Challenges Of Nation Building | Chapter 7 Notes

Challenges Of Nation Building

Challenges for the New Nation

Challenges of new nations

India attained independence on 14-15 midnight in 1945. Jawahar Lal Nehru

The first Prime Minister of free India, addressed a special session of the Constituent Assembly that night. This was the famous ‘Tryst with destiny’ speech.

Our leaders on attaining independence agreed upon two goals to be achieved:

☝ We shall run our country through democratic government.

✌ The government will be run for the good of all, particularly the poor and the socially disadvantaged groups.

No other country by then was born in a situation more difficult than that of India in 1947.

Freedom came with the partition of the country. The year 1947 was a year of unprecedented violence and displacement. 

It was in this situation that independent India started on its journey to achieve several objectives. 

Constituent Assembly

Immediately after independence, there were three challenges in nation building: –

To shape a nation– The first challenge was to shape a nation that was united in spite of the diversity in the society, where people spoke different languages and followed different cultures and religions, also to eradicate poverty and unemployment.

To establish Democracy– To establish democracy India adopted representative democracy based on parliamentary form of government. 

But it was not sufficient so the challenge was to develop democratic practices in accordance with the constitution.

To ensure the development and well-being of entire society– The third challenge was to ensure the development and well-being of the entire society without any discrimination.

The constitution was clearly made based on the principle of equality and special protection to socially disadvantaged groups, religious and cultural communities.

Major goals of our national movement after Independence was to form a democratic government and function for the welfare of all sections of the Society.

Also Read: Challenges of Nation Building MCQ

Partition: Displacement and Rehabilitation

After independence two-nation theory was propounded by Muhammad Ali Jinnah to create a separate state for Muslims, which resulted in the partition as India and Pakistan.

Such a partition was not only very painful but also very difficult to decide and implement.

It was decided that areas where the Muslims were in majority would make up the territory of Pakistan and the rest was to stay in India.

As a result of this decision, lakhs of people from both sides lost their lives, homes, properties and became victims of communal violence.

On the basis of muslim majority, West and East Pakistan was created. The portion of land of Punjab and Bengal was sacrificed for this partition.

Process of Partition

The decision to divide India into two nations was painful. Partition was based on the principle of religious majorities. 

Places where muslims majority stays would make up the territory of Pakistan, and rest of the portion would constitute the territory of India. 

But it created several problems…

Mainly there were four problems: –

  • There was no single majority belt of Muslim  areas in the British India.
  • Not all Muslim wanted to shift to Pakistan.
  • The two Muslim majority provinces – punjab and Bengal had very large areas, where non- muslims were also in large numbers.
  • There was some problems of minorities on the both sides of the border

Consequences of Partition

The year 1947 was the year remembered for the largest, most abrupt, unplanned and tragic transfers of population in human history.

  • There were fierce killings and atrocities on both sides of the border.
  • In the name of religion people of one community ruthlessly killed people of the other community.
  • Lahore, Amritsar and Kolkata became communal zones.
  • Minorities on both sides of the border left their home and took shelter in refugee camps.
  • They travelled to the other side of the new border by foot and were often attacked, killed or raped.
  • In some cases women were killed by their own family members to preserve the family honour. 
  • Many children were separated from their parents.
  • It is estimated that around 70-80 lakh people were forced to migrate across the new border and about 5 to 10 lakh people were killed.
  • People were forcefully converted to other religions.
  • Political and administrative machinery failed on both sides.

Mahatma Gandhi did not participate in any of the Independence celebrations. 

He was in Kolkata where gruesome riots between Hindus and Muslims took place.

He was saddened by the communal violence and disheartened that the principles of ahimsa and Satyagraha had failed to bind the people in troubled times. 

Gandhi ji tried to persuade Hindus and Muslims to give up violence. 

His presence in Kolkata greatly improved the situation.

Integration Of Princely States

British India was divided into two parts British Indian provinces and the Princely states. 

The British Indian provinces were directly under the control of the British government and Princely states governed by Indian princes.

Princely states were having some form of control over the internal affairs as long as they accepted British Supremacy. 

After independence it was left to the state whether to join India or Pakistan or remain independent. But this was a very serious problem and could threaten the existence of a united India. 

Immediately after independence there were almost 565 princely states. Many of them joined Indian Union.

Travancore, Hyderabad, Kashmir and Manipur initially refused to join Indian Union.

Majority of people of most of the princely states clearly wanted to become part of the Indian Union.

The government was also prepared to be flexible in giving autonomy to some regions.

Later on the ruler of Travancore announced that the state had decided on Indian union.

The ruler of Hyderabad made a similar announcement the next day.

The ruler of Bhopal was also announced to join the Constituent Assembly. 

Indian independence aimed at unity and diversity as well as democracy approach.

Government’s Approach Towards Princely States

The government took a firm stance against possible division of India. Sardar Vallabhbhai

Patel 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 government’s approach was guided by three considerations:

  • 1. The people of most of the princely states really wanted to become part of the Indian Union.
  • 2. The government was prepared to be flexible in giving autonomy to some regions and the idea was to accommodate plurality and adopt a flexible approach in dealing with the regions.
  • 3. Demands of the region with peaceful negotiations in a firm diplomatic manner

Also Read: Challenges of Nation Building MCQ

Instrument Of Accession 

The rulers of most of the states signed a document called the ‘Instrument of Accession’ which meant that their state became a part of the Union of India.

The princely states of Junagadh, Hyderabad, Kashmir and Manipur proved more difficult than the rest.

Issue of Junagadh was resolved after a  confirmation of people’s desire to join India.


Hyderabad, the largest of the princely states, was surrounded entirely by Indian territories such as Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh.

The people of Hyderabad started agitation against the Nizam’s rule. Women were also part of the movement. 

The Telangana region in particular was a victim of Nizam’s oppressive rule and rose against him.  

The Communists and Hyderabad Congress were in the forefront of the movement.

The Nizam responded by releasing a paramilitary force known as Razakars on the people.  Razakars committed a lot of atrocities on the people. They murdered, raped and looted, targeting the non-muslims.

In September 1948 Indian Army moved in to control of the Nizam’s forces and finally after a few days Nizam surrendered. This led to the accession of Hyderabad to India.


A few days before independence the Maharaja of Manipur Bodhachandra Singh signed the Instrument of Accession with the Indian government 

Under the pressure of public opinion, Maharaja made the state a constitutional monarchy and it became the first state to hold elections under Universal Adult Franchises. 

But there was a sharp difference over the merger of Manipur, the government of India pressurized Maharaja into signing an agreement in September 1949.

Reorganization of States

During the national movement Indian National Congress recognized the demand and need of state reorganization on linguistic basis.

In December 1952 Andhra Pradesh was created on linguistic basis.

The Government of India appointed the States Reorganization Commission in 1953.

This commission accepted that the boundaries of the state should reflect  different languages.

On the basis of the commission’s report the States Reorganization Act was passed in 1956. This led to the creation of 14 States and 6 Union Territories.

Patel and National Integration

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was the first deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister of India, who emerged as a major leader of the freedom movement.

At the time of independence, integrating all the princely states was a big challenge for the national unity and integrity of India.

Sardar Patel undertook this difficult task of uniting all 565 princely states of India.

He was known as an ‘Iron Man’ of India, Patel’s approach was very clear. He was not at all in favour of any compromise with the territorial integrity of India.

By his political experience and foresightedness, out of India’s 565 princely states, many states had already given their consent to merge with India even before achieving independence.

Sardar Patel faced key challenges to integrate three states, viz. Hyderabad, Junagarh and Kashmir.

It was under his leadership that Indian forces compelled two states Hyderabad and Junagadh to merge with India.

Keeping well versed with Jinnah’s divisive ‘Two Nation Theory’, Sardar Patel’s opinion on Kashmir was different from other leaders.

Like Hyderabad and Junagadh he also wanted Kashmir’s integration with India through military operations. But due to many reasons, Sardar could not succeed in integrating Kashmir fully with India. 

However, Sardar Patel will always remain as an notable leader who has the features of a true ‘Nationalist’, ‘Catalyst’ and ‘Realist’ – popularly characterised as NCR in Indian political history.

Key Words To Remember


Two Nations Theory: It was propounded by Muhammad Ali Jinnah to create a separate state for Muslims.

British Indian Provinces: The Indian provinces which were directly under the British government before independence.

Princely States: – States ruled by Princes who enjoyed some form of control over their state’s internal affairs under the British supremacy.

Razakars: – A para-military force of Nizam was sent to respond to the people’s movement which had no bounds.

Nizam: – Ruler of Hyderabad was titled as Nizam who was world’s richest person.

State Reorganization Commission: – It was appointed in 1953 to look into the matter to redraw the boundaries of states.

Instrument of Accession – A document signed by rulers of states when they agreed to become part of Indian Union.

Bifurcation – Division of something into branches or parts.

Frequently Asked MCQ Questions

1. Which among the following statements about the partition is incorrect?

(a) Partition of India was the outcome of the ‘Two Nation Theory.’
(b) Punjab and Bengal were the two provinces divided on the basis of religion.
(c) East Pakistan and West Pakistan were not contiguous.
(d) The scheme of partition included a plan for the transfer of population across the border.

2. Match the principles with the instances:

(a) Mapping of boundaries of religious grounds
1. Pakistan and Bangladesh
(b) Mapping of boundaries on grounds of a different language
2. India and Pakistan
(c) Demarcating boundaries within a country by geographical zones
3. Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh
(d) Demarcating within a country on administrative and political grounds
4. Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand

3. When did India got Independence?

(a) 1947
(b) 1949
(c) 1952
(d) 1962

 4. The main reason for India’s partition is:

(a) Adamant attitude of Jinnah
(b) Communal riots and disorder
(c) Failure of the Interim Government
(d) All of these

 5. What were the consequences of the Partition of India in 1947?

(a) Transfer of Population
(b) Refugees Problem
(c) Problem of Minorities
(d) All of these

 6. The States Reorganisation Commission was appointed in which year?

(i) 1950
(ii) 1951
(iii) 1953
(iv) 1954

7 Which state was not created in 2000?

(i) Jharkhand
(ii) Chhattisgarh
(iii) Uttaranchal
(iv) Bihar

8. What were the consequences of the Partition of India in 1947?

(i) Transfer of Population
(ii) Refugees Problem
(iii) Problem of Minorities
(iv) All of these

9. The ”communal zones” exclude

(i) Lahore
(ii) Amritsar
(iii) Kolkata
(iv) Jammu & Kashmir

10. The states created in 1960 were

(i) Maharashtra and Gujarat
(ii) Orissa and West Bengal
(iii) Rajasthan and Gujarat
(iv) Punjab and Haryana

11. The main reason for India’s partition is:

(i) Adamant attitude of Jinnah
(ii) Communal riots and disorder
(iii) Failure of the Interim Government
(iv) All of these

12. The interim government formed under the cabinet mission plan was headed by

(i) Dr. Rajendra Prasad
(ii) Jawaharlal Nehru
(iii) Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel
(iv) Rajagopalachari

 13. The Cities that were divided into ‘communal zones’ during the partition violence were

(i) Lahore, Amritsar and Calcutta.
(ii) Kashmir, Lucknow and Allahabad.
(iii) Madras, Hyderabad and Mysore.
(iv) Delhi, Mumbai and Gwalior.

 14. What were the consequences of the Partition of India in 1947?

(i) Transfer of Population
(ii) Refugees Problem
(iii) Problem of Minorities
(iv) All of these

15. Which among the following statements about the partition is incorrect?

(i) Partition of India was the outcome of the ‘Two Nation Theory.’
(ii) Punjab and Bengal were the two provinces divided on the basis of religion.
(iii) East Pakistan and West Pakistan were not contiguous.
(iv) The scheme of partition included a plan for the transfer of population across the border.

16.Read the following passage and answer the questions below:

The interim government took a firm stance against the possible division of India into smaller principalities of different sizes. The Muslim League opposed the lndian National Congress and took the view that the States should be free to adopt any course they liked. Sardar Patel, India’s Deputy Prime Minister and the Home Minister during the crucial period, immediately after Independence, played a historic role in negotiating with the rulers of Princely States in bringing most of them into the Indian Union.


1. Which government has been referred to as the interim government?
2. Why did the Muslim League oppose the Indian National Congress?
3. What makes the role of Sardar Patel a historic one? Explain.

17. Read the following passage and answer the questions below:
          “In the history of nation-building only the Soviet experiment bears comparison with the Indian.  There too, a sense of unity had to be forged between many diverse ethnic groups, religious, linguistic communities and social classes. The scale-geographic as well as demographic was comparably massive. The raw material the state had to work with was equally unpropitious: a people divided by faith and driven by debt and disease.”
—Ramachandra Guha

(a) List the commonalities that the author mentions between India and Soviet Union and give one example for each of these from India.
(b) The author does not talk about dissimilarities between the two experiments. Can you mention two dissimilarities?

18.  Read the passage given below carefully and answer the questions:
We have a Muslim minority who are so large in numbers that they cannot, even if they want, go anywhere else. That is a basic fact about which there can be no argument.. Whatever the provocation from Pakistan and whatever the indignities and horrors inflicted on non-Muslims there, we have got to deal with this minority in a civilised manner. We must give them security and the rights of citizens in a democratic state. If we fail to do so, we shall have a festering sore which will eventually poison the whole body politic and probably destroy it.
—Jawaharlal Nehru

1. Why did Jawaharlal Nehru want to deal with the muslim minority in a civilised way?
2. Why this minority should be given the security and rights-on the same footing as 20 all others in a democratic system?
3. If this minority was not provided security and rights what kind of scenario is envisaged?

19. When Gujarat was carved out of Bombay?

(i) 1950
(ii) 1960
(iii) 1970
(iv) 1980

20. When Meghalaya was carved out of Assam?

(i) 1970   
(ii) 1971
(iii) 1972
(iv) 1973

21. Mohammed Ali Jinnah addressed the constituent assembly of Pakistan in Karachi on:

(i) 11th August, 1947
(ii) 12th August, 1947
(iii) 13th August, 1947
(iv) 14th August, 1947

22. . The following questions consists of two statements – Assertion (a) and Reason(R)

Assertion(A): Nehru , believing in secularism, supported the declaration of India as a secular state. A secularist state means that the state will not have any religion of its own and will treat all religions equally.

Reason (R): Nehru believed that a strong nation can be built by making India is a secular state.

Answer these questions .Selecting the appropriate option given below:                   

 a. Both (A)and (R) are true and (R) is the correct explanation of (A)

b. Both (A) and (R)are true and (R)is not the correct explanation of (A)

c.(A) IS true but (R) is false

d. (A) is false but(R) is true

Also Read: Challenges of Nation Building MCQ

Final Words

From the above article you must have learnt about ncert cbse class 12 Political Science notes of unit 7 Challenges of Nation Building. We hope that this crisp and latest Political Science class 12 notes will definitely help you in your exam.

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