘Rehabilitation of Refugees in India after Independence.’

 

Due to ‘Two Nation Theory’ India was divided on religious basis resulting in

    • Mass exodus of Sikhs and Hindus from Pakistan (80 lakh people migrated)
    • Brutal killings, atrocities, rapes, on both sides of the border . In many cases women were killed by their own family members to preserve the ‘family honor’.  (10 lakh people killed)

 

How Government settled these refugees

  • India had to rehabilitate nearly six million refugees from Pakistan.
  • Department of Rehabilitation was created.
  • Various refugee camps were set up some notable being camp at Kurukshetra (for Punjab Refugees) and Kolwada camp at Bombay (Sindh Refugees).
  • Camps such as Kurukshetra were but a holding operation. The refugees had to be found permanent homes and productive work. Thus refugees required land for permanent settlement.

 

Settling farmers

Leading the operations was the director general of rehabilitation, Sardar Tarlok Singh of the Indian Civil Service. A graduate of the London School of Economics, Tarlok Singh used his academic training to good effect

  • Now commenced ‘the biggest land resettlement operation in the world’. But there were problems
    • Against 2.7 million hectares abandoned by Hindus and Sikhs in West Punjab, there were only 1.9 million hectares left behind by Muslims in East Punjab.
    • Areas in the west of the province (now gone to Pakistani Punjab) had richer soils, and were more abundantly irrigated.
  • To begin with, each family of refugee farmers was given an allotment of four hectares, regardless of its holding in Pakistan. Loans were advanced to buy seed and equipment.
  • Applications were invited for permanent allotments. Each family was asked to submit evidence of how much land it had left behind. These claims were then verified in open assemblies consisting of other migrants from the same village. Expectedly, many refugees were at first prone to exaggeration. However, every false claim was punished
  • The rehabilitation on East took years and it was more difficult because of constant exodus of Hindus from East Bengal continued for years.