India: Events After 1960 Class 9 History Notes Maharashtra State Board
India became independent in 1947 CE. India accepted the constitutional framework in 1950 and became a sovereign democratic nation. Indian society is multicultural and people of various languages, religions, ethnicities, and castes live together. During the initial period after independence, India needed to solve different issues of economic, political, and social development. The establishment of the Planning Commission and its emphasis on industrialization was a means to achieve economic development and eliminate poverty in India. The successful conduct of elections and faith in democratic traditions made it possible for us to achieve political stability. At the same time, several social reforms including policies and programmes for the weaker sections of the society were sought to be implemented.
The 1960s (Nineteen-Sixties):
In the decade of the 1960s, several events occurred which had a huge impact on the political situation in India. The regions of Goa, Diu, and Daman were freed from Portuguese rule and became part of the Indian Federation. The tensions between India and China on the northern border which had been rising since 1950, culminated in the war of 1962 between two countries. This war was fought in the region of the MacMahon line.
After India became independent, Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru led the country. He was the architect of India’s foreign policy. His contribution to the social and economic development of India is significant. Jawaharlal Nehru passed away in 1964.
Lal Bahadur Shastri succeeded him and became the next Prime Minister of India. During his tenure, India and Pakistan went to war over the Kashmir issue in 1965. The Soviet Union tried to mediate between the two countries. Lal Bahadur Shastri gave the slogan ‘Jai Jawan Jai Kisan’ with which he highlighted the importance of Indian soldiers and Indian farmers. Lal Bahadur Shastri breathed his last at Tashkent in 1966.
Indira Gandhi became the Prime Minister of India in 1966. During her tenure, Pakistan’s oppressive policies in East Pakistan resulted in a big movement there. This movement was led by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his organization, ‘Mukti Bahini.’ This crisis in East Pakistan affected India as well because millions of refugees came to India.
The 1970s (Nineteen-Seventies):
The 1971 war between India and Pakistan led to the creation of an independent country called Bangladesh. As a part of India’s policy to use atomic energy for peaceful purposes, India successfully carried out an underground test of an atomic device at Pokharan in Rajasthan in 1974. In 1975, the people of Sikkim voted to join the Indian Republic and Sikkim became a full-fledged State in the Indian Federation.
During this decade, the political situation in India grew unstable. The Allahabad High Court gave the verdict 1974 that Indira Gandhi; the then Prime Minister had misused the government machinery during her election campaign. It led to nationwide strikes and protests. During this period, the situation became more complicated due to the movement led by Jayprakash Narayan. The situation of law and order in the country worsened and the government declared a state of National Emergency based on the constitutional provisions relating to Emergency. During this turbulent period, the fundamental rights of Indian citizens were suspended. Due to the emergency, the Indian administration became disciplined, but human rights were restricted. The period of national emergency lasted from 1975 to 1977 and after that general elections were conducted.
On the backdrop of the emergency, many opposition parties came together and formed a party called the Janata Party. The Congress party led by Indira Gandhi was roundly defeated by this newly formed ‘Janata Party’. Morarji Desai became the Prime Minister, but under his leadership, the Janata Party government couldn’t last long due to internal differences. Charan Singh succeeded him, but even his government was a short-lived one. Elections were conducted once again in 1980 and the Congress party under the leadership of Indira Gandhi came to power again.
The 1980s (Nineteen-Eighties):
During this decade the Indian political system faced many new challenges. The Sikhs in Punjab demanded an independent state of Khalistan and began a movement that went on to become violent and destructive. Pakistan had lent its support to this movement. The Indian army was sent into the Golden Temple at Amritsar, a holy shrine of the Sikhs in 1984, to evict the terrorists who had allegedly taken shelter there. One of the Sikh bodyguards in Indira Gandhi’s security assassinated her. During this period, an organization called United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) carried on a major movement in North-east India.
Right after Indira Gandhi’s assassination in 1984, Rajiv Gandhi became the Prime Minister of India. He tried to make several reforms in the field of the Indian economy and that of science and technology. He took the lead in solving the issues of the Tamil minority in Sri Lanka. He promoted the idea of a united Sri Lanka with internal autonomy to the Tamil community, but his efforts in this regard proved to be in vain.
He faced a lot of criticism in the context of corruption that took place during a defense equipment deal, especially the purchase of long-range canons from a foreign company called Bofors. Political corruption became a crucial issue in the general elections that followed and the Congress party was defeated. Several political parties formed a coalition called the Janata Dal and Vishwanath Pratap Singh became the next Prime Minister of India. The policy for providing reservations for other backward classes (OBC) is considered to be his most important contribution. He could not continue as Prime Minister due to internal differences in the party. In 1990, Chandra Shekhar became the Prime Minister of India. His government was also short-lived. In 1991, during the election campaign, the terrorist organization in Sri Lanka, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), assassinated Rajiv Gandhi. Towards the end of the decade of 1980s, the unrest in Jammu and Kashmir had begun. The terrorist activities there forced the Kashmiri Pandits to leave the valley. This problem grew serious day by day and today it has taken the form of terrorism.
The Changes After 1991:
The year 1991 is held to be very important in the history of the world as well as India. The Soviet Union disintegrated into several different small countries and the Cold War came to an end. In India, the Government under the leadership of Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao initiated many changes in the Indian economy. During this period, the Ram Janmabhumi and Babri Mosque issue at Ayodhya came to the forefront.
In the elections conducted between 1996 and 1999, no political party got a clear majority in the Lok Sabha. This resulted in three governments in a short period. Those led by Prime Ministers, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, H.D. Devegowda, and Inder Kumar Gujral were amongst them. Finally, in 1999 the ‘National Democratic Alliance’ came to power under the flag of the Bharatiya Janata Party and Atal Bihari Vajpayee became India’s Prime Minister. Atal Bihari Vajpayee tried to establish a dialogue with Pakistan but was not successful. India conducted several nuclear tests in 1998 and declared herself as an atomic power. In 1999, there was another war between India and Pakistan in the Kargil region over the Kashmir issue. India defeated Pakistan in this war as well.
Right from independence, the modernization of the economy, economic self-sufficiency, and social justice have been the characteristics of the Indian economy. India wanted to acquire modernity and self-reliance by establishing industries. We wanted to establish an economy based on social justice through planning. For this, the National Planning Commission was established that would coordinate development through the policy of Five Year Plans. The Narasimha Rao Government started economic reforms in 1991. These economic reforms are called economic liberalization. The Indian economy flourished as a result of the implementation of this policy. Foreign investment in India increased. Skilled Indian professionals helped reform the Indian economy. The field of information technology opened several avenues of employment in the country. The changes after 1991 are also described as ‘globalization’.
Science and Technology:
Two major events must be mentioned while describing India’s efforts towards self-reliance. Dr M. S. Swaminathan is known as the father of the Green Revolution in 1965. He implemented new scientific agricultural techniques and increased the production of food grains. The experiment in the cooperative dairy movement by Dr. Verghese Kurien led to an increase in milk production in India. This is called the ‘White Revolution’.
India has also made a lot of progress in the fields of atomic energy and space research. Dr. Homi Bhabha laid the foundation of the Indian atomic power program. India insisted on using atomic energy for peaceful purposes like the generation of electricity, pharmaceuticals, and defense. India has achieved considerable success in space technology as well. In 1975, the first satellite ‘Aryabhatta’ was launched. Today, India has a successful space program and many satellites have been launched under this program. India has also made considerable advancements in the telecom sector.
Changes in the Social Field:
During this period, there were several major changes in the social field in India. Some of the changes are related to the issue of the empowerment of women, and others are related to the policies regarding the uplift of the deprived sections of society. A separate ‘Department of Women and Child Development’ was created in 1985 under the Ministry of Human Resource Development to promote the all-round development of women and children. Some laws were made to ensure social justice for women and to help the implementation of various schemes in this direction. They include the Prohibition of Dowry Act and the Equal Remuneration Act. As per the 73rd and 74th Constitution Amendments, seats were reserved for women in the local self-government bodies.
According to the makers of the Indian Constitution, some constituents of the Indian society were deprived of dignity and equal opportunities due to the caste system. The ‘Kakasaheb Kalelkar Commission’ was set up in 1953 to make recommendations to improve their condition. In 1978, a commission was constituted under the chairmanship of B.P.Mandal to study the issue of the backward classes. The policy of reservation was adopted to strengthen the representation of backward sections in various services and institutions. The Government passed the Prevention of Atrocities Act in 1989 to enable those belonging to the Scheduled castes and tribes to live with dignity and respect, free from fear, violence, and oppression of the upper classes.
Globalization brought about many changes in different fields like economy, politics, science and technology, and society and culture. We have discussed some of these changes in the above paragraphs. India has emerged as an important country on the global scene in different spheres. India is an important member of international organizations like G-20 and ‘BRICS’ (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa). India has experienced an important revolution in the field of telecommunication technology. Mobile phones, the internet, and communication facilities based on satellite have spread all across the country. In the political field, India has demonstrated to the world how a stable democracy can function successfully. All this has resulted in a total transformation in the lifestyle of Indians, especially the youth. These changes are visible in their dietary habits, clothing, language, and beliefs. In the next chapter, we are going to study some internal challenges before India.
Good Maharashtra State Board Class 9 History Notes India: Events After 1960 can simplify complex concepts and make studying more efficient.