The Karachi Congress Session in 1931, was held following the Gandhi–Irwin Pact and in the immediate aftermath of Bhagat Singh’s execution. The session is significant, as the Karachi resolution of 1931 was to remain in essence the basic political and economic programme of the Indian National Congress in later years.
Karachi resolution and its influence in shaping the political direction and agenda of congress:
- Two resolutions were adopted, one on Fundamental Rights and the other on National Economic Programme, which made the session particularly memorable.
- The Resolution on Fundamental Rights guaranteed:
- free speech and free press
- right to form associations
- right to assemble
- universal adult franchise etc.
- The Resolution on Fundamental Rights guaranteed:
- The Resolution on National Economic Programme included:
- substantial reduction in rent and revenue in the case of landholders and peasants
- exemption from rent for uneconomic holdings
- relief from agricultural indebtedness
- right to workers and peasants to form unions etc.
- Swaraj: This was the first time the Congress spelt out what Swaraj would mean for the masses,” in order to end exploitation of masses, political freedom must include economic freedom of starving millions.”
Its influence: These policies became basic to political and economic programs of INC during coming years as exemplified by:
- After winning provincial election: The enlightened vision of the session, guided the Congress in later years. When ministries were formed in 1937 by Congress in various provinces, they tried to execute some of them like legalising trade union, land reforms (partial though), press freedom etc.
- Interim government: Same policy was continued during Interim government of 1946.
- In constitution: The Karachi Resolution called for the inclusion of fundamental rights in the future Indian Constitution. During constitution drafting process clause of Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policy was which were somewhat reflections of 1931 resolution.
- Post-independence: INC formed government at centre headed by Nehru and took important measures of agrarian reforms by abolition of Zamindary System, Tenancy reforms, reducing tax on peasants and first FYP stressed on development of agriculture and improved administrative system which guaranteed civil and political rights of citizens.
- During course of time several amendments to constitution were introduced to guarantee the same.
- Focus on Mass Mobilization: The Karachi Resolution emphasized the importance of mass participation in the freedom struggle. It called for active involvement of all sections of Indian society. This led to the Congress’s efforts to mobilize the masses, organize protests, and promote national unity.
These resolutions gain significance as these formed the basic ideals for polices of congress in coming years. Its socialist essence could be seen in its support for worker’s movement trough out the freedom struggle and even post-independence. The political policies of congress too were largely influenced by these resolutions with the establishment of democratic working within congress with securing of rights being the foremost goal. Also the right of religion formed fundamental bedrock of secular organisation that congress was.
The British colonial state was qualitatively different from the pre-colonial Indian states especially in the manner in which it marshalled military force and extracted resources from India. The policies of British colonial state were designed to exploit Indian resources, establish control, and consolidate British power.
Ways in which policies implemented by British colonial state contribute to the establishment and maintenance of its powers; –
Establishment of power:
- Financing its own war: The British monopolized trade through the establishment of the East India Company, which had exclusive rights to trade with India.
- The company’s policies focused on exporting raw materials from India and importing finished goods from Britain, creating a trade imbalance that favoured British interests. This economic exploitation provided the financial resources necessary to expand and consolidate British control in India.
- Territorial Expansion: Through a combination of military force, diplomacy, and the exploitation of local divisions, the British gradually expanded their territorial control in India.
- They utilized the policy of “subsidiary alliances” to establish alliances with Indian rulers, allowing them to extend British influence over more territories. E.g. Hyderabad
- The policy of annexation was also employed, whereby territories were directly taken under British rule. E.g. Satara, Jhansi
- Military Supremacy: The British established military dominance in India, which played a crucial role in the establishment of their empire. They recruited Indian soldiers, known as Sepoys, into their armies but maintained British officers in key positions of authority. E.g. Officers like Campbell, Clive etc.
Maintenance of power:
- Divide and Rule: The British adopted a “divide and rule” policy, exploiting existing divisions among the local populations to maintain control.
- For example, the partition of Bengal in 1905, Provision of separate electorate for Muslims under Morley-Minto reforms.
- Economic Exploitation: The British implemented policies that prioritized the extraction of resources and wealth from India, bolstering their own economic power.
- The imposition of high land revenue and taxation systems, such as the Permanent Settlement of 1793, placed a heavy burden on Indian peasants and landowners.
- Suppression of Resistance: The British colonial state implemented policies to suppress any form of resistance or dissent. They enacted laws like the Rowlatt Act in 1919, ban on vernacular press (1878) etc. curtailed civil liberties and gave the colonial government extensive powers of arrest, detain and silence opposition.
- g. to crush the Kuka uprising (1872) in Punjab, many rebels were shot dead, blown from guns and hanged.
- Administrative Systems: The British established a centralized administrative system that allowed them to exercise control over vast territories. They implemented bureaucratic structures and laws that suited their interests.
- For instance, the Indian Civil Service (ICS) was staffed primarily by British officials, ensuring their dominance in decision-making and governance.
- Legal Framework: The British introduced a legal system that reinforced their authority and suppressed dissent. Laws such as the Indian Penal Code and the Criminal Tribes Act were used to suppress political movements and maintain social control.
- These laws were often biased and discriminatory, protecting British interests while undermining indigenous institutions.
- Military Supremacy: The British had well-trained and well-equipped forces that were used to suppress rebellions and maintain law and order.
- The British also employed the policy of “martial races,” recruiting soldiers from select communities known for their loyalty and military skills. E.g. Gorkha, Sikhs
- Infrastructure Development: The British implemented infrastructure projects such as railways, telegraphs, and irrigation systems. While these projects brought some benefits to India, they were primarily designed to facilitate the extraction of resources and enhance British control.
- for example, the railways were primarily built to transport goods and troops for British trade and military purposes.
These policies worked together to establish and maintain British power in India, allowing them to exploit the country’s resources, extract wealth, and establish a vast empire that lasted for nearly two centuries. The legacy of these policies continues to shape the social, economic, and political landscape of India even after the end of British colonial rule.
Indian families are the heart of our society, weaving the threads of tradition, values, and love, nurturing generations with a sense of belonging and cultural identity. This concept of a family has undergone significant changes in recent times, influenced by shifting societal dynamics, cultural transformations, and evolving values.
Negative aspects of this evolving nature:
- Weakening of traditional moral values: The evolving modern family structure sometimes leads to a decline in the transmission of traditional moral values that were once deeply rooted in Indian society.
For instance, the decline in joint family systems may reduce the opportunities for children to learn traditional values through close interactions with elders.
- Parental absence and role modeling: In some modern families due to the demands of career and personal pursuits. Children may miss out on observing and learning essential values, virtues, and ethical behaviors from their parents, leading to a lack of consistent moral role models for children.
- Increased exposure to negative influences: the widespread adoption of smartphones and the rise of social media has introduced a new wrinkle to the challenges of parenthood. Smartphones is correlated to teen suicide, depression and a sense of isolation and low self-esteem, particularly among teenage girls.
- Individualism and materialism: The modern family structure in India can sometimes prioritize individual aspirations, material success, and consumerism over collective values and social responsibilities. This focus on personal achievements and material possessions may overshadow the importance of compassion, empathy, and community engagement.
Positive aspects of this evolving nature:
- Cultural diversity and exposure: a child growing up in a family with parents from different states in India can learn multiple languages, understand different customs, and develop a global outlook. This exposure promotes cultural understanding, empathy, and the ability to appreciate diversity, fostering a more inclusive and morally sensitive society.
- Gender equality and empowerment: children witnessing their mother balancing work and family responsibilities can learn the importance of gender equity and the value of women’s contributions in society. This promotes gender equality and empowers children, particularly girls.
- Individual autonomy and decision-making: children in modern families are encouraged to express their opinions, participate in family discussions, and contribute to decision-making processes, promoting their moral growth and autonomy. This nurtures independent thinking, ethical decision-making, and the ability to navigate moral dilemmas.
- Emphasis on emotional well-being and mental health: Parents and caregivers prioritize creating a supportive and nurturing environment that fosters emotional intelligence, empathy, and self-care.
It is crucial to address the negative aspects, such as potential moral dilution and the need for strong moral guidance and support systems. By recognizing and leveraging the positive aspects while mitigating the negative ones, society can foster an environment that nurtures the moral growth and development of children.
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