On June 21, 1948, with the departure of the last general governor Lord Louis Mountbatten of Burma, the direct dominion of the Crown over India, begun ninety years earlier with the Government of India Act, endedwho transferred the possessions of the East India Company to the English Sovereign. The post of governor general was assumed by an Indian, Cakravarti Rājagopālacāryar, who remained in the office until the promulgation of the new constitution. The work of the constituent assembly, which had begun on December 9, 1946, ended on November 26, 1949, and the constitution was officially promulgated on January 26, 1950. In its preamble India is defined as a democratic, independent and sovereign republic. and in article 1 a union of states. The details of the new system having been described above, it will suffice here to observe that of the 395 articles of which the text of the constitution is composed, about 250 are taken verbatim, or with slight modifications, by the Government of India Act of 1935; purely Indian ideas are completely absent and the document is inspired in all respects by European constitutional principles, which aroused no slight criticism. For example, some complained that the traditional “village assemblies” (pañc ā yata) had not been placed at the basis of the new Indian order, but it was easy to argue that this sort of municipal republics had in the past been the main cause of disunion, of backwardness, and therefore of India’s political weakness, in short, of all those evils that the new charter aims to eradicate.
According to Findjobdescriptions, general elections were held in 1951-52, the first in the history of India and the first to be held in an Asian nation out of foreign awe. 173 million citizens (the largest electoral body in the world) were called to the polls, of which 60% fulfilled their duty, which is all the more appreciable when one considers that 80% of the electorate was made up of illiterates. There were 59 political parties in contention and more than 17,000 candidates. The victory came from the party that had brought India to independence, the Congress Party, which obtained 45% of the votes in the central parliament (362 seats out of 489) and 42% in the votes for state assemblies. In addition to the central parliament, the Congress Party had a majority in the assemblies of all states, except those of Madras, Orissa, PEPSU, Travancore-Cochin and Tripura. With the elections of 1951-52 India, an independent and democratic republic, had passed its test of fire and it was then a question of consolidating the achievements. The task that awaited the men in charge of public affairs was immense: it was necessary, especially in the economic and social sphere, to build the nation ab imis fundamentis. The work of the government, led by Javāharlāl Nehru, was excellent in this sense, above all for the prudence and sense of measure with which it was able to carry out reforms without violating the millenary customs and traditions of the people and without offending their deep religious conscience. The disintegrating forces to be fought were numerous and ready to rise up at any opportunity, as for example became clear when the serious problem of language had to be faced.
The constitution defines the fourteen main languages of India as “national languages”, but establishes that English will be the “official language” of the Union until 1965; from that date, English will have to be replaced by Hindi. The choice of Hindī was advised by the fact that it is of all the languages of India – Dravidian, Munda, Sino-Tibetan or Indo-Arian as they are – the one that has the greatest number of speakers. But in order to make Hindī the official language of India starting from 1965, it would have been necessary to begin making its teaching compulsory in schools so as to prepare the new generations for its use which will be compulsory in the state administration in the future. Well, the opposition that this project aroused among all alloglot groups, especially in southern India, and also in enlightened men who had at the time accepted what was established in this regard by the constitution, it was very violent and they did not hesitate to jeopardize the spiritual unity of the nation in order to affirm the rights of the various regional languages. The majority party saved the situation with a compromise decided in early 1958 during its annual congress: Hindī will be introduced as an official language after 1965 only “formally” and it is not excluded that the use of English as an “official language “may continue after that date. spiritual unity of the nation in order to affirm the rights of the various regional languages. The majority party saved the situation with a compromise decided in early 1958 during its annual congress: Hindī will be introduced as an official language after 1965 only “formally” and it is not excluded that the use of English as an “official language “may continue after that date. spiritual unity of the nation in order to affirm the rights of the various regional languages. The majority party saved the situation with a compromise decided in early 1958 during its annual congress: Hindī will be introduced as an official language after 1965 only “formally” and it is not excluded that the use of English as an “official language “may continue after that date.
Closely connected with the linguistic one, and no less serious than it, was the problem of the reorganization of states. The division of the country into the 29 states listed by the constitution and grouped into four categories (see above: Order) undoubtedly left much to be desired and could not fail to have a provisional character. Therefore, at the end of 1953 a three-member commission was established with the task of studying the reorganization of states (States Reorganization Commission). The commission first tried to continue the work of integrating the former principalities (already well advanced immediately after independence by Sardar Vallabhāī Paṭel) by merging them into larger bodies and abolishing the office of rājapramukh, the last vestige of medieval India; and then to redefine the areas of each state. Some states disappeared (for example that of Hyderabad), a new one arose (Kerala) and almost all the borders were rectified. The criterion that prevailed in this rectification of borders was definitely the linguistic one, so it can certainly be said that the fourteen states into which the Indian Union was divided when the States Reorganization Act came into force (November 1, 1956) they are “linguistic” states, with all the advantages and risks that this can entail in a country like India where there are not only many languages, but almost all of them have illustrious literary traditions. The reorganization of the states and the two five-year plans referred to in the paragraph on the economy are, as far as domestic politics is concerned, the greatest works carried out by the Indian government during the first legislature. In foreign policy, the first concern of the government was to restore its geographical integrity to India, that is, to obtain the abandonment of their possessions from France and Portugal. The negotiations with France were successful (v.French India, in this App.), not so those with Portugal for its insistence on considering its possessions as an integral part of the metropolitan territory and “hotbeds of Western and Christian civilization” in India (see Portuguese India, in this App.). However, the Indian government did not make any false steps and, faithful to its policy of non-violence in resolving international conflicts, set the question aside, postponing the solution to more propitious times. However, it did not show as much patience and “good will” towards Pakistan for the question of Kashmir (see kashmir, in this App.). It is still impossible to give an objective judgment on this question because many points remain obscure; it is certain nonetheless that the possession of Kashmir was too important to both sides for them to be able to restrain the vehemence of passions and play a fair game. For the moment, India has secured control of three quarters of the region, but has not yet complied with the UN resolution to hold a plebiscite that allows us to know once and for all whether the will of the local population is to remain in the Union. Indiana or to enter Pakistan. This non-compliance means that relations between India and Pakistan remain tense and always latent is the danger of a conflict. Nevertheless, a certain improvement in relations between the two countries took place on 19 September 1960.
With regard to other international problems, the Indian political attitude was one of neutrality and “non-alignment”. On the one hand, India needed the help of nations from both blocs to solve its serious economic problems; on the other hand, as well as renouncing those ideals of non-violence that had led it to freedom, it intended to transfer them to the international level and point them out to the rest of the world as the most suitable way, in the present conditions, for the settlement of any conflict. This political direction seemed at first to meet with some success, especially among Afro-Asian countries, and it acquired India considerable international prestige; pañca śī la). The Indian attempt to create a “third force” by bringing together all or most of the Afro-Asiatic countries around it can be said to have failed for the moment, above all because the cooperation of the People’s Republic of China has failed and with the action carried out in Tibet over the years. 1958-59 he clearly manifested that he did not pay much attention to the pañcaśīla and that he wanted to continue his policy even in spite of India, even going so far as to press threateningly on its borders.
In the spring of 1957, the new general elections were held, even more impressive than the first since the electoral body had risen to 193 million; on the whole they marked a new victory for the Congress Party although it suffered considerable losses, not only in Kerala, where the majority was won by the Communist Party, but also in Orissa, Bihar, Panjab, Uttar Pradesh and in the state of Bombay. The losses of the Congress Party have been matched with a considerable gain by the Communist Party which, in addition to winning the majority in Kerala, has improved its positions almost everywhere and has become the largest opposition party in the central parliament.