NCERT / CBSE NOTES | Class 8th (VIII) : Chapter Summary


India After Independence


Indian Constitution

India finally became an independent nation on the 15th of August, 1947. The partition led to the arrival of 8 million refugees from Pakistan and the merging of the 500 princely states. The new nation was plagued with many problems. The rulers of the princely states were not keen on merging with the rest of India.
India was home to diverse religions, languages and cultures. All Indian citizens had to be treated equally to avoid conflicts.

To ensure equality across the nation, the leaders of the newly-formed India drew up a Constitution that would establish equal laws of governance.

About 300 members of the “Constituent Assembly” held regular meetings held regular meetings at New Delhi, between December 1946 and November 1949. These meetings resulted in the framing of the Indian Constitution, which was adopted on the 26th of January, 1950. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, as the Chairman of the Drafting Committee, supervised and finalized the document.

The Indian Constitution gave every citizen of India above the age of 21 the right to vote and was called as universal adult franchise. It also guaranteed equal rights and opportunities to all its citizens regardless of religion, caste or gender.

The scheduled tribes and adivasis were granted reservation of seats in the legislature and in government jobs. The Constituent Assembly distributed powers between the central government and the state governments. Hindi was declared as the “official language” of India while English was allowed to be used in the courts and the services, and in communications between one state and another.

The Formation of States in India

Before independence, the Indian National Congress had promised people that every major linguistic group would have its own province.

However, after independence, the country was divided into two nations and therefore, the Indian National Congress did not act on its promise of creating linguistic provinces.

This gave rise to strong protests, especially from the Telugu speakers of the Madras Presidency. Veteran Gandhian Potti Sriramulu went on a hunger strike to demand the formation of a separate state of Andhra for Telugu speakers but died after 58 days of fasting. This caused riots and protests.

Eventually, the new state of Andhra Pradesh was born on October 1, 1953. Encouraged by the success of the Telugu speakers, other linguistic communities also began to demand separate states.

The government set up a States Reorganisation Commission to redraw district and provincial boundaries based on the language spoken in these areas.

Planning for Development

After independence the Indian Government, had to deal with poverty, and had to build a modern technical and industrial base. They needed to build a base that would ensure economic growth and development in the country. So a planning commission was set up in 1950.

It used the mixed economy model that involved both the state and the private sector. The roles and responsibilities of the state and the private sector were defined by the Planning Commission.

This commission was responsible for formulating five-year plans that would focus on the effective use of resources available in the country. The first five-year plan of 1951 focussed on reducing poverty in the country and boosting agriculture. The second five-year plan of 1956 focussed on the development of industries like steel, and the building of large dams.

For many decades, the economic policy focussed on heavy industry and state regulation of the economy. However, it failed to focus on agriculture, primary education and environmental implications. Modern India is an independent democratic nation with a free press and an independent judiciary. India still faces challenges related to discrimination, religious intolerance, and a huge disparity between the rich and the poor.
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