SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP – 2018: UPSC Mains General Studies Questions [21st December 2017]- Day 24

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  • December 22, 2017
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TLP-UPSC Mains Answer Writing
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SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP – 2018: UPSC Mains General

Studies Questions [21st December 2017]- Day 24


Q.1) Sufism indeed was a religion of intense devotion, love was its passion; poetry, song and dance, its worship and passing away in God its ideal. Comment.


Sufism, which started as a reform movement, laid emphasis on free-thinking, liberal ideas and toleration. They believed in the equality of all human beings and brotherhood of man. Their concept of universal brotherhood and the humanitarian ideas of the Sufi saints attracted the Indian mind. A movement similar to Sufism, called the Bhakti cult, was already afoot in India on the eve of the Muslim conquest of the country. The Sufi movement proved very helpful in bridging the gap between the followers of the two religions and in bringing the Hindus and the Muslims together.

A religion of intense devotion, love was its passion; poetry, song and dance:

The practice of Sufism is the intention to go towards the Truth, by means of love and devotion. This is called the tarigat, the spiritual path or way towards God. The Sufi is one who is a lover of Truth, who by means of love and devotion moves towards the Truth, towards the perfection which all are truly seeking. As necessitated by love’s jealousy, the Sufi is taken away from all except the Truth.

Music and dance played a special role in the history of Sufism and in the evolvement of its various orders. In his verses Hafiz says that music and dance made him forget his sorrow and the pain of separation from the loved ones and come closer to the Truth, Harmony and Beauty. Sufism is the way to God via emotions and spirituality rather than through reason, and it celebrates the intimate relationship of the seeker with Allah.

Famous Sufi Saints and their contribution in India’s pluralistic society:

  • The Sufism reached India in the 12th century A.D. Its influence grew considerably during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.
  • In India, Chisti and Suhrawardi Silsila were most prominent. Chisti order was founded in India by Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti.
  • His dargah at Ajmer became a centre of veneration for both the Muslims and Hindus, after his death in 1236 A.D., his devotees continued to celebrate an annual festival at Ajmer.
  • Sufism is a celebration of diversity and pluralism, expressed in the words of Hazrat Nizamuddin, that every people has its own path of truth, beliefs and focus of reverence.
  • On the one hand, the role of music and dance in ritual practice has always caused many debates; on the other hand, their practicing was not the least important factor that made Sufism popular nowadays.
  • ‘Sama’ ritual (ecstatic rite that involves dancing and listening to the music) of Mulavi brotherhood that developed in Turkey under immediate influence of Ottoman court etiquette is now performed on stage as the dance of whirling dervishes.

For centuries many of the world’s Muslims were, in one way or another, practitioners of Sufism, a spiritualism that centers on the mystical connection between the individual and the divine. Sufism’s ethos was egalitarian, charitable and friendly, often propagated by wandering seers and storytellers. It blended with local cultures and cemented Islam’s place from North Africa to the Indian subcontinent.


At global Sufi meet held India, the Prime Minister of India made a strong pitch against terrorism, which can be countered through Sufism, underlining that “terrorism divides and destroys us”. Indeed, when terrorism and extremism have become the most destructive force of our times, the message of Sufism has global relevance.

Best Answer: geeta


2. A concerted effort to preserve our heritage is a vital link to our cultural, educational, aesthetic, inspirational, and economic legacies – all of the things that quite literally make us who we are. Elucidate.


  • Introduction
  • How efforts to preserve heritage links us to various legacies- Each point should be substantiated with apt examples.
  • Conclusion


Heritage plays a vital role in our everyday lives. It is evidence of our journey of transformation. It is not something obscure or unimportant.  We learn from our past in order to achieve greater influence over our future by associating to our rich heritage. 

Preserving heritage is a vital link to various aspects:

Cultural aspect

A rich cultural heritage is highlighted with the existence of matrimonial society during Harappan civilisation, concept of Vasudhev kutumbakam from the vedic era, respect for elders under Ashoka’s Dhamma etc. It helps in inculcating the culture of moality and ethics. Efforts in preserving this heritage helps us strengthen our cultural tradition thereby building on the soft power for India in in the international fora.

Educational legacy

The efforts to revive Nalanda university and the support received for the same from other nations especially South Asian countries reflects our rich educational legacy. It is an inspiration as to how India can become a hub for scholars from worldwide. The Guru-Shishya parampara (tradition) if strengthened may help solve us issues of poor quality of education in schools especially in public ones.

Aesthetic legacy

The spiritual an emotional feelings (bhaav) which erupts amongst us while watching classical dance performance, and listening to classical songs; the paintings in Ajanta, Ellora caves highlights the aesthetic aspects of our rich heritage.

Inspirational legacy

The teachings of Ramayana and Geeta which stresses on values like honesty, integrity; Swami Vivekananda’s lessons motivating the youth to work hard, Gandhi’s gospel of non-violence etc. inspires us to lead a value-based life. Preserving this tradition through textbooks in schools, colleges instils in a feeling of staying motivated keeps one inspired.

Economic legacy

The market reforms during the khilji period, the economic administrative system highlighted in Arthashastra, the huge trade between India and other nations especially west Asia and Southeast Asian nations etc along with the tourism sector associated with historical places like Hampi reflects how preserving the heritage of monuments and of traditions may boost our economy.


Thus, given the importance of our heritage it needs to be preserved in a coordinated manner. The government and the civilians must equally bear the responsibility. Serious efforts should be made. The institutions meant to do so like preservation and conservation of historical monuments under ASI aren’t doing much in this regard.
Further the protection of heritage should not be done blindly as there have been many fallacies like the untouchability system, the devdasi system which should not have any place in modern society. 

Best answer: Doreamon



3. Over past decades, Indian cinema has witnessed a significant transformation in the way women are portrayed through films. Contemporary films portray women as more independent, confident, and career oriented. Comment. Do you witness any positive influence of such films on the patriarchal Indian society? Examine.


  • Write a short introduction about Cinema or Transformational role played by it
  • Write how Indian cinema has witnessed a transformation in women’s portrayal
  • Write Examples how contemporary films portray women Independent, confident and career oriented
  • Positive Influence on Patriarchal society should be examined and concluded suitably


In the 60 years since Independence, Indian cinema has gone through a lot of changes including a shift from classic mythological blockbusters to “Bollywoodised” remakes of Hollywood’s successful films. Women in the Indian film industry have played an important role in the success of individual films. Their roles however have changed overtime, from being dependent on their male counterparts to very independently carrying the storyline forward.

Main Body:

Significant transformation in the way women are portrayed through films

During the 1980s, there was the beginning of the action era, an era that brought a lot of changes. The film heroines lost their strength and space to the hero. She was reduced to being a glamorous component of the films, dancing around trees, being kidnapped, raped or killed.

The example of Mirch Masala does not mean that the females in films were always left behind. Several films depict a more dominant image of women as well Like Sri Devi, In Himmatwala,

Sometime afterwards, in the 90s especially, the line between the heroine and vamp disappeared. The heroine dressed as boldly and moved as provocatively as the bad girl of old times.

Later on in contemporary times films started portraying women as independent,confident and career oriented.

Rani Mukherjee’s portrayal of a fierce cop in Mardaani perfectly showcases the true strength of a woman. The character is based on a real life cop who solved several child trafficking cases. Shivani Shivaji Roy not only single-handedly beat up some of the baddest criminals but held her own against the evil doers

When most of the youth in villages seem to be migrating to urban cities for better jobs and opportunities, the simple character of Gita (played by Gayatri Joshi) from Swades sets an example of an empowered woman who can make her own decisions. This highly educated village girl gave up lucrative offers in the city and chose to stay in the village to teach kids and reform the village.

The powerful portrayal of boxer Mary Kom by Priyanka Chopra is one of the strongest female roles in Indian Cinema. How Mary Kom went against her family and chased her dream to become a boxer is very inspirational. In a country where sports is not taken seriously as a career, especially for girls who are supposed to get married and look after their family, Mary Kom sets an example.

The character of Janki played by Madhuri Dixit sure portrays one of the most powerful identifies of a woman in Bollywood. If women can be loving and caring, they can also be fierce and stand up for what is right at the same time.

Kangna Ranaut in Queen. Rani’s transformation from a once shy and timid girl to a confident and liberated lady was amazing.

As more women’s issues come to the forefront of the patriarchal Indian society, the more varied women’s roles have become in Indian cinema.

Influence of such films on the patriarchal Indian society

In a well-defined patriarchal society like India, even the cinematic world deems to project women as in factual life. This is a good thing as films have mass appeal and at least some if not all carry out a message to the public and try to create awareness.

Women are insinuated in films as bearing the burden of sexual objectification that male roles cannot. Hence, they become the bearer, and not the maker of meaning.

Women in Indian cinema are born with certain assumptions ranging from cult movies to celluloid blockbusters like Sholay to more recent Fashion that employ themselves as in severe gender issues. They are portrayed either as damsels in distress or demented feminists or simple belly-shaking glam dolls whose sole ambition is to attract the attention of the male gender. In many Indian films it is a common trend to insert ‘item numbers’ which bear no rational connection to the film in anyways but with an assumption that the film is easily associated.


Occasionally, do we see a female being the protagonist of a film than merely being objects of sexual desire. In some cases there appears to be a clash between ‘modern feminism’ and ‘traditional values’. Indian cinema often acts like an emotional register and is very resourceful while reading the characterization of ‘Women’.

Best Answer: Disha



4. The decision to set up special courts to try MPs and MLAs facing criminal charges is a welcome step. Comment. What other measures can be taken to decriminalise politics in India? Suggest. 


  • Introduction- Mention about Center agreeing to set up special court as recommended by SC
  • Write how special court will help and second part mention what measures can be taken to decriminalize politics. It should be practical examples as per Indian scenario.
  • Conclusion


As on 2014, a record 1581 lawmakers were facing criminal cases against them. In order to FastTrack the cases, center has agreed to Supreme Court recommendation on setting up of 12 special courts to deal with cases against elected representatives.

Points to be covered:

The special courts are going to help in following ways:

  • Faster verdicts and punishment: To citizens and politicians who face inter-political rivalry.
  • Reduced burden: On Judiciary who are already facing huge backlogs.
  • Decriminalization: Of politics due to fear of faster trails and convictions.
  • Faith in justice system: To citizens, who believe rich and powerful can get away with any crime.
  • Judicial corruption: Can be reduced.
  • Clean politics: Representative with clean image and capabilities will come to forefront.

Measures for decriminalizing politics:

  • Life Ban: On politician convicted of criminal offense.
  • Powers to EC: More and real powers to EC to ban politicians involved in illegal activities.
  • RTI: political parties under RTI.
  • State funding of elections
  • Scanning during nominations: By retired judges, public organizations, retired politicians.
  • Right to recall: Those convicted or accused with proper evidence.


It has been 70 years since independence and if still we are not able to decriminalize politics then it is a matter of shame to each and every citizen of country who are responsible for electing such people. Steps have to be taken on war footing to eliminate criminal elements from politics and clean the system for better and healthy democratic system to prevail.

Best answer: Jupiter



5. Gain in productivity, reduction in cost of cultivation and remunerative prices can help in doubling farmers’ income (DFI) by 2022. Analyse.


You have to analyse the statement i.e. in the answer you need to write how can increase in productivity, reduction in input cost and remunerative prices help in DFI.


You need to mention that these three aspects have been recommended by Ashok Dalwai committee. This will create an impression that you are aware why this specific question is asked in the exam.

Increase in Productivity:

As percentage India has one of the largest land under agriculture. So increase in land is not possible. A marginal increase can be there if waste land is cured. So production can only increase if productivity of the current land is increased. Currently India has one of the lowest productivities per unit area.

Productivity can be increased through following means:

  • Sowing of crops according to the quality of soil. Soil health card scheme will be beneficial in this.
  • Procuring better quality of seeds
  • Providing optimum water during growth of crops so that dependence on monsoon is reduced. Modern methods of irrigation like drip irrigation, sprinkler irrigation etc should be used in water deficit areas.
  • Providing optimum fertilizer and pesticides at the right time.
  • Crop rotation to maintain the soil fertility for a longer time.
  • Cooperative farming, so that area to grow crops may increase and scientific methods can be used profitably.

Reduction in cost:

  • Cooperative farming will also help in reducing production cost.
  • Subsidies should be targeted and checked to supply water, electricity, fertilizers etc.
  • Crops should be grown according to the climate.
  • Low interest loans should be provided by the government.

Remunerative prices:

  • MSP should be set higher.
  • All APMCs should be connected and market price should be shared with farmers. Farmers should get freedom to sell their produce in the mandi of their choice where ever they are getting highest price.
  • Corporate farming can fetch better price for farmers.
  • Middlemen between farmers and market should be minimized so that they can reap the maximum benefit.

Note: More points can be included under each of the above heads.

In any sector profit can be maximized if cost of production is low and price in market is high. This is what we are trying to do here. But with such a huge population and complex and unique conditions for every region, this is going to be humongous task.

Best Answer : The Imp




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