Challenges in Nation Building: NBSE Class 12 Political Science

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Challenges in Nation Building

Here, you will find summaries, questions, answers, textbook solutions, pdf, extras etc. of (Nagaland Board) NBSE Class 12 Political Science Chapter 1: Challenges in Nation Building. These solutions, however, should be only treated as references and can be modified/changed. 


The Indian Independence Act led to the creation of two independent dominions, India and Pakistan, on August 15, 1947. India faced challenges in uniting people, establishing a democratic political system, and ending poverty, ignorance, and disease. Partition brought several difficulties, including communal riots and administrative issues. Refugees faced numerous problems, and various measures were taken to rehabilitate them.

The state of Jammu and Kashmir faced the issue of accession to India or Pakistan. Article 370 of the Indian Constitution granted special status to the state. Pakistan never accepted the validity of Kashmir’s accession to India, leading to ongoing tensions and terrorist activities in the region.

At the time of independence, there were 562 princely states in India. To unite these states, rulers were asked to sign the Instrument of Accession, transferring power in defense, foreign affairs, and communications to the Indian Union. The integration of Junagarh, Manipur, Hyderabad, and Jammu and Kashmir proved to be more complex, but ultimately, these states joined the Indian Union.

The Union Territory of Pondicherry (now Puducherry) merged with India following a de facto transfer of power in November 1954 and the signing of the Franco-Indian Treaty in 1956. Goa, Daman, and Diu were Portuguese settlements in India. After a series of protests and military action, these territories were integrated into India.

Andhra Pradesh was the first state to be formed on a linguistic basis on October 1, 1953. This led to the reorganisation of the Indian Union into 14 states and 6 Union Territories in 1956. Subsequently, several new states were created based on linguistic and regional demands, such as Gujarat, Maharashtra, Haryana, Manipur, Meghalaya, Tripura, Chhattisgarh, Uttaranchal (now Uttarakhand), Jharkhand, and Telangana.

Smaller linguistic states provide several benefits, including administration in people’s own language, fostering regional literature and languages, and recognizing ethnic identity and regionalism as grounds for separate states. However, the economic viability, defense, and administrative affairs of the new states must be carefully considered.

Textual questions and answers

A. Long Answer Questions

1. Describe the main problems faced in the process of partition of India. 

Answer: India faced several challenges during the process of partition, some of which were:

i. Communal Riots and a Massive Influx of Refugees from across the Border: The size of the minorities on both sides of the border was very considerable. Therefore, Bengal and the Punjab became the two main theatres of communal warfare. There was a massive influx of refugees from across the border. Fighting, plundering, arson, abduction of women had erupted all over the Punjab and Bengal and, to a lesser extent, in many other parts of the country, especially Delhi, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. The Sikhs in North-West Punjab, the Muslims in East Punjab and the present-day Haryana, and the Hindus in East Bengal were the worst sufferers.

ii. Partition of Bengal and Punjab: The Mountbatten Plan had proposed the partition of the two Provinces—Bengal and Punjab. In fact, this could not provide any acceptable solution for the communal problem, because the size of the non-Muslim minorities, both in East Punjab and East Bengal (which formed parts of Pakistan), was large enough to leave them at the mercy of the Pak government. Moreover, the two halves of the Pakistan State (East Pakistan and West Pakistan) were separated by some 1100 km and communications between the two parts depended on the goodwill of India.

iii. Question of the North-West Frontier Province: In the North-West Frontier Province, despite the opposition of the Muslim League, the Congress government with Dr Khan Sahib as the Chief Minister had been functioning still. Dr Khan Sahib and his brother Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, popularly known as Frontier Gandhi, were completely dissatisfied with the Mountbatten Plan. In the NWFP a referendum was held to decide the future of the Province. The Muslim population of NWFP, in spite of their loyalty to the Congress, overwhelmingly voted for Pakistan. Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, however, remained firm in his support for the Gandhian ideals of non-violence and Satyagraha.

iv. Problem of the Princely States: There was also a problem related to the Indian States which occupied some two-fifths of the area of India. The princely states were allowed to join either India or Pakistan or remain independent if they so liked. The matter was complicated by the Political Advisor to the Viceroy, Sir Corfield, who began advising the Princes to declare their Independence. Conditions could hardly be worse. 

v. Administrative and Financial Difficulties: India’s economic and administrative system and her transportation and postal systems had been established on the basis of a United India. The disintegration of the railways, the army, the postal and the telegraph systems gravely injured both parts of India. Pakistan was comprised of some 40 per cent of the cotton-growing, 85 per cent of the jute-growing and 40 per cent of the wheat-growing areas, whereas most mills and factories which used these materials were situated in India. That is the reason why the First Five-Year Plan accorded the highest priority to agriculture and irrigation projects in India. 

vi. The Question of Religious Minorities: The size of the minorities both in Pakistan and India was to remain very considerable. Muhammad Ali Jinnah, in his Address to Pakistan’s Constituent Assembly, assured Hindus, the Sikhs and other religious minorities, that they would all be treated in the same way and would have the same rights as the Muslims had. But Pakistan’s Constitution designated the country as ‘Islamic Republic of Pakistan’. The Hindus and other minorities in Pakistan continued to be treated as second rate citizens.

2. Resettlement of refugees in the wake of the partition of India was an operation of great magnitude. Mention the measures taken to rehabilitate the refugees.

Answer: The Government of India, the charitable institutions and other voluntary bodies took many measures to rehabilitate the displaced people.

i. Those migrating to India could find shelter in temples, Gurdwaras and Dharamshalas (houses for pilgrims) temporarily. The schools remained closed for some time to provide shelter to the refugees. The voluntary bodies supplied them food and other necessary things until they could fend for themselves.

ii. The Government provided the displaced persons with suitable jobs. The availability of cheap long-term credit helped small businessmen.

iii. Lakhs of Muslims from East Punjab, U.P. and Delhi had migrated to Pakistan. Their properties were allotted to Hindus and Sikhs who had left West Punjab and Sindh leaving their houses locked there. The Government of India had to contact the Government of Pakistan, so that the two governments could have an idea of the value of houses and shops, etc., of the displaced persons for purposes of exchange of properties.

iv. The army, the police, the administrators and the non-government organisations made massive efforts in trying to restore calm. 

v. And, finally, rehabilitation of the Punjab refugees could happen through the heroic efforts made by the refugees themselves. They automatically ceased to be called ‘refugees’ and were named ‘Purusarthis’, i.e., men of energy and ambition.

3. How and under what conditions did Jammu and Kashmir accede to the Indian Union?

Answer: On 15 August, 1947, the State of Jammu and Kashmir was under the full control of Maharaja Hari Singh. According to 1941 Census its total population was nearly four million, of whom 77 per cent were Muslims, some 20 per cent Hindus and the rest were the Sikhs and the Buddhists. 

Pakistan was getting impatient to grab Kashmir by any means and at any cost. Jammu and Kashmir had to bear the brunt of tribal raids from across the border soon after partition. Fighting, plundering and arson had erupted all over the Kashmir Valley. Since Kashmir had not acceded to Indian Union, Government of India could not send its forces to defend the State. On October 24, 1947 the Maharaja apprised the Indian Government of the grim situation prevailing in his State. V.P. Menon reached Srinagar on October 25 and on October 26, 1947 the Maharaja formally acceded to the Indian Union. This move was fully supported by Sheikh Abdullah, the leader of the National Conference, which had been fighting for democratic rule in the State

4. What were the main considerations (or reasons) for bringing Princely States within the Indian Union? What was the approach of the Government of India towards the Princely States immediately after India’s partition in 1947.

Answer: Considerations for bringing Princely States within Indian Union were:

i. Threat to India’s Strength and Solidarity: Under the Indian Independence Act, the Princely States also obtained their independence. They were allowed either to remain under the ‘personal rule’ of their rulers or to join either of the two Dominions-India or Pakistan. In fact, the rulers of Hyderabad and Travancore declared their intentions to become independent monarchies. The ruler of Bhopal established his contacts with Mr. Jinnah. These dangerous developments posed a serious threat to the strength and solidarity of India as a nation.

ii. The States were ruled by Autocratic Kings: The rulers of most of the states were autocratic in character. Leaving the Princely States under these autocratic rulers meant that representative and democratic institutions could never grow in an area as large as two-fifths of the Indian Union.

iii. There was a Danger of Anarchy and Chaos: The choice before the Princes was to join one of the two States-India and Pakistan. Had the Princes not listened to the voice of reason, their people would have risen in revolt, leading to anarchy and chaos on a large scale.

The Government of India approached the subject of integration from three viewpoints. First, it assured the rulers that their autonomy would not be weakened. They were asked to sign the Instrument of Accession which meant that their State agreed to become a part of the Indian Union. The Instrument involved the transfer of only three subjects—Defence, Foreign Affairs and Communications to the Indian Union, without an encroachment on their other powers. The Government, thus, guaranteed ruler’s autonomy to a great extent.

Second, since the territories of the Princely States were intermingled with those of the Indian Provinces, these rulers could neither be allowed to join Pakistan nor to become independent.

Third, the Government of India had the information that the political aspirations of the people of these states were to become part of the Indian Union.

5. How did States of Junagarh and Manipur accede to India?

Answer: The State of Junagarh and a few neighbouring States joined the United State of Kathiawar on December 31, 1948. In Junagarh a plebiscite was held to seek people’s consent on the question of joining the Indian Union.

The Maharaja of Manipur, Bodhachandra Singh, had signed the Instrument of Accession a few days before Independence. He did so after having an assurance from Government of India that the Government would not violate internal autonomy of the State. People of Manipur forced Maharaja to constitute a Legislative Assembly. Elections to the Assembly were held in June 1948. Thus Manipur became a Constitutional Monarchy in which real power was vested in the Assembly. In Independent India an election based on Universal Adult Franchise was held first in Manipur.

Manipur’s merger with India became a matter of serious debate in the Legislative Assembly. Manipur Congress supported the merger, whereas other parties were opposed to the same. The Government of India pressured Maharaja Bodhachandra Singh to sign a Merger Agreement in September 1949. 

6. How did the State of Hyderabad become a part of Indian Union after India’s partition?

Answer: The State of Hyderabad became a part of the Indian Union after India’s partition through a series of events that included political and military action.

In November 1947, the Nizam of Hyderabad entered into a Standstill Agreement with the Indian government for a year, which meant that the status quo would be maintained. However, communal and separatist activities by the Razakars, a private militia under Kasim Razvi’s leadership, began to cause serious trouble in the state. The Nizam did not pay attention to the suggestion made by the Indian government regarding Hyderabad’s accession to India, nor did he take steps to restore calm in the state.

The situation continued to deteriorate, and the Razakars were guilty of barbarous and inhuman atrocities, particularly against the Hindu population. In September 1948, India gave an ultimatum to the Nizam to accept India’s terms and conditions for accession, failing which the Indian government would take action against him.

Indian troops took military action on September 13, and on September 18, the Nizam’s forces surrendered to the Commander of the Indian army. Kasim Razvi was arrested, and his organization was disbanded. The Nizam reconciled himself to the new situation and helped the Government of India in restoring calm to the state.

On January 26, 1950, Hyderabad formally acceded to the Indian Union, and the state was integrated into the Indian Republic. The accession was facilitated by the efforts of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, India’s first Home Minister, who played a pivotal role in the integration of princely states into the Indian Union.

7. What do you know about Goa’s liberation and its integration into Indian Union?

Answer: Goa’s liberation and its integration into the Indian Union was a significant event in India’s history, marking the end of Portuguese colonialism in India.

After India gained independence, the Government of India attempted to persuade the Portuguese to hand over Goa, Daman, and Diu to India, but the Portuguese refused, claiming that these territories were integral provinces of Portugal.

In 1955, thousands of unarmed Indians, known as the Volunteers of Free Goa, marched into Goa, demanding its liberation from Portuguese rule. The Portuguese authorities responded with heavy firing, resulting in the deaths of 17 Indians and the wounding of many more.

In December 1961, the Government of India launched “Operation Vijay” to liberate Goa, Daman, and Diu from Portuguese rule. Indian troops marched into the territories and encountered little resistance, leading to the fall of the Portuguese regime within 48 hours.

Goa was then made a Union Territory, along with Daman and Diu. In May 1987, Goa became a state of the Indian Union, while Daman and Diu remained a separate Union Territory.

B. Short Answer Questions

8. How did Pondicherry (now called Puducherry) merge with India?

Answer: The Union Territory of Pondicherry (called now Puducherry) comprises the former French Establishments (Puducherry, Kariakal, Mahe and Yanam) which lie scattered in South India. The French had converted Puducherry into a flourishing trading centre late in the 17th century. The British, when they were powerful in India, could easily capture Puducherry. However, they let the French continue with these possessions in India.

With India’s Independence in 1947, the urge for freedom in the French Settlements also became more pronounced. On August 15, 1947 the citizens held a public meeting in Puducherry and declared their wish in favour of merger with India.

In June 1948 India and France agreed to hold a Referendum in which people were to say whether or not they agreed with Puducherry’s merger with india. But the conditions created by some mischievous elements spoiled the possibility of a free and fair poll. In 1951 the French Government officially communicated to India that there were difficulties in holding a Referendum.

Fresh negotiations with the French resulted in a Joint Declaration made on October 13, 1954. The defacto transfer of the French Settlements to India took place on November 1, 1954. But a treaty to this effect (Franco-Indian Treaty) was signed in 1956.

9. What is meant by linguistic reorganisation of States? Name the first State to be formed on the basis of language.

Answer: Linguistic reorganisation of States refers to the creation of new states or the reorganisation of existing ones based on linguistic considerations. This means that people speaking the same language are grouped together to form a new state or to merge with an existing state. This move is generally done to promote administrative convenience and provide greater homogeneity to the people living in a particular region.

The first State to be formed on the basis of language in India was Andhra Pradesh.

10. When and by whom was the ‘Tryst with Destiny’ speech, delivered? This speech includes a phrase ‘the service of India’. What do these words refer to in this speech?

Answer: The ‘Tryst with Destiny’ speech was delivered by Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of independent India, on the eve of India’s independence, i.e., on 14 August 1947. The speech was made in the Constituent Assembly.

In the speech, Nehru spoke about the significance of India’s independence and the challenges that lay ahead. The phrase “the service of India” in the speech referred to the mission and duty of the newly independent India to serve its people, particularly the millions who were suffering from poverty, ignorance, disease, and inequality of opportunity.

Nehru emphasized that the service of India required constant striving and a commitment to fulfilling the pledges made to the people of India. He envisioned a future where India would be a prosperous and equal society, and he urged the people of India to work towards this goal with dedication and determination.

C. Very Short Answer Questions

11. To whom should the credit for bringing Princely States within Indian Union go?
(Or) Who played the historic role in the integration of Princely States?

Answer: The credit for the integration of Princely States goes to Sardar Patel

12. There are people who are demanding separate States for different regions of the country. Name any one State for which such a demand is being made.

Answer: Gorkhaland in West Bengal.

13. Name the two provinces which were also divided in the course of the partition of India.

Answer: The two provinces that were divided during the partition were Punjab and Bengal.

14. According to Mahatma Gandhi, the day India attained her Independence (15 August, 1947) was “a day of rejoicing as well as mourning”. Why did he say so?

Answer: Mahatma Gandhi referred to the day of India’s independence, 15 August 1947, as a day of rejoicing as well as mourning because it was marked by both celebration and tragedy.

On one hand, India had achieved independence after decades of struggle, and the country was finally free from colonial rule. On the other hand, the partition of India that accompanied independence led to widespread violence, displacement, and loss of life. The communal tensions between Hindus and Muslims that had been simmering for years erupted into large-scale riots, with thousands of people being killed and millions being displaced from their homes. 

15. Name the original State from which the following States were carved out: (a) Gujarat, and (b) Meghalaya

Answer: (a) Gujarat was carved out of the State of Bombay in 1960.
(b) Meghalaya was carved out of the State of Assam in 1972.

16. What was the most important recommendation of the States Reorganisation Commission?

Answer: The Commission favoured the formation of States on linguistic basis, because it led to administrative convenience. The Commission gave its report in 1955 and in 1956 there came some major changes in the boundaries of a few existing States. The Indian Union was reorganised into 14 States and 6 Union Territories. 

D. Multiple Choice Questions: Tick (✓) the correct answer

17. Which of the following was the Instrument by means of which rulers of the Princely States became a part of the Indian Union?

Answer: (c) Instrument of Accession

18. Which of the following is the principal language of the Jammu region? 

Answer: (b) Dogri

19. Which of the following became the 29th State of the Indian Union? 

Answer: (b) Telangana

Value-based Question

Pakistan’s Constitution designated the country as ‘Islamic Republic of Pakistan’. India, on the contrary, is a ‘Secular Democratic Republic’. Why should we prefer a ‘Secular Polity’ to a Theocratic one?

Answer: A secular polity is one that keeps religion out of state business and treats all religions equally without showing preference for any one of them. A theocratic polity, on the other hand, is one where the state is founded on religious ideals and is run by religious figures.

A secular government is preferable to a theocratic one for a number of reasons.

First, a secular political system encourages freedom of religion and belief and permits people to practise their religion or believe without worrying about being persecuted or subjected to prejudice. Religious minorities or non-believers may experience discrimination or persecution in a theocratic government because their beliefs may not coincide with the main religion or religious group.

Second, a secular political system guarantees that the state respects religious freedom and does not favour any one religion or religious group over another. This guarantees that all citizens, regardless of their faith or philosophical beliefs, are treated equally.

Third, a secular political system promotes logical and rational thought and permits the growth of a contemporary and progressive society. In contrast, a theocratic government may stifle logical and scientific thought since religious beliefs and superstitions may have influence over people’s thoughts.

Finally, a secular political system fosters social cohesion and togetherness by recognising and respecting the variety of religions and ideologies present in society. On the other hand, there can be disputes and splits within a theocratic polity due to religious differences.

Extra/additional questions and answers

1. What were the consequences of the partition of India in 1947?

Answer: The partition was a colossal human tragedy. It resulted in the killing and migration of millions of people in the Indian subcontinent.

2. What were the three challenges India faced after gaining independence?

Answer: The three challenges India faced after gaining independence were:

  • Need for unity
  • Establishing democracy
  • Social and economic development

3. What was the first challenge for national leaders in post-independence India?

Answer: The first challenge for our national leaders was to unite people speaking several different languages, following many religions, and practising all kinds of customs.

4. What was the second challenge India faced after gaining independence?

Answer: The second challenge was to give the country a political system that was democratic.

5. What was the ultimate goal of establishing a democratic system in India, according to Nehru?

Answer: The ultimate goal was “the service of India” and “the ending of poverty and ignorance and disease, and inequality of opportunity.”

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53. What are the arguments in support of smaller linguistic states?

Answer: The arguments in support of smaller linguistic states are:

  • In a democracy, the administration of a region must be carried in people’s own language. It gives satisfaction to the people if their relations with State officials or ministers are very direct.
  • Because of smaller linguistic States, regional literature and languages blossomed.
  • Ethnic identity, language, or regionalism are the grounds on which people claim to have separate States. If a particular region or ethnic group feels neglected, that region or racial group deserves to be given a chance to manage their affairs the way they like.

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