NCERT Solutions CH 3 Constitutional Design Civics
1. Here are some false statements. Identify the mistake in each case and rewrite these correctly based on what you have read in this chapter.
(a) Leaders of the freedom movement had an open mind about whether the country should be democratic or not after independence.
(b) Members of the Constituent Assembly of India held the same views on all provisions of the Constitution.
(c) A country that has a constitution must be a democracy.
(d) The constitution cannot be amended because it is the supreme law of a country.
Ans. (a) Leaders of the freedom movement were decided on certain basic values and wanted India to be a democratic republic.
(b) No. There were sharp differences on many issues. They were solved after long discussions and debates and hence a consensus was reached.
(c) Not necessarily. Every country has a Constitution but all are not democracies — some are dictatorships, theocracies or monarchies.
(d) A Constitution is not inflexible. It has to change according to the changes in society and reflect people’s aspirations.
2. Which of these was the most salient underlying conflict in the making of a democratic constitution in South Africa?
(a) Between South Africa and its neighbours.
(b) Between men and women
(c) Between the white minority and the black majority
(d) Between the coloured minority and the black majority.
Ans. (c) between the white minority and the black majority.
3. Which of these is a provision that a democratic constitution does not have?
(a) Powers of the head of the state (b) Name of the head of the state
(c) Powers of the legislature (d) Name of the country
Ans. (b) Name of the head of the state
4. Match the following leaders with their roles in the making of the Constitution:
(a) Motilal Nehru (i) President of the Constituent Assembly
(b) B.R. Ambedkar (ii) Member of the Constituent Assembly
(c) Rajendra Prasad (iii) Chairman of the Drafting Committee
(d) Sarojini Naidu (iv) Prepared a Constitution for India in 1928
Ans. (a) — (iv); (b) — (iii); (c) — (i); (d) — (ii).
5. Read again the extracts from Nehru’s speech ‘Tryst with Destiny’ and answer the following:
(a) Why did Nehru use the expression “not wholly or in full measure” in the first sentence?
(b) What pledge did he want the makers of the Indian Constitution to take?
(c) “The ambition of the greatest man of our generation has been to wipe every tear from every eye.” Who was he referring to?
Ans. (a) Nehru says this because India was partitioned into India and Pakistan.
(b) The pledge of service of the millions who suffer from the partition of the country.
(c) Mahatma Gandhi.
6. Here are some of the guiding values of the Constitution and its meaning. Rewrite them by matching them correctly.
(a) Sovereign (i) Government will not favour any religion
(b) Republic (ii) People have the supreme right to make decisions
(c) Fraternity (iii) Head of the state is an elected person
(d) Secular (iv) People should live like brothers and sisters
Ans. (a) Sovereign — People have the supreme right to make decisions.
(b) Republic — Head of the state is an elected person.
(c) Fraternity — People should live like brothers and sisters.
(d) Secular — Government will not favour any religion.
7. A friend from Nepal has written you a letter describing the political situation there. Many political parties are opposing the rule of the king. Some of them say that the existing constitution given by the monarch can be amended to allow more power to elected representatives. Others are demanding a new Constituent Assembly to write a republican constitution. Reply to your friend giving your opinions on the subject.
Ans. Children to do it themselves.
8. Here are different opinions about what made India a democracy. How much importance would you give to each of these factors?
Democracy in India is a gift of the British rulers. We received training to work with representative legislative institutions under British rule.
Freedom struggle challenged the colonial exploitation and denial of different freedoms to Indians. Free India could not be anything but democratic.
We were lucky to have leaders who had democratic convictions. The denial of democracy in several other newly independent countries shows the important role to these leaders.
Ans. I would give the maximum importance to the second opinion. Freedom struggle was the biggest factor in teaching us the values of freedom of thought, expression and belief. It taught us that we had to be united, live as brothers and sisters to fight the common enemy. It taught us the democratic value of equality, how social equality was as important as the political one. It taught people that in spite of differences, some basic values are accepted by all.
A second important factor was the quality of leadership. Gandhiji, Nehru, Bose, Azad, to name a few, were great democrats who believed in equality, liberty and fraternity. They believed that the suffering of the people had to be alleviated.
The British gave the Indians training to work with legislative institutions, but they were certainly not believers of democracy. They did not allow everyone to vote, they had all the power in their hands, they created divisions among Hindus and Muslims, did not treat Indians as equal to them. In fact, it was the freedom struggle which taught Indians to value democracy.
9. Read the following extract from a conduct book for ‘married women’, published in 1912. ‘God had made the female species delicate and fragile both physically and emotionally, pitiably incapable of self-defence. They are destined thus by God to remain in male protection – of the father, husband and son — all their lives. Women should, therefore, not despair, but feel obliged that they can dedicate themselves to the service of men.’
Do you think the values expressed in this para reflected the values underlying our Constitution? Or does this go against the constitutional values?
Ans. These values certainly go against our constitutional values. The Constitution makes no gender differences. Equal rights are given to women. They can vote, take up any job, have property rights and are paid (according to the constitution) equal wages for equal work. The statement of 1912 makes women inferior to men and does not give them equal status. Later it went against the values of our constitution.
10. Read the following statements about a Constitution. Give reasons why each of these is true or not true.
(a) The authority of the rules of the constitution is the same as that of any other law.
(b) Constitution lays down how different organs of the government will be formed.
(c) Rights of citizens and limits on the power of the government are laid down in the Constitution.
(d) A Constitution is about institutions, not about values.
Ans. (a) Not true. The constitution is the supreme law. Its authority cannot be challenged even by the government. It is not like an ordinary law.
(b) Yes, it is true. The constitution defines the role of the legislature, the executive and the judiciary and how they should be formed and by whom and their functions are also mentioned.
(c) Yes, true. The Fundamental Rights state clearly the rights of the citizens. They also state the power of the executive, lay down the rules of how the legislature and the judiciary can control the government.
(d) Not true. The Constitution contains all the values which the institutions have to promote. The Preamble to the Constitution is a shining example of this and states clearly that justice, liberty, equality and fraternity have to be promoted. Secularism has to be followed and socialism and democracy should be the basis of the government.