The Story of Indian Democracy

The Story of Indian Democracy

Question

Discuss the Karachi Congress Resolution 1931. Also mention those programmes or politics which had been declared by the Congress to be accepted or implemented by the Swaraj Government in the country.

Answer

I. Introduction: (i) Before independence the Indian National Congress was the main political party which led to freedom struggle against the British rule in 1931. This party held its session at Karachi (now-a-days in Pakistan). It is the resolution of 1931 is called a historic documents. Through it several programmes and policies were formulated.

(ii) Infact Motilal Nehru and eight other Congress leaders drafted a constitution for India. In 1931, the resolution at the Karachi Session of the Indian National Congress dealt on how independent India’s constitution should be. The Karachi Resolution reflects a vision of democracy that meant not just formal holding of elections but a substantive reworking of the Indian social structure in order to have a genuine democratic society.

(iii) The Karachi Resolution clearly spells out the vision of democracy that the nationalist movement in India had. It articulates the values that were further given full expression in the Indian Constitution. You will notice how the Preamble of the Indian Constitution seeks to ensure not just political justice but also social and economic justice. You will, likewise, notice that equality is not just about equal political rights but also of status and opportunity.

II. Karachi Congress Resolution, 1931: Swaraj as conceived by the congress should include real economic freedom of the masses. The Congress declares that no constituion will be acceptable to it unless it provides or enables the Swaraj Government to provide for:

1. Freedom of expression, association and meeting.

2. Freedom of religion.

3. Protection of all cultures and languages.

4. All citizens shall be equal before the law.

5. No disability in employment or trade or profession on account of religion, caste or sex.

6. Equal rights and duties for all in regard to public wells, etc.

7. All to have right to bear arms in accordance with regulations.

8. No person to be deprived of property or liberty except in accordance with law.

9. Religious neutrality of State.

10. Adult Suffrage.

11. Free compulsory primary education.

12. No titles to be conferred.

13. Capital punishment to be abolished.

14. Freedom of movement for every citizen of India and right to settle and acquire property in any part thereof, and equal protection of law.

15. Proper standard of life for industrial workers and sutiable machinery for settlement of disputes between employers and workers and protection against old age, sickness, etc.

16. All labour to be free from conditions of serfdom.

17. Sepcial protection of women workers.

18. Children not to be employed in mine and factories.

19. Rights of peasants and workers to form unions.

20. Reform of system of land revenue and tenure and rent, exempting rent and revenue for uneconomical holdings and reduction of dues payable for smaller holdings.

21. Inheritance tax on graduated scale.

22. Reduction of military expenditure by at least half.

23. No servant of State ordinarily to be paid above Rs. 500 per month.

24. Abolition of Salt Tax.

25. Protection of indigenous cloth against competition of foreign cloth.

26. Total prohibition of intoxicating drink and drugs.

27. Currency and exchange in national interest.

28. Nationalisation of key industries and services, railways, etc.

29. Relief of agricultural indebtedness and control of usury.

30. Military training for citizens.

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V. Imp.

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