Goals after independence – UPSC GS1

What were the basic goals that India set to achieve soon after its independence from the British? Critically evaluate India’s achievement in fulfilling these goals. (200 Words)

Partitioned and marred by the brutalities of the consequent riots, India had a lot on its plate, so as to build the post independent nation. Various issues existed like poverty, illiteracy, diseases, casteism, communalism, no indigenous industries, gender gap, mass unemployment and lack of civil and political rights to the people
Some of the tasks to be immediately looked upon, included:
    1. To maintain the country’s unity after the communal riots of 1947 which had instilled fear in the hearts of the minorities, regarding their security in the Hindu majority nation.
    2. To build the tools of development, i.e. industries and agricultural sector, so as to enable social and economic transformation of the country.
    3. Building a secular society, against the vast religious, linguistic and ethnic diversity in the nation, to facilitate effective cooperation in the development process.
    4. To build a democratic and civil libertarian society among an illiterate people, by giving them a sense of inclusion in the political structure, by introducing the system of universal adult franchise.
    5. Economic and political transformation processes were to be accompanied by the process of social transformation too, by eliminating the caste and gender differences, and simultaneously raising the standard of living of the citizens.
    6. Consolidation of nation- and communal harmony-achieved. Special right to minorities, freedom to scheduled areas for tribes, linguistic reorganization of states. Still there are a very few lags. But we are on the way.
    7. Economic prosperity- being achieved. Per capita is being improved. But industrial setting is compromised due to certain compulsions.
    8. Independent voice on international fora– achieved- NAM. Foreign policy is carefully carved out. Achieved an independent image soon.
    9. Quality of life– the principles like freedom, equality and liberty were injected into our society. Rule of law is being implemented. Life expectancy was improved.
    10. Democracy and maturity in politics- achieved. Even draconian and unchecked emergency provisions (checked only in 1977 by Janata govt) could not affect us. There is peaceful transition of power from time to time.
    11. Matured polity- matured constitution was delivered. There is clear separation of powers. But rational decentralization of power is still to be achieved.
But most of such goals can still be seen as only partially fulfilled
    1. India has a large expanse of gender disparity, due to the dominant patriarchal structure of the society. India ranks 114 out of 142 countries in gender inequality index
    2. Communal riots time and again serve as a blot on the country’s secular credentials
    3. Colonial mind set from our institutions is yet to be sent out.
    4. There is concentration of power in higher authorities.
    5. The poor rich divide is expanding. Poverty and indebtedness causing farmer suicides.
    6. Curbs on freedom of expression becoming routine affair.
    7. Colonial mind set from our institutions is yet to be sent out.
    8. There is concentration of power in higher authorities.
    9. Communal disharmony is emerging.
    10. The poor rich divide is expanding. And so many others…..
With greater political will, rapid and sustainable economic and social transformation is an achievable goal. India needs to strive towards it taking pride in its journey so far.



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