Chapter 1 - Challenges of Nation Building :Important Questions and Answers

List of Questions and Answers

1.The First Home Minister of independent India was _____________
(a)Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru
(b)Sardar Patel
(c)Lal Bahadur Shastri
(d)Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar

Ans:(b) Sardar Patel

2.Who was the Home Minister responsible for the merger of the Princely States in the Union of India?

Ans: Sardar Patel

3.What was the base of Indian state reorganisation in 1956?
(a) Language
(b) Geographical Area
(c) cast
(d) Religion

Ans:(a) Language

................................ Advertisement ................................

4.Explain the consequences of the Partition of India during 1947.

Following were the consequences seen during the Partition of India :

  • There were killings and atrocities on both sides of the border. In the name of religion people of one community ruthlessly killed and maimed people of the other community.
  • Muslims would avoid going into an area where mainly Hindus or Sikhs lived; similarly the Hindus and Sikhs stayed away from areas of Muslim predominance.
  • Forced to abandon their homes and move across borders, people went through immense sufferings.Minorities on both sides of the border fled their home and often secured temporary shelter in "refugee camps".
  • People travelled to the other side of the new border by all sorts of means, often by foot. Even during this journey they were often attacked, killed or raped.
  • Thousands of women were abducted on both sides of the border. They were made to convert to the religion of the abductor and were forced into marriage.
  • In many cases women were killed by their own family members to preserve the "family honour". Many children were separated from their parents. Those who did manage to cross the border found that they had no home.
  • 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.
  • The Partition had created severe conflict between the two communities (Hindu/Muslim).

5.Explain the accession of Hyderabad to the Union of India.


  • 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.The Nizam wanted an independent status for Hyderabad. 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.
  • People of Hyderabad state started movement against the Nizam's rule.The peasants in the Telangana region who were worst affected and also women came in large numbers to support the movement.
  • The Nizam responded with para-military force known as the Razakars on the people.They murdered, maimed, raped and looted, targeting particularly the non Muslims.
  • In 1948 the central government ordered the army to tackle the situation.After a few days of intermittent fighting, the Nizam surrendered and this led to Hyderabad’s accession to India.

................................ Advertisement ................................

6.Mahatma Gandhi said on 14th August, 1947, "Tomorrow will be a day of rejoicing as well as mourning". According to Mahatma Gandhi, why would 15th August, 1947 (tomorrow) be a day of rejoicing as well as mourning ?

On 14-15 August 1947, not one but two nation-states came into existence- India and Pakistan. This was a result of partition the division of British India into India and Pakistan. Such a division was not only very painful, but also very difficult to decide and to implement. It was decided to follow the principle of religious majorities. This basically means that areas where the Muslims were in majority would make up the territory of Pakistan. The rest was to stay with India.
It was decided the partition be done according to the religious majority at the district or even lower level. This decision could not be made by the midnight of 14-15 August. It meant that a large number of people did not know on the day of Independence whether they were in India or in Pakistan. The Partition of these two provinces caused the deepest trauma of Partition.

7.Mention the role of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel towards India's integration.


  • Sardar Patel was India's Deputy Prime Minister and the Home Minister during the crucial period immediately following Independence.
  • He played a historic role in negotiating with the rulers of princely states firmly but diplomatically and bringing most of them into the Indian Union.
  • The task was very complicated and required skillful persuasion.
  • For example, there were 26 small states in today's Orissa. Saurashtra region of Gujarat had 14 big states, 119 small states and numerous other different administrations.

8.What was the task of the States Reorganisation Commission? What was its most salient recommendation?

The Central Government appointed States Reorganisation Commission in 1953 and its main purpose was to look into the question of redrawing of the boundaries of states.
Following are the task of States Reorganisation Commission:

  • The boundaries of the state should reflect the boundaries of different languages.
  • States Reorganisation Act was passed in 1956. This led to the creation of 14 states and six union territories.
The most important concerns was that demands for separate states would endanger the unity of the country. It was felt that linguistic states may foster separatism and create pressures on the newly founded nation.This was the salient recommendation from States Reorganisation Commission.

................................ Advertisement ................................

9.Explain the princely state Manipur accession with the Indian government.


  • The Maharaja of Manipur, Bodhachandra Singh, signed the Instrument of Accession with the Indian government on the assurance that the internal autonomy of Manipur would be maintained.
  • Due to public pressure , the Maharaja held elections in Manipur in June 1948 and the state became a constitutional monarchy.
  • Manipur was the first part of India to hold an election based on universal adult franchise.
  • The Legislative Assembly of Manipur showed sharp differences over the question of merger of Manipur with India.
  • The state Congress wanted the merger, other political parties were opposed to this.
  • The Government of India succeeded in pressurising the Maharaja into signing a Merger Agreement in September 1949, without consulting the elected Legislative Assembly of Manipur.This caused a lot of anger and resentment in Manipur.

10.Explain the challenges which Independent India faced during the process of Nation Building.

Ans: After Independence British rule over India ended, and all the states, as many as 565 in all, would become legally independent.
There were many challenges faced in getting the states together to build the Nation.Here are few important ones:

  • The first challenge was to shape a nation that was united, yet accommodative to the diversity in our society.Indian people spoke different languages and followed different cultures and religions. It was difficult with such variety of diversity to remain together for long. The partition of the country appeared to prove everyone’s worst fears.
  • The second challenge was to establish democracy. India adopted representative democracy based on the parliamentary form of government. These features ensure that the political competition would take place in a democratic framework. The challenge was to develop democratic practices in accordance with the Constitution.
  • The third challenge was to ensure the development and well-being of the entire society and not only of some sections. The Constitution clearly laid down the principle of equality and special protection to socially disadvantaged groups and religious and cultural communities.