SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP – 2018: UPSC Mains General Studies Questions [16th January 2018]- Day 37

  • IASbaba
  • January 18, 2018
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TLP-UPSC Mains Answer Writing
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SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP – 2018: UPSC Mains General Studies Questions [16th January 2018]- Day 37


1. Discuss the contribution of Dadabhai Naoroji in Indian national movement.


  • This is a simple question requiring specific details of the asked topic
  • Introduction
  • Contributions
  • conclusion

Introduction: Dadabhai Naoroji is fondly called as the “Grand Old Man of India”. He is viewed as the architect who laid the foundation of the Indian freedom struggle.

Main Body:

Dadabhai Nauroji entered the political fray in 1852. He strongly opposed the renewal of lease to the East India Company in 1853. He sent petitions to the English government in this regard. But the British government ignored his pleas and renewed the lease.

He set up the Gyan Prasarak Mandali (Society for Promotion of Knowledge) for the education of adult menfolk. He wrote several petitions to Governors and Viceroys regarding India’s problems. Ultimately, he felt that the British people and the British Parliament must be made aware of India’s plight. In 1855, at the age of 30 he sailed for England.

Naoroji founded the Rahnumae Mazdayasne Sabha (Guides on the Mazdayasne Path) on 1 August 1851 to restore the Zoroastrian religion to its original purity and simplicity. In 1854, he also founded a Gujarati fortnightly publication, the Rast Goftar (or The Truth Teller), to clarify Zoroastrian concepts and promote Parsi social reforms.

In England, Dadabhai Naoroji joined several learned societies, delivered many speeches and wrote articles on the plight of India. He founded the East Indian Association on December 1st, 1866. The association was comprised of high-ranking officers from India and people who had access to Members of the British Parliament.

Dadabhai Naoroji was elected to the British Parliament in 1892 from Central Finsbury as the Liberal party candidate. He got a resolution passed in British Parliament for holding preliminary examinations for the I.C.S. in India and England simultaneously.

He also got the Wiley Commission, the royal commission on India expenditure, to acknowledge the need for even distribution of administrative and military expenditure between India and England.

His book Poverty and Un-British Rule in India brought attention to the draining of India’s wealth into Britain.

In 1874, he became Prime Minister of Baroda and was a member of the Legislative Council of Mumbai (1885–88). He was also a member of the Indian National Association founded by Sir Surendranath Banerjee.

Dadabhai Naoroji was instrumental in the establishment of the Indian National Congress founded by A.O. Hume in 1885. Thrice he was elected to the post of the President of the Indian National Congress, in 1886, 1893 and in 1906.

Naoroji was a mentor to Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Gopal Krishna Gokhale and Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.

During his third term, he prevented a split between moderates and extremists in the party. The Congress’ demand for swaraj (self-rule) was first expressed publicly by him in his presidential address in 1906.


Dadabhai Naoroji believed in non-violent and constitutional methods of protest. He died at the age of 92 on June 30, 1917.

Best Answer: Kanishka



2. Rationalism and humanism formed the core of socio-religious movements in 19th century India. Substantiate by taking suitable examples.


  • Introduction: 2-3 lines about how 19th century India was marred by superstitions and condition of women.
  • Body: Try to point out the issue in Heading and then write which group or Individual contributed towards them.
  • Conclusion: 2-3 line conclusion about changes that took place due to their efforts.


India of 19th century was marred with superstitions and practices derogatory to women and depressed classes. The modern education system coupled with rationalism and humanism helped reformers identify these evils and expel those out of the social arena of India.


Major examples of such works and their rationale:

  1. Abolition of Sati: Raja Ram Mohan Roy along with Brahmo Samaj questioned its validity and gave more importance to the right of life of women compared to social practice. Their constant efforts led to abolition of this derogatory practice.
  1. Widow remarriage: Ishwar Chandra vidyasagar led this campaign to uplift the social status of women based on the rationale of equality of men and women. It led to passage of Hindu Widow’s remarriage act, 1856.
  1. Girl’s education: Jyotiba Phule along with his wife Savitra Phule was a pioneer to provide girls with basic rights to be educated and to be treated as equal to their male counterparts.
  1. Muslim reforms: Led by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan based on the premise that only education can bring rationality and reforms in Muslim way of life. Deoband school brought in liberal interpretation of Islam holy books.
  1. Caste movements: Various agitations in all parts of India eg. Temple entry movement were meant to achieve social equality between dalits and upper castes, and also made efforts to treat dalits in a more humanely way. Narayan Guru from Kerala played a very important role.
  1. Reforms in Hindu religion: Dayanand Saraswati and Arya Samaj condemned Idolatry, polytheism and other such practices as not in interest of religion and its followers. A more rationale way of life under Hinduism was propagated.


With the help of many social reformers the condition of Women was improved. They brought rationale thought to religion and Humanistic view over took the superstitions which helped in emancipation of Depressed classes from clutches of inhuman practices.

Connecting the dots:

  • Major socio-religious movements of 19th century
  • Difference in social movements of 19th and 20th century
  • Comparison of socio-religious movements of India and the west

Best Answer: Kinder


3. The Indian support for British during WWI and the very nature of the war were antithetical. Do you agree? Examine.


  • It is a one part question
  • Focus on the main theme – true nature of the war (colonization and imperialism) and aim of India nationalist movement (decolonization)


World War 1 (WW1) was started in 1914 between the allied powers containing Russia, France, Britain and central Powers of Germany, Austria-Hungary. Even though, the war was mainly contained in Europe, countries like India were dragged into this conflict as they were colonies of warring nations.

Indian nationalist movement, at that time, was dominated by moderates who believed that if India contribution to the British war efforts would result in British’s benevolence towards the natives and would grant them more constitutional reforms.

Offers of financial and military help were made from all over the country. Hugely wealthy princes offered great sums of money, and even areas outside of British India offered help – Nepal offered help and in total sent 100,000 Gurkhas and the Dalai Lama in Tibet offered 1000 of his troops to the cause.

Furthermore, Indian army was aloof from the nationalist movement as magazines, newspapers were not allowed in the barracks and so they fought for the British Raj.

Therefore, India’s support for British in the WW I can be said antithetical because:

  • The underlying nature of the war was capturing of more colonies by the imperialist countries of Europe such as Germany, Italy etc. India being an oppressed colony herself went against the very demands of their nationalist movement.
  • At one hand, Indian leaders including Mahatma Gandhi supported the Khilafat Movement, while on the other hand supported British in the war, which was fighting against the Turkish Caliphate.


On a philosophical note alone, India’s support for British in WW I was antithetical because Indian nationalist movement was founded the principle of non-violence and thus supporting the most brutal war in human history didn’t align with its core idea. Even Gandhian philosophy which states that unethical means can never lead to ethical ends was violated.

The support came at a huge human and financial loss to India and her miscalculations in reading the true intentions of the British Empire were proven right in the 1919 Montagu Chelmsford Reforms.

Best Answer: None



This is of Ideological differences in Indian National Movement from the Surat Split to Lucknow Pact. Taking into the battle for “Swaraj” and “Swadeshi”. By 1905, popular resistance movements had developed in both Bengal and Maharashtra, calling for the boycott of British goods and non-payment of land revenues and other taxes.

In 1906, the Extremists wanted to extend their gains, the Moderates to recover their lost ground. As in 1906, the most contentious issue was selecting the session’s president. The Extremists again promoted Tilak; the Moderates were determined to block him. The session was scheduled to be held in Nagpur, which the Moderates thought a safe site. But local Extremists managed to intimidate the Moderate reception committee chairman, who feared Tilak might be elected.


In 1907, there was a split in the Congress and the Moderates parted company with the Extremists. The split created a gulf between the Extremists and the Moderates. The Congress session was held on 26 December, 1907 at Surat, on the banks of the river Tapti. The extremists were excited by the rumors that the Moderates wanted to scuttle the four Calcutta resolutions. The Moderates were deeply heart by the ridicule and venom poured on them in mass meetings held at Surat on the previous three days. The delegates, thus, met in an atmosphere surcharged with excitement and anger.

Difference between Tilak and Gokhale and how ordinary looked at the entire scenario:

Tilak and Gokhale were clearly seeing Indian reality from very different vantage points.

  • From the point of view of the ordinary masses, British rule had already bankrupted the nation, left intolerable misery in it’s wake, and offered no hope for the future.
  • Tilak’s assessment of the situation reflected bleak reality – as experienced not only by the oppressed and downtrodden Indian masses, but by an overwhelming majority of all Indians.
  • But Gokhale’s ambivalence and his more cautiously expressed though clearly articulated concerns reflected the position of those who had at least partially shared in the spoils of the empire, but saw with some trepidation how the growing poverty of the nation might unravel the British empire.
  • Reluctant to make common cause with the masses, “moderates” such as Gokhale did everything in their power to restrain the growing national movement – even branding Tilak and his allies as “extremists”.

Events took place at that point is clearly shows that the Surat split and the Lucknow pact are two ends of the same continuum that represented the fissures as well as the joints in the Indian national movement, In 1916, The Lucknow Pact – Reunion of Moderates and Extremists:

  • The Lucknow Pact, on the other hand, was an important landmark in India’s struggle for freedom as it brought the Extremist and Moderate sections of Indian National Congress together under one common interest for obtaining self-rule for the Indians.
  • The Congress and the Muslim League also came together to fight for self-rule.
  • Mahatma Gandhi emerged as a national leader. He advocated the use of ‘satyagraha’ to fight the British. His social agenda included the removal of untouchability, the revival of village crafts and the popularization of charkha and khadi.


The death of the Moderate leaders of the Congress like Goal Krishna Cochlea and Feroz Shah Mehta gave Tikal and Annie Besant to dominate the Congress. Thus, the reunion between the Moderates and Extremists took place in the Lucknow Sessions of Indian National Congress. The gap between the two was abridged in this session which had become apparent in the Surat Session.

Best Answer: Abhishek Naik


5. Was partition inevitable? Critically examine.


  • Introduction
  • Analyse why the Partition could not be avoided.
  • Analyse why the Partition could be avoided.
  • Conclusion


The partition of India in 1947 is rightly considered as a blot in Indian history. Two streams of arguments exist- as per one the partition could be avoided and as per another it was unavoidable.

The Partition could not be avoided:

The seeds of Partition were sown long ago.

  • Divide and rule policy of Britishers: As early as 1940s, Winston Churchill hoped that Hindu-Muslim antagonism would remain “a bulwark of British rule in India”.
  • Failure of Congress to bring Muslims into mainstream. Participation of the community was quite low in almost all the nationalist movements.
  • In the 1946 elections, the Congress Party leaders refused to share power with Jinnah, confident that they did not need Muslim support in order to win a majority vote in elections. These attitudes stoked Muslim fears that the secular nationalism was a cover for Hindu dominance.
  • Insecurity in minds of Muslims due to steps taken by congress, formation of communal groups like Hindu Mahasabha.

Immediate instances:

  • Huge scale violence, massacre. Had the congress leaders not agreed to Partition, we would have had a civil war (with violence in Punjab and Bengal escalating). We would have had more ethnic strife.
  • Hurry to exit- It seems the British saw partition along religious lines as the quickest way to exit. The British were eager to divide and quit and the Indian politicians were too eager to enjoy power.

Starting with Nehru other congress leaders like Patel and Rajaji, slowly accepted the idea of Pakistan. Finally, even Gandhi has to relent despite his resistance to the idea of Pakistan.

The Partition could be avoided:

  • If both the religious communities would have understood the ill-intent of Britishers while pleasing one community over the other.
  • Communal groups like Hindu Mahasabha and Muslim league should have been dealt with strictly.


As Ramachandra Guha beautifully puts it – the short sightedness of Congress, Jinnah’s ambitions and Britain’s amorality and cynicism had made partition inevitable. In retrospect, it could have been implemented better. Very abruptly in June 1947, the date for the transfer of power was announced. No reasons to advance the date was provided. No one had prepared for a massive transfer of population.
The leaders of the two nations should let bygones be bygones and rise above past tragedies to develop a relationship based on mutual trust and cooperation.

Best answer: Sandhya



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