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SYNOPSIS [2nd February,2022] Day 3: IASbaba’s TLP (Phase 1): UPSC Mains Answer Writing (General Studies)
1. Do you think the 19th-century social reform movements had an intrinsic dichotomy when it came to the question of embracing modernity versus restoring the ancient glory of the country? Comment. (10 Marks)
Candidates need to write about the Buddhist literature, highlighting its key features with suitable example is the demand of question.
From the early 19th century, debates and discussion about social customs and practices took a new character due to the development of new forms of communication. There was intrinsic dichotomy between Reformist and revivalist ideas in the mind of reformers. Few were keen to spread knowledge of modernization others were interested in highlighting past glory and customs.
Reformist view towards social reforms:
- Blind adherence to western ideology wasn’t practices but reform indigenous culture. Thus modernization was the aim of the reformers.
- The movements believed in rationalism and religious universalism. A rational and secular outlook was more important to prevalent social practices. E.g. medical opinion was cited as an aid to oppose child marriage.
- They used faith to challenge such practices. They referred to the period of past where no such practices existed but they used it as only an aid and an instrument. Thus they wanted to prove that no practice like sati, child marriage etc were sanctioned by religion.
- 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.
- 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.
- The Theosophists advocated the revival and strengthening of the ancient religions of Hinduism, Zoroastrianism and Buddhism. They recognised the doctrine of the transmigration of the soul.
- Dharma Sabha in 1830, in order to counter the ideas of Brahamo Samaj and advocated status quo and opposed abolition of Sati.
- The Arya Samaj followed the motto “Go Back to Vedas” and the Shuddhi movement whereas Tabligh movement aimed to reach out to ordinary Muslims and revive their faith.
- Revivalist movements believed that the western thinking and missionary propaganda would ruin Indian culture and ethos, and thus there was a need to protect the religion.
- They were also influenced by the rich cultural heritage of India brought to light by the western scholars, and found that it was even superior to the western culture.
- Wahabi Movement was a revivalist movement with slogan to return to pure Islam. Jihad was declared with the prime objective of converting Dar-UL-Harb (land of infidels) into Dar-UL-Islam (land of Islam).
- The tendency to look backwards, appeal to past greatness, and rely on scriptural authority.
- Appeals to past greatness created false pride and smugness, while the habit of finding a ‘Golden Age’ in the past acted as a check on the full acceptance of modem science and hampered the effort to improve the present.
- The evil aspects of this phenomenon became apparent when it was found that, along with a rapid rise of national consciousness, another consciousness – communal consciousness – had begun to rise among the middle classes.
Socio-religious reforms were a reaction against colonial judgement and native backwardness. The movement arose and declined, but with lasting impact on society and the public sphere of ideas. It helped Indians to have comparatively more self-confidence, self-respect and the feelings of patriotism. From these, humanity and morality among the common people spread and the feelings of political freedom and modern development raised.
2. Explain the philosophical basis of ‘Swadeshi’ and its contribution to India’s freedom struggle.
Candidates need to directly address philosophical basis of swadeshi movement during 1905. And also explain the contribution of swadeshi philosophy in future course of freedom struggle.
The Swadeshi movement was part of the Indian independence movement and contributed to the development of Indian nationalism. The movement, begun in 1906 by Indian nationals opposed to the Partition of Bengal, was one of the most successful movements against British rule.
Philosophical basis of Swadeshi:
- The ideological inspiration came from the new regional literature, which provided a discursive field for defining the Indian nation in terms of its distinct cultural heritage or civilisation.
- It was also a response to gendered discourse of colonialism that had established the philosophical connection between masculinity and political domination, stereotyping the colonised society as having un-manly characters and therefore unfit for rule.
- From the philosophical perspective, the idea of Swadeshi promotes “Not mass production, but production by the masses.” As per Gandhi.
- It would imbibe in the people self-governing perspective. Maximum economic and political power, including the power to decide what is to be imported into or exported from the village, would remain in the hands of the village assemblies.
Contribution of philosophical basis of Swadeshi to Indian freedom struggle:
- Concept of swadeshi later became the basis of all the anti-British movements and became fundamental in Gandhian philosophy.
- Philosophy of Swadeshi was instantly identified as the highest form of patriotism and “Swadeshism” became the cradle of New India. It was an intensely spiritual movement and aimed at the emancipation of India in every sense, of every Indian.
- With fervent national calls for the boycott of British goods, schools, courts and administration came stirring appeals for embracing “Swadeshi” in all spheres of life, indigenous manufactures, national education, language, literature and above all “Swaraj” or political freedom became the life breath of the nation was due to philosophical touch of swadeshi.
- It was a movement for total emancipation of every Indian in all walks of life political, economic, social, cultural and above all spiritual.
- The Swadeshi and boycott movements placed great emphasis on ‘ Atmasakti ‘ or self – reliance as a means of reasserting national dignity in different fields. For example in painting, music and literature which enhanced freedom struggle.
- Amar Sonar Bangla, written by Rabindranath Tagore in protest against Bengal’s partition, became a rallying point for the Swadeshi and boycott movements.
- The ideas of non – cooperation and passive resistance, successfully applied many years later by Mahatma Gandhi, found their origin in early 20th century Swadeshi and boycott movements.
Though he Swadeshi Movement was not successful in reaching its immediate goals but it provided a platform for the national freedom struggle. Later it showed the way to nationalist leaders to prepare the masses for the next phase of struggle under Gandhiji’s leadership.
Q 3. What are your views on the recent budget announcements on taxing transactions in cryptocurrencies? Substantiate your views.
Candidates need to substantiate his views on budget announcements on taxing transactions in cryptocurrencies.
The Union Budget 2022 has finally brought in a lot of clarity on how cryptocurrency will be taxed from Financial Year 2022-23. Removing all doubts on whether cryptocurrencies would become a legal tender or a medium of exchange in the future or not, the budget clarified that the Government of India doesn’t consider cryptocurrency as a currency, but shall treat it as a virtual digital asset. In other words, the Government of India would treat cryptocurrency as an investment.
Taxing Transactions in Cryptocurrencies
- These clarifications about taxation of cryptocurrencies aka virtual digital assets, as the government wants it to be addressed, come at the right time.
- It especially becomes extremely important because around 10 crore individual investors have invested around Rs 6 lakh crore in various cryptocurrencies, as per the advertisement issued by The Blockchain and Crypto Assets Council which is a part of the Internet and Mobile Association of India.
- The taxing of ‘virtual digital assets’ or crypto currencies will help the Income-Tax department measure the “depth” of this trade in the country.
- The income-tax department and the income-tax Act only looks at whether the transactions that you have entered into are resulting in income.
- Taxing crypto currency under the new legislation does not attach any legality.
- When an entity declares any profit or surplus on the digital trade, then they also have to say where they have got the money to invest from and, if the investment is proper and justified, then the surplus will be taxed.
- The taxation will also help us know if the investment is contaminated or illicit, if he/she is putting unaccounted income or it is a ‘benami’ of somebody else, then the consequences will follow.
The tax department is entering into the digital or virtual asset side at a time when the policy itself is being worked out so this is certainly the right time for the department to have entered the market. Only legislation will help us in knowing as to who is investing, how much is being invested, the quality of the investment, the nature of investment and whether people are making profits or losses.