Chapter 9 Recent Developments in Indian Politics Class 12 Political Science Notes

Chapter 9 Recent Developments in Indian Politics Class 12 Political Science Notes will help the students in learning complex topics and chapters in an easy way. In Class 12 Revision Notes, information are arranged in manner that will make learning easier and more understandable. NCERT Solutions for Chapter 9 Recent Developments in Indian Politics that are helpful in gaining good marks in the examinations.

Chapter 9 Recent Developments in Indian Politics Class 12 Political Science Notes

Chapter 9 Recent Developments in Indian Politics Class 12 Political Science Notes

Context of the 1990s

• As the decade of the eighties came to a close, the country witnessed five developments that were to make a long-lasting impact on our politics:

• The defeat of the Congress party in the elections held in 1989 which marked the end of what political scientists have called the ‘Congress system’.

• The rise of the ‘Mandal Issue’ in national politics led to violent ‘anti-Mandal’ protests in different parts of the country.

• A number of events culminated in the demolition of the disputed structure at Ayodhya (known as BabriMasjid) in December, 1992. These developments are associated with the rise of the BJP and the politics of ‘Hindutva’.

• The assassination of Rajiv Gandhi in May 1991 led to a change in leadership of the Congress party.

Era of Coalitions

• Elections in 1989 led to the defeat of the Congress party but started an era of coalitions. The Congress was the largest party in the Lok Sabha, it did not have a clear majority.

• The National Front, an alliance of Janata Dal and some other regional parties received support from two diametrically opposite political groups: the BJP and the Left Front.

Decline of Congress

• The defeat of the Congress Party marked the end of Congress dominance over the Indian  party system. Thus, stated an era of multi-party system.

Alliance Politics

• The nineties also saw the emergence of powerful parties and movements to represent the Dalits and backward castes as well as regional assertions. These parties played an important role in the United Front that included Janata Dal and several regional parties.

• BJP emerged as the largest party in the 1996 election and was invited to form the government. But most other parties were opposed to its policies and therefore, the BJP government could not secure a majority in the Lok Sabha. 

• With the elections of 1989, a long phase of coalition politics began in India. Since then, there have been eleven governments at the Centre, all of which have either been coalition governments or minority governments supported by other parties, which did not join the government.

Political Rise of Other Backward Classes

• One long-term development of this period was the rise of Other backward Classes (OBCs) as  a political force. OBCs are communities other than SCs and STs who suffer from educational  and social backwardness. These are also referred to as ‘backward castes’.

'Mandal' Implemented

• In the 1980s, the Janata Dal brought together a similar combination of political groups  with strong support among the Other Backward Classes.

• The Mandal Issue started with the National Front government’s decision to implement  the recommendation of Mandal Commission that jobs in Central Government should be  reserved for other backward classes leading to violent anti-Mandal protest in country  between supporters and opponents of OBC reservations.

• The period witnessed the emergence of many parties that sought better opportunities for  OBCs in education and employment and also raised the question of the share of power  enjoyed by the OBCs.

• These parties claimed that since OBCs constituted a large segment of Indian society, it  was only democratic that the OBCs should get adequate representation in administration  and have their due share of political power.

Political fallouts

• The 1980s witnessed the rise of political organisation of the Dalits. In 1978, the Backward  and Minority Communities Employees Federation (BAMCEF) was formed. This  organisation was not an ordinary trade union of government employees. It took a strong  position in favour of political power to the ‘bahujan’ – the SC, ST, OBC and minorities.

• The Dalit Shoshit Samaj Sangharsh Samiti and later the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP)  emerged under the leadership of Kanshi Ram. The BSP began as a small party supported  largely by Dalit voters in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

• Dalit politics and OBC politics have developed independently and often in competition  with each other.

The Mandal Commission

• The Mandal Commission gave its recommendations in 1980.

• It recommended reserving 27 per cent of seats in educational institutions and government jobs for
these groups. The Mandal Commission also made many other recommendations, like, land reform, to improve the conditions of the OBCs.

• In August 1990, the National Front government decided to implement one of the recommendations of Mandal Commission pertaining to reservations for OBCs in jobs in the central government and its undertakings.

Communalism, Secularism, Democracy

• The other long-term development during this period was the rise of politics based on religious  identity, leading to a debate about secularism and democracy.

• The Bharatiya Janata Party pursued the politics of ‘Hindutva’ and  adopted the strategy of mobilising the Hindus.

• Hindutva literally means Hinduism defined by its originator V.D. Savarkar as basis of Indian nationhood to be members of Indian nation everyone must not only accept India as their fatherland ‘Pitrubhu’ but also as their hold land ‘Punyabhu’.

• Supporters of ‘Hindutva’ argue that strong nation can be built only on the basis of a strong  and united national culture. They also believe that in the case of India the Hindu culture  alone can provide this base.

• Two major developments around 1986 became central to the politics of the BJP as a ‘Hindutva’ party. The first was the Shah Bano case in 1985, and the second was Ayodhya dispute.

Shah Bano case in 1985

• A 62-year old divorced Muslim woman, had filed a case for maintenance from her former husband. The Supreme Court ruled in her favour.

• On the demand of some Muslim leaders, the government passed the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986 that nullified the Supreme Court’s judgment.

• The BJP criticised this action of the Congress government as an unnecessary concession and ‘appeasement’ of the minority community.

Ayodhya dispute

• The Faizabad district court in February 1986 ordered that the Babri Masjid premises be unlocked so that Hindus could offer prayers at the site which they considered as a temple.

• The Babri Masjid was a 16th century mosque in Ayodhya and was built by Mir Baqi – Mughal emperor Babur’s General. Hindus believe that it was built after demolishing a temple for Lord Rama in what is believed to be his birthplace.

• In the late 1940s, the mosque was locked up as the matter was with the court. But when locks of the Babri Masjid were opened, mobilisation began on both sides.

• The BJP made this issue its major electoral and political plank. The BJP took out a massive march called the Rathyatra from Somnath in Gujarat to Ayodhya in UP.

Demolition and after

• In December 1992, the organisations supporting the construction of the temple had organised a Karseva, meaning voluntary service by the devotees, for building the Ram temple.

• Thousands of people gathered from all over the country at Ayodhya on 6 December 1992  and demolished the mosque. This news led to clashes between the Hindus and Muslims  in many parts of the country. 

• In February-March 2002, violence broke out against the Muslims in Gujarat.

Gujarat riots

• The anti-Muslim riots took place in the form of violence against Muslims through an  incident at a station called Godhra 2002 when a bogey, full of Karsevaks was set on fire. Suspecting the hand of the Muslims in setting fire to the bogey, large-scale violence against Muslims began in many parts of Gujarat

• The National Human Rights Commission criticised the Gujarat government’s role in failing to control violence, provide relief to the victims and prosecute the perpetrators of this violence.

Emergence of a New Consensus

• The period after 1989 is seen sometimes as the period of decline of Congress and rise of BJP.

Lok Sabha Elections 2004

• In the Lok Sabha elections, 2004 the Congress Party too entered into coalitions in a big  way. The NDA was defeated and a new coalition government led by the Congress, known  as the United Progressive Alliance came to power. This government received support from  the Left Front parties.

• The elections of 2004, there was a negligible difference between the votes polled by the  Congress and its allies and the BJP and its allies. Thus, the party system has now changed  almost dramatically.

• The political processes after the 1990s, showed the emergence of broadly four groups of  parties i.e. parties in coalition with Congress, parties in alliance with BJP, Left Front  parties, others who were not part of the rest to make political competition multi-concerned. 

Growing consensus

• After 1990, a consensus appears to have emerged among most parties which consists of four elements

→ Agreement on new economic policies.
→ Acceptance of the political and social claims of the backward castes.
→ Acceptance of the role of state level parties in governance of the country.
→ Emphasis on pragmatic considerations rather than ideological positions and political alliances without ideological agreement.
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