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State PCS


  • 19 Jan 2023 GS Paper 1 History

    Day 62

    Question 1. Illustrate how the movement of the working class was developed during Indian freedom struggle. (150 Words)

    Question 2. Discuss the evolution of Foreign Policy of India in post-Independence India. (250 Words)

    Answer 1


    • Introduce briefly about the movement of the working class.
    • Illustrate how the movement of the working class developed during Indian freedom struggle.
    • Conclude suitably.


    The arrival of modern industry in India brought about the emergence of a modern Indian working class, as thousands of people were employed in factories and construction.

    The Indian working class had to face two basic antagonistic forces—an imperialist political rule and economic exploitation at the hands of both foreign and native capitalist classes. Under the circumstances, inevitably, the Indian working-class movement became intertwined with the political struggle for national emancipation.


    The Indian working-class movement was developed in several phases and often in sync with the national movement. The phases of the working-class movement in India were due to several seasons. Like:

    Reasons for working class movements were:

    • Moderates were Indifferent to the labour’s caused and differentiated between the labour employed in Indian and British-owned factories.
    • Moderates believed that labour legislations would affect the competitive edge enjoyed by the Indian-owned industries.
    • Moderate did not want a division in the movement on the basis of classes due to these concerns, they had not supported the Factory Acts of 1881 and 1891.

    Due to these concerns the working-class movement were started.

    • Earlier isolated, sporadic and philanthropic efforts to improve the economic conditions of the workers and aimed at specific local grievances. Some of the attempts were:
      • In 1870, Sasipada Banerjea started a workingmen’s club and newspaper Bharat Shramjeevi.
      • In 1878, Sorabjee Shapoorji Bengalee tried to get a bill, providing better working conditions to labour, passed in the Bombay Legislative Council.
      • In 1880, Narayan Meghajee Lokhande started the newspaper Deenbandhu and set up the Bombay Mill and Millhands Association.
      • In 1899, the first strike by the Great Indian Peninsular Railways took place, and it got widespread support.
      • There were many prominent nationalist leaders like Bipin Chandra Pal and G. Subramania Aiyar who demanded better conditions for workers and other pro-labour reforms.
    • During Swadeshi Upsurge: Workers participated in wider political issues. Strikes were organised in government press, railways, and the jute industry.
      • There were attempts to form trade unions, but these were not very successful.
    • During the First World War and After: The War brought a rise in exports, soaring prices, massive profiteering opportunities for the industrialists but very low wages for the workers.
      • This led to discontent among workers. Gandhi led to a broad-based national movement, and mobilisation of the workers and peasants for the national cause brought necessity of the organisation of the workers in trade unions.
        • International events like the establishment of a socialist republic in the Soviet Union, formation of the Comintern, and setting up of International Labour Organisation (ILO) lent a new dimension to the movement of the working class in India.
      • The All-India Trade Union Congress was founded on October 31, 1920 under influence of Indian National Congress.
        • The Gaya session of the Congress (1922) welcomed the formation of the AITUC, and a committee was formed to assist it. C.R. Das advocated that the Congress should take up the workers’ and peasants’ cause and incorporate them in the struggle for swaraj or else they would get isolated from the movement.
      • The Trade Union Act, 1926 brought recognized trade unions and strong communist influence on the movement lent a militant and revolutionary content to it.
        • In 1928, there was a six-month-long strike in Bombay Textile Mills led by the Girni Kamgar Union.
      • Meerut Conspiracy Case (1929) the government arrested 31 labour leaders, and the trial resulted in the conviction of Muzaffar Ahmed, S.A. Dange, Joglekar, Philip Spratt, Ben Bradley, Shaukat Usmani, and others.
        • The trial got worldwide publicity but weakened the working-class movement.
      • Under Congress Ministries: During the 1937 elections, the AITUC had supported the Congress candidates. The Congress governments in provinces gave a fillip to the trade union activity.
      • During and After the Second World War: Due to Russia’s participation in the war, the communists described the war as a “peoples’ war” and supported it. In the period 1945 to 1947, workers participated actively in the post-War national upsurges. I
      • After Independence: The working-class movement came to be associated with various political ideologies like socialist, communists and nationalists.


    This rollercoaster ride of the working-class movement led to effect to several legislative provions and eventually brought 4 labour code to remove the spaghetti bowl effect among several laws. Although the codes have been passed but non-implementation of these code giving it a title of paper tiger.

    Answer 2


    • Introduce briefly about the Foreign Policy of India.
    • Discuss its evolution in post-Independence India.
    • Conclude suitably.


    To facilitate India’s ready interaction with the world outside, well-established diplomatic engagement and make the world aware of the Indian way of thinking, Indian nationalists started formulating a national foreign policy, even before the independence of India, based on their spiritual beliefs and rational demand of the time.


    The fallout of the Western influence on the nationalist intelligentsia and a growing national interest and contact with the dominant international currents and events.

    With the development and crystallisation of an anti-imperialist nationalist ideology, there emerged a nationalist foreign policy perspective. The evolution of this policy perspective can be traced under these broad phases.

    • From 1880 to First World War the Anti-imperialism and Pan-Asian Feeling: After 1878, the British undertook a number of expansionist expeditions which were opposed by the nationalists.
      • In place of aggressive imperialism, the nationalists advocated a policy of peace. Congress president in 1897, said, “Our true policy is a peaceful policy.”
      • So, the emerging themes during 1880-1914 were: 1. Solidarity with other colonies fighting for freedom, such as Russia, Ireland, Egypt, Turkey, Ethiopia, Sudan, Burma, and Afghanistan.
    • During world war I: The nationalists supported the British Indian Government in the belief that Britain would apply the same principles of democracy for which they were supposed to be fighting. And nationalist opposed all the far rightist ideologies.
    • After Independence: Panchsheel and Non-Alignment are the foundations of India’s foreign policy.
    • Panchsheel: It was on April 29, 1954, that Panchsheel, or the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence, were first formally enunciated in the Agreement on Trade and Intercourse between the Tibet region of China and India.
      • It was stated in the preamble to this agreement that the two governments had resolved to enter into the agreement on the basis of five principles, namely, (i) Mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty (ii) Mutual non-aggression (iii) Mutual non-interference (iv) Equality and mutual benefit (v) Peaceful co-existence.
    • Non-Alignment: Post world war – 2, world was divided between Soviet Union and USA and they were representing their own interest in geo-politics and resulted into Cold War. Almost the entire developed world was divided into two opposing nuclear-armed blocs, with the US and the USSR leading as ‘superpowers. The Third World became a surrogate field for superpower competition.
      • Political non-alignment was, therefore, prudent as well as pragmatic. The principles of non-interference in the domestic affairs of other countries and maintenance of one’s own sovereignty evolved into the crystallisation of the concept of non-alignment. The term ‘non-alignment’ got currency in the post-Bandung Conference (1955). Non-alignment implies the active refusal of a state to align itself with either party in a dispute between two power blocs.


    These ideas of foreign policy before and after the independence of India shaped the current foreign policy of India and were also shared by various nations of the 3rd world.

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