Think Learn & Perform (TLP): GS Mains Synopsis [Day 38]

  • October 9, 2015
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TLP: GS Mains Synopsis [Day 38]


Q.1) Bring out similarities and dissimilarities between Madhubani painting and Kalamkari painting.


The Top Answer for this Question is written by – SK

Ans) Kalamkari literally means “pen work”. Madhubani literally means “forests of honey”. Both are traditional Indian paintings.

Similarities and dissimilarities between Kalamkari paintings are as follows

Region – Kalamkari belongs to Andhra Pradesh region of South India. Madhubani belongs to Mithila region in the areas of Indo-Nepal border across Bihar.

Themes – Similarity: Majority of Kalamkari paintings are Hindu mythological scenes; whereas Madhubani paintings include both mythology and natural objects like sun, moon, plants etc. Mostly done by women.

Tools – Dissimilar: In Kalamkari paintings, a bamboo or a date palm stick with bundle of fine hair is used as brush. In Madhubani paintings, a cotton wrapped around bamboo stick is used as brush.

Technique – Dissimilar: In Kalamkari, a cotton fabric is first immersed in a mixture containing cow milk and then after drying, outlines are drawn with bamboo stick. Later, vegetable dyes are applied. Pen is used to draw finer details.

In Madhubani paintings, the work is done on freshly plastered mud walls. Now a days, for commercial purposes, it is done on cloth and paper also.

Colours – Dissimilar: Kalamkari uses organic colours i.e. dyes are obtained from parts of plants. In Madhubani, different colours are obtained in different ways. For e.g. black from mixture of soot and cow dung, white from mixture of rice powder etc.

Recognition – Similarity: Both have Geographical Indication Tag.

Q.2) ‘Shruti is “that which has been heard” and is canonical, consisting of revelation and unquestionable truth, and is considered eternal.’ Elaborate this statement in the context of the Vedas.


The Top Answer for this Question is written by – Santosh Venkatesh

Ans) Shruthi are canon of Hindu texts which are believed to have been transmitted from generation to generation verbally .It includes the four Vedas along with Samhitas, Bhrahmanas, Aranyakas and Early Upanishads.

Shruthi is that which has been heard because it is believed that in absence of writing technologies in ancient times, these were developed and transmitted verbally by systematic methods of Listening, Memorisation and recitation.

Shruthi are canonical texts in sense that they codify procedures, make rules among others. For example while Yajur Veda has directions for conducting sacrifices, Bhrahmanas explain Vedic rituals.

Shruthi contains certain metaphysical questions and answers which are considered as Unquestionable truth. Concepts such as Rebirth, Caste system and Nature of god which are deep rooted in Indian society are found in Shruthi .These became unquestionable as they formed the basis for the division of society and it’s functioning.

In the Absence of any authors for these texts it is argued that they have nonhuman or primordial origins, making it a revelation of god. The argument of primordial origins has also made it eternal as the beginning and end are not known.

Recently the ritual of Vedic chanting has become a part of Intangible cultural list of UNESCO .Shruthi texts have fascinated scholars such as Max Muller and have also helped deconstruct ancient society of India .

Q.3) How did Sufism and musical traditions enrich each other in medieval India?


The Top Answer for this Question is written by – Abhishek V

Ans) Sufism encourages music as a way of deepening ones relation with God, remembering God by zikr (reciting name) sama or performance of mystical music.

Sufism affecting music

  1. Reach to masses: Music as a way of worship, got greater acceptance, even among orthodox sects. Many women too were able to enjoy and contribute to sufi music
  2. Instruments: Sufi saints are credited with invention of sitar and tabla
  3. Style: It contributed to evolution of classical music. Khayal style owes a lot to sufism
  4. Linguistic richness: Before, prayers, verses etc were usually in elite class languages. As sufi saints came from different classes and linguistic groups, they contributed to music in their respective dialects.

Music affecting sufism

  1. Communication: Music became a mean for sufi saints to convey their teachings to common masses.
  2. spread: With its simple to understand ideas presented through music, sufism became popular among masses and allowed for a fusion with bhakti prayers too.
  3. Patronisation: Sufi singers were patronised by elite class which also served as a mean of their sustenance.

Thus music and sufism evolved with each other and became inseparable from each other in coming centuries which continues even today reflected in the music of Nusrat Fatha Ali Khan etc. 


Q.4) How has globalization impacted performing arts in India?


The Top Answer for this Question is written by – Vikrant Madhusudhan Parab

Ans) Globalization has affected our Ancient art to a great extent. At one side it provided in educating the masses about our ancient culture theoretically but at same time has lost its relevance in witnessing it practically.

Positive Impact-

1.Awareness:- It has made many people aware about our great art culture which existed since ancient period. Various dances like Bharatnatyam ,Kathakali etc which were confined to South India have reached Global and admired by various Foreign contries.

2.Identity:- It has given the Region & People its cultural identity. Eg- When one thinks of Rajasthan it would remind him of Katputli Theatre, for Garba its Gujrat etc.

3.Protection:- Government provides necessary protection eg- Governor is incharge of Scheduled Area where there old traditons(arts) are protected.

Negative Impact:-

1.Alternative- People now days have found there entertainment in TVs, Phones etc and our traditional arts is completely ignored.

2.Financial- Modern Music, Dance etc have good financial resources for its promotion. But, as seen in most cases traditional art performers are less financially sound and there art is not well promoted even though they are of good quality(eg-Ramman in Uttarakhand which is in UNESCO list )

3.Extinct- Due to less audience, financial constraint, less promotion etc many Art forms have become extinct and are on urge of extinction(eg- Koli dance in Maharashtra)

Q.5) “What made the Nalanda University unique was imparting knowledge in its entirety with a multi-disciplinary approach.” Discuss.


The Top Answer for this Question is written by – RKM

Ans) Nalanda University was first started by the Gupta kings in the fifth century A.D. around the year 427, after which it went on to become one of the most prestigious universities of the world.

Uniqueness –

  1. Works on art, medicine, astronomy, literature, logic, Hindu scriptures, and Buddhist and Jain literature are done despite being the Buddhist centre of learning.
  2. Diverse and secular subjects like medicine, astronomy, mathematics and politics of war are also taught.
  3. Students came from all parts of India and foreign lands.Castes, creed and nationality were no barriers in keeping with the Buddhist spirit.
  4. Although study of Mahayana was compulsory for Buddhists But One could also study the doctrines of 18 other Buddhist sects.
  5. Nalanda was graced by the presence of Indias most brilliant luminaries . Ex Nagarjuna, Aryadeva,Dharmapala etc.
  6. Though Nalanda was an institution of only higher learning yet there was provision for secondary and primary education.

So Nalanda flourished and illuminated the country for centuries to come due to its unique way of imparting knowledge in its entirety with a multi-disciplinary approach.


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