The Transition Phase (August 15, 1947 to January 26,1950)

• Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of free India

The Problems of India on the Eve of Independence

• Demarcation of boundary between the two countries on the basis of the Radcliffe Award announced on August 17, 1947.
• Gandhi who acted as a ‘one-man boundary force
• Of 30 January 1948
• The assassination
• Of Mahatma Gandhi
• By Independence Day(15 August), Sardar Patel and V.P.Menon persuaded
• The rules of all the States (except Hyderabad, Kashmir and Junagarh) to become part of the federal units in the Indian Union
• Jungarh
• A plebiscite was held which favoured joining the Indian Union

Economic Stagnation and Poverty

• On 2 June 1951, the first Soviet ship the Krasnodar, with a cargo of grain
for India, arrived in Bombay

• It was only after that, on 15 June 1951, that the US Congress decided to grant India a loan of 190 million dollars for the purchase of American wheat, through PL 480 and other agreements.

Structure of Government

• By the recommendation for orderliness made in the report of Gopalaswami Ayyangar, himself then Minister of Transport – a hierarchy of four ranks emerged cabinet minister ministers of state(also referred to, for prestiage rather than clarity,as ministers of cabinet rank) who may have independence within a ministry under a cabinet minister; deputy minister; and parliamentary secretaries

The New Constitution

• Dr.S. Radhadrishnan, Alladi Krishna Swami Ayyar, H.C. Mukerjea, N. Goplalswami Ayyangar. K.M. Munshi and T.T. Krishnamachari

• The Assembly met in its second plenary session from 20-26 January 1947, and adopted and ‘Objective Resolution’ moved by Nehru

• The objective was declared to be the creation of a Sovereign Democratic Republic for India

• On 2 May, the Assembly adjourned sine die after accepting Rajendra Prasad’s proposal that the Constitution should be written in both Hindustani and English

• On 21 february 1948, the Drafting Committee

• Presented the draft Constitution of India to the Constituent Assembly

• On the last day of February, 14 of the 27 members of the Muslim Leauge in the Constituent Assembly resolved that “in view of the changed conditions in the country the Leauge cannot perform useful service to the Muslims in the Indian Union as a communal party”, and that, therefore, the Leauge party in the Constituent Assembly would stand dissolved as from 1 March 1948

• On 14 September 1949, the Assembly decided that, with effect from 10 October of that year, the jurisdication of the Privacy Council in respect of Indian cases- then 70 civil appeals and 10 criminal appeals-would cease

• The Assembly also decided that the official language of the Indian Union should be Hindi, written in the Devanagari script, and that the international form of the Indian numerals would be used for official purpose

• After nearly three years the Constituent Assembly finally adopted the Constitution on 2 November, 1949 and this came into force on 26 January 1950 when India was declared a Republic In all, it held 114 days were devoted to consideration of the draft Constitution

• Certain Articles of the Constitution, including those relating to citizenship came into force on 26 November

The Party System

• Shortly before his assassination in 1948, Gandhi had proposed that the Congress should cease to be a political party and that politices should be left to others

• Kriplani, after walking out of the Congress, founded the Kisan Mazdoor Praja(KMPP) at the end of 1947

• In 1948, the Congress Socialists also walked out of the Congress and conformed a separate Socialist party

• The Bhartiya Jana Sangh was launched as a political party in October 1951, with Dr. Shyama Prasad Mookerjee as its founder president

• After 1952 elections, the Socialist Party and KMPP, having fared badly in the elections, quickly effected a merger to create a new Praja Socialist Party

The Period of Construction

• In the elections to the Lok Sabha the Congress party thus polled about 48 millions votes(44.5 per cent of the votes cast) and won an absolute majority of seats 363 out of 480(74.3 per cent)

• In the elections to the State Legislative assembiles the Congress party polled 43 million votes(42 per cent)

• It won 2,248 seats out of a total of 3,278 (65.7 per cent), gaining an absolute majority in the Legislative assemblies of 18 of the 22 States

• The Congress party’s influence proved especially strong in Uttar Pradesh and Saurashtra, where it won 90 per cent of the seats in Legislative Assemblies

• In the States of Bombay, Madhya Predesh, Bhopal, and Delhi it secured more than 80 per cent of the seats in the legislative assemblies

The Reorganisation of States

• The Congress had accepted the principle of linguistic States in 1928

• For the creation of linguistic States

• Constituent Assembly, appointed a Commission presided over by Justice S.K.Day who firmly rejected the demands for the creation of linguistic States

• Congress in 1948, appointed Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabhabhiai Patel and Pattabhi Sitaramayya as the (‘JVP’)Committee to look again at the question,presumably from a purely political standpoint

• Their report also advised against linguistic States

• Potti Sriramulu, declared a fast and died on 15 December 1952, the 58th day of the fast

• Shaken by Sriramulu’s death, prime Minister Nehru announced on 19December 1952, that the government had decided to form and Andhra State

• On 17 January 1953, the All-India Congress Committee took a decision on the need to reorganize the States

• In December 1953 the government decided to appoint the States Reorganistion Commission (SRC), which was composed of men of independent standing and reputation, viz Justice Fazi Ali,K.M Pannikar submitted its report in 1955, proposed setting up of 16 States

• The division of the states into Part A, Part B, and Part C was to be abolished

• The states reorganization scheme, was ratified with certain amendments and became effective on 1 November 1956

• Important recommendations

• Reorganization of the existing 27 states into 16 states and 3 Union Territories

• Abolition of the institution of Rajpramukhs

• No case for a Punjabi-speaking State

• 14 stantes and 6 Union Territories emerged under the Act

• There were agitations in Maharashtra which ultimately led to reorganistion of Bombay State into Mahrashtra and Gujarat in 1960.

• In the wake of agitation led by the Naga leader A.Z.Phizo, the State of Nagaland was created in 1963.

• In 1966,the State was divided into Punjab and Haryana

• The hilly areas of Punjab were added to Himachal Pradesh which itself was constituted as an independent State in 1971

• There were to be five Zonal Councils

• These advisory bodies, under the chairmanship of the Union Home Minister and consisting of Chief minister and two other ministers from each states in a zone, were to draw neighbouring ststes together for the settlement of disputes and organization of joint activities

Peasant Movement And Agrarian Reforms

The Kumarappa Committee on Land Reforms

• Congress Agrarian Reforms Committee

• Gave its Report in 1949

• It propounded the slogan “land to the tiller”

• Important recommendations

• Elimination of all intermediaries between state and the actuall tillers of soil

• Actual tillers, who were themselves not owners but had been cultivating the land for more than six years, should become owners of the land

• The commission had also recommended the setting up of a separate Central Land Commission

• U.P was the first State to take a led by abolishing Zamindari

• U.P.was the first State to undertake redical reforms and passed the Zamindari Abolition Act, 1951

• Zamindari to receive compensation for the land taken over by the state

• No compensation was payable in Jammu and Kashmir

Peasant Movements

• Madras was the only State where implementation of the reform began in 1950

• In 1951 the Bhoodan(land gift)movement was founded in Hyderabad by Acharya Vinoba Bhave, a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi

• Indeed, it is highly that 80 per cent of the land which Bhave was able to collect in the first few months came from the peasants themselves and not from the landiords

Cooperative Farming

• The community development programme was followed by the concept of co-operative farming, especially after the Nagpur session of the Indian National Congress in 1955

• Green Revolution a new agrarian strategy was devised to increase the agricultural production for self-reliance through technological inputs

• The new approach was exemplified by the Intensive Agricultural Disticts Programme(IADP) adopted in the 1960s which sought to concentrate efforts to increase productivity by the greater use of fertilizers, pesticides, high-yielding variety seeds, technical assistance etc…

• In one pilot district in each of the Indian states with assured water supply

Nehru’s Concept of Democratic Socialism

• Jawaharlal Nehru was much influenced by Karl Marx

• Only a couple of years before Gandhiji began his Dandi Salt March in 1930, he paid a visit to the former Soviet Union accompanied by his father

• At the close of 1929, he was elected the President of the Lahore session of the Congress

• A few weeks earlier he had presided over the All-India Trade Union Congress at Lahore

• Nehru’s

• His ideas in the resolution on Fundamental Rights and Economics Policy which the Karachi session of the Congress passed in 1931

• The resolution reflected a socialist trend, especially since it adovacted the owning or controlling by the state of key industries and service of mineral resoures, railways, water- ways and other means of public transport and of import trade and various other measures “to lessen the burden on the poor and increase it on the rich”

• Nehru was once again elected the Congress President in 1936

• He nominated three socialists to his Working Committee-Narendra Deva, Jai Prekash Narain and Achyut Patwardhan

• His acceptance in 1938 of the Chairmanship of the National planning, Subhash Chandra Bose,was an earnest expression of Nehru’s socialist determination

• Ashok Mehta, the leader of the fire-brands among the socialists was jubilant

• He said that “the Congress Party, at least in objectives, is coming closer to us”

• Nehru got the first article of the Congress Constitution amended at its 1957 Indore Session by incorporating the words “.the establishment in India by peaceful and legitimate means of a Socialist Cooperative Commonwealth..”

• At the 1955 Nagpur session an unequivocal declaration on “ the future agrarian pattern” was made, wherein “those who actually work on the land, whether they own it or not”, were promised “ a share in proportion to the work put in by them on the joint farm”, and ceilings “on existing and future holdings”.

• At the 1964 Bhubaneswar Session which was the last that Nehru attended before his death, the principal policy resolution on “Democracy and Socialism”, which Nehru himself drafted, gave the assurance to every citizen to provide him “ as speedily as possible”, with a national minimum in respect of the five essentials, namely, food , clothing, housing ,education and health

Planning and Industrialisation

• In 1950, out of a population of 357 millions only about 2.3 millions were employed in modern industries

• In 1951 nearly 82.30 per cent of the population was rural and 17.3 per cent urban

• When Nehru assumed charge of the Interim Government on September 22, 1946 on one knew the shape of the future

• Within a few weeks, Nehru took two steps which were to prove significant later

• The first was the appointment of an Advisory Planning Board which reaommended th setting up of a planning Commission

• The second was the constitution of a Scientfic Manpower Committee which laid the base for the remarkable advance of scientific and technical education in later years

• Indusrial Policy Resolution of 1948,

• Revised Industrial Policy Resolution of 1956

• It was through the Nehruvian model of Planning and economic development, that a strong industial and economic infrastructure was created

First Plan- 1951

• The First Plan (1951-52 to 1955-56)accorded the highest priority to agriculture including irrigation and power projects

• Nearly 4.5% of the total outly of Rs.2,069 crore in the public sector (laer raised to 2,378 rupees crore) was allotted for its development

• The plan also aimed at increasing the rate of investment from five to about seven per cent of national income

Second Plan-1956-61

• Main aims

• An increase of 25 per cent in the national income

• Rapid industrialisaion with particular emphasis on the development of basic
and heavy industries

• Large expansion of employment opportunities

• Reduction of inequalities in income and wealth

• More even distribution of economic power

• Aimed at increasing the rate of investment from about seven per cent of the national income to 11 per cent by 1960-61.

• The Plan laid special stress on industrialization, increased production of iron and steel, heavy chemicals including nitrogemous fertilizers and development of heavy engineering and machine-building industry

• Prof.P.C. Mahalnobis played a leading role in drafting the Second Plan, which is known as Nehru-Mahalnobis model

• It laid special stress on heavy industries

Third Plan-1961-66

• Secure an increase in the national income of over five per cent per annum

• Achieve self-sufficiently in foodgrains and increase agricultural productions

• Utilize fully the manpower resources of the country

A Critical Appraisal of the Planning Process

• The faith in the development strategy as defined in the Mahalanobis model was shaken and a “plan Holiday” had to be declared for three years

India’s Foreign Policy

• Jawahar Lal Nehru, who acted in the dual capacity of Prime Minister and Foreign Minister

• From the time of the Annual Session of the Congress held in Madrs in 1927, Nehru became the recognized spokesman of the Congress on foreign affairs

Foreign Policy and Non-alignment

• The most important foreign policy concept of Nehru was the policy of non-alignment to keep Indian away from the polarized power blocs of international politics

• At the end of June 1954, the Chinese Premieer Chou En-lai visited India, which was followed by the signing of a declaration defining the principles on which the relations between People’s Republic of China should be based viz

• Mutual respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty

• Non aggression

• Non-interference in each other’s internal affairs

• Equality and mutual advantage

• Peaceful co-existence

• The ‘five principles of peaceful co-existence’, or the Panchsheel, received widespread recognition

• In April 1955, India, Indonesia, Burma, Pakistan and Sri Lanka convened tha Afro-Asian Conferecnce in Banding(Indonesia) attended by 29 countries

• The Bandung Conference demonstrated the most profound changes that had taken place in the colonial world in postway years

Development of Non-Alignment

• Pakistan had joined the western bloc in 1954

• It concluded a military alliance with the United States and later joined the South East Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) and Baghdad pact

• USSR offered to give military equipment to India in 1954

• From 1955, the USSR fully supported the Indian position on Kashmir, and from 1956 used or threatened to use, its veto in the UN Security Council to stall resolutions unfavorable to India on Kashmir

• The Soviet Union readily came forward with assistance in building of the Bhailai Steel Plant in 1956

• “In 1973-74, it was established that 30 per cent of India’s steel, 35 per cent of our oil, 20 per cent of our electrical power, 65 per cent of heavy electrical equipment and 85 per cent of our heavy engineering goods use produced in projects set up with Soviet aid”.

• Two international crises occurred in 1956

• The Suez canal crisis occurred in July, 1956 when the government of Col. Nasser nationalized the canal and after a few months Britian, France and Israel launched an armed attack on Egypt to undo what had been done

• India supported the action of Egypt which Suez canal was located

• On 24 October 1956 the Soviet troops entered Hungary and fired upon the huge crowd of demonstrators to quell the Hungarian uprising against Soviet domination over the region

• India half-heartedly objected to the Soviet action in Hungary

• In September 1961, the solid foundation of the Non-Alignment(NAM)was laid at the Belgarade Summit

• The main architects of his summit were Jawahar Lal Nehru, Col. Nasserof Egypt and Marshal Tito of Yogoslavia

• In December 1961, police action was taken to free Goa, Deman and Diu from the Portuguese colonial rule

• The Portuguese government not only refused to negotiate, but even declared that Goa wa a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation(NATO)

• The authorities in the Portuguese possessions threatened that they would adopt a scorch earth policy,if they where compelled to leave India

• On August 15, 1955,when the Indian patriots had launched the Goa Liberation movement, 31 peaceful demonstrators were killed by the Portuguese Police

Border Conflict with China and the Chinese Aggression

• India was one of the earliest countries to recognize the People’s Republic of China, officially proclaimed on October 1, 1949.

• The four years(1954-58)following the signing of the Panchsheel agreement have been described as the years of Sino- Indian Brotherhood(Hindi-Chini Bhai Bhai)

The Problem of Tibet

• In 1906 British India concluded a treaty with China whereby Britin accepted Chiende suzerainty over Tibet

• But after the Chinese revolution of 1911, led by Dr. Sun Yat-Sen, Tibet forced the Chinese troops to leave the region

• However, in 1914, at the instance of Britain, a tripartite meeting was convened (comprising Britain, China and Tibet) at Shimla, which accepted Chinese
suzerainty, but divided Tibet into two parts-outer and inner

• The autonomy of Outer Tibet was accepted, and China agreed not to interfere in its internal affairs norstation its troops there

• Dalai Lama

• Sought political asylum in India

• He was granted asylum on the condition that he would not organize any anti-China resistance on the India soil

The Sino-Indian Border Dispute and India-China War(1962)

• China raised border dispute and claimed more than 50,000 sq. km. of Indian territory as the Chinese territory

• India has more than 2,200 km. long border with China, from the North-East to North-West

• The entire border could be divided into three parts the border to the east of Bhutan, the Central border across Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh, and the border separating Jammu-Kashmir from the Chinese territories of Sinkiang and Tibet

• The boundary line to the east of Bhutan is known as McMahom line, which had been determined at the tripartite Shumla conference in 1914.

• Arthur Henry McMahon, the Secretary of State of India, representing India at the Shimla Conference, himself drew a line with a red pen on the map

• The line so drawn came to be known as the McMahon line

• Ladakh, including the Aksai Chin, has alwaya been part of the State of Jammu and Kashmir, as proved by the revenue records of the region

• China, showing hostility towards India, constructed a 110-mile long road in party in the region in july 1959

• In September 1959, China laid claim to about 50,000 sq.miles of Indian territory

• A month later, nine Indian soldiers were Kongka Pass, a place 50 miles inside Indian territory

• The most further strategic and diplomatic offensive against India, China concluded an agreement with Pakistan in May 1962, which marked the coming together of two powers hostilw to India

• On September 8, 1962, the Chinese troops crossed the McMahon line in North Eastern frontier Agency(NEFA-now Arunachal Pradesh) and occupied a large part of India

• Alarmed by this development Nehru declared on October 13,1962,that his Government had asked the army to throw the Chinese out of territory

• In retaliation the Chinese launched a full scale war against India on October 20,1962, which continued for a month

• After about two weeks of vigorous war, the Chinese launched sectores

• By November 16, the Chinese had crossed Bomdila and reached close to the plains of Assam

• The entire area in Ladakh, that China was claiming was captured by its troops

• It was at this desperate juncture that Nehru sought immediate military help from the US President John F. Kennedy and the British Prime Minsiter, who responded positively

• Timely help by Britian and the US probably compelled China to declare unilateral ceasefire on November 21, 1962

• While declaring the ceasefire, China suggested that both countries accepte ceasefire and agree to honour the line of actual control(LOC)

• Secondly, even if India refused to withdraw, China would unilaterally withdraw 20km, north of LOC, provided both countries honoured the LOC

• India rejected the proposals and suggested that China restore the status quo ante as on September 8, 1962, which was rejected by China

• Soon after the unilateral ceasefire by China, a conference of six non- aligned countries(Sri Lanka, Burma, Indonesia, Egypt, Ghana and Camodia) was convenced by the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka to seek peaceful resolution of the Sino-Indian dispute.

• This conference proposed certain recommendations, known as Colombo Proposals, which were acceptable to India, but China laid down certain conditions, which were not acceptable to India

• India’s defeat at China’s hands in 1962, was a result of India ’s poor defence planning, preparednedd and under estimation of Chinese military might and strategic advantage

• The Sino-Indian war gave a server blow to India’s self-respect and Nehru, who was at the pinnacle of his outstanding career, could never recover from the shock

• The right wing and pro-West elements loudly criticized Nehru, who faced the first no confidence motion of his life in Parliament in August 1963.

• India’s policy of non-alignment also came under servere pressure

• The Third Five Year Plan was also adversely affected, because the resources had to be diverted for defence

• It was in the background of these heart-breaking developments that Jawahar Lal Nehru died on May 27, 1964.

• Nehru is the successor to Lal Bahadur Shastri


  1. very good post . i like indian history .
    : suhel naushad bobade a student of history . jay hind

  2. very good post . i like indian history .
    : suhel naushad bobade a student of history . jay hind

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