1 Mark Questions
Question 1 : Name the political party which came to power at the centre in 1977.
Answer : The Janata Party and its allies came to power at the centre by defeating Congress Party.
Question 2 : Mention the main reason for the defeat of Congress Party in the election of 1977?
Answer : The main reason for the defeat of Congress party was declaration of emergency by the then Prime Minister and anti-democratic nature of their government.
Question 3 : Who led the Railway Strike in 1974? What was its main demand?
Answer : Railway strike of 1974 was led by George Fernandes. Its main demand was related to bonus and service conditions.
Question 4 : Students of which two states started agitation against the rising food prices in 1974?
Answer : The students of Gujarat and Bihar started agitation against the rising food prices in 1974.
Question 5 : Why did the magazines like ‘Seminar’ and ‘Mainstream’ choose to close down after the declaration of emergency in 1975?
Answer : They chose to close down after the declaration of emergency of 1975 due to censorship press.
Question 6 : What was the main demand of the railway menu during the railway strike led by George Fernandes in 1974?
Answer : Their demand was for bonus and service condition.
Question 7 : Who was Charu Majumdar?
Answer : Charu Majumdar was the leader of the Naxalbari uprising. He was the founder of Communist Party of India (Mrxist-Leninist). He adopted the guerrilla warfare.
Question 8 : Describe the two outcomes of the Naxalite movements.
Answer : Two outcomes of the Naxalite movements were:
(i) Naxalite movement, particularly strong in West Bengal spread to the different parts of India. Nine states had been affected by their activities.
(ii) Human rights activist alleged government for using violence and harsh measures against them and criticised government for violating the Constitution.
Question 9 : How many Lok Sabha seats were won by the Janata Party and its allies in the General Elections of March 1977?
Answer : Janata Party and its allies won 330 out of 542 seats in the Lok Sabha. Janata Party itself won 295 seats.
Question 10 : What was Naxalite movement?
Answer : Marxist-Leninist group of people, believed in violent means to achieve their goals. They distributed the land to landless peasant after forcefully taking it away from rich landlords. This movement was known as Naxalite Movement.
2 Mark Questions
Question 1 : Which characteristics made the Congress an ideological coalition during the freedom movement of India?
Answer : The inclusive and accommodative nature of Congress made it an ideological coalition during the freedom movement of India. It brought together successfully diverse groups, whose interests were often contradictory.
Question 2 : What was ‘Shah Commission of Inquiry’? How did the government react to it?
Answer : Shah Commission was a commission appointed by the Janata Party government in 1977 to inquire into several aspects of allegations of abuse of authority, excesses and malpractices committed in the wake of emergency.
The Government of India accepted the findings, observations and recommendations contained in the two interim reports.
Question 3 : Describe any two outcomes of the Naxalite movement.
Answer : The two outcomes of the Naxalite movement are:
(i) Naxalite movements used force to snatch land from the rich landowners and give ti to the poor and the landless.
(ii) It challenged government system.
Question 4 : Mention any two reasons due to which Janata Party won the election of 1977?
Answer : The two reasons were:
(i) The non-democratic character of the Congress during emergency.
(ii) The public opinion was against the Congress which led to Janata Party win in 1977.
4 Mark Questions
Question 1 : How did Janata Party make the 1977 elections into a referendum on the emergency imposed in 1975? Explain.
Answer : Janata Party made the election of 1977 into a referendum on the emergency imposed in 1975 in following ways:
(i) Janata Party’s campaign was focused on the non-democratic character of the rule and on the various excesses that took place during this period.
(ii) In the backdrop of arrests of thousands of persons and the censorship of the press, the public opinion was against the Congress.
(iii) Jai Prakash Narayan who led the party, became the popular symbol of restoration of democracy.
(iv) The party ensured that non-Congress votes would not be divided.
Question 2 : Explain the reasons for the students movement of 1974 in Bihar and role played by Jai Prakash Narayan in this movement.
Answer : Reasons for the students movement of 1974 in Bihar are following:
(i) Rising prices of food grains, cooking oil and other essential commodities and corruption in high places.
(ii) There was demand for fresh elections to State Legislature.
Role played by Jai Prakash Narayan in this movement is stated in the points below:
(i) He demanded the dismissal of Congress Government in Bihar and gave a call for total revolution in the social, economic and political spheres.
(ii) In 1975, he led a peoples’ march to the parliament.
Question 3 : Evaluate the consequences of declaration of emergency in 1975.
Answer : Consequences of emergency were:
(i) Fundamental Rights were suspended.
(ii) The power of Judiciary were limited.
(iii) Press was censored.
(iv) All the power were concentrated in the hands of Union Government.
(v) Civil liberties of the citizens were taken away.
Important lessons learnt from emergency are:
(i) Several changes to Constitution came into existence e.g. election of Prime Minister, President and Vice-President could not be challenged in the Supreme Court.
(ii) Provision of emergency was rectified too internal emergency could only be proclaimed on the basis of armed rebellion after President’s formal announcement on the advice of Council of Ministers.
Question 4 : What reasons, do you think, were responsible for the declaration of emergency in 1975? Examine any two reasons.
Answer : The circumstances which led to the proclamation of emergency were (any four):
(i) Bihar and Gujarat’s movement created an unrest in the country. Students were protesting against the price rise and against the established government in these states.
Congress as ruling party failed to handle these protests. Leadership by influential leaders further gave them a momentum against movement.
(ii) Increases in Naxalite activities against government and violent nature troubled the government. Naxalite had an anti government view. Even harsh measures by government could not stop them.
(iii) George Fernandes gave a call for nationwide strike to all the railwaymen. Their demands were suppressed by the government. Shut down of such a big institution created havoc in the country.
(iv) Declaration of Indira Gandhi’s 1971 election invalid was a last straw. Jai Prakash Narayan organised a massive demonstration demanding her resignation. The situation was tense and emergency was declared on 25th June, 1975.
(v) Call of complete revolution by Jai Prakash Narayan and unexpected people movement in Delhi.
(vi) Jai Prakash Narayan announced a nationwide satyagraha for resignation and asked the army, the police and government employees not to obey ‘illegal immoral orders’.
Question 5 : Why is the ’emergency’ and the period around it known as the period of constitutional crisis? Explain.
Answer : The emergency and the period around it can be described as a period of constitutional crisis because it had its origin in the constitutional battle over the jurisdiction of the Parliament and the judiciary.
During the emergency government gets extra powers. It gains the power to suspend the Fundamental rights of the citizens.
Measures like preventive detention could be used by government. Right to move the court for the restoration of Fundamental Rights were taken away.
It was also a period of political crisis because the party in power had absolute majority and yet, its leadership decided to suspend the democratic process.
Question 6 : How did the Emergency of 1975 benefit the Indian democratic set up?
Answer : The Emergency of 1975 benefitted the Indian democratic set up in following manner:
(i) It checked the issues of regionalism and separatism.
(ii) As a reaction to the Emergency various parties united and fought against Congress in the elections of 1977 which consolidated the democracy.
(iii) It challenged the dominance of one party.
(iv) Some of the ambiguities regarding the emergency provision in the Constitution were rectified.
6 Mark Questions
Question 1 : Examine the conditions responsible for the growth of Naxalite movement in India. Suggest ways and means to crush it.
Answer : Naxalite movement is a kind of guerrilla groups in India, mostly associated with the Communist Party of India (Maoist). The term Naxal derives from the name of the village Naxalbari in West Bengal, where the movement had its origin.
Naxalite Movement in India : In 1967, a peasant uprising took place in the Naxalbari police station area of Darjeeling hills (West Bengal).
The Communists argued that democracy in India was a shame and decided to adopt a strategy of protracted guerrilla warfare in order to lead to a revolution.
Role of Naxalite Movement in Indian Politics : Naxalite Movement gave impetus to the demand of equal distribution of land. Their demand are region specific and they have rejuvenated the tribal movements in India. Due to such movements, separatism has become a burning issue.
Their violent nature has posed risk on socio-economic-politic structure of India.
Measures to Control : Socio-economic issues should be solved in region specific manner keeping in view that India is a land of diversity and nature of problems varies from region to region. There should be strong political will to keep away regionalism and separatism from politics.
Question 2 : Why is emergency considered to be one of the most controversial episodes in Indian politics?
Answer : Emergency is one of the most controversial episodes in Indian politics. There are varying assessments of the need and lessons learnt from the emergency:
Condition of Emergency : The Constitution simply mentioned ‘internal disturbances’ as the reason for declaring emergency. Before 1975, emergency was never proclaimed on this ground. The government argued that in a democracy , the opposition parties must allow the elected ruling party to govern according to its policies. It felt that frequent recourse to agitations, protests and collective action are not good for democracy.
Supporters of Indira Gandhi also held that in a democracy, you cannot continuously have extra-parliamentary politics targeting the government. This leads to instability and distracts the administration from its routine task of ensuring development.
On the other hand, the critics of the emergency argued that ever since the freedom movement, Indian politics had a history of popular struggles. JP and many other opposition leaders felt that in a democracy, people had the right to publicly protest against the government. The Bihar and Gujarat agitations were mostly peaceful and non-violent.
Assessment of Emergency : Most of promises by the government remained unfulfilled, that these, were simply meant to divert attention from the excesses that were taking place. They question the use of preventive detention on such a large scale.
The Shah Commission estimated that nearly one lakh eleven thousand people were arrested under preventive detention laws. Severe restrictions were put on the press, sometimes without proper legal sanctions.
Lessons of Emergency :
(i) It is extremely difficult to remove democracy from India.
(ii) It brought out some ambiguities regarding the emergency provision in the Constitution that have been rectified since. Now, ‘internal’ emergency can be proclaimed only on the grounds of ‘armed rebellion’ and it is necessary that the advice of the President to proclaim emergency must be given in writing by the Council of Minsters.
(iii) The emergency made everyone more aware of the value of civil liberties. The Courts too, have taken an active role after the emergency in protecting the civil liberties of the individuals.
(iv) The actual implementation of the emergency rule took place through the police and administration. These institutions could not function independently. They were turned into political instruments of the ruling party.
Question 3 : Assess any three happenings which were responsible for the downfall of the Congress Party in the 1977 elections.
Answer : Three happenings which were responsible for the downfall of the Congress Party in the 1977 election were:
(i) The major opposition parties had already come close in the pre-emergency period. Now they came together on the eve of the elections and formed a new party known as the Janata Party.
(ii) Some leaders of the Congress who were opposed to the emergency also joined this new party. Some other Congress leaders also came out and formed a separate party under the leadership of Jagjivan Ram.
(iii) The Janata Party’s campaign was focused on the non-democratic character of the rule and on the various excesses that took place during the emergency.
The opposition to emergency could keep the Janata Party together only for a while because the party lacked direction, leadership and a common programme. The Janata Party Government could not bring about a fundamental change in policies from those pursued by the Congress. The Janata Party split the government which was led by Morarji Desai lost its majority in less than 18 months.
Question 4 : Explain any six factors responsible for the defeat of the Congress Party in 1977 elections.
Answer : In January 1977, after 18 months of emergency, government decided to hold the election. Decision was quick, parties did not have enough time for preparation. Janata Party which had formed during pre-emergency period by coalition of various anti-Congress and anti-emergency parties decided to fight against Congress.
Result of 1977 came out with a big surprise to the country. For the first time since, independence Congress had lost in centre. Janata Party won 330 seats out of 542 seats. The main reason behind Congress defeat in 1977 were:
(i) Its anti-democratic decision.
(ii) Imposition of emergency had negative impact on the image of Congress.
(iii) During the emergency Congress had used harsh measured like demolition, forced sterilisation, displacement, etc.
That is why people decided not to elect Congress representative to next Lok Sabha election and Janata Party, who gave public a bright look of democracy and was sympathetic towards public, was elected.
(iv) The middle class from North India, where the impact of emergency was at its peak, moved away from Congress.
(v) Janata Party became a platform for different groups of people.
(vi) It can be said that voters punished anti-democratic government.
Question 5 : What were the main conflicts between the Parliament and the Judiciary during the leadership of Indira Gandhi?
Answer : This period also witnessed tensions in the relationship between the Parliament and the Judiciary. The major conflicts between the Parliament and Judiciary during the leadership of Indira Gandhi were :
(i) On the issue of Fundamental Right and right to property, the Supreme Court denied the amendment to Constitution. While on the issue of Fundamental Right giving effect to Directive principles. Parliament amended the Constitution, but later Supreme Court rejected it.
(ii) Court gave a decision that there are some basic features of the Constitution and the Parliament cannot amend these basic features. This created tension between parliament and judiciary.
(iii) Tension between judiciary and executive further expanded , when a vacancy arose of the post of Chief Justice of India. As per the constitutional rule, senior-most judge of the Supreme Court should be appointed as Chief Justice of India in case of vacancy. But in 1973 government ignored the seniority of three judges and appointed Ajit Nath Ray as Chief Justice of India.
(iv) Appointment became a topic of tension. Government’s decision was questioned by the three judges who were superseded.
People were talking about the need of a judiciary and bureaucracy which would be committed to the plan of the executive and legislature. Highest point in controversy came when High Court declared Indira Gandhi’s election invalid.
Question 6 : Highlight the legacy of Janata Party government which came into power after end of the Emergency of 1075-77.
Answer : Janata Party government came to power after the 1977 election. It was the first party after independence who defeated Congress in the Lok Sabha elections. The Congress could win only 154 seats. Janata Party and its allies won 330 out of the 542 seats.
The legacy of Janata Government which came into power after emergency of 1977 is highlighted in points below:
(i) Fundamental Right of property was made a legal right.
(ii) The status and powers of Judiciary was restored.
(iii) Fundamental Rights were made superior in comparison to the Directive Principles of State Policy.
(iv) 44th Amendment was passed by the Janata Party and all the negative features of 42nd amendment were corrected.
Question 7 : Explain the findings of Shah Commission constituted after the end of emergency of 1975.
Answer : In May 1977, the Janata Party government appointed Shah Commission of inquiry headed by justice JC Shah, retired chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India.
It was appointed to look into the misuse of authority by government and unethical practices like demolition of jhuggis, forced sterilization etc. which were conduced during emergency. The commission gathered various evidences and witnesses to give testimonies.
The findings of Shah Commission were:
(i) It found out that preventive detention was widely used by the government. Around one lakh eleven thousand arbitrary arrests were made by the government.
(ii) Newspapers were asked to get permission before publishing of any matter.
(iii) In Delhi, Lieutenant Governor ordered General Manager of Delhi power supply to cut off the power supply of news press till they establish censorship apparatus.
(iv) Jhuggi jhopri were forcefully relocated in the barren area of Delhi, people were forcefully sterilized.
(v) The Commission report mentions that General Manage of the Delhi Power Supply corporation received verbal orders from the office of the Lt. Governor of Delhi to cut electricity to all newspaper presses.
(vi) The younger son of the Prime Minister did not hold any official position at the time. Yet, he gained control over the administration and allegedly interfered in the functioning of the government.