Post Independence History: Notes based on NCERT

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These are topics prepared based on NCERT Book.

Coalition Governments


  • Jana Sangh as early as 1960s rallied around Lohia socialists - who they used to arraign till then - against Congress
  • In 1963 - Socialist Party, the Swatantra party and Jana Sangh decided to put up only 1 candidate in 4 LS by-elections.
  • In 1967 - Jana Sangh MLAs of Bihar, UP, HR, Punjab, MP joined hands not only with socialists but also with communists in coalitions known as Samyukta Vidhayak Dal
  • In 1977-79 - Janata experiment was as shot lived as SVD governments - because of partner’s dissenting views
  • In 1989 - BJP joined hands with arch enemies, the communists of CPI(M), to support VP singh Mahagathbandhan


During KA elections, Congress-JD(s) combine was called an unholy alliance by many.

Political opportunism

  • Those who support it
    • National security is supposed to prevail over Democracy
    • this is a discourse that politics of fear cultivate across the globe

Performance of coalition government over one party rules?

  • Coalition government does not necessarily mean instability and paralysis
  • Few reforms by current government hardly compare with those by Narasimha Rao minority government in 1991-96
  • In last 3 governments since ABV proves that 15-plus large parties’ coalitions can combine achievements and stability best growth rates have been achieved in Congress-led coalition governments

However, it needs coalition oriented leaders

  • who know how to decentralise power and decision making
  • recognise the key roles states have to play in federation
  • who know how to keep all partners on board

Challenges of Nation Building

  • Tryst with Destiny speech by Nehru on the midnight of Aug 14-15
  • Two goals that everyone agreed upon Democratic government
    • Govt for the good of all - particularly poor and socially disadvantaged
  • Circumstances at independence
    • Partition
    • Unprecedented violence
      • Various poets like Amrita Pritam, Faiz Ahmed Faiz explains the violence and situation of partition through their poems
    • Trauma of displacement
  • Challenges
    • Immediate and first challenge - Unity in diversity
      • It was widely believed that country with such kinds of diversity could not remain together for long questions were there whether India would survive as a unified country?
    • Establish democracy
      • Democratic constitution is necessary but not sufficient
      • Challenge was to develop democratic practices
    • Development and well being of the entire society and not only of some sections
      • DPSP
      • Equality and special protection under Constitution
      • Challenge was to evolve effective policies for economic development and eradication of poverty

Partition: Displacement and Rehabilitation

  • Followed the principle of religious majorities areas where Muslims were in majority, would make up territory of Pakistan and rest India
  • Issues?
    • No single belt of Muslim majority in British India
    • Two areas of concentration - One in East and One in West
    • Not all Muslim majority areas wanted to be in Pakistan - Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, leader of North Western Frontier Province - Frontier Gandhi - was opposed to two nation theory
    • Both muslim majority areas in West and East had very large areas where the non-muslims were in majority. -> Decided that these would be bifurcated according to religious majority at the district or even lower level But decision could not be made by midnight Aug 14-15
    • Minorities on both sides of border found themselves trapped. Undesirable aliens in their own homes. They became easy targets of attack.
  • Consequences
    • One of the largest, most abrupt, unplanned and tragic transfer of population that human history has known
    • Killings and atrocities
    • Religious violence
    • Cities like Amritsar, Kolkata and Lahore became divided into “communal zones"
    • Refugees - found unhelpful local administration and police in what was till recently their own country
    • Women suffered - abducted, raped, made to convert religion, forced into marriage
      • Killed by their members to prevent family honour
    • “division of hearts”
  • Partition forced about 80 lakh people to migrate across the new border
    • Between 5 to 10 lakh people were killed in partition
  • Muslim population in India accounted for 12% of total population in 1951
  • Gandhi was unhappy with what he saw as Indian government’s decision not to honour its financial commitments to Pakistan
    • After his fast, Indian government agreed to give Pakistan its dues
  • RSS was banned for sometime after Godse killed Gandhiji. Communal politics began to lose its appeal.