1. Had Turkey not embarked on the path of reforms on the lines of western Europe, the consequences of Non Cooperation- Khilafat movement would have been different. Examine.
This is a hypothetical question which is asking you to think of a parallel course of history if something else had happened. UPSC has recently started asking these type of questions to check your analytical ability. UPSC is not interested in the fact, that whether you know a historical fact or not, but whether you are able to analyse the consequences of that event. Since the event did not happen there can be multiple interpretations and hence there can not be one single ideal answer.
This question is asking you to think of a different scenario of Khilafat Movement. To write an answer first you need to know the actual consequences of the movement.
It had two main demands, which were never accepted:
Caliph Sultan must retain sufficient territories so that he is able to defend the Islamic Faith.
The places which are called Jazirat-ul-arab, including the Arabia, Syria, Iraq and Palestine must remain under Muslim suzerainty.
The leaders of the Khilafat Movement joined hands with Indian National Congress for the upcoming Non-cooperation Movement. The agenda of the Non-cooperation Movement was finalized.
The Khilafat movement came and went very quickly. It had lost its relevance when Mustafa Kemal Ataturk had abolished the Caliphate. The last Caliphate was Abdülmecid II, who was expelled with his family and took asylum in Istanbul (Constantinople), where he spent rest of his life catching butterflies.
This was the period when Hindu – Muslim unity was at its peak after the revolt of 1857. But as the movement got over, Muslims alienated themselves from non – cooperation.
If the office of Caliph was not abolished, the movement would have continued. But it might not have given the desired results as far as the independence of India is concerned. The moment had to die this way or the other. If the demands were accepted, it would have given boost to the confidence of Indians that they can pressurize the government. If not, then also Indians would not have been able to do anything. This was seen during partition of Bengal before. The government went ahead with that anyway.
Also many modern educated leaders especially Jinnah were against this movement. He did not want to mix politics with religion. Also according to him, the post of Khalifa or the treatment of him from the British was international Affair and Indian Muslims had no stakes in that. The needs and aspirations of Indians (Hindus and Muslims) are different.
But Gandhiji went ahead with it any way thinking that it might bind the two communities.
The reforms in Turkey made this experiment a failure. It was realized later that religious issues cannot be made national agendas. If reforms had not take place, probably the politics of religion in mainstream would have continued in India and demand of Pakistan would have appeared much earlier. (You can have a different take on this point.)
Things could have turned out positively if khilafat demands were accepted, and it could have lead to Hindu – Muslim unity and more participation of Muslims in freedom struggle. Also, the way Muslim league and Congress came on the same platform with lucknow pact, that cooperation might have continued.
If you have seen the movie “Butterfly effect”, you might have observed, that even though the events change, the history doesn’t change that much. Try to write your answer on those lines.
Do not think that if this did not happen, then everything would have turned out so beautifully for India and India would have got independence in 1920s itself.
2. Discuss the contribution of Muslims in Indian freedom struggle.
Write a short introduction.
Revolt of 1857-First emergence of Muslim participation which also saw Hindu-Muslim unity factor participated by Begam Hazrat mahal from Lucknow/Khan Bahadur From Bareilly/Maulvi Ahmadulah from Faizabad /General Bakht Khan from Delhi, all under leadership of proclaimed emperor Bahadur Shah Jafar.
The Provisional Government of India was a provisional government-in-exile established in Kabul, Afghanistan on December 1, 1915 with Mahendra Pratap as President, Maulana Barkatullah as Prime Minister, Deobandi Maulavi Ubaidullah Sindhi as Home Minister, Deobandi Maulvi Bashir as War Minister, and Champakraman Pillai as Foreign Affairs Minister.
Khilafat Movement and Non-cooperation —Immense muslim participation (Youth /scholars)emerging from religious background led by Ali brothers(Shaukat ali and mohammad ali),Maulana Azad and Hasrat Mohani to change British Decision against removing Caliphate of Turkey
Civil-Disobedience Movement–Some muslims groups (Jammat-i-Ulema-hind /state of Kashmir /Khudai Khidmatgar) Participated but overall Participation Of Muslims was Nowhere near level of Khilafat movement.
Role of Muslim Leaders: The Muslim leaders played a great role in stirring the Muslim sentiments towards nationalism rather than towards the divisive politics being played by the British.
Notable among them were Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Abbas Tyabji, Rafi Ahmad Kidwai. Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan and his ‘Red Shirts’ posed a formidable challenge for the British in North Western Frontier Province.
3. West Bengal was the cradle of nationalism in India. Discuss.
Calcutta being the centre of administration people of Bengal were the first to face discriminatory and exploitative policies of the colonial rule.
The Young Bengal movement was a group of radical Bengali free thinkers. They were also known as Derozians. They were the principal force behind the critical reasoning and logical thinking that developed in Bengal
The seeds of the 1857 revolt germinated in Barackpore of Bengal, which became the first stepping stone for future struggles.
The partition of Bengal and the consequent Swadeshi movement started in Bengal which was to become guiding light to all struggles to come.
Majority of the intellectuals and tinkers and freedom fighters came from Bengal like W.C.Banerjee, Bankim Chandra Chatterji, Rabindra Nath Tagore etc.
Bengal was the cradle of learning and free thinking with most of the newspapers and Gazettes, like Bengalee, Amrita Bazar Patrika, bengal gazette which had wide circulation in both English and Bengali.
The failure of peaceful means and the rise of revolutionary terrorism like the Jugantar and Anushilan Samiti were also the gift of Bengal.
Write a suitable conclusion.
Best answer: Ashish Dahiya
At the time of British Raj in India, West Bengal was the main centre of India both economically and politically. Calcutta was the epicentre of activity in the early stages of the national movement of Independence mainly because of the fact that Calcutta was the Imperial Capital till it was shifted in 1911 to Delhi. Fear of intellectuals, freedom fighters, and nationalists made British Government to divide Bengal into 2 parts in 1905. Following are the reasons why Bengal was the cradle of nationalism in India:
Role in 1857 Sepoy Mutiny: Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 was started from Bengal itself from Barrackpore where sepoy Mangal Pandey shot dead 2 English military officers and a huge revolt started which paved the roots of 1857 revolt which ultimately shook the foundations of British Empire.
2. Early nationalist leaders: Many great leaders who played a significant role in India’s freedom were from West Bengal like Dadabhai Naroji, W.C. Benerjee, Aurobindo Gosh, Bipin Chandra Pal, Subash Chandra Bosh etc.
3. First eminent leaders: First native president of INC – W.C. Benerjee and first congress president to advocate self-rule by Indian Surendra Nath Benerjee were also from Bengal. This itself shows the importance of Bengal during that time.
4. National Anthem and National Song: India’s national anthem and national song which created a sense of self-respect and nationalism in India both written by Rabindernath Tagore and Bankimchandra Chatterjee respectively.
5. Swadeshi Movement of 1905: Partisan of Bengal led to Swadeshi Movement in Bengal which resulted in boycott of foreign things. This leads to speeding of Nationalism in India.
Therefore Bengal was the torch-bearer of India in India’s Independence movement. Famous nationalists, personalities and leaders like Swami Vivekanand, Ravindernath Tagore, W.C. Benerjee, Subash Chander Bose etc. played a crucial role in India’s freedom. Students movements in Calcutta, Chittagong armory raid made the youth of India to devote themselves for nation. Much more than anything, Bengal gave the national movement an Intellectual angle which was above the caste and religion.
4. There is a need of far reaching reforms in India’s higher education sector. Comment.
By 2030, India will be amongst the youngest nations in the world. With nearly 140 million people in the college-going age group, one in every four graduates in the world will be a product of the Indian higher education system.
Higher education is critical to India’s aspirations of emerging as a major player in the global knowledge economy. The global competitiveness of Indian industry and also its employment generation potential is clearly dependent on availability of required skills and trained personnel. But as several recent studies have revealed the overall state of Indian higher education is dismal and therefore poses a severe constraint on the supply of qualified manpower. Despite remarkable progress in reforms covering a number of sectors and sub-sectors of the economy, there is little informed debate on reforms in higher education.
(Provide 4-5 points)
Higher education in India suffers from several systemic deficiencies. As a result, it continues to provide graduates that are unemployable despite emerging shortages of skilled manpower in an increasing number of sectors.
Higher education in India has expanded rapidly over the past two decades. This growth has been mainly driven by private sector initiatives. There are genuine concerns about many of them being substandard and exploitative. Due to the government’s ambivalence on the role of private sector in higher education, the growth has been chaotic and unplanned. The regulatory system has failed to maintain standards or check exploitation.
Despite, its impressive growth, higher education in India could maintain only a very small base of quality institutions at the top. Standards of the majority of the institutions are poor and declining. (You can provide global ranking statistics that none of the Indian institutes or Universities are among the top 100)
While public funding declined (in real terms), enrolments in higher education institutions grew to meet the surge in demand. This further deteriorated academic standards. As a result, the institutions were forced to raise their tuition fees to sustain themselves. Emergence of private providers and increase in tuition fees in public institutions without any substantial programme for students’ financial aid has made higher education beyond the reach of the poor.
The emergence of a global economy due to increased trade, investment and mobility of people and, more recently, work across borders has forced nation states to adapt their systems of higher education to the changed global realities. Rather than continuing with their inward looking policies, several countries are reshaping their systems of higher education for making them globally competitive. However, Indian Higher Education policy has remained static.
The financing of higher education by the government has been marginal, which remains at less than half a per cent of GDP despite often heard statements made by the government to increase it to 1.5 per cent. The expenditure per student has declined rapidly over the years.
Only a few public higher education institutions are reasonably funded, most of them face a severe financial constraint, which is reflected in their sloppy standards.
Several measures are required to ensure that India has a respectable position in its research performance. The higher education institutions in both public and private sectors need to work together with research laboratories and the industry for the development of manpower in identified high technology areas. This would facilitate technology transfer when such highly skilled manpower migrates from the universities to the businesses.
The effective use of new technologies holds great potential in improving teaching learning outcomes, research performance and institutional and systemic performance. For this purpose, investment in technology infrastructure in higher education is needed.
With a view to resolve the paradox of high graduate unemployment and shortage of skills coexisting together, the connection between the higher education and the jobs has to be made more efficient.
While it is important to address the existing shortcomings in the higher education system, it is more important to introduce far reaching reforms in India’s higher education sector to achieve the objectives of Higher Education in India Vision 2030.
5. What is post truth? Why has this concept become popular? Examine.
The dictionary definition of post-truth:
Post-truth “relates to or denotes circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.”
The word ‘post’ does not, as one might be led to assume, indicate “after truth” but calls attention to the sheer irrelevance of “truth” in the context.
Why the concept has become popular?
The term “post-truth”, often used in a political context, became a defining word of the year (with Oxford Dictionaries (OD) announcing post-truth as its 2016 International Word of the Year).
The concept of post-truth has been in existence for the past decade, but Oxford Dictionaries has seen a spike in frequency in 2016 year in the context of the EU referendum in the United Kingdom and the presidential election in the United States. It has also become associated with a particular noun, in the phrase ‘post-truth politics’.
The first known usage of the term appeared in a 1992 article published in The Nation magazine, according to an Oxford statement. The term has become more popular in the past decade or so, but Oxford’s language research noted that the usage of the word has spiked considerably in the past year, increasing by 2,000 percent since 2015.
Fueled by the rise of social media as a news source and a growing distrust of facts offered up by the establishment, post-truth as a concept has been finding its linguistic footing for some time.
The concept became more and more popular with emotional appeals fueling a surge of right-wing movements across the world. Provide examples –
In England, appeals to emotion made Brexit the law of the land.
In the United States, President-elect Donald Trump’s upset victory was driven by emotional appeals, even as critics of the candidate pointed to various objective inconsistencies, factual errors, and outright falsehoods made by Mr. Trump as a way to disqualify him from the presidency.
In India, narratives of demonetisation.
While examining, one has to provide implications of “post-truth” and end it with an apt conclusion. (Please refer to below best answers for good points)
Post-Truth is a word coined in the preceding year to explain some global events that happened in vastly disparate geographies but carried a similar current of lies and deception in public life.
Oxford chose it as the word of the year to reflect the grim mood of the World at the end of 2016.
Post truth is the understanding that ‘truth’ as we know it is becoming rarer in public life. Proponents of each ideology are able to argue convincingly about the merits of their approach without adhering to any factual basis. This has the effect of deceiving their audiences and giving them power and political mileage. During the Brexit campaign as well in the American elections, the discourse consisted of varying truthfulness or even outright incorrect information, leading to events whose impact was felt around the world.
Lies in politics is not a new phenomenon. The political Scientist Hannah Arendt, in her essay on “Truth and Politics” observes that truth and politics seem to be mutually contradictory and incompatible. Her observations were based on her studies of Nazi Germany where Hitler’s propaganda machine churned out facts that shaped public opinion without any basis in truth. As we know, the German population to the greatest extent remained mute spectators to the horrors of the Holocaust due to this propaganda.
This explains why it is important for truth to be an essential part of politics. Politics couched in untruth may lead to some short term gains, however the long term consequences are almost always damaging to democracy. Gandhi understood this very well as he tried to grapple with questions of truth both personal and political. Gandhian politics is thus, first and foremost
a search for and a tyrst with truth. In this tyrst the means to achieve power need to be truthful for the ends to be in public interest.
Locally and globally, it is necessary for us to go back to this philosophy. Truth in public life cannot and should not espouse narrow public interests but should be open to only those interpretations that lend itself to compassion and genuine concern.