About the book
The Twenty-First Edition of the book appears at a time of momentous changes, both domestic and foreign. Therefore, all the Chapters have been updated and revised.
SECTION-A that examines the nature and working of our democratic polity incorporates the following changes:
- Chapter 1 highlights the fact that the Constitution One hundred and Fourth amendment Act did not extend the period of reservation of the two Lok Sabha seats for the Anglo-Indian community in the Lok Sabha. This amendment came into effect on 25 January, 2020.
- Chapter 2 examines the nature of Indian polity. Ours being a Parliamentary System of Government, the President was required to act on the advice of the Union council of Ministers with the Prime Minister at the head. In the last Presidential election Smt. Droupadi Murmu got 2824 votes (having a total value of 6,76,803), while shri Yashwant Sinha could muster only 1877 votes that had a total value of 3,80,177. Shri Jagdeep Dhankar was elected as the Vice-President of India on 6 August, 2022.
- Chapter 3 dwells on the fact that the BJP-led NDA Government was different from the previous Coalition Governments. Both 2014 and 2019 were truly “national elections” fought on the plank of a real “national message.”
- Chapter 4 deals with the necessity and functioning of a supreme court in a Federal Setup. On august 26, 2022 the Supreme Court observed that ‘Freebies’ can drive the State to bankruptcy… We should remember that such freebies are extended utilizing taxpayers’ money only for increasing the popularity of the party and its electoral prospects.” A Freebie “is something that you are given without having to pay for it.”
- Chapters 5 and 6 look at the structure and functions of the High courts and subordinate Courts. The Hyderabad High court was the common High court for the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. On 3 February, 2019 Andhra Pradesh got its own High Court at Nelapadu in Amravati. Among the Union Territories only Delhi has its own High Court.
Section-B unfolded the saga of our heroic struggle against the alien rule. Mahatma Jyotibha Phule (1827-1890), the founder of Satya Shodhak Samaj, predicted that the British Empire could not last forever. The early nationalists, men like Dadabhai and Gokhale had done a lot to popularize ideas of democracy, civil liberty, and representative institutions. Later the leaders like Tilak, Pal and Lajpat Rai struck a new note in Indian Politics. Movements launched under Gandhi’s Leadership have been discussed very thoroughly in the book. But history is much more than a story of personalities in this book-the Swadeshi and Boycott Movements, the Non-Cooperation Movements, Civil disobedience Movement and the Quit India Movement of 1942. Subhas Bose was a political realist and an aggressive fighter for Swaraj. INA’s struggle was an important factor which led the British to quit India. The revolutionaries, Khudiram Bose, Madanlal Dhingra, Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Chandrasekhar Azad and others, countless and very many, sacrificed themselves so that their countrymen and women could live with honour.
The SECTION related to the Contemporary World dealt with the First World War, the rise of Fascism and Nazism, the Second world War, the origin and purpose of the United Nations and the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). The UN security Council failed to protect many a weaker nation against unjustifiable acts of aggression. Yet, it remained our best hope in the absence of a World Government.
The book has been profusely illustrated with maps, photographs, pictures and clippings from the leading dailies and journals. I must express my deep gratitude to the correspondents and editors of these journals and newspapers which I had the good fortune of reading for more than 60 years now. A new and significant feature of the revised edition if the book is the Multiple-Choice Questions containing several possible answers that are listed therein.
About the author