MODERN INDIAN HISTORY (1857 TO THE PRESENT): 953 (2014 Admission onwards)

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MODERN INDIAN HISTORY (1857 TO THE PRESENT): 953 (2014 Admission onwards)
(2014 Admission onwards)
Calicut University P.O. 673635
School of Distance Education
Prepared by
Associate Professor&Head
P.G.Department of History
C.A.S.College, Madayi
Scrutinised by
Sri. Ashraf koyilothan Kandiyil
BOS- History (UG)
Settings & Lay Out BY: SDE
@ Reserved
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A constitution is a written document that contains a set of rules for a government. It defines
the fundamental political principles, and establishing the structure, procedures, powers and duties,
of a government. By limiting the governments own reach, most constitutions guarantee certain
rights to the people. The term constitution can be applied to any overall law that defines the
functioning of a government.
Indian Constitution
The Constitution of India is a unique constitution. It is the largest written liberal democratic
constitution of the world. It provides for a mixture of federalism and Unitarianism, and flexibility
and with rigidity. Since its inauguration on 26th January 1950, the Constitution India has been
successfully guiding the path and progress of India.
The salient features of the Constitution of India.
(1) Written and Detailed Constitution:
The Constitution is a wholly written document which incorporates the constitutional law of
India. It was fully debated and duly enacted by the Constitution Assembly of India. It took the
Assembly 2 years, 11 months and 18 days to write and enact the Constitution.
Indian Constitution is a very detailed constitution. It consists of 395 Articles divided into 22
Parts with 12 Schedules and 94 constitutional amendments. It is a constitution of both the Centre
and states of Indian Union It are indeed much bigger than the US Constitution which has only 7
Articles and the French Constitution with its 89 Articles.
(2) Self-made and Enacted Constitution:
Indian Constitution is a constitution made by the people of India acting through their duly
elected and representative body—the Constituent Assembly that was organised in December 1946.
Its first session was held on 9th December, 1946. It passed the Objectives Resolution on 22
January, 1947.
Thereafter, it initiated the process of constitution-making in the right earnest and was in a
position to finally pass and adopt the constitution on 26th November, 1949. The constitution
became fully operational with effect from 26th January 1950. We celebrate this day as our
Republic Day. The Constitution of India is thus a self-made and duly enacted constitution.
(3) Preamble of the Constitution:
The Preamble to the Constitution of India is a well drafted document which states the
philosophy of the constitution. It declares India to be a Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic
Republic and a welfare state committed to secure justice, liberty and equality for the people and for
promoting fraternity, dignity the individual, and unity and integrity of the nation. The Preamble is
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the key to the constitution. It states in nutshell the nature of Indian state and the objectives it is
committed to secure for the people.
(4) India is a Democratic Socialist State:
Although, right from the beginning the Indian Constitution fully reflected the spirit of
democratic socialism, it was only in 1976 that the Preamble was amended to include the term
‘Socialism’. It is now regarded as a prime feature of Indian state. India is committed to secure
social, economic and political justice for its entire people by ending all forms of exploitation and
by securing equitable distribution of income, resources and wealth. This is to be secured by
peaceful, constitutional and democratic means.
(5) India is a Secular State:
India gives special status to no religion. There is no such thing as a state religion of India.
This makes it different from theocratic states like the Islamic Republic of Pakistan or other Islamic
countries. Further, Indian secularism guarantees equal freedom to all religions. The Constitution
grants the Right to Religious Freedom to all the citizens.
(6) India is a Democratic State:
The Constitution of India provides for a democratic system. The authority of the
government rests upon the sovereignty of the people. The people enjoy equal political rights. On
the basis of these rights, the people freely participate in the process of politics. They elect their
Free fair and regular elections are held for electing governments. For all its activities, the
government of India is responsible before the people. The people can change their government
through elections. No government can remain in power which does not enjoy the confidence of the
people. India is world’s largest working democracy.
(7) India is a Republic:
The Preamble declares India to be a Republic. India is not ruled by a monarch or a
nominated head of state. India has an elected head of state (President of India) who wields power
for a fixed term of 5 years. After every 5 years, the people of India indirectly elect their President.
(8) India is a Union of States:
Article I of the Constitution declares, that “India that is Bharat is a Union of
States.” The term ‘Union of State’ shows two important facts:
(i) That Indian Union is not the result of voluntary agreement among sovereign states, and
(ii) that states of India do not enjoy the right to secede from the Union. Indian Union has now 28
States and 7 Union Territories.
(9) Mixture of Federalism and Unitarianism:
While describing India as a Union of States, the Constitution provides for a federal structure
with a unitary spirit. Scholars describe India as a ‘Quasi-Federation’ or as ‘a federation with a
unitary bias, or even as ‘a Unitarian federation.’
Like a federation, the Constitution of India provides for:
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(i) A division of powers between the centre and states,
(ii) A written, rigid and supreme constitution,
(iii) Independent judiciary with the power to decide centre-state disputes and
(iv) Dual administration i.e. central and state administrations. However, by providing a very strong
centre, a common constitution, single citizenship, emergency provisions, common election
commission, common all India services etc. the Constitution clearly reflects its unitary spirit.
India is a federation with some Unitarian features. This mixture of federalism-Unitarianism
has been done keeping in view both the pluralistic nature of society and the presence of regional
diversities, as well as due to the need for securing unity and integrity of the nation.
(10) Mixture of Rigidity and Flexibility:
The Constitution of India is rigid in parts. Some of its provisions can be amended in a
difficult way while others can be amended very easily. In some cases, the Union Parliament can
amend some parts of the Constitution by passing a simple law.
Article 368, of the Constitution provides for two special methods of amendment:
(i) Most of the provisions of the Constitution can be amended by the Union Parliament by
passing an Amendment Bill by a majority of total membership and 2/3rd majority of members
present and voting in each of its two Houses.
(ii) For the amendment of some specified parts, a very rigid method has been provided.
Under it, first the Union Parliament passes the Amendment Bill by a majority of total membership
and 2/3rd majority of members present and voting in each house , and then it goes to the State
Legislatures for ratification. The Amendment gets passed only when it is approved by not less than
one half of the several states of the Union.
Thus the Constitution of India is partly rigid and partly flexible.
(11) Fundamental Rights:
Under its Part IIIC Articles 12-35), the Constitution of India grants and guarantees
Fundamental Rights to its citizens. It is called the Indian Bill of Rights. Initially, 7 Fundamental
Rights were granted but after the deletion of the Right to Property from the list of Fundamental
Rights (44th Amendment Act 1979) their number came down to six.
The Six Fundamental Rights are:
(i) Right to Equality:
It provides for Equality before Law, End of Discrimination, Equality of Opportunity,
Abolition of untouchability and Abolition of Titles.
(ii) Right to Freedom:
It incorporates six fundamental freedoms -freedoms of speech and expression, freedom to
form associations, freedom to assemble peaceably without arms, freedom to move freely in India,
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freedom of residence in any part, and freedom of adopting any profession or trade or occupation. It
ensures personal freedom and protection in respect of conviction for certain offences.
The Constitution lays down that the freedom of life and liberty cannot be limited or denied
except in accordance with the procedure established by law. Now under Art 21A Right to
Education for the children between the ages of 6-14 years has been granted. Art. 22 guarantees
protection against arbitrary arrest and detention.
(iii) Right against Exploitation:
This Fundamental Right prohibits sale and purchase of human beings, forced labour (begaar) and
employment of children in hazardous jobs and factories.
(iv) Right to Freedom of Religion:
The grant of this right involves the freedom of conscience, religion and worship. Any
person can follow any religion. It gives to all religions freedom to establish and maintain their
religious institutions. Mo person can be compelled to pay any tax for the propagation of any
religion. The state cannot levy a tax for any religion and constitution prohibits the imparting of
religious instructions in schools and colleges.
(v) Cultural and Educational Rights:
Under this category the Constitution guarantees the rights of the minorities to maintain and
develop their languages and cultures. It also confers upon them the right to establish, maintain and
administer their educational institutions.
(vi) Right to Constitutional Remedies (Art. 32):
This fundamental right is the soul of the entire Bill of Rights. It provides for the
enforcement and protection of Fundamental Rights by the courts. It empowers the Supreme Court
and High Courts to issue writs for the enforcement of these rights.
(12) National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and State Human Rights Commission and
Protection of Human Rights:
With a view to protect the human rights of all the people the Protection of Human Rights
Act. 1993 was passed by the Union Parliament. Under it the National Human Rights Commission
was established. It is headed by a former Chief Justice of India. It acts as an independent
commission with a status of a civil court. It works for preventing the violations of human rights of
the people.
Its cases of proved violations of human rights, the NHRC can order the grant of
compensation to the victims. Several State, Human Rights Commission are also working for the
protection of Human Rights. India is fully committed to protect the human rights of all the people
of the world.
(13) Fundamental Duties of the Citizens:
In its Part IVA (Article 51 A) the Constitution describes the following Fundamental Duties of
a citizen:
1. Respect for the Constitution, the national flag and the national anthem;
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2. Cherish the noble ideals of the freedom struggle;
3. Uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India;
4. Defend the country and render national service when called;
5. Promote the common brotherhood of all the people of India and renounce any practice
derogatory to the dignity of women;
6. Preserve the rich heritage of the nation’s composite culture;
7. Project the natural environment and have compassion for living creatures;
8. Develop scientific temper, humanism and spirit of inquiry and reform;
9. Safeguard public property and abjure violence; and
10. Strive for excellence in all individual and collective activity.
11. Duty of the parents to send their children to schools for getting education.
The Fundamental Duties are, however, not enforceable by the courts.
(14) Directive Principles of State Policy:
Part IV of the Constitution dealing with the ‘Directive Principles of State Policy’ provides
one of the most striking features of the Indian Constitution. The Directive Principles are
instructions to the state for securing socio-economic developmental objectives through its policies.
These are to be implemented by both the Union for the States.
For example, Directive Principles direct the state to ensure for the people adequate means
of livelihood, fairer distribution of wealth, equal pay for equal work, protection of children,
women, labour and youth, old age pension, social security, local self-government, protection of the
interests of the weaker sections of society; promotion of cottage industries, rural development,
international ‘peace friendship and co-operation with other states etc. The aim of Part IV is to
secure and strengthen socio-economic democracy in India.
(15) Bi-Cameral Union Parliament:
The Constitution provides for a Bicameral Legislature at the Union level and names it as the
Union Parliament. Its two Houses are: The Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. The Lok Sabha is the
lower, popular, directly elected house of the Parliament. It represents the people of India.
Its maximum strength stands fixed at 550. Presently Lok Sabha has 545 members. The
people of each state elect representatives in proportion to their population. Orissa has 21 seats out
of which some seats are reserved for the people belonging to SCs and STs.
Members of the Lok Sabha are directly elected by the people of India. All men and women
of 18 years or above of age whose names are registered in the voters lists vote in elections for
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electing the members of Lok Sabha .Every voter of 25 years or above of age is eligible to contest
elections to the Lok Sabha. The tenure of the Lok Sabha is 5 years. But the President acting under
the advice of Prime Minister can dissolve it earlier also.
The Rajya Sabha is the upper and, indirectly elected second House of Parliament. It
represents the states of the Indian union. Its maximum membership can be 250. Presently, the
Rajya Sabha has 245 members. Out of these 233 members are elected by all the State Legislative
Assemblies and 12 are nominated by the President from amongst eminent persons from the fields
of Art, Science and Literature. Rajya Sabha is a quasi-permanent house. Its 1/3rd members retire
after every two years. Each member has tenure of six years. Orissa has 10 seats in the Rajya Sabha.
Of the two houses, of Parliament, the Lok Sabha is a more powerful House. It alone has
financial powers. The Union Council of Ministers is collectively responsible before the Lok Sabha.
However, the Rajya Sabha is neither as powerless as the British House of Lords and nor the Lok
Sabha is as powerful as the British House of Commons.
(16) Parliamentary System:
The Constitution of India provides for a parliamentary system of government at the Centre
as well as in every state of the Union. The President of India is the constitutional head of state with
nominal powers. The Union Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister is the real
executive. Ministers are essentially the members of the Union Parliament.
For all its policies and decisions the Council of Ministers is collectively responsible before
the Lok Sabha. The Lok Sabha can remove the Ministry by passing a vote of no-confidence. The
Cabinet, in fact the Prime Minister has the power to get the Lok Sabha dissolved by the President.
On similar lines a parliamentary government is also at work in each state.
(17) Adult-Suffrage:
Another feature of the Constitution is that it provides for universal adult suffrage. All men
and women enjoy an equal right to vote. Each adult man and woman above the age of 18 years has
the right to vote. All registered voters get the opportunity to vote in elections.
(18) Single integrated State with Single Citizenship:
India is the single Independent and Sovereign integrated state. Presently it has 28 states and
7 Union Territories. All citizens enjoy a common uniform citizenship. They are entitled to equal
rights and freedoms, and equal protection of the state.”
(19) Single Integrated Judiciary:
The Constitution provides for a single integrated judicial system common for the Union and
the states. The Supreme Court of India works at the apex level, High Courts at the state level and
other courts work under the High Courts.
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There are 21 State High Courts working in all parts of India. Orissa High Court has been in
existence since 1948 and it is located at Cuttack. The Supreme Court is the highest court of the
land. It controls and runs the judicial administration of India.
(20) Independence of Judiciary:
The Indian Constitution makes judiciary truly independent. It is clear from the
following facts:
(a) Judges are appointed by the President,
(b) Only persons with high legal qualifications and experience are appointed as judges,
(c) Judges of the Supreme Court cannot be removed from office except through an extremely
difficult process of implement.
(d) The salaries of the judges are very high,
(e) The Supreme Court has its own staff. Indian judiciary has an autonomous organisation and
status. It works as an independent and powerful judiciary.
(21) Judicial Review:
The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. The Supreme Court acts as the guardian
protector and interpreter of the Constitution. It is also the guardian of the Fundamental Rights of
the people. For this purpose it exercises the power of judicial review. By it, the Supreme Court
determines the constitutional validity of all laws made by the legislatures. It can reject any law
which is found to be unconstitutional.
(22) Judicial Activism:
Currently, Indian judiciary has been becoming more and more active towards the
performance of its social obligations. Through Public Interest Litigation system (PIL) as well as
through a more active exercise of its powers, the Indian judiciary has been now very actively trying
to secure all public demands and needs due to them under the laws and policies of the state.
(23) Emergency Provisions:
The Constitution of India contains special provisions for dealing with emergencies. It
recognises three types of possible emergencies:
(1) National Emergency (Article 352) an emergency resulting from war or external aggression or
threat of external aggressions against India or from armed rebellion within India or in any of its
(2) Constitutional Emergency in a State (Article 356) an emergency resulting from the failure of
constitutional machinery in any state; or some states and
(3) Financial Emergency (Article 360) an emergency resulting from a threat to financial stability of
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The President of India has been empowered to take appropriate steps for dealing with these
emergencies. During the period of an emergency, the powers of the President, actually of the PM
and the Union Council of Ministers Cabinet increase tremendously. President can take all steps
deemed essential for meeting an emergency. These are called emergency powers of the President.
(24) Special Provisions relating to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes:
With a view to protect the interests of people belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled
Tribes, the Constitution lays down certain special provisions. It provides for reservation of seats in
the legislatures for the people belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. President can
nominate in Lok Sabha not more than two members of the Anglo-Indian Community in case he is
of the opinion that this community is not adequately represented in the House.
Reservation of some jobs for the people belonging to SCs, STs and OBCs has also been in
operation. The reservation system has been now extended upto the year 2020.Presently, a bill for
granting 33% reservation of legislative seats for women is in the process of getting enacted into
law. Reservation system is also in existence in the Panchayats and Municipal Councils.
(25) Provisions regarding Language:
The Constitution lays down special provisions for defining the Language of the Union,
Regional Languages and Language of the Supreme Court and High Courts. It states that the official
language of the Union shall be Hindi in Devnagri script. But along with this, it also provides for
the continuance of English language. A state legislature can adopt the language of the province as
its official language.
English continues to be the language of the Supreme Court and the High Courts. The
Constitution gives a directive to the Union to develop Hindi and popularise its use. In its Eighth
Schedule, the Constitution recognises 22 modern Indian Languages — Assamese, Bengali,
Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Nepali, Manipuri,
Konkani, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Tamil, Telgu, Urdu, Bodo, Dogri, Maithli and Santhali.
(26) A Constitution Drawn from several Sources:
In formulating the Constitution of India, the founding fathers used several sources. The
values and ideals of the national movement guided their path. The national movement influenced
them to adopt secularism as the ideal. Some provisions of Government of India Act 1935 were
used by them and several features of foreign constitutions influenced them, and were adopted by
In adopting parliamentary system and bicameralism, the British Constitution influenced
them. The US Constitution influenced them in favour of republicanism, independence of judiciary,
judicial review and bill of rights. The progress of the (former) USSR after the 1917 Socialist
Revolution influenced them to adopt socialism as a goal. Likewise, they were influenced by the
constitutions of Canada, Australia, Weimar Republic (Germany) and Ireland.
With all these features, the Indian Constitution is a constitution best suited to the Indian
environment. The Constitution has been helping India to organise and run her government and
administration in an effective way both in times of peace and war. The basic structure of the
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Constitution i.e. its most fundamental features can be described as: Preamble, Fundamental Rights,
Directive Principles, Secularism, Federalism, Republicanism, Independence of Judiciary, Rule of
Law, and Liberal Democracy.( K.K Ghai)
The key person behind the Constitution of India was Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. He was a learned
person had good vision of future India.One of repeated criticism of the Indian constitution is that it
is very little original and mostly borrowed from other constitutions. Even Dr. Ambedkar admitted
in the Constituent Assembly that many elements were borrowed from foreign constitutions but
they were not “slavish imitations” but adoption of time-tested constitutional principles like the
“Rule of Law” or “Equality before Law” to serve the interests of the people.
The Government of India Act, 1935
The Montague-Chelmsford Reforms of 1919 had brought a large scale discontentment
among the people of India. The Non-Cooperation Movement launched by Gandhi had fanned the
fire of this discontentment.
In order to give some concession to Indians in the field of administration, the Government
of India Act, 1935 was designed on the basis of the recommendation of Simon Commission. It
envisaged an administrative set-up for India such as:
1. A Federal government would be established in India with the inclusion of the native States.
2. Diarchy introduced by the Act. Of 1919 should be abolished from the State and established in
the Centre.
3. The provinces would be given complete autonomy and the administrative subjects divided into
three lists i.e. Federal List that included the subjects assigned to the Central Government; the
Provincial List that consisted of all the subjects under the sole jurisdiction of the provinces and
finally, the Concurrent List upon whose subjects both the Centre and Provinces would exercise
their combined authority.
4. A Federal Court was established at the Centre.
Besides these main provisions, it also contained the provisions of the formation of the provinces
of Sindh and Orissa, separate and communal electorate system with reduction of the qualification
of voters; separation of Burma and Aden from India and so on.
Accordingly, the Home Government in England was reformed. The Indian Council was
abolished and a few advisers varying from 3 to 6 were appointed to advise the Secretary of States
in his policy formulation towards India. The Secretary was normally not expected to poke his nose
in the Indian affairs which were to be carried on by Governors.
Further, a High Commission was to be appointed by the Viceroy of India for a period of
five years.
Coming to the Federal Government, the Viceroy remained its head. He exercised a wide
range of power concerning administration, legislation and finance.
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The Act had created provisions for Reserved Subjects which were looked after by Viceroy
through Executive Councilors and transferred Subjects through the Indian ministers, not more than
10 in number selected from the Legislature.
Thus, this system of Diarchy was fully introduced in the Centre. At the Centre the Federal
Legislature consisted of two Houses, the Council of States and Federal Assembly consisting of 260
and 375 members respectively. The Council of States (Upper House) was permanent body whose
one-third members retired every year.
In case of the Provincial Government, the Governor carried on the administration with the
help of a Council of Ministers selected by him from among the members of the Provincial
Legislature. Of course, the composition of the Provincial Legislature was different in several
The Legislatures of U.P., Bihar, Assam, Bengal, Madras and Bombay consisted of two
Houses - the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council whereas in other provinces, it
consisted of one House i.e. Legislative Assembly. The members of these Houses varied from
Province to Province.
The India Act of 1935 was sugar coated quinine as was apparent from the very beginning.
Though it introduced Diarchy in the Centre and autonomy in the Province but the power of the
elected or nominated members were limited. Further, it fanned the fire of communalism by
retaining separate reserved electorates. In actual practice, this Act did not create scope for the selfexperience of the Indian Legislators as they enjoyed only limited powers.
On the other hand, the India Act, 1935 had its merits too. It introduced Diarchy in the
Centre and granted provincial autonomy. It also created field for some practical experiences on the
part of Indian leaders. In the ensuing election of 1936-37, the All-India Congress gained majority
in Madras, Bombay, Central Provinces, U.P., Bihar and Orissa. In Assam and north-western
frontier, it became the largest single party.
Similarly, the Muslim League got absolute majority in Sindh. The legislators got
experience in forming ministry in these provinces. The most important fact regarding the
achievement of the Act can be stated that the political experience ingenerated in the minds of the
Indian leaders went a long way in making the people of India conscious for their political liberty
which they achieved in 1947.
Re-Organisation of Linguistic States
The reorganization of the states based on language, a major aspect of national consolidation
and integration, came to the fore almost immediately after independence. The boundaries of
provinces in pre-1947 India had been drawn in a haphazard manner as the British conquest of India
had proceeded for nearly a hundred years. No heed was paid to linguistic or cultural cohesion so
that most of the provinces were multi-lingual and multi-cultural. The interspersed princely states
had added a further element of heterogeneity.
The case for linguistic states as administrative units was very strong. Language is closely
related to culture and therefore to the customs of people. Besides, the massive spread of education
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and growth of mass literacy can only occur through the medium of the mother tongue. Nehru
appointed in August 1953 the States Reorganization Commission (SRC), with Justice Fazi Ali,
K.M. Panikkar and Hridaynath Kunzru as members, to examine ‘objectively and dispassionately’
the entire question of the reorganization of the states of the union. Throughout the two years of its
work, the Commission was faced with meetings, demonstrations, agitations, and hunger strikes.
Different linguistic groups clashed with each other, verbally as well as sometimes
physically. The SRC submitted its report in October 1955. While laying down that due
consideration should be given to administrative and economic factors, it recognized for the most
part the linguistic principle and recommended redrawing of state boundaries on that basis. The
Commission, however, opposed the splitting of Bombay and Punjab. Despite strong reaction to the
report in many parts of the country, the SRC's recommendations were accepted, though with
certain modifications, and were quickly implemented.
The States Reorganization Act was passed by parliament in November 1956. It provided
for fourteen states and six centrally administered territories. The Telengana area of Hyderabad
state was transferred to Andhra; merging the Malabar district of the old Madras Presidency with
Travancore-Cochin created Kerala. Certain Kannada-speaking areas of the states of Bombay,
Madras, Hyderabad and Coorg were added to the Mysore state. Merging the states of Kutch and
Saurashtra and the Marathi-speaking areas of Hyderabad with it enlarged Bombay state.
The strongest reaction against the SRC's report and the States Reorganization Act came
from Maharashtra where widespread rioting broke out and eighty people were killed in Bombay
city in police firings in January 1956. The opposition parties supported by a wide spectrum of
public opinion—students, farmers, workers, artists, and businesspersons—organized a powerful
protest movement. Under pressure, the government decided in June 1956 to divide the Bombay
state into two linguistic states of Maharashtra and Gujarat with Bombay city forming a separate,
centrally administered state. This move too was strongly opposed by the Maharashtrians.
Nehru now vacillated and, unhappy at having hurt the feelings of the people of Maharashtra,
reverted in July to the formation of bilingual, greater Bombay. This move was, however, opposed
by the people both of Maharashtra and Gujarat. The broad-based Samyukta Maharashtra Samiti
and Maha Gujarat Janata Parishad led the movements in the two parts of the state. In Maharashtra,
even a large section of Congressmen joined the demand for a unilingual Maharashtra with Bombay
as its capital; and C.D. Deshmukh, the Finance Minister in the Central Cabinet, resigned from his
office on this question. The Gujaratis felt that they would be a minority in the new state. They too
would not agree to give up Bombay city to Maharashtra. Violence and arson now spread to
Ahmedabad and other parts of Gujarat. Sixteen persons were killed and 200 injured in police
In view of the disagreement over Bombay city, the government stuck to its decision and
passed the States Reorganization Act in November 1956.
Consequences of linguistic division of states
Linguism in India gained momentum during freedom struggle. The freedom fighters felt
that the British system of division of the country was not appropriate. The idea of division of India
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on the basis of languages was considered as a better strategy. But the reorganisation of states on
linguistic basis has created serious problems.
The problems of linguistic division of states can be analysed as follows:
1. Regionalism:
Linguism has promoted local identity. It has created distinctiveness among people. The
regional differences have come in the way of national integration. Extreme sense of regionalism
has resulted in parochialism and ethno centricism.
2. Exploitation of people by Politicians:
Language has evoked psychological and emotional feelings among people. Politicians are
promoting the spread of only particular languages through monetary inducements. They exploit the
sentiments of people at the time of election.
3. Erosion of national feeling:
Linguistic loyalty has come in the way of national integration. People are much concerned
about the regional gains, than the interest of the nation. Thus interstate boundary dispute, river
dispute have become common. E.g. : Difference of opinion among people speaking Kannada and
Marathi in Belgaum.
4. Emergence of regional Political Parties:
Linguism has resulted in the formation of regional political parties. At the present juncture
these regional parties are playing a crucial role in the formation of government at the centre and
also at some states. This has caused the Problem of political instability in the country. It has even
increased the cost of election.
5. Demand for separate states:
Extreme sense of Linguism has caused linguistic conflicts. Such conflicts are quite often
supported by politicians. E.g.: Demand for a separate state by people of “north Karnataka” region.
6. Threat to sovereignty:
Linguism is posing a severe threat to the integrity of the country. On the basis of language
people have become more self centred without thinking of the progress of the country. In Some
states the regional language is being used even for administrative purposes, which causes a major
problem to people who do not belong to that particular state.
Recommendations of Sarkaria Commission:
In 1983, Sarkaria Commission was constituted to look in to the language problem in India
and suggest measures. The Commission was headed by R.S. Sarkaria. The Commission made the
following recommendations:
1. Three language formula: It included the implementation of regional language, Hindi and English
at the school level education.
2. English was to be retained as the official language.
3. Reorganisation of states into administrative units.
4. Ban on Political parties and other organisations trying to promote Linguism.
Management Perspective:
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Language has influenced the practices of organisation to a great extent. It has given rise to
the formation of various groups within the organisation. E.g.: BEL Kannada Sangha. It has united
people working in the organisation. At the same time undue importance to linguistic sentiments has
resulted in Bias, prejudice about particular groups.
Knowledge of regional language is considered as one of the pre-requisites of employment
in the organisations.
An emergency is a situation that poses an immediate risk to health, life, property,
or environment. Most emergencies require urgent intervention to prevent a worsening of the
situation, although in some situations, mitigation may not be possible and agencies may only be
able to offer palliative care for the aftermath.
While some emergencies are self-evident (such as a natural disaster that threatens many lives),
many smaller incidents require that an observer (or affected party) decide whether it qualifies as an
emergency. The precise definition of an emergency, the agencies involved and the procedures used, vary
by jurisdiction, and this is usually set by the government, whose agencies (emergency services) are
responsible for emergency planning and management.
Emergency in India
In India, "the Emergency" refers to a 21-month period in 1975–77 when Prime
Minister Indira Gandhi unilaterally had an emergency declared across the country. Officially
issued by President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed under Article 352(1) of the Constitution for "internal
disturbance", the Emergency was in effect from 25 June 1975 until its withdrawal on 21 March
On June 25, 1975 the then prime minister Indira Gandhi imposed Emergency in India citing
grave threat to her government and sovereignty of the country from both internal and external
forces. Indira Gandhi became the prime minister in January 1966 and then emerged victorious in
the 1971 Lok Sabha elections. Even after the split of Congress party she reigned supreme,
completely decimating her rivals both within and outside the party.
The victory in the Bangladesh liberation war also gave her a big boost. However, things
started going wrong for her from early 1974. There was a failure of monsoon and unemployment
rate had touched a high. Poverty was increasing. Industrial production was down and there was a
massive labour and students unrest across India.
The socialist stalwart Jaya Prakash Narayan popularly known as 'JP' openly led a mass
movement against her calling her corrupt and autocratic. The firebrand trade union leader George
Fernandes had successfully organised an all India Railways strike bringing the public transport and
economy to a halt.
On the international scene, the Cold War was hoting up. In a CIA backed coup in Chile the
left leaning socialist President Salvador Allende was assassinated sending shockwaves across the
Third World.
Indira Gandhi got scared and believed that the internal unrest was the handiwork of
American spy agency CIA to unseat her and install a puppet government in India. When she
thought that the things were really out of control, she imposed Emergency suspending civil
liberties. The Emergency draft was hurriedly sent to the President of India Fakruddin Ali Ahmed
who signed it immediately.
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Indira Gandhi's second son Sanjay Gandhi, who was just 29 years old then, took charge of
the administration and started sending opposition leaders and workers to jails across India.
The opposition movement against the Emergency was led by JP, George Fernandes,
Morarji Desai, Nanaji Deshmukh, Subramanian Swamy, AB Vajpayee, LK Advani, Ramakrishna
Hegde, HD Deve Gowda, M Karunanidhi, JB Patnaik, Jyoti Basu, Madhu Dandavate, Lalu Prasad
Yadav, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Sharad Yadav and many others.
The opposition was brutally oppressed. Ramnath Goenka, the only newspaper owner who
stood up to Indira Gandhi, was harassed and he faced a series of troubles at the hands of her
However, Indira Gandhi shocked everybody by declaring Lok Sabha elections in January
1977 bringing an end to draconian Emergency. In the historic Lok Sabha election held in March
1977, Indira Gandhi-led Congress lost power. Both Indira Gandhi and her son Sanjay Gandhi were
defeated in their respective Lok Sabha seats.
Morarji Desai succeeded her as the Prime Minister and led the Janata Party government till
1980. In the 1980 Lok Sabha polls, Indira Gandhi returned to power and remained in power till her
assassination in 1984.
Mixed Economy is neither pure capitalism nor pure socialism but a mixture of the two
system. In this system we find characteristics of both capitalism and socialism. Mixed economy is
operated by both, private enterprise and public enterprise.
That is private enterprise is not permitted to function freely and controlled through price
mechanism. On the other side, the government intervenes to control and regulate private enterprise
in several ways. It has been realised that a free functioning of private enterprise results in several
types of problems.
According to J. W Grove, “One of the presuppositions of a mixed economy is that private
firms are less free to control major decisions about production and consumption than they would
be under capitalist- free enterprise, and that public industry is free from government restrains than
it would be under centrally directed socialist enterprise.”
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Characteristics of Mixed Economy:
The important characteristics of mixed economy are as follows:
1. Co-existence of the public and Private Sectors:
The important characteristics of mixed economy are that in this economy both private sector
and public sector function together. The heavy industries such as defence equipment, atomic
energy, heavy engineering industries etc., come under the control of public sector, on the other
hand, the consumer goods, small and cottage industries, agriculture, etc., are assigned to the private
sector. The government helps the private sector by providing several facilities, of their
2. Economic Welfare:
It is the most important criterion of the success of a mixed economy. Public Sector seeks to
avoid regional inequalities, provides large employment opportunities and often its price policy is
guided by considerations of economic welfare rather than by profit motive. Private activities are
influenced through monetary and fiscal policies to make them contribute to economic welfare of
the society at large level.
3. Economic Planning:
In Mixed economy, the Government adopts the instrument of economic planning. This is
necessary for the public sector enterprises which have to work according to some plan and to
achieve certain pre-determined objectives.
In the same way, the Private Sector cannot be left to develop in its own way. To ensure a
co-ordinated and fast economic development the programmes of both the sector are drawn in such
a way that growth in one complements the growth in the other.
4. Free and Controlled Economic Development:
The Mixed Economic System considered to be more appropriate to remove the demerits of
the capitalist and communist economic systems. Encouragement is given to free economic
activities and at the same time steps are also taken to control economic activities.
Merits of Mixed Economy:
The merits of mixed economic system are discussed below:
1. Adequate Freedom:
Mixed economy also permits adequate freedom to different economic units: (a) Consumers
are free to dispose of their incomes in a manner they want, although the government does try to
influence these decisions through monetary, fiscal and commercial policies, (b) Factors of
production are free to choose their own occupations although again the Government may strive to
create conditions favourable for the growth of chosen occupations.(c) Private initiative is always
encouraged to find it’s best possible use.
2. Maximum Welfare:
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In mixed economic system, the state makes efforts to provide maximum welfare to workers
and other citizens. The government makes provision for the employees for housing, education,
minimum wages, good working conditions, etc.
3. Modern Technology:
In mixed economy, the modern technology and capital saving method is used, with the
result large- scale production and profit could be possible. Reserve fund is created to meet any
undesired situation in future. It produces more at the time of trade boom and utilise the reserve
capital when there is recession.
4. Best Allocation of Resources:
The resources are utilised in the best possible manner in the Mixed Economic System. The
Central Government makes economic planning for optimum use of the resources. Thus shortage is
avoided; productive efficiency increases and cyclical fluctuations are eliminated.
Demerits of Mixed Economy:
The major disadvantages of mixed economy are:
1. Low inflow of Foreign Capital:
Because of the government policy and the fear of nationalisation there is less possibility of
inflow of foreign capital which is very essential of the development of private sector.
2. Inefficiency of Public Sector:
In comparison to private sector, public sector efficiency is lacking and corruption,
discrimination and red-tapism are the evils spread in the public sector.
3. Maximum Control on Private Sector:
On one side, opportunity is given to private sector for development but, on the other side
stringent controlling is exercised by the government to regulate the functioning of private
enterprises. This has an adverse impact on the development of private sector.
4. Fear of Nationalisation:
The private entrepreneurs are much worried about the government policy to nationalise
private enterprises in certain situations.
5. Problem of Concentration of Economic Power:
Although it is said that the mixed sector minimises economic concentration but in practice
the private-entrepreneurs take the advantage of government policy and accumulate wealth since
both the private and public sectors co-exist, the government will not be in a position to impose any
stringent steps to prevent economic concentration.
6. Presence of Imbalance in the Economy:
The mixed economy cannot provide faster development as the government simply wants to
maintain a balance between the private and public sectors. The policies of the government are not
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so clear or it facilitates to give any direction with the result, there exists non-clarity of objectives
and presence of imbalance in the economy.
Nehruvian Economics
The economic policies of Jawaharlal Nehru have been subject to much controversy in the
past few decades. However, it is important to place Nehru's economic policies in context for a
proper appreciation of his policies.
Nehru's commitment to the cause of India's development remains unquestioned, and it is no
doubt that much of his plans and speculations were jeopardized by the unexpected partition that
came along with the independence of India, which brought about an unprecedented fissure in the
economic resources of the Indian mainland. Nehru himself confessed that the partition brought
about a large share of problems, including a great rift in the agricultural and the industrial sectors.
A large portion of the most productive agricultural lands fell in Pakistan whereas the
corresponding industries remained in Indian dominion. The problem faced by the Jute industry
soon after Independence can be stated as a case in the point. The jute producing areas were in
Pakistan whereas the Jute processing factories remained in India, thereby affecting jute productions
on both sides of the border.
Early Economic Reforms of Nehru:
Nehru started his career as the Prime Minister of independent India in 1947, and
immediately launched a number of economic reforms. Nehru was a firm believer in state control
over the economic sectors. His socialist ideals revealed themselves in the way he introduced laws
for land redistribution, in order to curtail the economic disparity in India among the landed and the
land-less classes. One of Nehru's key economic reforms was the introduction of the Five Years
Plan in 1951. It was introduce to determine the mode of government expenditure and grants in
important development sectors like agriculture, industries and education.
The Ideology guiding Nehru's Economic Policies:
Nehru's economic policies have often been considered to be Socialist in nature. It is no
doubt that Socialism did play a very important role in Nehru's ideological make-up. But at the
same time, it is also important to consider that Nehru himself denied any kind of overt Socialist
tendencies in the economic policies adopted by him. Nehru advocated a kind of mixed economy.
Any kind of unquestioned ideological adherence to any form of economic tenet, or 'ism', he
realized, would be detrimental to India's growth. He wanted a practical approach in framing the
Indian economy, which would suit best the country's needs. On the one hand, as a devoted
Gandhian, he had strong belief in the betterment of rural economy. On the other hand, he had a
strong belief that heavy industrial development would be the best way to serve India's economic
Nehru's Industrial Policies:
Nehru wanted to create a balance between the rural and the urban sectors in his economic
policies. He stated there was no contradiction between the two and that both could go hand in
hand. He denied to carry forward the age old city versus village controversy and hoped that in
India, both could go hand in hand. Nehru was intent to harness and fully exploit the natural
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resources of India for the benefit of his countrymen. The main sector he identified was
hydroelectricity, and he constructed a number of dams to achieve that end. The dams would not
only harness energy, but would also support irrigation to a great degree. Nehru considered dams to
be the very symbol of India's collective growth, as they were the platforms where industrial
engineering and agriculture met on a common platform. Nehru also considered the possibility of
nuclear growth during his tenure as the prime minister of India.
Nehru and Foreign Investment:
Nehru inspired the industrialists to provide a fillip to India's economy. However, he had
strict reservations on the question of foreign investment. Nehru was wary of foreign investment.
Nehru's nationalist ideals confirmed in him the belief that India was self-sufficient to bolster her
own growth. Although he did not officially decry the possibility of foreign investment in direct
terms, he did stress that the sectors of foreign investment would be regularized, and the terms and
conditions of investment and employment would be strictly controlled by government rules in case
there were possibilities of a foreign investment. Nehru, moreover, emphasized that the key sectors
will always be in government hand. This step of Nehru is much criticized now. Yet, it cannot be
denied that Nehru aptly looked forward to long term investments for which he banked more on
Indian industries. It is also often suggested that his endeavour to harness international support to
develop India's infra-structural profile between 1947 and 1955 did not meet with much success. It,
however, remains a fact that Nehru's regime was not one of great economic growth for India.
Although his economic policies are blamed for the failure of India to turn into a major economic
force in the aftermath of independence, yet Nehru was probably thinking on a more long term
basis. It is often inferred that the economic liberation of the later years was possible only because
of Nehru's policies in the initial stages.
The State Control in Nehru's Economic Policies:
The most distinctive, and often debated feature of Nehru's economic policies, was the high
level of state and central control that was exercised on the industrial and business sectors of the
country. Nehru emphasized that the state would control almost all key areas of the country's
economy, either centrally or on a state-wise basis. His Socialist emphasis on state control somehow
seemed to undermine his stress on industrial policies. The rigorous state laws and License rules put
a great degree of restrain on the free execution of industrial policies. Even the farmers, along with
the business personnel, found themselves to be at the receiving end of rigorous state control
policies and high taxation. Poverty and unemployment were widespread throughout Nehru's
Nehru's Views on Rural Economy:
Nehru's policy towards the rural economy of India was also significant. Nehru felt for the
rural self-development of India very strongly. He tried to boost India's cottage industries. Much on
the lines of Gandhi, Nehru believed that the rural and cottage industries of India played a major
role in the economic fabric of the country. But most of his cottage industry development programs
were meant as a part of community development. He was also of the belief that small scale
industries and cottage industries were effective solutions to the massive employment problems that
remained a perpetual issue of concern throughout his tenure.
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The economic policies of Nehru are often blamed for the poor economy of India in the
subsequent years. However, it cannot be denied that his decisions were necessitated by the needs of
the times. India needed to effectively harness its domestic means as well as strengthen its
governmental control to lay the base for future privatization. It is often speculated that Nehru
would have embraced the economic reforms and economic liberalization of the late twentieth
century if he was alive.
Green Revolution Strategies (New Agricultural Strategy)
Introduction of New Agricultural Strategy:
The new agricultural strategy was adopted in India during the Third Plan, i.e., during
1960s. As suggested by the team of experts of the Ford Foundation in its report “India’s Crisis of
Food and Steps to Meet it” in 1959 the Government decided to shift the strategy followed in
agricultural sector of the country.
Thus, the traditional agricultural practices followed in India are gradually being replaced by
modern technology and agricultural practices. This report afford Foundation suggested to introduce
intensive effort for raising agricultural production and productivity in selected regions of the
country through the introduction of modern inputs like fertilizers, credit, marketing facilities etc.
Accordingly, in 1960, from seven states seven districts were selected and the Government
introduced a pilot project known as Intensive Area Development Programme (IADP) into those
seven districts. Later on, this programme was extended to remaining states and one district from
each state was selected for intensive development.
Accordingly, in 1965, 144 districts (out of 325) were selected for intensive cultivation and
the programme was renamed as Intensive Agricultural Areas Programme (IAAP).
During the period of mid-1960s, Prof. Norman Borlaug of Mexico developed new high
yielding varieties of wheat and accordingly various countries started to apply this new variety with
much promise. Similarly, in the kharif season in 1966, India adopted High Yielding Varieties
Programme (HYVP) for the first time.
This programme was adopted as a package programme as the very success of this
programme depends upon adequate irrigation facilities, application of fertilizers, high yielding
varieties of seeds, pesticides, insecticides etc. In this way a new technology was gradually adopted
in Indian agriculture. This new strategy is also popularly known as modern agricultural technology
or green revolution.
In the initial stage, HYVP alongwith IAAP was implemented in 1.89 million hectares of
area. Gradually the coverage of the programme was enlarged and in 1995-96, total area covered by
this HYVP programme was estimated 75.0 million hectares which accounted to nearly 43 per cent
of the total net sown area of the country.
As the new HYV seeds require shorter duration to grow thus it paved way for the
introduction of multiple cropping, i.e., to have two or even three crops throughout the year.
Farmers producing wheat in Punjab, Haryana, Western Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi started
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to demand heavily new Mexican varieties of seeds like Lerma Rojo, Sonara-64, Kalyan and PV.18.
But in case of production of rice, although new HYV varieties of seeds like TN.-l, ADT-17,
Tinen-3 and IR-8 were applied but the result was not very much encouraging. Some degree of
success was only achieved in respect of IR-8.
Important Features of Green Revolution:
The following are some of the important features of Green Revolution:
1. Revolutionary:
The Green revolution is considered as revolutionary in character as it is based on new
technology, new ideas, new application of inputs like HYV seeds, fertilisers, irrigation water,
pesticides etc. As all these were brought suddenly and spread quickly to attain dramatic results thus
it is termed as revolution in green agriculture.
2. HYV Seeds:
The most important strategy followed in green revolution is the application of high yielding
variety (HYV) seeds. Most of these HYV seeds are or dwarf variety (shorter stature) and matures
in a shorter period of time and can be useful where sufficient and assured water supply is available.
These seeds also require four to ten time more of fertilisers than that of traditional variety.
3. Confined to Wheat Revolution:
Green revolution has been largely confined to Wheat crop neglecting the other crops. Green
revolution was first introduced to wheat cultivation in those areas where sample quantity of water
was available throughout the year through irrigation. Presently 90 per cent of land engaged in
wheat cultivation is benefitted from this new agricultural strategy.
Most of the HYV seeds are related to wheat crop and major portion of chemical fertiliser are also
used in wheat cultivation. Therefore, green revolution can be largely considered as wheat
4. Narrow Spread:
The area covered through green revolution was initially very narrow as it was very much
confined to Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh only. It is only in recent years that
coverage of green revolution is gradually being extended to other states like West Bengal, Assam,
Kerala and other southern states.
Arguments in Favour of New Strategy in India:
The introduction of new agricultural strategy in India has certain arguments in its favour.
These are as follows:
Firstly, India being a vast agricultural country the adoption of intensive approach is the
only way to make a breakthrough in the agricultural sector within the shortest possible time.
Secondly, considering the food crisis faced by the country during 1960s it was quite
necessary to adopt this new strategy for meeting the growing requirement of food in our country.
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Thirdly, as the introduction of HYVP programme has been able to raise the agricultural
productivity significantly, thus this new agricultural strategy is economically justified.
Fourthly, as the agricultural inputs required for the adoption of new strategy is scarce thus it
would be quite beneficial to adopt this strategy in a selective way only on some promising areas so
as to reap maximum benefit from intensive cultivation.
Fifthly, adoption of new strategy has its spread effect. Reaping a good yield through HYVP
would induce the other farmers to adopt this new technique. Thus due to its spread effect the
overall productivity of Indian agriculture would rise.
Lastly, increased agricultural productivity through the adoption of new strategy will have its
secondary and tertiary effects. As the increased production of food through HYVP would reduce
food imports and thus release scarce foreign exchange for other purposes.
Moreover, increased production of commercial crops would also lead to expansion of agrobased industries in the country, especially in the rural areas.
Achievements of the New Agricultural Strategy:
Let us now turn our analysis towards the achievement of new agricultural strategy adopted
in India. The most important achievement of new strategy is the substantial increase in the
production of major cereals like rice and wheat. Table 3.3 shows increase in the production of food
crops since 1960-61.
The Table 3.3 reveals that the production of rice has increased from 35 million tonnes in
1960- 61 to 54 million tonnes in 1980-81 and then to 99.2 million tonnes in 2008-2009, showing a
major break-through in its production. The yield per hectare has also improved from 1013 kgs in
1960 to 2,186 kg in 2008-09.
Again the production of wheat has also increased significantly from 11 million tonnes in
1950-51 to 36 million tonnes in 1980-81 and then to 80.6 million tonnes in 2008-09. During this
period, the yield per hectare also increased from 850 kgs to 2,891 kgs per hectare which shows that
the yield rate has increased by 240 per cent during the last five decades. All these improvements
resulted from the adoption of new agricultural strategy in the production of wheat and rice.
Total production of food grains in India has been facing wide fluctuations due to vagaries of
monsoons. Inspite of these fluctuations, total production of food grains rose from 82 million tonnes
in 1960-61 to 130 million tonnes in 1980-81 and then to 213.5 million tonnes in 2003-04 and then
increased to 233.9 million tonnes in 2008-09.
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The new agricultural strategy was very much restricted to the production of food-grains
mostly wheat and rice. Thus, the commercial crops like sugarcane, cotton, jute, oilseeds could not
achieve a significant increase in its production. This can be seen from the Table 3.4.
The Table 3.4 reveals that the production of sugarcane and other cash crops recorded some
increase during the last four decades but this increase cannot be termed a significant one. Thus, the
green revolution was very much confined to mainly wheat production and its achievements in
respect of other food crops and cash crops were not at all significant.
Weaknesses of the New Strategy:
The following are some of the basic weaknesses of new agricultural strategy:
(a) Adoption of new agricultural strategy through IADP and HYVP led to the growth of capitalist
farming in Indian agriculture as the adoption of these programmes were very much restricted
among the big farmers, necessitating a heavy amount of investment.
(b) The new agricultural strategy failed to recognise the need for institutional reforms in Indian
(c) Green revolution has widened the disparity in income among the rural population.
(d) New agricultural strategy along-with increased mechanization of agriculture has created a
problem of labour displacement.
(e) Green revolution widened the inter-regional disparities in farm production and income.
(f) Green revolution has certain undesirable social consequences arising from incapacitation due to
accidents and acute poisoning from the use of pesticides.
Second Green Revolution in India:
Considering the limitations of first green revolution in India, the Government of India is
now planning to introduce “Second Green Revolution” in the country with the objective of
attaining food and nutritional security of the people while at the same time augmenting farm
incomes and employment through this new approach.
This new approach would include introduction of “New Deal” to reverse decline in farm
investment through increased funds for agricultural research, irrigation and wasteland
Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh while inaugurating the New Delhi office of
International Food Policy Research Institute observed that, “Our government will be launching a
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National Horticulture Mission that is aimed, in part, at stimulating the second green revolution in
the range of new crops and commodities.”
The Government is of the view that with more advances in science, and technology in areas
such as biotechnology coming from the private sector, it was important to ensure availability of
these products to the poor farmers.
Prime Minister Mr. Singh argued, “The challenge is how to encourage this creativity, this
innovativeness and at the same time to ensure that new products and new processes will be far
affordable for the vast majority of farmers who live on the edges of subsistence.”
Thus under the present circumstances, it can be rightly said that new cutting edge
technologies should be taken to the fields for enhancing productivity to make agriculture sector of
the country globally competitive.
While addressing at a national workshop on “Enhancing Competitiveness of Indian
Agriculture” on 7th April, 2005 at New Delhi, Agriculture Minister Mr. Sharad Pawar observed
“There is a big challenge before us. We have to adopt new technologies and familiarise them to the
farming community. With 60 per cent more arable land, India produces less than half the quantity
of food grains grown by China.”
Even the Brazilian yields of black peppers, originally imported from India, are six times
higher than India utilizing the same variety. This simply shows that India is lagging far behind in
raising productivity of agriculture.
The Economic Survey, 2006-07 while pointing out the weaknesses of agriculture in India
observed, “The Structural Weaknesses of the agriculture sector reflected in low level of public
investment, exhaustion of the yield potential of new high yielding varieties of wheat and rice,
unbalanced fertilizer use, low seeds replacement rate, an inadequate incentive system and post
harvest value addition were manifest in the lacklustre agricultural growth during the new
The Economic Survey, 2006-07 further observes, “The urgent need for taking agriculture to
a higher trajectory of 4 per cent annual growth can be met only with improvement in the scale as
well as quality of agricultural reforms undertaken by the various states and agencies at the various
levels. These reforms must aim at efficient use of resources and conservation of soil, water and
ecology on a sustainable basis and in a holistic framework. Such a holistic framework must
incorporate financing of rural infrastructure such as water, roads and power.”
It is also true that today unfortunately the green revolution is a distant memory and its
impact has also certainly ebbed. Therefore, it is essential to revisit the problems of the agricultural
sector and address the cry of anguish that we hear from farmers from different directions of the
There is a strong argument for high agricultural investment, especially irrigation, which
has large externalities even if it requires a scaling down of other subsidies and reordering the
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Suggestion strategy to raise agricultural output:
(a) Doubling the rate of growth of irrigated area;
(b) Improving water management, rain water harvesting and watershed development;
(c) Reclaiming degraded land and focusing on soil quality;
(d) Bridging the knowledge gap through effective extension;
(e) diversifying into high value outputs, fruits, vegetables, flowers, herbs and spices, medicinal
plants, bamboo, bio-diesel, but with adequate measures to ensure food security;
(f) Promoting animal husbandry and fishery;
(g) Providing easy access to credit at affordable rates; and
(h) Refocusing on land reforms issues. National Commission on Farmers has already laid
foundation for such a framework.
Outlining the above eight-point strategy for realizing second green revolution, Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh recently observed that there was a need to improve farm management
practices to enhance productivity. This also requires improvement in soil health, water
conservation, credit delivery system and application of science to animal husbandry to achieve the
second green revolution.
There should also be a sharper focus on strategic research in plant technology. Moreover,
Indian agriculture at present needs new investments and a new wave of entrepreneurship in order
to utilize its extensive potential.
However, the formulation of programmes and their implementation in different states must
be based on unique regional contexts incorporating agro-climatic conditions; and availability of
appropriate research and development (R & D) which is to be backed by timely and adequate
extension and finance.
Moreover, R&D has to focus on areas such as rain-fed and drought from areas; crops such
as drought resistant and amenable to biotechnological applications; and also on biotechnology
which has huge growth as well as exponential under the present context.
In July 2006, the government initiated the National Agricultural Innovation Project (NAIP)
with a provision of Rs. 1,125 crore (250 million dollar) for fine tuning agricultural research in the
country. This six-yearly project is likely to enhance livelihood security in partnership mode with
farmers’ groups, panchayati raj institutions and private sector which would go a long way in
strengthening basic and strategic research in frontier agricultural research.
The project (NAIP) would have four components including one in which ICAR would be
the catalysing agent for the management of change in the Indian national agricultural system. The
other components of the project would be research in production and consumption systems,
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research on sustainable rural livelihood security and basic and strategic research in frontier areas of
agricultural sciences.
The present WTO trade regime has changed rules of the game and the country needs to
work hard to bring the benefits of changing made environment to the farmers so as to integrate
domestic farm sector with the rest of the world. The processing of agricultural produce has wider
Processing can multiply the export value of farm produce and can open up vast
international markets. India currently processes less than two per cent of its agricultural produce
compared with 30% in Brazil, 70 in USA and 82% in Malaysia.
Under this present move, the private-public partnership would play a major role in the
success of the second Green Revolution in the country. Mr. Singh observed in this connection,
“We have to promote greater public-private partnership in the days and months to come for
bringing in an agrarian revolution.”
As a part of its programme, the Government of India, as per its NCMP, will play focussed
attention on the overall development of horticulture in the country by launching a National
Horticulture Mission. Although it was announced in the last budget (2004-05), the Union Budget,
2005-06 has allocated Rs. 630 crore for the Mission for doubling horticulture production in the
country by 2011- 12.
The Mission will ensure end-to-end approach having backward and forward linkages
covering research, production, post-harvest-management, processing and marketing, less than one
umbrella, in an integrated manner.
Planning Commission is considering undertaking a Food and Nutrition Security
Programme to focus on achieving adequate nutrition levels among pregnant women and other
people both in the urban and rural areas along-with National Food-for-work programme. The
government is devoting as much as Rs. 40,000 crore to various social programmes including midday meal scheme and the Antyodaya Anna Yojana in recent years.
The Union Budget, 2010-11, in its four pronged strategy for agricultural growth has
undertaken a strategy to extend green revolution to the eastern region of the country comprising
Bihar, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Eastern UP, West Bengal and Orissa with the active involvement of
Gram Sabhas and the farming families. The budget has also earmarked Rs. 400 crore for this
The budget has also proposed to organise 60,000 “pulses and oil seed villages” in rain-fed
areas during 2010-11 and provide an integrated intervention for water harvesting, watershed
management and soil health, to enhance the productivity of the dry land farming areas. The budget
provided Rs. 300 crore for this purpose and this will be a integral part of Rashtriya Krishi Vikash
Unfortunately, the first green revolution of India was very much dependent on micro
irrigation based on underground water resources. This shows lack of farsightedness on our part. As
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a result, the water table at the underground level has gone down seriously which has made the
minor irrigation system ineffective in most of green revolution infested stales like Punjab,
Haryana, Western Uttar Pradesh etc.
Thus it is high time, that our country should not depend too much on underground water
resources and instead the country and its people should try to follow the policy of water
conservation and rain water harvesting by rejuvenating the ponds, wells and water bodies. The
success of second green revolution would depend very much on this new strategy which would
make it sustainable and make the green revolution really green.
Second Green Revolution and the Agreements of National Commission on Farmers:
As a Chairman of the National Commission on Farmers Dr. M.S. Swaminathan, the main
architect of first green revolution of India listed five components of Agricultural renewal. These
five components as suggested by the commission include—soil health enhancement; water
harvesting and sustainable and more equitable use of water; getting access to affordable credit and
crop insurance as well as life insurance reform; attaining development and dissemination of
appropriate technologies and improved opportunities, and creating infrastructure and regulation for
viable marketing of agricultural produce.
These components suggested by the commission are considered very important for
proceeding towards second green revolution.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, while inaugurating the 93rd Indian Science Congress on
June 3, 2006 mentioned two more important components. These include: (a) application of science
and biotechnology to the improvement quality seeds and utilisation of herbal and other plants; and
(b) application of science to animal husbandry for improving productivity of livestock and poultry.
While giving a call for a “Second Green Revolution”, Prime Minister Singh pointed out
two main reasons why the first green revolution is out of steam.
These are:
(a) First green revolution did not benefit dry-land farming anyway; and
(b) it was also not scale-neutral and thereby only benefitted large farms and big farmers.
One more confirmation of the failure of first green revolution in improving the condition of
the small and marginal farmer is available from the NSSO latest data on rural indebtedness for the
period January to December, 2003 showing a rise in the level of indebtedness from 4 per cent to 27
per cent in just one year.
Taking the national figure of rural household indebtedness at Rs. 1,12,000 crore, the figure
is found to be about 63 per cent of total outstanding debt of Rs. 1,77,000 crore of India.
Moreover, the average per capita monthly expenditure figure (MPCE) of farm household of
Rs 503 is just higher by Rs. 135 only over the rural poverty line figure of Rs. 368 for India in 2003,
which is again largely influenced by larger size farm households. This average MPCE figure is
also lower the poverty line in many states like Orissa (Rs. 342), Jharkhand (Rs. 353), Chattisgarh
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(Rs. 379) and Bihar (Rs. 404) and it is also lower in 31 other districts already identified by the
Government in the states like Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala.
Failure of our first green revolution is also noticed in respect of the failure of our
agricultural scientists in developing superior crop varieties with higher yield. As a consequence,
the current level of our food grains production at 210 million tonnes is comparatively much lower
to that of 550 million tonnes of China whose size of population in just 300 million higher than that
of India.
Besides, the Commission (NCF) report is also silent on land reforms. Although presently
the land reforms strategy is sidelined in India but for modernisation of agricultural practices needs
the introduction of co-operative joint farming. The Kerala experiences in this respect can be
utilised in other states.
By encouraging co-operative joint farming strategy, the problems of small and fragmented
holdings of 93 per cent holdings of the country can be solved which can go a long way in
improving the economic condition of small and marginal farmers of the country.
While discussing on the sidelines of 97th Indian Science Congress held at
thiruvanthapuram. Dr. M.S. Swaminathan has warned that the country would face a food crisis if
agriculture and farmers were ignored. He observed “We are on the verge of a disaster. We will be
in serious difficulty if food productivity is not increased and farming is neglected. The future
belongs to nations with grains. The current food inflation is frightening. If pulses, potatoes and
onions are beyond the purchasing capacity of the majority malnourishment will be a painful
Dr. Swaminathan urged the government to implement the recommendations of the National
Commission on Farmers. As the recommendations are aimed at ushering in the second green
revolution in the country, the government should immediately act upon them to overcome the
serious crisis we are facing on the food front.
The government should act upon three major recommendations—”It should change
compensation laws as farmers do not have pay commissions like the sixth pay panel; attract youth
to farming and amend the Women Farmers Entitlement Act to allow Women avail bank loans
without their land as a collateral security.”
Thus it is observed that despite the unprecedented price rise, suicides by farmers and
widening demand- supply gap, the government and political parties had failed to act seriously upon
the recommendations made by the commission.
Finally, as the approach paper of the Eleventh Plan, emphasised on the promotion of
‘Inclusive Growth’ thus by adopting the reports of National Commission on Farmers, the Second
Green Revolution should try to meet the problems of small and marginal farmers in a specific
manner for providing income security to a large section of rural households.
While implementing the Second Green Revolution process, the small and marginal farmers
could be given its importance and for treated as partners of development instead of a mere
beneficiary of some government schemes or programmes.
Problem of Development
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Since 1991, the Indian economy has pursued free market liberalisation, greater openness in
trade and increase investment in infrastructure. This helped the Indian economy to achieve a rapid
rate of economic growth and economic development. However, the economy still faces various
problems and challenges.
1. Inflation
Fuelled by rising wages, property prices and food prices inflation in India is an increasing
problem. Inflation is currently between 8-10%. This inflation has been a problem despite periods
of economic slowdown. For example in late 2013, Indian inflation reached 11%, despite growth
falling to 4.8%. This suggests that inflation is not just due to excess demand, but is also related to
cost push inflationary factors. For example, supply constraints in agriculture have caused rising
food prices. This causes inflation and is also a major factor reducing living standards of the poor
who are sensitive to food prices. The Central Bank of India have made reducing inflation a top
priority and have been willing to raise interest rates, but cost push inflation is more difficult to
solve and it may cause a fall in growth as they try to reduce inflation.
2. Poor educational standards
Although India has benefited from a high % of English speakers.(important for call centre
industry) there is still high levels of illiteracy amongst the population. It is worse in rural areas and
amongst women. Over 50% of Indian women are illiterate. This limits economic development and
a more skilled workforce.
3. Poor Infrastructure
Many Indians lack basic amenities lack access to running water. Indian public services are
creaking under the strain of bureaucracy and inefficiency. Over 40% of Indian fruit rots before it
reach the market; this is one example of the supply constraints and inefficiency’s facing the Indian
4. Balance of Payments deterioration.
Although India has built up large amounts of foreign currency reserves the high rates of
economic growth have been at the cost of a persistent current account deficit. In late 2012, the
current account reached a peak of 6% of GDP. Since then there has been an improvement in the
current account. But, the Indian economy has seen imports growth faster than exports. This means
India needs to attract capital flows to finance the deficit. Also, the large deficit caused the
depreciation in the Rupee between 2012 and 2014. Whilst the deficit remains, there is always the
fear of a further devaluation in the Rupee. There is a need to rebalance the economy and improve
competitiveness of exports.
5. High levels of private debt
Buoyed by a property boom the amount of lending in India has grown by 30% in the past
year. However there are concerns about the risk of such loans. If they are dependent on rising
property prices it could be problematic. Furthermore if inflation increases further it may force the
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RBI to increase interest rates. If interest rates rise substantially it will leave those indebted facing
rising interest payments and potentially reducing consumer spending in the future
6. Inequality has risen rather than decreased.
It is hoped that economic growth would help drag the Indian poor above the poverty
line.However so far economic growth has been highly uneven benefiting the skilled and wealthy
disproportionately. Many of India’s rural poor are yet to receive any tangible benefit from the
India’s economic growth. More than 78 million homes do not have electricity. 33% (268million) of
the population live on less than $1 per day. Furthermore with the spread of television in Indian
villages the poor are increasingly aware of the disparity between rich and poor. (3)
7. Large Budget Deficit
India has one of the largest budget deficits in the developing world. Excluding subsidies it
amounts to nearly 8% of GDP. Although it is fallen a little in the past year. It still allows little
scope for increasing investment in public services like health and education.
8. Rigid labour Laws
As an example Firms employing more than 100 people cannot fire workers without
government permission. The effect of this is to discourage firms from expanding to over 100
people. It also discourages foreign investment. Trades Unions have an important political power
base and governments often shy away from tackling potentially politically sensitive labour laws.
9. Inefficient agriculture
Agriculture produces 17.4% of economic output but, over 51% of the work force are
employed in agriculture. This is the most inefficient sector of the economy and reform has proved
10. Slowdown in growth
2013/14 has seen a slowdown in the rate of economic growth to 4-5%. Real GDP per capita
growth is even lower. This is a cause for concern as India needs a high growth rate to see rising
living standards, lower unemployment and encouraging investment. India has fallen behind China,
which is a comparable developing economy
Violence against Women
Centuries have come, and centuries have gone, but the plight of women is not likely to
change. Time has helplessly watched women suffering in the form of discrimination, oppression,
exploitation, degradation, aggression, humiliation. In Indian society, woman occupies a vital
position and venerable place. The Vedas glorified women as the mother, the creator, one who gives
life and worshipped her as a ‘Devi' or Goddess. But their glorification was rather mythical for at
the same time, in India women found herself totally suppressed and subjugated in a patriarchal
society. Indian women through the countries remained subjugated and oppressed because society
believed in clinging on to orthodox beliefs for the brunt of violence—domestic as well as public,
Physical, emotional and mental . Male violence against women are worldwide phenomenon. Fear
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of violence is an important factor in the lives of most women. Fear of violence is the cause of lack
of participation in every sphere of life. There are various forms of crime against women.
Sometimes it is even before birth, some times in the adulthood and other phrases of life. In the
Indian society, position of women is always perceived in relation to the man. This perception has
given birth to various customs and practices. Violence against women both inside and outside of
their home has been a crucial issue in the contemporary Indian society. Women in India constitute
near about half of its population and most of them are grinding under the socio-cultural and
religious structures. One gender has been controlling the space of the India 's social economic,
political and religious fabric since time immemorial. The present study felt the need that in the era
of globalization and modernization the present trends of crimes against women is on increase.
Recently the brutal gang rape against 23 year student in Delhi again sparked the debate on Indian
mental set up and existing law and order in the Country.
Violence against women may be categorized as:
(i) Criminal violence—rape, abduction, murder…
(ii) Domestic violence—dowry-deaths, wife battering, sexual abuse, and maltreatment of widows
and/or elderly women…
(iii) Social violence—forcing the wife/daughter-in-law to go for female foeticide, eve-teasing,
refusing to give a share to women in property, forcing a young widow to commit sati, harassing the
daughter-in- law to bring more dowry…
The crime figures pertaining to six types of crimes against women in India in the five years
between 1990 and 1994 indicate that these crimes have been constantly increasing every year.
Broadly speaking, every year about 11,000 rapes, 21,000 molestations, 12,000 kidnappings, 20,000
cases of torture, 10,000 cases of eve-teasing, and 5,000 cases of dowry deaths take place (Crime in
India, 1994: 212).
In 1994, the number of different cases recorded was: torture: 25,946; molestation: 24,117;
eve-teasing: 10,496; kidnapping and abduction: 12,998; rape: 12,351 and dowry death: 4,935 (Ibid:
212). Of the total crimes against women under the IPC every year (about 80,000), 25 per cent are
torture cases, 27 per cent are molestation cases, 13 per cent are eve-teasing cases, 15 per cent are
kidnapping and abduction cases, 14 per cent are rape cases, and 6 per cent are dowry death cases
(Ibid: 212).
As regards crimes under the local and special laws in 1993, 12,426 cases were recorded
under the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 2,679 cases under the Dowry Prohibition Act and five
cases under the Sati (Prevention) Act. In 1994, the number of cases recorded was: Immoral Traffic
Act: 7,547, Indecent Representation of Women Act: 349 and Sati Act: 2 (Ibid: 212). It may be said
that a rape takes place once in every 47 minutes, eve-teasing once in every 44 minutes, molestation
once in every 25 minutes, a dowry death once in every 90 minutes, and a kidnapping once in every
44 minutes.
Some figures were published on crimes against women in Punjab in April 1995 on the basis
of a year-long study conducted by the Institute for Development and Communication. According
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to these figures, one woman is criminally assaulted in Punjab every 89 minutes, 8 women fall prey
to the dowry greed every day, one severe wife-beating takes place every 13 minutes, 31 women get
molested every day, and one case of eve-teasing occurs every 19 minutes. Further, for each
reported rape, 68 unreported rapes, for each reported eve-teasing 9,200 unreported eve- teasing
cases occur in Punjab.
The increase in crimes against women in Delhi is evident from the increase in the number of
cases reported by the Crime against Women Cell (CAWC) and by other police stations in Delhi.
The number of complaints in 1984 increased by about five times in 1994-from 1,550 to 7,570 (The
Hindustan Times, April 9, 1995).
The cases went up not necessarily because of increased reporting but it only indicates an
increased awareness about gender parity and women’s rights, the confidence of the victims in the
new laws for their protection, and because of institutions such as Mahila Courts, Family Courts,
and NGOs working for women.
But we know that all cases are not reported and recorded for various reasons. The cases of
domestic violence like wife-battering and forced incest with the women of the household are never
reported at all. But by referring to the compiled cases, we get some ideas of the nature and extent
of violence against women.
Special Economic Zone
The Special Economic Zone (SEZ) policy in India first came into inception on April 1,
2000. The prime objective was to enhance foreign investment and provide an internationally
competitive and hassle free environment for exports. The idea was to promote exports from the
country and realising the need that level playing field must be made available to the domestic
enterprises and manufacturers to be competitive globally.
Legislation has been passed permitting SEZs to offer tax breaks to foreign investors. Over
half a decade has passed since its inception, but the SEZ Bill has certain drawbacks due to the
omission of key provisions that would have relaxed rigid labour rules. This has lessened India's
chance of emulating the success of the Chinese SEZ model, through foreign direct investment
(FDI) in export-oriented manufacturing.
The policy relating to SEZs, so far contained in the foreign trade policy, was originally
implemented through piecemeal and ad hoc amendments to different laws, besides executive
orders. In order to avoid these pitfalls and to give a long-term and stable policy framework with
minimum regulation, the SEZ Act, '05, was enacted. The Act provides the umbrella legal
framework, covering all important legal and regulatory aspects of SEZ development as well as for
units operating in SEZs.
Since the rules will take care of many issues, the Special Economic Zone Act is likely to
take some more time and the government is unlikely to notify them before September 1.The
commerce and industry ministry is examining the domestic industry's comments on draft SEZ
rules. A meeting of development commissioners of all SEZs will be convened soon to discuss the
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changes that need to be incorporated before they are notified to be placed before the parliament for
final approval.
The objective of the SEZ Act was to create a hassle-free regime and the rules would be formulated
keeping this in mind. The ministry is also holding talks with state governments as they have to play
an important role in the development of SEZs.
What is a Special Economic Zone(SEZ)?
Special Economic Zone (SEZ) is a specifically delineated duty-free enclave and shall be
deemed to be foreign territory for the purposes of trade operations and duties and tariffs. In order
words, SEZ is a geographical region that has economic laws different from a country's typical
economic laws. Usually the goal is to increase foreign investments. SEZs have been established in
several countries, including China, India, Jordan, Poland, Kazakhstan, Philippines and Russia.
North Korea has also attempted this to a degree.
Where are SEZs located in India?
At present there are eight functional SEZs located at Santa Cruz (Maharashtra), Cochin
(Kerala), Kandla and Surat (Gujarat), Chennai (Tamil Nadu), Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh),
Falta (West Bengal) and Noida (Uttar Pradesh) in India. Further an SEZ in Indore (Madhya
Pradesh) is now ready for operation.
In addition 18 approvals have been given for setting up of SEZs at Positra (Gujarat), Navi Mumbai
and Kopata (Maharashtra), Nanguneri (Tamil Nadu), Kulpi and Salt Lake (West Bengal), Paradeep
and Gopalpur (Orissa), Bhadohi, Kanpur, Moradabad and Greater Noida (UP), Vishakhapatnam
and Kakinada (Andhra Pradesh), Vallarpadam/Puthuvypeen (Kerala), Hassan (Karnataka), Jaipur
and Jodhpur (Rajasthan) on the basis of proposals received from the state governments.
Who can set up SEZs? Can foreign companies set up SEZs?
Any private/public/joint sector or state government or its agencies can set up an SEZ.
Yes, a foreign agency can set up SEZs in India.
What is the role of state governments in establishing SEZs?
State governments will have a very important role to play in the establishment of SEZs.
Representative of the state government, who is a member of the inter-ministerial committee on
private SEZ, is consulted while considering the proposal. Before recommending any proposals to
the ministry of commerce and industry (department of commerce), the states must satisfy
themselves that they are in a position to supply basic inputs like water, electricity, etc.
Are SEZ's controlled by the government?
In all SEZs the statutory functions are controlled by the government. Government also
controls the operation and maintenance function in the seven central government controlled SEZs.
The rest of the operations and maintenance are privatised.
Are SEZs exempt from labour laws?
Normal labour laws are applicable to SEZs, which are enforced by the respective state
governments. The state governments have been requested to simplify the procedures/returns and
for introduction of a single window clearance mechanism by delegating appropriate powers to
development commissioners of SEZs.
Who monitors the functioning of the units in SEZ?
The performance of the SEZ units is monitored by a unit approval committee consisting of
development commissioner, custom and representative of state government on an annual basis.
What are the special features for business units that come to the zone?
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Business units that set up establishments in an SEZ would be entitled for a package of
incentives and a simplified operating environment. Besides, no license is required for imports,
including second hand machineries.
Will it be possible to supply to other units in SEZ?
Yes. Inter-unit sales are permitted as per the SEZ policy. A buyer procuring from another
unit pays in foreign exchange.
How do SEZs help a country's economy?
SEZs play a key role in rapid economic development of a country. In the early 1990s, it
helped China and there were hopes (perhaps never very high ones, admittedly) that the
establishment in India of similar export-processing zones could offer similar benefits -- provided,
however, that the zones offered attractive enough concessions.
Traditionally the biggest deterrents to foreign investment in India have been high tariffs and
taxes, red tape and strict labour laws. To date, these restrictions have ensured that India has been
unable to compete with China's massively successful light-industrial export machine. India's goods
exports in 2004 were an estimated $68 bn compared with $594 bn for China, and the stock of
inward FDI, at $42 bn, was less than a tenth of China's $544 bn.
Land Grabbing
Land is life. It is the basis of livelihoods for peasants and indigenous people across the
Third World and is also becoming the most vital asset in the global economy. As the resource
demands of globalisation increase, land has emerged as a key source of conflict. In India, 65 per
cent of people are dependent on land. At the same time a global economy, driven by speculative
finance and limitless consumerism, wants the land for mining and for industry, for towns,
highways, and bio fuel plantations. The speculative economy of global finance is hundreds of
times larger than the value of real goods and services produced in the world.
Financial capital is hungry for investments and returns on investments. It must commodify
everything on the planet - land and water, plants and genes, microbes and mammals. The
commodification of land is fuelling the corporate land grab in India, both through the creation of
Special Economic Zones and through foreign direct investment in real estate.
Land, for most people in the world, is Terra Madre, Mother Earth, Bhoomi, Dharti Ma.
The land is people's identity; it is the ground of culture and economy. The bond with the land is a
bond with Bhoomi, our Earth; 75 per cent of the people in the Third World live on the land and are
supported by the land. The Earth is the biggest employer on the planet: 75 per cent of the wealth of
the people of the global south is in land.
Colonisation was based on the violent takeover of land. And now, globalisation as
recolonisation is leading to a massive land grab in India, in Africa, in Latin America. Land is being
grabbed for speculative investment, for speculative urban sprawl, for mines and factories, for
highways and expressways. Land is being grabbed from farmers after trapping them in debt and
pushing them to suicide.
India's land issues
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In India, the land grab is facilitated by the toxic mixture of the colonial Land Acquisition
Act of 1894, the deregulation of investments and commerce through neo-liberal policies - and
with it the emergence of the rule of uncontrolled greed and exploitation. It is facilitated by the
creation of a police state and the use of colonial sedition laws which define defence of the public
interest and national interest as anti-national.
The World Bank has worked for many years to commodify land. The 1991 World Bank
structural adjustment programme reversed land reform, deregulated mining, roads and ports. While
the laws of independent India to keep land in the hands of the tiller were reversed, the 1894 Land
Acquisition Act was untouched.
Thus the state could forcibly acquire the land from the peasants and tribal peoples and hand
it over to private speculators, real estate corporations, mining companies and industry.
Across the length and breadth of India, from Bhatta in Uttar Pradesh (UP) to Jagatsinghpur
in Orissa to Jaitapur in Maharashtra, the government has declared war on our farmers,
our annadatas, in order to grab their fertile farmland.
Their instrument is the colonial Land Acquisition Act - used by foreign rulers against
Indian citizens. The government is behaving as the foreign rulers did when the Act was first
enforced in 1894, appropriating land through violence for the profit of corporations - JayPee
Infratech in Uttar Pradesh for the Yamuna expressway, POSCO in Orissa and AREVA in Jaitapur grabbing land for private profit and not, by any stretch of the imagination, for any public purpose.
This is rampant in the country today.
These land wars have serious consequences for our nation's democracy, our peace and our
ecology, our food security and rural livelihoods. The land wars must stop if India is to survive
ecologically and democratically.
While the Orissa government prepares to take the land of people in Jagatsinghpur, people
who have been involved in a democratic struggle against land acquisition since 2005, Rahul
Gandhi makes it known that he stands against forceful land acquisition in a similar case in Bhatta
in Uttar Pradesh. The Minister for the Environment, Mr Jairam Ramesh, admitted that he gave the
green signal to pass the POSCO project - reportedly under great pressure. One may ask: "Pressure
from whom?" This visible double standard when it comes to the question of land in the country
must stop.
Violation of the land
In Bhatta Parsual, Greater Noida (UP), about 6000 acres of land is being acquired by
infrastructure company Jaiprakash Associates to build luxury townships and sports facilities including a Formula 1 racetrack - in the guise of building the Yamuna Expressway. In total, the
land of 1225 villages is to be acquired for the 165km Expressway. The farmers have been
protesting this unjust land acquisition, and last week, four people died - while many were injured
during a clash between protesters and the police on May 7, 2011. If the government continues its
land wars in the heart of India's bread basket, there will be no chance for peace.
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In any case, money cannot compensate for the alienation of land. As 80-year-old
Parshuram, who lost his land to the Yamuna Expressway, said: "You will never understand how it
feels to become landless"
While land has been taken from farmers at Rs 300 ($6) per square metre by the government
- using the Land Acquisition Act - it is sold by developers at Rs 600,000 ($13,450) per square
metre - a 200,000 per cent increase in price - and hence profits. This land grab and the profits
contribute to poverty, dispossession and conflict.
Similarly, on April 18, in Jaitapur, Maharashtra, police opened fire on peaceful protesters
demonstrating against the Nuclear Power Park proposed for a village adjacent to the small port
town. One person died and at least eight were seriously injured. The Jaitapur nuclear plant will be
the biggest in the world and is being built by French company AREVA. After the Fukushima
disaster, the protest has intensified - as has the government's stubbornness.
Today, a similar situation is brewing in Jagatsinghpur, Orissa, where 20 battalions have
been deployed to assist in the anti-constitutional land acquisition to protect the stake of India's
largest foreign direct investment - the POSCO Steel project. The government has set the target of
destroying 40 betel farms a day to facilitate the land grab. The betel brings the farmers an annual
earning of Rs 400,000 ($9,000) an acre. The Anti-POSCO movement, in its five years of peaceful
protest, has faced state violence numerous time and is now gearing up for another - perhaps final non-violent and democratic resistance against a state using violence to facilitate its undemocratic
land grab for corporate profits, overlooking due process and the constitutional rights of the people.
The largest democracy of the world is destroying its democratic fabric through its land
wars. While the constitution recognises the rights of the people and the panchayats[village
councils] to democratically decide the issues of land and development, the government is
disregarding these democratic decisions - as is evident from the POSCO project where
three panchayats have refused to give up their land.
The use of violence and destruction of livelihoods that the current trend is reflecting is not
only dangerous for the future of Indian democracy, but for the survival of the Indian nation state
itself. Considering that today India may claim to be a growing or booming economy - but yet is
unable feed more than 40 per cent of its children are a matter of national shame.
Land is not about building concrete jungles as proof of growth and development; it is the
progenitor of food and water, a basic for human survival. It is thus clear: what India needs today is
not a land grab policy through an amended colonial land acquisition act but a land conservation
policy, which conserves our vital eco-systems, such as the fertile Gangetic plain and coastal
regions, for their ecological functions and contribution to food security.
Handing over fertile land to private corporations, who are becoming the
newzamindars [heriditary aristocrats], cannot be defined as having a public purpose. Creating
multiple privatised super highways and expressways does not qualify as necessary infrastructure.
The real infrastructure India needs is the ecological infrastructure for food security and water
security. Burying our fertile food-producing soils under concrete and factories is burying the
country's future.( Dr. Vandana Shiva)
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Developments in Science and Technology
In 1947, with the emergence of a new politically independent nation, India continued to
march ahead pursuing a programme of using modern science and technology for national
Today, India spends about 1.5% of its GNP on science and technology and it has not only
established unique capabilities of its own in this efforts but has also cooperated with developed as
well as developing countries in its progress towards the use of science and technology.
There is no doubt that J.L Nehru's India's first Prime Minister was fully analyzed the
indispensability of science and technology in the economic and the social independence.
The first Prime Minister of India made conscious efforts to enhance and modernise the
scientific in fracture in the countries through setting up of a chain of national laboratories,
institutes of higher technical education, universities etc. Not only that, soon after becoming the
Prime Minister of India, Nehru created a Ministry of Scientific Research and Natural Resources
and actively supported the atomic energy programme for peaceful purposes.
In 1948, the Atomic Energy Act was passed and the Department of Atomic Energy was
directly under his charge was created. Under the farsighted leadership of Nehru, the nation, the
government and the public leaders became committed to the promotion of science and technology.
J.L. Nehru also appointed a scientific man power committee and five institutes of technology came
up at Kharagpur, Bombay, Madras, Kanpur and Delhi besides a number of regional engineering
colleges by his efforts. In 1948, Nehru directed the CSIR to prepare National Register of Scientific
and Technical personnel.
Defence organization was set up in 1948, on advice prof. P.M.S Blackett for the scientific
evolution of weapons and equipment, operational research and special studies.
The enthusiastic efforts of Mr. Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar led to the expansion of the Council
of Scientific and Industrial Research into a chain of national laboratories spanning a wide spectrum
of science, technology, engineering and biomedical sciences.
The vision of Homi. J. Bhabha also led to advanced research in nuclear energy and other
fundamental areas through the creation of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research which is now
known as the Bhabha Atomic Research Center (BARC). Later on Indira Gandhi gave the highest
priority to self-reliance in science and technology and self-sufficiency in food. In 1971,
recongnising the importance of self-reliant electronic capabilities in the country, she set up the
Electronic Commission.
To ensure that the developmental activities took place in harmony with the environment,
Mrs. Gandhi created a new department of environment at the center in 1980. It was her initiative
that the first Indian scientific expedition to Antartica. She was also deeply aware of the great
importance of energy for development and in particular, the pressing needs in rural areas.
Accordingly, she set up a Commission on Additional Sources of Energy in March 1981 and
thereafter a department of Non-conventional Energy source. Considering the further need for
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advancement in science and technology Mr. Rajiv Gandhi started Technology Mission as an
offshoot of the seventh plan. This mission launched in the fields of literacy, immunization,
oilseeds, drinking water, dairy products and telecommunication.
In the light of the new industrial and economic policies adopted by the government, the
approach has been, on technology development besides enhancing the flow of technology from
abroad, the department of electronic, space, nuclear energy etc. have initiated a series of
technology Missions to meet the need of countries.
As a result of all these efforts now India is one of the leading country of the world in
advancement of science and technology. And its example can be seen in the success of
Chandarayana-I mission and launching of world class warfare Submarine Arihant which is an
indigenous product. Launching of Oceansat-2 and Risat are another milestone of Indian science
and technology.
Liberalization, Privatization and Globalization
The economy of India had undergone significant policy shifts in the beginning of the 1990s.
This new model of economic reforms is commonly known as the LPG or Liberalisation,
Privatisation and Globalisation model. The primary objective of this model was to make the
economy of India the fastest developing economy in the globe with capabilities that help it match
up with the biggest economies of the world.
The chain of reforms that took place with regards to business, manufacturing, and financial
services industries targeted at lifting the economy of the country to a more proficient level. These
economic reforms had influenced the overall economic growth of the country in a significant
Liberalisation refers to the slackening of government regulations. The economic
liberalisation in India denotes the continuing financial reforms which began since July 24,
1991.Liberalisation is commonly known as free trade. It implies removal of restrictions and
barriers to free trade. India has taken many efforts for liberalisation which are as follows:
New economic policy, 1991.
Objectives of the new economic policy.
i. To achieve higher economic growth rate.
ii. To reduce inflation
iii. To rebuild foreign exchange reserves.
Foreign exchange Regulation Act 1973 was repealed and Foreign exchange Management
Act was passed. The enactment has incorporated clauses which have facilitated easy entry of
i. Joint ventures with foreign companies. E.g.: TVS Suzuki.
ii. Reduction of import tariffs.
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iii. Removal of export subsidies.
iv. Full convertibility of Rupee on current account.
v. Encouraging foreign direct investments.
The effect of liberalisation is that the companies of developing countries are facing a tough
competition from powerful corporations of developed countries. The local communities are
exploited by multinational companies on account of removal of regulations governing the activities
of MNCs.
Privatisation refers to the participation of private entities in businesses and services and
transfer of ownership from the public sector (or government) to the private sector as well. In the
event of globalization privatisation has become an order of the day. Privatisation can be defined as
the transfer of ownership and control of public sector units to private individuals or companies. It
has become inevitable as a result of structural adjustment programmes imposed by IMF.
Objectives of Privatisation:
To strengthen the private sectors:
Government to concentrate on areas like education and infrastructure.
In the event of globalization the government felt that increasing inefficiency on the part of
public sectors would not help in achieving global standards. Hence a decision was taken to
privatise the Public Sectors.
Causes of Inefficiency of Public Sectors:
i. Bureaucratic administration
ii. Out dated Technology
iii. Corruption
iv. Lack of accountability.
v. Domination of trade unions
vi. Political interference.
vii. Lack of proper marketing activities.
Privatisation has its own advantages and disadvantages Viz:
i. Efficiency
ii. Absence of political interference
iii. Quality service.
iv. Systematic marketing
v. Use of modern Technology
vi. Accountability
vii. Creation of competitive environment.
viii. Innovations
ix. Research and development
x. Optimum utilisation of resources
xi. Infra structure.
However, privatisation suffers from the following defects.
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i. Exploitation of labour.
ii. Abuse of powers by executives.
iii. Unequal distribution of wealth and income.
iv. Lack of job security for employees.
Privatisation has become inevitable in the present scenario. But some control should be
exercised by the government over private sectors.
The term globalization can be used in different contexts. The general usages of the term
Globalization can be as follows:
i. Interactions and interdependence among countries.
ii. Integration of world economy.
iii. De- territorisation.
By synthesising all the above views Globalization can be broadly defined as follows:
It refers to a process whereby there are social, cultural, technological exchanges across the
The term Globalization was first coined in 1980s. But even before this there were
interactions among nations. But in the modern days Globalization has touched all spheres of life
such as economy, education. Technology, cultural phenomenon, social aspects etc.The term
“global village” is also frequently used to highlight the significance of globalization. This term
signifies that revolution in electronic communication would unite the world.
Undoubtedly, it can be accepted that globalization is not only the present trend but also
future world order.
Effect of Globalization on India:
Globalization has its impact on India which is a developing country. The impact of
globalization can be analysed as follows:
1. Access to Technology:
Globalization has drastically, improved the access to technology. Internet facility has
enabled India to gain access to knowledge and services from around the world. Use of Mobile
telephone has revolution used communication with other countries.
2. Growth of international trade:
Tariff barriers have been removed which has resulted in the growth of trade among nations.
Global trade has been facilitated by GATT, WTO etc.
3. Increase in production:
Globalization has resulted in increase in the production of a variety of goods. MNCs have
established manufacturing plants all over the world.
4. Employment opportunities:
Establishment of MNCs have resulted in the increase of employment opportunities.
5. Free flow of foreign capital:
Globalization has encouraged free flow of capital which has improved the economy of
developing countries to some extent. It has increased the capital formation.
Negative effect of globalization:
Globalization is not free from negative effects. They can be summed up as follows:
1. Inequalities within countries:
Globalisation has increased inequalities among the countries. Some of the policies of
Globalization (liberalisation, WTO policies etc.) are more beneficial to developed countries. The
countries which have adopted the free trade agenda have become highly successful. E.g.: China is
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a classic example of success of globalization. But a country like India is not able to overcome the
2. Financial Instability:
As a consequence of globalization there is free flow of foreign capital poured into
developing countries. But the economy is subject to constant fluctuations.On account of variations
in the flow of foreign capital.
3. Impact on workers:
Globalization has opened up employment opportunities. But there is no job security for
employees. The nature of work has created new pressures on workers. Workers are not permitted
to organise trade unions.
4. Impact on farmers:
Indian farmers are facing a lot of threat from global markets. They are facing a serious
competition from powerful agricultural industries quite often cheaply produced agro products in
developed countries are being dumped into India.
5. Impact on Environment:
Globalization has led to 50% rise in the volume of world trade. Mass movement of goods
across the world has resulted in gas emission. Some of the projects financed by World Bank are
potentially devastating to ecological balance. E.g.: Extensive import or export of meat.
6. Domination by MNCs:
MNCs are the driving force behind globalization. They are in a position to dictate powers.
Multinational companies are emerging as growing corporate power. They are exploiting the cheap
labour and natural resources of the host countries.
7. Threat to national sovereignty:
Globalizations results in shift of economic power from independent countries to
international organisations, like WTO United Nations etc. The sovereignty of the elected
governments are naturally undermined, as the policies are formulated in favour of globalization.
Thus globalization has its own positive and negative consequences. According to Peter F Ducker
Globalization for better or worse has changed the way the world does business. It is unstoppable.
Thus Globalization is inevitable, but India should acquire global competitiveness in all fields.
LPG and the Economic Reform Policy of India
Following its freedom on August 15, 1947, the Republic of India stuck to socialistic
economic strategies. In the 1980s, Rajiv Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India, started a number
of economic restructuring measures. In 1991, the country experienced a balance of payments
dilemma following the Gulf War and the downfall of the erstwhile Soviet Union. The country had
to make a deposit of 47 tons of gold to the Bank of England and 20 tons to the Union Bank of
Switzerland. This was necessary under a recovery pact with the IMF or International Monetary
Fund. Furthermore, the International Monetary Fund necessitated India to assume a sequence of
systematic economic reorganisations. Consequently, the then Prime Minister of the country, P V
Narasimha Rao initiated groundbreaking economic reforms. However, the Committee formed by
Narasimha Rao did not put into operation a number of reforms which the International Monetary
Dr Manmohan Singh, the present Prime Minister of India, was then the Finance Minister of
the Government of India. He assisted. Narasimha Rao and played a key role in implementing these
reform policies.
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Narasimha Rao Committee's Recommendations
The recommendations of the Narasimha Rao Committee were as follows:
Bringing in the Security Regulations (Modified) and the SEBI Act of 1992 which rendered the
legitimate power to the Securities Exchange Board of India to record and control all the mediators
in the capital market.
Doing away with the Controller of Capital matters in 1992 that determined the rates and number
of stocks that companies were supposed to issue in the market.
Launching of the National Stock Exchange in 1994 in the form of a computerised share buying
and selling system which acted as a tool to influence the restructuring of the other stock
exchanges in the country. By the year 1996, the National Stock Exchange surfaced as the biggest
stock exchange in India.
In 1992, the equity markets of the country were made available for investment through overseas
corporate investors. The companies were allowed to raise funds from overseas markets through
issuance of GDRs or Global Depository Receipts.
Promoting FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) by means of raising the highest cap on the
contribution of international capital in business ventures or partnerships to 51 per cent from 40
per cent. In high priority industries, 100 per cent international equity was allowed.
Cutting down duties from a mean level of 85 per cent to 25 per cent, and withdrawing quantitative
regulations. The rupee or the official Indian currency was turned into an exchangeable currency
on trading account.
Reorganisation of the methods for sanction of FDI in 35 sectors. The boundaries for international
investment and involvement were demarcated.
The outcome of these reorganisations can be estimated by the fact that the overall amount of
overseas investment (comprising portfolio investment, FDI, and investment collected from
overseas equity capital markets ) rose to $5.3 billion in 1995-1996 in the country) from a
microscopic US $132 million in 1991-1992. Narasimha Rao started industrial guideline changes
with the production zones. He did away with the License Raj, leaving just 18 sectors which
required licensing. Control on industries was moderated.
Highlights of the LPG Policy
Given below are the salient highlights of the Liberalisation, Privatisation and Globalisation
Policy in India:
Foreign Technology Agreements
Foreign Investment
MRTP Act, 1969 (Amended)
Industrial Licensing
Beginning of privatisation
Opportunities for overseas trade
Steps to regulate inflation
Tax reforms
Abolition of License -Permit Raj
Narasimha Rao
Pamulaparti Venkata Narasimha Rao (popularly known as P.V.) (28 June 1921 – 23
December 2004) was an Indian lawyer and politician who served as the Prime Minister of
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India (1991–1996). His ascendancy to the prime minister ship was politically significant in that he
was the first holder of this office from non-Hindi-speaking south India. He led an important
administration, overseeing a major economic transformation and several home incidents affecting
national security of India. Rao who held the Industries was personally responsible for the
dismantling of the Licence Raj as this came under the purview of the Ministry of Commerce and
Industry. He is often referred to as the "Father of Indian Economic Reforms". Future Prime
ministers Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh continued the economic reform policies
pioneered by Rao's government. Rao accelerated the dismantling of the License Raj, reversing
the socialist policies of Rajiv Gandhi's government. He employed Dr.Manmohan Singh as
his Finance Minister to embark on historic economic transition. With Rao's
mandate,Dr.Manmohan Singh launched India’s globalisation angle of the reforms that implemented
the International Monetary Fund (IMF) policies to rescue the almost bankrupt nation from
economic collapse. Rao was also referred to as Chanakya for his ability to steer tough economic
and political legislation through the parliament at a time when he headed a minority government.
According to Natwar Singh, "Unlike Nehru, his knowledge of Sanskrit was profound.
Nehru had a temper, PV a temperament. His roots were deep in the spiritual and religious soil of
India. He did not need to Discover India". 11th President of India APJ Abdul Kalam described Rao
as a "patriotic statesman who believed that the nation is bigger than the political system". Kalam
acknowledged that Rao in fact asked him to get ready for nuclear tests in 1996 but it was not
carried out as government at centre got changed due to 1996 general election and it was later
carried out by Vajpayee led NDA government. In fact Rao briefed Vajpayee on nuclear plans.
Rao's term as Prime Minister was an eventful one in India's history. Besides marking a
paradigm shift from the industrialising, mixed economic model of Jawaharlal Nehru to a market
driven one, his years as Prime Minister also saw the emergence of the Bharatiya Janata
Party (BJP), a major right-wing party, as an alternative to the Indian National Congress which had
been governing India for most of its post-independence history. Rao's term also saw the destruction
of the Babri Mosque in Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh when BJP's Kalyan Singh was CM which
triggered one of the worst Hindu-Muslim riots in the country since its independence. Rao died in
2004 of a heart attack in New Delhi. He was cremated in Hyderabad. He was a versatile
personality with interests in a variety of subjects (other than politics) such
as literature and computer software (including computer programming). He spoke 17 languages.
Manmohan Singh
Manmohan Singh was born in 26 September 1932 is an Indian economist who served as
the Prime Minister of India from 2004 to 2014. The first Sikh in office, Singh was the first prime
minister since Jawaharlal Nehru to be re-elected after completing a full five-year term.
Born in Gah (now in Punjab, Pakistan), Singh's family migrated to India during its
partition in 1947. After obtaining his doctorate in economics from Oxford, Singh worked for the
United Nations in 1966–69. He subsequently began his bureaucratic career when Lalit Narayan
Mishra hired him as an advisor in the Ministry of Foreign Trade. Over the 70s and 80s, Singh held
several key posts in the Government, such as Chief Economic Advisor (1972–76), Reserve
Bank governor (1982–85) and Commission head (1985–87).
In 1991, as India faced a severe economic crisis, newly elected Prime Minister P. V.
Narasimha Rao surprisingly inducted the apolitical Singh into his cabinet as Finance Minister.
Over the next few years, despite strong opposition, he as a Finance Minister carried out several
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structural reforms that liberalised India's economy. Although these measures proved successful in
averting the crisis, and enhanced Singh's reputation globally as a leading reform-minded
economist, the incumbent Congress party fared poorly in the 1996 general election. Subsequently,
Singh served as Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha (the upper house of India's
Parliament) during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government of 1998–2004.
In 2004, when the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) came to power, its
chairperson Sonia Gandhi unexpectedly relinquished the premiership to Manmohan Singh. This
Singh-led "UPA I" government executed several key legislations and projects, including the Rural
Health Mission, Unique Identification Authority, Rural Employment Guarantee scheme and Right
to Information Act. In 2008, opposition to a historic civil nuclear agreement with the United
States nearly caused Singh's government to fall after Left parties withdrew their support. Although
India's economy grew rapidly under UPA I, its security was threatened by several terrorist
incidents (including the 2008 Mumbai attacks) and the continuing Maoist insurgency.
The 2009 general election saw the UPA return with an increased mandate, with Singh
retaining the office of Prime Minister. Over the next few years, Singh's "UPA II" government
faced a number of corruption charges—over the organisation of the Commonwealth Games,
the 2G-spectrum allocation and the allocation of coal blocks. After his term ended in 2014 he opted
out from the race to the office of the Prime Minister of India during 2014 Indian general
election. Singh was never a member of Lok Sabha but continues to serve as a member of the Indian
Parliament, representing the state of Assam in the Rajya Sabha for the fifth consecutive term since
Dalit –Adivasi Uprisings
Tribal Movement in India before and after Independence
After independence, various efforts have been made to improve the socio-economic
conditions of the tribals and to sustain the constitutional safeguard given to them The Central and
State Governments have made incessant efforts in the direction of tribal welfare and development.
Special programmes for their development have been undertaken in the successive Five Year
Plans. The aim was to bring them on par with other developed sections of the society. But the
results are not encouraging in all cases with an introduction of development plans, some societies
have found themselves disintegrated.
The establishment of heavy industries, construction of dams and launching of development
plans in tribal zones has necessitated displacement of local population. Thousands of tribal families
were displaced from their traditional habitats Contact situations with outsiders have been equally
Destruction of forests as a consequence of felling of trees for industrial purposes has
threatened the small communities of hunters and food-gathers.
Those who could take advantage of new economic and educational frontiers were able to
better their lot, while a large sections of the tribals, not adequately prepared to deal with new
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challenges, gradually depressed into poorer sections of the society. Against economic and social
disparities, they have raised a collective voice.
The tribals especially in central India had reacted against their exploiters. These movements
were directed towards freeing their land from all those who exploited them economically and
culturally. At the same time, each of these movements put emphasis on revitalisation of their
culture, their traditional culture which was swayed under the impact of the outsiders.
Tribal Movement before Independence:
As soon as the British took over Eastern India, tribal revolts broke out to challenge alien
rule. In the early years of colonialisation, no other community in India offered such heroic
resistance to British rule or faced such tragic consequences as did the numerous Advise
Communities of now Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Bengal.
The fact needs reiteration and highlighting in history that the tribals of Orissa were the first
ones in India to wage war against British Colonialism. It should also be noted that contrary to the
historians this began as early as 1768 and not in 1820 as opined by them. It was in 1768 that under
the feudal king Krushna Bhanja of Ghumsar, the Kondha fought a pitched battle against the British
and many lost their lives.
The same year Raja Narayan Deb of Parlakhemundi fought another battle at Jalwara where
30 tribals died. Meanwhile, the British took over Ganjam as part of Madras Presidency and
appointed Edward Court as its President. But repeated battles IS the British by the tribals under the
leadership of Maharandpata Mahadevi Parala Bikaram Bhanja of and late Srikar Bhanja of
Ghumsar led the British to abandon the idea of reigning the area and declare it as ‘deserted’.
In 1772 the Paharia revolt broke out which was followed by a five year uprising led by
Tilka Manjhi who was hanged in Bhagalpur in 1785. In the next two decades, revolt took place in
Singbhum, Gumla, Birbhum, Bankura Monbhoom and Palama, followed by the great Koi Rising of
1832 and Khewar and Bhum.j revolts (1832-34).
The various uprising of the “Kondh meli” and the revolt of the revolt for against their feudal
ruler in 1837, the noteworthy militant struggle of the Khonds for a decade from 1846-56 under the
leadership of Chakara Biso, and the resistance to British exploitation by the Santhals of Orissa
under the Murmu Brothers among many others will go down as momentous events in the history of
Onssa’s struggle against the British.
The rebellion of 1855-1857 was a great event in history of Santhal. In 1855 the Santhals
wage war against the permanent settlement of Lord Cornwallis. On 30 th June, 1855 a massive rally
of Santhal, over ten thousand, protested against their exploitation and oppression. The ‘rally, led by
Sidho and Kano, took an oath to end the oppressive rule of the British, Zamindars and moneylenders and, it deeded to set up an independent Santhali Raj.
The money-lenders and Zamindars had flocked into Santhal areas. The crops of the Santhal
were forcibly seized, the interests chafed on loans varied from fifty to five hundred per cent. The
Santhal uprising (1855-1857) was an attempt to recover the tribal land which was steadily lost to
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the outsiders and to wipe out the non-tribals from their territory. It is estimated that fifteen to
twenty five thousand Santhals were killed in this uprising.
As stated earlier, in 1855 the Santhals waged war against the permanent settlement of
Cornwallis and a year later, numerous Advice leaders play a key role in the 1857 war of
independence. But the defeat of 1858 only intensified British exploitation of national wealth and
A forest regulation Act passed in 1865 empowered the British Government to declare any
land covered with trees or brushwood as Government forest and to make rules to manage it under
terms of its own choosing.
The Act made no provision regarding the rights of tribal users, a more comprehensive
Indian Forest Act was passed in 1878, which imposed severe restrictions upon Advice rights over
forest land and produce in the protected and reserve forests. The Act radically changed the nature
of the traditional common property of the Advice communities and made it State property.
Advices uprising in the Jharkhand belt were quelled by the British through massive
deployment of troops across the region. There was uprising and the B.rsa Munda movement was
the most important of the late -18th century struggles against British rules and their local agents.
The long struggles led by Birsa Munda were directed at British policies that allowed the Zamindars
and money-lenders to harshly exploit the Advises. As he organised a force to fight oppressive
landlords, Christian missionaries and British officials, he was imprisoned. He was released only
after two years.
Out of jail, Birsa asked his people to ready their arms to fight injustice He trained his army
and became the politician leading his people to their goal of self-rule He was however arrested
again and died in jail. Yet the seeds of unrest were sown among his people and they continued to
fight against injustice. The Jharkhand movement had its root in this movement.
In 1914 Oraon started what is called Tana Bhagat movement. Tana Bhagat movement is
one kind of Bhagat movement which emerged among the Oraon of Chotanagpur, Bihar. The Tana
Bhagat movement is essentially religious in nature. Although Birsa Munda movement was started
basically as a socio-religious movements latter on his movement assumed quasi-political and
militaristic shape.
Among the Oraon the term Bhagat has been applied to a distinct section of tribe which
subscribes to the cult of Bhakti. The Bhagat movement is characterized by a large scale
incorporation of Hindu practices into its ideology. However the tribal’ leaders of both the
movements were essentially fighting the foreign exploiters like the landlords and contractors.
All these prepared the ground for the Sepoy Mutiny’s impact on Orissa in 1857 .The
Kolhas, Gonds, Santhals, Birjhals and Khonds joined hands with Surendra Sai in this first revolt
for Independence.
Latter the Bhajan meli engaged the British in skirmishes, ambushes, and battles for more
than 2 decades from 1868-1891 an experience the British never cherished. The struggle of the
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Mundas against these imperialists is another significant landmark. Under the leadership of “Birsa
Munda” the Munda tribals fought the British in 1900. On Jan 9th 1900, the British retaliated killing
masses of people.
But that did not deter them and history repeated itself. This time the Munda’s revolted
against the Queen of Gangpur who was exploiting the people under the patronage of the British.
Under the leadership of Nirmala Munda they fought the British m 1939 who in retaliation
mercilessly shot down innocent lives at “AmekoSimako” near Raiboga, creating another black spot
in the history of British in India The final of tribal struggle against British in pre-independent
Orissa is that of the Koraput tribals under the leadership of Lakman Naik. The struggle was short
and Lakman’s life ended with martydom. He was hanged on March 29 1943 at the Berhampur jail.
In the hill tribal tracts of Andhra Pradesh a revolt broke out in August 1922 led by Allun
Ramachandra Raju, (better known as Sitaram Raju), the Advisees of Andhra hills succeeded in
drawing the British into a full-scale guerrilla war. Unable to cope the British-brought in the
Malabar Special Force to crush it and only prevailed when Alluri Raju died.
As the freedom movement widened, it drew Advisees into all aspects of the struggle. Many
landless and deeply oppressed Advisees joined in with upper-caste freedom fighters expecting that
the defect of the British would usher in a new democratic era.
Tribal Movements after Independence:
Unfortunately, even after fifty years of independence, tribals have benefited least from the
advent-of freedom. Although independence has brought widespread gains for the vast majority of
the Indian population, Dalits and Adivasis have often been left out and new problems have arisen
for the tribal population. With the tripling of the population since 1947 pressures on land resources,
especially demands on frosted — have played have or on the lives of the tribals.
The basic issues behind the tribal movements in India after independence are and forest
alienation training and job deprivation due to influx of the outsiders, cultural sub-mergence, and
unbalanced development.
After independence, tribal movements may be classified into three groups (i) movement
dueto exploitation of outsider’s (ii) movements due to. Economic deprivation (like those of Gonds
in Madhya Pradesh and the Mahars in Andhra Pradesh (iii) movements due to separatist tendencies
(like those of the Nagas and Mizos).
The tribals movements may be classified on the basis of their orientation into four types:(i)
forest-based movements, (ii) socio-religious movements or social-culture movements (iii)
movements seeking political autonomy and formations of States (Nagas, Mizos, Jharkhand) and
(iv) agrarian movement, Naxalban movement-1967 and Brisadal movement 1968-69. Reformative
movement was found among the Mundas under powerful leadership of Dharli Aba, who preached
Hindu ideals of ritual purity, asceticism and criticised the worship of priests.
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The Naga revolution began in 1948 and continued upto 1972 when the new elected
Government came to power and the Nag insurgency was controlled. The Mizo Government cam p
formation of Meghalaya State in April 1970.
The Naxalite movement of the tribals in Bihar, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh; the agrarian
an movements of the Gonds and Bhils in Madhya Pradesh and the forest- based movements of
Gonds were mainly launched for liberation from oppression and discrimination, backwardness and
a Government which was callous to the tubal plight marked by poverty, hunger, unemployment
and exploitation.
Jharkhand movement was started which demanded for the creation of new state due forest
alienation, job deprivation, and influx of outsiders etc. The Jharkhand Party founded an Oxford
educated Christian of the Munda tribe had demanded craving out of a new State, spreading from
Palaman in Bihar to Keonjhar in Orissa and from Surguja in Madhya Pradesh to Manipur in West
Bengal, of the Indian Union of which tribal people would be numerically dominant.
Ever since the entry of multinational companies for bauxite mining and processing in ,1993,
the tribal people of Kashipur and Laxmipur blocks of Rayagada district Damantpur block of
Koraput district and Thuamul Rampur of Kalahand, district of Orissa have been apprehensive of
displacement and loss of livelihood.
Concerned over prospect of having to leave their hearth and home, people started organising
themselves Road blockades, demonstrations were organised in front of Government offices at
Kashipar and Rayagada. Survey areas of the companies were denied access to the area. The
responses of tribal people were co-ordinated by organisations such the Prakrutik Sampada Surakya
Parishad, the Baphilimali Surakya Samiti and Anchahk Surakhya Samiti. Every village now has a
resistance body.
Conflict over the mining of bauxite has taken a violent turn with killing of three innocent
tribal people. Since 1993, the police have registered 80 criminal cases against the tribal people and
activists. On several occasions, the police resorted to lathi charge. Activists were attacked and
offices of the resistance movement were destroyed.
The resistances to the alumina project and the police firing have important implications.
Successive Governments, various political parties that have been in power, local elites and local
businessmen supported the alumina project. At the same time, the struggle of the people and their
determination to make any sacrifice in order to protect their civil and political rights, right to
livelihood and habitat clearly demonstrate that people at the grassroots are not going to tolerate the
onslaught of market force.
Another movement has been started in Keonjhar district of Orissa against mining in the 90s
for the displaced people, particularly tribals. In Keonjhar, the mining activities have led to heavy
influx of workers from many parts of the country. The 90s decade saw an increase in migration due
to geographical and socio-economic reasons, leading to a threat of cultural invasion. Violence of
all type increased. Mining has led to indiscriminate deforestation and displacement of inhabitants.
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The movement against mining is popular among the Advisees such as Bhuiyan, Juang,
Munda, Santhal, and Kondh. The chief slogan of the movement against mining has been “our
lands,’ our minerals and our rights”. The villagers have been harassed by police and implicated in
false cases for organising meetings, public rallies and hunger strikes. A number of villagers had
been sent to jail in false cases between 1994 to 1999.
The villager and tribals of Rallagaruvu village in Vishakhapatnam district of Andhra
Pradesh had put up a brave resistance against illegal mining by various companies in the last
decades. Kondadora tribe is the biggest tribe in Northern Andhra Pradesh located in hilly terrains
of the State Rallagaruvu is famous for its calcite, firestone and mica reserves and is one on the
most sought after places for mining! There have been hundreds of attempts at illegal acquisition of
tribal lands. Due to prolonged struggle of the tribals that much of the land still remains free from
the clutches of the illegal mining.
Different tribal movement can be said to centre around the problem of their identity.
Coming to the North-East, the Bodo and Naga movement are good examples of how ethnic
identity takes up political route for raising their interests. In all these separatist movement, uneven
development and modernisation, concentration of gains in some area and their non-dispersal to
other, and urban- oriented models of growth are the chief causes.
Rise of tribal consciousness, tribal regionalism, frontier tribalism, etc. gained currency after
the movements in North East Frontier areas. Tribal regionalism, political in nature, has been said to
be a struggle for identity against alienation from basic sources, viz. land, forests and aspiration for
preservation of traditional culture Of late the movement in Tripura led by TUJS and Bodoland in
Assam. Gorkhaland movements have transcended that stage of aspiration limited in culture. The
newly emerged elites in these regions prefer to have a share in the power structure.
The regional leaders who improvise or manipulate identity symbols to mobilise group
sentiment, could rarely assess the likely responses of the political authorities and the dominant
social groups. As the movement proceeds and identity assertions tend to transform the concerned
ethic to a political conflict group, the leadership and the groups have to adopt modern skills and
mobilise resources.
In the process, they become participants in modernization and get involved in the
democratic power game. In both Gokhaland and Jharkhand, such democratization has been
evident. The Gorkhaland agitation gained momentum on issues such as Indo-Nepal treaty,
inclusion of Nepalese language in the Eighth Schedule of Indian Constitution and other sundry
economic factors.
The main thrust was on assertion of Indian Nepalese identity through citizenship demand. In
the Gorkhaland Accord (1988) enacting the establishment of Gorkha Hill Development Council,
both the main issues remained untouched. The identity problem was said to have been solved by
putting the word ‘Gorkha’ in the Council.
It remains to be seen if the grant of Statehood for Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh ameliorates
the conditions for India’s Advisees. However, it is imperative that all Advise districts receive
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special attention from the Central Government in terms of investment in schools, participatory
forest management and preservation, non-polluting industries and opportunities for the Advise
communities and preserve their rich heritage. Advises must have special access to educational,
cultural and economic opportunities so as reverse the effects of colonialisation and earlier injustice
experienced by the Advise communities.
At the same time, the country can learn much from the beauty of Advise social practices,
their culture of sharing and respect for all their deep humility and love of nature and most of all
their deep devotion to social equality and civic harmony.
Chipko Movement (Tree Hugging Movement)
The Chipko movement was started by Mr. Sundarlal Bahuguna in Tehri-Garhwal district of
Uttaranchal against ruthless felling of trees and destruction of forests by contractors. The
movement gathered momentum in 1978 when the women faced police firings and other tortures.
Though the objectives of the movement were broad based, the main objective was to protect the
trees on the Himalayan slopes from the axes of contractors of forest.
The movement was organized to oppose the ruthless destruction of nature to achieve short
term gains.Mr Bahuguna emphasized the importance of trees in environment which check the
erosion of soil, cause rains and provide pure air. The women of Advani village of Tehri-Garhwal
tied the sacred thread around trunks of trees and they hugged the trees, hence it was called Chipko
Movement When anybody tried to cut trees villagers faced police firing and later courted arrest in
February 1978.
This Chipko Movement under the leadership of Sri Sundarlal Bahuguna spread in other
villages of Tehri-Garhwal. Mr Bahuguna presented a plan for the protection of soil and water
through ban on tree felling in the Himalayas at the meeting of United Nations Environmental
Protection (UNEP) held in London in June 1982. He emphasized that every standing green tree in
the forest protects us from avalanches and landslides, purifies our atmosphere, and saves our soil,
water and other components of environment.
Chipko Movement is now a movement for planting of food, fuel, fibre, fodder and fertilizer
yielding trees to make the people self-sufficient in all their basic needs. It would generate a
decentralized and long term policy which will conserve the environment and bring everlasting
peace, prosperity and happiness to mankind. Mr Bahuguna took this mission along with his
dedicated workers and marched 3,000 km from Srinagar (Garhwal) to Siliguri. Mr. Bahuguna has
focussed public attention for protection and conservation of forests which were being destroyed
due to construction of Tehri Dam.
Tehri Dam on the Bhagirathi Ganga in Uttaranchal at the foot hills of Himalayas is big
project of billions of rupees. The dam has displaced 85,000 people and has submerged the Tehri
town and 100 villages. The site is prone to intense seismic activity. The 3,200 million tonnes of
water could cause a major earth tremor.
In the event of a disaster, Deoprayag, Haridwar and Rishikesh would be divested and
thousands of acres of agricultural land will be submerged The efforts were made to pressurize
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Government of India to stop further construction of this dam because this dam could destroy the
forests, wildlife, tribal habitation and disturb the ecosystem of that area. It is unfortunate that the
construction of Tehri dam completed and has started functioning. Much ecological damage is
People from France, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland and several other countries have
approached Mr.Bahuguna to get experience of this movement. In an International meeting held on
June 5, in Stockholm to celebrate “World Environment Day” the following statement was given
about Chipko Movement.
“A powerful environmental movement has grown up on the slopes of mountains of
Himalaya Villagers have created an effective non-violent way to stop the devastation by forest
industries. When the axe men come, the people form circle around the trees and they embrace the
trees. This has given the movement its name Chipko Andolan, the tree hugging movement.”
The following suggestions are made by the organizers of Chipko movement:
1. All commercial green tree feelings should be stopped forthwith.
2. No new contracts should be entered by forest departments with the industrialists to supply raw
materials and old contracts should be revised, especially those made for long-term supply of raw
materials at cheap rates.
3. Pine trees damaged due to extraction of resin should be given rest for a period of 10 years.
4. A massive programme for setting up biogas plants, especially in the lower region be taken up.
Night soil and other refuge of the cities be utilized by bio-gas industries.
5. Every water source should be trapped to generate hydroelectric power. People should be
encouraged to set up their community power houses.
6. Plantation of the trees for food, fodder, fuel, fertilizer etc., should be encouraged.
7. All branches of forest department should be integrated into one. At a later stage integration of
Agriculture, Horticulture and Forest department should be considered into one Land Use Dept.”.
8. There should be strong people’s participation in protection of environment alone cannot achieve
success. Foot-marches should be organized in all districts to create general awareness in public
regarding protection of environment.
In Chipko Movement there is greater people participation for soil, conservation and plant
protection. The rural people have preferred their own priorities. Conservation work first began in
the Chipko villages not for protecting trees but walls were built around agricultural fields to protect
from wild animals.
The grasses grew rapidly in the protected area n the fields men this benefit became clear to
women, they began to organize themselves for protecting and afforesting other patches of common
lands. While trees take -any years to bear fruit, grasses grow faster in a protected area and can
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provide fodder in few months. The Chipko women have devised a simple way for sharing this
produce. The head of the village Mahila Mangal Dal announces once a month a particular day on
which one member from each family can take away as much grass as she can. Thus the role of
women in ecological regeneration is very significant.
Today many voluntary organizations in the country are involved in environmental issues
although their objects are different. Some have aim in preventing deforestation, while other are
interested in afforestation. Some are interested to prevent the construction of dams. Some prevent
water and air pollution. Among all these organizations Chipko movement in the Uttaranchal
Himalayas, is the oldest and most famous of all the organisations which have played a major role
in deforestation.
There is another parallel movement in the South ‘the Apiko Movement’ the western Ghats
of Karnataka started by Medha Patekar. Dams like silent valley and Bethi have already been
stopped because of strong people’s protests through this movement but again these are heading
towards completion. Kerala Sasta Sahitya Parishad is another important organization which made
efforts against water pollution of the Chaliyar River in Kerala by a Rayon mill. There are many
others who are doing excellent work in mobilizing people to prevent further ecological destruction
and bring about ecological regeneration and protection.
Narmada Bachao Andolan
Andolan (NBA)
a social
movement consisting
of adivasis, farmers, environmentalists and human rights activists against a number of large dams
being built across the Narmada River, which flows through the states of Gujarat, Madhya
Pradesh and Maharashtra, all in India. Sardar Sarovar Dam in Gujarat is one of the biggest dams on
the river and was one of the first focal points of the movement.
Their mode of campaign includes hunger strikes and garnering support from film and art
personalities (notably Bollywood actor Aamir Khan). Narmada Bachao Andolan, with its leading
spokespersons Medha Patkar and Baba Amte, received the Right Livelihood Award in 1991.
The ‘Narmada Bachao Andolan’ is one of the most significant protest movements that
Independent India has ever seen.
The Narmada is one of the important rivers in India. It has a length of about 1450
kilometers. It flows from Amarkantak in Madhya Pradesh and after long journey, ends up in the
Arabian Sea. Ancient civilizations and cultures have taken shape over thousands of years along the
banks of Narmada.
The Narmada valley is inhabited by the ‘Bhils’ and ‘Gonda’, – some of the oldest races in
Indian civilization. There is plan to build 30 major dams, 135 medium dams and 3000 small dams
along the mainstream and the tributaries of this river. The mainstream will have 10 major dams.
What do these plans aim to achieve?
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The dams are estimated to produce 2700 megawatt of hydel power and also supply
irrigation water to cultivable land. The two largest dam reservoirs are named ‘Sardar Sarovar’ and
‘Narmada Sagar’. ‘Sardar Sarovar’ will be in Gujarat and ‘Narmada Sagar’ in Madhya Pradesh.
These dams have raised protests all over the world.
The names of Baba Amte and Medha Patkar have become well-known in the protestmovement launched in India.
The protesters have raised a few basic issues:
How can this huge cost be financed?
Thousands of hectares of fertile agricultural land will be destroyed.
A large number of people will become homeless.
Rich and diverse forest resources will be lost. All big dams usually result in accumulation of
silt. The normal river currents get obstructed.
Baba Amte first voiced his protests against the Narmada dams. He insisted that all details
of the project cleared in 1987, must be made public. A peaceful procession was made. About ten
thousand villagers from the threatened villages in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra
assembled in the rally. The administration proclaimed that if needed, the army would be deployed
to suppress the movement.
There are many issues on which the officials and the protesters have completely different
view. The Environment and Forest Departments have estimated the huge losses from cutting of
forest trees for implementation of the Narmada Sagar and the Sardar Sarovar projects, respectively.
The construction of giant reservoirs will never be accompanied by compensatory
afforestation. The issue of resettlement of the refugees will also not be considered as a priority.
Rehabilitation will not be viewed in its proper perspective. The settlements, the network of
livelihood and the cultural milieu woven around these over the generations will get totally lost.
The ‘Narmada Bachao’ movement has attracted international attention. Many prominent
intellectuals of the country are increasingly enlisting their support to the movement. The Supreme
Court, the highest judicial authority in the country, has already delivered significant judgments on
quite a few issues relating to this project.
Struggle against MNCs-Plachimada
The southern Indian state of Kerala is famous for abundant rainfalls. The favourable routes
of the summer and winter monsoons along the Indian subcontinent make Kerala green and lush.
Plachimada is situated in the heart of Kerala’s water belt and has large underground water
deposits. The site is surrounded by colonies, where several hundred poor people live in crowded
conditions. The sole source of employment is wage labour, usually for not more than 100 to 120
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days in a year. With the license granted by the local council, the Perumatty panchayat, Coco- Cola
bought a property of 40 acres, in Plachimada, from a couple of large landowners, built a plant,
sunk bore wells and commenced operations in 1999.
Within six months, the villagers saw the level of their water drop sharply, even run dry.
The water they did draw, caused diarrhoea and bouts of dizziness. When used for washing, the
water gave them rashes and a burning skin. It left their hair greasy and sticky. The women found
that the rice and dal didn’t get cooked, but became hard. A thousand families had become directly
affected. The pollution came from the sludge, Coca Cola dumped in the area surrounding its plant,
which the BBC had tested and declared to have a high content of cadmium and nickel. Coke was
passing it off as fertilizer.
On April 22, 2002, the locals, led by Mylamma and other tribal leaders, launched a
peaceful agitation. The Panchayat rescinded the licence on August 7th, 2003. The Plant was shut
The struggle at Plachimada continues to this day as villagers seek to recover the loss of
livelihood and counter the extreme damage to the water resources in the area. The struggle
represents the efforts of villagers and activists to wage a battle against a multi-national company
both at the level of the grassroots and the judiciary. It is also a testament to the ability of local selfgovernance bodies to effectively determine the nature of development in their respective areas, and
their right to prevent undue extraction of their resources.
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Communal Riots in India
Communal riots have become a distinct feature of communalism in India. Whenever
conflicting groups from two different religions, which are self –conscious communities, clash, it
results in a communal riot. An event is identified as a communal riot if (a) there is violence, and
(b) two or more communally identified groups confront each other or members of the other group
at some point during the violence. The reason for such a clash could be superficial and trivial,
though underlying them are deeper considerations of political representation, control of and access
to resources and power.
There have been many incidents of riots recorded during the course of British rule and
even before that. For example: In Ahmadabad there were riots in 1714, 1715, 1716 and 1750. But
according to Bipan Chandra, in his book “Communalism in Modern India”, communal tension
and riots began to occur only in the last quarter of the 19th century, but they did not occur in India
on any significant scale till 1946-47. Before that, the maximum communal rioting took place
during 1923-26. A clear relationship between communal riots and politics was established for the
first time in 1946, when the Muslim League gave its direct action call on August 16, 1946. This
chronology reveals that communal riots are not caused spontaneously and also that they are rarely
caused by religious animosity. They arise due to conflicting political interests, which are often
linked to economic interests. There is a significant change in the pattern of communal riots since
the 1990s, which could be noticed in the later part of this chronology.
This brings forth the shifts that have occurred in the nature of communal riots in India.
Moreover, the aim is to underline that religion in most of the cases is not the reason why
communal riots occur. The reason for the occurrence of communal violence has been different in
the two different phases. During the time of partition, it was the clash of political interests of the
elite of two different communities which resulted in communal riots. But, from the 1960s till the
late 1980s, the local political and economic factors played a very important role in instigating riots.
The emergence of Hindutva politics in the last two decades has been a cause of communal riots in
this phase where the local factors have also helped in instigating riots. Communal riots that took
place from the 1960s to the 1980s follow a particular pattern. They have mostly occurred in urban
towns which are either industrial belts or trading centres with the economy largely based on a
particular occupation. Most of these places had a considerable percentage of Muslim population
whose political or economic interests clashed with those of the Hindus.
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Moreover, the major riots occurred when the Congress was in power in these states or
during the short and uncertain phase of the Janata Party coalition rule at the Centre. Riots in this
phase might have occurred in the villages or rural areas like the Bihar sharif riots, but they have
often remained unreported. Therefore it is important to distinguish this phase from the 1990s
during which the BJP and its sister organizations have been active in instigating communal riots.
Communal violence since 1990s needs to be seen in the light of the changing political equations in
the country. The decline of the Congress and the emergence of the BJP as a strong political force
resulted in shifting patterns of communal riots. Communal violence in the last two decades is a
result of the manipulation of the religious sentiments of people by the Hindu right-wing
organizations for political gains. The politicization of the Mandir-Masjid issue and the subsequent
demolition of the Mosque gave the BJP the opportunity to consolidate its vote bank.
But in the process the controversy created a communal divide, and frequency of riots also
increased during this time. Since partition, never before has one particular incident resulted in the
emergence of violence in almost all the states. From the 1960s till 1980 local factors played a very
important role in the emergence of riots, but since the late 1980s this trend seems to be changing.
Communal violence has always occurred when the BJP has wanted to expand its base. In the recent
years the South Indian states, particularly Kerala and Tamilnadu, have also witnessed communal
violence and are slowly growing into communally sensitive areas. This is primarily because of the
recent entrance of BJP in the political arena of these states. Apart from Godhra, the other
incidences of communal violence in the 90s have been minor, yet they cannot be dismissed. These
eruptions of communal violence have not been spontaneous, but are organized, and often have the
support of the local administrations.
The state support to riots is a long established feature in India, yet the state has never been
such an active participant in the violence before the Gujarat riots. Communal violence has entered
a new phase with the Christians and members of other minority religions being made the victims of
planned attacks. Communal riots in this decade have been both urban and rural features, but the
extent of damage is always greater in the thriving centres of trade and commerce. Tribal population
in the rural areas is being forced to get involved in the attacks on Christians and Muslims by
bringing them within the Hindutva framework. Apart from economic reasons, the call for Hindu
unity which is primarily a means to achieve political advantage is the main source for communal
violence in this decade.
Godhra was indeed the first major communal riot that got such a wide media coverage
particularly from the satellite channels. Therefore the media now needs to be more responsible,
considering the influence that it can have over the masses. It is time that the media stopped any
kind of biased reporting as it can further encourage the communal elements to instigate the masses.
Political parties have always had a hand in instigating and exploiting communal violence so as to
meet their electoral interests. Though communal riots are condemned in various quarters, there is
still complete inaction both from the administration and the ruling governments in many states.
Though religious festivals and processions are generally the starting points of communal riots, still
sufficient security is not provided during these times. There is also not much response against
incidents of communal violence from the civil society. Till the time the political parties which
instigate communal riots are voted to power, the incentives to combat communalism will not be
able to develop fully.
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Delhi Riots
The 1984 anti-Sikh riots or the 1984 Sikh Massacre or the 1984 genocide of Sikhs was a
series of pogroms directed against Sikhs in India, by anti-Sikh mobs, most notably by members of
the Congress party, in response to the assassination of Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards.
There were about 2800 deaths across India, including 2100 in Delhi. The Central Bureau of
Investigation, the main Indian investigating agency, is of the opinion that the acts of violence were
organised with the support from the then Delhi police and some central government officials. Rajiv
Gandhi was sworn in as Prime Minister after his mother's death and, when asked about the riots,
said "when a big tree falls, the earth shakes".
The sporadic violence continued as a result of an armed Sikh separatist group which was
designated as a terrorist entity by the Indian government. In June 1984, during Operation Blue
Star, Indira Gandhi ordered the Indian Army to attack the Golden Temple and eliminate any
insurgents, as it had been occupied by Sikh separatists who were allegedly stockpiling
weapons. Later operationsby Indian paramilitary forces were initiated to clear the separatists from
the countryside of Punjab state.
The violence in Delhi was triggered by the assassination of Indira Gandhi, India's prime
minister, on 31 October 1984, by two of her Sikh bodyguards in response to her actions authorising
the military operation. The Indian government reported 2,700 deaths in the ensuing chaos. In the
aftermath of the riots, the Indian government reported 20,000 had fled the city; however
the People's Union for Civil Liberties reported "at least" 1,000 displaced persons. The most
affected regions were the Sikh neighbourhoods in Delhi. Human rights organisations and
newspapers across India believe the massacre was organised. The collusion of political officials in
the massacres and the Judiciary's failure to penalise the killers alienated normal Sikhs and
increased support for the Khalistan movement. The Akal Takht, the governing religious body
of Sikhism, considers the killings to be a genocide.
In 2011, Human Rights Watch reported the Government of India had "yet to prosecute
those responsible for the mass killings".The 2011 WikiLeaks cable leaks revealed that the United
States was convinced about the complicity of the Indian government ruled by the Indian National
Congress in the riots, and termed it as "opportunism" and "hatred" of the Congress government
against Sikhs. The United States has refused to recognise the riots as genocide, but does
acknowledge that "grave human rights violations" did take place. Also in 2011, a new set of mass
graves was discovered in Haryana, and Human Rights Watch reported that "Widespread anti-Sikh
attacks in Haryana were part of broader revenge attacks" in India.
In April 2015, the California State Assembly recognised that the Indian government was
responsible for the November 1984 Genocide of Sikhs
Rama Janma Bhoomi Issue
Rama Janma Bhoomi (literally, "Rama's birthplace") is the name given to the site that
many Hindus believe
7th avatar of
the Hindu
deity Vishnu.The Ramayana states that the location of Rama's birthplace is on the banks of
the Sarayu river in the city of Ayodhya.A section of Hindus claim that the exact site of Rama's
birthplace is where the Babri Masjid once stood in the present-day Ayodhya, Uttar
Pradesh.According to this theory, the Mughals demolished a Hindu shrine that marked the spot, and
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constructed a mosque in its place. People opposed to this theory state that such claims sprang up
only in the 18th century, and that there is no evidence for the spot being the birthplace of Rama.
The political, historical and socio-religious debate over the history and location of the Babri
Mosque and whether a previous temple was demolished or modified to create it is known as
the Ayodhya dispute.In 1992, the demolition of Babri Masjid by Hindu nationalists triggered widespread
Hindu-Muslim violence.Since then, the archaeological excavations have indicated the presence of a
temple beneath the mosque rubble, but whether structure was a Rama shrine (or a temple at all) is
Several other sites, including places in other parts of India, Afghanistan, Pakistan and
Nepal, have been proposed as birthplaces of Rama.
Gujarat riots
The 1969 Gujarat riots
The 1969 Gujarat riots refer to the communal violence between Hindus and Muslims
during September–October 1969, in Gujarat, India. The violence was Gujarat's first major riot that
involved massacre, arson and looting on a large scale. It was the most deadly Hindu-Muslim
violence since the 1947 partition of India, and remained such until the 1989 Bhagalpur violence.
According to the official figures, 660 people were killed, 1074 people were injured and over
48,000 lost their property. Unofficial reports claim as high as 2000 deaths. The Muslim community
suffered the majority of the losses. Out of the 512 deaths reported in the police complaints, 430
were Muslims. Property worth 42 million rupees was destroyed during the riots, with Muslims
losing 32 million worth of property. A distinctive feature of the violence was the attack on
Muslim chawls by their Dalit Hindu neighbours who had maintained peaceful relations with them
until this point.
The riots happened during the chief minister ship of the Indian National
Congress leader Hitendra Desai. The Justice Reddy Commission set up by his government blamed
the Hindu nationalist organizations for the violence. Various writers trace the causes of the riots to
a mix of socioeconomic and political factors (see Background below). The actual violence was
triggered by an attack on a Hindu temple on 18 September 1969. The riots started in Ahmadabad,
and then spread to other areas, notably Vadodara, Mehsana, Nadiad, Anand and Gondal. By 26
September, the violence had been brought under control; however some more violent incidents
happened during 18–28 October 1969.
The 2002 Gujarat riots
The 2002 Gujarat riots, also known as the 2002 Gujarat violence and the Gujarat pogrom,
was a three-day period of inter-communal violence in the western Indian state of Gujarat.
Following the initial incident there were further outbreaks of violence in Ahmedabad for three
weeks; statewide, there were further outbreaks of communal riots against the minority Muslim
population for three months. The burning of a train in Godhra on 27 February 2002, which caused
the deaths of 58 Hindu pilgrims karsevaks returning from Ayodhya, is believed to have triggered
the violence.
According to official figures, the riots resulted in the deaths of 790 Muslims and 254
Hindus; 2,500 people were injured non-fatally, and 223 more were reported missing. Other sources
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estimate that up to 2,000 Muslims died. There were instances of rape, children being burned alive,
and widespread looting and destruction of property. The Chief Minister at that time,Narendra
Modi, has been accused of initiating and condoning the violence, as have police and government
officials who allegedly directed the rioters and gave lists of Muslim-owned properties to them.
In 2012, Modi was cleared of complicity in the violence by a Special Investigation Team
(SIT) appointed by the Supreme Court of India. The SIT also rejected claims that the state
government had not done enough to prevent the riots. The Muslim community was reported to
have reacted with anger and disbelief, with the chief cleric of Delhi's Jama Masjid Syed Ahmed
Bukhari saying "Modi is a terrorist. He unleashed state-sponsored terrorism in Gujarat",
although Teesta Setalvad of the Citizen for Peace and Justice stated that the legal process was not
yet complete as there existed a right to appeal. In July 2013 allegations were made that the SIT had
suppressed evidence. That December, an Indian court upheld the earlier SIT report and rejected a
petition seeking Modi's prosecution. In April 2014, the Supreme Court expressed satisfaction over
the SIT's investigations in nine cases related to the violence, and rejected as "baseless" a plea
contesting the SIT report.
While officially classified as a communalist riot, the events of 2002 have been described as
a pogrom by many scholars, with some commentators alleging that the attacks had been planned,
were well orchestrated, and that the attack on the train was a "staged trigger" for what was actually
premeditated violence. Other independent observers have stated that these events had met the
"legal definition of genocide", and called it an instance of state terrorism. Still others have said the
incidents were tantamount to ethnic cleansing. Instances of mass violence which occurred include
the Naroda Patiya massacre that took place directly alongside a police training camp, the Gulbarg
Society massacre where Ehsan Jafri, a former parliamentarian, was among those killed, and several
incidents in Vadodara city. Martha Nussbaum has said, "There is by now a broad consensus that
the Gujarat violence was a form of ethnic cleansing, that in many ways it was premeditated, and
that it was carried out with the complicity of the state government and officers of the law."
Kerala known for its relatively harmonious communal relations has lately witnessed quite a
few clashes between members of different communities. In Nadapuram, Panur, Taikal and
Pathanamthitta. The latest is in Marad, a coastal village near Kozhikode, in which nine persons
were brutally killed and several injured on May 3. It was not a communal riot in the generally
accepted sense, in which the members of two communities violently engage with each other, in
most cases spontaneously, due to some immediate provocation. In Marad, it was a sudden attack
by a group of people well armed and well organized who, if the police are to be believed, carried
out the operation in one sweep in less than 15 minutes.
Marad has fallen victim to communal fury for a second time. In January last year the
members of two communities had clashed, the reason for which is not entirely known. It is
believed that inter-communal tension grew out of a New Year day function. Five persons were
killed, about 100 houses were destroyed and several boats on fire. Many in the predominantly
fishing community in the village lost their means of livelihood. It aroused considerable indignation
and concern, especially among social activists and the intelligentsia, who took several initiatives to
bring about communal harmony. The Government also intervened, particularly in the field of
rehabilitation. Yet, they did not have the desired effect, as evident from the repetition of the
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brutality, which many believe has its roots in the first incident. This is because the efforts to bring
about communal harmony did not address the basic issue, namely, the communalisation of Kerala
society, particularly after the demolition of the Babri Masjid, an important marker in the social
consciousness of both the Muslim minority and the Hindu majority.
During the last couple of decades, the activity and influence of communal formations have
considerably increased in Kerala. According to the data published by theOrganiser in its issue of
March 25, 2001, the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh runs 4300 `shakas' and `upasakhas' in Kerala.
The increase in numbers thereafter is not known. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad has now established
its organisational set up in almost all parts of the state. Recently, it undertook the distribution of
tridents, as a part of the effort to use religious symbols for mobilisation and to create selfconfidence rooted in religious identity. There are a couple of newspapers and quite a few
periodicals which generally serve the Hindu communal cause. Saraswati Shishu Mandirs and such
other schools serve as recruiting grounds of unsuspecting young children. There are innumerable
cultural organisations, promoting and disseminating communal ideas in the guise of patronising
literature, theatre, traditional arts and science or the renovation of village temples. Their activities
have led to the emergence of a cultural right in Kerala, which receives legitimacy from
intellectuals who claim to be independent. The intervention of these institutions has made a
qualitative change in the consciousness and outlook of a fairly large number of Hindus. A
fundamentalist shift has taken place.
A similar tendency has developed among the Muslims as well. After the demolition of the
Babri Masjid, a section of the Muslim youth felt rather restive and dissatisfied with the pacifist
stand taken by the existing political and social formations. They rallied around more militant
outfits such as the Islamic Service Society and the National Development Front. There are also
several other fundamentalist groups, active in different fields of social life. The following of the
fundamentalist- militant organisations has been steadily on the increase for quite some time. The
reformist forces among the Muslims have not been able check this.
The incident in Marad indicates that communalism has arrived in Kerala. It is a proof that
the stage of proto-communalism, which had a long period of incubation, is over. During this phase,
a sense of religious division had slowly emerged, socially articulated through organised religiosity.
The organisations of different religions vie with each other to bring the faith of the believer to the
streets. The religious practices have now spilled over from the domestic and sacred spaces to the
public space, eliminating in the process the distinction between religious beliefs and religiosity.
Religious processions in which women and children participate carrying religious symbols is a
familiar sight in almost all parts of Kerala. The street processions have become common for
festivals of all religious denominations. This was unknown about 20 years back, but now
conducted with the support of social organisations and the blessings of public figures. Like `raksha
bandan', which was never a part of the cultural tradition of Kerala, almost every upper caste
practice has now become a common Hindu religious public celebration. The participation in
publicly organised religious functions is a source of psychological satisfaction and creates a sense
of solidarity. Kerala is now besieged by godmen and women, widely patronised by political
leaders, giving legitimacy to the superstitions surrounding them. The spiritual retreats managed by
them are many, which attract the crisis-ridden middle class as a source of solace, if not as a means
of escape from the pressures of `globalised' life. The resulting social hegemony of religious
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discourse legitimises religious social division. Consequently, the Hindus, the Muslims and the
Christians have emerged as separate entities, not only in their personal and domestic lives, but also
in social existence. As a consequence, a transition from the communitarian to the communal has
been taking place, slowly but steadily. Marad is an example of that transition, which is occurring in
many parts of Kerala.
The communal idea is thus well embedded in society. The social base of all secular parties
has been eroded and a fairly large section of the population has become ideologically communal,
even if not politically so. It is because communalism has not yet become a political alternative in
the State. When it does, a reconfiguration of the electoral base of several political parties is on the
cards. The Marad incident is likely to hasten this process, as every communal riot widens the social
distance between communities and enhances mutual hostility.
The demographic pattern of Kerala characterised by the interspersed distribution of the
members of religious denominations is both strength and weakness. It tends to promote secular
consciousness by creating a shared common space in daily life. But at the same time it could
engender greater violence at the time of communal conflict. Therefore the communalisation of
Kerala can spell much greater disaster than in other parts of the country. In Marad, where Hindus
and Muslims are evenly distributed and live together, an atmosphere of fear and suspicion has
gripped the minds of people. Many, it is reported, afraid of further violence, have deserted their
localities. The ghettoisation, which might follow, would intensify communal hostility.
When communal violence takes place the strong and decisive intervention of the state is
crucial for its suppression. The district authorities have promised impartial and immediate action.
A judicial enquiry also has been ordered. While they are all important in themselves in punishing
the guilty, which should be done expeditiously, efforts are urgently needed to reverse the process
of communalisation. Since the hitherto followed methods of speeches, demonstrations and cultural
events have not been effective enough, it is time to explore other means. A possible alternative is
grassroot-level interventions for fostering secular consciousness rather than working only for
communal harmony. Communal harmony after all cannot be a reality without secular social
consciousness. (K.N. Panikkar)
Module I INDIA: The Republic
Indian constitution – Act of 1935- Rights and Duties
Federal Structure – Re- Organisation of Linguistic states
Module II Mixed Economy to Liberalization
Mixed economy – Nehruvian Economics
Green Revolution Strategies – Problem of Development
Violence against Nature– Soil – Women
New Economic Zones – Land Grabbing - Developments in Technology – Science
Liberalisation –Privatisation –Globalisation –Narasimha Rao – Man Mohan Singh
Module III Critique of Development Programme
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Dalit – Adivasi Uprisings – Chipko Movement- Narmada Bachao Andolan – Struggle
against MNCs – Plachimada
Anti Land Acquisition Movements
Module IV Communal Politics and Secular Response
Delhi Riots- Rama Janma Bhoomi issue- Gujarat – Marad
Module I
1. Bipan Chandra et.al., India after Independence
2. Bipan Chandra et.al., India’s Struggle for Independence
3. Bipan Chandra, In the Name of Democracy: JP Movement and the Emergency
4. Sumit Sarkar, Modern India 1885- 1947
5. Ramachandra Guha, India after Gandhi: The History of World’s Largest
Module II
1. Bipan Chandra et.al., India after Independence
2. Ramachandra Guha, India after Gandhi: The History of World’s Largest
3. S. Anand, Thought and Vision of Jawaharlal Nehru
4. Aparna Bharadwaj, Nehru’s Vision to Empower Indian Economy
5. Vandana Shiva, Staying Alive: Women, Ecology and Survival in India
6. Vandana Shiva, The Violence of Green Revolution
7. T T Ram Mohan, Privatisation in India: Challenging the Economic Orthodoxy
8. Ramanuj Ganguli, Globalisation in India: New Frontiers and Emerging
Module III
16. Bipan Chandra et. al., India Since Independence
17. Ramachandra Guha, India after Gandhi: The History of World’s Largest
18. Ramachandra Guha, The Unquiet Woods: Ecological Change and Peasant
Resistance in the Himalaya
19. Ramachandra Guha & Madhav Gadgil, This Fissured Land
20. Vandana Shiva, Staying Alive: Women, Ecology and Survival in India
21. Vandana Shiva, The Violence of Green Revolution
22. P. Sainath, Everybody loves a Good Drought: Stories from India’s Poorest
23. Gail Omvedt, Dalit Visions
Module IV
10. Achin Vanaik, The Furies of Indian Communalism: Religion, Modernity and
11. K. N. Panikkar, Before the Night Falls: Forebodings of Fascism in India
12. Ashis Nandy, Creating a Nationality: The Ramajanmabhumi Movement and Fear
of the Self
13. Uma Chakravarti, Nandita Haksar, The Delhi Riots: Three Days in the Life of a
14. Asgharali Engineer, The Gujarat Carnage
15. Siddharth Varadarajan (ed.), Gujarat: The Making of a Tragedy
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