(i) The initial fear of the critics was regarding who would succeed Nehru as the Prime Minister of India. The critics also questioned the viability of the Indian democratic system as they considered it to be an experiment. It was thought that this experiment would fail without Nehru. But following Nehru’s demise, the easy succession of Shastri as the Prime Minister and his able leadership proved the critics wrong.
(ii) One example to prove that Lal Bahadur Shastri was known for his commitment to principles is with respect to the incident where he resigned as the Railway Minister. He did so as he accepted the moral responsibility following a major railway accident.
(iii) Two major challenges faced by India during Shastri’s tenure as a Prime Minister are as follows –
• India was still recovering from the economic implications that arose from the war with China in 1962.
• The unstable economic condition was further intensified due to failed monsoons which resulted in droughts across the country and a serious food crisis.
(i) Morarji Desai was the senior leader of the Congress Party, who contested for the post of
Prime Ministerial candidate along with Indira Gandhi after Shastri’s death in 1966.
(ii) Two policy initiatives that were taken by Indira Gandhi to control the economic condition of the country during the given time period are as follows –
• The Indira Gandhi government devalued the Indian Rupee to check the economic crisis of 1967. This caused the price of one Dollar to rise to more than Rupees 7, when earlier it could be bought for Rupees 5.
• Another policy initiative that was undertaken by her was the fast forwarding of the Green Revolution initiative to combat shortage of food supply in the country.
(iii) Indira Gandhi asserted her leadership skills and consolidated her position within the party after the 1967 elections in the following manner –
• She side-lined the ‘Syndicate’ within the Congress Party and choose her own trusted group of advisers from outside the party.
• She launched several initiatives giving the Congress Party a Left orientation and forced the Congress Working Committee to accept a Ten Point Programme which aimed towards economic and social welfare.
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