1.How did communalism come into existence during colonial period? (GS Paper-1, History) (150 words)
Structure of the Answer
· Discuss the role of British in spreading communalism
As is well known, the basic objective of British colonialism was economic exploitation of India. For that purpose they made some changes in the existing economic system and structures. They also introduced English education and new professions and job opportunities. These measures affected different communities differently.
Colonial Legacy to spread communalism:
- To begin with Muslims in particular could not make use of these opportunities. As a result, in due course, the new Muslim middle class found increasing disparity between themselves and the Hindu middle class.
- They therefore started looking towards the government for help. The government of the day war keen to consolidate its own position and check the forces of emerging nationalism. It found in this an opportunity to keep the society divided and avoid a united challenge to their power. The imperial government therefore, nurtured and promoted religious differences.
- They first projected social and cultural variations among different communities and then promoted political divisions by playing up rival social, economic and political claims of Hindus, Muslims, tribals and lower castes.
- It is in this historical context that communalism came to acquire the meaning of being opposed to national identity. The response to colonial rule was the rise of national movement. No doubt, the pioneers of the Indian National Movement were great men who hoped to develop political nationalism to secure political ends, irrespective of religious differences.
As such, both British colonial administrative policies and failure of national movement to counter that on a firm social and secular basis, helped in many ways to consolidate the communal, caste, tribal and linguistic identities. Most serious consequence of this was the partition of India and its aftermath in independent India.
2.Describe the nature and extent of socio-economic and gender-based discrimination in our society. (GS Paper-2, Social Justice) (250 words)
Structure of the Answer
· Introduction on form of discrimination present in our societies
· Discuss social discrimination and give examples
· Then discuss economic discrimination and its impact
Some people in society are given more privileges and advantages while others are made to live in conditions of poverty, violence and pressing circumstances. More conspicuous is the negative treatment meted out to certain individuals, social groups, or cultural communities on the basis of their physical determinants, (e.g. skin colour, gender, age), linguistic or ethnic identity, caste, class and other characteristics. The negative treatment provided to certain individuals or sections in society vis-a-vis favours and benefits provided to others is referred to as ‘discrimination’.
There are many forms of discrimination (caste/ Discrimination race-based, class-based, gender-based, ethnicity-based, and income-based). In real life situations, these forms of discrimination overlap and sometimes merge with each other.
- a) Caste Discrimination
Caste provides the basis for most clearly marked form of stratification in society in India. We have heard and read about the caste system at one stage or another. Many people belonging to some castes are treated as superior in social hierarchy than others.
The difference in treatment of people belonging to a high caste and those belonging to a low caste is often remarkable in the sense that while the former group is respected and revered, the latter group is despised and looked down upon.
- b) Class Discrimination
The phenomenon of caste in India society is cross-linked with class. In common parlance, the term ‘class’ is used to refer to people belonging to a similar income group. At least three classes are identified in society on the basis of income and lifestyle. We often broadly talk of the upper class, the middle class and the lower class.
There is social discrimination on the basis of class of a person.
- c) Racial Discrimination
- Practice of discrimination against certain individuals or groups is not confined to South Asia alone. It does exist in other parts of the world too though on different grounds. Discrimination on the basis of race is common in many countries. In the past, discrimination against the Blacks in USA (African Americans) is widely known.
- In Indian context, North-East population has faced discrimination in other part of India.
- Class-based discrimination, particularly in the context of India, centres around income and ownership of wealth. The focus then is on those who are poor and discriminated against because they do not own assets that would contribute to their economic well-being.
- The poor suffer from lack of nourishment, access to adequate housing, safe drinking water, sanitation, education, land and credit. Many of them are forced to live in slums often in sub-human conditions that lead to ill health, de-motivation and a sense of alienation from society. Such people are not able to contribute their full potential in productive work which worsens their condition of poverty. A vast section of population cannot meet their basic needs due to misdistribution of assets in society.
3. What are the different issues arising from inter-linking of rivers? (GS Paper-3, Environment/ Disaster Management) (250 words)
Structure of the Answer
· Introduction: Explain the Rivers Inter-link project and its component
· Then discuss the issues arising due to this project
· Mention the economic, environmental cost, displacement and also discuss the international angle of river interlinking
The Indian Rivers Inter-link is a proposed large-scale civil engineering project that aims to effectively manage water resources in India by linking Indian rivers by a network of reservoirs and canals and so reduce persistent floods in some parts and water shortages in other parts of India.
The Inter-link project has been split into three parts: a northern Himalayan rivers inter-link component, a southern peninsular component and starting 2005, an intrastate rivers linking component. The project is being managed by India’s National Water Development Agency (NWDA), under its Ministry of Water Resources.
The project, however, raises some issues which are as follows:
- Issue of Cost Effectiveness: The impression that the mega-project involving interlinking of rivers offers all the solutions to the problems of water scarcity in India has diverted public interest from promoting local-level initiatives for the harvesting and conservation of water. A belief has been created that there is enough water in the ‘surplus’ rivers to cater to all the needs of the people and what is to be done is only to invest in this mega-project for transferring water from surplus basins to deficit basins. However, various non-governmental initiatives have established that local and cheaper options do exist for providing domestic water security in drier regions. Such initiatives also need to be promoted by the state.
- Food Security: An impression has been created that to meet the future requirements of food-grains in the country, there is no choice but to expand the area under irrigation. However, there exists a large volume of literature that has clearly established that there are several other more cost-effective ways to sustain food security. Particular attention should be given to the removal of the obstacles to technological changes in agriculture so that we can achieve in actual practice, the same level of yield on existing irrigated lands that had already been well received in the experimental farms. If this is realised, then the food grains production will outstrip the requirements.
- Knowledge Gap in Himalayan Component: The essence of the proposed interlinking of rivers is that with the construction of dams as proposed, the severity of flood and the extent of flood damage will be drastically reduced. When transferred to other basins with lower water endowment, the water thus stored would reduce the regional imbalance in the availability of water in the country. Construction of dams on the Himalayan Rivers, as a component of the proposed interlinking of rivers, cannot, however, be undertaken by ignoring the vital questions on the uncertainty associated with the one-sided view of development of the Himalayan rivers. There is no scientific evidence that the proposed dam will control floods in the Himalayan Rivers. In the background of the inadequate knowledge base, the newer interventions may be counter-productive.
- Compensation for Resettlement and Rehabilitation of the Displaced: The project would involve huge displacement of people with attendant loss of property and productive assets. Unless a satisfactory solution is found to this, any move in the implementation of the project would prove counter-productive.
- Compensation for Environmental Damages from the Project:
While flood water in India is seen as a ‘harmful surplus’, the same flood water is seen as a source of free minerals for the enrichment of land, free recharge for groundwater resources, a free medium for the transportation of fish and conservation of biological diversity and free bumper harvest for humans. The diversion of water from the ‘surplus’ to the ‘deficit’ basins would have significant impacts on the physical and chemical compositions of the sediment land, river morphology, aquatic biodiversity and the configuration of the delta.
- Sharing the Benefits and Costs of the Project among the States:
Conventionally, the thinking has been that inequitable distribution of fresh water leads to violent inter- and intra-basin conflicts. However, water conflicts are frequently generated not by an inherent scarcity in a region, but over the sharing of additional supplies. Factors like end-use efficiency and sustainability of irrigation practices have given way to war over the quantity of water.
- Inter-Country Conflicts: Inter-state trans-boundary water-related conflicts may become inter-country. The proposal risks major confrontation with Bangladesh, which receives much of its water from the Ganga and Brahmputra, after they flow out of India. It becomes necessary to examine whether the interlinking project would end up intensifying the already bitter trans-boundary conflict over water-sharing and availability from the village to the country levels.
All the same, inter-linking of rivers is a challenging project and is essential for meeting the looming water crisis in future. The syndrome of drought and floods is hampering the required growth in agriculture and inter-linking of rivers offers an effective solution to the problem.
4.Emotions play a very important role in human behaviour and life. What are the basic emotions? (GS Paper-4, Ethics) (250 words)
Structure of the Answer
· Explain positive and negative emotions
· Describe types of emotions as given by Goleman
Reference: Lexicon’s Ethics
Emotions not only give colour but also meaning to our lives and experiences. The crimes and even inhuman acts are all because of emotions. In fact, even moral behaviour is based on emotion to some extent.
Energy in motion is an emotion and is a way of expressing oneself in life. Emotions cannot be considered as good and bad as each emotion has a specific role to play in colouring our life. Emotions expressed by humans can be divided into two broad categories and are called as positive and negative emotions. In positive emotions an attempt or an intention to include is expressed. They are fuelled by an underlying desire for enjoyment and unity. Interest, enthusiasm, boredom, laughter, empathy, action, curiosity are the examples of positive emotions.
In negative emotions an attempt or intention to exclude is expressed. They are fuelled by an underlying fear of the unknown, a fear of the actions of others, and a need to control them or stop them to avoid being harassed. Apathy, grief, fear, hatred, shame, blame, regret, resentment, anger, hostility are examples of negative emotions. The negative emotions are helpful and act as a motive in moving away from what one doesn’t want and positive emotions are useful for moving towards what one wants.
There are hundreds of emotions along with their blends. The basic members and families of emotions, though not all agree on them, which are proposed by some theorists are as follows:
According to Daniel Goleman, the basic families of emotions are:
Fear: (Safety) anxiety, apprehension, nervousness, concern, consternation, misgiving, wariness, qualm, edginess, dread, fright, terror and in the extreme cases phobia and panic.
Anger: (Justice) fury, outrage, resentment, wrath, exasperation, indignation, vexation, acrimony, animosity, annoyance, irritability, hostility, and perhaps these are manifest in the extreme as hatred and violence.
Sadness: (Loss) grief, sorrow, cheerlessness, gloom, melancholy, self-pity, loneliness, dejection, despair, and depression in the extreme case.
Enjoyment: (Gain) happiness, joy, relief, contentment, bliss, delight, amusement, pride, sensual pleasure, thrill, rapture, gratification, satisfaction, euphoria, whimsy, ecstasy, and at the far edge, mania.
Love: (Attraction) acceptance, friendliness, trust, kindness, affinity, devotion, adoration, infatuation, and agape.
Disgust: (Repulsion) contempt, distain, scorn, abhorrence, aversion, distaste, and revulsion.
Surprise: (Attention) shock, astonishment, amazement, and wonder.
Shame: (Self-control) guilt, embarrassment, chagrin, remorse, humiliation, regret, mortification, and contrition.
Experts do not agree with the categorisation of emotions instead they think emotions in terms of families or dimensions, the main families’ being anger, sadness, fear, enjoyment, love, shame and so on.
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