The path to success in the UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) Civil Services Examination is paved with dedication, strategy, and a profound understanding of the subjects. Among the array of optional subjects available, history stands as a subject that not only illuminates the past but also serves as a powerful lens through which we can understand the present. This blog delves into the world of History as an optional subject for UPSC Mains, specifically focusing on the past decade’s questions surrounding the ‘Factors leading to the birth of Indian Nationalism’ from 2013 to 2023. Indian Nationalism is a pivotal chapter in India’s history, and delving into the nuances of its inception and development can be a game-changer for aspirants aiming to ace the UPSC Mains examination.
As we explore these past year questions, we will unravel the multifaceted journey of Indian Nationalism, tracing the historical, social, and political factors that propelled it into existence. This topic is not only an essential aspect of Indian history but also provides a deep insight into the nation’s identity and the struggle for independence. By examining these questions, aspirants can not only gain a comprehensive understanding of the subject but also fine-tune their preparation strategy to effectively tackle this vital aspect of the UPSC Mains examination. So, let’s embark on this journey through time and uncover the factors that led to the birth of Indian Nationalism in the years from 2013 to 2023, providing you with a valuable resource to enhance your UPSC History optional preparation.
Factors leading to the birth of Indian Nationalism History – Previous Year Questions (UPSC CSE Mains History Optional)
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.
1. ‘The Ilbert Bill was the most extreme but by no means isolated expression of white racism.’ Comment in about 200 words. (1987)
2. ‘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 in about 200 words. (1989)
3. ‘The tragedy of Curzon lay in that, with such abundance of trained talent; he was denied the crowning qualities. He was never an administrator of the first rank.’ Comment in about 200 words. (1991)
4. Discuss ‘the safety valve’ theory. Does it satisfactorily explain the foundation of the Indian National Congress? (1991)
5. ‘It was in this almost unrecognizable form that the Ilbert Bill was finally enacted… it was primarily a failure of the Viceroy’. Comment. (1992)
6. “India after 1905 had new interests and objectives and compelled new lines of policy.” Comment. (1996)
7. “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. (1997)
8. 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)
9. Examine the economic and social factors which ledto the rise of Indian nationalism in the second half of the nineteenth century. (2001)
10. ‘Rabindranath Tagore’s nationalism was based on a Catholic internationalism.’ Comment. (2003)
11. Analyse the social composition of the early Congress leadership. (2009)
12. “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. (2013)
13. “The ‘safety-valve thesis’ does not adequately explain the birth of the Indian National Congress in 1885.” Critically examine in 150 words. (2014)
14. “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. (2014)
15. “The Anti-Partition Agitation (1909) had an economic character in Bengal unlike the Extremist Agitation in Maharashtra which had a religious character.” Examine. (2014)
16. Explain “Constructive Swadeshi” characterised by Atmashakti (self-reliance), which propelled the Swadeshi Movement in Bengal. (2016)
17. Can methods and policies of the moderates be referred to as ‘political mendicancy’? (2018)
18. How far was the drain theory a focal point of nationalist critique of colonialism? (2019)
19. How would you explain the major trends of the Swadeshi Movement in Bengal? (2019)
20. In its political behaviour the Indian National Congress in its early career was never a radical organisation, besides the founders of the Congress involved A.O. Hume in their project. Do these facts verify that the Congress was founded as a ‘Safety valve’? Explain. (2020)
21. Critically examine the following statement in about 150 words: In the first decade of the 20th century, the atmosphere was ripe for the emergence of revolutionary groups to fill up the vacant space in the political map of the country. (2021)
22. What were the various ways in which nationalism manifested itself in India during colonial rule? (2021)
FAQs on Factors leading to the birth of Indian Nationalism
1. What were the primary factors leading to the growth of nationalism in India?
Answer: The growth of nationalism in India was driven by several key factors. These included the impact of British colonial rule, the spread of Western education, socio-cultural movements, economic exploitation, and the influence of prominent leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. These factors collectively fostered a sense of unity and purpose among Indians, ultimately leading to the rise of Indian nationalism.
2. How did British colonial rule contribute to the growth of nationalism in India?
Answer: British colonial rule in India played a significant role in fostering nationalism. It led to economic exploitation, cultural alienation, and the suppression of Indian traditions and industries. This led to a growing discontent among the Indian populace, prompting them to unite against British rule and seek self-determination. The British policies and the desire for self-governance became unifying factors for the diverse Indian population.
3. What role did socio-cultural movements play in the growth of Indian nationalism?
Answer: Socio-cultural movements, such as the Indian Renaissance and the promotion of Indian languages, played a pivotal role in fostering a sense of national identity. They encouraged people to take pride in their heritage and traditions, transcending regional and religious differences. These movements promoted the idea that India had a rich cultural heritage and a shared history, contributing to the growth of Indian nationalism.
4. How did the spread of Western education contribute to the rise of nationalism in India?
Answer: The spread of Western education in India exposed Indians to Enlightenment ideals, democratic principles, and the idea of self-determination. This education instilled in them a desire for political and social reforms, as well as a sense of national consciousness. The educated Indian elite, often referred to as the “new middle class,” played a crucial role in the early nationalist movements.
5. Who were some of the prominent leaders that contributed to the growth of Indian nationalism?
Answer: Several leaders made significant contributions to the growth of Indian nationalism, including Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, and Rabindranath Tagore, among others. Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violence (Satyagraha) and civil disobedience played a pivotal role in the Indian freedom struggle, while Nehru’s vision of a modern, democratic India resonated with many. These leaders helped galvanize the masses and provided direction to the nationalist movements.
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