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Introduction to the chapter Indian Democracy: The Indian Constitution came into effect on January 26, 1950. From 15 August 1947 to 26 January 1950, India was governed under the Government of India Act, 1935. The words “Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic, and Republic” are significant in the Preamble. There is no mention of ‘Federation’ in the Indian constitution because it has not been modelled after the model of true federation found in the United States of America. Instead, in Article No. 1 of the Constitution, India is declared to be a Union of States. The Government of India Act of 1935 also introduced, in a limited form, the parliamentary form of government in pre-independence India.
Very short answer questions of Indian Democracy
1. Which political party won the elections held in 1945 in England?
Answer: The labour party won the elections held in 1945 in England.
2. When did the “Cabinet Mission” come to India?
Answer: The “Cabinet Mission” came to India in March 1946.
3. Who was the first Chairman of the Constituent Assembly?
Answer: Dr Sacchidananda Sinha was the first Chairman of the Constituent Assembly.
4. Who was the President of the Drafting Committee of the Indian Constitution?
Answer: Dr Rajendra Prasad was the President of the Drafting Committee of the Indian Constitution.
5. In which constitutional amendment, were the words “Socialist” and “Secular” incorporate in the “Preamble”?
Answer: In the 42nd constitutional amendment the words “Socialist” and “Secular” were incorporated in the Preamble.
6. From which Latin word has the English word “Federation” been derived?
Answer: The English word “Federation” has been derived from the Latin word “Foedus.”
7. Which country is regarded as the “Homeland” of the federation?
Answer: The USA is regarded as the “Homeland” of the federation.
8. Is there a Dual citizenship system in India?
Answer: No, there is no dual citizenship system in India.
9. From which country’s constitution has the concept of India’s Parliamentary democracy been followed?
Answer: The concept of India’s Parliamentary democracy has been followed from the UK.
Short answer questions of Indian Democracy
1. Why did the British government send the Cabinet Mission to India?
Answer: The British government sent the Cabinet Mission to India because the Labor Party Government of England felt the utmost necessity of a constitution for the new democratic state i.e. India.
2. According to which Act, India’s administration was governed between 15 August 1947 to 26 January 1950 and who enacted this Act?
Answer: India was governed in accordance with the provisions of the Govt. of India Act, 1935, between the period from 15 August 1947 to 26 January 1950 enacted by the Indian Government.
3. Why are the words “We the people of India” have been incorporated in the preamble?
Answer: The words “We the people of India” have been incorporated into the preamble because its authors made it abundantly clear that the actual authority of the constitution is the Indian people themselves, that it belongs solely to them, and that they are the driving force behind the creation of the Indian constitution.
4. What is meant by the term “Sovereign”?
Answer: Sovereignty is the supreme and absolute power of the state. In other words, externally India is not subordinate to any foreign power nor is India directed by any other force internally.
5. According to which constitutional amendment the two words “Socialist” and “Secular” have been incorporated in the Preamble and in which year?
Answer: The two words “Socialist” and “Secular” have been incorporated in the Preamble by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment in the year 1976.
6. What is meant by a “Quasi-federal” state?
Answer: A quasi-federal state is a type of state that exists between a unitary state and a federation. It combines the characteristics of a federal government with those of a unitary government. India is classified as a semi-federal or quasi-federal state.
7. Which Indian Act had introduced limited Parliamentary democracy in pre-independence India?
Answer: The Government of India Act, 1935 introduced a parliamentary form of government in a limited form in pre-independence India.
Long answer questions of Indian Democracy
1. Discuss how the ideals of the Indian Constitution have been manifested in its Preamble.
Answer: The Preamble serves as the constitution’s introduction. The Indian constitution’s preamble is regarded as its soul, conscience, threshold, and keys. Every word in the Preamble that begins, “We the people of India,” has a specific meaning and ideal. The Indian constitution’s drafters paid close attention to incorporating every aspect of rich ancient Indian culture and civilization as guiding principles into the document’s pages. Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic, and Republic are important words in the preamble. All of these words exemplify the constitution’s ideals and spirit.
2. Write in detail about what is meant by sovereign, socialist, secular, Democratic and Republic.
Answer: Sovereign: India is a Sovereign state. Sovereignty is the supreme and absolute power of the state. In other words, externally India is not “subordinate to any foreign power nor is India directed by any other force internally.”
Socialist: The word denotes that there will be no inequality among Indians in terms of income, status, or standard of living. All modes of production and means of production would be nationalised. Socialism will be established through equal distribution of national income and a mixed economy. The national economy will be determined by the people. The economy of the country shall not be guided by any capitalist class of people.
Secular: India is a secular country. In India, there shall be no official or state religion. All religions are equal in the eyes of the government, and as such, there shall be no religious discrimination. The government shall not take a special interest in or make concessions to any religion.
Democratic: India is a democratic country. The country’s administration shall be governed by elected representatives of the people. The people will administer the country on their own behalf, and the administration will be accountable to the people.
Republic: India is a republic. The people will elect the state’s leader. The position of Head of State shall not be hereditary, nor shall it be filled by a person chosen by someone.
3. Discuss the objective resolutions put forward by Pandit Nehru in relation to the Indian constitution.
Answer: The main points of the objective resolutions put forward by Pandit Nehru are as follows:
i. The Constituent Assembly is determined to declare India as the Independent Sovereign Republic (later on the word “Independent” was removed).
ii. A union of states shall be constituted with the British-ruled Indian territory and the erstwhile princely kingdoms willing to join the Indian territory.
iii. Social, economic and political justice, equality, religious liberty, freedom of expressing thought and opinion of the Indian people will be duly recognized.
iv. There shall be measures to safeguard the interests of the Scheduled Caste, Schedule Tribe, backward classes and the Minority people of India.
v. Importance shall be given to safeguarding the freedom, sovereignty and integrity of the country.
vi. India shall extend full cooperation for the sake of cordial international relations, world peace and welfare of the people.
4. Discuss the characteristics of the Indian federal system.
Answer: The characteristics of the Indian federal system are:
i. The constituent states of the Union of India do not have the provision of a separate constitution for them. There is only one constitution for the whole Indian federation and that is the Constitution of India.
ii. The central government in India is more powerful than the government of other federal states. Though the constitution has distributed the powers between the central (union) government and the state government through the inclusion of three lists incorporating various administrative powers, all the important powers have been centralized to the central or union government.
iii. The appointment procedure of the Governors in the constituent provinces does not corroborate the federal character of India. The Governor performs his/her role as the representative of the central (union) government in the state.
5. Explain the important characteristics of the parliamentary form of government in India.
Answer: The important characteristics of the parliamentary form of government in India are:
i) The Indian parliamentary democracy makes India a Republic. Unlike in England, the head of state in India’s parliamentary democracy is not a hereditary person. While England’s Head, King or Queen, is a hereditary one, India’s head of the state is a person elected by the people.
ii) The power and composition pattern of the Upper House (Rajya Sabha) of India is quite different from that of the Upper House (House of Lords) of England.
iii) The Parliament of England is the most powerful in the parliamentary democratic system. But India’s parliament is not so powerful. Ultimately, the Indian constitution has created a parliamentary democracy, making it suitable to the Indian situation, which has been able to present India as a distinguished parliamentary democratic country to the world.
Additional/extra questions and answers/solutions
1. Name the largest democratic country in the world.
Answer: India has the largest democracy in the world.
2. When did the British government send the ‘Cabinet Mission’ to India?
Answer: The British government send the ‘Cabinet Mission’ to India in March 1946.
3. What was the purpose of the British government sending the Cabinet Mission to India?
Answer: The British government dispatched the Cabinet Mission to India to create a conducive environment and to make the necessary preparations for the drafting of a new Constitution for India.
4. Who was elected as the Constituent Assembly’s permanent President?
Answer: Dr. Rajendra Prasad was elected as the Constituent Assembly’s permanent President
5. When did the Constituent Assembly form the Drafting Committee?
Answer: On August 29, 1947, the Constituent Assembly established the Drafting Committee.
33. What do you understand by the Preamble of the Constitution?
Answer: The introduction to the Constitution is the Preamble. It contains the ideals and objectives of the Constitution. The Preamble to the Indian Constitution is regarded as the soul, conscience, threshold, and keys to the Constitution.
34. State two ideals of the preamble of the Indian Constitution.
Answer: The two ideals of the preamble of the Indian Constitution are:
i. Socialist: There shall be no inequality among the people of India in terms of income, status, or standard of living.
ii. Secular: Secularism means that there will be no official or state religion in India. In the eyes of the government, all religions are equal, and as such, there shall be no religious discrimination.
35. What are the four most important functions of the Preamble?
Answer: The Preamble serves four important functions:
i. It clarifies the Constitution’s ambiguous ideas.
ii. It aids in understanding the Constitution’s ideals and objectives.
iii. The preamble is used to assess the actions of the government.
iv. It aids in the formation of public opinion.
36. Why is India called a Republic?
Answer: India is called a Republic because the head of the Indian State that is, the President is elected by the people for a period of five years.
37. What are the names of four modern-day political systems?
Answer: The names of four modern-day political systems are:
i. Unitary form of government.
ii. Federal form of government.
iii. Presidential form of government.
iv. Parliamentary form of government.
38. Name the chairman of the Drafting Committee?
Answer: Dr. B. R. Ambedkar was the chairman of the Drafting Committee.
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