Era of one party dominance class 12 notes

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12 Class Political Science – II Chapter 2 Era of One party Dominance Notes

ClassClass 12
SubjectPolitical Science 2nd book
ChapterChapter 2
Chapter NameEra of One party Dominance
CategoryPolitical Science

Class 12th Political Science – II Chapter 2 Era of One party Dominance Notes here we will be learn about first three general elections, Nature of Congress dominance, the coalition nature of Congress, the main opposition party.

Meaning of the Era of one-party dominance : –

🔹 After independence, only the Congress Party remained in power. It got a huge majority in the first general elections of 1952, second in 1957 and third in 1967. Other parties were so weak that they could not compete with Congress and come to power. This situation is called the Era of one-party dominance.

One Party System : –

🔹If there is only one party in a country and all the members of exercising governing power are members of this same political party, then the party system there is called One Party System.

🔹The party system of a country is called a one-party system when there : –

  • A particular party has the most influence and its grip on government is strong.
  • Other political parties exist, but their power is negligible compared to that of a particular party.
  • A particular party has influence in the entire country and from this point of view, other parties are very backward.

Multi-Party System : –

🔹Multi-party system is a political system in which many political parties participate in elections at the national level and all the parties have the ability to control government departments either separately or in the form of a coalition.

Democracy : –

🔹 That system of governance in which the people themselves rule directly or indirectly through their representatives keeping in mind the interest of the entire public. It is called democracy.

Why is democracy called representative government?

🔹 In this, the people hand over their power to their elected representatives who protect the interests of their constituents and are accountable to them.

Formation of Election Commission in India and first Chief Election Commissioner and its functions : –

  • Formation : – January 1950
  • First Chief Election Commissioner : – Sukumar Sen

🔹 The Election Commission of India was set up in January 1950. Sukumar Sen became the first Chief Election Commissioner of India. The Election Commission of India is an autonomous constitutional body. It is functioning under Article 324 of the Constitution. The Commission makes arrangements for elections to the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, Legislative Assemblies, Legislative Councils, the post of President and Vice President.

Challenges of Election Commission for First general election : –

🔹 Conducting elections in the country was no less than a challenge, it was because

  • To conduct free and fair elections.
  • Demarcation of electoral constituencies.
  • Obstacles in the way of making voter list.
  • To train officials and election personnel.
  • Thinking about special method of voting due to low literacy.
  • Only 15 percent of the people in the country were educated.
  • Most of the country’s population was suffering from poverty.
  • Lack of means of communication and technology.
  • 3200 MLAs and 489 Parliaments were to be elected by 17 crore voters.

Voting methods and changes in them : –

🔹 In the system adopted after the first two general elections, the ballot paper carried the names and symbols of all the candidates and the voter was required to put a stamp on the name of the candidate they wanted to vote for. This method worked for nearly forty years.

🔹 Towards the end of 1990s the Election Commission started using the EVM. By 2004 the entire country had shifted to the EVM.

What is EVM ?

🔹 The term EVM stands for Electronic Voting Machine. It is an electronic device to record voters’ preferences. A voting machine for recording the performance of voters on an electronic device used by the electoral process which is called Electronic Voting Machine (EVM).

First Past the Post System : –

🔹 This is a simple majority system in which the candidate with the highest number of votes is declared elected.

First general election of India (1952) : –

🔹 The first general elections were held from October 1951 to February 1952. At that time there were 17 crore eligible voters, who had to elect about 3,200 MLAs and 489 Members of Lok Sabha. Therefore the Election Commission had to think of some special method of voting. The Election Commission trained over 3 lakh officers and polling staff to conduct the elections.

Opinion about first election : –

  • An Indian editor called it “the biggest gamble in history”.
  • Organiser, a magazine, wrote that Jawaharlal Nehru “would live to confess the failure of universal adult franchise in India”.
  • A British member of the Indian Civil Service claimed that “a future and more enlightened age will view with astonishment the absurd farce of recording the votes of millions of illiterate people”.

Results of the first general election (1952) : –

  • Democracy was successfully established in India.
  • People enthusiastically participated in the election
  • There was a tough contest between the candidates in the election, the losing candidates also declared the result correct.
  • The Indian people carried out this election experiment well and all the critics were silenced.
  • In the elections, Congress won 364 seats and emerged as the single largest party.
  • The second largest party was the Communist Party of India which won 16 seats.
  • Jawahar Lal Nehru became the first Prime Minister of the country.

India’s first general election of 1952 a landmark in the history of democracy all over the world : –

  • It took 6 months for the campaigning, polling and counting to be completed.
  • Elections were competitive- there were on an average more than 4 candidates for each seat.
  • The level of participation was encouraging-more than half the eligible voters turned out to vote on the day of elections.
  • When the results were declared, these were accepted as fair even by the losers.
  • The Hindustan Times claimed that there is universal agreement that the Indian people have conducted themselves admirably in the largest experiment in democratic elections in the history of the world’.
  • It was no longer possible to argue that the democratic elections could not be held in conditions of poverty or lack of education.

Why Indian editor called the UAF ( Universal Adult Franchise ) as the biggest “gamble in history”.

  • Till then democracy has existed only in rich countries, mainly Europe and America, were nearly everyone was literate.
  • By that time many countries in Europe had not given voting rights to all women.
  • Huge number of voters.
  • Poor and illiterate voters.
  • Lack of resources for elections.
  • Lack of trained election personnel.

Second General Election 1957 : –

🔹 Second general elections were held in India in 1957. This time also the situation was similar to the last time and Congress won the elections comfortably in almost all places. Congress got 371 seats in the Lok Sabha. Jawahar Lal Nehru became the Prime Minister of India for the second time but the influence of the Communist Party was visible in Kerala and Congress could not form the government in Kerala.

Communist victory in Kerala : –

🔹 As early as in 1957, the Congress party had the bitter taste of defeat in Kerala. In the assembly elections held in March 1957, the Communist Party won the largest number of seats in the Kerala legislature. The party won 60 of the 126 seats and had the support of five independents. The governor invited E. M. S. Namboodiripad, the leader of the Communist legislature party, to form the ministry. For the first time in the world, a Communist party government had come to power through democratic elections.

Misuse of Section 356 of the Constitution : –

🔹 On losing power in the State, the Congress party began a ‘liberation struggle’ against the elected government. The CPI had come to power on the promise of carrying out radical and progressive policy measures. In 1959 the Congress government at the Centre dismissed the Communist government in Kerala under Article 356 of the Constitution. This decision proved very controversial and was widely cited as the first instance of the misuse of constitutional emergency powers.

Third General Election 1962 : –

🔹In 1962 , the third general election was held in India, in which again Congress won the elections comfortably in almost all the places. In this election, Congress won 361 seats in the Lok Sabha and Jawaharlal Nehru became Prime Minister for the third time.

Dominance of Congress in the first three elections : –

🔹The Indian National Congress dominated the first three general elections.

  • First General Election (1951-52) 364 seats.
  • Second general election (1957) 371 seats.
  • Third General Election (1962) 361 seats.

Congress dominance in the first three general elections : –

  • The party won 364 of the 489 seats in the 1st Lok Sabha and finished way ahead of any other challenger. The Communist party of India that comes next in terms of seats won only 16 seats.
  • It won a majority of seats in all the states except Travancore-Cochin (part of today’s Kerela),Madras and Orissa.
  • Finally, even in these states the Congress formed the government, so the party ruled all over the country at the national and state level and Nehru became the Prime Minister after the 1st general elections.
  • In the 2nd and 3rd general elections, held in 1957 and 1967 respectively, the Congress maintained the same position in the Lok Sabha by winning ¾ of the seats.
  • None of the opposition parties could win even 1/10 of the number of seats won by the Congress.
  • Apart from some exceptions, the Congress controlled the national and all the state governments.

Reasons for dominance of Congress in the first three general elections : –

  • Important role in the freedom struggle. : – It was seen as the inheritor of the national movement.
  • Famous leaders : – Many leaders who had led the movement were now contesting elections as Congress candidates.
  • Oldest political party. : – Many parties had formed only around Independence or after it and the Congress had the ‘first off the blocks’ advantage.
  • Well organized party. : – It was already a very well organized party, and by the time other parties could even think of astrategy, the Congress had already its campaign.
  • Nationwide network of the party. : – By the time of Independence, the Congress had not only spread across the length and breadth of thecountry, but also had an organized network down to the local level.
  • Nature : – Most importantly, as the Congress was till recently a national movement, The nature of taking everyone together and moving in harmony.

Nature of Congress’s Dominance : –

🔹 The rule of Congress in India was similar to the dominance of one party, but its specialty was that it was established in democratic conditions, that is, the people had given the Congress a chance to rule for so many years by electing them. It was completely different from other countries.

🔹 In other countries such as Cuba, China and Syria, only one party rule is provided in the constitution and on the other hand, in countries like Myanmar and Belarus, one party rule was established by military. The situation in India was different from this, the dominance of Congress was established in India through democracy which shows the popularity of Congress in India.

Factions in a coalition : –

🔹 The Congress had a nature of coalition. If a group was not happy with the position of the party or with its share of power, it would remain inside the party and fight the other groups rather than leaving the party and becoming an opposition. These groups inside the party are called factions.

The social base of the Congress ( social coalition ) : –

🔹 The Congress evolved from its origin in 1885 as a pressure group for the newly educated,professional and commercial classes to a mass movement in the 20th century which laid the basis forits eventual transformation into a mass political party and domination of the political system.

🔹 It began as a party dominated by the English speaking, upper caste, upper middle-class and urbanelite, but with every civil disobedience movement it launched, its social base widened.

🔹 Peasants and industrialists, urban dwellers and villagers, workers and owners, lower and upperclasses and castes, all found space in the Congress.

🔹 Gradually, its leadership also expanded beyond the upper caste and class professional to agriculturebased leaders with a rural background.

Socialist Party : –

  • Establishment : – in 1934
  • founded by :- Acharya Narendra Dev
  • Other main leaders : – Ram Manohar Lohia, Jayaprakash Narayan, Ashok Mehta, M.S. Joshi, Achyut Patwardhan
  • Thoughts : – Belief in socialism, Criticized the Congress as a party of the rich and the capitalists.

🔹 The Socialist Party was formed in 1934 by some leaders within the Congress, but in 1948, when the Congress changed its constitution and abolished dual citizenship, the Socialists formed a separate Socialist Party, but this party did not get much success in the elections.

🔹 In future, the Socialist Party was split into different parties : – Kisan Mazdoor Praja Party, Praja Socialist Party, United Socialist Party.

Communist Party of India : –

  • Establishment : – in 1941
  • founded by : – Ak Gopalan
  • Other main leaders : – ES Namburipad, PC Joshi, Ajay Ghosh

🔹 Thoughts : –

  • This party was influenced by communist ideology.
  • He said that the freedom achieved in 1947 is not true freedom.
  • In 1951, contested the elections leaving the path of violent rebellion and emerged as the second largest party.

🔹 Inspired by the Russian Revolution in 1917, many communist groups emerged in India as well. These were the groups who wanted to solve the problems of the country through communist ideology.

Bharatiya Jana Sangh : –

  • Establishment : – Bharatiya Jana Sangh was formed in 1951.
  • founded by : – Shyama Prasad Mukherjee was its founder-president.

🔹 Thoughts : –

  • It emphasised the idea of one country, one culture and one nation.
  • believed that the country could become modern, progressive and strong on the basis of Indian culture and traditions.
  • He supported making Hindi the national language.
  • opposed English language
  • Supported the creation of a united India by joining Pakistan.

Swatantra Party : –

🔹 Swatantra party was formed in August 1959 after the Nagpur resolution of the congress which called for land ceilings, taking over of food grain trade by the state and the adoption of cooperative farming. The party was led by old congress men like Raja Gopalachari, K.M. Munshi, N.G. Ranga and Minoo Masani.

Difference between Socialist Parties and Communist Parties : –

Socialist Parties : –

  • These parties believed in ideology of democratic socialism.
  • Socialist party criticised capitalism and for establishment of socialistic state.
  • Socialist party wanted more radical and egalitarian nature of Congress.

Communist Parties : –

  • This party believed in communism.
  • Communist party was primarily secular, modern and also authoritarian.
  • Communist party also wanted radical nature of Congress but went through violence to achieve its aims.

Opposition parties play role in the era of one-party dominance : –

🔹 Opposition parties were able to get a token representation in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies during the era of Congress Party, but they played a vital role in maintaining the democratic character of the system. These parties offered a constant criticism to the policies Congress party and kept democratic political alternative alive. These parties groomed the leaders who were to play a crucial role in shaping of our country.

The emergence of opposition parties : –

🔹 India has a larger number of diverse and vibrant opposition parties and some of these had come intobeing even before the first general election of 1952.

🔹 Some of these parties played an important part in the politics of the country in the 60s and 70s.The roots of almost all the non-Congress parties of today can be traced back to one or other of theopposition parties of the 1950s.

🔹 All these opposition parties succeeded in gaining only a token representation in the Lok Sabha andstate assemblies during this period but their presence played a crucial role in maintaining thedemocratic character of the system.

🔹 These parties offered a sustained and often principled criticism of the policies and practices of theCongress party. This kept the ruling party under check and often changed the balance of power within the Congress.

🔹 By keeping democratic political alternative alive, these parties prevented the resentment with thesystem from turning anti-democratic. These parties also groomed the leaders who were to play a crucial role in the shaping of our country.

Related Chapters

Challenges of nation building
Era of one party Dominance
Politics of Planned Development
India’s External Relations
Challenges to and restoration of the congress system
The Crisis of Democratic Order
Rise of Popular Movements ( Deleted )
Regional Aspirations
Recent Developments in Indian Politics

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