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Modern India: Previous Years’ Questions with Solutions

Modern India: Previous Years’ Questions with Solutions

Note: More Questions and Answers are being posted regularly.

1. European Penetration into India

(The Early European Settlements; The Portuguese and the Dutch; The English and the French East India Companies; Their stgruggle for supremacy; Carnatic Wars; Bengal -The conflict between the English and the Nawabs of Bengal; Siraj and the English; The Battle of Plassey; Significance of Plassey.)

“Neither Alexander the Great nor Napoleon could have won the empire of India by starting from Pondicherry as a base and contending with a power which held Bengal and command of the Sea.” Comment. 

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“Compared to their English counterpart, the French East India Company enjoyed little discretionary power and had to always look up to Paris for all major decisions. This partly explains the failure of the French in India.” Evaluate Critically. 

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“Dupleix made a cardinal blunder in looking for the key of India in madras: Clive sought and found it in Bengal.” Critically examine. 

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Comment on the French ambition of building a territorial empire in India. 

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“India was not lost by the French because Dupleix was recalled from India or Bussy was re­called from Hyderabad, or because La Bourbonnais left the coast at critical moments. It was through the short-sighted, ill-managed Eu­ropean policy of French Monarchy that France lost her Indian Settlements in the Seven Years’ War”. Discuss. Also examine the role of Dupleix failure in establishing French empire in India. 

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“On 23 June 1757, the middle ages of India ended and her modern age began.” Comment.

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After 1757 there grew up a State of Bengal which was a “sponsored state” as well as a “plundered state”. Comment.

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The battle of Plassey was “not a great battle but a great betrayal.” Comment. 

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Discuss the causes that led to the ‘economic drain’ in Bengal following the Battle of Plassey. 

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“Plassey did not complete the British conquest of India. Had the English been convincingly defeated in any subsequent battle in India, then (the battle of) Plassey would have remained as a minor episode in the history of India.” Critically examine. 

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After the Battle of Plassey, how did India transit from the medieval to the modern age? 

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2. British Expansion in India

( Mir Jafar and Mir Kasim; The Battle of Buxar; Mysore; The Marathas; The three Anglo-Maratha Wars; The Punjab.)

“Buxar takes rank amongst the most decisive battles ever fought.” Comment.

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“Thus ended the famous battle of Buxar, on which depended the fate of India and which was as gallantly disputed as was important in its results.” Comment.

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“The revolution of 1760 (Bengal) was really no revolution.” Comment.

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“The verdict of Plessey was confirmed by the English victory at Buxar.” Comment.

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How far is it correct to say that if Clive was the founder of the British Empire in India, Warren Hastings was its administrative organizer? 

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Why was Mysore considered a threat by the British to their possessions and mercantile interests in the south? Do you think that Tipu Sultan’s posturing became his undoing?

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Examine the circumstance which led to the third Mysore War. Could Cornwallis have avoided it? 

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“The Treaty of Bassein, 1802 was‚ a step which changed the footing on which we, the English stood in western India. It trebled the English responsibilities in an instant.” Comment. 

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How did the British establish their control over Maharashtra in the first two decades of the 19th century? Why did the Maratha challenge ultimately collapse?

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Trace the course of the Anglo-Maratha relations in the first two decades of the nineteenth century. Account for the ultimate defeat of the Maratha power by the British.

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“Upon the whole, then, I conclude that the treaty of Bassein was wise, just and a politic measure.” Comment.

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“……. the hunt of the Pindaris became merged in the Third Maratha War.” Comment.

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“Anglo-Maratha War covering nearly nine years from the murder of Narayan Rao to the Treaty of Salbai emphatically discloses the vitality of the Maratha nation which had not been exhausted either by the disaster of Panipat or the death of their great Peshwa Madhavrao.” Comment.

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“The treaty of Bassein, by its direct and indirect operations, gave the Company the Empire of India.” Comment.

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The British “fought the First Maratha War in a period when their fortunes were at the lowest ebb”. Comment.

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“The Treaty of Salbai (1782) was neither honorable to the English nor advantageous to their interests.” Comment.

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“The Maratha polity disintegrated through internal stress.” Critically examine.

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“It was not due to lack of valour or obsolete army that Marathas lost to British but internal quarrels, lack of strategy and poor diplomacy which consequently gave British the control of almost all the country”. Analyse in context of Anglo-Maratha wars. 

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“Annexation of Punjab was part of a broad north-west frontier policy set in motion after the exit of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.” Critically examine

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Underline the major considerations of the British imperial power that led to the annexation of Punjab. 

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Sir Charles Napier said, “We have no right to seize Sind, yet we shall do so and a very advantageous, useful, humane piece of rascality it will be.” Comment. 

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“The British conquest of Sind was both a political and moral sequel to the first afghan war.” Comment.

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Explain the British policy of ‘Subordinate union’ of Indian States with British India from 1858 to 1905. How did the Government of India implement this policy during this period

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“The British policy towards Indian States in 1818-1858 was one of isolation and noninterference tempered by annexation.” Comment.

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The British conquered India‚ “in a fit of absent minded-ness”. Comment.

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“The rise and expansion of British empire was an accident rather than the result of a deliberate policy and design.” Critically examine this statement.

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“The growth of territorial empire in India was neither planned nor directed from Britain.” Critically Analyze.

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“Dalhousie changed the map of India with speed and thoroughness no campaign could equal.” Comment. 

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Examine the essential principles of the Subsidiary Alliance system. How far did it contribute in making the British Company the supreme sovereign authority in India? 

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3. Early Structure of the British Raj

(The early administrative structure; From diarchy to direct control; The Regulating Act (1773); The Pitt’s India Act (1784); The Charter Act (1833); The voice of free trade and the changing character of British colonial rule; The English utilitarian and India.)

“The Dual System of Government was a complete failure from the outset. In the first place, the abuse of the private trade reached a greater height than ever. In the second place, the demands of the Company for the increase led to gross oppression of the peasantry.” Examine. 

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“The Charter Act of 1833 rung down the curtain on the company’s trade and introduced a new concept of government in India.” Substantiate.

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“The Regulating Act (1773), the Pitt’s India Act (1784) and eventually the Charter Act of 1833 left the East India Company as a mere shadow of its earlier political and economic power in India.” Critically examine.

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“The British Indian State experienced the ‘wind of change’ with the arrival of Lord William Bentinck.” Comment.

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“Sprung from paternalism, the English Utilitarian philosophy as introduced in India rejected its human warmth between rulers and the ruled.” Comment. 

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“Peace had her victories no less renowned than war.” Examine this statement with reference to Lord William Bentinck.

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Assess the impact of the utilitarian ideas in molding the British attitude towards India. How did the utilitarian try to solve the problem of land revenue?

“English utilitarianism had profound impact on British agrarian policy in India as well as Indian Society in 19th century.” Comment.

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4. Economic Impact of British Colonial Rule

[(a) Land revenue settlements in British India; The Permanent Settlement; Ryotwari Settlement; Mahalwari Settlement; Economic impact of the revenue arrangements; Commercialization of agriculture; Rise of landless agrarian labourers; Impoverishment of the rural society. (b) Dislocation of traditional trade and commerce; De-industrialisation; Decline of traditional crafts; Drain of wealth; Economic transformation of India; Railroad and communication network including tele-graph and postal services; Famine and poverty in the rural interior; European business enterprise and its limitations.]

“The poverty of the Indian people was the consequence of the Government’s land revenue and taxation policy.” Discuss this statement with reference to British rule in India in the 19th Century.

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“The Permanent Settlement of land revenue in Bengal was a‚ bold, brave and wise measure.” Comment. 

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“Though the Permanent Settlement had serious defects, it gave tranquility to the countryside and stability to the government.” Comment.

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“Absentee landlordism was a consequential feature of Bengal’s Permanent land settlement.” Comment.

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“The permanent system of Bengal though initiated with best of best of intentions, was a sadly blundering affair.” Comment. 

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“Permanent Settlement disappointed many expectations and introduced there results that were not anticipated.” Comment. 

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Critically examine the reasons for non-existence of Permanent settlement in other parts of India that were annexed by East India Company in 19th century?

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Explain the essential features of the ryotwari system of land revenue with special reference to Thomas Munro’s contribution to its evolution. 

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Discuss the main features of the ‘Raiyatwari Settlement’ in South India. Did it satisfy the aspirations of the peasantry? 

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“Ryotwari falls into three stages – early, middle and late, and the only description common to all is that it is a mode of settlement with small farmers, so small, indeed, that their average holding is, on recent figures, only about 6 ½ acres,” Critically examine.

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What do you mean by commercialization of Indian Agriculture? Discuss its result.

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To what extent did the process of commercialization of agriculture affect the rural scene in India? 

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In British India “the impact of the government on the people meant essentially the impact of government on the village.” Comment. 

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Write a critical note on: “Consequences of the ruin of handicraft industries under the rule of the East India Company.” 

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“The British industrial policy in the nineteenth century ruined the Indian handicrafts.” Comment. 

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Critically examine the causes responsible for the phenomenon called ‘de-industrialization’ in India during the nineteenth century. 

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“The role of the East India Company proved disastrous to the handicraft industry in India for a number of reasons.” Comment.

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“The decline of Handicraft/traditional industries was the direct result of the British rule in India and had mostly negative consequences on India.” Examine this statement.

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“Weaving”, says R.C. Dutt, “was the national industry of the people and spinning was the pursuit of millions of women.” Indian textiles went to England and other parts of Europe, to China and Japan and Burma and Arabia and Persia and parts of Africa. Elucidate. 

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Write a critique on the impact of the Drain Theory of Dadabhai Nauroji in the growth of economic nationalism.

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The need for a unilateral transfer of funds to Britain was constant factor and, in fact, progressively increased over time.” Critically evaluate. 

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“Our system acts very much like a sponge, drawing up all the good things from the banks of the Ganges, and squeezing them down on the banks of the Thames.” Comment.

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“It is not the pitiless operations of economic laws, but it is thoughtless and pitiless action of the British policy; it is pitiless eating of India’s substance in India and further pitiless drain to England, in short it is pitiless perversion of Economic Laws by the sad bleeding to which India is subjected, that is destroying India.”- Dadabhai Naoroji. In the light of the given statement, explain the Drain of Wealth Theory and its impact on the growth of economic nationalism in India.

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Trace the industrial growth of British India after the First World War. How did the Government’s tariff policy influence the growth?

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Identify the main features of industrial development in India from 1914 to 1947 with special reference to the emergence of a class of factory laborers.

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How do you account for the rise and growth of the Business enterprise in India during the first half of the 20th century? 

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“Railway development in India provides an interesting instance of private enterprise at public risk.” Comment. 

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“The railways, instead of serving as the catalyst of an industrial revolution as in Western Europe and the USA, acted in India as ‘the catalyst of complete colonization’.”- Examine.

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“The British railway construction policy in India benefited British economy in the nineteenth century.” Critically examine. 

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“I have labored to harness to India’s bullock-cark civilization three great engines of social improvement- Railways, Uniform Postage and Electrical Telegraph.” Comment.

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The recurring famines in the 19th century were the inevitable consequence of the British policy and expose the real character of the paternal solicitude for the peasantry on the part of the British administration.” Examine this statement critically.

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 “India underwent suffering and mortality in the wake of recurring famines in the later half of the 19th century.” Comment.

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Trace the development of the famine policy of the British in India 1876 and 1921. Did it provide relief to the people?

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Critically examine the impact of the famine policy on rural India. Describe the official remedial measures undertaken.

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Explain the factors responsible for the recurrence of famines in the nineteenth century. What remedial measures were adopted by the British Indian Government?

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Trace the development of the famine policy of the British in India. How far commercialization of agriculture was responsible for famine?

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“Plantations and mines, jutes mills, banking, insurance, shipping and export-import concerns in India were run through a system of interlocking managing agencies.” Critically examine. 

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What was the nature and character of the European managing agencies? Critically examine the role played by them in Industrial development of India during nineteenth century.

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“The British Raj had a deeply racist aspect and it ultimately existed to protect colonial exploitation”. Comment.

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5. Social and Cultural Developments

(The state of indigenous education, its dislocation; Orientalist-Anglicist controversy, The introduction of western education in India; The rise of press, literature and public opinion; The rise of modern vernacular literature; Progress of science; Christian missionary activities in India.)

Review the educational policy of the English East India Company. To what extent did it serve the imperial interests of Great Britain?

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What was the Anglicist-Orientalist controversy about? How was it resolved and with what results?

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Orientalism produced a knowledge of the past to service the needs of the Colonial States.” Elucidate. 

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“The vernacular press in nineteenth century India served not just as newspapers but more importantly as views-papers.” Comment.

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Do you agree with the view that the growth of vernacular literature in the 19th and the 20th centuries paved the way for social reform and cultural revival in India? 

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Assess the role of press in arousing awareness on important social issues in the second half of the nineteenth century. 

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“The emergence of press and its growth in India during 18th and 19th century was also associated with diversities and divergence of opinions, ideas and objectives and it catered to the demand of targeted audience.” Elaborate.

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Nowhere was the influence of the missionaries felt more than in relation to the women’s movement. 

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The Christian Missionary propaganda from 1813 onwards was “often insensitive and wounding.” Comment. 

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“Where the Missionaries sometimes contributed positively and educated the Indians their shortcomings, they completely destroyed their self-confidence and the self-respect.” Do you agree?

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“India broke her British fetters with Western hammers.” Comment.

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Examine the impact of British rule on Indian Society in the 19th Century. [2004, 60m]

“The current practice of categorization of ‘Early Modern India’ is based on a shift from the old imperialist periodization of ‘Muslim India’ – ‘British India’ to the more secularist one of ‘Medieval India’ – ‘Modern India’, which puts Indian history in a universalist chronological Structure.” Critically evaluate. 

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How English education led to rise of scientific rationalist mentality in India which in turn translated into social reform agenda?

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6. Social and Religious Reform movements in Bengal and Other Areas

[Ram Mohan Roy, The Brahmo Movement; Devendranath Tagore; Iswarchandra Vidyasagar; The Young Bengal Movement; Dayanada Saraswati; The social reform movements in India including Sati, widow remarriage, child marriage etc.; The contribution of Indian renaissance to the growth of modern India; Islamic revivalism – the Feraizi and Wahabi Movements.]

“Ram Mohan Roy presents a most instructive and inspiring study for the New India of which he is the type and pioneer.” Comment.

“The chief value of Raja’s (Raja Rammohan Roy) labours seems to lie in his fight against the forces of medievalism in India.” Critically examine.

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“The impact of the brahmo movement was not just confined to Bengal.” Discuss the statement with help of examples.

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“Young Bengal left little distinctive or permanent impression on the plane of religion and philosophy.” Critically evaluate. 

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The Arya Samaj “did not; however, succeed in capturing the imagination of modern India as a whole.” Comment.

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“The Arya Samaj may quite logically be pronounced as the outcomes of conditions imported into India by the west.” Comment. 

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“Widow Remarriage Act was, in many ways, a logical sequel to the abolition of Sati.” Comment.

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“The religious reform movements of the 19th century were endeavours to recast the old religion (Hinduism) into a new form suited to meet the needs of the new society.” Comment.

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Discuss the extent to which the Indian Renaissance movement contributed towards the rise of nationalist consciousness.

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How Vivekananda became the “patron prophet” for a whole generation of extremist leaders and militant revolutionaries? Explain.

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How did Dr. B.R. Ambedkar try to seek a political solution to the problem of caste in India? 

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7. Indian Response to British Rule

[Peasant movements and tribal uprisings in the 18th and 19th centuries including the Rangpur Dhing (1783), the Kol Rebellion (1832), the Mopla Rebellion in Malabar (1841-1920), the Santal Hul (1855), Indigo Rebellion (1859-60), Deccan Uprising (1875) and the Munda Ulgulan (1899-1900); The Great Revolt of 1857 – Origin, character, causes of failure, the consequences; The shift in the character of peasant uprisings in the post-1857 period; the peasant movements of the 1920s and 1930s.]

Discuss the origins and character of major peasant and tribal uprisings in the late 18th and 19th centuries were these protest movements backwards-looking?

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Tribal movements should be viewed as‚ ‘History from below‛. Discuss the objects and nature of the movements in 19th century India.

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How far is it correct to say that the 19th century tribal uprisings are a part of subaltern nationalism?

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“Rural society responded to colonial rule in an entirely different way as compared to urban intelligentsia.” In the context of above statement examine the nature of peasant and tribal revolts. How were these movements different from that led by new emerging urban middle class?

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Rangpur uprising is called the first formidable peasant uprising against the rule of the East India Company. What were the factors responsible for the Rangpur uprising of 1783 and what was its significance?

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“The roots of Moplah discontent were clearly agrarian….” Comment. 

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The roots of the Moplah uprising (1921) were clearly agrarian. Do you agree?

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The 1921 Moplah rebellion was “in essence an expression of long-standing agrarian discontent which was intensified by the religious and ethnic identity.” Comment.

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“The Santhal hool began in July 1855. The core of the movement was economic, the basic cause of the uprising was agrarian discontent.” – Elucidate

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“The Indigo Revolt of 1859-60 holds a very significant place in our history of national liberation movement. For the first time in the history of our anti-colonial struggle, its two independent currents– spontaneous peasant resistance and constitutional agitation in defence of peasantry – came into mutual contact.” Critically examine. 

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“The Mutiny of 1857 was much more than a Mutiny of Sepoys and much less than a National Rebellion.” Comment.

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“On the whole, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the so-called First National War of Independence was neither First, nor National, nor a war of Independence.” Comment.

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“Whatever might have been its original character, it (Rebellion of 1857) soon became a symbol of challenge to the mighty British power in India.” Comment. 

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Do you believe that the uprising in 1857 was nationalist in nature? If not, what was its character?

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“In 1857, the rebel sepoys showed a remarkable centripetal tendency to congregate at Delhi.” Do you agree? Substantiate. 

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“The military, feudal and traditional overtones of the Revolt of 1857 were overshadowed by its nationalist or proto-nationalist character.” Critically examine. 

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“Revolt of 1857 had many democratic and nationalistic sentiments associated with it and various measure were taken by Indian rebels to ensure unity amongst Indian.” Justify the statement with the help of examples.

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“The peasant movements of the second half of the nineteenth century lacked a positive conception which would unite the people in a common struggle on a wide regional and all-India plane and help develop long-term political developments.” Critically evaluate.

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Analyze the nature of peasant movements during the nationalist phase and bring out their shortcomings.

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Discuss the nature of peasant movements under the Kisan Sabhas during 1920-1940.

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8. Early Indian Nationalism

[Factors leading to the birth of Indian Nationalism; Politics of Association; The Foundation of the Indian National Congress; The Safety-valve thesis relating to the birth of the Congress; Programme and objectives of Early Congress; the social composition of early Congress leadership; the Moderates and Extremists; The Partition of Bengal (1905); The Swadeshi Movement in Bengal; the economic and political aspects of Swadeshi Movement; The beginning of revolutionary extremism in India.]

The second half of the nineteenth century, particularly the period after the suppression of the revolt of 1857, is considered to be the high noon of British imperialism in India. A self-confident paternalism tended to turn into a despotism, which was not prepared to accept any self-governing right for the Indians. But still many constitutional reforms were brought. How do you explain constitutional reforms brought by the imperial British? Give different views.

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“During 1918 various factors combined to diffuse the energies that had concentrated in the agitation for Home Rule and led to the failure of the movement.” Critically comment.

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“It was in this almost unrecognizable form that the Ilbert Bill was finally enacted….it was primarily a failure of the Viceroy.” Comment.

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Examine the economic and social factors which led to the rise of Indian nationalism in the second half of the nineteenth century. 

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“How did the Indians actually “imagine” their nation is a matter of intense controversy and ongoing debate.” In the light of this statement, critically analyse different views on “Indian Nationalism” which is said to be developed during the British rule.

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“In second half of the nineteenth century, many factors combined together to foster the growth and development of local self-government institutions.” Analyze the given statement and trace the development of the local self-government in Indian in the nineteenth century.

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“Rabindranath Tagores’s nationalism was based on a Catholic internationalism.” Comment. 

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Discuss ‘the safety valve’ theory. Does it satisfactorily explain the foundation of the Indian National Congress? 

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“The ‘safety-valve thesis’ does not adequately explain the birth of the Indian National Congress in 1885.” Critically examine. 

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To what extent was the emergence of the Congress in 1885 the culmination of a process of political awakening that had its beginning in the 1870s? [2000, 60m]

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Analyze the social composition of the early Congress leadership.

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“Politics remained for the bulk of the Moderates very much a part-time affair. The Congress was not a political party, but an annual three-day show…” Elucidate.

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“At the dawn of the twentieth century Lord Curzon, the viceroy of India, was full of hostility towards the Indian National Congress and he confidentially reported to the secretary of state in November 1900: My own belief is that the congress is tottering to its fall, and one of my greatest ambitions while in India is to assist it to a peaceful demise.” Examine. 

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“Congress movement started in India as a limited elitist politics for limited reforms.” Comment.

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“Curzon was an unconscious catalyst who did not understand, let alone desire, what the new century was about to bring forth, but who helped it to be born.” Comment. 

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“Curzon’s partition of Bengal gave the unwitting initiative to events of magnitude and returned many years later to port with the cargo of freedom.” Comment. 

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“Curzon’s political obtusely created a breach between government and people which was never wholly closed in the remaining forty-two years of British rule.” Comment.

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“The Anti-Partition Agitation (1905) had an economic character in Bengal unlike the Extremist Agitation in Maharashtra which had a religious character.” Examine.

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Explain “Constructive Swadeshi” Characterised by atmashakti (self-reliance), which propelled the Swadeshi Movement in Bengal. 

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“Bengal united is power; Bengal divided will pull several different ways.” Comment.

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9. Nationalism under Gandhi’s leadership

[Rise of Gandhi; Character of Gandhian nationalism; Gandhi’s popular appeal; Rowlatt Satyagraha; the Khilafat Movement; the Non-cooperation Movement; National politics from the end of the Non-cooperation movement to the beginning of the Civil Disobedience movement; the two phases of the Civil Disobedience Movement; Simon Commission; The Nehru Report; the Round Table Conferences; Nationalism and the Peasant Movements; Nationalism and Working class movements; Women and Indian youth and students in Indian politics (1885-1947); the election of 1937 and the formation of ministries; Cripps Mission; the Quit India Movement; the Wavell Plan; The Cabinet Mission.]

How would you explain Gandhiji’s ‘rise to power’ or ‘capture’ of national leadership in the course of 1919-20? Was it a very skillful top-level political game?

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“Gandhi’s mystique consisted of a union of original ideas with a remarkable flair for tactics and an uncanny insight in the mass mind.” Elucidate.

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“Apart from the western ideas and writings of eminent personalities from west, Mahatma Gandhi was equally influenced and inspired from Indian religion and philosophy”. Elucidate.

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“M.K Gandhi made a gross mistake in championing the Khilafat cause, an extra-territorial issue which cut at the very roots of Indian nationality.” Critically examine.

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“Gandhi related the abstract concept of independence to certain specific grievances; but of all grievances, salt tax seemed to be the most crucial one for many reasons.” Explain.

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“During the noncooperation movement, apart from a faith in Gandhi, tribals’ movement had very little in common with the aims and forms of the Gandhian movement.” Discuss with the help of examples.

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“Gandhi’s body is in jail, but his soul is with you, India’s prestige is in your hands, you must not use any violence under any circumstances. You will be beaten but you must not resist, you must not raise a hand to ward off blows.” Critically examine. 

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“The Cripps Mission gave India‚ a post-dated cheque.” Comment. 

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“In the summer of 1942 Gandhi was in a strange and uniquely militant mood.” Comment.

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Do you think that Quit India movement was a Spontaneous Revolution?

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“To characterize the Quit India Movement as ‘Spontaneous Revolution’ would be partial interpretation, so also would be to look up at it as the culmination of Gandhian Satyagraha movements.” Elucidate. 

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“The Cabinet Mission Plan‚ seemed to open an avenue for the reconciliation of a united India with Muslim autonomy’.” Comment.

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“The Simla Conference (1945) afforded the last opportunity of the forces of nationalism to fight a reargued action to preserve the integrity of the country and when the battle was lost, the waves of communalism quickly engulfed it.” Comment.

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“At Karachi in 1931, the congress defined what Swaraj would mean for the masses.” Comment. 

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“… instead of rejecting the plan (Cabinet Mission Plan), they (the Congress Leadership) resorted to a half-baked legalistic stratagem to reserve their position on its long-term arrangements and accepted its short-term provisions.” Critically examine. 

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“The active participation of Aruna Asaf Ali in 1942 movement symbolized the role of women in India’s freedom struggle.” Comment. 

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What significant role did women play in the Indian National Movement? 

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Delineate the emergence of parallel governments and their works during Quit India Movement. 

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“Quit India Movement had developed in phases and streams.” Comment.

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10. Constitutional Developments in the Colonial India between 1858 and 1935

“1858 is the Great Divide in modern Indian history, as the policy, practice and ideals of the government that followed differed fundamentally from the government of the Company which it displaced.” Discuss.

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“In terms of administrative structure, the Government of India act of 1858, … meant more continuation than change.” Do you agree? Substantiate. 

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Diarchy provided by the Mont-Ford Reforms “certainly created suspicion without the frictions within.” Comment.

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“Montague-Chelmsford reform proposals introduced ‘dyarchy’, but blurred the lines of responsibility.” Critically examine. 

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“The scheme of Dyarchy was ‘cumbrous, complex, confused system, having no logical basis and rooted in compromise’ and was foredoomed to failure.” Give your views.

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Explain the attitude of the Indian National Congress towards the constitutional changes of 1909, 1919 and 1935.

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“Though the Act of 1919 was superseded by that of 1935, the preamble to the former was not repealed- the preservation of the smile of Cheshire cat after its disappearance, and the latter said nothing about dominion status.” Comment.

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“Although the Government of India Act of 1935 replaced diarchy with provincial autonomy, the overriding powers of the Governor diluted the spirit of autonomy.” Elucidate.

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“All India Federation as proposed under The Government of India Act, 1935 was objected by all sections, whether it was Congress, Muslim League or Princely states.” Elucidate. 

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“After all we framed the constitution of 1935 because we thought it the best way to hold India to the Empire.” Explain. 

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“The relations of the Native States, however conducted are essentially relations with the British Crown and not with the Indian Government.” Comment. 

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11. Other strands in the National Movement

[The Revolutionaries: Bengal, the Punjab, Maharashtra, U.P, the Madras Presidency, Outside India. The Left; The Left within the Congress: Jawaharlal Nehru, Subhas Chandra Bose, the Congress Socialist Party; the Communist Party of India, other left parties.]

Examine the causes of the rise and progress of revolutionary movements in India from 1905 to 1931.

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Describe the changing nature of revolutionary activities in India between 1905 – 1946. 

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“The revolutionary movement progressed in phases with breaks and changing its character.” Comment.

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“The very idea of the bomb and the secret society, and of propaganda through action and sacrifice were import from the West.” Critically examine.

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“The Ghadar Movement not only underestimated the armed and organizational might of the British, but the ideological foundations of their rule as well. It has been argued that they fought in vain.” Critically evaluate.

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“The ideology of Subhash Chandra Bose was a combination of nationalism, fascism and communism.” Comment.

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“The communist had a love-hate relationship with the congress. Hence their role in nationalist movement from 1925-1947 depended upon their attitude towards congress and their theorization and re-theorization of Indian situation.” Critically examine the role played by the communists in India’s struggle against the colonial rule.

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Assess the role of the Left Wing within the Indian National Congress between 1920 and 1947.

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Account for the rise and growth of leftism in the Congress movement. What impact did it have on contemporary Indian politics?

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Account for the emergence of the left-wing within the congress. How far did it influence the programme and policy of the congress?

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The emergence of left-wing group in the congress redicalized its social economic agenda.” Critically evaluate.

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Trace the course of the people’s movement in Indian States after 1937. How did the Congress leadership react to it?

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Trace the development of the Congress’s attitude towards the Peoples’ Movements (Praja Mandal Movements) in the Princely States.

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Discuss the factors responsible for the rise of leftism in India. How leftist ideologies grew in Congress and got reflected in its socio-economic programs?

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12. Politics of Separatism and Independence

[Politics of Separatism; the Muslim League; the Hindu Mahasabha; Communalism and the politics of partition; Transfer of power; Independence.]

“Lord Mountbatten came with an order to organise retreat, in military parlance an operation.” Comment. 

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“Mountbatten’s task was, therefore, merely to work out details and effect the partition, demanded by the League and accepted by both British Government and the Congress; and this the new Viceroy moved commandingly to perform.” Comment. [1993, 20m]

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“I felt that if we did not accept partition, India would be split into many bits and would be ruined.” Comment.

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Discuss as to why the congress accepted the partition of India in 1947.

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“Why did the British finally quit India on 15th August 1947? The Imperialist answer is that independence was simply the fulfilment of British self-appointed mission to assist the Indian people to self-government.” Examine.

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To what extent did the Freedom Movement in India influence the Liberation Movement in Africa? 

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13. Consolidation as a Nation

[Nehru’s Foreign Policy; India and her neighbours (1947-1964); The linguistic reorganisation of States (1935-1947); Regionalism and regional inequality; Integration of Princely States; Princes in electoral politics; the Question of National Language.]

Jawaharlal Nehru was the architect of India’s policy of non-alignment. In the light of this statement discuss India’s relations with the two ‘Power Blocks’ between 1947-1964.

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Analyse Indian foreign policy of Non-alignment between 1947 and 1964.

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Would you agree that India’s effort to pursue an independent foreign policy was a highlight of post-1947 politics?

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“Nehru’s policy of Non-Alignment came to symbolised the struggle of India and other newly independent nations to retain and strengthen their independence from colonialism.” Critically evaluate.

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Despite Panchsheel, continued differences between the two nations led to the Indo-Sino War in 1962. Comment.

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“With great skill and masterful diplomacy and using both persuasion and pressure, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel succeeded in integrating the hundreds of princely states with the Indian Union.” Discuss. 

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“Sardar Patel accomplished a silent revolution by ensuring the absorption and assimilation of a multitude principalities without shedding even a drop of blood.” Elucidate. 

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Throw light on the nature of ‘Instrument of Accession’ and ‘Standstill Agreement’ signed by the Princely States with the Indian Union. 

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“India’s need for a federal system was more an imperative than a political choice.” Do you agree?

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“The situation held dangerous potentialities and if we did not handle it promptly & effectively our hard-earned freedom might disappear through the states’ door.” Elucidate.

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14. Caste and Ethnicity after 1947

[Backward castes and tribes in post-colonial electoral politics; Dalit movements.]

“Nehru favored the policy of integrating the tribal people in Indian society, of making them as integral part of the Indian nation even while maintaining their distinct identity and culture.” -Elaborate with special reference to Northeastern India. 

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Discuss the factors that led to the growth of Dalit consciousness and mention the major movements aimed at their empowerment.

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“Dalit Movements for empowerment in independent India have essentially been for carving out political space through electoral politics.” Discuss.

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In exercising its exclusive power, the Parliament additionally enacted the untouchability (offences) Act in 1955.” Comment.

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“The politics of affirmative action for the backward classes went through different phases during the post independent period.” Discuss the phases of the movement their demands and to what extent they were met by Mandal Commission Report.

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15. Economic development and political change

[Land reforms; the politics of planning and rural reconstruction; Ecology and environmental policy in post – colonial India; Progress of science.]

“Having won political freedom, India had to win economic and cultural freedom.” Comment.

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“Nehru’s ‘temple of Modern India’ consisted not only of steel and power plants, irrigation dams, but included institutions of higher learning, particularly in the scientific field.” Elaborate.

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“When I lay the foundation stone here of this Nagarjuna Sagar, to me it is a sacred ceremony. This is the foundation of the temple of humanity in India, a symbol of new temples that we are building all over India.” In the light of the given statement, explain Nehru’s ‘temple of Modern India’ and the steps taken to build ‘temple of Modern India’? Also comment on the change in Nehru’s thinking about big dams as a ‘Temple of India’ later.

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What kind of approaches of planning Nehru adopted after India’s independence?

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Evaluate the economic reconstruction of India after independence during Nehruvian era (1947-1964).

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“Jawaharlal Nehru, though a declared socialist, was pragmatist enough to focus on providing building blocks to the making of new India.” Examine.

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“The Chipko became famous as the first major environmental movement in post-colonial India and gave to the understanding that environment issues are often women’s issues because they suffer most from its deterioration.” – Explain. 

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Critically examine the nature and scope of environmental movements in independent India.

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How far the developments in science and technology in post-Independence period put India on the path of modernity.

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