Mains Question for UPSC Aspirants

Mains Question for UPSC Aspirants

03 Mar 2022 gs-mains-paper-1 MODERN HISTORY & POST INDEPENDENCE     
Question : The Bardoli Satyagraha, in the state of Gujarat, India during the British Raj, was a major episode of civil disobedience and revolt in the Indian Independence Movement. Explain it in detail.

(GS Mains; Paper 1)
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17 Oct 2021 gs-mains-paper-1 MODERN HISTORY & POST INDEPENDENCE 
Question : Enumerate the impacts of the efforts of the present government to remember the unsung heroes of freedom struggle. What are the initiatives of the government to find and recognise the contribution of these heroes?

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02 Sep 2021 gs-mains-paper-1 MODERN HISTORY & POST INDEPENDENCE 
Question : Discuss the modern techniques of Power Gandhi Ji had that led to India 's independence from British rule.

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According to Gandhi Ji, there are two types of power One is obtained by the fear of punishment and the other by acts of love. Power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent than the one derived from fear of punishment.
Gandhi Ji discarded the traditional notion of power and believed that power resides within the people rather than in any position. Two major types of power Gandhi advocated for his followers was first spiritual power and second strong willpower. To develop these two kinds of power in oneself Gandhi preached three methods which he followed too.
  1. Truth - For Gandhi Ji, truth is the relative truth of truthfulness in word and deed, and the absolute truth is "The ultimate reality". This ultimate truth is God (as God is also Truth) and morality - the moral laws and code - its basis.
  2. Non-violence -for Gandhi Ji, nonviolence denotes active love which is the opposite of violence, in every sense. Nonviolence or love is regarded as the highest law of humankind.
  3. Satyagraha - Gandhi Ji called his overall method of nonviolent action Satyagraha. It means the exercise of the purest soul force against all injustice, oppression and exploitation.
For Gandhi Ji Truth and nonviolence are the twin cardinal principles of thought and Satyagraha is a method of securing rights by personal suffering and not inflicting injury to others. By the use of these three modern techniques, Gandhi Ji led to India's independence movement.
By his modern techniques of Power Gandhi Ji fought the Indian independence struggle at two-stage. First, war of positions in this stage he first destroyed the notion that British rule is better than the rule of native. He brought the true character of British rule through his non-violent struggle at different times.
Second war of manoeuvre, he launched several movements too, after the masses had realized the exploitation done by Britishers like the non-cooperation movement, civil disobedience movement, and quit India movement etc. The technique of power Gandhi Ji had is still relevant for peace and prosperity in the world.
For example, the Gandhian technique of power has been successfully employed by many oppressed societies around the world under the leadership of people like Martin Luther King in the United States, Nelson Mandela in South Africa, and Aung San Suu Kyi in Myanmar.
Hence Gandhi's modern techniques of power are considered to be one of the reasons for the peaceful transfer of power and caused India to remain a democratic nation. This not only helped in achieving freedom but also after independence to protect the democracy.

09 Aug 2021 gs-mains-paper-1 MODERN HISTORY & POST INDEPENDENCE 
Question :

In strengthening the fight against colonialism Quit India Movement was the last great nationalist campaign. Discuss the mobilization and leadership role Mahatama Gandhi played in this movement.


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The Quit India Movement (QIM) started in the backdrop of the failure of Cripps mission. This movement happened to be the last major movement before India gained independence from British rule. QIM was also the last big struggle that Gandhi Ji led however he was arrested by the British authority right after the announcement of QIM.
Right before the start of the movement, Gandhi Ji gave some special instructions to different sections of society. For example, students if confidence can leave the study, Peasant should not pay rent to those Zamindar who are pro-government, Government servants need not resign but declare their allegiance to the Congress. These instructions enable people to take part in this movement on a large scale. The extent and nature of mobilization took various forms. In some areas, resistance was so strong that parallel governments came into the picture.
Apart from that Gandhi Ji also gave an important mantra of 'Do or Die' He believed that either people participation will free India or die in an attempt to liberate it. Although Gandhi Ji was in jail during the whole period of this movement, there also he worked for the support of people's mobilization and provided moral support to them.
In February 1943 he started a fast to condemn the violence of the state but he did not condemn the violence that resulted from people participating in the Quit India movement. However, this leadership role that Gandhi Ji provided was not unique to this movement only, he had developed various methods for the struggle against the unjust rule and his followers were trained to understand his idea of satyagraha and ahimsa.
Overall, the quit India movement shaken the root of British rule in India and shown the moral corruption that persisted in British policy. Right after the QIM and the end of the Second World War, the exit of the British government from Indian soil became inevitable.

28 Jul 2021 gs-mains-paper-1 MODERN HISTORY & POST INDEPENDENCE 
Question :

“Though Lord Ripon proceeded cautiously, some of his early measures restored faith among the Indians in the liberal tradition of England”. Discuss.


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After the end of Lytton viceroy ship, the British Government under the labour party-appointed Lord Ripon as the new viceroy of India. He was very sympathetic toward the cause of Indian citizens and worked in various areas to restore faith among the Indians in the liberal tradition of England.
First and foremost, Ripon favoured the policy of equality embedded in the liberal tradition of England. For this to come into practice, he abolished the notorious vernacular press act which discriminated between the local and English language newspapers. His policy was even directed toward bringing the principle of equal treatment of law. With this respect, he brought the Ilbert bill which sought to abolish judicial disqualification based on race distinctions. Through this bill, he wanted to give Indian judges the power to hear cases against British citizens. However, this bill was not able to pass due to various opposition from the British community.
His work for the improvement of local government promoted the idea of decentralization of power and greater participation of people in decision making. The series of enactments would set up local self-governing bodies in the rural and urban areas. For this, he is known as the ‘Father of Local-Self Government in India.
Under his guidance, the first factory act 1881 was enacted to safeguard the interest of children and women who were working in Indian factories. He promoted the Indian famine codes which worked in the area of making authorities capable and responsible to deal with famine.
Under his rule, the Hunter commission was appointed to examine the condition of education in India which shows that he was emphatical toward the cause of promoting better education for Indians.
Although the above-mentioned points show that Ripon was working for the interest and betterment of the Indian people but his ability to bring far-flung changes was crippled by the collective power of the European community living in India and this become clear during Ilbert bill controversy.
Nevertheless, the Ripon rule usher in a new era for India’s freedom struggle movements and gave a sense to the people of India that justice and fair play could not be expected where interests of the European community were involved.

24 Jul 2021 gs-mains-paper-1 MODERN HISTORY & POST INDEPENDENCE 
Question :

Discuss the role of Bal Gangadhar Tilak in the Indian National movement.

(GS Mains Paper 1)

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Bal Gangadhar Tilak, journalist, philosopher-politician, and maker of modern India, his contribution is immense as he is said to be a pioneer of ideas of swaraj and swadeshi and used culture, education and the media.
Role of Bal Gangadhar Tilak in Indian national movement -
  • Tilak ignited a sense of patriotism and nationalism in the advent of the 20th century. He ignited patriotic consciousness among the masses during one of the most difficult periods in the freedom struggle
  • Along with two other congress leaders, Lala Lajpat Rai and Bipin Chandra Pal (popularly known as Lal, Bal and Pal), he started the extremist phase of INC, which focused on mass mobilisation of masses and played an active role during the Swadeshi movement. Tilak started the Swadeshi Movement (1905), which was not just about boycotting British goods, but his larger objective was promoting indigenous entrepreneurship
  • Tilak gave a three-point programme for national awakening – Swaraj, Swadeshi and Nationalist Education based on vernacular. For the cultivation of an enlightened mind, he used the media in the form of two newspapers, Kesari (Marathi) and Maratha (English), and national education through Deccan Education Society, an institute he established.
  • Tilak rejected the narrow view of Swaraj and presented a broad view of Swaraj which means Swaraj is the rule of and rule for the common people of India.
  • Tilak laid Foundation for the Gandhian way of Mass Movement. His formula for preparing the ground for political activism through culture, education and media was so powerful that later on Mahatma Gandhi, Babasaheb Ambedkar and others adopted this path. Moreover, he prepared a fertile ground for Swaraj through his home-rule movement.
  • Tilak also played a key role in the signing of the Lucknow Pact between the Indian national congress and the Muslim league. This brought two communities together during the 1920s to fight against foreign rule.
  • Tilak used Hindu festivals like Ganapati Mahotsav and other festivals for the Shake of mobilizing people. While on the one hand it caused a cultural revival of Hindus and on the other created suspicion in Muslims. Some historians blame Tilak for bringing communalism in the freedom struggle
Hence because of his work British colonial authorities called him the Father of Indian unrest and Mahatma Gandhi called him ‘The Maker of Modern India.’ Tilak not only revived patriotic consciousness but also revived the spirit of economic nationalism for indigenously manufactured goods and striving for social integration through culture (Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat).

Question : What was the Gandhi-Irwin Pact? Was it a retreat? [GS Mains Paper 1]

- Bipin Chandra’s ‘India’s struggle for Independence’ Book
- ‘A Brief History of Modern India (Spectrum)’ Book
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17 Jun 2021 gs-mains-paper-1 MODERN HISTORY & POST INDEPENDENCE     
Question :
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Dr. Rammanohar Lohia became a great nationalist right from his early days. His student life was also marked by his leadership qualities. The influence of leaders like Tilak, Gandhi, and Subhas Bose was quite deep on him.
Pre-Independence struggle
After his return from Germany he joined the Indian National Congress, who had launched a fierce struggle against Britishers. In 1934, Lohia joined the Congress Socialist Party, which served as the Left-wing of the Indian National Congress. He was one of the founding members of the party and also edited its periodical called, Congress Socialist. He was completely dissatisfied with the 'mild path' being followed by the Congress Party towards independence. He opposed the demand for "Dominion Status" as advocated by the Congress leadership and wanted, the congress to adopt a resolution for "Complete independence". In the Bombay Congress session held in 1935 the resolution was accepted. 
When Nehru became the president of the Indian National Congress in 1936, Dr. Lohia was requested by him, to head the Foreign affairs cell, which was constituted by Nehru. As an internationalist, Lohia used all his wisdom in framing the foreign policy with the national interest in mind. For example, when the British government unilaterally declared India as a party to the Second World War Lohia opposed the decision. He put forth a four-point programme to be followed during the war period. 1) To oppose all types of military recruitment. 2) To organise peoples' movement in the princely states, who were suppressing their subjects and supporting British war efforts. 3) The porters were requested not to co-operate with loading and unloading work of goods and material related to war operations. 4) People must refuse the payment of war taxes and contribution to war fund. 
His agitation against British war policy landed him in Jail. He was in jail from 1939-42. During the quit India movement, he helped the cause of country's freedom by organising secret Radio services in several parts of the country. JP mobilised a guerrilla force to combat British colonial rule. As a result of this, Lohia was jailed again in 1944-46. In February 1947, Lohia was elected chairman of the Congress Socialist Party.
After Independence
Lohia, along with several leaders left the Congress in 1948 because of their differences with Nehru. He joined the Praja Socialist Party in 1952 and served as its general-secretary for a brief period before resigning from the party in 1955. Later, he launched a new Socialist Party and edited its journal Mankind. Lohia started a series of “Satyagrahas” against social injustice and went to jail several times during this period.
Even after independence, Lohia led peoples' movement for liberation of Goa, against Portuguese Government and was arrested twice in Goa. Lohia was elected to the third Lok Sabha in a by-poll from Farrukhabad in May 1963. It was Lohia who made Parliament acknowledge the widespread problem of starvation among agricultural labourers. In the 1964 budget debate, Lohia showcased that 270 million Indians lived on three annas (19 paise) a day.
Lohia was the social reformer, who believed that unless caste inequality was abolished, India would not progress. He gave a number of suggestions for the eradication of caste system, including compulsory inter-caste marriages for government servants and community festivals.
To eliminate caste barriers, he put forward the idea of “Roti and Beti”, which means that people would have to break caste barriers in order to eat together and allow marriage of their daughters with grooms from other castes.

26 May 2021 gs-mains-paper-1 MODERN HISTORY & POST INDEPENDENCE 
Question : The bourgeois pressure was a significant factor behind the compromise of 1931 which resulted in the signing of Gandhi-Irwin Pact. Critically Examine.

(GS Mains; Paper 1)
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Gandhi-Irwin Pact was signed between Mahatma Gandhi and the then Viceroy of India, Lord Irwin on 5 March 1931 after a series of talks seeking settlement of the issues originating from the civil disobedience movement.
Civil Disobedience passed on to an apparently contradictory phase in the last few months of 1930. The effect of the Depression increased the pressures for no rent, which the UP Congress reluctantly sanctioned. Though incidents of peasant and tribal militancy increased, official reports indicated a marked decline of enthusiasm and support among urban traders, many of whom started selling foreign goods on the sly. Industrialists grumbled about the limits of patience while noted industrialist Homi Mody complained of the frequent hartals dislocating trade and industry. The ruthless seizure of property by the government reduced the nationalistic ardour of the rich peasants. Gandhi had to retreat probably due to all this as also owing to the fact that almost all leading congress leaders were in jail. 
In the agreement reached on 5th of March, Gandhi agreed to discontinue Civil Disobedience as it embraced defiance of the law, non-payment of land revenue, publication of news-sheets, termination of its boycott of British goods and the restraint of aggressive picketing. The Government of India agreed to cancel ordinances opposing the movement, to release Indian prisoners, return fines and property.
Although many Historians argue that the Indian bourgeoisie played a ‘crucial’ role both in the initial success of the movement as well as in its subsequent withdrawal but it cannot be deduced conclusively. 
One argument is that the alliance between the Congress and the capitalists was uneasy and vulnerable from the very beginning and now uncontrolled mass movement unnerved the business classes, whose enthusiasm was dampened by the Depression, boycott, hartals and the social disruption. They wanted to give peace a chance. Hence, the pressure was on Gandhi to return to constitutional politics which ultimately resulted in the Gandhi-Irwin pact. But the problem with this premise is that the business groups hardly represented a homogeneous class in 1931 and did not speak with one voice.
But on the other hand, the marketers and the traders still remained staunch supporters of Gandhi, and their radicalism even increased as Civil disobedience made progress. More significantly, although business community supported the movement and could partly claim credit for its early success, they were never in a position to pressurise Gandhi to withdraw the movement. 
Gandhian Congress was projecting itself as an umbrella organisation, which would incorporate all the different classes and communities. So it was highly unlikely that Gandhi would take such a vital decision only to satisfy the interests of one particular class. 
It is important to notice that the CDM had helped to the growing radicalisation of certain lower classes that often refused to remain under the official control of local congress leaders. Against this larger backdrop, Gandhi had assessed the appropriateness of suspending the movement by agreeing to effect an understanding with Irwin lest the movement should turn violent and thereby spark off colonial repression.