“Independent India is a faithful reflection of the legacy of our national movement.” Explain with reference to the philosophy and policies pursued by independent India. (10 marks)

“Independent India is a faithful reflection of the legacy of our national movement.” Explain with reference to the philosophy and policies pursued by independent India. (10 marks)

Approach

  • Introduce with the freedom struggle and key ideals involved in it
  • Enumerate the various ideas by linking it with different policies adopted by new independent India – civil liberties, pro-poor policies, NAM etc.
  • Conclude appropriately

Model Answer :

Each country and people shape their destiny in their own unique way, based on their own historical experiences and their own genius. The image of the modern Indian nation and the values that shape and continue to inform it today were formed during our struggle for independence, which was fought on ideals of peace, democracy, equality, etc.. They can be seen from the philosophy and actions of independent India, significant of which include:

  • Universal Adult Franchise: Long experience of political participation of common masses in freedom struggle and maturity shown esp. during the last phase convinced our policy makers to introduce Universal adult Franchise.
  • Fundamental Rights and Civil liberties: The Karanchi Resolution 1931 guaranteed rights of free expression of opinion and freedom of association.
  • Democratic spirit: Consensus on the practice of non-violence during national movement and fight against oppression contributed to creation of political norm based on discussion, debate, accommodation of diverse ideas and abhorrence of authoritarianism. India’s fight back from Emergency imposition in 1975 is a great example.
  • Secularism:  With experience of British policy of divide and rule based on religion and subsequent communal violence, our leaders unhesitatingly supported ideas of secularism and policy of freedom of religion.
  • Pro-poor policies: Our freedom struggle had a pro-poor orientation. For eg. Economic critique by DadabhaiNaoroji emphasised the relation between colonialism and poverty. With arrival of Gandhiji, removal of abject poverty became a goal of independence. Therefore, our policy makers have shown a socialist tilt as seen in Land reforms, Economic Policies like state run heavy industries etc.
  • Foreign Policy: Suffering from colonialism for over two decades, India took an anti-colonial stance in its foreign policy. It provided support towards decolonization in Indonesia, Congo, Vietnam etc. As a propounder of peace, India has always shown respect for international laws and organisations. Eg. UN peacekeeping force deployed in Suez Crisis etc.

Therefore, the ideals and legacy of freedom movement has served as the guiding light for our policy makers. Even today, India stands in support of democracy, tolerance, equality, civil liberties and world peace. Much of the gain from the movement is enshrined in our Constitution and continues to enlighten the political and judicial discourse in India.

Subjects : History Modern

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