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SYNOPSIS [14th OCTOBER,2020] Day 3: IASbaba’s TLP (Phase 2): UPSC Mains Answer Writing (General Studies)
1. What was the Subsidiary Alliance? How did it shape the contemporary political landscape? Examine.
There are two demand areas in the question. First demand is quite direct – Aspirants need to write about the Subsidiary Alliance (in introduction), some of its unique features which actually defines Subsidiary alliance. The second demand carries more marks, it needs due focus in body and conclusion of your answer.
Subsidiary Alliance was basically a treaty between the British East India Company and the Indian princely states (during later half of 18th century and beginning of the 19th century). The subsidiary alliance i.e. “Non-Intervention Policy” in India was implemented by Lord Wellesley (1798-1803) but it was coined first time by French Governor Dupleix during 1750s.
The main intention was to expand the British rule in India, which eventually led to Indian kingdoms losing their sovereignty to the English.
Features which explains about Subsidiary Alliance Treaty:
- Any Indian ruler, who enters into treaty with the British, had to dissolve his own armed forces and accept British forces in his territory. It is his responsibility to take care of British army’s maintenance.
- In Non-intervention Policy, British promised non-interference in internal affairs of the Indian state but it was just promise and rarely kept.
- Without the permission of British Governor, the Indian state could not enter into any alliance with any other foreign power thus, the Indian ruler lost all powers in respect of foreign affairs and the military.
- The Indian ruler could not employ any European in their service without prior approval of British.
How Subsidiary Alliance shaped contemporary political landscape:
- It had profound impact on the political leaders during freedom struggle as well as Independent India, hence India’s policies such as Non Alignment, Mutual respect and recognition of sovereignty of other countries and India’s foreign policies, it’s diplomatic relations etc were shaped and influenced by the learning of negative impacts of Subsidiary Alliance.
- The idea of sovereignty and its significance, self-rule (Swaraj) and call for independent India got formalized.
- Political leaders recognized that post Independent India needs a self-reliance and self-sufficient policies especially in areas of defense, heavy industries and strategic sectors, therefore a third party country do not influence or play a dominant role (or become a hurdle) in India’s growth story.
- India follows Non-interventionism or non-intervention — a foreign policy that holds that political rulers should avoid interfering in the affairs of foreign nation’s relations but still retain diplomacy and trade, while avoiding wars unless related to direct self-defense.
Aspirants can conclude their answer by summarizing how Subsidiary Alliance shaped leaders during Indian National movement, Independent India and post Independent India and its policies (conclusion will be awarded with some marks).
2. What was the tribal response to British policies and rule in the 19th century? Explain with the help of suitable examples.
It expects students to write about British policies in brief and the impacts of British policies on tribes and their response to it with appropriate examples from 19th century.
British introduced rapid changes in the economy, administration, and land revenue system in 19th century. These expansionist policies of British ended the isolated lives of tribal population and brought them fully within the ambit of colonialism. It led to struggle between tribal and British rule.
British policies affected tribal population to great extent:
- The boundaries between forests, grazing grounds and cultivated fields were fluid and porous in pre-colonial times. The company administration’s basic drive to establish order, extend cultivation and collect revenue resulted into making of clear frontiers between plains and hills or forests and stable effort to restrict the movement of the people of the different zones from one to another.
- Tribal fluctuating kings, practice of shifting cultivation, habit of raiding the plains and of taking up different jobs in different seasons were totally opposed to British notion of order and civilization.
- The setting up of railway network in India in the middle of the nineteenth century needed timber for railway sleepers led to destruction of forests. It wiped out source of livelihood of tribes.
- Destruction of forest for cultivation, railways as symbol of victory aroused need of conservation. After 1860s restriction on use of forests restricted traditional rights of tribes.
Tribal uprisings in various part of India in response to British policies: Tribal response was mainly reactionary in nature, highly localized as they failed to understand the might of British Empire. Element of mysticism also dominated tribal response.
- Santhal uprising (hool) : Amongst the numerous revolts, santhal uprising from Rajamahal hills was the most massive. The zamindars, police, the Revenue courts exercised the combine system of extortion, forcible dispossession of property and personal violence upon the santhals. Santhal considered them outsiders – the Dikus – and attempted to expel them. Sido and Kanhu the principal rebel leaders claimed the Thakur(God) had communicated with them to take up arms and fight for the reign of truth and “True justice”. They declared the end of company rule, and asserted themselves independent in 1854. However after extensive military operations, Sido died in 1855, and Kanhu arrested in 1866.
- Munda Revolt: Munda sardars of chhotanagpur struggled against the destruction of their common land holding system by the jagirdars, thikdars, and money lenders. Under leadership of Birsa Munda, mundas rose to establish the munda rule. For the liberation of the land, Birsa gathered armed force of 6000 mundas. However british crushed it and Birsa was captured in 1900 and died in jail in same year.
- Bhil uprising: This is an aboriginal tribe concentrated around the khandesh revolted against the company rule due to worst agrarian policies. Sevaram was one of their leaders. Bhils revolted several times during 1815 to 1850.
- Ramoshi uprising: This hill tribe of western Ghats didn’t reconciled to British pattern of administration. Under the leadership of chitter singh they revolted in 1822 around Satara of Maharashtra.
- Rampa revolt: This Hill tribe of coastal Andhra revolted in 1879 as the new restrictive forest regulations and damages caused by government supported Mansabdars.
These revolts even though a failure and took lakhs of tribal lives, it left many lessons to teach the freedom struggle in terms on unity and courage. British recognised autonomy of tribal population after each revolt and adopted policy of non interference. British followed conciliatory measures with them in some cases e.g. creation of Santhal paraganas and Chhotanagpur Tenency Act 1908 for Mundas.
3. The socio-religious movements were reformist in nature and they hardly created revolutionary sentiments against British rule in India. Do you agree? Critically examine.
It expects students to write about how socio-religious movements were reformist in first part then in second part write about how socio-religious movements created revolutionary sentiments.
Social-religious Movement are linked with different ideas including presence of colonial government, economic and social backwardness of society, influence of modern western ideas, rise of intellectual awakening in the middle class and poor position of women in society. British rule in India acted as a catalyst for long needed social changes.
Socio-religious movements were mainly reformist in nature as follows:
- These movements contribute towards the liberation of the individual from the conformity born out of fear and from uncritical submission to exploitation by the priests and other classes. E.g. Brahmo Samaj and its variants.
- The translation of religious texts into vernacular languages, emphasis on an individual’s right to interpret the scriptures and simplification of rituals made worship a more personal experience.
- By weeding out corrupt elements, religious beliefs and practices, the reformers enabled their followers to meet the official taunt that their religions and society were decadent and inferior. E.g. Akali movement.
- These movements sought to create a favourable social climate for modernisation. To that extent, these movements ended India’s cultural and intellectual isolation from the rest of the world. E.g. Singh Sabha Movement
- The movements emphasised the human intellect’s capacity to think and reason.
- A realisation of the special needs of modern times, especially in terms of scientific knowledge, and thus promoting a modern, this-worldly, secular and rational outlook was a major contribution of these reform movements. E.g. Aligarh Movement.
However, socio-religious movements also created revolutionary sentiments against British rule in India:
- Faraizi Movement organised a paramilitary force to fight the zamindars and indigo planters.
- Akali was an offshoot of the Singh Sabha Movement. It aimed at liberating the Sikh gurudwaras from the control of corrupt Udasi mahants. These mahants were a loyalist and reactionary lot, enjoying government patronage.
- Deoband movement was organised with twin objectives of propagating pure teachings of the Quran and Hadis among Muslims and keeping alive the spirit of jihad against the foreign rulers.
- Arya Samaj was able to give self-respect and self-confidence to the Hindus which helped to undermine the myth of superiority of whites and the Western culture.
- Wahabi movement played an important role in spreading anti-British feelings and response to Western influences and the degeneration which had set in among Indian Muslims.
In a nutshell, it can be argued that in the evolution of modern India the reform movements have made very significant contribution. They stood for the democratization of the society, removal of superstitions and decadent customs, spread of enlightenment and development of a rational and modern outlook. This led to the national awakening in India.
4. The partition of Bengal is a watershed in India’s freedom struggle. Do you agree?
Substantiate your views.
It expects students to write abouthow partition impacted and changed course of freedom struggle onwards and in second part also mention about how partition of Bengal not a watershed movement.
The partition of Bengal was the most important event during the rule of Lord Curzon. It was carried out mainly for the convenience of administration. Bengal in those days was the biggest province of India extending over 1,89,000 square miles with a population of 80 million. It was comprising of Bengal, Behar and Orissa and was under the control of one lieutenant Governor.
Partition of Bengal change the course of freedom movement onwards as follows:
- Partition of Bengal was first mass movement of all India appeal, it includes Bengal, Punjab, Bombay, Madras etc.
- Moderate Methods Give Way to Extremist Modes: From now onwards, Extremist were to play a significant role in the national movement.
- Revolutionary activity:From now onwards, they were to play a significant role in the national movement.
- Partition of Bengal was sought to achieve by putting the Bengalis under two administrations by dividing them on the basis of language, thus reducing the Bengalis to a minority in Bengal itself; And on the basis of religion, as the western half was to be a Hindu majority area and the eastern half was to be a Muslim majority area.
- Trying to woo the Muslims, Curzon, the viceroy at that time, argued that Dacca could become the capital of the new Muslim majority province. Thus, it was clear that the government was up to its old policy of propping up Muslim communalists to counter the Congress and the national movement.
- Boycott of Foreign Goods: This form of protest was continuous feature onwards in various movements including Non-cooperation movement & Civil Disobedience movement.
- Women, who were traditionally home-centred, especially those of the urban middle classes, took active part in processions and picketing. From now onwards, they were to play a significant role in the national movement.
- All the major trends of the national movement, from conservative moderation to political extremism, from revolutionary activities to incipient socialism, from petitions and prayers to passive resistance and non-cooperation, emerged during the Swadeshi Movement.
- The richness of the movement was not confined to the political sphere, but encompassed art, literature, science and industry also.
- True mass movement starts with non-cooperation movement including Muslim participation.
- In Partition of Bengal Some of the Muslims participated, butmost of the upper and middle class Muslims stayed away.
- An attempt was also made to give political expression to economic grievances of the working class by organising strikes. But the movement was not able to garner support of the Muslims, especially the Muslim peasantry, because of a conscious government policy of divide and rule helped by overlap of class and community at places.
Partition of Bengal proved to be a “leap forward” because hitherto untouched sections participated, major trends of later movement emerged; richness of the movement extended to culture, science and literature; people educated in bolder form of politics; colonial hegemony undermined.
5. Examine the thoughts of Mahatma Gandhi on Swaraj, Swadeshi and Sarvodaya.
As the directive is examine, here it is expected to probe deeper in to Gandhian Ideologies of Swaraj, Swadeshi and Sarvodaya. In introduction one can start with foundational principle of Gandhian ideology or basics about Gandhian ideology. In the body part one needs to clearly elaborate what does each and every though menas. In the later part of answer one needs to write down it relevance in the contemporary world. In the conclusion one can end up by saying how Mahatma Gandhi’s thoughts are more relevant today.
Gandhian philosophy is not only simultaneously political, moral and religious, it is also traditional and modern, simple and complex. It embodies numerous Western influences to which Gandhiji was exposed, but is rooted in ancient Indian culture harnessing universal moral & religious principles.
Gandhian thoughts emphasises not on idealism, but on practical idealism. Gandhian thought is a double-edged weapon. Its objective is to transform the individual and society simultaneously, in accordance with the principles of truth and non-violence.
- Although the word swaraj means self-rule, Gandhi ji gave it the content of an integral revolution that encompasses all spheres of life.
- For Gandhi ji, swaraj of people meant the sum total of the swaraj (self-rule) of individuals and so he clarified that for him swaraj meant freedom for the meanest of his countrymen.
- In its fullest sense, swaraj is much more than freedom from all restraints, it is self-rule, self-restraint and could be equated with moksha or salvation.
- Swaraj works to bring about a social transformation through small-scale, decentralised, self-organised and self-directed participatory structures of governance.
- Gandhi opposed mass production, favouring production by the masses. Work for him was as much a spritual necessity as an economic one.
- So he insisted on the principle that every member of society should be engaged in manual work.
- Swadeshi is the focus on acting within and from one’s own community, both politically and economically. It is the interdependence of community and self-sufficiency.
- Gandhi ji believed this would lead to independence (swaraj), as British control of India was rooted in control of her indigenous industries. Swadeshi was the key to the independence of India, and was represented by the charkha or the spinning wheel, the “center of the solar system” of Mahatma Gandhi’s constructive program.
- Sarvodaya is a term meaning ‘Universal Uplift’ or ‘Progress of All’. The term was first coined by Gandhi ji as the title of his translation of John Ruskin’s tract on political economy, “Unto This Last”.
- Later Gandhian, like the Indian nonviolence activist Vinoba Bhave, embraced the term as a name for the social movement in post-independence India which strove to ensure that self-determination and equality reached all strata of India society.
- There is no centralized authority, and there is political and economic atmosphere in the villages. Politics will not be the instrument of power but an agency of service and Rajnity will yield place to Loknity.
- All people will be imbued with the spirit of love, fraternity, truth, non-violence and self-sacrifices. Society will function on the basis on the non-violence. There will be no party system and majority rule and society will be free from the evil of the tyranny of the majority.
The ideals of truth and nonviolence, which underpin the whole philosophy, are relevant to all humankind, and are considered as universal by the Gandhians. More than ever before, Mahatma Gandhi’s teachings are valid today, when people are trying to find solutions to the rampant greed, widespread violence, and runaway consumptive style of living.
- In today’s fast-paced and competitive world, it is essential that one has control over himself. Self-empowerment is the call of the times. Every young person in India has the responsibility of searching for their own identity, without being forced to fit into moulds created for them.
- In today’s age of sustainability and eco-consciousness, there is once again a revival of buying local.” More and more people are boycotting larger, mostly foreign brands that promote capitalism and consumerism. Instead, they are buying from local service providers, helping them earn a living.
Gandhiji’s political contributions offered us Independence but his thoughts enlightened India as well as the world even today after so many years. Every individual, thus, should follow the key Gandhian thoughts in their day to day life for a happy, prosperous, healthy, harmonious and sustainable future.