39 Solved Questions with Answers
20. ‘Communalism arises either due to power struggle or relative deprivation’. Argue by giving suitable illustrations. (2018)
According to historian Bipan Chandra “communalism is the belief that because a group of people follow a particular religion, they have as a result, common social political and economic interests.” The majority community alleges that minorities have an anti-national approach while the minority points to the insecurity they are facing which often collides and trigger tensions.
Communalism is a modern phenomenon which took its origin in the British colonial period and gained momentum at the time of freedom struggle and reached its heights at the time of partition. Its fundamental causes are secular like competition for share in political power or government jobs and a feeling of relative deprivation. Religion is not its fundamental cause but becomes an instrumental cause because it has great mobilizing power.
Example – The Bhiwandi communal riot (1970)
The struggle for political power and a sense of relative deprivation creates communal problems. Bhiwandi in Maharashtra was a centre of powerloom industry with minority community’s domination in ownership and labourers. Some members of minority community having amassed much wealth wanted to get a hold in the political set up of Bhiwandi, challenging the traditional leadership in Municipal administration. This led to a major riot in 1970.
The practice of mixing up religion with politics or using religion for the sake of political and economic gains is a reason for conflict between communities.
The progress of one community is viewed with unpleasantness and the economic collapse of the opposite side is gladly welcomed in a communally charged atmosphere. The vested interest groups having economic and other anti-social motives trigger communal conflicts in order to gain through a riot.
Religion, when deliberately used as a tool for attaining power, both political and over resources, leads to the growth of communalism. The rising trend of communalism and the violent aftermath that follows it is a major threat to the integrity of India. So, efficient and effective measures must be adopted against the evil of communalism and checking its spread on the social fabric of India.
20. Are we losing our local identity for the global identity? Discuss.
Indian society is represented by a set of local cultural traits like local languages, different food choices, dressing styles, classical music, family structure, cultural values, etc. There has been a growing sense of insecurity among the Indian masses regarding the gradual degradation or loss of our local identity. This gradual loss of local identity is popularly attributed to globalization that creates a global culture in which the local identity is amalgamated to bring a homogenous culture throughout the world.
This sense of insecurity is not baseless and is supported through the following facts:
- Loss of local languages for English: Under the growing trends of convert culture in education and servicebased economy, English education has developed rapidly at the cost of several vernacular languages.
- Loss of classical music for Pop and Jazz culture: The changing taste of music among Indian youth has put a question mark over the survivability of traditional classical music in India.
- Loss of collective identity for individualism: With rise in metropolitan of Indian population, the individualism is growing and the social relations are now based on commercial benefits.
- Loss of joint family structure for nuclear family system: Economic migration and the choice for individual space have broken the joint structure of family in India. At this junction, the old-aged and children are depriving of the required care.
- Loss of moral education for advanced commercial education: The growing disorientation between morality and higher education is the greatest demolition of our identity.
- Degradation of the institution of marriage: The growing acceptance to the live-in-relationship has questioned the sanctity of the institution of marriage in our society. This represents the dominance of western culture and the Indian way of living.
- Changing style of clothing: With the rise in corporate culture, the Indian dressing style has remained merely an occasional stuff that too in cultural occasions only.
- Loss of traditional food choice: With the rise of chain restaurants and hotels, the food choice of Indian youth has inclined towards the Italian and Chinese fast foods. This has caused foods that are comparatively healthy and rich in nutrients.
- Deadline of cultural values: In the have of freedom of speech, the traditional values of moral decency, respect to elders, following the rituals etc. are all declining.
- Loss of indigenous system of medication like Ayurveda, Yoga etc.
Despite these facts, another dimension of thoughts about globalization points to the universalization of our local beliefs and cultural values rather than demolition. This dimension is also supported equally through various facts like:
- Indian festivals are now being celebrated all across the world: The most significant example is the Diya stamps issued by UNO to celebrate Diwali. Even a local religious festival of Chhath Puja is celebrated in Silicon Valley, USA.
- Observance of International Yoga Day on 21st June: This has popularized the Yoga throughout the globe.
- Observance of World Hindi Day on 10th January and organization of World Hindi Conference.
- ISKCON foundation has spread the practice of Bhakti Yoga in different Western countries. This promotes religious tourism in our country.
- Indian classical music is being liked all across the world and it is appreciated at Berklee school of music. SPIC MACAY, an NGO has promoted the Indian classical music and culture among youth across the world.
- Taj Mahal is among the seven wonders of the world.
Thus, culture is an ever-evolving entity which constantly changes through diffusion and amalgamation. Of course, we should embrace our cultural identity and values and it is our duty to preserve our cultural identity, however, globalization is not a matter to worry and infusion of global identity should be welcomed.
20. How have digital initiativesin India contributed to the functioning of the education system in the country? Elaborate your answer
- In recent times, there has been a rise of digital education products in India both in private as well as public sectors such as app-based classes, SWAYAM portal, DIKSHA platform, etc. Notably, the online education market in India was valued at Rs. 39 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach `360 billion by 2024.
- In the traditional education system, physical presence is paramount, i.e., attendance of teachers and students in the classroom. This has resulted in higher school dropout rates especially of girls due to lack of proper infrastructure (clean & separate toilets, distance from home) and various other household constraints.
- Also, the investment needed in setting up schools and running them is also rising due to various factors. Moreover, the transportation of students, teachers and staff is also burdensome in some hilly states of India.
- Digital initiatives like online lectures, online attendance, 3-D presentations, hearing and visual aid technology, etc. have changed the education world. There have been noticeable changes due to these technologies such as maximum participation of students is ensured, parents could keep real-time check on their pupil’s progress, traditional student-teacher interaction could be broadened, lectures could be recorded and be seen at any time, etc. Both students and the teaching community have benefitted.
- The lockdown phase, from March 2020 onwards, hasseen the rise of digital education on large scale. However, caution needs to be maintained and a study needs to be done to understand the negative and positive effects of digital technology on education.
- Most importantly, asitis an emerging market with huge potential,the government needsto be in vigilant mode so that the most backward of our citizens can have access to this revolution.
20. How does Indian society maintain continuity in traditional social values? Enumerate the changes taking place in it.
The essence of Indian society lies in harbouring diverse and distinct identities, ethnicities, languages, religions, and culinary preferences. History stands witness to the fact that the societies that have struggled to hold differences were shattered in such an attempt.
The supreme social-cultural traditional values of Indian life have been the values of:
- A Cosmic Vision: The framework of Indian culture places human beings in the centre of the universe, as a divine creation-which celebrates individuality and differences of opinion in society.
- Tolerance: In India, tolerance and liberalism are found for all religions, castes, communities, etc. Indian society accepted and respected various religions and ensured that there is a peaceful co-existence of religions.
- Sense of Harmony: Indian philosophy and culture try to achieve innate harmony and order in society.
- Continuity and Stability: The light of ancient Indian culture life is yet glowing. Many invasions occurred, many rulers changed, many laws were passed but even today, the traditional institutions, religion, epics, literature, philosophy, traditions, etc. are alive.
- Adaptability: It is the process of changing according to time, place, and period. Indian society has shown fluidity and has adjusted itself with changing times.
- Caste System and Hierarchy: Indian Society has evolved systems of social stratification, which in the past helped in accommodating outsiders, but concomitantly it has also been the reason for discrimination and prejudice.
- Unity in Diversity: Despite inherent differences, Indian society celebrates unity in diversity which reflects in modern India’s founding principles and constitutional ideals.
In recent times, Indian society has seen a surge in multiple divisive issues like:
- Casteism: Caste-based discrimination leads society to divide into artificial groups which sometimes even led to violence.
- Communalism: The aggressive attitude of one community towards the other creates tension and clashes between the two. It poses a great challenge to democracy and the unity of our country.
- Nuclear Families: The new trend of nuclear families with one or a maximum of two children has emerged in India. Due to this children are not able to get the presence of the elderly who plays a major role in instilling values among the younger ones.
- Gender Discrimination: There is a need for India to closely examine the norms that allow violence and a broader pattern of gender discrimination to continue. A society that does not value women as much as men fail to reach its full potential.
Despite all these reasons, India remains a diverse country, a bewildering mosaic of communities of all kinds. Our peculiar societal genius is to fashion a form of coexistence where diversity can flourish and find its place. The principle of “Sarva Dharma Sambhava” (equal respect for all religions) is rooted in India’s tradition and culture.
20. Elucidate the relationship between globalization and new technology in a world of scarce resources, with special reference to India.
- Globalization means growing interdependence and integration of world economies, societies and cultures brought about by cross border trade of goods, services and technology and flow of investment and people.
- In the human world 'resource' is anything that can be used to fulfill our needs and wants. Often some resources are abundant in some nations and scarce in other nations. Mutual needs lead to cooperation between them.
- The relations between globalization and new technology in the world of scarce resources have varied facets with its pros and cons.
The positives of the relation between globalization and new technology, in context of scarce resources are:
- Natural Resources: Globalization brings cooperation for efficient use of the resource. Like:
- Energy: India’s global initiative i.e., International Solar Alliance (ISA) to tackle the scarcity of fossil fuel by securing solar energy.
- Infrastructure: Diven by technical knowledge and sustainable spirit, the organization like Coalition for Disaster Resilient infrastructure (CDRI) initiated by India for global contribution.
- Defence: Indian engagement with global players and partners like Israel (Barak Missile), Philippines (Brahmos Missile), Russia (AK-203) to manage the security challenge.
- Space cooperation: India’s global cooperation with countries like Russia and France (Gaganyaan), US (NISAR Satellites) for best utilization of expensive resources.
- Transport and Communication: Cooperation with global countries like Japan (Bullet train), EU (5G), etc.
Apart from the positive, there are negatives as well. Like:
- Brain Drain: Indian trained youth choose developed countries and devoid India for further development.
- Neo-tech-colonization by the large tech giant on the name of data privacy, freedom of speech etc.
- Diversion of scarce resources for technology adaptation (Bullet train) and thus curtailing the expenditure on humanitarian development.
- Global relations promote the import of cutting-edge technologies. This decreases the forex on one hand and the technological research on the other hand. E.g., Not a single successful Indian handset in Indian market.
- The monopoly and scarcity of strategic technologies compromised the security of Indians like Red Echo attack on Power supply in Mumbai by Chinese equipment.
In view of the advantages and disadvantages of India’s relation with global world in an era of scarce resources, we have to be Atmanirbhar with suita ble and strategic global support to increase our capabilities.
19. Distinguish between religiousness/religiosity and communalism giving one example of how the former has got transformed into the latter in independent India. (2017)
Religiousness/religiosity is the quality of being religious, pious and devout. In other
wordsit is known as having strong religious feeling or belief.
agesIndia society has been spiritual and religious and its Indian connotation Dharma has been the guiding force of Indian civilization by setting the standards for personal and social life. Howevercommunalism is a negative connotation which indicates political trade in religion. It is an ideology on which communal politics is based and consists of three elements:
- A belief that people of same religion have common secular interests i.e. they have
samepolitical, economic and social interests. So, they can be segregated as a distinct socio-political community.
- It indicates that in a multi-religious society like India, the common secular interests of one religion are dissimilar and divergent from the interests of another religion.
- The interests of the follower of the different religion or of different ‘communities’ are seen to be completely incompatible, antagonist and hostile.
In independent India the Ayodhya issue where construction of a temple or masjid has been constantly evoked to reap political mileage in a country where deep religious sentiments of different communities are attached. Year after year and election after election this issue has been evoked to polarize the communities on
religiousline for electoral gain at the cost of delicatesocial fabric of a multi-religious and multicultural India.
- A belief that people of same religion have common secular interests i.e. they have
19. ‘Globalization is generally said to promote cultural homogenization but due to this cultural specificities appear to be strengthened in the Indian Society.’ Elucidate. (2018)
Globalization is a process in which the world becomes a global village as national and regional economies, societies, and cultures get integrated through the network of trade, communication, migration and transportation. The pace of globalization has accelerated in India after the adoption of the policies of liberalization, privatization & globalization in the 1990s.
Globalization is leaving its footprints on almost every aspect of Indian society such as language (English), cuisine, clothing, etc., and thus leading to homogenization in many respects. There is an increasing tendency towards ‘glocalisation’ of culture which refers to the mixing of the global with the local culture.
Liberal ideas of individualism are permeating the Indian society; joint families are giving way to nuclear families; live-in relationships are proliferating; celebration of Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day; consumption of pizza, burger, chowmein etc.; wearing jeans and tops; cropping up of MNCs; popularity of Hollywood movies, Bhangra pop, Indi pop, etc. are some of the homogenizing influences of globalization on Indian society.
However, globalization is not simply about homogenization, but it is also strengthening cultural specifities in India.
- A large segment of populace feels insecure by the inroads of globalization and are trying to preserve their cultural traditions and practices.
- Indian classical dance and music has got fillip in the recent years with the efforts of organization like SPIC MACAY and others.
- Local customs, and festivals are being observed by some tribal groups, especially in North-east India more zealously than before.
- The Indian culture has also spread its impact globally. Yoga traditions and practices are not only being practiced by Indians, but people across the globe are embracing them.
- Indian system of Ayurveda is being promoted by a large section of society in the backdrop of the ills of western system of medicine and cure. For example profuse use of ‘Patanjali’ products by the middle and lower middle classes of India.
However, there are also negative reactions to the process of globalization. Revival of caste, race and cultural identity at times leads to chauvinistic tendencies and may hurt the peace and harmony of the society. Excessive emphasis on cultural specifities, as a reaction to globalization may lead to protectionism, proliferation of orthodox ideas, and fundamentalism.
19. What are the continued challenges for Women in India against time and space?
Nearly one-sixth of the world’s women live in India and many of them had adorned high offices like that of President, Prime minister, Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Leader of the Opposition, yet there are innumerable women who rarely step outside their homes.
Challenges faced by Indian women emanates from Hegemonic patriarchy, which is prevalent in Indian society.
- It means the idea that discrimination against women appears to be common sense to such an extent that not only men but even women also become the supporter and perpetrator of the very notion which discriminates against them.
This leads to various problems like:
- Oppression against women starts right from the womb: Female infanticide.
- This can be reflected in poor child sex ratio, i.e. 919/1000 according to census 2011.
- Girls are the worst sufferer of the vicious cycle of poverty and malnutrition.
- This is augmented by a lack of education and reproductive rights.
- Motherhood penalty:
- The primary responsibility of taking care of family and bringing up the child is still on the women.
- This includes unpaid care work such as childcare, elderly care, and household work.
- Many women due to family pressures have to retreat from the workforce.
- Declining female labour force participation rate (LFPR)
- Despite increasing levels of education and declining fertility rates, the current female LFPR is 23.7%.
- Commodification of women
- The women are either shown as docile homemakers or they are shown as sex symbols trying to convince the public at large to buy the product.
- Pink collarisation of jobs
- The women are mostly deemed fit for “pink-collar jobs” only, such as teachers, nurses, receptionist, babysitter, lecturer etc. which have been stereotyped for women.
- This denies them opportunities in other fields
- Glass ceilings
- Women in India face artificial barriers like stereotypes, media-related issues, informal boundaries, which prevent them from advancing upward in their organization into management-level positions.
- This can be reflected in an increasing wage gap between men and women.
- Sexual harassment at the workplace
- #Metoo movement shed light on numerous instances of sexual harassment at the workplace.
- However, due to the slow judicial system, justice hasn’t been delivered to these women.
- Lack of political participation of women
- Indian Parliament currently has 11.8% women representation, and state assemblies have only 9%.
- Even though the 73rd constitutional amendment act mandates 33% of panchayat seats to be reserved for women.
- However, The dichotomy between representation and participation can be reflected by the prevalence of “Sarpanch Pati”.
- Indian Society doesn’t need better laws but better implementation.
- Reservation in parliament for women must be implemented as soon as possible.
- The government must empower women through Self-help groups so that they can become financially independent.
- Affirmative action should be pursued by the government to induct more and more women into positions of authority.
- Supreme court judgement of decriminalizing adultery and homosexuality, have reaffirmed women’s right to sexual autonomy.
- However, Society has a larger responsibility to disassociate itself from the stigma attached to women’s sexuality.
- Women’s issues are not a political problem but a social issue, Hence it requires a cultural revolution.
- Movies like Padman and Toilet will help in challenging the hegemonic patriarchy.
- Apart from it, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao initiative is a step in the right direction.
In order to improve the condition of Indian women, society must remember words of J.L. Nehru: “India To awaken the people, it is the woman who must be awakened. Once she is on the move, the family moves, the village moves, the nation moves”.
19. Customs and traditions suppress reason leading to obscurantism. Do you agree?
- Obscurantism is described as the practice of deliberately presenting information in an imprecise and complicated mannerso that a smaller number of people understand and investigate further on the subject matter. In other words, it is the way to limit transfer of knowledge beyond certain limits. Obscurantism has remained a common feature in almost all religious beliefs.
- Custom and tradition refersto a common way of doing activities and which are being practiced for a long time. These activities vary from marriage, divorce, way of worship to other rituals and ceremonies. It has been noticed thatsome ofthe old customs and traditions are neitherlogical nor even reasonable inmodern context and therefore are also not acceptable in the morals of contemporary society.
- The modern reformers demand to do away with such customs and traditions and put an end to long perpetuating orthodox dogmas. But to avoid any changes in old customs and traditions and to maintain their authority the socalled religious punditstry to practice obscurantism so that information about customs and traditions of a religion is less delineated and hence less reform in the religion is demanded by the society.
- For example, the evil traditions of nikah halala and triple talaq propagated for so long in India despite the tradition being illogical and unreasonable, just because of obscurantism by the Muslim Personal Law Board. Similarly, customs like Sati and child marriage were perpetuated for long because of obscurantism. The tradition of animalsacrifice in ceremoniesisstill practiced in many religions. The custom of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) isstill practised by few communities. Similarly,the customslike polygamy and polyandry are still a common practice in many cultures because of obscurantism.
- Nevertheless, customs and traditions form an important part of human civilization and help people to align themselves in closely knit bonds. Further, these customs and traditions are not cast in stone. By their very nature, they are supposed to evolve constantly and meet the changing requirements of time and social contexts. Humans have intrinsic rights to decide which customs and traditions to preserve or revise or even discard.
19. What is Cryptocurrency? How does it affect global society? Has it been affecting Indian society also?
A cryptocurrency is a digital currency designed to work as a medium of exchange through a computer network that is not reliant on any central authority, such as a government or bank, to uphold or maintain it. It is a digital or virtual currency that is secured by cryptography, which makes it nearly impossible to counterfeit or double-spend.
Cryptocurrency affects society in following ways:
- Bringing the next level of globalisation as the cryptocurrency is digital currency and easily available across the international borders.
- Emergence of one currency for the countries of the world which are decentralised and not related to any country. This may make fiat money redundant in the future.
- Cryptocurrencies are way cheaper to use to execute international transactions making transactions faster and accurate, there are less chances of fraud. It has made it easier for entrepreneurs to reach international markets.
- However, it takes away the sovereign power of issuing currency. Thus, making economic policy of the government ineffective. It also makes capital more volatile posing risk to macroeconomic stability.
- Use of cryptocurrency by terrorist organisations, drug cartels etc. negatively impacts the global society and the anonymity of its use has potential to increase crime.
India is the largest receiver of remittances. However, people lose money on conversion, processing charges, and switching to crypto will help people to get rid of these expenses. But in the era of digital currency, those who are not able to afford technology are devoid of such digital currency. In 2018, The RBI issued a circular preventing all banks from dealing in cryptocurrencies. This circular was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in May 2020. Recently, the government has announced to introduce a bill to create a sovereign digital currency and simultaneously ban all private cryptocurrencies.
Blockchain and crypto assets will be an integral part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Indians should not be made to simply bypass it. The framework on cryptocurrencies should be developed which will require global partnerships and collective strategies.
19. Are tolerance, assimilation and pluralism the key elements in the making of an Indian form of secularism? Justify your answer.
In western nations, negative form of secularism is followed which means state is separate from religion and has nothing to do with religion of the people but in India, positive form of secularism is followed which means the state gives equal respect to all religions. Citizens can publicly wear their religious signs and symbols. There is no official religion of India.
Secularism is an essential feature of Indian Constitution. This feature reflects the secular values of Indian society from ancient past. Tolerance, assimilation and pluralism are the key elements in the making of an Indian form of secularism.
Tolerance as the key element of Indian form of Secularism:
It means people of different religions; sects have respect and tolerance for each other's religion.
- India is where Buddhism and Jainism first appeared. These religions propagated a message of peace and tolerance.
- The founder of the Sikh religion, Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, preached about international brotherhood (tolerance).
- Almost no native King forced his subjects to convert to another religion, with a few exceptions.
- The religious tolerance policies of Mughal King Akbar and Buddhist King Ashoka are particularly well-known.
- 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbaka' is a phrase in Maha Upanishad, a Hindu religious text which essentially means "the world is family".
- The fundamental rights guaranteed by the state's constitution (Articles 25 to 28), which guarantee that everyone of its inhabitants has the right to practice any religion, represent the state's tolerance of all religions. The state doesn't have a recognized religion.
Assimilation as the key element of Indian form of Secularism:
Assimilation is the process whereby individuals or groups of differing ethnic heritage are absorbed into the dominant culture of a society.
- People from all major religions coexist peacefully in India. India was the birthplace of Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism. Along with invaders from Persia and Afghanistan, Islam arrived in India. What's fascinating, though, is that new religions that developed here were introduced by invaders, yet they coexisted with the rest of society at the time without losing their distinctive identities.
- When multiple religious communities coexist, over time they begin to incorporate elements of one another's art, architecture, culture, and religion. For instance, Mughal period produced a distinctive Mughal style as a result of the fusion of Persian Islamic architecture and native Indian design. The Mughal era strongly influenced the Rajput paintings of Jaipur and Amber.
Pluralism as the key element of Indian form of Secularism:
It means people of different religion, sects, cultures live together with harmony.
- Since ancient times, people of various sects and religions have lived in India. All of the world's main religions are represented in India. These include Islam, Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Sikhism, and Buddhism.
- Each religion also has a number of subgroups. For instance, there are followers of Shaivism and Vaishnavism in Hinduism, and Sunni and Shia Muslims. Here, there are residents of various faiths and religions.
- Around India, Buddhism first appeared in the sixth century BC. In India, Jainism grew mostly after the sixth century BC. After the 10th century AD, India was where Islam flourished most quickly. Sikhism was started by Guru Nanak Dev Ji in the 15th century. In the eighth century AD, Zoroastrianism arrived in India. Therefore, pluralism has always been a part of India.
- With a few exceptions, the governing rulers did not meddle in peoples' religious practices. Instead, they offered them financial support and land for religious purposes. Secularism has therefore been a part of Indian society and culture for many years.
18. The women’s questions arose in modern India as a part of the 19th century social reform movement. What were the major issues and debates concerning women in that period? (2017)
In the 19th century, the problems of women in India invited the attention of Western humanitarian thinkers, Christian missionaries
andIndian socio-religious philosophers. Many issues related to women prevalent during 19 thcentury were discussed thoroughly.
- The socio-religious philosophers protested evil practices such as Sati, child marriage, prohibition of widow remarriage, polygamy, dowry and the Devadasi system.
- Their views were strengthened when Christian missionaries exposed the evils of such social customs.
- Further, some of the enlightened British officials in India and England also initiated measures to remove these social evils.
- Pandita Rama Bai, Savitribai Phule, Tarabai Shinde, Anandibai Joshi and Sarojini Naidu and many other enlightened women came forward to liberate the rest of women.
- The practice of Sati was prohibited officially in 1829 in Bengal with the active participation of Raja Ram Mohan Roy and then in Madras in 1830.
- Reformers reinterpreted the Sashtras in favor of widow remarriage. In 1855 Ishwar Chandra Vidhyasagar started a vigorous campaign in favor of widow remarriage.
To summarize, the issues of women in the 19th century are mainly related to the social upliftment of women in Indian society. Efforts were on to empower women that included social reforms and economic self-reliance.
18. ‘Women’s movement in India has not addressed the issues of women of lower social strata.’ Substantiate your view. (2018)
Though efforts were made to uplift the status of women prior to independence, the women’s movement in India gained prominence in 1970s and 80s. These movements have tried to bring the women specific issues in the public domain.
However, it is found that these have not been able to address the issues of the women of lower social strata, belonging to SC, ST, minorities, and BPL families.
- It is being seen that activists within the movements are urban, western, and middle class. Therefore, the movement is being considered a Western product. It has little to do with the lives of thousands of poor, rural, underprivileged women all over India.
- Women continue to have unequal access to land and other resources. Compensation policies in case of displacement are inevitably discriminatory towards women of lower strata due to multiple reasons such as lack of awareness, education etc. Women from these sections also find it more difficult to get loans.
- Recently, several movements have raised the gender issues through temple entry movement, triple talaq, etc. But temple entry movements are restricted to the specified places only, and triple talaq especially in hinterland or rural areas, go unnoticed.
- Sexual and domestic violence is mainly perpetrated against the women from lower caste and poor women but this issue has not acquired centre-stage in the discourse of women movements.
Issues of women agricultural labourers (e.g. fair wages etc.), women domestic workers and women manual scavengers has not been raised by the women movement prominently.
However, there is also a counter view that the urban, middle-class women are one of the participants in the movement. It is rather the poor women which are the backbone of the movements, exemplified the presence of poor women in the anti-alcohol agitation in Andhra Pradesh, and other parts of India. Similarly, the movement to protect the environment was started by poor women in Reni village of Uttarakhand and thereafter, it spread to other parts of the country.
But there are substantial evidences to prove that women movements have neglected the lower strata women. The National Federation of Dalit Women (NFDW), formed in 1995, has forced women’s movements in India to address the caste question seriously. Thus there is an urgent need of women movements to be more inclusive and just, embracing the cause of poor and vulnerable women.
18. Do we have cultural pockets of small India all over the nation? Elaborate with examples.
India has a lot of diversity to offer to the people of this world and to her own people as well. The oldest civilisation has had ample time and experiences to accumulate the cultural practises of everyone who came here with their respective motives whether it was tourism, education, plunder, exploitation or to rule.
- Vast resources attracted people and foreign rulers in our past and they keep attracting people in the present as well. People from smaller cities migrate to urban centres and metropolitan areas in search of employment, education etc and they eventually settle down there. When such diversity of people pools in together at a relatively smaller place, it becomes a cultural pocket.
- The basic idea is that within a bigger, overarching culture, another smaller and different culture is developed and sustained. The metropolitan areas like National Capital Region of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru or coastal industrial hubs like Surat, Kochi, Visakhapatnam or religious centres like Ajmer, Amarnath, Chardhams etc can be taken as examples of hubs of such cultural pockets within India.
- Metropolitan areas represent a culture of their own which is entirely different from each other and can be seen in the banter between Delhi and Mumbai. But they are well diverse within themselves as well depending upon the time and place. The Ganpati Utsav and those who celebrate it, form a cultural pocket within Mumbai for ten days. It applies to other places as well. In Delhi, a cultural pocket is formed by the political, defence personnel and the patriotic citizens around the Independence Day celebrations.
- Multi Storey housing societies in urban areas are also an example of cultural pockets. Diverse people live in the same building exchanging food habits, traditions, indegenous culture and they celebrate all festivals together as if they are a big joint family. Same applies to multinational organisations and corporate offices as well where workers represent the diversity of India.
- Higher educational institutes like universities and colleges provide us with the same scenario. Students from every corner of the nation irrespective of their hometowns, race, caste, class or any other differences sit and study in the same classroom and take part in extracurricular activities and college festivals together.
- It is very clear to us that India has uncountable cultural pockets all over the nation with different set of values and outlooks towards life enriching Indian cultural heritage and validating the fact that India is indeed one of the Cultural Superpowers of the world.
18. Is diversity and pluralism in India under threat due to globalization? Justify your answer
“India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grandmother of tradition. Our most valuable and most artistic materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only.” – Mark Twain.
- India has long been considered as the most pluralistic and diversified society in the world. Her past is full of amalgamation of foreign tribes with indigenous ones. This amalgamation created a unique synthesis of cultural traditions and customs. The present-day Indian society is a continuation of these traditions.
- Eversince globalization, beginning from the 18th century onwards, Indian society is constantly interacting with other global societies and exchanging customs and traditions more rapidly.
- The reactions to global events are clearly manifested in Indian society. For example, religious fundamentalism has gained ground in India. The ISIS militant group has seen participation from Indian youths as well. Religious brainwashing through misinformation has eroded religious fabric. The communal riots have also been recorded in many parts of India. As a counteraction to this, various hardline groups have also emerged among other sections.
- Moreover, religious conversion movements have also sparked debates as cases of forcible conversions and conversion through monetary incentives are recorded. Some of them have been most active in Tribal areas and Northeastern part of India. Their distinct culture and traditions are impacted by these activities. Further, the ridiculing of ancient Indian traditions in the name of modernity and westernization has also been on rise.
- However, globalization has also contributed to women empowerment and has putsome of the mostregressive Indian traditionssuch as Sati and Purdah on a rational test. Also, it has helped to export our cultural practicessuch as cuisine, dances, and various other art forms, etc. all over the world particularly Yoga. This, in turn, has boosted tourism in the country and resulted in generation of even more unique customs and traditions.
- Thus, spaces where unhindered access to global forces is given, there have been cases of violation of India’s diversity and pluralism. But on the other hand, active participation from Indians and foreign elementsin a healthy environment has resulted in exchange of information and promotion of Indian culture.
18. Discuss the main objectives of Population Education and point out the measures to achieve them in India in detail.
The total number of people living in a particular place, at a particular time, is known as a population. Population Education can be defined as a process of developing awareness and understanding of the population situation among people and making them more responsible towards managing the population.
Objectives of Population Education is to develop and understanding of:
- Demographic concepts and processes.
- Influence of population trends on the various aspects of human life - social, cultural, political and economic.
- Close interaction of population growth and the developmental process with particular reference to development programmes for raising the standard of living of people.
- Evil effects of overpopulation on the environment and the concomitant dangers from pollution.
- Scientific and medical advancement enabling to get an increasing control over famines, diseases and death and the imbalance thus created between death rate and birth rate.
- Biological factors and phenomenon of reproduction which are responsible for continuance of the species.
Population Education in India:
- India became one of the first developing countries to come up with a state-sponsored family planning programme in the 1950s. A population policy committee was established in 1952. In 1956, a Central Family Planning Board was set up and its focus was on sterilisation. In 1976, GoI announced the first National Population Policy.
- The National Population Policy, 2000 envisaged achieving a stable population for India. One of its immediate objectives is to address the unmet needs for contraception, health care infrastructure, and personnel and provide integrated service delivery for basic reproductive and child health care.
- National Family Health Survey (NFHS) is a large-scale, multi-round survey conducted in a representative sample of households throughout India.
- The beginning of population education in India can be traced to the third Five Year Plan (1961-66). Realising the potential of education in tackling the problems of growing rate of population, a Population Education Programme was launched in 1980 to introduce Population Education in the formal education system.
The family welfare program over the last five decades with holistic approach towards population control have made significant contributions, but the necessity for the intervention of educational efforts to bring appropriate social transformations so as to promote population stabilisation and ensure quality of life can never be denied. The universities and other educational institutions can play a vital role by providing adequate knowledge and necessary awareness in relevant areas.
18. Analyse the salience of ‘sect’ in Indian society vis-a-vis caste, region and religion.
Sects and Cults are a smaller group of faith that follows either a traditional religion or has its fundamentals in a different religion.
Sects are subgroups from a single faith or religion, such as Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, and others.
Sects can also refer to religious groups that have separated themselves from an established religion and now follow their own rules.
On the other hand, a cult is a social group that follows unusual religious, philosophical, spiritual beliefs to attain a common interest or goal in life.
Salience of ‘sect’ vis-a-vis Caste:
Sects encourages its members to work for a common vision of brotherhood, equality and goals. Sects frequently form when society is undergoing rapid transformation.
Owing to the rising socio-economic status of the sub-caste in India, they are asserting their dominance in political and socio sectors. E.g. Gujjjar, Jats, Patidhar etc.
Even though the position of sub-sectors have improved, yet the practice of homogeneity, culture are still prevailing which cannot be said to be modernizing.
Salience of ‘sect’ vis-a-vis Region:
Sects also emerges from geographic aspects e.g. hill tribes like gaddis are nomadic in their practice, also, the shiekh are Muslim Community found in the north Indian states. There are four main sections in Shaikh e.g. siddiqi, farooq, usmani, abbasi.
Various sects emerged in Maharashtra due to experience of inequality in the observance of religion on the part of various sections of the society, invasion of Muslims and the political predominance acquired by the Muslim rulers over Hindu society.
Salience of ‘sect’ vis-a-vis Religion:
Hinduism is divided into four major denominations: Va ishnavism, Shaivism, Smartism and Shaktism. The denominations differ primarily in the god worshipped as the Supreme One and in the traditions that accompany worship of that god.
Muslims are divided into several sects based on their understanding of Islamic law (fiqh) and Islamic history. On the basis of sect, Muslims are divided into two parts- Sunni and Shia.
Buddhism was divided into two sects namely Mahayana and Hinayana.
Christians are divided into two sects - the Catholics and the Protestants. The former may be considered as the traditionalists and the latter the reformists. The two are divided mainly on the question of the authority of the Church.
Indian society is the result of a journey from the Indus civilization to today’s globalized world.
In this journey, it has gone through many transformations under the influence of the outside world and reform movements within society. However, what is unique and appreciable is the fact that it has managed to adopt and accept various features while preserving its past.
16. How is efficient and affordable urban mass transport key to the rapid economic development in India?
Across nations, and through decades, economic development has been correlated to personal mobility. India has witnessed remarkable growth over the last few decades. However, the mobility infrastructure has not kept pace with the demand. As India aspires to be the second largest economy in the world by 2050, we must prepare for a rapid increase in demand for mobility.
Importance of efficient and affordable urban mass transport
- Supports clusters and agglomerations: In large metropolitan areas, growth can be slowed with the heavy usage of private vehicles. Effectively planned transportation can overcome this constraint and reinforce agglomerations by allowing more people to come closer together in higher density developments.
- Increases productivity: When transportation improvements increase the accessibility of people and businesses to reach jobs, services, and activities, productivity also increases.
- Enhances job & labor force accessibility: Another economic benefit of transportation improvements is the resulting larger pool of employees available for the job market.
- Opens new markets for businesses: Building a multi-modal facility opens new markets for companies searching for locations with the appropriate transportation infrastructure for their corporate needs.
Towards building an efficient and affordable urban mass transport
- Government has devised various policies for ensuring affordable, efficient and accessible mobility system like - National Transit Oriented Development Policy, 2017; Green Urban Transport Scheme, 2016; FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (hybrid &) Electric vehicles etc.
- Despite these, Regulations must be introduced to encourage efficient use of existing roads and smarter traffic management. For example, not allowing trucks and large commercial carriers to ply city roads during the day.
- Governments must ensure that the adequate ecosystem is in place before adopting new technologies in mobility. For instance, to adopt electric vehicles, cities must have first installed sufficient number of charging stations.
- A good beginning is being made through the Smart Cities Programme, and all the selected 100 cities have put NMT (non-motorised transport) promotion as one of the goals in their respective Smart City Proposals.
In the coming years, Emerging market cities will play an increasingly large role in the global economy and for their unimpeded contribution. Therefore, India needs to develop Safe, Adequate and Holistic Infrastructure (SAHI) for the Indian population including women, elderly and the disabled.
12. What is the basis of regionalism? Is it that unequal distribution of benefits of development on regional basis eventually promotes regionalism? Substantiate your answer. (2016)
Regionalism can be defined as a phenomenon in which people’s political loyalties become focused upon a region. In other words, it implies people’s love of a particular region in preference to the country. Thus the phenomenon of regionalism is centered on the concept of region. Some of the most important the causes of regionalism in India are as follows: (i) Geographical Factor (ii) Historical and Cultural Factors (iii) Caste and Region (iv)Economic Factors (v) Political-Administrative Factors.
In the present times, uneven developments in different parts of the country may be construed as the prime reason for regionalism. There are certain regions in the country where industries and factories have been concentrated, educational and health facilities are sufficiently provided, communication network has been developed, rapid agricultural development has been made possible. But there are also certain areas where the worth of independence is yet to be realized in terms of socio-economic development.
The British administration may be held responsible for causing such wide regional variations due to their need that suited case of administration, trade and commerce. But in the post-Independence era, efforts should have been made for regional balance in matters of industrial, agricultural and above all, economic development. This disparity has caused the feeling of relative deprivation among the inhabitants of economically neglected regions. It has manifested itself in the demand for separate states such as Bodoland or Jharkhand land, Uttarakhand, etc.
Successful demand of separate Telangana state is the manifestation of growing regionalism in India.
In a country as diverse as India, regionalism is inevitable. However, Through regionally balanced policy making, it can be accommodated as an enabler in the larger goals of national integration.
11. The spirit of tolerance and love is not only an interesting feature of Indian society from very early times, but it is also playing an important part at the present. Elaborate. (2017)
Spirit of tolerance and love in Indian society can be defined as that harmony and assimilation which can be observed among the diverse communities of the country. This spirit can clearly be seen in the ancient world where king Ashoka renounced all violence and war, and took to preaching Dhamma, the special religion of love and peace.
Then we can see that continuously throughout history, India has been home to people as diverse as the Hunas, Parthians, Greeks, Scythians, Turks and later on the Mughals. Though some of them may have come to the country as invaders, they did not or rather could not, see India as an enemy. The result has been a tremendous assimilation or races, languages and cultures - a process that is continuing still. In fact, something similar had already taken place a thousand years earlier when the Aryan-speaking people had migrated into the country, forever shaping the destiny of the country and its post-Harappan people. It was in this spirit of tolerance and love, that perhaps was created some of the world’s most majestic works of art (eg. the Taj Mahal), the most original of interpretations on the meaning and philosophy of life (eg. the Upanishads), and created the most simple and honest forms of devotion to the almighty (eg. Bhakti and Sufism).
Thankfully, due to the presence of this spirit in our society so far we have been able to reflect rationally and peacefully to most of the problems that we are currently facing. Then on the global front, India exerts on citizens of this world a great unifying force. This is in the form of non-violence (Ahimsa), peaceful co-existence (NAM); in pledging protection to the global commons (Paris Climate Pact), to the rights of man (democracy, human rights), and to universal nuclear disarmament etc. If one day India has to shine in the comity of nations, if Indians have to truly get involved in the making of a better world, and if someday we have to get rid of tragic things like poverty, pollution, crime and terrorism etc, we will have to share this spirit of love and tolerance and spread it to all human societies across the world.
10. What are the two major legal initiatives by the State since Independence addressing discrimination against Scheduled Tribes (STs)? (2017)
Scheduled tribes of India, due to developmental displacement, and in absence of proper rehabilitation initiatives, have faced cultural discrimination and socio-political and economic exploitation. Due to lack of education and skills, for decades these tribes continued to be oppressed at the hands of the larger society.
To undo these injustices and to safeguard tribal rights, the government undertook several constitutional and legal initiatives, significant among which have been Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities), 2015 and Panchayat (Extension to the Scheduled Areas), Act, 1996.
The SC & ST PoA, 2015 prohibits the commission of offences against members of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (SCs and STs) and establishes special courts for the trial of such offences and the rehabilitation of victims, thereby preventing any potential social discrimination faced by the SCs and STs.
PESA empowers the scheduled tribes to safeguard and preserve their traditions and customs, their cultural identity, community resources and also their customary modes of dispute resolution, thereby helping them from being vulnerable at the hands of larger society and also protecting their identity and culture from the onslaught of dominant culture.
These two legal initiatives have perhaps played the greatest role in addressing the concerns and in protecting the rights and cultures of various tribal groups in India.
10. Why are the tribals in India referred to as ‘the Scheduled Tribes’? Indicate the major provisions enshrined in the Constitution of India for their upliftment. (2016)
The framers of the Constitution took note of the fact that tribal communities in the country were suffering from extreme social, educational and economic backwardness arising out of colonial practice of isolation and certain others. On account of these primitive agricultural practices, lack of infrastructure facilities and geographical isolation. These communities needed special consideration for safeguarding their interests and for their accelerated socio-economic development. So these communities were notified as Scheduled Tribes as per provisions of THE CONSTITUTION (SCHEDULED TRIBES) ORDER, 1950 passed by President compliant with Articles 342 of the Constitution.
For the Socio-economic and overall development of the Tribal people, special provisions and safeguards have been provided in the Constitution of India under following provisions.
- Art. 15(4): Special provisions for advancement of other backward classes (which includes STs);
- Art. 46: The State shall promote the educational and economic interests of the Scheduled Tribes, and shall protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation.
- Art.244: Clause(1) Provisions of Fifth Schedule shall apply to the administration & control of the Scheduled Areas and Scheduled Tribes in any State other than the states of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura which are covered under Sixth Schedule, under Clause (2) of this Article.
- Art. 275: Grants in-Aid to specified States (STs & SAs) covered under Fifth and Sixth Schedules of the Constitution.
- Art.164 (1): Provides for Tribal Affairs Ministers in Bihar, MP and Orissa.
- Art. 330: Reservation of seats for STs in Lok Sabha.
- Art. 337: Reservation of seats for STs in State Legislatures.
- Art. 334: 10 years period for reservation (Amended several times to extend the period.).
- Art. 243: Reservation of seats in Panchayats.
- Art. 371: Special provisions in respect of NE States and Sikkim.
Apart from these provisions, 73rd Amendment Act, Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 (PESA) have also been introduced in constitution which have various provisions for upliftment of tribal people.
10. How the Indian concept of secularism is different from the western model of secularism? Discuss. (2018)
The term ‘secular’ literally means ‘worldly’ rather than ‘spiritual’, not relating to religion or bound by monastic restrictions. It means that the spheres of secularism and religion are distinct, independent, exclusive and separate without overlapping zones.
The Indian concept of secularism differs from western model of secularism as secularism emerged in the Western Europe as an opposite ideology to the church hegemony and as a protest against the wars and massacres in the name of religion. Secularism thus originated as an anti-religious principle. On the other hand, the Indian concept of secularism is not a rejection of religious practices. In Indian context, secularism means equal respect for all faiths and the state keeping itself impartial in not preferring one religion over other.
Secularism in India does not stand for the abolition of religion, unlike in the West, but only for the separation of state from religion. While accepting the identities of various religious groups and their freedom to propagate, the Indian concept of secularism limits all those practices to the private life and negates every idea of mixing religion in the public life.
The uniqueness of Indian secularism is that it admits the freedom of religion, unlike its western counterpart that avoids religion. This religious freedom granted in the secular concept, makes the consolidation of religious people under one umbrella a reality in India.
10. What are the challenges to our cultural practices in the name of Secularism?
India, since Independence, has been following a peculiar nation of secularism, where all religions are treated equally and supported by the State. However, this concept, at present, is undergoing a paradigm change wherein Constitutional morality is being considered a significant component of secularism by the judiciary. Another characteristic of this change is the growth of misguided perceptions about secularism. The ultimate outcome of these changes is the rise of various challenges to our diverse cultural practices.
Thus, we have a logical classification of these challenges under two dimensions:
- Challenges posed by misguided perceptions
- Religiousness is anti-secular and pro-fundamentalist: Thus perception discourages various religious practices like rituals, clothing, thoughts etc. People who wear the saffron dress, who keep beard and pat skull cap (Taqiyah) and all considered fundamentalists.
- Secularism is equated to atheism and apostasy: Those who do not believe in good or abandon their religious beliefs are marked as secular. This thought is leading to a slow degradation of cultural practices.
- Restrictions to food choices: Some states, through following the majoritarian religious sentiments, restrict the sale of beef.
- Judiciopapism: Sometimes, the judiciary also takes a narrow glimpse of secularism and interferes into religious celebrations and practices. Ex. Rajasthan High Court’s ban on Santhara and Supreme Court’s ban on the sale of crackers on Diwali.
- Challenges due to rise of Constitutional morality
- Following are the grounds of objections to several cultural practices as considered by the judiciary.
- Right to Equality: The practice of triple talaq and the ban on entry of women in Sabarimala temple were all declared unlawful by the Supreme Court. Those were done on account of gender inequality and gender exploitation inherent to these practices.
- Animal Rights: Supreme Court banned the traditional practice of Jallikattu because of the cruelty to animals involved in this.
- Objection to Harmful Cultural Practices: The illegality of female genital mutilation (FGM), practices in Dawoodi Bohra Community was brought into the limelight in 2018. The centre and the Supreme Court are having the opinion to ban this practice in India.
Thus, it is obvious that while some of the challenges are the outcome of the misleading notion of secularism, others are due to the exploitative and discriminatory nature of cultural practices only. The solution lies in getting all the stakeholders like religious leaders, judges, right’s activists, civil society groups, NGOs and government representatives together over a common platform to discuss the challenges and to bring unanimity for preserving the cultural practices of our country.
- Challenges posed by misguided perceptions
10. Do you agree thatregionalismin India appearsto be a consequence ofrising cultural assertiveness? Argue.
Regionalism is a sense of identity and purpose among a section of population residing in a particular geographicalspace characterized by unique and common language, culture, history etc. In country like India, having vast diversity and culture, regionalism seems inevitable.
Often it has been argued that regionalism in India is a result of rising cultural assertiveness. To an extent, this istrue because cultural components do interpretregionalismby way of cultural heritage,myths, folklore,symbolism and historical traditions. Nevertheless, apart from socio-cultural factors, there are other determinants as well.
- Historical factors: Colonial policies formed the foundation of regionalism in India. Differential attitudes and treatment by the British towards princely states and those ofthe presidencies encouraged regionalisttendencies among them.
- Geographical isolation: Sometimes geographical isolation and continuous neglect of a region give rise to the feelings of separatism and regionalism among the inhabitants of the region. The ‘insider-outsider complex’ in North- eastern states is the result of geographical isolation.
- Economic underdevelopment: Despite being rich in natural resources some regions remain economically underdeveloped. These types of regional imbalances in development also lead to the rise of regionalism in some regions. Creation of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh is an example.
- Political and administrative factors: Sometimes political parties, particularly regional parties and local leaders, fuel and exploit the regional sentiments to capture power.
- Linguistic aspirations: These have remained a formidable basis of regionalism in India. Post-Independence, widespread agitations against Hindi as national language in southern states,showsthe crucial role of language in the emergence of Regionalism.
Although, socio-cultural factors motivate regionalism, other factors such as socio-economic and political also play a crucial role in it. The accommodation of multiple aspirations of a diverse population is necessary.
10. Examine the role of ‘Gig Economy’ in the process of empowerment of women in India.
A gig economy is a free market system in which temporary positions are common and organisations contract with independent workers for short-term engagements. According to a report by Boston Consulting Group, India’s gig workforce comprises 15 million workers employed across industries such as software, shared services and professional services.
Gig economy will expand and boost women’s employment because it is based on flexible, temporary, or freelance jobs. This has the potential of absorbing more women and increase their participation in the workforce. This will encourage those women who could not opt for full-time work to join the workforce.
However, the challenges remain.
- The gig economy thrives largely unregulated; therefore, workers have little job security and few benefits.
- A worker needs to be skilled enough. Unless a person is extremely talented, his bargaining power will necessarily be limited. While companies routinely invest in training employees, a gig-economy woman worker will have to upgrade his skills on his own at his own cost.
- There are already many more potential online independent workers than jobs, and this demand-supply mismatch will only get worse over time, depressing wages especially for women.
To safeguard the interest of both employers and employees, some labour laws and regulations are required in the changing world of work. Also, documenting best practises across the globe on how different industries are using new technologies and at the same time creating job opportunities for women would help create supportive policies.
10. Given the diversities among tribal communities in India, in which specific contexts should they be considered as a single category?
- Government of India Act 1935 included members of the community living or dependent on the forest, in a single category called Scheduled Tribe (STs).
- The tribals in India have a very broad diversity ranging from matriarchal khasis of the Meghalaya and patriarchal tribes of the Rajasthan and Gujrat. They also differ on the basis of the origin like African origin Siddis of Gujarat and indigenous tribes of Andaman and Nicobar like sentinels.
- Apart from the constitutional and legal provisions to include STs in a single category, there are several socio-economic grounds which binds them in a single category. Like:
- They are usually geographically isolated.
- They follow similar religious practices like tattoo, amulets, and Jewlery and belief in magic.
- Usually, they worship their common ancestors and nature worship is common among them.
- They are mostly dependent on the forest for their livelihood and have unanimity with nature for a well-balanced environment.
- Their social structure is less stratified compared to caste and have egalitarian structure.
- They have an animistic belief system.
- Most of them are territorial groups and dedicated to their own tribe and culture.
- Most of them are practicing primitive occupations like shifting cultivation, etc.
- They have most indigenous political organization i.e., the council of the elders like sabhas and samitis of the vedic period.
- Their society is usually self-reliant and self-sufficient.
- Most of them are different from mainstream society.
- Dr. Ambedkar had also advocated their distinct socio-religious and cultural practice and demanded to include them in a separate, single and distinct category.
9. In the context of the diversity of India, can it be said that the regions form cultural units rather than the States? Give reasons with examples for your
view point. (2017)
India has been a country of multiple diversities like linguistic, religious, and cultural diversities since ancient times. After independence, various demands of reorganization of states on the basis of various aspirations comprising of cultural similarity, linguistic identity and others emerged from different parts of India. Though the government reorganized various states and also formed new states
butcultural units have been intact in India tillthis day.
- Recently Chhath
parvhas been celebrated in Purvanchal region, which comprises the eastern end of Uttar Pradesh and westernend of Bihar, where Hindi-Urdu and its dialects Awadhi and Bhojpuri are the predominant language.
- Population living in green revolution area that comprises Punjab, Haryana and west Uttar Pradesh practices nearly same traditions and represents a single cultural unit.
- Influence of Dravidian culture can be seen across all South Indian states, food habit of people living in these states is similar, wedding rituals are same.
North easternregion comprising 8 states represents as a single cultural unit in terms of their traditions. Rice fishculture has also been practiced across all coastal regions in different states.
It shows that cultural units in India are not necessarily concurrent with states and beyond the boundaries of formal division of states.
- Recently Chhath
9. "An essential condition to eradicate poverty is to liberate the poor from the process of deprivation." Substantiate this statement with suitable examples. (2016)
Poverty is a state of being where a section of the society is unable to fulfill even its basic necessities of life. They are deprived of food, clothing, shelter and income. This is rooted in the underlying structural inequities in the economy and the inherent disadvantages arising out of social impediments such as lack of education, poor health etc. Therefore, to eradicate poverty, it is essential to liberate the poor from the process of deprivation. This can be done by providing them education, equipping them with skills to sustain a livelihood and providing them health care services to make them physically fit also to work. At the same time, to absorb them into the labour force, there has to be adequate number of job opportunities—without which all the efforts will be a waste.
Recognising this, the government policies have shifted away from traditional poverty alleviation schemes to a more multipronged approach to end this process of deprivation. There have been programmes and policies like—
- Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act — it aims to enhance the livelihood security of people in rural areas by guaranteeing hundred days of wage-employment in a year to adult members of a rural household.
- Right to Education Act — to provide free and compulsory education to all children in the age group of 6-14 years.
- Skill India Mission — to rapidly implement and scale up skill development efforts across India.
- National Health Mission — to provide universal access to equitable, affordable and quality health care service across rural and urban areas.
- Make in India initiative, attracting FDI, promoting entrepreneurship through start-up India to create jobs in the country.
The steps taken by the government are in the right direction and will go a long way in ending the process of deprivation if implemented effectively.
9. ‘Despite implementation of various programmes for eradication of poverty by the government in India, poverty is still existing’. Explain by giving reasons. (2018)
Poverty is a social and economic condition in which a part of the society is unable to fulfill its basic requirements. Reducing poverty has become an international concern as SDG 1 targets to end poverty in all its forms everywhere.
Removal of poverty has been a prime focus of Indian policy makers. Integrated Rural Development Program (IRDP) initiated in early 1980s was one of the early poverty alleviation programmes. Since then a large number of programmes and schemes have been launched, but they have not been able to give the desired results. Reasons for existence of poverty in India are:
- Numerous already functional poverty alleviation programmes work in silos.
- There is no systematic attempt to identify people who are below poverty line; to determine and address their needs; and enable them to move above the poverty line.
- There are cases of corruption in identification of beneficiaries, and there is also a lack of authentic data at every level.
- A typically low administrative capacity, coupled with problems of implementation at State level has often resulted in the under utilization of funds.
- Leakage at different levels has led to diversion of resources meant for deprived ones.
- These programmes have focused on top to bottom approach, but such approach lacks coordination in decision making and causes clogging of funds and asymmetry in distribution.
Poverty eradication in a country with a huge population like India needs to involve programmes and policies with bottom up approach, technological interventions, and a mix of innovative ideas like Universal Basic Income.
9. "Empowering women is the key to control the population growth." Discuss.
India is set to become the most populous nation in 2027, surpassing China, according to an estimation by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. India’s population has ballooned from 555.2 million in 1970 to 1,366.4 million in 2017.
There are multiple causes of population growth in India such as child marriage and multi marriage system, religious superstitions, illiteracy and unawareness, poverty etc. However, they are in one way or the other linked to the poor condition of women in the nation.
Thus empowering women can play a crucial role in controlling the population growth
- Women are at times financially weak to pay for needed family planning and health services. Access to and control over productive resources will result in increased voice, agency and meaningful participation in decision-making at all levels from family planning to the time of conceiving.
- The failure of family planning is directly related to large-scale illiteracy that also contributes to the early age of marriage, low status of women, high child-mortality rate etc. They are least aware of the various ways to control population, usage of contraceptives and birth control measures.
- Uneducated families cannot grasp the issues and problems caused by the increasing population rate. Education has a transformative impact on girls. Educated girls tend to work more, earn more, expand their horizons, marry and start having children later with fewer children.
- Fertility rates are high because of misinformation about side-effects of contraceptives, lack of knowledge about the benefits of small families, and religious or male opposition to contraception.
- Any woman with multiple children spends most of her life as a mother and wife. She cannot play any meaningful role in her community and society until she is able to limit her family to a proper size. Family planning will not only improve family welfare but also contribute to achieving social prosperity and personal happiness.
- It is also crucial to sensitize men and boys at a young age, so they become an integral part in bringing about a transformation of women empowerment in Indian society. When men start respecting women and accepting them as equals, a lot of gender-based inequalities will reduce considerably.
The unbridled growth of population is a problem that our country needs to overcome. The government, NGOs and the people of society have to work together to solve the problem of overpopulation in our country. India, however, needs to put more efforts on empowering its women who can help the country curb the growth of its population. As also mentioned by Nehru, to awaken the people, first women need to be awakened, because once a woman has been awakened then the whole nation and family get awakened with her.
9. COVID-19 pandemic accelerated class inequalities and poverty in India. Comment.
The COVID-19 pandemic was unprecedented. From the perspective of the economy both rural and urban areas have been impacted adversely. According to the IMF, the pandemic is having particularly adverse effects on economically more vulnerable people, including younger workers and women.
- Rich got Richer: The pandemic’s economic impact was “unequal among unequals”. While the poor were struggling and had to incurOut of Pocket expenditure to arrange theirfood and health requirements,the wealth of billionaires increased by 35% during the lockdown and by 90% since 2009 (Oxfam report).
- Informal Labourers: Around 90% of India’s workforce is employed in the informalsector who are not provided with employment and social security. About 400 million people are expected to slip into poverty due to the impacts of the pandemic, mostly belong to informal sectors (ILO).
- The economically worst hit were India’s millions of migrant workers, who were seen walking hundreds of kilometresto their homes. Reliant on their daily wagesforsurvival and without immediate assurances, they were left without any assistance.
- Digital Divide: Closing down of schools had wide social and health implications. It also brutally exposed the deep digital divide in the country.
- According to ASER, among enrolled children, around 62% live in families that own at least one smartphone making education among poor inaccessible.
- Closing down of schools also deprived the less privileged students of key nutrients. They provided mid-day meals which also served as an incentive, especially among families of first-generation learners.
- Women: India already had a low labour force participation rate for women due to a couple of factors such as restrictive cultural norms and the gender wage gap. The COVID-19 pandemic has made their situation more dismal. Unemployment for women has risen by 15% during the pandemic from a pre-lockdown level (Oxfam).
The COVID-19 pandemic revealed the need for serious attention for policymakers with regard to public health service provision, economic support for the vulnerable, and inequality mitigation.
9. Examine the uniqueness of tribal knowledge systems when compared with mainstream knowledge and cultural systems
Indigenous people around the world have preserved distinctive understandings of their cultural experience that helps them in their survival. These understandings are called the tribal knowledge or aboriginal knowledge.
Tribal knowledge systems represent inter-generational wisdom passed on to the present times through centuries of experience and learnings. While similar characteristics can be seen in evolution of mainstream knowledge and culture, tribal knowledge systems are unique as:
- Proximity to Nature: Tribal societies have contemporary knowledge of nature due to continued closeness to forests, flora and fauna. Mainstream societies have moved on to agricultural basis of society.
- Source of Knowledge: Mainstream knowledge systems are based on questioning of ideas, science, rationality and evolution process. On the other hand, tribal methods are based on conservation of knowledge.
- Transfer of Knowledge: Tribal knowledge is transmitted between generations through stories, songs, dances, carvings, paintings and performances, while mainstream knowledge is preserved in books and recordings.
- Type of Learning: Tribal knowledge systems promote integrated learning for the community. Therefore, they believe in producing generalists. But in the mainstream society, knowledge and learning has been disintegrated into specialised subjects and these societies mainly focus on producing specialists.
- Equality: Tribal knowledge systems are non-exclusionary and marked by equity. Mainstreams knowledge systems are full of barriers like cost of education, patent protections, social exclusion etc.
Nevertheless, tribal and mainstream societies are not mutually exclusive systems. Constant interaction and mutual dependence have enriched both.
9. How is the growth of Tier 2 Cities related to the rise of a new middle class with an emphasis on the culture of consumption?
As per the government, cities having a population size ranging between 50,000 and 1,00,000 are categorised as tier 2 cities in India.
The middle class is a description given to individuals and households who typically fall between the working class and the upper class within a socio-economic hierarchy. In Western cultures, persons in the middle class tend to have a higher proportion of college degrees than those in the working class, have more income available for consumption, and may own property. Those in the middle class often are employed as professionals, managers, and civil servants.
Relationship between New middle class and tier 2 cities:
- Increase in Entrepreneurship: White-collar employment significantly grew in tier 2 cities during the LPG era as a result of increased entrepreneur activity. The growth of the service sector, which accounts for more than 50% of India's GDP and more than 64% of jobs in tier 2 and tier 3 cities, is a result of globalisation.
- Increased wages, the digital revolution, and the westernisation of habits under globalisation all contributed to the promotion of popular culture and altered this class's consumption patterns.
- Government efforts: The Government efforts through schemes like Make in India, Stand up India, Startup India, MUDRA Yojana, JAM trinity, UDAN, etc. have prompted the culture of consumption by increasing disposable income.
Reasons behind the emergence of Tier 2 Indian cities as major growth engines:
- Attractive options for larger firms: Tier 2 cities like Jaipur, Patna, Indore, and Surat have experienced economic growth rates of more than 40%.
- With 80% of households having middle-class incomes by 2030, disposable income is set to increase. In India, consumer behaviour is significantly influenced by value for money.
- E-commerce: Over 15 million traditional "kirana" stores, or 88% of the retail market, are present in India. Many families come to stock up on fresh produce every two to three days.
- Employment: The Tier-2 Cities attract potential employees from rural places and provide them with different avenues of employment for them.
- Lower Cost of Living: The moderate cost of living in Tier 2 cities encourages greater consumption since a better lifestyle does.
8. To what extent globalisation has influenced the core of cultural diversity in India? Explain. (2016)
Globalisation refers to the increased interconnectedness across the countries of the world whether economically, culturally or technologically. It has a particularly profound effect on the cultural diversity of a country. For India, its influence can be explained as following:
- Family structure — Increasing urbanization as a consequence of globalization has resulted in migration of people from rural areas, resulting in the disintegration of the joint family system. A new trend of nuclear families with one or maximum two children has emerged in India.
- Role of Women — As a result of globalization, women in India have become more aware of their rights and are now stepping out of homes to pursue not only schooling but higher education and jobs. With patriarchy’s influence decreasing, women are taking leading roles in various walks of life.
- Role of caste is decreasing — with increasing urbanization as a result of globalisation, not only are caste barriers breaking at workplace but also at areas of living-people belonging to all caste work and live together. On the other hand, class discrimination is increasing.
- Lifestyle — Whether it be in attire, food habits or taste in music, there has been an attempt to imitate the West. Sarees, Salwar-Kameez for women has given way to skirts and pant, jeans and shirts. Similarly for men, traditional dhoti-kurta has been replaced by shirts and trousers. Even in food habits, junk food like pizzas, burgers, pasta are the preferred choices of the youth today in India.
- Language — English today is becoming the favoured mode of communication among the people of India over their mother tongues.
8. “Caste system is assuming new identities and associational forms. Hence, caste system cannot be eradicated in India”. Comment. (2018)
- Caste refers to a broad hierarchical institutional arrangement along which basic social factors like birth, marriage, food-sharing etc are arranged in a hierarchy of rank and status. These sub-divisions are traditionally linked to occupations and decide the social relations with respect to other upper and lower castes.
- The traditional hierarchical ordering of castes was based on the distinction between ‘purity’ and ‘pollution’. While the manifestation of the order has changed to a large extent in the recent times, the system itself has not changed much.
- For example- even though untouchability and caste-based discrimination is barred under the Constitution of India, occupations like manual scavenging have the majority of workers from lower castes.
New identities and associational forms
- Political: In contrast to the older structure, various caste communities have asserted themselves by forming political parties based on caste identities. For example-
- Bahujan Samaj Party. Political mobilization based on caste has been rising.
- Lingayats’ demand to be considered as a minority community.
- Economic: Development policies targeting the backward castes and scheduled have benefitted only a section of the population. These sections have emerged as the elite and this has created a division within the backward castes. Also, the welfare policies have led to social stigma among the castes which are not included. These policies have strengthened the caste-based mobilization. For example:
- Dominant castes like Marathas,
kapusand patidarshave been demanding reservation.
- Socially empowered and landholding communities like Jats have also mobilized themselves and have demanded reservation.
- Dominant castes like Marathas,
- Social: Under the impact of globalization and technological advancement, the strict codes of marriage and inheritance have diluted with more inter-caste marriages taking place. Caste groups like Khap Panchayats have been brought under the scrutiny of the judiciary. The expression of social exclusion and maintaining the caste-based division by the communities has however not vanished but has changed to become more subtle. For example-
- The matrimonial advertisements are frequent in the newspapers that especially demand brides and grooms from particular communities.
- Even religions that do not follow caste systems like Muslims and Christianity have observed caste-like discrimination. Dalits who have converted to Christianity have separate graveyards in States like Kerala.
- Considering that these divisions offer solidarity and psychological strength to various marginalized groups, even if the caste-based discrimination is diffused through the legislative enforcement the divisions of identity will be difficult to erase.
8. What makes the Indian society unique in sustaining its culture? Discuss.
The notion of accommodation and assimilation has been the key feature of Indian society. Since ancient times, India has accommodated different elements of society without letting them lose their separate identityas Jawahar Lal Nehru writes in The Discovery of India-Indian Society and Culture “is like some ancient palimpsest on which layer upon layer of thought and reverie had been inscribed, and yet no succeeding layer had completely hidden or erased what had been written previously”.
- In course of time, India has evolved its own culture which is eclectic,externally receptive and heterogeneous.
- The essence of Indian society lies in harbouring diverse and distinct identities, ethnicities, languages, religions and culinary preferences. History stands witness to the fact that the societies that have struggled to hold differences were shattered in such an attempt.
However, Indian society succeeded and is unique because of its various peculiarities:
- A Cosmic Vision: The framework of Indian culture places human beings in the centre of the universe, as a divine creation-which celebrates Individuality and differences of opinion in the society.
- Sense of Harmony: Indian philosophy and culture tries to achieve an innate harmony and order in the society.
- Tolerance: In India, tolerance and liberalism is found for all religions, castes, communities, etc. Indian society accepted and respected Shaka, Huna, Scythians , Muslim, Christian,jews and Zoroastrians. Rulers like Ashoka, Akbar have patronized various religions and ensured that there is peaceful co-existence of religions.
- Continuity and Stability: The light of ancient Indian culture life is yet glowing. Many invasions occurred, many rulers changed, many laws were passed but even today, the traditional institutions, religion, epics, literature, philosophy, traditions, etc. are alive.
- Adaptability: Adaptability is the process of changing according to time, place and period. Indian society has shown fluidity and has adjusted itself with changing times.
- Caste System and Hierarchy: Indian Society has evolved systems of social stratification, which in the past helped in accommodating outsiders,but concomitantly it has also been the reason for descrimination and prejudice.
- Unity in diversity: Despite inherent difference Indian society celebrates unity in diversity which reflects in modern India’s founding principles and constitutional ideals.
In recent times,Indian society has seen surge on multiple divisive issues like communalism,casteism,economic disparity and ethnic violence,which pose a serious challenge to the time- tested ethos of our society.
Despite this,India remains a diverse country, a bewildering mosaic of communities of all kinds; our peculiar societal genius is to fashion a form of coexistence where diversity can flourish and find its place. Principle of Sarva Dharma Sambhava (equal respect for all religions) is rooted in India’s tradition and culture.
8. Has caste lost its relevance in understanding the multi-cultural Indian Society? Elaborate your answer with illustrations.
The caste system was originally intended to organise the society on the basis of occupation. Caste became an arrangement to pass on the skills acquired to the posterity.
- Each caste had their own distinct customs, assumptions, values, communicative styles which coexisted simultaneously.
- But, gradually the caste system rigidified and it became hereditary and a symbol of status and pride.
- Sanskritisarion was one factor which predominantly encouraged homogenisation of cultural values, aided by modernisation.
Caste and its relevance
- The development activity of the state and the growth of private industry have affected caste indirectly through the speeding up and intensification of economic change. The modern industry created all kinds of new jobsfor which there were no caste rules.
- Urbanisation and the conditions of collective living in the citiesmade it difficultforthe caste-segregated patterns of social interaction to survive.
- Modern educated Indians attracted to the liberal ideas of individualism and meritocracy, began to abandon the more extreme caste practices. However, it was in the cultural and domestic spheres that caste has proved strongest.
- Endogamy, or the practice of marrying within the caste, remained largely unaffected by modernisation and change. Even today, most marriages take place within caste boundaries, although there are more intercaste marriages.
- Since the 1980s, we have also seen the emergence of explicitly caste-based political parties. The policies of reservation and other forms of protective discrimination are instituted by the state in response to political pressure.
- A new casteism has emerged, which is characterized by the success of certain selected privileged castes. The benefits of capitalism, after 1991, has not percolated down to castes which are deprived of education or marked by poverty.
One of the most significant yet paradoxical changes in the caste system in the contemporary period is that it hastended to become ‘invisible’ for the upper caste, urban middle and upper classes. For the so-called scheduled castes and tribes and the backward castes – the opposite has happened. Forthem, caste has become alltoo visible.
8. Explore and evaluate the impact of ‘Work From Home’ on family relationships.
The rising wave of the Covid-19 outbreak in India forced the corporate world in the country to opt for ‘work from home’ widely. Work from home was the only viable option to continue and sustain economic activities in the country to contain the spread of Covid-19.
Impact of Work from Home on Family Relationships
- Stronger Bonds: While working from home a person spends more time with family, which helps in strengthening family bonds.
- Proper Attention to Children: Work from home gives adequate time to parents to spend adequate time with their children, which is good for parent-children relationships.
- Better Take Care of Old People: While working from home the young generation can better take care of their old parents and provide them with the requisite attention.
- Domestic Violence and Children Abuse: According to an official data, National Commission for Women (NCW) registered an increase of at least 2.5 times in domestic violence complaints during the nationwide lockdown.
- Strained Marital Relations: When a husband and wife spend extended periods of time together without leaving the house, the likelihood of disputes between them increases and already tense marital relations worsen.
- Disputes in family: While working from home one shares the same workplace with other family members (wife, son, sister, brother) who may also be working from home. One may be sharing the same resources as internet, computer, Fan etc .If work timing or meeting time clash then it leads to arguments.
- Leads to Frustration: Working from home makes some people frustrated due to lack of required infrastructure.
- Disturbed Domestic Chores: Due to the same timing of work of both husband and wife it causes the negligence of routine domestic works which creates a situation of stress and tension between two.