Here, you will find summaries, questions, answers, textbook solutions, pdf, extras etc. of (Nagaland Board) NBSE Class 12 Political Science Chapter 3: Era of One-Party Dominance. These solutions, however, should be only treated as references and can be modified/changed.
The chapter discusses the adoption of Parliamentary Democracy in India and the evolution of its voting system. The Constitution of India granted voting rights to all adults, and the methods of voting have changed over time, with Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) being used countrywide in the 2004 General Elections.
The first three General Elections saw the dominance of the Congress Party, winning the majority of seats in each election. The Communist Party of India (CPI) came in second, but with significantly fewer seats. Despite Congress’ dominance, India maintained a multi-party system, with free and fair elections in contrast to one-party systems in Communist or undemocratic countries.
Factors contributing to the Congress Party’s dominance included its historical legacy as a leader in the freedom struggle, an all-India organization, a diverse range of social groups within the party, and the First-Past-the-Post electoral system. At the state level, some parties, such as the Akali Dal in Punjab, the National Conference in Jammu and Kashmir, and the Communist government in Kerala, played significant roles in mobilizing electorates.
Textual questions and answers
A. Long Answer Questions
1. What is meant by ‘One Party Dominance’ phase? Examine the dominance of the Congress Party in the first three General Elections.
Answer: One Party Dominance refers to a political situation where a single political party dominates the electoral process and forms the government for a prolonged period. The period from 1952 to 1967 in Indian politics is often referred to as the ‘One Party Dominance’ phase as the Indian National Congress dominated the political landscape during this period.
The Congress Party’s dominance in the first three general elections was quite significant. In the first general election held in 1952, the Congress won 364 out of 489 seats in the Lok Sabha, which was a massive mandate. In the second general election held in 1957, the Congress won 371 out of 494 seats in the Lok Sabha. In the third general election held in 1962, the Congress won 361 out of 494 seats in the Lok Sabha.
The Congress Party’s dominance during this period can be attributed to several factors. Firstly, the Congress had a historical legacy as it had been in the forefront of the freedom struggle, which gave it a significant advantage over other political parties. Secondly, the Congress was an all-India organization, which helped it to appeal to a wide variety of social groups. Thirdly, the Congress Party had a well-knit organization, which helped it to mobilize its resources effectively. Finally, the electoral system, i.e., the simple majority system or first-past-the-post system, also favored the Congress Party.
2. Examine the nature of Congress Dominance in Indian politics from 1952 to 1962.
Answer: During the period from 1952 to 1962, the Indian political system was characterized by the dominance of the Indian National Congress party. This period has been termed as an “era of one-party dominance.” The Congress party won a majority of seats in the first three general elections held in 1952, 1957, and 1962.
The nature of Congress dominance in Indian politics during this period was multifaceted. There were several factors that contributed to the party’s dominance. Firstly, the Congress party had a historical legacy, as it had been in the forefront of the freedom struggle against British colonial rule. This legacy gave the party a certain degree of legitimacy and credibility among the Indian electorate.
Secondly, the Congress party had an all-India organization, which enabled it to contest elections in all parts of the country. This organization was well-knit and disciplined, which helped the party to maintain its unity and coherence.
Thirdly, the Congress party had a wide variety of social groups within its framework. The party was able to appeal to different sections of society, such as farmers, workers, and middle-class professionals. This made the party a broad-based political organization that could claim to represent the interests of the entire nation.
Finally, the electoral system in India at that time was the simple majority system or first-past-the-post system. This system favored the Congress party, as it enabled the party to win a majority of seats in the Lok Sabha with a relatively small percentage of the popular vote.
The Congress party’s dominance during this period was not without its critics. Some argued that the dominance of one party meant that India was not really a democracy. However, others countered that the dominant party system coexisted with a democratic system of government. Overall, the Congress party’s dominance in Indian politics from 1952 to 1962 was a complex phenomenon that had both positive and negative aspects.
(or) Did the dominance of one party between 1952 and 1962 mean that India was not really a democracy? Give reasons in support of your answer.
Answer: The dominance of one party, the Congress, between 1952 and 1962 did not necessarily mean that India was not a democracy. India continued to operate under a democratic system of government based on ‘adult franchise’ and ‘party competition’. However, the dominance of the Congress party did raise concerns about the functioning of a multi-party democracy.
The Congress party’s dominance was due to several factors, including its historical legacy as a leader in the freedom struggle, its all-India organization, its ability to attract a wide variety of social groups within its framework, and the electoral system, which favored the party due to the simple majority system or first-past-the-post system.
Despite the dominance of the Congress party, other parties also played important roles in mobilizing electorates in certain states. For example, the Akali Dal in Punjab and the National Conference in Jammu and Kashmir were important parties in their respective states. Additionally, a Communist government was formed in Kerala in 1957, which was dismissed in 1959.
(Or) Comment on the statement that “in India dominant party system between 1952 and 1962 coexisted with a democratic system of government.”
Answer: The period from 1952 to 1962 in Indian politics has been termed as an era of one-party dominance, with the Congress party being the dominant force. However, this dominance coexisted with a democratic system of government based on adult franchise and party competition. The dominance of the Congress party was due to various factors, such as its historical legacy, a well-organized all-India organization, a wide variety of social groups within its framework, and the electoral system of simple majority or first-past-the-post system.
Therefore, it can be argued that although the Congress party had a dominant position in Indian politics during this period, it did not undermine the democratic system of government. The people of India had the right to vote and choose their representatives, and there were other political parties that also participated in the elections. Moreover, at the state level, some parties had become quite important, such as the Akali Dal in Punjab and the National Conference in Jammu and Kashmir.
3. “The period from 1952 to 1962 in Indian politics has been termed as ‘an era of one party dominance”. Explain any four factors that helped the Congress in its dominance.
Answer: There were several factors that facilitated the dominance of the Congress Party in Indian politics between 1952 and 1962. These factors include:
i. Historical Legacy: The Congress Party had been at the forefront of the freedom struggle in India, and was seen as the party of freedom fighters such as Gandhi, Nehru, Patel, Azad, Rajendra Prasad, and Vijaylakshmi Pandit. After independence, the Congress Party automatically became the ruling party as the British had transferred power to this party.
ii. All-India Organisation: The Congress Party was the oldest party in the country, having been founded in 1885. By the time India attained independence, its organizational structure had developed in all the regions, districts, and even small towns of the country. Several other national parties, on the other hand, were founded after independence.
iii. Wide Variety of Social Groups: The Congress Party had a wide variety of social groups within its framework, including workers, peasants, students, and middle-class professionals. This allowed it to appeal to a broad cross-section of society.
iv. Electoral System: The simple majority system or first-past-the-post system used in Indian elections also contributed to the dominance of the Congress Party. Under this system, the party that wins the most votes in a given constituency wins the seat, even if it does not win a majority of the votes. This allowed the Congress Party to win a large number of seats in parliament even though it did not win a majority of the votes.
(Or) There were many factors contributing to the dominance of the Congress during the period 1952-1962. In this context mention the role of the following factors:
(a) Congress being in the Forefront of Freedom Struggle
Answer: The Congress had been in the forefront of the freedom struggle. It was seen as ‘the Party of Freedom Fighters’-Gandhi, Nehru, Patel, Azad, Rajendra Prasad, Vijaylakshmi Pandit, and others. Gandhi and Patel inspired people by their personal charisma throughout the length and breadth of the country. After Independence, the Congress automatically became the ruling party as the British had transferred power to this party.
(b) Its Well-knit Organisation
Answer: The Congress Party was the oldest party in the country, having been founded in 1885. By the time India attained independence, its organizational structure was well-knit and had developed in all the regions, districts, and even small towns of the country. Several other national parties, on the other hand, were founded after independence.
(c) Wide Variety of Social Groups within its Framework
Answer: The wide variety of social groups within its framework played a significant role in the dominance of the Congress party during the period of 1952-1962. The Congress party accommodated within its fold all social and economic interests, every class, every caste, and each religious section of the country. The Congress had space for all kinds of ideological groups, such as the liberals, rightists, and the leftists. This helped the Congress party to have a wider appeal and a larger support base, which contributed to its dominance during this period. Additionally, in 1934 leaders like Asoka Mehta, Jayaprakash Narayan, and Acharya Narendra Dev had formed the Socialist Party, and they were allowed to function within the Congress. This helped the Congress party to maintain its unity and appeal to a wider range of voters.
(d) The Simple Majority System
Answer: Under this system there are single member constituencies and a candidate who gets simple majority of votes is declared elected. This system tends to benefit the largest among the parties and the small parties have hardly any chance of fair representation. For example, in 1952 the Congress with 45 per cent of the votes could capture roughly 74 per cent of the total number of seats of the House. The CPI which secured roughly nine per cent of the votes in 1962 could only win 29 seats of the Lok Sabha. Had we adopted the system of Proportional Representation, the CPI and the other smaller parties could have better and fairer representation in the Lok Sabha.
B. Short Answer Questions
4. “The E.M.S. Namboodiripad Government in Kerala in 1957 became the first democratically elected Communist government in the world.” Write a note on the achievements of this government.
Answer: During the two years of its rule, the E.M.S. Namboodiripad government in Kerala initiated reforms in education and worked for the betterment of the workers and the peasants. However, the law and order situation in the state was not satisfactory. Some of the achievements of this government include the establishment of the first state-funded public education system in India, the implementation of land reforms that aimed to distribute land to the landless and reduce the power of landlords, and the introduction of a minimum wage for workers in the agricultural sector. The government also worked towards the empowerment of women and the improvement of healthcare facilities in the state. However, the government faced opposition from the wealthy farmers and other propertied classes, which led to its downfall in 1959 when the Congress government at the Centre toppled it under Article 356 of the Constitution.
5. What was the method of Voting adopted in the first two general Elections in India? In what way was the method of Voting in the Third General Election different from the first two General Elections.
Answer: In the First and Second General Elections in India, each polling booth had a separate Ballot Box for each of the Candidates. On each box was pasted the Election Symbol of the concerned candidate. The Election Symbol had to be pasted inside the ballot box as well. The Polling Officer issued the ballot paper to each voter and advised him to insert it into the box containing the symbol of the candidate whom he or she wished to vote for. Since the system of ‘Secret Vote’ was in place, the ballot boxes were placed behind a screen.
In the Third General Election, there was no need to have a separate Ballot Box for each of the Candidates. The method of voting was different in that the ballot paper was designed in such a way that the voter had to put a stamp against the name of the candidate of his/her choice. The voter had to put the stamp inside a small box provided on the ballot paper against the name of the candidate of his/her choice.
C. Very Short Answer Questions
6. What is meant by Universal (Adult) Franchise?
Answer: Universal (Adult) Franchise refers to the right to vote in elections given to all adult citizens of a country, regardless of their social, economic, or educational background. In India, the right to vote is granted to all citizens who are 18 years of age or older, irrespective of their gender, religion, caste, or creed. This principle of Universal Franchise is an important feature of democratic systems of government.
7. Name any two political parties which participated in the first General Election.
Answer: The Indian National Congress and he Communist Party of India.
8. Which was the second largest party in Lok Sabha in first three General Elections?
Answer: The second largest party in the first three General Elections was the Communist Party of India, with 16, 27, and 29 seats respectively.
9. What was the guiding principle of the ideology of Swatantra Party founded in 1959?
Answer: The tenets of classical liberalism—individual liberty, constrained government, and free-market capitalism—served as the foundation of the Swatantra Party’s worldview.
The Swatantra Party was opposed to governmental interference in the economy and supported the idea of self-reliance. They held the opinion that the government should only be responsible for maintaining the rule of law and ensuring the provision of essential infrastructure, leaving the private sector free to operate without undue restrictions or interference.
10. Who was the tallest among the Jana Sangh Leaders at the time of the First General Elections?
Answer: Syama Prasad Mukherjee was the tallest among the Jana Sangh Leaders at the time of the First General Elections.
D. Multiple Choice Questions: Tick (✓) the correct answer
11. Which among the following was not a factor responsible for the dominance of the Congress in the First Three General Elections between 1952 and 1962?
Answer: (d) India’s Electoral System (First-Past-the-Post System)
12. Who among the following was not a leader of the Congress Party during India’s Freedom Struggle?
Answer: (c) E.M.S. Namboodiripad
13. Who among the following had no role in the formation of the Socialist Party in 1934?
Answer: (d) Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel
14. The Vote Share of the Congress in First Three General Elections Never exceeded:
Answer: (c) 52.00 per cent
A Case Study
You may talk to an elderly person who had the good fortune of casting his vote at the General Election held in 1962. He must have had an opportunity to vote in an Election by means of an Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) also. Which method of Voting he liked more? What reasons did he give in support of his answer?
Answer: The elderly person expressed a preference for Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) over the paper ballots used in the 1962 General Election, citing several reasons for this choice.
Firstly, the individual mentioned that EVMs were faster and more efficient compared to paper ballots, as voters simply needed to press a button instead of manually marking, folding, and placing the paper in a ballot box.
Secondly, the person highlighted the accuracy of EVMs, which eliminated the risk of human error and made the counting process more precise due to electronic record-keeping.
Thirdly, it was pointed out that EVMs were more environmentally friendly, as they reduced the need for paper, ink, and other resources, subsequently lessening waste and the environmental impact of elections.
Fourthly, the elderly person noted the enhanced security provided by EVMs, as they can be designed with tamper-evident features and secure electronic record storage, making it harder to manipulate results and reducing the risk of lost or damaged ballots.
Finally, the individual emphasized the accessibility of EVMs, explaining that they could be designed with features that made it easier for people with disabilities to vote independently, such as audio guidance, tactile buttons, and adjustable screen interfaces.
Extra/additional questions and answers
1. What type of democracy was adopted by India’s Constituent Assembly?
Answer: Parliamentary Democracy.
2. What was the significant event that took place in Karachi in 1931?
Answer: Congress Session adopted a resolution on fundamental rights.
3. What was the purpose of competitive politics as stated in the text?
Answer: The purpose of competitive politics is to intensively protect the “public interest.”
4. Describe the changes in the methods of voting in India from the First General Election to the introduction of Electronic Voting Machines.
- First General Election: Each polling booth had a separate ballot box for each candidate, with their election symbol pasted inside and outside the box. Voters inserted their ballot paper into the box of the candidate they wished to vote for.
- Second General Election (1957): The same method as the First General Election was used. This system was found cumbersome and defective, especially when there were a large number of candidates.
- Third General Election (1962): Ballot papers contained names and symbols of all candidates. Voters placed a seal mark against the name of their chosen candidate. No separate ballot box was needed for each candidate.
- Introduction of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs): EVMs were first used in 16 Assembly Constituencies during State Legislative Assembly Elections in November 1998. In General Elections 2004, EVMs were used throughout the country.
20. What were some of the reforms initiated by the Communist government in Kerala?
Answer: The Namboodiripad government initiated reforms in education and worked for the betterment of workers and peasants. However, the law and order situation in the state was not satisfactory, leading to its eventual dismissal by the central government.
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