Chapter 4 Parties and Party System in India Class 12 Political Science 2022-2023 CBSE Notes & PDF

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First Three General Elections

  • The Congress dominated in the first three general elections. It had many popular faces like Jawaharlal Nehru, C Rajagopalachari, Vallabhbhai Patel etc. Moreover Jawaharlal Nehru was charismatic and a very popular leader.
  • Congress worked at upper level as well as at grass root level. Congress was popularised due to the participation in Civil Disobedience Movement.
  • In Kerala, in 1957 the Communist Party came to power in the world for the first time through democratic elections.
  • This was the first state where Non-Congress Government was formed after independence.

Nature of Congress Dominance

  • The dominance of Congress party was in democratic condition. The roots of extraordinary success of the Congress party go back to the legacy of the freedom struggle.
  • The Congress brought together diverse groups, whose interests were often contradictory.
  • By the time of independence, the Congress was transformed into a rainbow-like social coalition broadly representing India’s diversity in terms of classes and castes, religions and languages and various interests.
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  • This coalition-like character of Congress gave it an unusual strength.

Tolerance and Management of Factions

  • Groups within party with diverse ideologies are called factions. Some of these factions were based on ideological considerations but very often these factions were rooted in personal ambitions and rivalries.
  • The coalition nature of the Congress party tolerated and in fact encouraged various factions.

Emergence of Opposition Parties

  • The roots of almost all the Non-Congress parties of today can be traced to one or the other of the opposition parties of the 1950s.
  • These opposition parties offered a sustained and often principled criticism of the policies and practices of the Congress party.
  • This kept the ruling party under check and often changed the balance of power within the Congress.

Socialist Party

  • The Congress Socialist Party (CSP) was formed within the Congress in 1934 by a group of young leaders who wanted a more radical and egalitarian Congress.
  • In 1948, the Congress amended its Constitution to prevent its members from having a dual party membership. This forced the socialists to form a separate socialist party in 1948.
  • They criticised the Congress for favouring capitalists and landlords and for ignoring the workers and peasants.

The Communist Party of India (CPI]

  • In the early 1920s communist groups emerged in different parts of India taking inspiration from the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia.
  • In 1951 the communist party abandoned the path of violent revolution and decided to participate in the approaching general elections.
  • AK Gopalan, SA Dange, EMS Namboodripad; PC Joshi, Ajay Ghosh and P Sundarraya were among the notable leaders of the CPI.

Bhartiya Jana Sangh [BJS]

  • The Bhartiya Jana Sangh was formed in 1951 with Shyama Prasad Mukherjee as its founder President.
  • It emphasised the idea of one country, one culture and one nation and believed that the country could become modem, progressive and strong on the basis of Indian culture and traditions.

Swatantra Party

  • Swatantra party was formed in August in 1959. The party was led by old Congressmen like C. Rajgopalachari, KM Munshi, NG Ranga and Minoo Masani.
  • The party was critical of the development strategy of state intervention in the economy, centralised planning, nationalisation and the public sector. It instead favoured expansion of a free private sector.

Shock Therapy was a painful process of transition from an authoritarian socialist system to a democratic capitalist system. This transformation system was influenced by the world bank and the IMF in Russia, Central Asia and East Europe. Though it varies in intensity and speed amongst the former second world countries but its direction and features were quite similar.
This was not the best way to make a transition from communism to capitalism due to following drawbacks:
1. Russia, the large state controlled industrial complex lost about 90 per cent of its industries through sales to private individuals and companies
2. It created “the largest garage sale in history” which led virtual disappearance of entire industries for the restructuring was carried out by market forces in place of government owned policies.
Hence, industries were undervalued and sold at throwaway prices.
3. It systematically destroyed old system of social welfare.
4. The value of ‘ruble’, the Russian currency, declined dramatically due to high rate of inflation and real GDP of Russia also declined between 1989 to 1999.
5. The withdrawal of government subsidies pushed large sections of society into poverty and it emerged mafia to start controlling many economic activities.
6. Privatisation led to new disparities which divided Russia between rich and poor people creating economic inequality.
7. Hence, Shock Therapy brought ruin to economies and disaster upon the people of entire region.

India should not change its foreign policy and focus more on friendship with US, but India is required to maintain healthy relations with Russia because India has experienced a long band of mutual trust, interests and popular perceptions with Russia in the following manner:
1. Russia and India share a vision of multipolar world order i.e. co¬existence of several world powers internationally, collective security, greater regionalism, democratisation with the decision-making through bodies like the UN.
2. More than 80 bilateral agreements have been experienced between India and Russia as a part of the Indo- Russia Strategic Agreement of 2001.
3. India has been benefitted from its relationship on the issues like Kashmir, energy supplies, sharing information on international terrorism, access to Central Asia and balancing its relation with China.
4. Russia is also important for India’s nuclear energy plane and assisting India’s space industry by giving cryogenic rocket to India whenever needed.
5. Co-operation with Russia and its republics like Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan in the form of partnership and investment in oil fields has also benefitted India.
6. Russia is also benefitted from India on ground of the second largest arms market for Russia. Indian military gets most of its hardware from Russia.
7. Russia and India have collaborated on various scientific projects also.


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