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Constitutional Design Class 9 Questions and Answers Civics Chapter 3
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Constitutional Design NCERT Intext Questions and Answers
What would have happened in South Africa if the black majority had decided to take revenge on the whites for all their oppression and exploitation?
In that case there would have been bloodshed everywhere in South Africa. It could have led to a division of the country into blacks and whites. Thank God for all the goodness that the blacks showed towards the whites. They decided to forgive the whites for the atrocities they had committed while in power. This gesture of the blacks has a great inspiring force. It is rare and so praiseworthy.
This is not fair! What was the point in having a Constituent Assembly in India if all the basics were already decided?
In a democracy, it is the Constituent Assembly (an assembly of people’s representatives) that writes a Constitution for a country. It was established in India after the country attained independence. It took help of the basics which included right to freedom, universal adult franchise, right of minorities, etc. to deliberate on the Constitution. These basics were guiding principles which were further developed and expanded in order to establish a welfare state in India. So, it is not appropriate to say that there was no point in having a Constituent Assembly in India. It had its own valuable role to play in the making of the Indian Constitution.
Check Your Progress
Does the story of South African struggle for freedom remind you of the Indian national movement? Make a list of similarities and dissimilarities between the two on the following points:
(i) Nature of Colonialism
(iii) Relationship between different communities
(iii) Leadership: Gandhi/Mandela
(iv) Party that led the struggle: African National Congress/ Indian National Congress
(v) Method of struggle
Yes, the story of South African struggle for freedom reminds me of the Indian national movement.
List of similarities and dissimilarities between the two freedom struggles:
(i) Nature of Colonialism
Similarities: During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the European trading companies occupied South Africa forcibly in the way they occupied India.
Dissimilarities: Unlike India, a large number of whites had settled in South Africa and became the local rulers.
(ii) Relationship between different communities
Similarities: In South Africa the white rulers treated all non-whites (blacks, coloured people, Indians) as inferiors. They were forbidden from living in white areas. In India also, the same system was followed. The whites regarded both the Indians and Africans uncivilised people.
Dissimilarities: The relationship between different communities in India was more or less cordial. But we notice a lack of such relation among different communities like whites, blacks, coloured people and Indian migrants in South Africa.
(iii) Leadership: Gandhi/Mandela
Similarities: Both Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela were great leaders of the world who had unflinching faith in truth and non-violence. They attained their goal following these principles, and remained stick to them throughout their life.
Dissimilarities: Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment in South Africa’s most dreaded prison, Robben Island where he spent 28 long years: Mahatma Gandhi was also sent to jail several times during the freedom struggle but he was never sentenced to life imprisonment.
(iv) Party that led the struggle: African National Congress/ Indian National Congress Similarities: Both the ANC and INC were umbrella organisations and worked at the national level.
Dissimilarities: The ANC fought against the policies of segregation called apartheid whereas the INC fought against the British rule.
(v) Method of Struggle
Similarities: Both the South African struggle for freedom and the Indian national movement followed the same policy i.e. the policy of non-violence. These two struggles remained stick to this policy till the last.
Dissimilarities: In South Africa there was only one group, that of the moderates who adopted peaceful means to uproot the government. In India, on the other hand, two groups were very active moderates and extremists. The moderates favoured peaceful methods but the extremists turned to violent at times.
Read the information about all the makers of the Indian Constitution given in the side column here. You don’t need to memorise this information. Just give examples from these to support the following statements:
(i) The Assembly had many members who were not with the Congress
(ii) The Assembly represented members from different social groups.
(iii) Members of the Assembly believed in different ideologies.
(i) Vallabhbhai Patel
- Jaipal Singh
- Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar
- Shyama Prasad Mukherjee
- Somnath Lahiri
- Vallabhbhai Patel: Lawyer and leader of Bardoli Peasant Satyagraha
- Abul Kalam Azad: Educationist, author and theologian, scholar of Arabic.
- Jaipal Singh: Founder President of Adivasi Maha Sabha.
- H.C. Mookheijee: Member of All India Christian Council and Bengal Legislative Assembly.
- Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar: Social revolutionary thinker and agitator against caste divisions and caste-based inequalities.
- Shyama Prasad Mukherjee: Active in Hindu Mahasabha.
- G. Durgabai Deshmukh: Founder of Andhra Mahila Sabha.
- Dr. Rajendra Prasad
- Jawaharlal Nehru
- Sarojini Naidu
- H.C. Mookherjee
- Somnath Lahiri
- Baldev Singh
Read the three quotations carefully given on NCERT textbook Pages 48 and 49.
I shall strive for a Constitution which will release India from all thralldom and patronage … I shall work for an India in which the poorest shall feel that it is their country in whose making they have an effective voice; an India in which there shall be no high class and low class of people; an India in which \ all communities shall live in perfect harmony. There can be no room in such an India for the curse of untouchability or the curse of the intoxicating drinks and drugs. Women will enjoy the same rights as men …I shall be satisfied with nothing else.
On the 26th of January 1950 we are going to enter a life of contradictions. In politics we will have \ equality and in social and economic life we will have inequality. In politics we will be recognising the principle of one man one vote and one vote one value. In our social and economic life, we shall, by reason of our social and economic structure, continue to deny the principle of one man one value. How long shall we continue to live this life of contradictions? How long shall we continue to deny equality in our social and economic life? If we continue to deny it for long, we will do so only by putting our political democracy in peril.
Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance. It is fitting that at this solemn moment we take the pledge of dedication to I the service of India and her people and to the still larger cause of humanity …
Freedom and power bring responsibility. The responsibility rests upon this Assembly, a sovereign body representing the sovereign people of India. Before the birth of freedom we have endured all the pains of labour and our hearts are heavy with the memory of this sorrow. Some of those pains continue even now. Nevertheless, the past is over and it is the future that beckons to us now.
That future is not one of ease or resting but of incessant striving so that we may fulfil the pledges we have so often taken and the one we shall take today. The service of India means the service of the millions who suffer. It means the ending of poverty and ignorance and disease and inequality of opportunity. The ambition of the greatest man of our generation has been to wipe every tear from every eye. That may be beyond us, but as long as there are tears and suffering, so long our work will not be over.
(a) Can you identify one idea that is common to all these three?
(b) What are the differences in their ways of expressing that common idea?
(a) The one idea that is common to all the three quotations is the removal of inequalities from the Indian Society.
(b) In the first quotation, Mahatma Gandhi strived for an India in which the poorest should have an effective voice, there should be no high class and low class of people and all communities should live in perfect harmony.
In the second quotation, DR B.R. Ambedkar pointed out the inequalities that existed in social and economic life of the people. By getting equality in politics, the Indians would continue to live in the life of contradictions so long inequalities in social and economic life existed.
In the third quotation, Jahawarlal Nehru emphasised the need of removal of poverty and inequality. He said “The service of India means the service of the millions who suffer. It means the ending of poverty and ignorance and disease and inequality of opportunity.
Compare the Preambles to the constitutions of the United States of America, India and South Africa.
(i) Make a list of ideas that are common to all these three.
(ii) Note down at least one of the major differences among these.
(iii) Which of the three makes a reference to the past?
(iv) Which of these does not invoke God.
- Each of these Preambles starts with, “We, the people.” It means the people of these countries are the source of all authority to govern them.
- The idea of justice is embodied in all these Preambles.
(ii) In the Preambles to the United States’ Constitution, there is a statement for the formation of union. But the Preambles to the Indian and African constitutions do not have such statement.
(iii) The Preamble to the South African Constitution makes a reference to the past.
(iv) The Preambles to the Constitutions of the United States and India do not invoke God.
Civics Class 9 Chapter 3 NCERT Textbook Questions and Answers
Here are some false statements. Identify the mistake in each case and rewrite these correctly based on what you have read in this chapter.
(a) Leaders of the freedom movement had an open mind about whether the country should be democratic or not after independence.
(b) Members of the Constituent Assembly of India held the same views on all provisions of the Constitution.
(c) A Country that has a Constitution must be a democracy.
(d) Constitution cannot be amended because it is the supreme law of a country.
(a) Leaders of the freedom movement had an open mind that the country should be democratic after independence.
(b) Members of the Constituent Assembly of India held different views on all provisions of the Constitution.
(c) A country that is a democracy must have a Constitution.
(d) Constitution needs to be amended because it has to be in accordance with people’s aspirations and changes in society.
Which of these was the most salient underlying conflict in the making of a democratic Constitution in South Africa?
(a) Between South Africa and its neighbours
(b) Between men and women
(c) Between the white minority and the black majority
(d) Between the coloured minority and the black majority
(d) Between the coloured minority and the black majority
Which of these is a provision that a democratic Constitution doe snot have?
(a) Power of the head of the state.
(b) Name of the head of the state.
(c) Powers of the legislature
(d) Name of the country
(b) Name of the head of the state.
Match the following leaders with their roles in the making of the Constitution:
(a) Motilal Nehru – (i) President of the Constituent Assembly
(b) B.R. Anibedkar – (ii) Member of the Constituent Assembly
(c) Raj endra Prasad – (iii) Chairmen of the Drafting Committee
(d) Sarojini Naidu – (iv) Prepared a Constitution for India in 1928
(a) (iv) (b) (iii) (c) (i) (d) (ii).
Read again the extracts from Nehru’s speech ‘Tryst with Destiny’ and answer the following:
(a) Why did Nehru use the expression “not wholly or in full measure” in the first sentence?
(b) What pledge did he want the makers of the Indian Constitution to take?
(c) “The ambition of the greatest man of our generation has been to wipe every tear from every eye”. Who was he referring to?
(a) Nehru used this expression because the pledge that was taken sometime back could not be fulfilled all at once but substantially and gradually.
(b) He wanted the makers of the Indian Constitution to take the pledge of dedication to the service of India and her people and to the still larger cause of humanity.
(c) Pt. Nehru was referring to Mahatma Gandhi.
Here are some of the guiding values of the Constitution and their meaning. Rewrite them by matching them correctly.
(a) Sovereign – (i) Government will not favour any religion
(b) Republic – (ii) People have the supreme right to make decisions
(c) Fraternity – (iii) Head of the state is an elected person.
(d) Secular – (iv) People should live like brothers and sisters.
(a) (ii) (b) (iii) (c) (iv) (d) (i).
A friend from Nepal has written you a letter describing the political situation there. Many political parties are opposing the rule of the king. Some of them say that the existing Constitution given by the monarch can be amended to allow more powers to elected representatives. Others are demanding a new Constituent Assembly to write a republican Constitution. Reply to your friend giving your opinions on the subject.
I am in favour of the other group that wants a new Constituent Assembly to write a republican Constitution. It will put an end to monarchy forever. However, an agreement has already been signed between the king of Nepal and the alliance of seven political parties opposing the king. This agreement gives the approval of a constitutional monarchy in Nepal. In my opinion, the rule by the king should be ended and a fresh republican Constitution should be written. This will be perfect solution of the problem.
Here are different opinions about what made India a democracy. How much importance would you give to each of these factors?
(a) Democracy in India is a gift of the British rulers. We received training to work with representative legislative institutions under the British rule.
(b) Freedom Struggle challenged the colonial exploitation and denial of different freedoms to Indians. Free India could not be any thing but democratic.
(c) We are lucky to have leaders who had democratic convictions. The denial of democracy in several other newly independent countries shows the important role of these leaders.
Each of the above factors is equally important.
(а) It would be wrong to say that democracy is a gift of the British rulers. In fact, the people of India fought a long struggle under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi and made many sacrifices to attain freedom from the Britishers. But the experience and training received by the Indians in the working of the legislative institutions under the British rule proved to be useful for the country in setting up its own democratic institutions.
(b) Freedom struggle challenged the colonial exploitation and played an important role in making India a democracy.
(c) This is the most important factor. We are really fortunate to have leaders who had democratic convictions. They contributed a lot in making India a democratic country.
Read the following extract from a conduct book for ‘married women’ published in 1912. “ God has made the female species delicate and fragile both physically and emotionally, pitiably incapable of self-defence. They are destined thus by God to remain in male protection- of father, husband and son all their lives. Women should therefore not despair but feel obliged that they can dedicate themselves to the service of men”. Do you think the values expressed in this para reflected the values underlying our Constitution? Or does this go against the constitutional values?
This para goes against the constitutional values because here women have been shown as weak and fragile who should serve men because they protect them. Our Constitution does not glorify men and underestimate women. Rather, it gives equal status to both. Women are as important as men and no one can be ignored. So, women should not be discriminated against simple because they are physically and emotionally weaker than men. They must be given equal treatment everywhere either it is home or outside home.
Read the following statements about a Constitution. Give reasons why each of these is true or not true.
(а) The authority of the rules of the Constitution is the same as that of any other law.
(b) Constitution lays down how different organs of the government will be formed.
(c) Rights of citizens and limits on the power of the government are laid down in the Constitution.
(d) A Constitution is about institutions, not about values.
(a) This statement is not true. The rules of the Constitution cannot be compared with ordinary laws passed by the Parliament. The reason is that the rules of the Constitution have greater authority as even the parliament has to abide by them. Also the rules passed by the parliament can be changed by it at its own will but the rules of the Constitution can be amended only by adopting a special procedure.
(b) This is true, the Constitution lays down in detail the structure of power and functions of the three organs of the government—the executive, the legislature and the judiciary. It lays down a procedure for choosing persons to govern the country. It defines who will have how much power to take which decisions.
(c) This is true, the rights of the citizens are laid down in the Constitution as Fundamental Rights. The powers of the government are divided between the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. These three organs work separately and independently but also keep a check on each other and thus limit their powers.
(d) This statement is not true as the Constitution is not only about institutions but also about values like equality, liberty fraternity, justice, secularism which are mentioned in the Preamble.
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