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Day 41 – Q 5.The general election of 1967 was a watershed in India’s political history? Do you agree? Substantiate.

5. The general election of 1967 was a watershed in India’s political history? Do you agree? Substantiate. 

1967 का आम चुनाव भारत के राजनीतिक इतिहास में वाटरशेड था? क्या आप सहमत हैं? पुष्टी करें।


The general election of 1967 was held at the backdrop of Indo-China war 1962 and Indo-Pak war of 1965.It was the first election that took place after the all-important, pioneering and hegemonic “Nehruvian”era. The period was an important transition in the history of India’s Post Independence history. India survived the decade of 1960s which Selig Harrison called as a “Dangerous decade”-which has predicted the disintegration of India.


The election of 1967 was watershed in India’s Post Independence history due to the following factors

  • Decline of Congress System
    • After Congress being synonymous with India and India with Congress, the vote share of Congress came down drastically for the first time after Independence
    • Local Parties even formed government in many areas
  • Rise of Coalition Politics
    • Until now, the Congress was very hegemonic in its approach-gaining complete majority on most occasions.
    • But, almost 20 years later after Independence- various coalition parties came up against the Congress
    • eg- DMK, Communist parties.
  • Rise of Middle Class Peasants
    • Due to Green Revolution and importance given to agriculture after the initial years of Independence, the economic condition of peasants improved.
  • Split of Congress
    • The Congress, with differences in ideologies split into two groups-the group which was headed by Indira Gandhi has more support base.
  • Politics of defection
    • Increase in horse trading, rise of lot of small parties
  • First Election after 1965 and 1967 war
    • The spirit of nationalism and integration was reinstated due to the two wars.
    • The spirit of Nationalism was at its peak
  • Anti-Incumbency 
    • The prolonged Congress rule and the Nehru Era, through had many positives put India into the mouth of two wars.
    • People criticized Nehru for the same and started looking for alternatives.
  • Creation of Multi-Party Democracy in India.
    • Indian democracy was feared going the China way, but downfall of Congress and growing of Coalition politics came to India’s rescue
    • Multiple viewpoints, multiple ideas started getting to be recognized.
    • We started to become more tolerant to different world views.
  • Religious fanaticism was on rise.
    • The Hindu-Muslim divide kept on rising.
    • Political instabilities added to Polarization, leading to further fragmentation. 


Thus, due to the kind of unique challenges that India faced during the elections of 1967- rising from the “Nehruvian era”, facing many questions which in itself questioned the entire existence of Indian democracy- 1967 Elections were a “Watershed” in the history of India. However, India survived this phase due to its resilience and spirit of accommodation. The phase rather built a strong foundation of India’s democracy in times to come.

Best answer:  GOG

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