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SYNOPSIS [19th JULY,2021] Day 136: IASbaba’s TLP (Phase 1): UPSC Mains Answer Writing (General Studies)
1. Examine the complexities that were involved in the integration of princely states into the Indian territory. How were these complexities addressed by the contemporary leadership? Discuss.
Give an introduction about the importance of princely states at the time of independence and why it was important to integrate those. The body should include issues involved in integration and how these were resolved. Give a brief conclusion.
British India was divided in into British India Provinces and Princely States, which were large and small states ruled by Princes under control of British Supremacy. Independence resulted in more than princely states spread throughout the length and breadth of the country and comprising 48% of the total area and 28% of the population.
To ensure the unity and maintain sovereignty of the nation, it was essential to integration these small territories into the Indian union.
Complexities involved in integration of princely states :
- The complexities involved were two fold: transforming the states into viable administrative units and absorbing them into the constitutional units.
- The Indian Independence Act of 1947 gave princely states an option to accede to the newly born dominions India or Pakistan or continue as an independent sovereign state.
- Bhopal, Travancore and Hyderabad announced that they did not intend to join either dominion. Hyderabad went as far as to appoint trade representatives in European countries and commencing negotiations with the Portuguese to lease or buy Goa to give it access to the sea, and Travancore pointed to the strategic importance to western countries of its thorium reserves while asking for recognition.
- Few states with Muslim rulers wanted to join Pakistan. However, Hindu population was against such decision and wanted to join the Indian dominion. For example, Junagarh, which had a Muslim ruler Mahabhat Khan and over 80% Hindu population acceded to Pakistan.
- Kashmir had a Hindu prince and a Muslim majority population. The prince envisaged a sovereign status for the state and was reluctant to accede to either India or Pakistan.
- Administrative issues were present as different states followed different administrative methods.
- The princes feared that the Congress would be hostile to the princely order, attacking their property and, indeed, their civil liberties, given the socialist tendencies of most of the Congress members.
Sardar Patel and V.P. Menon took over this herculean task. The Instrument of Accession was the official treaty to be signed between the Government of India and the accession candidates. As per the treaty, Government of India would control only foreign affairs, defence and communications, leaving all internal issues to be administered by the states. Patel and Menon also guaranteed that monarchs who signed on willingly would be retained as constitutional heads of state, although they would be ‘encouraged’ to hand their power over to an elected government.
Complexities in integration were addressed by:
- Administrative innovation- Incorporated smaller states into contiguous provinces and listed in Part A-Orissa, Chhattisgarh, and Gujarat. Made some states as centrally administered for strategic or special reason listed in Part С- Himachal Pradesh, Manipur etc. Created five Unions namely, Rajasthan, Patiala and East Punjab States Union etc.
- Persuasion- Patel assured the monarchs of the states that after acceding to India, they would be allowed to retain their property and estates. Further, they would be fully eligible to run for public office. For the loss of income (from revenue), the monarchs would be compensated with a privy purse. For example, Mysore, Jodhpur were assured of enough trade routes and ports for its trading rights helped integrate them.
- Diplomacy -When Junagadh joined hands with Pakistan, India cuts of all essential supplies and transportation lines to the state. Patel had even instigated the vassals and the chiefs to revolt against the Nawab. Finally plebiscite occurred in which approximately 99% of the people chose India over Pakistan.
- In the aftermath of attack on Kashmir by the tribals, since Kashmir had not signed the instrument of accession till then, Maharaja Hari Singh appealed India for help and India put down the condition that only after the signing of the accession possible help could be rendered. Bhopal was also closely won over diplomatically by Patel.
- Force- Operation Polo and Caterpillar were launched to forcefully integrate Hyderabad. Indian naval forces were the first to reach the Karawati base in Lakshadweep to assimilate it in Indian territory. Integration of Goa also came through use of force as the Portuguese revolted .
Overall with skilful diplomacy, persuasion and timely use of force, India was able to integrate all the princely states in its territory to integrate with India within few years of Independence. India was able to use better mechanisms through democratic centralised credentials of Indian state for better integration of states thereby bringing in a sense of unity among various states which is ever strong after all these years since independence.
2. The commitment of the founding fathers of the Constitution towards protecting the rights of religious minorities in India can be considered as the stepping stone towards a secular India. Elucidate.
Introduction can be about who all are religious minorities or status of religious minorities in India. In body write how constitution makers ensured the protection of religious minorities (by giving them some rights) and how it helped in making the country secular. Give a brief conclusion.
The Indian Constitution is committed both to the idea of equality and to the preservation, protection and assurance of rights of minorities.These principles were embedded in the constitution as the rights for religious minorities were long accepted demands in the freedom struggle of India.Five religious communities such as Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Zoroastrians (Parsis) have been recognised as minority communities under Section 2(c) of the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992.
Thoughts of the founding fathers on minorities rights:
- The founding fathers very well understood that, in pluralistic society rights of minorities and weaker sections need to be safeguarded.
- The іdea of gіvіng some specіal rіght to the mіnorіtіes іs not to treat them as prіvіleged sectіon of the populatіon but to gіve to the mіnorіtіes a sense of securіty. Specіal rіghts for mіnorіtіes were desіgned not to create іnequalіtіes but to brіng about equalіty by ensuring the preservation of the mіnorіty іnstіtutіons and by guaranteeing autonomy іn the matter of admіnіstratіon of these іnstіtutіons.
- It was also necessary in case of India as the nation was still struggling to come out of the trauma of partition, the horrendous memory of intense communal and sectarian bloodbath and was keen to prevent such internecine violence in future.
The Constitution provides two sets of rights of minorities which can be placed in ‘common domain’ and ‘separate domain’. The rights which fall in the ‘common domain’ are those which are applicable to all the citizens of our country. The rights which fall in the ‘separate domain’ are those which are applicable to the minorities only and these are reserved to protect their identity. The distinction between ‘common domain’ and ‘separate domain’ and their combination have been well kept and protected in the Constitution.
Common domain and secular India
- Article 14: Equality before law.This ensures that no minority is prosecuted with arbitrary laws which are stacked against them.The law of the land is equal to every one regardless of any faith.
- Article 15: Prohibition of discrimination on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.This allows equal access of all public places to all the religions.In past the Dalits where not allowed to draw water from ponds.This is now banned and legally culpable.
- Article 16: Equality of opportunity in matters of public employment.The jobs in government open to all sections of the Society .
- Article 21: Protection of life and personal liberty
- Article 25: Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion.There is no state religion and therefore minorities are free to profess their own religion and customs
- Article 26: Freedom to manage religious affairs.
- Article 27: Freedom as to payment of taxes for promotion of any particular Religion
- Article 28: Freedom as to attendance at religious instruction or religious worship in certain educational institutions
- Article 29: Protection of interests of minorities- Right of ‘any section of the citizens’ to ‘conserve’ its ‘distinct language , script or culture’ and restriction on denial of admission to any citizen, to any educational institution maintained or aided by the State, ‘on grounds only of religion, race, caste, language or any of them
- Article 30: Right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions- Right of all Religious and Linguistic Minorities to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice and freedom of Minority-managed educational institutions from discrimination in the matter of receiving aid from the State
- Article 25: Sikh community’s right of ‘wearing and carrying of kirpans
- Article 347: Special provision relating to language spoken by a section of the population of a State
- Article 350: Language to be used in representations for redress of grievances
- Art. 350A: Facilities for instruction in mother-tongue at primary stage
- Art. 350 B: Special Officer for Linguistic Minorities
Outcomes of a secular constitution
- Due to above provisions, we see strong minority institutions and a thriving minority community unlike in rest of the world, where majoritarianism is posing a threat to the minority community, and the latter is rising in revolt as seen in case of France and other European countries (Charlie Hebdo incident).
- India, on the other hand, has its secular fabric intact, where public display of religious symbols and practices, common celebration of festivals, national holidays for festivals of minority community etc. are celebrated by the entire country.
- We had a time when a muslim was the president of India, prime minister was Sikh and Christian the head of largest ruling party which was supported by a communist party which believes in atheism.
In recent times, however, using the minorities as a political weapon to garner votes has created a rift in society and is giving rise to communal tendencies .Further there have been rising incidences of majoritarianism reflected in incidents of lynching and hate speech online, which will be against the vision our founding fathers had for this country. Thus, we must take steps to ensure their vision is intact and India retains its identity as a salad bowl for communities.
India has a unique history as a nation where different minorities have lived amicably with major community.The founding fathers of India wanted to create an egalitarian society where the minorities will not be overwhelmed by majority and will be developed as per the democratic norms.This vision has been reflected in constitution of India.This idea of a united and secular India make India strong domestically and internationally.Therefore this needs to be preserved, protected and defended against any harm to it.
3. In what ways did the contemporary post independence leadership address the issue of tribal integration? Was is successful? Critically evaluate.
Introduction should show the diversity or the problems with tribal integration. In body, write about measures taken since independence till today for tribal integration. Also, write the critical aspect where these measures have failed. Provide a brief conclusion.
The task of integrating the tribal people into the mainstream was extremely complex, given the varied conditions under which they live in different parts of the country, and their different languages and distinct cultures. The 1971 Census recorded over 400 tribal communities numbering nearly 38 million people and constituting nearly 6.9 per cent of the Indian population.
The preservation of the tribal people’s rich social and cultural heritage lay at the heart of the government’s policy of tribal integration. There were two major approaches regarding the place to be accorded to tribals in Indian society at the time of independence
- One approach was to leave the tribal people alone, uncontaminated by modern influences operating outside their world and to let them stay more or less as they were.
- The second approach was that of assimilating them completely and as quickly as possible into the Indian society all around them.
- PM Nehru rejected both these approaches and favoured the policy of integrating the tribal people in Indian society while maintaining their distinct identity and culture.
Nehru stood for economic and social development of the tribal people in multifarious ways, especially in the fields of communication, modern medical facilities, agriculture and education.
He spelt out five principles in 1952, known as Nehruvian Panchasheel, to help in guiding the administration of tribal affairs.
- Tribals should be allowed to develop according to their own genius.
- Tribals’ rights in land and forest should be respected.
- Tribal teams should be trained to undertake administration and development without too many outsiders being inducted.
- Tribal development should be undertaken without disturbing tribal social and cultural institutions.
- The index of tribal development should be the quality of their life and not the money spent.
The constitution recognized the rights and dismal conditions of tribals and thus provided several safeguards:
- Protective Safeguards
- Educational safeguards-Article 15(4) and 29
- Safeguards for employment -Articles 16(4), 320(4) and 333
- Economic safeguards -Article 19(Profession)
- Abolition of bonded labour -Article 23
- Protection from social injustice and all forms of exploitation -Article 46
- Political Safeguards
- Reservation of seats for ST in Lok Sabha and Assemblies-Article 330,332,164
- Appointment of Minister in charge of Tribal welfare
- Special provisions in respect of Nagaland, Assam and Manipur -Articles-371(A),371(B) and 371
- Developmental Safeguards
- Promoting the educational and economic interests of the Scheduled Tribes-Articles 46
- Grants from Central Government to the states for welfare of Scheduled Tribes and raising the level of administration of Scheduled Areas-Article 75.
- The governors of the states in which tribal areas were situated were given special responsibility to protect tribal interests, including the power to modify central and state laws in their application to tribal areas, and to frame regulations for the protection of tribals’ right to land and also their protection from money lenders.
- The constitution also provided for the setting up of Tribal Advisory Councils in all states containing tribal areas to advise on matters concerning the welfare of tribals.
- Protection of Civil Rights act, 1955 to prescribe punishment for the preaching and practice of Untouchability for the enforcement of any disability arising there from for matters connected therewith.
- SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act to prevent the commission of offences of atrocities against the members of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, to provide for Special Courts for the trial of such offences and for the relief and rehabilitation of the victims of such offences and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
- Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 or PESA to provide for the extension of the provisions of Part IX of the Constitution relating to the Panchayats to the Scheduled Areas.
- Forest Rights Act, 2006 was enacted to protect the marginalised socio-economic class of citizens and balance the right to environment with their right to life and livelihood.
- A Commissioner for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes was appointed by the President to investigate whether the safeguards provided for them were being observed.
- The central and state governments created special facilities and organized special programmes for the welfare and development of the tribal areas and the tribal people including the promotion of cottage and village industries and generation of employment among them.
- Large expenditures were undertaken and large sums set apart in the Five-Year Plans for the purpose.
- The funding for tribal welfare significantly increased after 1971.
In spite of the constitutional safeguards and the efforts of the central and state governments, the tribals’ progress and welfare has been very slow, and even dismal. Except in the Northeast, the tribals continue to be poor, indebted, landless and often unemployed.
Reasons for lack of optimal development in tribals
- Weak execution- Due to divergence between centre and states policies & weak performance of Tribal Advisory Council. Quite often the funds allocated for tribal welfare are not spent or are spent without corresponding results, or are even misappropriated.
- Administrative apathy- Often the administrative personnel are ill-trained or even prejudiced against tribals. The sympathetic officials are also known to be quickly transferred out of tribal areas under the pressure of traders, money lenders, forest contractors and land-grabbers.
- Lack of development of tribal languages- In many areas, primary education through the tribal languages has taken place, but in others the state governments have tended to neglect tribal languages and education through their medium.
- Denial of justice- Weakness in the justice delivery mechanism & lack of awareness about legal system has led to continued alienation of tribal land, indebtedness, bonded labour
- Continuous harassment- Laws preventing transfer of land to outsiders have continued to be evaded, leading to alienation of land and eviction of tribals. Rapid extension of mines and industries has worsened their conditions in many areas and the tribals’ traditional right of access to the forest and its produce is continuously curtailed.
- Class differences- Development of class differences among tribal societies and upper class tribals co-operating with non-tribals has led to inter-tribal conflict and discontentment
- An empowered citizenry and a functioning, participatory (including participation of women) self-governance is the best guarantee for a democratic nation;
- Due share in socio-economic progress for tribal people and their habitations, including facilities like health, education, livelihood, drinking water, sanitation, roads, electricity and sustainable income, in situ;
- Protecting the land and forest rights of tribal communities is equivalent to protecting their livelihoods, life and liberty.
- The right to natural resources in tribal lands has to be protected. They should only be accessed with the consent of the Gram Sabhas of the villages
- While tribal lands hold much of the natural and mineral wealth of the nation, these resources cannot be alienated against their will. Moreover, communities who part with their lands have the right to share in the wealth and income so generated from its resources.
- Hence, a reasonable share of the wealth generated by the resources in their homelands must accrue to them by law
- The right to preservation of their language, culture and traditions, and to protect themselves against the loss of identity, must be recognized, protected, documented and allowed to thrive as a dynamic living culture.