NCERT Class 9 Civics Chapter 2 - Constitutional Design

Chapter 2 - Constitutional Design

Question and Answer
Question 1: Define apartheid.
Answer: The official policy of racial separation and ill treatment of blacks followed by the government of South Africa between 1948 and 1989.

Question 2: Write a short note on apartheid.
Answer:
Apartheid was the name of a system of racial discrimination which was unique to South Africa. The white Europeans had imposed this system on South Africa. The system of apartheid divided the people and labelled the people on the basis of their skin colour. The apartheid system was particularly oppressive for the blacks. This system forbidden from living in the areas where the Whites lived.

Question 3: Define the term Constitution.
Answer:
Constitution is a supreme law of a country, containing fundamental rules governing the politics and society of a country.

Question 4: Why do we need a Constitution?
Answer:
We need a Constitution due to the following reasons:
1. It generate a degree of trust and coordination that is necessary for different kind of people to live together.
2. It specifies how the government will be constituted, who will have which power to take which decisions.
3. It lays down limits on the powers of the government and tells us what the rights of the citizen are.
4. It expresses the aspirations of the people about creating a good society.

Question 5: Name the umbrella organisation that led the struggle against the policies of segregation in South Africa.
Answer:
ANC (African National Congress) was the umbrella organisation that led the struggle against the policies of segregation in South Africa.

Question 6: What is meant by Constituent Assembly? How was it constituted?
Answer:

1. An assembly of people's representatives that writes a Constitution for a country is called Constituent Assembly.
2. Elections to the Constituent Assembly was held in July 1946.
3. Its first meeting was held in December 1946.
4. Soon after the country was divided into India and Pakistan, the Constituent Assembly was also divided into Constituent Assembly of India and that of Pakistan.

Question 7: Why should we accept the Constitution made by the Constituent Assembly more than 50 years ago?
Answer:
We should accept the Constitution that was made by the Constituent Assembly more than 50 years ago because:
1. The Constitution doesn't reflect the views of its members alone. It expresses a broad consensus of its time.
2. Over the last half a century, several groups have questioned some provisions of the Constitution. But no large social group or political party has ever questioned the legitimacy of the Constitution itself. This is an unusual achievement for any Constitution.
3. The second reason for accepting the Constitution is that the Constituent Assembly represented the people of India.
4. There was no universal adult franchise at that time.
5. So the Constituent Assembly couldn’t have been chosen directly by all the people of India. It was elected mainly by the members of the existing Provisional Legislatures. This ensured a fair geographical share of members from all the regions of the country.

Question 8: What is meant by Preamble?
Answer:
An introductory statement in a Constitution which states the reasons and guideline values of the Constitution.

Question 9: Define the following terms:
a) Sovereign: People have supreme right to make decisions on internal as well as external matters. No external power can dictate the government of India.
b) Socialist: Wealth is generated socially and should be shared equally by the society. Government should regulate the ownership of land and industry to reduce socio-economic inequalities.
c) Secular: Citizens have the complete freedom to follow any religion. But there is no official religion.
d) Democratic: A form of government where people enjoy equal political rights, elect their rulers and hold them accountable.
e) Republic: The head of the state is an elected person and not a hereditary position.
f) Justice: Citizens can’t be discriminated on the grounds of caste, religion and gender. Social inequalities have to be reduced.
g) Liberty: There are no unreasonable restrictions on the citizens in what they think, how they wish to express their thought and the way they wish to follow up their thoughts in action.
h) Equality: All are equal before the law. The traditional social inequalities have to be ended. The government should ensure equal opportunity for all.
i) Fraternity: All of us should behave as if we are the members of the same family. No one should treat a fellow citizen as inferior.

Question 9: What are Constitutional Amendments? Why are they necessary?
Answer:
A change in the Constitution made by the supreme legislative body in a country is called a Constitutional Amendments. It is necessary as:
1. Constitution is a very long and detailed document. Therefore it needs to be amended quite regularly to keep it updated.
2. Those who drafted the Indian Constitution felt that it has to be in accordance with people’s aspirations and changes in society.
3. They didn’t see it as a sacred, static and unalterable law. So they made provisions to incorporate changes from time to time. These changes are called Constitutional Amendments.

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