[History] Post Independence India - Prime Ministers and their Policies


Challenges before Nehru
- to achieve massive reconstruction of polity and economy, advancement towards basic objectives of democracy, civil liberties, secularism, a scientific and international outlook, planning with socialism, to alleviate poverty and unemployment, land reforms, consolidation of the nation, solutions of language and tribal problem, form a new electoral policy and independent foreign policy

NOTE-(I am not giving consolidation history as I think it is already sent in previous competition.)
How he proceeded?
Ø  1951-1952 first general election held on basis of universal adult franchise(21 or + age)
Ø  Some critics said a backward country like India can only suited to benevolent dictatorship.
Ø  Election held according to directive principles and independent election commission as also made.
Ø  Sukumar Sen was appointed as first chief election commissioner.
Ø  People’s response to new political order was tremendous.
Ø  Establishment of democratic institution
Ø  Press having free play even when it criticized government severely.
Ø  Even court was independent when it turned down legislation of agrarian reform.
Ø  Both ruling and opposition parties played its role well in parliament.
Ø  Nehru put states and centre at cordial terms hence he did not force states to effect land reform just to keep federalism strong.(only president rule in Kerala in 1959 was exception)
Ø   But this tendency somehow harmed to the subjects of health, education, agricultural in states.
Ø  Although Nehru at the same time made centre strong and even it was easy to do this as ruling part was same in both centre and states.
Ø  Nehru kept state’s supremacy over military as he was worried with its coup in Pakistan France and Germany.(hence low expenditure on it)
Ø   Nehru was critic of bureaucracy and ics but gradually he understood the Patel and accepted the administration system.
Ø  This was also a time when evil of corruption started in India.
Ø  His major achievement in field of science. First national science laboratory and national physical laboratory was laid on in 1947.
Ø  In 1952 first of five institute of technology was set up on patterned of Massachusetts IT
Ø  India was country of the world to recognize importance of nuclear energy in constructing measures hence set up a ATOMIC ENERGY COMMISSION in 1948with HOMI J. BHABHA. Latter on separate deptt. Was laid on.
Ø  Asia’s first nuclear reactor was set up in trombay (Bombay)
Ø  Krishna menon as defence min. initiated defence research.

Ø   Under the article 36 of DPSP welfare policy is promoted on socialistic pattern of society.
Ø  This phrase was officially accepted by congress session at avadi and latter on adopted in the objective of third five year plan.
Ø  Land reforms, planned economy development, rapid expansion of public sector, labor legislation, right to form trade union , go on strike, security of employment, provision of health insurance, distribution of wealth through progressive taxes, expansion of education etc.
Ø  Anti untouchability law in 1955, reservation in education and employment for sc/st’s.
Ø  1951 Hindu code bill in favor of women demands for right. However due to protest from jansangh and Hindu communal sectors bill was passed in four separate parts in the second term of Nehru.
Ø  Bill introduced monogamy, right of divorce to both men and women, raised the age of consent and marriage and gave right to maintenance and to inherit family property.
Ø  But a uniform civil code could not be enacted (shahbano case)
Ø  In 1951 literacy was only 16.6%(6% in rural)
Ø  Vast efforts were done b government that increased enrollment in primary secondary education in both girls and boys.
Ø   By 1964 total no of universities were increased from 18 to 54.
Ø  But behind the success story major weakness was decline in educational standards
Ø  Target of free and compulsory education was shifted from 1961 to 1966 and then to distant future.
Ø  For rural uplift community development and panchayati raj institution program was started in 1952 and 1959.(much cooperated by U.S. during cold war)
Ø  Despite of good results it was suffered with bureaucracy.(hence balwant rai committee in 1957)
Ø  On the recommendation from 1959 panchayati raj was adopted as self governance in all over country trough three level system
Ø  But cooperative movement and these programs could not succeed according to expectation as it ignored the class division of Indian society so major benefits were reached to only upper


*      Nehru realized that India should speak in her own voice on current situations.
*      Hence NAM came in row. At the same time India neither joined Bagdad pact, manila treaty, SEATO, CENTO WHICH JOINED THE COUNTRIES OF WEST AND EAST ASIA TO THE WESTERN power BLOC.
*      But NAM was not immoral neutrality it was a freedom to decide what was right or wrong then take stand in favour of right.
*      We helped Indonesia from Dutch colonies in 1948 then participated in Afro-Asian conference.
*      In 1961 Belgrade conference it supported disarmament and peace
*      The major aim of our policy was to promote interest of Indian economy hence we maintained good relation with both U.S. (technology in green revolution) and SOVIET UNION (largest arm exporter).
*      Active membership in various UN body IMF WORLD BANK etc and in peacekeeping force and in commonwealth institution.


Ø  After the death of Nehru there were two main contenders for pm post. But shastri made it with the support of k. kamaraj, the congress president.
Ø  Shastri was widely accepted in the party as he was more amenable to their wishes and not challenge their leadership in the party.
Ø  Shastri with his calm character did not make any change in Nehru’s cabinet.(except Indira Gandhi, minister of information and broadcasting)

-Problem of official language of Hindi versus English flared up in 1965 nut due to government incapability it finally solved in 1966. Demand of Punjabi Suba and Goa’s merger with Maharashtra was allowed to simmer. Our economy was stagnating. Slow rate growth of industry and b.o.p problem but major one is food shortage.
Ø  C.M. of food surplus states denied helping in food crisis situation. Even US suspended to import due to indo-Pakistan war.
Ø  Despite of creating State Food Trading Corporation and statutory rationing, no result came. However strategy of green revolution was come which fully implemented in Mrs. Gandhi’s period.
Ø  Shastri was criticized for his thin decision power under pressure of cabinet.
Ø  But after some time shastri showed his independence as government first criticized the US bombing of N. VIETNAM
Ø  He set his own pm’s secretary L.K. JHA
Ø  Real challenge came in 1965 during indo-Pakistan war (Pakistan demanding for Kashmir)
Ø  In 1965 followers of Saikh Abdullah and other dissident leaders created a great deal of unrest there(Pakistan thought it was a right time even it was supported by US and India was not completely come over after 1962 war)
Ø  However once war started BRITEN US cut off arms food and other supplies to both the countries and china called India as aggressor but soviet union kept supporting India even in UN.
Ø  Under pressure of UN ceasefire was put on. India recovered its pride and self confidence which was lost in 1962 war.
Ø  The good news was that infiltrators did not get support of Kashmiri people. And secularism was maintained during war (Muslim, Sikh, christens all fought against Pakistan army) 
Ø  Shastri became national hero.

- IN 1966 subsequent to the ceasefire agreement and under the good offices of the Soviet Union Shastri and Pakistan president Ayub Khan met in here and signed declaration acc to which both sides agreed to withdraw from all occupied areas and return to their pre-war august positions. In the case of India it meant withdrawing from strategic Haji Pir pass through which Pakistan infiltrators could come again. Shastri had to agree this unfavorable terms to avoid war and losing soviet support on Kashmiri issue in UN and in supply of defence equipment especially MIG planes and heavy tanks.
Shastri got tragic heart attack in Tashkent.

INDIRA GANDHI 1966- 1969

Ø  After shastri death there was again Morarji Desai as a pm contender but due to his unpopularity in party Kaamraj gave support to Mrs. Gandhi thinking that young and inexperienced women would easy to dominate.

Punjab was on boil, Naga issue and Mizo trouble, economy recession export and industrial growth was declining, failed monsoon in year 1966, drought, inflation, and famine in E.UP BIHAR, Pakistan-china axis led to sharp rise in military expenditure, budget deficient growing and endangering of fourth five year plan
Ø  Demand of Punjabi Suba and Naga’s for autonomy was accepted then successfully dealt with drought situation
Ø  Under pressure of US (PL 480-import of food grains) and IMF(aid stopped after indo-Pakistan war) she devalued rupee by 35.6% to increase export(although decision created criticism)
Ø  However decision was not proved to be successful.
Ø  She remained silent on Vietnam issue in world politics after being humiliated by US time to time in matter of its export of wheat.
Ø  Her latter signed joint agreement with soviet to end US bombing on Vietnam and not joined even Asian forum as it was supported by US. Unfortunately she had to run away from US proposal of its funding of indo-American educational foundation.
Ø  She developed links with Egypt and Yugoslavia to strengthen NAM. Even she tried to have a dialogue with china but not succeed.
Ø  She even faced agitation demonstration student strike riots with a new feature of bandh of city due to increasing disparity.
Ø  By taking it full advantage opposition Jan Sangh left parties communist criticized government.(matter of banning beef eating was put up by Jan Sangh but government stood firm against it)
Ø  Year 1966 saw beginning of downslide of parliament(she was often called a ‘gungi gudia’ by opposition leader Mr. Lohia)
Ø  Once after election of 1966 Mrs. Gandhi reassumed as a pm(despite of people dissatisfaction with the congress they did not have another option till now as opposition parties did not raise any social agenda. their only aim was to defeat Mrs. Gandhi )
Ø   After this first time the role of rich and middle peasant was increased in Indian politics which hated congress and communist. They controlled the rural vote by their muscle and money power. They wanted control over land. (In north UP BIHAR PUNJAB parties like BKD AKALI DAL SSP were formed. However in south communist presence kept rural landowner tied to congress)
Ø  This election also started era of coalition government though CPM did not join this. Even congress did this in some states. All these started defection in politics.
Ø  In spite of all Mrs. Gandhi emerged as central power, she made Mr. Desai a deputy PM with a mere status.
Ø  Year 1969 congress moved towards split. New phase of left over politics stated.

CPM originally was spilt from CPI in 1964 on ground of revolutionary politics and reformist parliamentary politics. Usually CPM participated in parliamentary politics and formed coalition government in WB with bangle congress, with JYOTI BASU, the CPM leader. Soon one section of the party (young cadres inspired by Chinese method) revolted against party leadership and its reformist attitude. They were turned out of the party but they started their movement under leadership of CHARU MAJUMDAR and formed CP-ML in 1969. They launched peasant uprising in Naxalbari village. Thus they were called Naxalities.


slowing down of economy growth, domestic saving, rate of investment, US aid, increasing black money, corruption, unrest among country middle class, emergence of new action ‘gherao’. The Syndicate members were joined by Mr. Desai. This team did not allow Mrs. Gandhi to appoint her member in working committee.
Ø  She did calm and calculated reaction as she did not want to jeopardize party unity.
Ø  Soon in 1967 she adopted 10 point program-social control of banks, nationalization of general insurance, state trading in import and export trade, ceilings on urban property and income, curb on business monopolies and concentration of economic power, public distribution of food grain, rapid implementations of land reforms, provision of house sites to the rural poor and abolition of princely purse.(although congress was leaned to vague radicalism but after 1967 election there was tilt to left)
Ø  However the old right wing did not accept it but she remained firmed.
Ø  She again went against her part for making GIRI as president.
Ø  MRTP act 1969 to check concentration of economic power.
Ø  By all her efforts she once again initiated a climate of optimism.
Ø  Her ‘GARIBI HATAO’ was more powerful than opposition ‘INDIRA HATAO’.
Ø  As a result in 1971 election she restored party position

there was Punjabi speaking Muslim living in West Pakistan and Bengali speaking Muslim in East Pakistan. Soon West Pakistan acquired a dominant position in Pakistan’s army, polity, bureaucracy, economy resulting discrimination in East Pakistan. Moreover there was absence of political mechanism but gradually they got sense of power of democracy that gave them majority of seats in Pakistan assembly elections under leadership of Sheikh Mujibur Rehman of Awami League party. But Pakistan general Yahya Khan backed Zulfiqar Bhutto of West Pakistan. Hence a West Pakistan army initiated reign of terror. Rape killing burning of crops was happened. Migration was stared from East Pakistan to Calcutta and formed Mukti Vahini. Mrs. Gandhi knew that war any action against Pakistan could create bad image for her in world politics but problem of migrated refugees was increasing burden on India’s food stock and economy. Even if she took action she had to wait for a right time as military operation could not be done in monsoon season in East Pakistan and Himalayan passes would help Chinese aid to Pakistan. And moreover mukti vahini was not well prepared till now even was being trained by Indian army. 
So for next four months she tried to gather a world political support for her. US-CHINA stood against her in UN but she soon declared indo-soviet peace friendship cooperation treaty for next 20 years.
On 3 december war was started from pakistan’s side as Mrs. Gandhi wanted. And under leadership of general J.S. Arora we defeated pakistan and Bangladesh was created and pakistan freed Mr. rahman who became PM of Bangladesh on 1972.
Ø  In year 1972 having left-of-centre agenda initially she did not proceed with further nationalization
Ø  24th and 25th amendment was done in 1971 (Gorakhnath case)
Ø  1974 pokhran test

by the beginning of 1973 her image started declining as problem of inflation growth down etc again came in picture
Gujrat and Bihar having unrest due to price hike in 1974. Even president rule was imposed there then fast of Mr. desai led to dissolve of Gujrat assembly. Bihar movement was led by j.p. narayan. The famous total revolution and party less government movement was started.
As the movement grew it attracted non left parties students socialist traders middle class support from all over country. But at the end of 1974 the movement got slow as it could not be popular among rural and urban class.
On 12 June 1975 justice Sinha of high court convicted Mrs. Gandhi for having indulged in corrupt campaign practices and declared her election invalid. At the same time janta dal won in Gujarat assembly election. Now J P and opposition parties made coalition and called for nationwide one week campaign of mass mobilization and civil disobedience on 29 June. And thus Mrs. Gandhi posed emergency on 26 June. (Although both J P and Indira did not choose democratic way)
From mid 1976 people started disillusioned with the emergency. In starting those control over black marketing was now becoming slowed down and price hike was started. Press censorship, power of policegiri was increasing. The twenty point agenda was failed and sanjay Gandhi was becoming popular. And his four points of family planning, pant tress, clearing sums, don’t take dowry was implemented with cruelty. Congress also adopted sterilization agenda forcefully.
All these was becoming intolerable for nation hence on 18 january 1977 Mrs. Gandhi announced election of loksabha and emergency was removed. She got defeated. Janta dal came in power with Mr. desai as a PM.

MORARJI DESAI    1977-1979

economic situations, social justice, administration, communal violence etc
Ø  Failed in many challenges except its rural employment program ‘food for work’.
Ø  Congress was split in 1978 a) congress (I) and congress (U).
Ø  Congress (i) under indra got revival very soon.
Ø  She again came in power in 1977. Old jan sangh leaders leaving janta dal form BJP.

INDRA GANDHI 1980-1984

Ø  She immediately dissolved nine states assemblies in opposition ruled states.
Ø  She succeeded in planning, foreign policies (tilting to US), economic liberalization, and growth over 4%.
Ø  On 31th October 1984 she was assassinated.

RAJIV GANDHI 1984-1989

1984 riots, Bhopal gas tragedy etc
Ø  He already showed his capability in 1982 Asian games.
Ø  With the support of his friend and advisor on technology mission Mr. Sam Pitroda(set up C-DOT), he initiated his 6 technology mission and arrival of millennium was set as target date.
Ø  Drinking water mission in all the villages, literacy mission by using television radio, immunization of pregnant women and children(polio), white revolution, expanding edible oil production, to bring telephone in every village
Ø  His computerization program was even criticized by left.
Ø  Local self government was strengthen
Ø  Jawahar rozgar yojna for rural poor was initiated(now MGNREGA)
Ø  New education policy-NAVODAYA VIDYALAYA
Ø  National perspective plan for women-30% reservation in all panchayati raj bodies, dowry related offences was passed in 1986
Ø  First time environment project-clean the river Ganga plan launched, new ministry of environment and environment clearance was created.
Ø  Set up 7 zonal cultural centers in different part of countries to encourage regional culture
Ø  Anti defection act 1985 was passed
Ø  Concept of lok adalat and consumer protection act was started
Ø  Encouragement to programs critical to government

*      indira had formed 6 nation 5 continents initiative, its first meeting was held in his time.
*      Disarmament issue was put on his agenda like his ancestors
*      Supported de-colonialism (Namibia independence), nelson Mandela movement
*      As US committed to support Pakistan to promote Mujahidin against USSR, he did not tilt to it
*      He was after Nehru, visited china. India even refrained from condemning Tiananmen square massacre of 1989
*      At the same time Bangladesh was moving in Islamic direction, Nepal was imposing heavy duties on Indian imports and discounts to Chinese import, Maldives was having coup, Pakistan was in same tone
*      Sri Lanka problem was major. As many Tamils were fleeing to tamilnadu. The government of Sri Lanka launched repression in Jaffna, base of LITTE. TN government was pressuring on central to take action against this. (Refugee having Tamil as language). Sri Lankan president Jayavardhane-Rajiv accord 1987 was held according to which Tamils majority areas were merged into single province in there. Devolution of power would take place. LITTE would be dissolved and Indian army would aid sri lanka if she is needed but it was failed as LITTE did not accept it. In the mean time Jayavardhane asked Indian army to help so situation became messy as LITTE having local support and moreover just then Premadasa succeeded Jayavardhane and asked Indian army to withdraw. Finally the LITTE issue caused Rajiv’s death.
*      India negotiated with Vietnam to withdrawal it from Cambodia.
*      He promote compact version of G77 as G15
*      Doubling of defence expenditure, guided missile development program initiated by Mrs. Gandhi showed results, AGNI PRATHVI NUCLEARED POWER SUBMARINE were come in picture
*      Bofors scandal caught his image that caused him loose in election and V.P. Singh came in power. (But not for long time, then charan singh, p.v. rao, h.d. devgauda all came for short time.)


communal agenda pushed by VHP, RSS, bajrang dal, ayodhya issue Gujarat issue, THELKA issue scandal , price hike
Ø  The largest coalition government 13 party was formed under Bajpayee leadership.
Ø  Communal agenda was put on back burner.
Ø  Pokhran 2 test in 1998 though US and CHINA much criticized it and banned nuclear supply to it even India did not sign NPT and CTBT
Ø  India developed its defence under super guidance of Mr. Kalam as Pakistan was developing its long range missile ‘ghuri’ and US military base in Diageo Garcia in Hind Ocean and Chinese infiltration was increasing.
Ø  India successfully won in kargil.
Ø  Kandahar incident was also held
Ø  Agra summit and Lahore bus sewa program for confidence building measures with Pakistan was also initiated in this phase although not much succeeded
Ø  Indo-US nuclear deal was major mile.
Ø  India became partner in SAARC
Ø  In LPG era FDI was also pushed in retail.
Ø  Foreign policy with central Asia (Iraq and Israel) became improved after look to east policy under which it opposed Dutch colonialism in Indonesia.
Ø  But the decision of pre election could not save NDA in election after its INDIA SHINING

MANMOHAN SINGH (2004-2014)

Ø  Congress came in power
Ø  POTA was repealed. NAC was set up
Ø  Set up a new ministry of minority affairs, a Sacher committee was formed to review minority section.
Ø  Introduced communal violence bill
Ø  But a paradigm shift was to right based bill and policies
Ø  RTI, NERGA, RTE etc were leap forward.

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