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Mains Answer Writing

5-December-2023

1.  “The attainment of political independence in 1947 was a watershed moment in Indian history, but it did not mean an end to the struggles for economic and cultural freedom.” Discuss.

ANSWER

  • The political independence gained by India in 1947 refers to the end of the colonial rule in the country which was brought forth by the Indian Independence Act of the 1947. The attainment of the political independence can said to be a watershed moment as:
  1. Political independence ended the British rule in India, culminating India’s national struggle to come out from the colonial yoke.
  2. Unification of Princely states was a defining phase for the unity and integrity of the country.
  3. India embarked on its journey towards the realisation of a welfare state through the ideals of democracy, republicanism, secularism, and sovereignty etc.
  4. The partition of the Indian subcontinent continues to be an enduring legacy of political independence.

Even though attainment of political independence was a watershed, it was but a beginning towards larger economic and cultural struggles, as can be seen from:

  1. Economic struggle:
  2. Poor implementation of land reforms failed to ameliorate the problems of rural poverty.
  3. Post independence, India had to grapple with the elemental issue of food security. E.g., Import of food grains led to a ship to mouth condition (PL-480 programme).
  4. Factors such as narrow manufacturing base combined with policy of import substitution led to the Hindu rate of growth. Further, external challenges like 1962 war impacted economic plans (FYP).
  5. In 1991, India had to face a BoP crisis, which in turn necessitated the LPG reforms.
  6. As per experts, economic inequality and jobless growth in the country is detrimental to the demographic dividend. E.g., as per a report, in India, 5% of the population own more than 60% of the country’s wealth.
  7. Skewed growth pattern (unbalanced regional development) has led to stress migration. E.g., during covid crisis jobless migrants faced existential crisis.
  8. Limited engagement of India in global trade. E.g., absence of FTAs with major trading partners.
  9. Cultural struggle:
  10. Post independence linguistic strife were palpable. E.g., opposition to Hindi language by Southern states even in present times.
  11. Forced mainstreaming of marginalised sections. E.g., loss of tribal literature, neglect of indigenous religious practices.
  12. Rapid pace of globalisation has had overwhelming impact on domestic culture. E.g., Indian traditional wears like turban, dhoti, gamcha etc., are facing oblivion.
  13. Deepening of communal cleavages have undermined the objectives cultural pluralism.
  14. As per critics, tyranny of majority has amplified cultural subjugation of a few by many.

E.g., forced conversions, restrictions on dietary practices etc.

  1. Orthodox practices and traditions continue to be societal drag. E.g., child marriages, son meta preference, caste bias, opposition to same-sex marriages etc.
  2. Absence of a UCC often creates legal confusion.

Post independence, India has overcome many impediments, however, concerted efforts are needed tackle the considerable challenges in the way of achieving economic inclusion and cultural diversification.

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2. How can government initiatives effectively support and promote cultural industries in the country?

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3. How can government policies better promote gender equality in education?

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4. Assess the effectiveness of government initiatives in enhancing public transportation and its impact on sustainability and last-mile connectivity in India.

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5. In the context of India’s efforts to enhance domestic oil production, critically examine the long-term and short/medium-term policy initiatives taken by the government.

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6. Examine the key measures taken by the Indian government in disaster preparedness for cyclones, highlighting the focus on early warning systems, evacuation plans, and collaborative efforts for effective response.

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