Challenges to and Restoration of the Congress System Questions and Answers Class 12 CBSE

1 Marks Questions | 2 Marks Questions | 4 Marks Questions | 6 Marks Questions

1 Mark Questions

Question 1 : Which major factor was responsible for the dramatic victory of Indira Gandhi in 1971 elections?

Answer : The major factor responsible for dramatic victory of Indira Gandhi in 1971 elections was ‘Garibi Hatao’ slogan which generated strong responses in landless labourers, Dalits, Adivasis, minorities, women and the unemployed youth.

Question 2 : Which two political parties were the major partners in the ruling alliance after the 1971 General Elections to the Lok Sabha.

Answer : Congress (R) and Communist Party of India (CPI) were major ruling alliance partners after the 1971 General Election.

Question 3 : Who represent Congress (O) and Congress (R) after the split of the Congress Party?

Answer : Syndicate represents Congress (O) while Indira Gandhi represents Congress (R).

Question 4 : Who was the official congress candidate for the post of President of India in 1990?

Answer :  Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy.

Question 5 : What is meant by ‘Congress Syndicate’?

Answer : ‘Syndicate’ refers to a group of powerful and influential leaders from within the Congress.

Question 6 : What is meant by ‘Privy Purse’?

Answer : Privy Purse was a grant or allowance given to the families of princely rulers on the basis of the extent of their property.

Question 7 : After the death of Lal Bahadur Shastri, which two leaders of the Congress Party contested against one another to become leader of the Congress Parliamentary Party?

Answer : After intense competition between Morarji Desai and Indira Gandhi she was backed by senior party leaders.

Question 8 : After which General Election in India did Congress Party lose its dominance for the first time at the centre?

Answer : After fourth General Election 1967, Congress Party lost its dominance for the first time at the centre.

Question 9 : Name the two main contenders who contested the election for the post of President of India in 1969.

Answer : Shree Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy and VV Giri.

Question 10 : The results of which elections were called ‘Political earthquake’?

Answer : The results of 1967 elections jolted the Congress at both the national and state level. Congress managed to get majority in the Lok Sabha but with its lowest tally of seats and share of votes since 1952. Hence, it is called ‘political earthquake’.

Question 11 : What is meant by defection?

Answer : Defection means an elected representative leaves the party on whose symbol he/she was elected and joins another party.

Question 12 : Name the leaders who gave the following slogans.

(i) Jai Jawan Jai Kisan
(ii) Garibi Hatao

Answer : (i) Lal Bahadur Shastri

(ii) Indira Gandhi

Question 13 : Which theoretical argument did Rammanohar Lohia give in defence of non-congressism?

Answer : Congress rule was undemocratic and opposed to the interests of ordinary poor people.

Question 14 : Why did the senior Congress leaders support Indira Gandhi as Prime Minister in 1966?

Answer : Because she had been Congress President in the past and had also been Union Minister for information in the Shastri cabinet.

Question 15 : Correct and rewrite the statement given below: Gaya Lal, an MP from Haryana Legislature in 1967, changed his party twice in a fortnight.

Answer : Gaya Lal, an MLA from Haryana Legislature in 1967 changed his party thrice in a fortnight.

Question 16 : Write the names of two successive Presidents of India after the death of Dr Zakir Hussain.

Answer : N. Sanjeeva Reddy and V.V. Giri.

Question 17 : Fill in the blanks with appropriate words Indira Gandhi had to deal with the ………, a group of powerful and influential leaders from within the ……….

Answer : Indira Gandhi had to deal with the Syndicate , a group of powerful and influential leaders from within the Congress.

Question 18 : Mention the names of any two important leaders of the Congress party who were defeated in the 1967 General Elections.

Answer : The two important leaders of the congress party who were defeated in 1967 General Elections were : Kamraj in Tamil Nadu and SK Patil in Maharashtra.

Question 19 : What is the meaning of ‘dangerous decade’ in the context of Indian politics?

Answer : The 1960s were called ‘dangerous decade’ in Indian politics as many challenges and unresolved problems like poverty in equality, communal and regional division etc were thought could lead to failure of democratic project or disintegration of country.

2 Mark Questions

Question 1 : Assess the role of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad towards maintaining communal harmony in India.

Answer : The following points assess the role of Maulan Abul Kalam Azad towards maintaining communal harmony in India:

(i) He was a strong supporter of Hindu-Muslim unity.

(ii) He opposed the partition of the country.

Question 2 : Who signed the Tashkent Agreement and when?

Answer : Tashkent Agreement was signed between Shastri and Muhammad Ayub Khan, the then President of Pakistan in 1966.

Question 3 : What was the main reason behind the split of Congress in 1969?

Answer : Reasons behind the split of Congress in 1969 were:

(i) The fictional rivalry between the Syndicate and Indira Gandhi.

(ii) Abolition of privy purse.

Question 4 : What does ‘Aaya Ram-Gaya Ram’ stand for the Indian politics?

Answer : It describes the practice of frequently changing loyalty and alignment by legislators.

Question 5 : Which constitutional procedure was adopted in India to abolish the ‘Privy Purse’ in 1971?

Answer : ‘The ‘Privy Purse’ was abolished under the 26th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1971.

Question 6 : What is meant by ‘Grand Alliance’.

Answer : Grand Alliance was a group of non-communist, non-congress opposition parties formed in 1970 elections against Indira Gandhi.

Question 7 : List any two challenges faced by India during Lal Bahadur Shastri’s Government.

Answer : Two challenges faced by India were:

(i) Failed monsoons, drought and serious food crisis.

(ii) A war with Pakistan in 1965.

Question 8 : Mention any two problems which were faced by the Government of Indira Gandhi during 1969-1971.

Answer : Two problems faced by Indira Gandhi government during 1964-1971 were:

(i) The factional rivalry between Syndicate and Indira Gandhi arose in 1969 when presidential candidate was to be elected after the death of President Zakir Hussain.

(ii) Various non-congress parties came together to form joint legislative parties.

4 Mark Questions

Question 1 : What does election stand for in Indian politics? Highlight any two demerits of this practice.

Answer : Defection was a factor in 1967 elections. It played an important role in formation and collapsing of government. Defection displays the behaviour of an elected representative who leaves the party on whose symbol he/she won and joins the another party.

Two demerits of this practice were:

(i) It causes instability within party.
(ii) It promotes political opportunism among party legislators.

Question 2 : Describe the organisation of the Congress Party as a social and ideological coalition.

Answer : Social and ideological coalition of the Congress Party were the following:

(i) It was based on liberal socialism.

(ii) It believes to bring changes in society by peaceful means and within constitutional provisions.

(iii) It believes in social co-existence and communal provisions.

(iv) It gives priority to the welfare of minorities.

Question 3 : Highlight the main outcomes of the General Elections of 1971.

Answer : The main outcomes of the General Elections of 1971 which were responsible for restoration of revival of Congress were the following:

(i) The Congress (R)-CPI alliance won more seats and votes than the Congress had ever won in the first four general elections.

(ii) The 1971 elections were followed by the crisis in East Pakistan and Indo-Pak war leading to the establishment of Bangladesh.

(iii) Under the leadership of Indira Gandhi , her party swept through all the State Assembly elections held in 1972.

(iv) With two successive election victories, one at the centre and other at the state level, the dominance of the Congress was restored.

Question 4 : Why was the year 1967 considered as landmark year in India’s political and electoral history? Explain.

Answer : The fourth general election held in 1967 was the first election to be held without Nehru. Congress was dominant party before 1967, but scenario was likely to change after 1967’s election. Several non-Congress parties joined together to bring Congress down.

They realised that their disintegration kept the Congress in power. So they joined to form a big alliance called Smyukti Vidhayak Dal.

Congress still managed to win in Lok Sabha election, but with the poorest performance ever. Congress lost in many states. Influential leaders of Congress lost their position.

Many Congress leaders left the party in order to join the other party. Local politics gained momentum. In Tamil Nadu, a non-congress party won on its own for the first time. In 1967 elections showcased the new element which never came into light. Defection and coalition played an important role and new elements were in the scene of electoral politics.

This situation could not have remained isolated from party politics in the country. The opposition parties got together and formed anti-Congress fronts in some states. This strategy was given the name of non-Congressism by Ram Manohar Lohia. He argued that Congress rule was undemocratic and opposed the interests of ordinary people. Therefore, the non-Congress parties were necessary for reclaiming democracy for the people.

Question 5 : What is meant by ‘Privy Purse’? Why did Indira Gandhi insist on abolishing them in 1970?

Answer : At the time of dissolution of Princely States the rulers of Princely States had been assured that their families would get the right to retain certain private property and based on heredity or government allowances would also be given by the extent of revenue and potential of the merging states. This was called as privy purse.

Indira Gandhi insisted on abolition of privy purses because:

(i) According to Indira Gandhi such privilege to them goes against the essence of Constitution. It was against right to equality even Nehru had shown his dissatisfaction against such privilege. After she won in 1967 election she put her demand to abolish privy purse.

(ii) This hereditary privilege was against the ideas of equality and social and economic justice, which is embedded in Indian Constitution.

(iii) In 1970 demand to amend privy purse was rejected by Rajya Sabha and ordinance was put down by Supreme Court. It was in 1971 after she won with great majority she was able to amend the Constitution to abolish privy purse.

Question 6 : ‘The phrase ‘Aaya Ram, Gaya Ram’ signifies which concept? Explain its impact on the Indian political system.

Answer : The expression ‘Aaya Ram, Gaya Ram’ became popular in the political vocabulary in India to describe the practice of frequent floor-crossing by legislators. The phrase became the subject of numerous jokes and cartoon. Ultimately, the Constitution was amended to prevent defection.

Impact on the Indian political system are as follows:

(i) It leads to instability within a political party.

(ii) It promotes political opportunism in political system.

(iii) It erodes the faith, and trust of common in political system.

(iv) It causes instable government.

Question 7 : Describe  any two advantages and two disadvantages of ‘coalition’ government in India.

Answer : Advantages of coalition are as follows:

(i) Coalition government provides an alternative to form government whenever there is a case of hung Parliament.

(ii) It gives opportunities to small and regional parties to have representation in governments.

Disadvantages of coalition are as follows:

(i) It leads to instability in government as different partners pull the government differently. And government finds itself unable to take right decisions at right time.

(ii) It reduces the credibility of office of PM/CM as their tenure depends at the pleasure of coalition partners. It produces weak government.

Question 8 : Why is the decade of sixties labelled as a ‘dangerous decade’?

Answer : After the death of Nehru, serious doubt were raised by many outsiders whether India’s democratic experiment will survive after Nehru. It was feared that like so many other newly independent countries, India too would not be able to manage a democratic succession.

A failure to do so, it was feared, could lead to a political role for the army. Besides, there were doubts that the new leadership would be  able to handle the crisis that awaited a solution. The 1960s were labelled as the ‘dangerous decade, when unresolved problems like poverty, inequality, communal and regional divisions etc. could lead to a failure of the democratic project or even the disintegration of the country.

Question 9 : “The early seventies of the 20th century were very favourable for Mrs. Indira Gandhi”. Do you agree? Support your answer with any four arguments.

Answer : Yes, I agree with the arguments:

(i) Immediately, after 1971 election, crisis broke out in East Pakistan and Indo-Pak war leading to the formation of Bangladesh. Political and economic upheaval made Indira more popular.

(ii) She was appreciated by opposition for her skills in directing the affair of State. Not only a protector of underprivileged, but also she came up as a strong and capable nationalist leader.

(iii) In State Assembly elections held in 1972 her party swept the fields, her position became strong and fearless. Congress’ position was back to normal and even healthier than before with victories in states and centre as well. With two back to back victories Indira Gandhi successfully dominated at centre as well as in States. Other social groups also came in her favour.

(iv) Congress managed itself to majority in almost all the states. Indira Gandhi proved her leadership and secured a dominant position in Congress within four years.

Question 10 : What do the following relate to?

(i) Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan
(ii) Garibi Hatao
(iii) Indira Hatao
(iv) Grand Alliance

Answer : (i) This was a slogan given by Lal Bahadur Shastri n 1965 when India was facing food crisis and a war with Pakistan.

(ii) Indira Gandhi gave this slogan in 1971. With this slogan Indira Gandhi made a political strategy to build an independent nationwide political support.

(iii) This was an anti-Indira slogan during 1971 election.

(iv) This was an alliance before 1971 elections. In this alliance non-communist, non-congress opposition parties formed a group known as Grand Alliance.

6 Mark Questions

Question 1 : What does the term ‘Syndicate’ mean in the context of the Congress Party of the sixties? What role did the Syndicate play in the Congress party?

Answer : Syndicate refers to a group of influential, powerful and leading leaders of Congress. They had real organizational power with them.

They played crucial role in the establishment of Shastri and Indira Gandhi as Prime Minister. Indira Gandhi sought their support to come into power. It was expected that after installation, Indira Gandhi would follow their advice.

Their advise proved to be crucial in Indira’s Cabinet members selection and in the formation and implementation of policies. But situation changed and Indira’s negligent behaviour towards syndicates annoyed them. Polarization between them increased, finally, leading to split, Congress split into two parts. Syndicate lead Congress was named Congress (O) and Indira Gandhi led Congress was named Congress (R).

But after split syndicate led Congress claimed that real organisational power vested in them. They were the think tank and real decision-makers.

In 1971 elections, it became clear that still Indira Gandhi possessed the real power and Congress prestige.

Question 2 : This question has been covered earlier.

Question 3 : Explain any six factors which led to the popularity of Indira Gandhi’s Government in the early 1970s.

Answer : Congress faced the challenge of political succession again on 10th January 1966, Shastri’s Prime Ministership came to an end adrupt end when he suddenly died in Tashkent.

The senior leaders of the party decided to support Indira Gandhi. However, the decision was not unanimous.

There was intense contest between Morarji Desai and Indira Gandhi. The contest was resolved through a secret ballot among the MPs of the Congress.

Indira Gandhi got the support of more than two-thirds of the congress party’s MPs.

The six factors that led to the popularity of Indira Gandhi’s Government in early 1970s’s were :

(i) Her socialist approach worked in her favour and her ideas like land reform and land ceiling legislation as well.

(ii) Her slogan ‘garibi hatao’ was the need of that time. People took it positively and supported her.

(iii) Her support for the growth of public  sector, removal of inequality in income and opportunity and abolition of privy purse gained popularity.

(iv) Through, ‘garibi hatao’ she became popular among Dalits, disadvantaged, women, minority etc.

(v) 1971 war added to her popularity. She managed the political and economic affair of that time effectively. She was admired by opposition also.

(vi) She was seen as a protector of poor and a strong and capable national leader.

Question 4 : Examine any six factors which were responsible for split of the Congress in 1969.

Answer : The six factors responsible for the split of the Congress party in 1969 were as follows:

(i) In 1967 elections, the Congress lost power in many states, the result proved that the Congress could be defeated in the elections.

(ii) The political tension inside Congress over the unsettled question of relation between its ministerial and organisational wings became more pronounce.

(iii) Indira Gandhi sidelined from the ‘Syndicate’ , a group of powerful and influential leaders within the Congress. She chose her trusted group of advisors from outside the party.

(iv) Indira Gandhi adopted a radical ten-point programme which included social control of banks, nationalisation of 14 private banks, abolition of the privy purse and land reforms.

(v) Presidential selection of 1969 bring out factional rivalry between the Syndicate and Indira Gandhi. In the election, VV Giri was elected as president of India defeating the official candidate N. Sanjeeva Reddy.

(vi) This election formalized the split in the Congress Prime Minister was expelled. There was a vertical split in Congress which created Congress (O) and Congress (R).

Question 5 : Assess any three challenges that the Congress Party had to face during the period from 1964 to 1971.

Answer : The three challenges that the Congress Party had to face during the period from 1964 to 1971 were:

(i) Political succession : After Nehru, who would be the leader. Some outsiders had doubts that Indian democracy, will not survive meanwhile party President K Kamrai, suggested Lal Bahadur Shastri’s name as the Prime Minister, thus be became the second Prime Minister of India. After an abrupt end of Shastri led to challenge of political succession. This time there was intense competition between Morarji Desai and Indira Gandhi. Finally, Indira Gandhi became the Prime Minster. She set out to gain control over the party and to demonstrate her leadership skills.

(ii) Emergence of non-Congressism : Opposition parties realised that the division of their votes kept the Congress in power. So they joined together to form anti-Congress fronts. This strategy was named as non-Congressism by Ram Manohar Lohia.

The result of 1967 elections jolted the Congress at both centre and state levels. Many elite leaders of Congress parties came together to form joint legislative parties (Samyukt Vidhayak Dal). In most of the State Congress lost and coalition government was formed.

(iii) Split in the Congress : Indira Gandhi had to face internal challenge that was syndicate, a group of influential Congress leaders who were in control of the party’s organisation. Gradually she attempted to asset her position within the government and the party. She chose her trusted group of advisers from outside the party. Slowly and carefully she sidelined the ‘Syndicate’. Meanwhile President of India Dr Zakir Hussain was dead, the post of president fell vacant. Despite of Mrs. Gandhi reservations, the syndicate nominated N Sanjeeva Reddy’s name as President. But Indira Gandhi supported V.V.Giri and the defeat of Sanjeeva Reddy the official congress candidate. The defeat of the official Congress candidate formalized the split in the party Congress (O) was syndicate supported party and Congress (R) was Indira Gandhi party.

Question 6 : Mention any six steps taken for the restoration of dominance of the Congress Party after the 1971 elections.

Answer : The factors responsible for the restoration of the Congress Party after its split in 1969 were:

(i) Abolition of privy purse : The Government of India tried to bring a Constitutional Amendment in 1970 to abolish privy purse. Because Indira Gandhi supported the demand of abolishing privy purses. After 1971 elections the Constitution was amended to remove legal obstacles for abolition of privy purse.

(ii) Garibi hatao : After splitting , the new Congress had some positive agenda. Indira Gandhi said that the opposition alliance had only one common programme i.e. Indira hatao. In contrast to this , she put forward positive programme captured in the famous slogan : garibi hatao.

Through it, she tried to generate a support base among the disadvantaged especially  among the landless labourers, Dalits and Adivasis, minorities, women and the unemployed youth. The slogan garibi hatao gave her a strong independent nationwide political support base.

(iii) Major policy initiative : She launched a series of initiatives to give the government policy a left orientation. She got the Congress Working Committee do adopt a Ten Point Programme. This programme included social control of banks, nationalisation of general insurance, ceiling on urban property and income, public distribution provision of house sites to the rural poor.

(iv) 1971’s war : The crisis is East Pakistan and the Indo-Pak War led to the establishment of Bangladesh. Indira Gandhi’s statesmanship was admired. She was seen not only protector but also a strong nationalist leader.

Question 7 : Evaluate any three factors which were responsible for Indira Gandhi’s achieving a thumping majority in 1971 Lok Sabha elections.

Answer : The 1971 elections were a political fight between Congress (R) and non-Congress and non-Communist parties. Congress (O) was just a part of it. It was believed that Congress (O) had real organizational strength of Congress party. Congress opposition parties formed an electoral alliance called as the Grand Alliance.

Grand Alliance were SSP, PSP, Bharatiya Jana Sangh, Swatantrata Party and Bhartiya Kranti Dal. Major objective behind the formation of Grand Alliance was to prevent Indira Gandhi to form a government. Now in 1971 elections. Indira Gandhi had to face a strong opposition form outside parties and a split part of Congress.

The three factors which were responsible for thumping majority of Indira Gandhi’s Government in 1971 Lok Sabha elections were :

(i) Indira Gandhi gave the slogan of ‘Garibi Hatao’ and it was her main agenda. The opponents have no such agenda for people. They gave slogan of ‘Indira Hatao’. People because influenced with the agenda of Indira Gandhi and gave her majority votes.

(ii) Indira Gandhi noticed the need for the increase in growth of public sectors and removal of difference of income. In election publicity, she ensured people for bringing all this. People became inspired by her vision and supported her.

(iii) The opponents formed the Grand alliance against Indira Gandhi to defeat her. This was also a prominent factor which persuaded voters to vote her.

Question 8 : Examine the main factors responsible for the rise and fall of the Congress Party’s dominance in India.

Answer : The main factors responsible for the rise of Congress Party’s dominance were:

(i) The Congress had inherited the legacy from national movement. It was the only party to have an organisation spread all over the country.

(ii) Congress also had the most popular and charismatic leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru, Shastri and Indira Gandhi who made Congress to dominate the Indian politics.

The main factors responsible for the fall of Congress Party’s dominance were:

(i) Since, 1969, the Congress party had started shedding its character as an umbrella party which accommodated leaders and workers of different ideological dispensations and view points. The Congress party now identified itself with a particular ideology, claiming to be the only socialist and pro-poor party.

Thus with the early nineteen seventies, the Congress’s political success depended on attracting people on the basis of sharp social and ideological divisions and the appeal of one leader, Indira Gandhi.

(ii) With the change in the nature of the Congress party, other opposition parties relied more and more on what is known in Indian politics as ‘non-Congressism’. They also realized the need to avoid division of non-congress votes in the election. This factor played a major role in the election on 1977.

(iii) In an indirect manner, the issue of welfare of the backward castes also began to dominate politics since 1977. The results of 1977 elections were at least partly due to a shift among the backward castes of North India.

(iv) Following the Lok Sabha elections, many states also had Assembly elections in 1977. Again, the Northern States elected non-Congress governments in which the leaders of the backward castes played an important role.

(v) The Emergency and the period around it can be described as a period of constitutional crisis because it had its origins in the constitutional battle over the jurisdiction of the Parliament. On the other hand, it was also a period of political crisis. It was one of the prominent cause for the fall of the Congress Party’s dominance.

Question 9 : Examine the factors which helped VV Giri to become the President of India.

Answer : The factors which helped VV Giri to become the President of India were:

(i) The death of Zakir Hussain led the post of President vacant.

(ii) The syndicates nominated the then Lok Sabha Speaker N Sanjeeva Reddy as official candidate of Congress for President’s post even after Indira’s reluctance.

(iii) In order to answer them, she encouraged VV Giri, the then Vice-President to file nomination as an independent candidate.

(iv) At the same time she announced several new and big policies like nationalisation of fourteen leading private banks, abolition of privy purs etc. Morarji Desai, the then Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister , disagreed with Indira and left the party.

(v) The then Congress President S Nijalingappa asked all the Congress MPs and MLAs to support Sanjeeva Reddy, the official candidate and issued whip.

(vi) A special meeting of AICC was to held by Indira Gandhi’s supporter, but this was refused.

(vii) Though Indira Gandhi was silently supporting VV Giri, she openly announced for a conscience vote.

(viii) Result announced the victory of VV Giri, after the defeat of Congress Party’s official candidate, split in Congress was formalised.