Chapter : 9
What Are Challenges of Nation-Building ?
Part B - Politics In India Since Independence
The independence of India came with wide social, political and economic problems but the affective leadership of the nation resolved those problems in a suitable manner.
- The freedom of India came in the year 1947 but that freedom came with the curse of partition. Partition led to the migration of large number of Hindus and Muslims to their respective territories. This process caused lot of violence and bloodshed and resulted in creating an atmosphere of terror in India.
- During the partition the minorities residing in the regions of Punjab and Bengal suffered severe trauma.
- There was no clear demarcation of the border till the time of independence. This meant that large number of people did not had the clear idea where they actually had to reside.
- There was no presence of law and order during the time of partition as there was uncertainty that who had the responsibility to control the situation.
- It is estimated that almost 80 lakh people migrated to the new borders and almost five to ten lakh people were killed in the partition violence.
How Gandhiji Act On Partition
- Gandhiji was against the curse of partition and condemned it in all manifestations. Both the Hindu and Muslim extremists did not liked the vision and philosophy of Gandhiji.
- The Hindu extremists blamed Gandhiji that he did not allowed them to make India a complete Hindu nation by showing his support for the Muslims.
- The Muslim extremists attaked Gandhiji on the grounds that he allowed Muslims to stay in India and ensured them dignity. They wanted the transfer of all the Muslims to Pakistan.
- During and after the independence Gandhiji toured extensively to different parts of India showing his support for the communal harmony. This action of Gandhiji was not perceived positively by the Hindu nationalists.
- Finally on January 30, 1948 Gandhiji was going for his evening prayer in Delhi. A man named Nathuram Godse shot three bullets due to which Ganhiji succumbed to death.
Another major issue was the division of India into numerous princely states. The integration of these princely states into the union of India was a cumbersome process that required exceptional leadership skills.
- After the partition some of the princely states were reluctant to join India and made declarations to remain independent.
- The ruler of Travancore was one of the first one to declare that the state of Travancore will remain
independent and will not join India.
- The princely state of Hyderabad was also reluctant to join the India. Its Nawab was a Muslim and did not see India with the eyes of reliance.
- The Maharaja of Kashmir was also reluctant to join India. He declared Jammu and Kashmir as an independent state.
- In the west the Nawab of the princely state of Junagadh wanted to join Pakistan instead of India. However the people of Junagadh wanted to become a part of India.
- The ruler of the Hyderabad was called Nizam who was one of the richest man of the world. He was reluctant to join the Union of India and wanted an independent status.
- The people of Hyderabad started protesting against the rule of the Nizam as his administration was oppressive. Women in the Hyderabad region joined this protest in large numbers as they were the worst sufferers of the rule.
- India decided to protect the common people and sent army to tackle the situation. Army reached Hyderabad in September 1948 and ultimately Nizam had to surrender. This led to the accession of Hyderabad into Union of India.
- Maharaja of Manipur Raja Bodhchandra Singh signed the Instrument of Accession with the government of India on the conditions that the internal autonomy of the state will be protected.
Another important issue that India has to deal with was the reorganization of the states on the basis of linguism.
- There was a movement in Andhra that sought to separate the state from the Madras on the grounds of language.The political leaders of the Andhra wanted to establish a different state for all the Telugu speaking people.
- A veteran Congress leader Potti Sriramulu went on a indefinite fast demanding the separation of the Andhra region from the Madras. Ultimately he died that sparked a series of protest in the Andhra. The government of India had to accept the demand of the Andhra people and a separate state was formed in December 1952.
- After the formation of the Andhra the other states of India also raised demands for their separation on the linguistic grounds.
- For this purpose the government of India formed the States Reorganisation Commission in 1953. The primary task of this commission was to draw the linguistic boundaries in the country.
- The Commission prepared its report and accepted the principle that the boundaries of the state should be realigned on the basis of the language.
- In 1956 the States Reorganisation Act was passed that led to the creation of 14 states and 6 union territories.
Another issue was to deal with the high influx of refugees in India during the partition. These refugees had to be provided with adequate facilities so that they live their life in a better position.