SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP – 2017 : UPSC Mains General Studies Questions [12th Sep, 2017]- Day 47

  • September 13, 2017
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IASbaba's Think Learn and Perform 2017, UPSC Mains Answer Writing
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SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP – 2017 : UPSC Mains General Studies Questions [12th Sep, 2017]- Day 47


1. The theme of Lord Buddha in meditation finds a prominent place in the rich visual art forms of India. Discuss.


Favorite themes in Buddhist stupas were events from the historic life of the Buddha, as well as from his previous lives, which were believed to number 550 called jatakas.

In the earliest Buddhist art of India, the Buddha was not represented in human form. His presence was indicated instead by a sign, such as a pair of footprints, an empty seat, or an empty space beneath a parasol. In the first century A.D., the human image of one Buddha came to dominate the artistic scene, and one of the first sites at which this occurred was along India’s northwestern frontier. In the area known as Gandhara.


  • Youthful Buddhas with hair arranged in wavy curls resemble Roman statues of Apollo; the monastic robe covering both shoulders and arranged in heavy classical folds is reminiscent of a Roman toga are found in Gandhara art form.
  • Buddhism evolved the concept of a Buddha of the Future, Maitreya, depicted in art both as a Buddha clad in a monastic robe and as a princely bodhisattva before enlightenment. reath (prana), and his clinging monastic robe was draped to leave the right shoulder bare.
  • A Buddha type evolved in Andhra Pradesh, in southern India, where images of substantial proportions, with serious, unsmiling faces, were clad in robes that created a heavy swag at the hem and revealed the left shoulder.
  • The southern sites provided artistic inspiration for the Buddhist land of Sri Lanka, off the southern tip of India, and Sri Lankan monks regularly visited the area. A number of statues in this style have been found as well throughout Southeast Asia.
  • Mathura style gave more Indian touch to Buddha mediation sculptures; here Buddha form was redesigned more as Indian gods with many similar features.
  • Mural painting and cave art- across Ajanta, Ellora, Aurangabad cave etc. Ajanta caves have a Buddha painting in Padampani form and Abhaymudra.


Thus, it can be concluded that Buddhist art forms were very much prevalent in India in almost all visual art forms like sculpture, painting etc.

Best answer: No answer

2. The musical heritage of India is a living embodiment of the Guru-Shishya tradition. Comment.


Described by the Indian scholar T. G. Vaidyanathan as the “master paradigm that runs like a leitmotif through India’s chequered history “the bond between a master (guru) and a disciple (shishya) is particularly significant in the training of music in India A guru is considered as the metaphysical father of the disciple and is ranked higher than biological parents. This system dates back to the Vedic era.

  • The musical heritage of India originates from Samveda and Gandharbaveda. The learning and knowledge survived generation after generation by Guru-Shishya parampara.
  • In medieval times after 13th century Indian music divided into Hindustani and Carnatic music.
    Hindustani music again divided into various gharanas like Gwalior and Patiala gharana.
  • In Dagar gharana Gundecha brothers, In Darbhanga gharana Malik family, In Betiah and Talbandi gharana Khandar bani and nauhari bani represent examples of -Shishya parampara.
  • In modern age, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan (Guru Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Art Qawalli); Shafqat Amanat Ali (Ustad Amanat Ali Khan, Patiala gharana), Kaushik Chakraborty (Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty, Patiala gharana) are the examples of continuity of Guru–Shishya parampara.

Music in India evolves and passes to the disciple by the blessings of teacher. From ancient Vedic age to our modern age, the musical heritage of India is a living embodiment of the Guru-Shishya tradition.


  • Music that has been preserved in an unbroken oral tradition for centuries may be lost if the tradition disappears—that has often spurred the consecration of gurukuls in India and abroad. While the Ravi Shankar Centrehas become increasingly popular in Delhi, Ustad Ziafariduddin Dagar runs a gurukul in Panvel where students come for a few hours every week. Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia set up his first Vrindavan Gurukul in Mumbai and another in Bhubaneswar, Manoj Hangal is setting up a gurukul in the memory of his grandmother Gangubai Hangal in Hubli, and Ustad Zakir Hussain is in the process of setting up his own gurukul.

    Guru Shishya Parampara Scheme

  • Government of India introduced Guru Shishya Parampara scheme in 2003-04. As per the scheme, great masters in the field of Music and Dance, folk and tribal art forms are identified in each zonal cultural centres and students are assigned to them. Financial assistance and Scholarship are given by the government, encouraging the systematic learning of different art forms.





3. Story telling through various performing arts is a dominant cultural theme in India. Illustrate with the help of suitable examples.

Performing arts in India can be classified into Music, Dance, Theatre and Puppetry. In all these various performing arts story telling is a dominant theme.

Performance arts since ancient times were not only viewed as a form of entertainment but also a means to interact with the community, educate them of certain moral values or make it aware of certain issues. Themes such as religion, mythology and historical events were used for so.


a) In Khyal gharana of Hindustani Music stories of divine love, separation of lovers, pranks of lord Krishna are expressed.
b) In Bhatiyali sangeet of Bengal folk tales are told through lucid languages.
c) In Rabindra Sangeet many historic sagas, love and devotion, ups and downs of common lives are portrayed
d) Gana sangeet expressed the story of freedom struggle and nationalism


a) In Bharatnatyam stories are told where one dancers plays many different roles
b) In Kuchipudi and Kathakali Bhagbat puran and Bishnu Puran is portrayed
c) In Odishi stories of Radha Krishna love,dashavtar,jagannath puja
d) Kathak is derived its name from Katha (story)
e) Chau dance is famous for mythological stories
f) Manipuri and Sattria is famous for mythological stories

Theatre and Puppetry:

a) String puppetry and shadow puppetry tells the story of rural life, moral stories and devotion
b) Ravanachhaya of Odisha is famous for stories of Ramayana
c) Putul naach in Westbengal portays various folk tales and mythology
d) Nukkad, Jatra or Nautanki tells us stories of modern society and lifestyle

Story telling is a popular theme of entertainment in Indian society and various performing arts are playing their roles to fulfill it.

Best Answer: Redeemer



4. “Ghazal has been a thread to conjoin Indian culture from ancient times”. Elaborate.


Ghazal is a popular poetic recitation in India and Pakistan which traces its roots from Arabic poetry. It grew in present day Iran and spread across the world with growth of Muslim. In India it got introduced in 12th century with Mughal courts.


Ghazal has been a thread to conjoin Indian culture from ancient times:

  • Courts: It was associated with king courts like India classical music from ancient times.
  • Couplet: It is in form of couplets like ancient Indian poetics like ramacharitamanas, thirukural etc.
  • Musical: It was a prose but acquired music form latter on like Indian mythological proses.
  • Oxthodoxy: Its musically rhymes highlights oxthodoxy.
  • Love: Superior and unreciprocated love for God.
  • Mystical reflection: Poetry and singing in praise of Mystical characters.
  • Spiritualism: Indian culture involves lot of spiritualism, Ghazal also deals with it.


The traditional Ghazals are similar to the Hindustani classical music forms such as “Dadra” and “Thumri”. Then there are some Ghazal forms that are similar to Qawwali. India has produced some of the exceptional talents in the field of Ghazal singing like Begum Akhtar, Jagjit Singh and Pankaj Udhas.

5. What is the “classical language status” given to some of the Indian languages by the government? What is its significance?


Recently Odia was given classical language joining the list of other 5 languages. Classical languages are those languages which are ancient, of independent nature and note derivative of any other tradition.  Sanskrit, Tamil, Chinese, Hebrew, Greek and Latin are classical languages of the world.


Indian government has given few criteria for identifying a language as classical language.:

·         High antiquity of its early texts/recorded history over a period of 1500-2000 years.

·         A body of ancient literature/texts, which is considered a valuable heritage by generations of speakers.

·         The literary tradition should be original and not borrowed from another speech community.

·         The classical language and literature being distinct from the modern, there may also be discontinuity between the classical language and its later forms or offshoots.


·         Awards: Two major international awards are given for eminent scholars.

·         Centers: center for excellence for classical studies can be set up.

·         Funds: Central government provides funds for maintenance and growth of language.

·         Professional chairs: UGC can be requested to create professional chairs in central universities for classical languages.


The definition of classical language has undergone several changes and the present one is also susceptible to changes. Presently there are 6 Indian Languages given the status Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Odia. It is a matter of pride that two of ours is recognized as classical languages of the world.

Best answer: Rahul Skanda



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