top of page
Rise of Socialism and Russian Revolution.jpg

CBSE Notes | Class 9 | Social Science | Political Science
Chapter 2 - Constitutional Design

The chapter notes underline the importance of establishing a constitution. How are constitutions written? Who and how are they designed? What are the values that shape democratic state constitutions? Can we amend a constitution after it is adopted to reflect changing circumstances?

The Constitution of South Africa

Nelson Mandela and seven other leaders were sentenced to life imprisonment in 1964 for daring to oppose the apartheid regime in his country. Mandela was imprisoned for 28 years at Robben Island - the deadest prison of South Africa. 

Struggle Against Apartheid

Apartheid was the name of a system of racial discrimination unique to South Africa.

This System was imposed by The White Europeans on South Africa. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the trading companies from Europe occupied it with arms and force, in the way they occupied India.

How did apartheid divide people on racial basis?

A large number of ‘whites’ had settled in South Africa and became the local rulers. All non-whites were treated as inferiors by the White rulers. The non-whites did not have voting rights. The apartheid system was particularly oppressive for the blacks.

The system of apartheid divided the people on the basis of their skin color. The native people of South Africa were ‘Blacks’. They made up about three-fourth of the population. There were also people of mixed races who were called ‘colored’ and people who migrated from India. 

The blacks, coloured and Indians fought against the apartheid system since 1950.

What were the ways of racial discrimination in South Africa?

  • The blacks lwere forbidden from living in white areas also they could work in white areas only if they had a permit.

  • Segregation of Trains, buses, taxis, hotels, hospitals, schools and colleges, libraries, cinema halls, theatres, beaches, swimming pools, public toilets, was done.

  • They could not even visit the churches where the whites worshipped. 

  • Blacks could not form associations or protest against the terrible treatment.

African National Congress

The African National Congress (ANC) was the umbrella organisation that led the struggle against the policies of segregation. They also organised protest and strikes.

ANC included many workers’ unions and the Communist Party. Many sensitive whites also joined the ANC to oppose apartheid and played a leading role in this struggle. Several countries denounced apartheid as unjust and racist. But the white racist government continued to rule by detaining, torturing and killing thousands of black and coloured people.