Democracy in India

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Here are the solutions, questions, answers, and notes of chapter 12: DEMOCRACY IN INDIA which is a part of social science class 9 syllabus of students studying under the Nagaland Board of School Education. However, these notes should be used only for references and additions/modifications should be made as per the requirements.

INTRODUCTION: The concept of democracy is not new to India. These ideas have grown with history. Like every nation following democracy in the world, it has followed a historical path in India. The earliest political unit in India was that of the class. All members of a tribe were equal. The village community had its own assembly. Only the king was above this democratic body. The Vedic sages created an outlet for dissent within this system. Although the king was at the top he could be challenged. Successful monarchies had democratic principles built in them. Kings found ways to keep in touch with the people. There are innumerable legends of rulers roaming in disguise to mingle with their subjects.

The institutions of Sabha and Samiti, mentioned in the Rigveda may be said to have contained the rudiments of a modern parliament. These bodies exercised a great amount of influence and were closely associated with the affairs of the state.

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I. Choose the correct answer

1. When was the Constitution enacted and passed?

Answer: a. 26 November 1949.

2. The Constituent Assembly of independent India had how many members?

Answer: b. 299

3. The first meeting of the Constituent Assembly was held on

Answer: a. 9 December 1946.

4. Who was the chairman of the Drafting Committee of the Constitution?

Answer: b. B.R. Ambedkar

5. Who was elected the president of the Constituent Assembly?

Answer: a. Rajendra Prasad

6. When were the words ‘socialist’, ‘secular’ and ‘Unity and integrity of the nation’ added to the Constitution?

Answer: b. 1976

7. When was the Constitution of India enforced?

Answer: d. 1950

II. Short Answer Type Questions

1. Why is the concept of democracy not new to India?

Answer: The concept of democracy is not new to India. These ideas have grown with history. Like every nation following democracy in the world, it has followed a historical path in India.

2. What was the role of Dr. Rajendra Prasad and Dr. B.R. Ambedkar in the framing of our Constitution?

Answer: Dr. Rajendra Prasad was the president of the Constituent Assembly and Dr. B.R. Ambedkar was the chairman of the Drafting Committee.

3. What is Universal Adult Franchise?

Answer: Universal Adult Franchise gives the right to all the adult citizens of a country to take part in forming the government.

4. Why was the Indian Constitution made amendable?

Answer: The Indian Constitution was made amendable so that changes can be brought with changing times and the Constitution doesn’t suffer from the drawback of being rigid and incompatible with changing society.

5. Which were the new words added to the Constitution in 1976?

Answer: The new words added to the Constitution in 1976 are ‘socialist’, ‘Secular’ and ‘Unity and Integrity of the Nation.’

6. When was the Indian Constitution adopted and when was it enforced?

Answer: The Constituent Assembly adopted the Constitution on 26 November 1949 but it was enforced on 26 January 1950.

7. What has India borrowed from the Constitution of the United Kingdom?

Answer: India borrowed the Parliamentary system with Prime Minister as its head from the United Kingdom.

III. Long Answer Type Questions

1. What is a Constitution? Why do we need a Constitution?

Answer: A Constitution is a set of well-defined rules that explain the powers of different organs of the government. It is a body of fundamental principles according to which a state is governed.

We need a Constitution because of the following reasons:

i. It generates a degree of trust and coordination that is necessary for different kinds of people to live together.
ii. It specifies the structure and power of the government.
iii. It lays down limits on the powers of the government.
iv. It explains the rights of the citizens.
v. It also expresses the aspirations of the people about creating a good society.

2. Describe the salient features of the Indian Constitution. [HOTS]

Answer: The salient features of the Indian Constitution are:

i. The Sovereign Democratic Republic: India is a sovereign democratic republic, which means it is free from any kind of external control, people elect their own government, and it cannot have a hereditary ruler.
ii. A socialist Secular State: India has a long history of reforms which tried to break down the barriers of low and high castes, customs and superstitions. In India, people of all faiths have equal freedom.
iii. Secure Justice, Liberty, Equality and to Promote Fraternity: In India, citizens cannot be discriminated on the grounds of caste, religion, and gender when it comes to justice. Indian Constitution also imposes liberty, equality and fraternity on all its citizens.
iv. Special Features of the Indian Federation: India is a ‘Union of States’. There are two sets of Government one at the centre and one at the state level.
v. India has a parliamentary form of government: In this system, the parliament is supreme and it represents the people.
vi. Fundamental Rights: The constitution guarantees certain basic rights to all the citizens of India. They are called Fundamental Rights.

3. Write short notes on (i) A federal state. (ii) lndependent judiciary.

Answer: (i) A federal state: A federal state is one in which there is more than one set of government like the case of India. India is a ‘Union of States’. There are two sets of Government one at the centre and one at. the state level. Both have clearly marked and specified areas of functioning. The Constitution has made clear-cut provisions for subjects on which the central and state governments can make laws.

(ii) Independent judiciary: The Constitution provides the people of India with an independent and impartial judiciary. In case of any conflict between the Union and the State Governments, the judiciary plays the role of an impartial umpire. The. Supreme Court of India decides all the disputes between the Centre and a state or between two or more States. The Judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts cannot be appointed or removed at will by the Union Government.

4. Explain the following terms:
(i) Justice (ii) Liberty (iii) Equality (iv) Fraternity

Answer: (i) Justice: Justice means being just and fair impartially. In India, citizens cannot be discriminated on the grounds of caste, religion, and gender and a continuous attempt ought to be made to remove inequality. Also, the government should work for the welfare of all, especially of the disadvantaged groups.

(ii) Liberty: Liberty means freedom from oppressive authority that try to limit one’s life. In India, there are no unreasonable restrictions on the citizens in what they think, how they wish to express their thoughts and the way they wish to follow up their thoughts in action.

(iii) Equality: The state of being equal with everyone can be termed as equality. In India, all are equal before the law. The traditional social inequalities ought to be reduced and removed, while the government does and should ensure equal opportunity for all.

(iv) Fraternity: Fraternity means mutual support within a group. In India, all of us should behave as if we are members of the same family. No one should treat a fellow citizen as inferior.

5. Describe the basic features of the Indian Constitution. Why they cannot be amended?

Answer: The basic features of the Indian Constitution are:

(i) The supremacy of the Constitution.
(ii) Republican and Democratic form of the Government.
(iv) Separation of powers between the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary.
(v) Federal character of the Constitution

The basic structure is built on the basic foundation, i.e., the dignity and freedom of the individual. Therefore, this cannot be amended in any form.

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