Class 12 History Chapter 17 Framing The Constitution

Class 12 History Chapter 17 Framing The Constitution The answer to each chapter is provided in the list so that you can easily browse through different chapters Assam Board HS 2nd Year History Chapter 17 Framing The Constitution Question Answer.

Class 12 History Chapter 17 Framing The Constitution

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Also, you can read the SCERT book online in these sections Solutions by Expert Teachers as per SCERT (CBSE) Book guidelines. These solutions are part of SCERT All Subject Solutions. Here we have given Assam Board Class 12 History Chapter 17 Framing The Constitution Solutions for All Subjects, You can practice these here.

Framing The Constitution

Chapter – 17


Very Short Answer Type Questions

Q.1. Name the Indian territories which were under the control of France. 

Ans : Pondicherry, Karaikal, Yanam, Mahe and Chandernagore were under the the control of France. 

Q.2. What was the status given to the princely states by Indian Independence Act, 1947? 

Ans : The Indian Independence Act, 1947, (which had given independence to India), gave all Indian princely states (their number was nearly 562) independence with the freedom to join India or Pakistan or to declare themselves complete independent as a sovereign state. 

Q.3. When was the Indian Constitution framed? When was it enforced? 

Ans : The Indian constitution was framed from December, 1946 to November, 1949. It was enforced on 26 January 1950. 

Q.4. What Fundamental Rights enshrined in Indian Constitution ensure religious freedom? 

Ans : They are as follows: i) Right to Equality.

ii) Right to Freedom of Religion. 

iii) Cultural and Educational Rights.

Q.5. Give any two arguments which underlined the need fora strong centre and less powers to provinces. 

Ans : i) A strong centre can stop the communal frenzy. It can curtail riots and violence. 

ii) A strong centre can plan for the well-being of the country. It can mobilise the available economic resources. It can establish a proper administration. It can defend the country if ever a foreign aggressor attacks. 

Q.6. Which of the members played a particularly important role in the Constituent Assembly? 

Ans : Six members of the constituent Assembly who played particularly important roles were Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabh Bhai Patel, Rajendra Prasad, B. R. Ambedkar, K. M. Munshi and Alladi Krishnaswamy Aiyer. 

Q.7. Give two problems faced by the new nation. 

Ans : Problems : i) Carnage that followed the partition whereby Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs suffered alike both in India and Pakistan. 

ii) The constitutional status of nearly 1/3rd of the subcontinent, the princely states remained ambiguous. 

Q.8. Name the states that did not join the Indian Union by 15 August, 1947. 

Ans : i) Junagarh.

ii) Hyderabad. and 

iii) Jammu and Kashmir were the three states that did not join the Indian Union by 15 August, 1947. 

Q.9. What was the instrument of accession? 

Ans : Many rulers of the princely states were dreaming of establishing independent of their own. However, as a result of the movement of the people the states and the able stewardship of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, they acceded to India.

Q.10. In just one sentence de finm the guiding principles behind the nationalist movement. 

Ans : The guiding principal and the nationalist movement against the oppressive, illegitimate colonial powers were-struggle for democracy and justice and rights and equality for citizens. 

B. Textual Questions & Answers: 

Q.1. What were the ideals expressed in the objectives Resolution? 

Ans : On December 13th, 1946 Jawaharlal Nehru introduced the ‘objective Resolution’ in the Constituent Assembly. It provided the framework within which the constitution making was to proceed, defining the ideals of the constitution of Independent India. The ideals expressed in the objective Resolution were- 

It proclaimed India to be an “Independent Sovereign Republic” where in all power and authority of Sovereign Independent India, its constituent parts and organs of government are derived from the people. Guaranteed its citizens justice, social, economic and political. Equality of status, of opportunity and before the law. Freedom of thought, expression, belief, faith, worship, vocation, association and action, subject to law and public morality Assured adequate safeguards shall be provided for minorities, backward and tribal areas, depressed and other backward classes. 

Shall maintain the integrity of the republic and its sovereign rights according to justice and the law of civilised nations. These ideals embodies in the objective Resolution are faithfully reflected in the preamble of the constitution. 

Q.2. How was the term minority defined by different groups? 

Ans : According to Jaipal Singh the tribals though not a numerical minority should be given due protection like other minorities as they had been exploited and oppressed for years. The real minorities according to N.G. Ranga were the poor and downtrodden. For them it was essential that condition be created so all rights given by the constitution be enjoyed by them. Then there were the linguistic minorities who asked for freedom of speech in their mother tongue and redistribution of provinces on a linguistic basis. Religious minorities like the Muslims asked for separate electorates while the Jewish Board of Bombay wanted adequate representation on all public bodies including legislature. Finally the depressed castes were also regarded as a minority community if not numerically due to their systematic marginalisation by society. 

Q.3. What were the arguments in favour of greater power to the provinces? 

Ans : One of the topics most vigorously debated in the constituent Assembly was the respective rights of the central Government and the state. Among those arguing for a strong centre was Jawaharlal Nehru. The Draft constitution provided for three lists of subjects- Union, State and concurrent. The subjects in the first list were to be the preserve of the Central Government, while those in the second list were vested with the sates. As for the third list, here centre and state shared responsibility. However, many more items were placed under exclusive union control than in other federations and more placed on the concurrent list too than desired by the provinces. 

The rights of the status were most eloquently defended by K. Santhanam from Madras. A reallocation of powers was necessary, he felt to strengthen not only the states but also the centre. “There is almost an obsession that by adding all kinds of powers to the centre we can make it strong”. This was misconception, said Santhanam. If the centre was overburdened with responsibilities it could not function effectively. By reliving it of some of its functions and transforming them to the states, the centre could, infact, be made stronger. As for the states, Santhanam felt that the proposed allocation of powers would cripple them. The fiscal provisions would impoverish the provinces since most taxes, except land revenue, had been made the preserve of the centre. 

Without finances how could the states undertake any project of development? I do not want any constitution in which the unit has to come to the centre and say ‘I could not educate my people. I cannot give sanitation, give me a dole for the improvement of roads, of industries. Let us rather wipe out the federal system and let us have unitary system. Santhanam predicted a dark future if the proposed distribution of powers was adopted without further scrutiny. In a few years, he said all the provinces would rise in “revolt against the centre”. Many others from the provinces echoed to be put on the concurrent and union lists. A number from Orissa warned that “the centre is likely to break” since powers had been excessively centralised under the constitution. 

Q.4. Why did Mahatma Gandhi think Hindustani should be the national language? 

Ans : In the 1930 s, the Indian National congress had accepted the view that Hindustani should be the national language of India. Mahatma Gandhi felt that all the people should speak in a language which can well be understood by the common people. Hindustani which was a blend of Hindi and Urdu was avery popular language in India. It was spoken by a large section of the people. It was also a composite language enriched by the cultural language would be the ideal language of communication between diverse communities. It would strengthen unity between the Hindus and Muslims. It would also bring the people of the north closer to the people of the south. In other words Mahatma Gandhi believed in the composite character of Hindustani. 

Write a Short Essay on the Following

Q.5. What historical forces shaped the vision of the constitution? 

Ans : Certain basic values were accepted by all national leaders as a result of the Nehru Report and the Fundamental Rights Resolution passed by the Karachi session of the Indian National congress. These included universal Adult Franchise, Right to freedom and equality and protection of minority rights. As a result of the 1937 elections, the congress and other political parties were able to form governments in the provinces. This experience with legislative and political institutions helped in developing an agreement over institutional design. The Indian constitution thus adopted many institutional details and procedures from colonial laws like the Govt. Of India Act of 1935. The founding fathers were also inspired by the ideals of the French revolution, the working of parliamentary democracy in Britain and the Bill of Rights in the USA. The 1917 Russian Revolution inspired our leaders to establish a government based on social and economic equality.

Q.6. Discuss the different arguments made in favour of protection of the oppressed groups. 

Ans : Different arguments were put forth in the constituent Assembly in favour of protection of the oppressed groups. Among these were – 

M.G. Ranga, a socialist and peasant leader favoured protection of the poor downtrodden masses. He urged the term minority be defined in economic terms. He argued it was not the numerically smaller communities the Sikhs or Muslims or Hindus in pakistan who constituted the minority but the masses because they were oppressed, depressed and suppressed. In his opinion fundamental rights to live, full employment, and civil liberties enshrined in the constitution were meaningless unless they could be effectively enjoyed. 

For despite laws being in place the poor were subject to systematic exploitation by merchants, moneylenders and Zamindars and reduced to near level of bonded slaves. Ranga argued to enjoy rights the poor neede props, a ladder, at least elementary education, protection and assurances of protection. Jaipal Singh Adibasi and representative of the tribals not because of their numerical insignificance but due to timeless subjection to discrimation, shabby treatment neglect, exploitation and dispossession from forest- their livelihood, by non-aboriginal Indians who regarded them as primitive, backward, spurned them and kept them at a distance emotional and physical. 

Singh made a moving plea saying “we are willing to mix with you”. Singh asked for protection of their livelihood, and acceptance by society at large, and equality of opportunity. To this end he felt reservation of seats was essential to allow tribals to represent themselves. It would be a way he said of compelling others to hear the voice of the tribals and come near them. Nagappa and other members of the Depressed castes- Untouchables favoured protection and removal of social disabilities. Earlier during the national movement B.R. Ambedkar had demanded separate electorates for the Depressed castes but Gandhi had opposed it arguing that this would permanently segregate them from the rest of the society. 

The depressed caste sought to resolve their problem by pointing out reiterating “We were suppressed for thousands of years”. They argued protection and safeguards alone could not solve their problem. Their suffering was due to marginalisation, not numerical insignificance (constituted 20 to 25% of the population) accentuated by no access to education, and no share in the administration. They favoured not only protection and safeguards but immediate removal of social disabilities. 

Q.7. What connection did some of the members of the constituent Assembly make between the political situation of the time and the need for a strong centre? 

Ans : Relation seen by some of the members of constituent Assembly between political scenario of that time and a strong central Government. 

The argument for greater power to the provinces provoked a strong reaction in the Assembly. The need for a strong centre had been underlined on numerous occasions since the constituent Assembly had begun its sessions. Ambedkar had declared that he wanted “a strong and united centre much stronger than the centre we had created under the Government of Indian Act of 1935”. Reminding the members of the riots and violence that was ripping the nation apart, many members had repeatedly stated that the powers of the centre had to be greatly strengthened to enable it to stop the communal frenzy. 

Reacting to the demands for giving power to the provinces, Gopalaswami Ayyanagar declared that “the centre should be made as strong as possible”. One member from the united provinces, Balakrishna sharma, reasoned at length that only a strong centre could plan for the well- being of the country, mobilise the available economic resources, establish a proper administration, and defend the country against foreign aggression. Before partition the congress had agreed to grant considerable autonomy to the provinces. This had been part of an effort to aasure the Muslim League come to power the centre would not interfeare. 

After partition most nationalists changed their position because they felt that the earlier political pressures for a decentralised structure were no longer there. There was already a unitary system in place, imposed by the colonial government. The violence of the times gave a further push to centralisation, now seen as necessary both to forestall chaos and to plan for the country’s economic development. The constitution thus showed a distinct bias towards the rights of the union of India over those of its constituent states. 

Q.8. How did the constituent Assembly seek to resolve the language controversy? 

Ans: India is a vast country having different regions where different languages are spoken. So it was quite natural that the constituent Assembly discussed the intricate issue of language for the newly independent country. The discussion about the language problem generated intense arguments. 

Before the independence of the country, the congress had made up its mind to adopt Hindustani as the national language of the country. Mahatma gandhi had also approved this decision. He was convinced that everyone should speak in a language which is understood by most of the common people. Hindustani was not a new language. It was a blend of Hindi and Urdu. It was a popular language as it was spoken by most of the people of the country. It was a composite language because it was enriched by the interaction of diverse cultures. So it was well understood by most of the people living in different regions of the country. It was in fact a multi- cultural language. 

Mahatma Gandhi considered Hindustani as an ideal language of communication between diverse communities. It could be a symbol of unity between the Hindus and the Muslims. It could also unite the people of the north with the people living in the south. Hindi was the language of the Hindus and Urdu was the language of the Muslims. But Hindustani, being a blend of these two languages, had a composite character. That is why, Mahatma Gandhi preferred it to be the national language of India. The case for Hindi was mostly pleaded by R.V. Dhulekar, a congressman from the United provinces. He wanted that Hindi should be used as the language of constitution- making. 

When he was told that all the members of the constituent Assembly did not know Hindi, he felt infuriated and stated that those who did not know Hindustani were not worthy to be the members of the constituent Assembly over his remarks. However the peace and order were restored due to the intervention of Jawaharlal Nehru. The Language Committee of the constituent Assembly suggested a compromise formula in its report. In order to resolve the deadlock over the issue of language, it advocated that Hindi in Devanagari script should be the official language of the country. 

It also suggested that transition from English to hindi would be gradual. It stated that during the first fifteen years since the enforcement – of the new constitution, English would continue to be used for all official purposes. In provinces, the governments will be free to choose one of the regional languages for their official work within the province. In other words, the language committee referred to Hindi as the official language and not the national language of India. However Dhulekar wanted Hindi to be declared as the National Language and not as an official language of the country. 

The members in the constituent Assembly who hailed from the southern states considered Hindi as a threat to their provincial languages. Many suspicions were expressed by Mrs. G. Durgabai of Madras and Sh. Shankar Rao Dev from Bombay. T.A. Ramalingam Chettiar from Madras suggested that the issue of language should be handled with tact and caution. Hindi should not be aggressively thrust upon the southern people. In other words, the members from South India wanted that Hindi should not be forcefully imposed on them. 

Map Work

Q.9. On a present-day political map of India, indicate the different languages spoken in each state and mark out the one that is designated as the language for official communication. Compare the present map with a map of the early 1950 s. What differences do you notice? Do the differences say something about the relationship between language and the organisation of the states? 


Class 12 History chapter 17 Map 1

C. Passage Based Question & Answers: 

Read the following passage. Answer the questions below it. 


Hansa Mehta of Bombay demanded justice for women, not reserved seats, or separate electorates. 

We have never asked for privileges. What we have asked for is social justice, economic justice, and political justice. We have asked for that equality which alone can be the basis of mutual respect and understanding, without which real cooperation is not possible between man and woman.


Q.1. Who was Hansa Mehta? 

Ans:Hansa Mehta was a great supporter of women rights from Bombay.

Q.2. What two kinds of privileges were never demanded by her? 

Ans: She had never asked for privileges for women such as 

i) Reservation of seats. and 

ii) Separate electorates.

Q.3. For what types of justices Hansa Mehta had asked? 

Ans: Hansa Mehta demanded justice for women. She had asked for social justice, economic justice and political justice for them.

Q.4. Why Hansa Mehta had asked for equality? 

Ans: Hansa Mehta had asked for equality for women because this principle alone can be the basis of mutual respect and understanding. Without equality real cooperation is not possible between man and woman.

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