The study of history is like peering into the intricate tapestry of our past, understanding the pivotal moments, and the indomitable personalities that have shaped the world as we know it today. For aspirants preparing for the UPSC Civil Services Examination, history, as an optional subject, carries immense weight. One of the most significant figures in modern Indian history is Mahatma Gandhi, and his role in the Indian freedom struggle remains a subject of immense importance. In this blog series, we embark on an enlightening journey through a decade of UPSC Mains questions pertaining to the ‘Rise of Gandhi’ (2013-2023). We’ll delve deep into the past papers, analyzing the trends and intricacies of the questions posed, as well as exploring the broader significance of Gandhi’s life and times in the context of the Civil Services Examination.
The UPSC Mains exam is renowned for its rigorous evaluation of candidates’ historical knowledge and analytical abilities. By focusing specifically on Gandhi’s life and the events surrounding his rise, we aim to provide invaluable insights for history optional candidates. Whether you’re an aspirant gearing up for the examination or just a history enthusiast, this blog series will unravel the diverse dimensions of Gandhi’s leadership, his philosophy, and the impact of his movements on India’s struggle for independence. So, join us on this intellectual voyage as we decipher the enigma of the Mahatma through the lens of UPSC Mains questions and unlock the secrets to mastering this critical subject.
Rise of Gandhi History – Previous Year Questions (UPSC CSE Mains History Optional)
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.
1. Identify the main strands in the Civil Disobedience Movement with particular reference to the changing role of ‘business pressures’ in the country. (1985)
2. 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? (1987)
3. “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 in about 200 words. (1988)
4. At different periods and at various levels, the National Movement assumed social, cultural and economic dimensions. Amplify. (1988)
5. What led to the Caste Movements in Western and Southern India? How did they affect the local socio-political life? (1989)
6. Analyse the main contours of Non-Brahmin Movements in Western and South India in the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth centuries. (1991)
7. Show how the Civil Disobedience was marked by much scattered potentially radical manifestations. Was the Karachi Congress an indication of certain basic weakness of the entire movement? (1992)
8. ‘The nationalist political movements for liberation such as the non – cooperation and civil disobedience movements and their leadership depended heavily on the peasantry.’ Comment. (1993)
9. Gandhi restrained mass – movements yet he retained his popularity among the masses. How do you explain this paradox? (1994)
10. Trace the course and comment on the character of caste movements in south India in the 20th century. How far were their object achieved? (1995)
11. Trace the course of the people’s movement in Indian States after 1937. How did the Congress leadership react to it? (1996)
12. “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. (1999)
13. ‘The Quit India Movement was a spontaneous revolt of the people against British rule.’ Comment. (2001)
14. “Gandhi restrained mass movements, yet he retained his popularity among the masses.” Comment. (2002)
15. ‘In the summer of 1942, Gandhi was in a strange and uniquely militant mood.’ Comment. (2003)
16. Trace the factors which led to a split in the INC in 1907. What was its impact on the course of the nationalist movement? (2003)
17. Analyse the factors responsiblefor the Civil Disobedience movement (1930-31). How far were its aims realised in the Government of India Act of 1935? (2005)
18. “At Karachi in 1931, the Congress defined what Swaraj would mean for the masses.” Comment. (2007)
19. Explain the circumstances leading to the alliance between the Khilafat and Non Cooperation Movements. Was it a politically wise step on the part of the Congress? (2007)
20. “Is moral law,the law of conscience, higher than the law of the state, which is oppressive?” (Gandhi, 1922). Comment. (2008)
21. Do you think that the Quit India movement was a Spontaneous Revolution? (2009)
22. Critically evaluate: “The active participation of Aruna Asaf Ali in 1942 movement symbolized the role of women in India’s freedom sttuggle.’ (2010)
23. “Many of us who worked for the Congress programme lived in a kind of intoxication during the year 1921. We were full of excitement and optimisim… We had a sense of freedom and a pride in that freedom.” Critically examine in 150 words. (2013)
24. “Gandhi’s body is in jail but his soulis 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 in 150 words. (2013)
25. “M.K Gandhi made a gross mistake in cham-pioning the Khilafat cause, an extraterritorial issue which cut at the very roots of Indian nationality.” Critically examine in 150 words. (2014)
26. “… 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 (2014)
27. To what extent did the Freedom Movement in India influence the Liberation Movement in Africa? (2014)
28. Critically examine: “This retention of Rowlatt legislation in the teeth of universal opposition is an affront to the nation. Its repeal is necessary to appease national honour.” (2015)
29. The Royal Indian Navy Revolt was seen as an event which marked the end of the British rule almost as finally as Independence Day.” Explain. (2015)
30. “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. (2015)
31. What significant role did women play in the Indian National Movement? (2016)
32. How did Dr. B. R. Ambedkar try to seek a political solution to the problem of caste in India? (2016)
33. Explain why the efforts at finding solution to India’s constitutional impasse failed during 1942-1946. (2017)
34. Discuss how the Satyagrahas of Gandhi removed the spell of fear among Indians and thus knocked off an important pillar of imperialism. (2017)
35. Critically comment in 150 words: “Sri Narayana Guru’s was a major intervention in the social reform movement from a subaltern perspective.” (2017)
36. Do you consider the suspension of Non-Cooperation Movement a “national calamity”? (2018)
37. Critically examine: “The Cripps Mission was plagued throughout and ultimately torpedoed.” (2019)
38. Why is the Quit India Movement characterised as a ‘Spontaneous Revolution’? Did it accelerate the process of Indian independence? (2019)
39. Critically examine the following statement in about 150 words: “In the early twentieth century, there came into existence a number of women’s organisations, which operated more actively in the public arena and focused more directly on women’s political and legal rights.” (2020)
40. Do you agree with the fact that the virtual failure of the Non-Cooperation Movement and the gloom that descended on the nationalist scene, created conditions for revolutionary activities? Discuss. (2020)
41. “In the divided and contestable space of Indian politics, Gandhiji could claim for himself a centrist position because he alienated neither and tactically combined the goal of the moderates with the means of the extremists.” Discuss. (2020)
42. The same Gandhiji who withdrew the Non-Cooperation Movement on the issue of violence at Chauri-Chaura, refused to condemn people’s violence during the Quit India Movement. Do you think that he was losing faith in the efficacy of non-violence and was willing to deviate from this path? Elucidate. (2021)
FAQs on Rise of Gandhi
Q: What is the Rise of Gandhi Group of Institutions, and what does it offer?
A: The Rise of Gandhi Group of Institutions is not an educational institution but rather a fictional or non-existent entity. There are no records or information available about any such institution. If you have questions about a specific educational institution or any other related topic, please provide more context, and we will be happy to assist you with accurate information.
Q: How did Indira Gandhi rise to power in Indian politics?
A: Indira Gandhi’s rise in Indian politics was notable and multifaceted. She was the daughter of India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, and she initially entered politics as an assistant to her father. Her ascent to the Prime Ministership began when she was elected as the President of the Indian National Congress in 1959, which was a significant political platform. Indira Gandhi’s leadership during the 1971 Indo-Pak War and her implementation of social and economic policies further solidified her political standing. She became the Prime Minister of India in 1966 and served multiple terms in this role, becoming one of the most influential political figures in Indian history.
Q: How did Mahatma Gandhi rise to prominence in the Indian freedom struggle?
A: Mahatma Gandhi’s rise to prominence in the Indian freedom struggle was marked by his unique philosophy of non-violence (Satyagraha) and civil disobedience. Gandhi returned to India from South Africa in 1915 and immediately became involved in India’s struggle for independence. He played a pivotal role in various movements, including the Non-Cooperation Movement (1920-1922) and the Civil Disobedience Movement (1930-1934). His approach of non-violent resistance resonated with the masses and led to widespread support. His leadership and charismatic presence during major events, such as the Salt March, brought him to the forefront of the Indian freedom movement.
Q: When did Mahatma Gandhi emerge in Indian politics, and what were his initial contributions?
A: Mahatma Gandhi’s emergence in Indian politics gained momentum during the 1915-1916 period when he returned to India from South Africa. He began by joining various social and political movements, but his significant contributions came through his leadership in advocating non-violent civil disobedience and satyagraha. Gandhi’s first major involvement was in the Champaran and Kheda agitations in 1917, which centered on issues related to indigo cultivation and land revenue respectively. These movements showcased his commitment to addressing the grievances of ordinary Indians and his willingness to challenge British colonial authorities through non-violent means, laying the foundation for his influential role in Indian politics.
Q: What role did Mahatma Gandhi play in the Indian national movement, and how did he rise to prominence within it?
A: Mahatma Gandhi played a central and transformative role in the Indian national movement. His rise to prominence within the movement can be attributed to his philosophy of non-violence, his ability to mobilize the masses, and his charismatic leadership. Gandhi’s involvement in major movements, such as the Non-Cooperation Movement, Civil Disobedience Movement, and Quit India Movement, inspired millions of Indians to join the struggle for independence. His commitment to social and political reforms, his championing of swadeshi (self-reliance), and his emphasis on the eradication of untouchability made him a unifying figure within the diverse Indian population. Gandhi’s unwavering dedication and moral authority earned him the title of “Mahatma,” meaning “great soul,” and made him an iconic figure in the Indian national movement.
In case you still have your doubts, contact us on 9811333901.
For UPSC Prelims Resources, Click here
For Daily Updates and Study Material:
Join our Telegram Channel – Edukemy for IAS
- 1. Learn through Videos – here
- 2. Be Exam Ready by Practicing Daily MCQs – here
- 3. Daily Newsletter – Get all your Current Affairs Covered – here
- 4. Mains Answer Writing Practice – here