Solution: Weekly Problem Practice For History Optional- 2022 [Modern India: Week 7]

Solution: Weekly Problem Practice For History Optional- 2022 [Modern India: Week 7]

Q.1 “Nehru’s ‘temple of Modern India’ consisted not only of steel and power plants, irrigation dams, but included institutions of higher learning, particularly in the scientific field.” Elaborate. [10 Marks]


In 1954, Nehru, while inaugurating Bhakra Nangal Dam, had described public sector enterprises (PSEs) as ‘temples of modern India’. Nehru declared that India’s economic policy must be based on a humane outlook and must not sacrifice men for money.

They were called called ‘Modern Temples’ because:

    • PSEs, working in areas like dams, steel and power plants were conceived as instruments to bring socio-economic transformation of the country.
    • They were important for the nation building, national integration and self reliance.

Following steps were taken in this directions:

    • Big dams like Bhakhra Nangal, Hirakund were built.
    • Iron and Steel Plants were established in Bhilai, Durgapur, Rourkela and Bokaro.
    • Industry was made priority area in the second five year plan.
    • Industry Policy Resolution 1956 defined areas for public and private sector.

Important objectives of building these modern temples were to create infrastructure, absorb technology, encourage innovation, generate employment, solving socio-economic problems etc.

To fulfil these objectives, ‘temples of modern India’ were not just limited to building dams and plants but also included creating institutions of higher learning particularly scientific institutions. Without these institutions, it was not possible to create highly trained manpower, scientists, engineers etc. to work in PSEs or to contribute in any other way in building modern India and socio-economic transformation of India. This was also necessary for self reliance.

Following important steps were taken in this direction:

    • Nehru himself assumed the chairmanship of Centre for Science and Industrial Research and pioneered the establishment of network of national laboratories, starting with National Physics Laboratory in 1947 itself.
    • Department of Scientific Research was created under Nehru.
    • Scientific Policy Resolution was passed in 1958.
    • In the field of higher learning, urgent steps were taken to organize the training of technical personnel.
    • In 1952, first of the five Institutions of Technology (IITs) on the pattern of MIT was established at Kharagpur. Other four were established at Delhi, Kanpur, Madras, and Bombay.
    • Due to Nehru’s efforts in higher learnings, the number of science and technical personnel rose from around 180,000 in 1950 to around 730,000 in 1965, by the time he passed away.
    • Along with Homi J Bhabha, Nehru played an important role in laying down Nuclear policy for nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. Atomic Energy Commission was set up in 1948 with Bhabha as chairman.
    • India also laid foundations in Space research by creating Indian National Committee.
    • Institutions like AIIMS, IIMs, DRDO, ISRO, CSIR, IARC, IISc were established with a futuristic vision and have contributed in meeting the challenges of society by providing world class engineers, doctors, managers, scientists and agriculturists. They have resulted in India’s world class strength in modern technologies.

Q.2 “After Indian Independence India-China relations started on a high note, but during the course of the coming years India had to face a bitter experience due to the Chinese aggression.” Elaborate. [20 Marks]


  • On October 1, 1949 the People’s Liberation Army defeated the Kuomintang (Nationalist Party) of China in a civil war and established the People’s Republic of China (PRC). On August 15, 1947, India became an independent dominion under British Commonwealth and became a federal, democratic republic after its constitution came into effect on January 26, 1950.

After Indian Independence India-China relations started on a high note:

  • After independence, One of the most basic policies for the Indian government was that of maintaining cordial relations with China. The Indian government wished to revive its ancient friendly ties with China. 
  • Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru based his vision of “resurgent Asia” on friendship between the two largest states of Asia; his vision of an internationalist foreign policy governed by the ethics of the Panchsheel, which he initially believed was shared by China,
  • Mao Zedong, the Chairman of the Communist Party of China viewed Tibet as an integral part of the Chinese State.
    • Mao was determined to bring Tibet under direct administrative and military control of People’s Republic of China and saw Indian concern over Tibet as a manifestation of the Indian Government’s interference in the internal affairs of the People’s Republic of China.
    • The PRC sought to reassert control over Tibet and to end Lamaism (Tibetan Buddhism) and feudalism, which it did by force of arms in 1950.
  • To avoid antagonising the People’s Republic of China, Nehru informed Chinese leaders that India had neither political nor territorial ambitions, nor did it seek special privileges in Tibet (as Government of India in 1947 had inherited certain extra territorial rights in Tibet), but that traditional trading rights must continue.
  • With Indian support, Tibetan delegates signed an agreement in May 1951 recognising PRC sovereignty but guaranteeing that the existing political and social system of Tibet would continue.
  • Direct negotiations between India and the PRC commenced in an atmosphere improved by India’s mediation efforts in bringing about a ceasefire to the Korean War (1950–1953). India established diplomatic relations with the PRC on April 1, 1950 (among first countries to do so).
  • The catch phrase of India’s diplomacy with China in the 1950s was Hindi-Chini bhai-bhai.
  • Signing of Panch Sheel:
    • In April 1954, India and the PRC signed an eight-year agreement on Tibet that set forth the basis of their relationship in the form of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence (or Panch Shila).
      • Mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.
      • Mutual non-aggression.
      • Mutual non-interference in each other’s internal affairs.
      • Equality and cooperation for mutual benefit.
      • Peaceful co-existence.
    • Although critics called the Panch Sheel naive, Nehru calculated that in the absence of either the wherewithal or a policy for defence of the Himalayan region, India’s best guarantee of security was to establish a psychological buffer zone in place of the lost physical buffer of Tibet.
  • Cultural contact:
    • In unison with diplomacy, Nehru sought to initiate a more direct dialogue between the peoples of China and India in various ways, including culture and literature.
    • Around that time, the famous Indian artist (painter) Rammanohar Sinha from Visva-Bharati Santiniketan was sent to China in 1957 on a Government of India fellowship to establish a direct cross-cultural and inter-civilisation bridge.
    • Noted Indian scholar Rahul Sankrityayan and diplomat Natwar Singh were also there, and Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan paid a visit to PRC.
    • Between 1957 and 1959, Rammanohar Sinha not only disseminated Indian art in PRC but also became skilled in Chinese painting and lacquer-work. He also spent some moments with Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai.

India faced bitter experience due to Chinese aggression:

  • Nehru’s belief came to grief when it became clear that the two countries had a conflict of interest in Tibet, which had traditionally served as a geographical and political buffer zone, and where India believed it had inherited special privileges from the British Raj.
  • China claimed 104,000 km² of territory over which India’s maps showed clear sovereignty, and demanded “rectification” of the entire border.
  • Boundary problem in western part:
    • The government of India used the Johnson Line as the basis for its official boundary in the west, encompassing Aksai Chin.
    • The Indian position, as stated by prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, was that the Aksai Chin was “part of the Ladakh region of India for centuries”.
    • The Chinese minister, Zhou Enlai argued that the western border had never been delimited, that the Macartney-MacDonald Line, which left the Aksai Chin within Chinese borders was the only line ever proposed to a Chinese government, and that the Aksai Chin was already under Chinese jurisdiction, and that negotiations should take into account the status quo.
    • During the 1950s, the People’s Republic of China built a 1,200 kilometers road connecting Xinjiang and western Tibet, of which 179 kilometers ran south of the Johnson Line through the Aksai Chin region claimed by India.
      • The Indians did not learn of the existence of the road until 1957, which was confirmed when the road was shown in Chinese maps published in 1958.
      • When India discovered in 1958 that China built a road through the region, border clashes and Indian protests became more frequent and serious.
  • Boundary problem in eastern part:
    • In January 1959, PRC premier Zhou Enlai wrote to Nehru, rejecting Nehru’s contention that the border was based on treaty and custom and pointing out that no government in China had accepted as legal the McMahon Line, which in the 1914 Simla Convention defined the eastern section of the border between India and Tibet.
      • China did not consider Tibet sovereign so treaty settling boundary invalid.
  • China started patrolling certain parts of the Indian border from 1955 onwards. Delhi started negotiations to solve the problem in a peaceful way.
    • India, under the leadership of Nehru wanted to take one issue at a time and begin the discussions.
    • The Chinese government, under Chou En-lai wanted to treat the border issue in its entirety at one go. It was gross violation of the five-point agreement.
    • The Chinese denial for the arbitration from the International Court of Justice complicated the problem. Nehru’s decision to grant political asylum to the 14th Dalai Lama worsened the situation.


  • China started attacking some of Indian outposts in disputed areas. By 10th October 1962 a massive Chinese attack was launched on Indian posts and the next day the Chinese captured the Thagla Ridge, the traditional Indo-Tibetan border and they entered deep into the Indian territory.
  • Chinese invasion was a rude shock to India.
    • The Indian military was unprepared and also unequipped.
    • USA and the Soviet extended token help. Soviet was quite busy with the Cuban crisis, however soon after the problem subsided, President Kruschev did extend some help. American help was minimum, compared to the massive military help that was extended to Pakistan in 1954.
  • It took a lot of deliberations before cease-fire was declared and the Chinese agreed to withdraw to the pre-war lines in eastern zone at Tawang but retained Aksai Chin which was within British India and was handed over to India after independence.
  • Nehru stood firm with this faith in the five-point principle. China withdrew from under growing international pressure, fearing isolation and global antagonism.
    • Nehru would continue to maintain his commitment to the non-aligned movement despite calls from some to settle down on one permanent ally.
  • The Chinese invasion had far reaching effects on India.
    • It was also a great eye-opener. It made India to see that it is important to strengthen one’s military strength and not overtly depend on peaceful negotiations in matters of international affairs.
    • Before 1962 the Non- alignment movement was not linked up with defence concerns. After this aggression, priority was given to defence arrangements.
    • The Chinese invasion was a shock to Nehru, almost shaking his idealistic foundation to the very base. Domestic problems also kept escalating, putting a great degree of mental and physical stress on Nehru.
    • Internally the invasion led to economic imbalance and inflation along with mounting taxes.
    • Nehru was widely criticised for his government’s insufficient attention to defence. In response, Nehru sacked the defence minister Krishna Menon and took up several steps to beef up defence.
    • Indians in general became highly sceptical of China and its military.
      • Many Indians view the war as a betrayal of India’s attempts at establishing a long-standing peace with China and started to question Nehru’s usage of the term “Hindi-Chini bhai-bhai”.
    • The war put an end to Nehru’s earlier hopes that India and China would form a strong Asian Axis to counteract the increasing influence of the Cold War bloc superpowers.
    • Toward the end of the war India had increased her support for Tibetan refugees. Nehru ordered the raising of an elite Indian-trained “Tibetan Armed Force” composed of Tibetan refugees. ©

Q.3 “The reorganization resulted in rationalizing the political map of India without seriously weakening its unity. If anything, its result has been functional, in as much as it removed what had been a major source of discord, and created homogeneous political units which could be administered through a medium that the vast majority of the population understood. Indeed, it can be said with the benefit of hindsight that language, rather than being a force for division, has proved a cementing and integrating influence.” Examine. [20 Marks] 


  • India was fragmented into 565 princely states and a number of provinces when it became free. After independence and their integration with India, there began the process of organising them into politically and economically viable administrative units.
  • After independence again Political movements for the creation of new, linguistic-based states developed.
    • The Congress-led Government became concerned that the states formed solely on a linguistic basis might be unsuitable, and might even pose a risk to the national unity.
    • This fear was generated mainly due to division of India.
      • Nehru saw the dangers of linguistic chauvinism as he did the menace of communalism.
      • KM Munsi opposed the linguistic reorganization proposal, saying that “the political ambition of a linguistic group can only be satisfied by the exclusion and discrimination of other linguistic groups within the area.
  • In the interregnum, movements for Ayikya Kerala, Samyukta Maharashtra and Vishalandhra picked up momentum.
    • The Communist Part of India took the lead in forging these movements and popularising the concept of linguistic states in India and its efficacy in democratisation of independent India.
    • The Telangana struggle of 1946-51 also brought the key issues of linguistic states back on the agenda and the central government had to finally take note of these issues.
  • A separate linguistic state of Andhra turned out to be a hot issue.
    • In the Constituent Assembly itself, the government of India made a statement that Andhra could be mentioned as a separate unit in the new constitution, thus prompting the drafting committee to constitute a separate committee to inquire into the demands of linguistic states.
    • It was thus that the Dhar commission came into existence with a mandate to examine and report on the formation of new provinces of Andhra, Karnataka, Kerala, and Maharashtra.
    • Dhar commission rejected the reorganization of states on linguistic basis.
      • Ambedkar had submitted a Memorandum (dated 14 October 1948) to the Dar Commission, supporting the formation of linguistic provinces, specifically the formation of the Marathi-majority Maharashtra state with Bombay as its capital.
        • He supported “One state, One language” but not “One language, One state
  • Dhar Commission created much resentment and led to the appointment of another Linguistic Provinces Committee by the Congress in December 1948 itself to examine the whole question afresh.
    • Congress, at its Jaipur session, set up the “JVP committee” to study the recommendations of the Dar Commission.
    • The committee, comprised Jawaharlal Nehru and Vallabhbhai Patel, and the Congress president Pattabhi Sitaramayya.
    • JVP commission also rejected the reorganization of states on linguistic basis.
  • Backed by the tremendous support from Telugu people for Vishalandhra, on July 16, 1952, P Sundarayya moved a private member’s bill in parliament seeking the formation of a linguistic Andhra state.
    • On the other hand, dissatisfied with Congress inaction on the demand, Potti Sri Ramulu, a prominent Congress leader from Andhra region, died after 58 days of fast. Sri Ramulu’s death engulfed the entire Andhra in a chaos.
    • Finally, Nehru had to come to terms with the popular sentiments and announce on the floor of Lok Sabha the formation of Andhra Rashtram with undisputed 14 districts.
      • Thus on October 1, 1953, the new state of Andhra Rashtram came into being through bifurcation of Madras province.
      • Creation of Andhra Rashtram strengthened the struggle for Vishalandhra (which would contain all Telugu speaking areas) and also for United Kerala and Samyukta Maharashtra.
  • The creation of Andhra state intensified the demand from other regions for creation of states on linguistic basis.
    • This forced the Government of India to appoint (in December 1953) a three-member States Reorganisation Commission (Fazl Ali commission) under the chairmanship of Fazl Ali to re-examine the whole question.
    • Fazl Ali commission in 1953 accepted the basis of language while giving primacy to administrative convenience.
    • The Government of India accepted these recommendations with certain minor modifications.
    • As a result, 14 states and 6 union territories were created on November 1, 1956.
  • Hence reorganisation removed what had been a major source of discord in India.

How the formation of linguistic states led to the national consolidation and integration:

  • Creating linguistic states helped each state to officially patronize its language. People were assured that their culture & language were secure, had no problem in learning other languages or appreciating other cultures out of their own free-will.
  • By accepting diversity instead of seeking to level it, India had indirectly strengthened the federal fabric of the nation and forestalled escalation of region-centric grievances into violent forms. It helped in strengthening unity within the nation.
  • Many states formed on the linguistic basis have been forerunners of development in the country and has contributed in its unity and integrity by bringing economic prosperity. For example  – Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra etc.
  • It has enabled the preservation of local customs, cultures and festivals and over time, people of one state has started to cherish these things of other states contributing to strengthening of Indian nationhood.
  • It has also contributed to promotion of vernacular languages, primary education in vernacular language, peoples’ participation in the democratic process due to use of their local languages etc. thus in a sense, strengthening the roots of Indian democracy and adding to its cause of Unity.
  • Other examples of other neighbour countries like Sri Lanka and Pakistan also points towards the same. For example – In case of Sri Lanka, imposition of a majority language over minority Tamils led to prolonged civil war and loss of thousands of lives and still peace eludes the country. In case of Pakistan, crushing of Bengali speaking citizens led to independence of Bangladesh. Whereas in India, linguistic reorganisation has added to the strength of nation and its unity and integrity.

However, there are also downsides of this linguistic reorganisation like –

  • Sons of the soil doctrine and attack on outsiders like attack on Hindi speaking people in Maharashtra by Marathi speaking activists for political gains.
  • Conflicts over interstate river dispute, inter state boundary disputes etc also witness the mobilisation of people on the linguistic lines and the resultant violence and arson which raises question mark over linguistic organisation. For example – Violence and conflicts witnessed between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka over Cauvery water.

On the whole, the linguistic organisation of states have strengthened the cause of Unity and integrity barring few instances here and there and it has prevented the balkanization of India which was forecasted by many western political commentators. ©

Q.4 Briefly discuss the nature of ‘Instrument of Accession’ and ‘Standstill Agreement’ signed by the Princely States with the Indian Union. [10 Marks]


  • At the time of Indian independence in 1947, India was divided into two sets of territories:
    • First being the territories under the control of the British Empire, and
    • second being princely states which were the territories over which the Crown had suzerainty, but which were under the control of their hereditary rulers.
  • There were almost 600 princely states. The termination of paramountcy after independence would have in principle meant that all rights that flowed from the states’ relationship with the British crown would return to them, leaving them free to negotiate relationships with the new states of India and Pakistan.
  • The Congress’ stated position was that the princely states were not sovereign entities, and as such could not opt to be independent notwithstanding the end of paramountcy. The princely states, it declared, must therefore accede to either India or Pakistan.
  • Vallabhbhai Patel as Minister for Home and States Affairs had the responsibility of welding the British Indian, provinces and the princely states into a united India.
    • Patel and Menon backed up their diplomatic efforts by producing treaties that were designed to be attractive to rulers of princely states.
  • Two key documents were produced: (1) Standstill Agreement and (2) Instrument of Accession.

Standstill Agreement

  • The draft of the standstill agreement was formulated on 3 June 1947 by the Political department of the British Indian government.
  • The agreement provided that all the administrative arrangements of ‘common concern’ then existing between the British Crown and any particular signatory state would continue unaltered between the signatory dominion (India or Pakistan) and the state until new arrangements were made.
    • It confirmed that the agreements and administrative practices that existed as between the princely state in question and the British would be continued by India.
    • The form of the agreement was bilateral between a dominion and a princely state.
  • A temporary Standstill Agreement was signed as a stopgap measure.
    • The Standstill Agreement was used as a negotiating tool, as the States Department categorically ruled out signing a Standstill Agreement with princely states that did not sign an Instrument of Accession.

Instrument of Accession:

  • The Instrument of Accession, formulated by the States Department, was a legal document that involved a surrender of sovereignty to the extent specified in the Instrument.
  • By this, the ruler of the princely state in question agreed to the accession of his kingdom to independent India, and to granting India control over specified subject matters.
  • In the Instrument of Accession, the nature of the subject matters varied depending on the acceding state.
    • The states which had internal autonomy under the British signed an Instrument of Accession which only ceded three subjects to the government of India—defence, external affairs, and communications, each defined in accordance with List 1 to Schedule VII of the Government of India Act 1935.
    • Rulers of states which were in effect estates or talukas, where substantial administrative powers were exercised by the Crown, signed a different Instrument of Accession, which vested all residuary powers and jurisdiction in the government of India.
    • Rulers of states which had an intermediate status signed a third type of Instrument, which preserved the degree of power they had under the British.
  • The Instruments of Accession implemented a number of other safeguards:
    • Clause 7 provided that the princes would not be bound to the Indian constitution as and when it was drafted.
    • Clause 8 guaranteed their autonomy in all areas in which authority was not expressly ceded to the Government of India.
    • This was supplemented by a number of promises. Rulers who agreed to accede would receive guarantees that
      • their extra-territorial rights, such as immunity from prosecution in Indian courts and exemption from customs duty, would be protected,
      • that they would be allowed to democratise slowly,
      • that none of the eighteen major states would be forced to merge, and
      • that they would remain eligible for British honours and decorations.
  • In discussions, Lord Mountbatten reinforced the statements of Patel and Menon by emphasising that the documents gave the princes all the “practical independence” they needed.
  • Mountbatten, Patel and Menon also sought to give princes the impression that if they did not accept the terms put to them then, they would subsequently have to accede on substantially less favourable terms.
  • Some native rulers of the princely states attempted to buy time by stating that they would sign the Standstill agreement but not the Instrument of Accession until they had time to decide. In response, the Indian government took the position that it would sign standstill agreements with only those states that acceded.
  • The limited scope of the Instruments of Accession and the promise of a wide-ranging autonomy and the other guarantees they offered, gave sufficient comfort to many rulers, who saw this as the best deal they could strike given the lack of support from the British, and popular internal pressures.
    • Between May 1947 and the transfer of power on 15 August 1947, the vast majority of states signed signed both the Instrument of Accession and Standstill agreement with India.
    • A few, however, held out. The biggest problems, however, arose with a few border states, such as
      • Jodhpur, which tried to negotiate better deals with Pakistan, which later agreed to accede to India.
      • Junagadh, which actually did accede to Pakistan:
        • Junagadh executed Instrument of Accession as well as Standstill agreement with Pakistan on 15 August.
        • But later acceded to India through plebiscite.
      • Hyderabad, which declared that they intended to remain independent but acceded to India after police action.
      • Kashmir, which also declared that they intended to remain independent:
        • It offered to sign standstill agreements with both of the dominions. Pakistan immediately accepted, but India asked for further discussions.
        • It signed Instrument of Accession after invasion of tribal fighters from Pakistan. ©


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