India After Independence

Indian History After Independence

India became officially Independent in the wake of 15th August 1947. There was neither a strong administrative base nor unity in the country. There was an immense conflict concerning community, religion, caste, or class. Several problems were faced by India after Independence. Due to the Partition, there were hundreds of refugees in the country from Pakistan. India comprised the 500 princely states. All of them had to be persuaded to come under a single democratic nation. There was an immediate need to draw up a constitution for the new India. An effective political system needed to be formed, which would enhance the economy. The new political and administrative system was supposed to fulfil all the requirements and expectations of the citizens.

Post Independence Period

The condition of India immediately after 1947 was unsettled. There was a lot of development that was needed in terms of the administration, economy, living conditions of the homeless, agriculture, and social justice. In addition to that, there was no unity among residents of the different states. At that time, India had an enormous population of 345 million. However, people are separated by natural factors like climate and social factors like Hinduism and other faiths, high castes, and low castes. The language was an enormous barrier, as almost every region had a different language of communication. People wore different dresses, ate different food, and belonged to different professions. The majority of the population lived in the villages and were extremely poor. The livelihood of the farmers, weavers, carpenters, and barbers depended on the regular success of the crops. In the cities, the factory workers lived in huge and crowded slums. None of these people had proper access to education and health care.

Writing of the Constitution

The country's political future was discussed in a series of meetings by members collectively known as the Constituent Assembly. The assembly was held in New Delhi between December 1946 and November 1949 and included people from different parts of the country and political parties. Their discussions resulted in the formation of the Constitution of India, finally adopted on 26th January 1950.

The Constitution of India incorporated several challenges. It would bring about a clear distinction between India before and after Independence. One of the main features was the adoption of the universal adult franchise. It granted every citizen of India the right to vote and choose their leaders, irrespective of their religion, gender, or caste. The people had no experience in electing their leaders ever. Most of the Indians were not aware of who to choose as the majority was uneducated. During the initiation of their Constitution, the USA and United Kingdom granted this right to one group of citizens at a time.

During post-Independence, the major population of the nation was Hindu. Many people hoped for the country to follow strict Hindu ideals. However, the Constitution granted legal equality to every citizen who lived in the country. Apart from Hindus and Muslims, Sikh, Christian, Parsi, and Jain populations would have the same opportunities in seeking jobs in the government, public or private sectors alike. Many had opposed this system and wanted a theocratic society for Hinduism like that of Pakistan. However, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru declared that a diverse country like India will not and must not be a “Hindu Pakistan.” 

Questions and Answers

Q1. Give Three Problems that India Faced after Independence.

Answer. Newly Independent India faced a lot of problems among which three are;

  • After the partition of India, 8 million refugees had come into the country from Pakistan.

  • India had nearly 500 princely states ruled by Nawabs and Rajas. The new leaders had to persuade them to join the nation,

  • A new political system was required, which aimed to satisfy the needs and expectations of the citizens.

Q2. What was the Role of the Planning Commission?

Answer. The Commission was to lift Indians out of poverty and to develop modern technologies and industries. The Commission agreed on a mixed economy model. Both the private and public sectors would generate jobs in the country and increase production. They would decide which industries should be initiated by the state and which industries by the market. The sectors would form a balance sheet between different regions and states. The private Commission would decide on the roles of the state and private sectors. 

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1. Who are Refugees?

Answer. A refugee is a person, threatened by the fear of being persecuted due to his religious belief, caste, or political opinion. He or she has escaped from his country to a foreign land, trying to find a safe shelter. During the Indian partition, hundreds of Muslims left the country and went to join their majority in Pakistan. Similarly, the Hindus who lived in Pakistan migrated into independent India. The Hindus and Muslims feared violence amongst their communities. There was immense bloodshed during the partition. Thousands of men, women, and children were killed and murdered because of the Hindu Muslim riots. Trains full of dead bodies of people travelled to India and vice versa.

Q2. Why was the Capital of India Moved from Calcutta to New Delhi?

Answer. During the British rule in India, Calcutta was the capital of the nation. The Viceroy of India, Lord Hardinge had written in a letter to the administration in Great Britain about why it was easier to rule India from New Delhi instead of Calcutta. The latter was a place in the extreme east of the entire Indian property. However, for governing a country effectively, it was necessary to rule from the centre. The British had divided the state between Hindus and Muslims creating excessive communal riots. Calcutta had now become much less hospitable than before. The British wanted to shift the capital to New Delhi, which had also been the capital during the Mughal Period. However, it took 20 years for the British to make New Delhi suitable for being the capital. Hence after Independence, the financial and political centre of India was appointed as the capital.

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