CBSE NCERT Notes for Class 9 Political Science (Civics) Chapter 2 – Constitutional Design

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Democratic Constitution In South Africa

South Africa gained independence and adopted a democratic constitution after a protracted fight for independence. Nelson Mandela fought for its independence, as well as for black and white people’s rights and equality.

He was condemned to life imprisonment in 1964, along with seven other leaders, for daring to challenge the apartheid government. He spent the following 28 years on Robben Island, South Africa’s most feared (fearful) jail.

Struggle Against Apartheid

Apartheid was the term given to South Africa’s system of racial inequality.

It was forced on Africans by white Europeans.

Black And White Natives: Throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, a significant number of Europeans arrived in South Africa and established themselves as local rulers. Due to this white settlement, segregation separated individuals based on their skin colour

Around three-fourths of the population were indigenous ‘black’ people. Apart from these two groups, there were coloured people (people of mixed ethnicities) and migrating Indians.

Formation Of African National Congress And Way To A New Constitution : Since 1950, blacks, coloured people, and Indians have struggled against apartheid. They organised marches and strikes in protest. The movement was headed by the African National Congress (ANC).

To fight apartheid, many workers’ unions, the Communist Party, and sensitive whites joined the ANC. Apartheid has been condemned as unfair and racist by a number of nations.

As demonstrations and conflicts grew, the government altered its policy, removing discriminatory legislation. Political parties were deregistered and limitations on the media were lifted.

Nelson Mandela was released from prison after serving 28 years. Finally, at 12 a.m. on 26 April 1994, the Republic of South Africa’s new democratic state arose. Apartheid ended, opening the stage for the establishment of a multi-racial administration.

Discrimination Against Non-Whites

All non-whites were regarded as inferior by white monarchs. Gradually, the apartheid regime began to oppress blacks. Non-whites were denied voting rights and were prohibited from residing in white regions under this system.

Non-whites were permitted to work in white regions only with permission. Trains, buses, taxis, hotels, hospitals, schools, colleges, libraries, cinemas, theatres, beaches, swimming pools, and public restrooms were all segregated for whites and blacks, respectively.

This was referred to as segregation. Blacks were not permitted to attend churches where whites worshipped, and they lacked the ability to join organisations or protest against whites.

Formation Of African National Congress And Way To A New Constitution

Since 1950, blacks, coloured people, and Indians have struggled against apartheid. They organised marches and strikes in protest. The movement was headed by the African National Congress (ANC).

To fight apartheid, many workers’ unions, the Communist Party, and sensitive whites joined the ANC. Apartheid has been condemned as unfair and racist by a number of nations.

As demonstrations and conflicts grew, the government altered its policy, removing discriminatory legislation. Political parties were deregistered and limitations on the media were lifted.

Nelson Mandela was released from prison after serving 28 years. Finally, at 12 a.m. on 26 April 1994, the Republic of South Africa’s new democratic state arose. Apartheid ended, opening the stage for the establishment of a multi-racial administration.

Equality Of Races In South Africa

Following the establishment of a democratic South Africa, black leaders pleaded with their fellow citizens to forgive whites for the crimes perpetrated while in power.

They wanted to establish a new South Africa based on racial equality. The party that governed through oppression and the party that led the fight for liberation collaborated to draught a single Constitution.

They embraced everyone in society, regardless of what they had done or represented in the past. This spirit is encapsulated in the South African Constitution’s Preamble. This South African Constitution serves as an inspiration to democratic movements worldwide. South Africa is now seen as an example of democratic governance.

Making Of The Indian Constitution

The British left the choice of whether to join with India or Pakistan or to stay independent of the rulers of princely kingdoms. The framers of the Constitution were concerned about the nation’s present and future.

The Path To Constitution

During the independence fight, a consensus on the creation of the Indian Constitution developed. While there were divergent opinions on the route India should pursue after independence, some fundamental concepts were universally accepted. These fundamental concepts had a critical role in the development of the Indian Constitution.

Institutional Evolution: Elections to Provincial Legislatures and Ministries were conducted across British India in 1937. Numerous institutional features and processes were borrowed by the Indian Constitution from colonial legislation such as the Government of India Act, 1935.

Following years of deliberation and debate, our leaders gained the courage to learn from other nations, but on their own terms.

Numerous of our leaders were inspired by the ideals of the French Revolution, the Russian Socialist Revolution, the practice of Parliamentary democracy in the United Kingdom, and the United States Bill of Rights.

Discussion On Important Topics

Motilal Nehru and eight other Congress leaders wrote India’s first constitution in 1928. At the Indian National Congress’s Karachi Session in 1931, the leaders agreed on the design of the Indian Constitution.

The Universal Adult Franchise, the Right to Freedom and Equality, and the Rights of Minorities were only a few of the significant issues addressed.

Certain fundamental principles were recognised by all leaders even before the Constituent Assembly convened to discuss the Constitution.

The Constituent Assembly

In July 1946, elections to the Constituent Assembly were conducted. It convened for the first time in December 1946.

The Constituent Assembly was split into Constituent Assemblies of India and Pakistan after the partition of India and Pakistan. The Constituent Assembly composed of 299 members drafted the Indian Constitution.

On 26 November 1949, the Assembly approved the Constitution. It became effective on 26 January 1950. Every year, on 26 January, we commemorate this day as Republic Day.

Legitimacy Of The Indian Constitution Today

The Constitution does not represent the views of its members alone, but rather reflects a wide agreement at the time.

Several organisations have questioned various sections of the Constitution throughout the years. However, no significant social organisation or political party has ever cast doubt on its validity.

This is a remarkable accomplishment for the Indian Constitution on the international stage. Another argument for acceptance is that the Constituent Assembly represented the Indian people.

It could not be elected directly by the populace at the time, since there was no universal adult franchise.

Members of the current Provincial Legislatures were elected to the Constituent Assembly. This guaranteed that members from all areas of the nation had an equitable geographical representation.

Working Of The Constituent Assembly

The Assembly was controlled by the Indian National Congress, which was composed of representatives from a range of political and regional groupings. Socially, the Assembly included representatives from a variety of linguistic groups, castes, classes, faiths, and professions.

Finally, the Constituent Assembly operated in a methodical, open, and consensual (by mutual agreement) way, endowing the Constitution with holy status.

Drafting Committee And Constituent Assembly

After establishing certain fundamental ideas, a Drafting Committee headed by Dr B R Ambedkar produced a draught Constitution for debate.

The proposed Constitution was discussed clause by clause. The Drafting Committee members performed the task in 114 days during a three-year period.

Over two thousand changes to the Constitution have been made.

Each paper submitted and each word said at the Constituent Assembly were recorded and archived. These are known as the Constituent Assembly Debates and were printed in twelve hefty volumes.

These arguments provide the reasoning for each section of the Constitution and are used to interpret the Constitution’s meaning.

Need Of Constitution

A constitution is needed to protect the interests of ordinary people, regardless of whether they are members of a large or small society.

Some Basic Rules For All

The whites consented to the majority rule and one person, one vote principles. Additionally, they decided to recognise some fundamental rights for the poor and employees. The blacks agreed that majority rule would be conditional.

As a result, they drafted a set of laws that everyone was required to observe and that all future governments would have to adhere to. These regulations become the new country’s Constitution.

Thus, “a country’s Constitution is a collection of written regulations that are recognised by all citizens.”

  1. It fosters the trust and cooperation required for diverse groups of people to coexist.
  2. It details the government’s composition and who will have the authority to make decisions.
  3. It establishes limitations on the government’s authority and also defines people’ rights.
  4. Additionally, it reflects the populace’s hopes for a just society.

Important Members Involved In Drafting Of Indian Constitution

Abul Kalam Azad (1888-1958) : He was an educator, a writer, and a theologian. Arabic scholar, Congress leader, and participant in the national struggle. He was a vocal opponent of Muslim separatist movements.

Baldev Singh (1901-1961) : He was a prosperous entrepreneur and the head of the Panthic Akali Party in the Punjab Assembly, as well as a Congress candidate in the Constituent Assembly.

Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar (1891-1956) : He presided over the Drafting Committee. Social revolutionary thinkers and activists against caste divides and injustices on the basis of caste.

Shyama Prasad Mukherjee (1901-1953) : In the Interim Government, he served as Minister of Industry and Supply. Apart from being an educator and a lawyer. He was a member of the Hindu Mahasabha. He then became the Bharatiya Jansangh’s Founder President.

Pt Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964) : He served as Interim Prime Minister. Attorney and member of Congress. He was a socialist, a democratic socialist, and an anti-imperialist.

Sarojlni Naidu (1879-1949) : She was a poet, author, and activist. She was one of the most prominent female leaders in Congress. Later in her career, she was named Governor of UP.

Sardar Vallabhbhal Patel (1875-1950) : He was a lawyer and the satyagraha’s leader in Bardoli. In the ‘Interim Government, he served as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Home, Information, and Broadcasting. He was instrumental in the merger of India’s princely kingdoms.

Dr Rajendra Prasad (1884-1963) : He presided over the Constituent Assembly. A lawyer who is well known for his involvement in the Champaran Satyagraha. He served as President of the United States Congress three times. He then became India’s first President.

Guiding Values Of The Indian Constitution

To fully comprehend the Indian Constitution, we must first grasp its underlying concept. This may be accomplished by familiarising yourself with the perspectives of many notable leaders on our Constitution, as well as the Preamble to our Constitution.

The Dream And The Promise Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi was not a member of the Constituent Assembly, but his vision inspired many of its members.

In 1931, he said in his journal ‘Young India’ that he desired to draught a Constitution that gives the poor and disadvantaged an effective voice.

He desired that the Constitution foster peaceful coexistence among all of the country’s communities. It should prohibit the importation of untouchability, intoxicating beverages, or narcotics. It should treat women equally with males.

Jawaharlal Nehru : Jawaharlal Nehru desired opportunity for everyone, the eradication of poverty and illiteracy, and the control of illness. He desired that all responsible individuals devote themselves to society’s service.

Dr B R Ambedkar : Dr B R Ambedkar advocated for universal political, social, and economic equality. He is affectionately referred to as the ‘Father of the Indian Constitution. He worried that if we continue to deny equality in social and economic life, democracy would be jeopardised.

Institutional Design

A Constitution imbues institutional structures with ideals and philosophy. The majority of the Indian Constitution describes these arrangements in detail. In legalese, the Constitution defines the institutional structures.

The framers of the Constitution included a provision for periodic amendments.

These modifications are referred to as constitutional amendments.

  1. It establishes the process for electing someone to rule the nation, i.e. elections.
  2. It establishes who will have how much decision-making authority, i.e. the allocation of authority among the Executive, Legislature, and Judiciary.
  3. It constrains the government’s actions by granting citizens certain rights that cannot be infringed. These are often referred to as Fundamental Rights.

The Preamble

The preamble serves as the Constitution’s introduction.

The Indian Constitution’s preamble is shown here.

WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a



and to secure to all its citizens:

JUSTICE, social, economic and political;

LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship; .

EQUALITY of status and of opportunity; and

to promote among them all

FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the nation;


twenty-sixth day of november, 1949, do



Important Terms Used In Preamble

We the People of the Republic of India The Indian people, via their representatives, drafted and adopted the Constitution.

  1. Sovereign India is a free nation, and no foreign force has the authority to impose its will on the Indian government.
  2. Socialists believe that wealth is created socially and should be shared equitably by all members of society.
  3. Secular There is no state religion, and the government treats all faiths equally.
  4. Democratic We have chosen a system of governance in which citizens elect and hold their leaders responsible.
  5. Republic The head of state is an elected official; the post is not hereditary.
  6. Justice The legislation will ensure that people are not discriminated against on the basis of caste, religion, or gender. The government would strive to improve the lives of the impoverished and disadvantaged in order to decrease socioeconomic disparities.
  7. Liberty Citizens have the right to express themselves freely and are not subjected to excessive limitations on their liberty.
  8. Equality All citizens are equal before the law, regardless of their socioeconomic factors.
  9. Fraternity Each citizen should have a sense of brotherhood, and no citizen should be treated as inferior.

NCERT questions & answers from Chemical Reactions and Equations

Question 1.

Here is some information about four countries. Based on this information, how would you classify each of these countries.
Write ‘democratic’ ‘Undemocratic’ or ‘not sure’ against each of these.
(a) Country A: People who do not accept the country’s official religion, do not have a right to vote.

Answer: Undemocratic.

(b) Country B: The same party has been winning elections for the last twenty years.

Answer: Not sure.

(c) Country C: Ruling party has lost in the last three elections.

Answer: Democratic.

(d) Country D: There is no independent Election Commission.

Answer: Undemocratic.

Question 2.

Here is some information about four countries. Based on this information, how would you classify each of these countries? Write ‘democratic’, ‘undemocratic’ or ‘not sure’ against each of these.
(a) Country P: The Parliament cannot pass a law about the army without the consent of the Chief of Army.

Answer: Democratic.

(b) Country Q: The Parliament cannot pass a law reducing the powers of the judiciary.

Answer: Democratic.

(c) Country R: The country’s leaders cannot sign any treaty with another country without taking permission from its neighbouring country.

Answer: Not sure.

(d) Country S: All the major economic decisions about the country are taken by officials of the central bank which the ministers cannot change.

Answer: Undemocratic.

Question 3.

Which of these is not a good argument in favour of democracy? Why?
(a) People feel free and equal in a democracy.
(b) Democracies resolve conflict in a better way than others.
(c) Democratic government is more accountable to the people.
(d) Democracies are more prosperous than others.

Answer: (d) Democracies are more rich than others; yet, this is not a compelling argument in favour of democracy, since it has failed to eradicate poverty in India and other regions of the world, such as Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Other nations, such as Russia and China, are more affluent than several democratic Asian and African countries.

Question 4.

Each of these statements contains a democratic and an undemocratic element. Write out the two separately for each statement.
(a) A minister said that some laws have to be passed by the Parliament in order to conform to the regulations decided by the World Trade Organisation (WTO).


(i) Undemocratic: Some laws have to be passed by the Parliament.

(ii) Democratic: In order to conform to the regulations decided by the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

(b)The Election Commission ordered re-polling in a constituency where large-scale rigging was reported.


(i) Democratic: The Election Commission ordered that a constituency be re-polled.

(ii) Undemocratic: Rigging on a big scale has been recorded in this area.

(c) Women’s representation in the Parliament has barely reached 10 per cent. This led women’s organisations to demand one-third seats for women.

Answer: (i) Undemocratic: The percentage of women in Parliament has scarcely risen over 10%.

(ii) Democratic: As a result, women’s organisations demanded that one-third of the seats be reserved for women.

Question 5.

Which of these is not a valid reason for arguing that there is a lesser possibility of famine in a democratic country?
(a) Opposition parties can draw attention to hunger and starvation.
(b) Free press can report suffering from famine in different parts of the country.
(c) The Government fears its defeat in the next elections.
(d) People are free to believe in and practise any religion.

Answer: (d) People are free to believe in and practise any religion that has no relation with the lesser possibility of famine in a country.

Question 6.

There are 40 villages in a district where the government has made no provision for drinking water. These villagers met and considered many methods of forcing the government to respond to their needs.
Which of these is not a democratic method?
(a) Filing a case in the courts claiming that water is part of the right to life.
(b) Boycotting the next elections to give a message to all parties.
(c) Organising public meetings against the government’s policies.
(d) Paying money to government officials to get water.

Answer: (d) Paying money to government officials to get water is not a democratic method.

Question 7.

Write a response to the following arguments against democracy:
(a) Army is the most disciplined and corruption-free organisation in the country. Therefore the army should rule the country.

Answer: Allowing the army to run the country results in the army gaining total power. The legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government should all have equal authority. Concentrating all authority in the military will result in dictatorships, such as Chile’s Pinochet administration.

(b) Rule of the majority means the rule of ignorant people. What we need is the rule of the wise, even if they are in small numbers.

Answer: Democracy is a form of government in which all adult citizens have the right to vote. Limiting the ability of the populace to rule and govern to a small group of “intelligent people” would be detrimental to representative democracy.

(c) If we want religious leaders to guide us in spiritual matters, why not invite them to guide us in politics as well. The country should be ruled by religious leaders.

Answer: Politics and religion are distinct concepts. Religion teaches us the difference between right and wrong, which ultimately leads to spirituality. When religion and politics intersect, communalism or community politics emerge, which is extremely dangerous.

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