Chapter 1 Challenges of Nation Building Class 12 Political Science Notes

Chapter 1 Challenges of Nation Building Class 12 Political Science NCERT Notes are provided in a systematic way which will be useful in making your concepts more strong. It will come handy whenever you want to understand the chapter in less time in a comprehensive way and nurture the interests and inherent talents of the students. NCERT Solutions for Chapter 1 Challenges of Nation Building will allow the students to evaluate their learning immediately.

Chapter 1 Challenges of Nation Building Class 12 Political Science Notes

Chapter 1 Challenges of Nation Building Class 12 Political Science Notes

Challenges for the new nation

• At the hour of midnight on 14-15 August 1947, India attained independence. Jawaharlal Nehru became the first prime minister of India who addressed a special session of the Constituent Assembly with he famous ‘tryst with destiny’ speech.

• India was born in very difficult circumstances as freedom came with partition of the country which made people homeless.

Three Challenges

• The first and the immediate challenge was to shape nation that was united, yet accommodative of the diversity existing in the society and eradication of poverty and unemployment.

• The second challenge was to establish democracy.

• The third challenge was to ensure the development and well-being of the entire society and not only of some sections.

In this chapter, we focus on the first challenge of nation- building that occupied centre-stage in the years immediately after Independence.

Partition: displacement and rehabilitation

• On 14th to 15th August, 1947, two nation-states India and Pakistan came into existence.

• According to the ‘two-nations theory’ advanced by the Muslim League, India consisted of not  one but two ‘people’, Hindus and Muslims. That is why it demanded Pakistan, a separate  country for the Muslims. The Congress opposed this theory and the demand for Pakistan.

• Several political developments in 1940s, the political competition between the Congress and  the Muslim League and the British role led to the decision for the creation of Pakistan.

Process of Partition

• The idea might appear simple, but it presented all kinds of difficulties. First of all, there was no single belt of Muslim majority areas in British India. 

• There were  two areas of concentration, one in the west and one in the east. There was no way these  two parts could be joined.

• Secondly, not all Muslim majority areas wanted to be in Pakistan. Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, the undisputed leader of the North Western Frontier Province and known as ‘Frontier Gandhi’, opposed the two-nation theory. Despite his opposition NWFP was merged with Pakistan.

• The third problem was that two of the Muslim majority provinces of British India. Punjab  and Bengal, had very large areas where the non-Muslims were in majority.

• The fourth problem was the problem of minorities on both sides of the border.

Consequences of Partition

• The year 1947 was the year of one of the largest, most abrupt, unplanned and tragic  transfer of population that human history has known.

• In the name of religion people of one community ruthlessly killed and maimed people of the other community.

• Minorities on both sides of the border fled their home and often secured temporary shelter in ‘refugee camps’.

• Women were often abducted, raped, attacked and killed and were forcefully converted to other religion.

• It is estimated that the Partition forced about 80 lakh people to migrate across the new border. Between five to ten lakh people were killed in Partition related violence.

Integration of Princely State

• British India was divided into the British Indian Provinces and the Princely States.

• The British Indian Provinces were directly under the control of the British government.

• Princely States covered one-third of the land area of the British Indian Empire and one out of four Indians lived under princely rule.

The Problem

• Just before Independence, the British announced that with the end of their rule over India,  paramountcy of the British crown over Princely States would also lapse.

• First of all, the ruler of Travancore announced that the state had decided on Independence.

• The Nizam of Hyderabad made a similar announcement the very next day. Rulers like  the Nawab of Bhopal were averse to joining the Constituent Assembly.

Government’s approach

• The then interim government took a firm steps against the possible division of India into small principalities of different sizes.

• The government’s approach was guided by three considerations
→ The people of most of the princely states clearly wanted to become part of the Indian Union.
→ The government was prepared to be flexible in giving autonomy to some regions.
→ The integration and consolidation of the territorial boundaries of the nation had assumed supreme importance.

• Before 15 August 1947, the rulers of most of the states signed a document called the ‘Instrument of Accession’ which meant that their state agreed to become a part of the Union of India.

• Accession of the Princely States of Junagadh, Hyderabad, Kashmir and Manipur proved more difficult than the rest.


• Hyderabad, the largest of the Princely States was surrounded entirely by Indian territory. Some parts of the old Hyderabad state are today parts of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

• Its ruler carried the title, ‘Nizam’, and he was one of the world’s richest men. 

• He entered into what was called the Standstill Agreement with India in November 1947 for a year while negotiations with the Indian government were going on.

• The Central Government had to interfere against Razakars and in September 1948, Indian army moved in to control the Nizam’s forces.


• Under the pressure of public opinion, the Maharaja Bodhachandra Singh held elections in Manipur in June 1948 and the state became a constitutional monarchy. Thus Manipur was the first part
of India to hold an election based on universal adult franchise.

• The Government of India succeeded in pressurising the Maharaja of Manipur into signing a Merger Agreement in September, 1949. The government did so without consulting the popularly elected Legislative Assembly of Manipur.

Reorganisation of States

• The process of nation-building did not come to an end with partition and integration of  Princely States. Now the challenge was to draw the internal boundaries of the Indian states.

• During colonial rule, the state boundaries were drawn either on administrative convenience or simply coincided with the territories annexed by the British government or the territories ruled by the princely powers.

• Our national movement had promised the linguistic principle as the basis of formation of states. After Independence and Partition, our leaders felt that carving out states on the basis of language might lead to disruption and disintegration thus, this idea was postponed. This decision of the national leadership was challenged by the local leaders and the people.

• After large protests, the Prime Minister announced the formation of a separate Andhra state in December 1952.

• The formation of Andhra encouraged the struggle for making of other states on linguistic lines in other parts of the country.

• The States Reorganisation Commission was formed in 1953 by the Central Government  to redraw the boundaries of states. The Commission accepted that boundaries of the state  should reflect the boundaries of different languages. 

• On the basis of its reports, the States  Reorganisation Act was passed in 1956. This led to creation of 14 states and 6 union  territories by giving uniform basis to state boundaries.
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