NCERT Solutions for Class 12 History Chapter 15 - Framing the Constitution The Beginning of a New Era

Q. What were the ideals expressed in the Objectives Resolution?

Ans. As per the Objectives Resolution, the primary objectives of the Indian Constitution should be:
1. To adopt a liberal system of democracy but at the same time giving importance to the principle of social and economic justice.
2. To adopt cultural, ethical, religious, linguistic and administrative policies that are suited in the context of the diversity of India.

Q. How was the term minority defined by different groups?

Ans. N.G. Ranga was a socialist who played a significant role in the peasant movement in India.

  1. He said that the minorities should be interpreted in economic terms.
    He believed that the real minorities are the people who are extremely poor and downtrodden.  Jaipal Singh belonged to the tribal community so he understood the grievances of the tribals adequately.
  2. He said that the tribal groups have been disrespected and confronted for the past 6000 years and now in independent India, they need to be respected and protected.
  3. He showed faith in the vision of Nehru's "Objective Resolution", which sought to provide equality of opportunity in India.
  4. The Linguistic minorities wanted the protection of their mother tongue.
  5. The religious minorities wanted the right to freely follow their religion without any interference in their faith.
  6. The Dalits demanded an end to the discriminatory system of caste-based oppression.
  7. The Dalits demanded an end to the discriminatory system of caste-based oppression.

Q. What were the arguments in favour of greater power to the provinces?

Ans. K. Santhanam said that the powers should be adequately distributed between the states and the centre.

  1. He gave an argument that if the centre is provided with vast powers then its area of responsibility will increase which can hinder its efficiency.
  2. By sharing adequate responsibilities and powers both the centre and the state can work effectively and carry out an efficient administration.
  3. He criticised the provisions of the taxing powers that were inadequately distributed among the state and the central governments. Most of the taxes except land revenue and one or two more were to be decided by the centre.
  4. He also raised apprehensions on the subjects of education, infrastructure development and sanitation and felt that they should be entirely under the control of the state.
  5. Santhanam said that more deliberations are required on the subject of the distribution of power as it is very essential for the development of the state as well as the nation. 

Q. Why did Mahatma Gandhi think Hindustani should be the national language?

Ans. Mahatma Gandhi thought that there was large number of people in India who spoke the Hindi language or the Urdu language. The Hindustani was the mixture of both the languages and had high acceptability among the large sections of the Indians. Due to there reasons, he thought that it should be made as the national language of India.

Q. What historical forces shaped the vision of the Constitution?

Ans. There were several historic forces that shaped the Constitution of India. These are Nehru Report of 1929. The Fundamental Rights resolution that was passed in the Karachi session of the Congress. Apart from there was influence of several constitutions of the world on Indian constitution like the US constitution, UK constitution and USSR constitution. The French Revolution and the Bill of Rights also inspired the US constitution.

Q. Discuss the different arguments made in favour of protection of the oppressed groups.

Ans. There were separate demands from the Constituent Assembly from every section of the country:

  1. The Linguistic minorities wanted the protection of their mother tongue.
  2. The religious minorities wanted the right to freely follow their religion without any interference in their faith.
  3. The Dalits demanded an end to the discriminatory system of caste-based oppression.
  4. The demands for social and cultural rights were raised in almost every section of the country.
  5. There was a demand for equal political rights from every section such as the Universal Adult Franchise.

Q. What connection did some of the members of the Constituent Assembly make between the political situation of the time and the need for a strong Centre?

Ans. The draft of the Constitution created three lists Central List, State List and Concurrent List.

  1. The subjects in the Central List were to be managed by the Central government and the
    subjects in the State List were to be managed by the State government.
  2. The subjects of the Concurrent List were to be managed by both the state and the central governments. There were several leaders including B.R. Ambedkar and Nehru who advocated for a strong centre due to the political situations of the country in those times. Gopalaswamy Ayyangar and Balakrishna Sharma advocated for a strong centre.
  3. They said that a strong centre is important for the well being of the nations and the effective mobilization and utilization of the resources.
  4. It is also important for maintaining the proper defences of the nation and to save it from any future foreign aggression.

Q. How did the Constituent Assembly seek to resolve the language controversy?

Ans. There were conflicts between the individuals concerning the selection of the Hindi Language as the language of the Union as the South did not use this language.

  1. The Language Committee of the Constituent Assembly was given the task of seeking a compromise on the issue of  language.
  2. The Committee decided that Hindi in the Devanagari Script will be the official language but transition to the language will be made slowly.
  3. The Committee declared that for the first fifteen years English will be continued for use for official purposes.
  4. The Committee talked about giving the rights to the states to choose one regional language of their choice for official work within provinces.
  5. The Committee acted very smartly by declaring Hindi as the official language and not the national language. Their move helped in the resolution of the language conflict. 

Q. How was the term minority defined by different groups?

Ans. The term minority was defined by various groups in the following ways:

  1. N.G. Ranga, a socialist who had been a leader of the peasant movement, stated that the term minorities should be interpreted in economic terms. He emphasised that the real minorities were the poor and the downtrodden, i.e., the masses of this country. These include tribal people and poor villagers who are exploited by moneylenders, zamindars, malguzar and other people.
  2. Jaipal Singh, an Adivasi, stated that tribes were not a numerical minority but they needed protection. They have been disgracefully treated and neglected for the
    last 6,000 years. They have been perceived as primitive and backward.
  3. Dakshayani Velayudhan from Madras refused to believe that seventy million Harijans were to be considered as a minority but their social disabilities should be removed.
  4. J. Nagappa from Madras pointed out that numerically the Depressed Castes were not a minority. They formed between 20 and 25 percent of the total population. They suffered due to their systematic marginalisation.

Q. Why did Mahatma Gandhi think Hindustani should be the national language?

Ans. Mahatma Gandhi generally promoted local languages, he thought that Hindustani should be the national language because it was a blend of Hindi and Urdu and was a popular language of a large section of the people of India. Over the years it had incorporated words and terms from very many different sources. It was understood by people from various regions. Mahatma Gandhi thought that this multi-cultural language would be the ideal language of communication between diverse communities. It could unify the Hindus and the Muslims, and people of the north and the south. He also stated that to confine oneself to Hindi or Urdu would be a crime against intelligence and the spirit of patriotism.

Q. What were the arguments in favour of greater power to the provinces?

Ans. The division of powers between states and centre was a matter of great concern for the members of the Constituent assembly. K. Santhanam, a member from Madras, defended the rights of the states in the Constituent Assembly. He emphasised the need to strengthen the powers of states. He was not in the favour of vesting more powers with the Centre. He was of the opinion that the Centre would not be able to perform its duties efficiently in case it is over-burdened. The Centre will become automatically strong if all states are made stronger. He advocated that the Centre should be given less powers and states should be given more powers. Proposed allocation of powers between the Centre and States was also a matter of concern for K. Santhanam. He felt that such a distribution of power would cripple the states.

Q. Why did some of our leaders advocate a strong centre during the debate in the Constituent Assembly on the proposed federal structure of the Indian State ? Explain.

Ans. During the debate in the constituent Assembly, the respective rights of the Central Government and the states were one of the key topics of discussion. Nehru too argued for a strong Centre for ensuring peace, coordinating vital matters of common concern and representing the whole country in the internation sphere.

Ambedkar had declared that he wanted, “a strong and united Centre much stronger than the Centre we had created under the Government of India Act of 1935”. In concern of the riots and violence that were splitting the nation apart, many leaders had repeatedly stated that, the powers of the Centre had to be greately strengthened to enable it to stop the communal frenzy.

Reacting to the demands for giving power to the provinces, Gopalaswami Ayyangar declared that “the Centre should be made as strong as possible”. One member from the United Provinces, Balakrishna Sharma, reasoned at length that only a strong centre could plan for the well-being of the country, mobilise the available economic resources, establish a proper administration, and defend the country against foreign aggression.

Q. Why did Gobind Ballabh Pant consider the demand for separate electorate harmful for the minorities and for the nation ? Explain.

Ans. When the demand for separate electorates emerged, Shri Govind Ballabh Pant argued that it was a suicidal demand. He was of the opinion that it would permanently isolate the minorities; make them vulnerable and deprive them of any effective opinion within the government. Countering the demand for separate electorates, Pant declared that it was not only harmful for the unity of the nation, but also for the minorities. 

Q. Why did Gandhiji give emphasis on ‘Hindustani’ as to be the National Language of India ? Explain.

Ans. ‘Hindustani’ language was a blend of Hindi and Urdu. It was a popular language, as it was spoken by most of the people in the country. It was a composite language because it was enriched by the interaction of diverse cultures. This was the main reason why Mahatma Gandhi preferred Hindustani to be the national language of India.

Q. Examine the role of Congress party in making of the Constituent Assembly.


“Different groups expressed their desires in different ways and made different demands.” Support the statement with reference to the problem of separate electorate. 

Ans. The role of the Congress party in making of the Constituent Assembly are as follows:

  1. The Constituent Assembly that came into being was dominated by the Congress.
  2. The Congress swept the general seats in the provincial elections, and the Muslim League captured most of the reserved Muslim seats.
  3. The Congress, however, was not a party with one voice. Its members differed in their opinions on critical issues.
  4. Some members were inspired by socialism, while others were defenders of landlordism. Some were close to communal parties, while others were assertively secular.
  5. Through the national movement, the Congress members had learnt to debate their ideas in public and negotiate their differences.
  6. Within the Constituent Assembly too, the Congress members did not sit quiet.
  7. About 82 per cent of the members of the