Indian Independence left us with two nations – Pakistan and India, of which Pakistan was further divided into West and East Pakistan. Later West Pakistan was formed into Bangladesh. So, 15th August 1947 was confirmed as the termination of colonial rule in India and the nation soon found itself standing on the threshold of a new era where the task of the nation was to create a strong and robust country. Although India got Independence from the colonial rule of British, it was the nation at that time which was struggling to find independence from economic, social and political challenges which were hindering the nation from growing. Below were some of the major challenges before India at the time of independence.
Major Challenges Before India at the Time of Independence.
First Challenge is to become a Country
At the time of independence, India was hope, an idea and aspiration, but not a country at all. There were two parts which need to be combined to make India a country. First was the Princely States which need to be included in India. So, Sardar Patel and his deputy V.P. Menon did the job to make it happen.
Second part is to link all people from across the nation with each other to make them feel Indian rather than traditional religious with different regional identity. This is something which can’t be done in short duration because there was a lack of technology to help one state know about another state. The literacy rate was also very low and people were poor and can’t afford a radio. The credit goes to Nehru who created and implemented the concept of “Modern India”. The Constitution was laid all out and after the death of Gandhi just after Independence, it was left to Nehru to read the Constitution. Formation of new States in 1956 was the crucial step. But it came to an end when Haryana and Punjab were created in 1966.
Second Challenge – To Maintain Internal Harmony
The Hindus and Sikhs coming to India from Pakistan were suffered attacks from people already living in India and the same happened with the people who went to Pakistan from India. Now they all need to stay together and there was a situation of tension in India. All people were asked to maintain internal harmony and learn to live together despite Muslim Rule, Partition and Christian British rule. Gandhi had a comforting touch but he was killed just after independence.
Unity in Diversity is a powerful belief, but it was not easy to implement or execute. However, India managed to execute it to overcome the challenges that were hindering the nation from growing. Sikhs were not happy until Haryana was formed and hence Sikhs for their own majority State in Punjab. But the bad blood between Muslim and Hindu remained the same and you can experience it today also. But India managed to overcome such challenges.
The Other Major Challenges Before India at the Time of Independence
- Shaping a Nation – Despite being gaining independence from colonial rule, India was struggling to become a united country because of accommodative of the diversity in the society. India was the land of diversity and continental and people used to speak different languages and followed different religions and culture. At the time of independence, it was strongly believed that country with such types of diversity cannot remain together for a longer duration. But India proved it wrong to become a united country soon after Independence
- Establishing Democracy – As per the constitution, all citizens were granted with fundamental rights to vote and hence India adopted the representative democracy based on parliamentary form of government. But the challenge was to develop the democratic practices in adherence to the rights and rules of the Indian Constitution.
- Development and Wellbeing of Entire Society – Lastly, there was a challenge to ensure proper development and wellbeing of the entire Indian Society, but not only for selected sections or groups. Constitution adopted the basics of equality and hence offered specialised protection to socially challenged groups, cultural communities and religious. So, the real challenge was to create some efficient policies for the socio-economic development and removal of poverty from all societies and sections of India.
These were some of the challenges that India faced at the time of independence.