Insights Daily Answer Writing Challenge Day – 53

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QUESTIONS: DAY 53 (GENERAL STUDIES-PAPER-II, Topics: Freedom Struggle – different phases; Role of Women)

  1. “The nationalist leadership failed to some extent in raising the political consciousness of Muslims to the higher plane of secular political consciousness.” Critically comment. (250 Words)
  2. Evaluate to what extent has the reservation for women in Panchayats empowered them? Throw light on major factors hindering their active participation in Panchayats. (250 Words)




Question 1

  • India’s Struggle for Independence, Chapter – 32

Question 2


    Evaluate to what extent has the reservation for women in Panchayats empowered them? Throw light on major factors hindering their active participation in Panchayats.

    The Gandhian dream of Panchayati Raj brought into practice backed by legalistic support by 73rd amendment also had n aim of empowering the women.

    The 73rd amendment provided a mandatory clause of reservation of 1/3rd of seats for women to ensure that women are not just entitled to the fruits of development rather active participant in the decision making process and to not let half of the human capital go waste.
    On positive side, today we have about 30 lakh elected representatives at local level and 10 lakh are women. This has ensured access to resources, women presence in the public sphere, denting the patriarchal attitude and most importantly has led to development of self confidence among women.

    However still there are many areas which need working upon , the main impeding factors as given by different analyst are the lack of capacity building among women. Women having low educational levels and low knowhow are not able to make valuable contribution and the mindset of society still being patriarchal, the male members consult women only on matters considered to be of traditional connected to women. Further lack of economic independence many representatives are mouthpieces of there husbands or father. Many feminist have also argued against reservation to be kept at 33% rather they want at least 50%. Many believe that Indian society has inbuilt depressants and catalyst are needed for women empowerment.

    Thus the introduction of PRI has definitely contributed to the women empowerment yet much ground needs to be covered.

    • Vijay Pateriya

      nice answer…..a well two line conlusion..overall nice one …..i noticed you are always the first one gud going brother

    • Dr. ashish gupta

      good !!!

    • Ankit,
      Nice answer. Good reasons to support your argument. Some factual corrections are required. Like EWR are substantially more than exactly 33% as suggested by you. 73rd Amendment gave constitutional support. Suggestions are missing.

      And please review my answer as well. :).

      • pallavi

        upsc like ans

    • smit shah

      First of all Gandhian type model is ram rajya or dharma rajya ,even he dont want panchyat so as per my view your first sentence would be wrong start ,overall too good in with in limit (exactly 250 words… )


    “The nationalist leadership failed to some extent in raising the political consciousness of Muslims to the higher plane of secular political consciousness.” Critically comment. (250 Words)

    The Indian national movement started around end of 19th century , the main proponents of the movement were middle class intelligentsia of that time.
    The Muslims had a late entry into the modern economic and educational system due to a variety of reasons. The National leadership however wanted to encompass the movement and include all the people of the country thus many initiatives to raise the nationalist consciousness among Muslims were taken up. Wide participation of Muslim in 1920 Non cooperation and Khilafat movement was seen. Contribution of muslim intellectual in home rule movement and Swadeshi movement was also present.

    However the leadership could not raise the conscious level to higher degree of nationalist sentiment, The British propped up Muslim league as counter to Congress which rallied Muslim against the nationalist cause and many intellectuals like Syed Ahmed also developed communal views. The participation of Muslim in the Khilafat and Non cooperation movement was also result of mobilization on a religious issue even though there grievances were vented out to the imperialist domination. The participation of Muslim in general and peasantry in particular in other movements were no where near the 1920’s level and with increasing relevance of Muslim league we see further communalization of the society and partition of the country.

    Thus nationalist leadership failed in this context however it should be noted it was more because of coincidence of religious and class division and late entry of muslim in modern economic and educationcal sphere as province like Bombay where Muslims entery was early , we see many nationalist scholars like Babrudin tyabji , Jinnah(till late 1920’s) , K T shah emerging.

    • ANKIT

      plz review.

    • Dr. ashish gupta

      good !!!

    • jd

      Good answer

    • pallavi

      better conclusion should have been there

    • Ankit, good answer. You left a very important point though : the unwillingness of congess to form coalition with the muslim league in the 1937 porvincial elections.

      • Anjali

        Ankit, I have some doubts you have not emphasized where nationalist leadership failed, I think Lucknow Pact should be mentioned though it was for unity but indirectly they accepted Hindu and Muslims have different interests, then Nationalist Leadership tried to pacify communal leadership which gave rise to more hardened communal demands, some prominent leaders from Congress platform tried to secure Hindu interest, this was also used by ML to garner muslim support, after NCM and Khilafat there were no special efforts to discuss methods to evolve common strategy between Hindu and Muslims leaders, and Khilafat leaders used orthodox methods and appealed peoples on the basis of religion.

        You can clarify your stand on this.

        I m looking for Insights guidance what to include in this question.

        • ANKIT

          hey Anjali, now that you point it out , i realize the fatal flaw in my answer, you are correct in pointing out that leadrship failed by doing lucknow pact, some leaders even drifted to ultra national hindu fold . My answer talks about only NCM and that they did not emphasis on much socio economic improvement and countering ML by effective mobilisation.

          thanks for the review.

  • jd

    The 73rd amendment provides for 1/3 rd of reservation in PRI positions at all three levels to women. States like Bihar, Chattishgarh are provding for 50% of reservation. Through this 1 million women are representing people in PRI.

    The empowerment of women means – improvement in political participation of women, their position in society, self-decision making.

    When we analyse how far the reservation in PRI empowered women, it give mixed results.

    There are 1 million women came out of homes and pariticipating in political process. Women pradhans are addressing the gender sensitive issues like Sanitation, drinking water, school education and nutrition in ICDS better. It helps in increasing their self confidence. The SHG experience in managing group came handy. Women Pradhans winning Nirmal Gram Puraskar is an example for this.

    But the above success is very limited. The representation provided didn’t turn into active participation and own decision making. The causes include –illiteracy, powerty, and absence of political awareness. Patriachal social attitude of society.
    This non-participation takes many forms. Elite capture, where the lower castes are represented, the decision making is done by elite. Proxy participation, where the decision making lies with male kin like husband, brother.

    The remeady for these lies in increasing capacity building among women. A special traning module at district leve, mock session during traninng for women PRI annually over conducting business in Panchayat. This empowers them to take own decisions. Similarly, a separate quorum for women act as a support for women PRI. Increasign the reservation to 50% can be considered.
    The reservation in PRI is yet to yield the results, it deserves.

    • Dr. ashish gupta

      1.introduction can be better 2. conclusion should be on positive note 3.lacking flow in answer..

      however coverage of content is good….keep it up

      • jd

        Thanks Asish for your reivew, i will work to improve.

    • NAWIN(naveen)

      Really nice ans, especially 4th paragraph and your suggestions… continue good luck


    hi insights, other aspirants, please review

  • jd

    hi insights, pls review

  • raghusharmag

    1)Muslim consciousness:
    Nationalist leaders had two task, one was independence of india and another was unification of india in communal line. Former was success but later was not.
    The Hindu Muslim divide existed from long time in India. INM on true basis started from social reforms of 19th century & culminated in 1947. From the beginning itself there was least focus on raising communal consciousness. The social reforms targeted social evils but their penetration across religion was very limited.
    Sir Syed Ahmed’s Aligarh movement was first projection of Hindu rule as anti muslim. The projection that a hindu majority nation will deprive the muslim right in all dimension changed the politics from on.
    INC though maintained its secularism throughout but it was more theoretical maintenance. The emergence of ultrahinduist like lala lajpat rai, Madan mohan malviya & their consequential anti muslim movement gave impression of INC as hindu party. Apart from lukhnow pact and khilafat movement there was no mass interaction of INC & muslim. The 1935 election & staunch subordination of Muslim legaue(ML) further deepened this divide. Though INC had special focus like Nehru’s plan of 1937 to reach mass muslim population or refusal of INC to be accepted as Hindu party during wavell plan. But the effort was not enough to fill divide.
    ML on contrary completely emerged on communal line. Rise of Gandhi’s ideal of Ram rajya didnot went well with Muslim’s ideal of prebritish muslim type rule. With 1935 & later 1945-46 election the number of seat won by ML clearly showed how they represented muslims. Jinnah’s rejection of Nehru’s report often will be considered as epic divide.
    Thus nationalist leader not succeeded in uniting india on communal line & outcome was two nations.

    • Dr. ashish gupta

      dude…it’s appearing very factual and less analytical…however you have covered good no. of facts…it’s better give key facts nd analyse them..also work on introduction..

      • raghusharmag

        thks ashish….it really really helps me

        • ANKIT

          hey one correction: 1937 election ML fared bad, it did not get majority in many areas claimed for pakistan like assam, NWFP while in Punjab and Bengal , it could conjure even 50% of muslim votes. It was one of the reason for starting extrem communalism by ML, which paid rich dividends in 1945 elections where it got 90% muslim votes.

  • 2)Women reservation:
    The reservation of women in panchayat had more theoretical and less real impact on women empowerment. The nascency of system reflects when we consider presence of major hindering factor even now.
    Through 73rd & 74th amendment 1/3rd of seat in PRIs & Urban local bodies were fixed for women. Another constitutional amendment bill raising reservation to 1/2 of seat is pending.
    On Positive side, Reservation has brought the women’s role in decision making and also in bottom to up planning. The governance of day to day panchayat affairs has proved impetus to women’s confidence. It has been seen that the panchayat with women’s presence has been functioning well especially on social indicators. Emergence of educated women sarpanch & strength of their independence has been serving both objectives i.e of Role model & also true aim of panchayat raj. The increasing trend womens participation in politics, increasing education and employment opportunity could not be kept away from credit of reservation in PRI’s.
    However empowerment is a very broad dimension. This begins from education, health, capacity building, social status & employment and ends in independence. Considering rural & urban women are like same women who faced above problems & came out. The major hindering factors are subordination of women member by panchayat & relatives, limited leadership skills due to lack of necessary skills due to years of subordination, non conductive panchayat & village environment, lack of decision making abilities etc.
    Thus though reservation of women has been positive but will take time as well as effort to have considerable impact on women empowerment.

    • Insight sir & dear friends pls review my answers.

      • Dr. ashish gupta

        dude …don’t give ur opinion in first line itself…by writing ‘The reservation of women in panchayat had more theoretical and less real impact on women empowerment.’ as first line …the examiner will loose intrest in reading further…pls give some data/fact in rest answer to support your arguments..

        • Vicky..

          Agree with Ashish

  • Q: Evaluate to what extent has the reservation for women in Panchayats empowered them? Throw light on major factors hindering their active participation in Panchayats. (250 Words)

    A: In a single stroke 73rd and 74th Amendment of Constitution democratised politics in an unprecedented manner. Not only it did provide for erecting 3rd tier of government, but provided for at least 33% reservation of women at all levels of the local government. It is in fact commendable that many states, and mainly the poorer ones, have enhances this to 50%.

    Reservation of women has empowered the otherwise politically marginalised sex of India and constitutionalised their representation in the state. No doubt, there are numerous success stories along with a gradual change in social structure, but near two decades of experience has also revealed many hinderances to their participation in Panchayats.

    The recent survey undertaken by Min. of Panchayati Raj on the effect of reservation policies has revealed that although representation has increased representation but similar inferences can’t be drawn for participation. Most of Elected Women Representatives (EWR) complained that decision making regarding social and construction works are still primarily male dominated reflecting the low respect afforded to women in a patriarchial society.

    It is heartening that many EWRs are taking initiatives in dealing with various institutions like police, NGOs, schools, hospitals, however illiteracy, linguistic barriers, mobility and household responsibilites impedes in the effective participation. The inability of most EWR in getting re-elected once reservation is removed also speaks of the general hesitation of society towards women leaders. Surrogate EWRs for their male counterparts is also still prevelant.

    That said, reservations have still proven to be a masterstroke in bringing power to women cutting across caste and class barriers. Some improvements like fixation of reserved seat for atleast 2 terms, bringing women sub-quoram in Gram Sabha meetings, empowering SHGs and providing universal education and healthcare can go a long way in unleashing true potential of social experiment.

    • Hi insights and all,
      Anyone please review the answer.

      • Vicky..

        Second part of the question has been answered excellently. How they have empowered , that is missing. For second part also, you are using lot of words.

        • ANKIT

          hey! over all the answer has a nice flow, though i found certain things like how linguistic barriers a problem? and re election when reservation removed? reservation is not on a regressive pattern. Critically speaking structuring of the answer can be improved.

          • hey…thanx for review…by linguistic barriers I meant to highlight difference in official language and the spoken dialects which in turn is a result of illiteracy. EWR are generally unable to get re elected from their seat once reservation of women is removed. This shows the skepticism in EWR.


    Evaluate to what extent has the reservation for women in Panchayats empowered them? Throw light on major factors hindering their active participation in Panchayats

    Empowerment of women is possible when along with social and economic self reliance ,their role in political decision making is also improved.The 73 CA act not only empowers women politically but also has improved their social status in the society This act provides mandatory 1/3 reservation for women in PRis.
    By giving them reservation, their self confidence to contest election has been increased.This not only ensures gender equality but also gives them a leverage to address the grass root problems more effectively since women are in close proximity to the society and know the basic problems very well
    About 40% of women in PRIs are from marginalized section thus reservation has proved to be a social equalizer giving poor and dalit women a say in political process and improving their self confidence.
    Reservation doesn,t provide participation which is necessary for empowerment.The problem of surrogate or proxy participation is visible in some states where women are not equipped to take decisions and their male relatives have upper hand in it.Illiteracy and societal pressure erode their participation.
    Where consensus building prevails in decision making women are at disadvantageous end because of elite capturing.
    Due to frequent rotational dereservation of seats women get demotivated.
    In patriarchal society women hesitate to contest elections.
    Despite such hindrances the act has brought a great social and political revolution,about 1 million women have been the members of the PRis after the enactment of the act.Providing them education and necessary capacity building,they can proved to be a pillar in good governance(less corruption)Society should also put their efforts to make women at par with men.


    INSIGHTS REVIEW the answer plz
    waiting for ur valuable comments

  • Sha

    Evaluate to what extent has the reservation for women in Panchayats empowered them? Throw light on major factors hindering their active participation in Panchayats. (250 Words)

    The legislation of 73rd amendment act has indeed brought a political awakening to the women who were seen fit to fulfill their domestic responsibilities alone.The political empowerment has triggered many women to come to the foreground and perform better than their male counterparts in terms of efficiency and responsiveness.

    Constitutionally entitled to such positions,women gained confidence and were visibly seen to take active participation through community guided programmes on the basis of common good.Evaluating their performance which stood beyond mere satisfaction and sensing the dire need of political inclusion government of India has increased the representation from one third to one half. This was enough proof of social acceptability of women into the political sphere in a patriarchal society as ours.

    But in a largely male dominated arena speculations did linger about who plays the real role. It is true that most of the positions are occupied by women with low literacy level, coming from lower levels of society thus constraining their economic independence which largely depends on the spouse.There also lies the fear of proxy representations and domestic anomy if denied the power associated with the position.There were even suspicions of women evading domestic responsibilities over the newly found political role.

    Though, the recent surveys come as a solace showing that about 30% of women see their spouse and in laws supporting their political career and motivating them to perform better we probably see light in the other end of the tunnel.
    Kindly review this. Might help me in improving… Insights and frnds 🙂

    • Vicky..

      Sha , good answer, you are on a right track. But in the end you should give a judgement about its success. Similarly, more content should be added in their empowerment. The hinderance due to rotation formula devoid them the second chance.

      • Sha

        Thank you vicky..Wil do so.. 🙂

  • Vicky..

    1. “The nationalist leadership failed to some extent in raising the political consciousness of Muslims to the higher plane of secular political consciousness.” Critically comment. (250 Words)
    The sustainability of communal elements in the national struggle, was also due to ineffective and ill-countered response from national leaders towards its rise. Apart from accepting British’s communal concessions , irrational demands of communal groups were also accepted by national leadership in leau to achieve their cooperation. This infact strengthened them, instead of silencing them, allowed them to demand more in future.
    The separate electorates to Muslims were accepted by Congress in Lucknow Pact, thus justifying communal representation and communal leaders as the only interest protectors of communities. The political consciousness came, but from a vision of communal ideologies present in it. Though the issues of Khilafat was a religious one, and could be fought under a national programme but it was showcased as an only religious issue that Muslims desired to fight for. Realignment of leaders as responsivists and further negotiations with Muslim leaders, on Delhi Proposals, Jinnah’s 14 points etc again displayed the compromise laden policy of national leaders.
    The outright rejection of Communal Award, by Gandhiji was a step in the right direction, putting a break on communal negotiations at the Round Table Conferences between communal leaders and British Government. But the national leaders should have adopted a more strict and intolerable stand towards communalism. There should have been no negotiations on communal interests or compromises on it. The masses should have been sensitised towards nationalism absent religious sentiments. The logical, rational, scientific reasons, if brought in the minds of people, could have fought against communal passions.
    Hence, national leadership failed to raise the consciousness of Muslims on secular lines, thus allowing emotional and religious sentiments being aroused by communal leaders.

    • Dr. ashish gupta

      flowery language and lacking flow…

      • Vicky..

        thanks Ashish :). And what about content ?

    • chaitanya

      you have touched a different aspect of communal award which was missing in above answer. Thanx for that, There was hindu-muslim unity since ages and secularism is under current though not known as concept. what national leaders failed is curbing the communal, partisan elements during national movement than imparting secular values.

  • Vicky..

    2. Evaluate to what extent has the reservation for women in Panchayats empowered them? Throw light on major factors hindering their active participation in Panchayats. (250 Words)
    Reservations for women in Panchayats have ensured their presence in decision making process. The male dominated society of India, would not have allowed the women to come out of their drudgery of household chores, if reservations were not provided for them, especially for women belonging to SC/ST/OBC. Reservations ensuring their participation have made them self confident, more vocal, participative, respectful, active stakeholder. Sharing of family responsibilities, redressing social problems, reduction in corruption, better governance are some of the results.
    Women now confidently ask questions, demand actions from those responsible. They have ensured more successfully that schools are brought in their village enabling education for their children. Other hidden requirements , hidden from male representation, have started surfacing. Social empowerment has taken place, as they are even seen to ban intoxication and betting of their spouses. Various schemes for women by upper legislatures are coming into their notice, apart from recommending amendments to them, they are ensuring its implementation so that they can be more empowered.
    But there some hindering factors in their active participation. Firstly, the prevailing illiteracy, language barriers, inexperience disables them from understanding and even participating. Sometimes decisions are take even without their presence. Then, many patriarchal societies still present, ensure that they remain a puppet in the hands of their male family members. Apart from it, reservations take place on rotation basis, thus making them disappointed for the next election, hence making even their future participation uncertain.
    However, keeping these hinderances aside, their reservation has enabled women empowerment in all walks of life. Now even they come forward for participation on their own decision. Thus upholding their reservations in Panchayats.

  • vipul

    1. “The nationalist leadership failed to some extent in raising the political consciousness of Muslims to the higher plane of secular political consciousness.” Critically comment. (250 Words)

    Hindu-Muslim divide was non-existent in India till last years of 19th century. Early 19th century, Muslim intellectuals felt that Muslim were legging behind the Hindus in development. They advised Muslims to support the British rule to safeguard the minority interests which might get jeopardized if majority Hindus were able to form democratic government in India. Separate constituencies for Muslims mentioned in Morley-Minto reform further gave boost to the idea of communalism. Hindu & sikh communalist also grew in parallel with reasoning that they were reacting to growing muslim communalism.
    Lucknow pact between congress & league accepted the demand for separate electorates & reservation of seats in legislature. Though the pact reduced the growing Hindu-Muslim divide but it had accepted the idea of communalism in principle. National leadership had indirectly accepted that hindu & muslim interests are different and need different approaches.

    Khilafat movement post world war 1 was a religious issue but it received thumping support from the national leadership. Khilafat leaders used religion to mobilize the people in the movement. Though it succeeded to gain popular support but it strengthened the ideology of orthodoxy and people habit of look all political issues within narrow framework of religion.

    National leadership tried to oppose communal forces but with a poor strategy. Leadership tried to pacify communalism by acting as mediator between communal leadership instead of raising political consciousness among common muslim population. National leaders failed to adopt secular instance at time. Except for few individuals , national leaders had bias towards the communal forces. Leadership adopted strategy of negotiation while the need of hour was all out opposition to communal forces in all ideological, political & social fronts. Absence of ground work among Muslims let the communal forces use the emotions and bias to instigate the people in place of rational & analytic methods. Failure of national leadership in handling communal forces led India to unfortunate partition in 1949.

  • Q. Secular political consciousness of the Muslims? (250 words)

    A separate Muslim political consciousness did not exist till early 1880s. But, gradually the Muslim leaders created and raised it to the communal level, on the pretext of the suppression of minority Muslims in a Hindu nation. The national leadership both fuelled and attempted accommodating it within the secular political framework. Its failure to an extent was not a crisis of leadership but the force of the situation.

    Muslim leaders often saw a contradiction in their political interests and the political demands of the Indian National Congress(INC). INC leaders made every possible attempt to explain that it was not so.

    Concessions given to the muslims by the Britishers in the Morley-Minto reforms,1909, fuelled this contrast further. And, the rise of several hindu communal organisations like Hindu Mahasabha aggravated this contrast. The political future of the minorities was increasingly questioned in an independent India, when the muslims patrons(Britishers) would leave.

    This saw many communal outbreaks and forced the signing of the Lucknow pact where congress agreed to joint electorates and reservation for the muslims. While it can be seen as conciliatory, it was also a retrograde in the sense that the INC submitted and agreed to communal poilitcs. Moreover, certain demands made by Jinnah for separate provinces and elecorates for muslims. Barring few, they were largely agreed to in the Nehru report 1928.

    The 1937 provincial elections, the large scale victory of congress and its unwillingness to form a coalition with the Muslim league in some provinces, was the last blow to secular political consciousness of Muslims. This shows that either the INC failed to convince the so-called muslim leaders of their political security post-independence, or tacitly agreed to separate Hindu-muslim political interests.

  • vipul

    2. Evaluate to what extent has the reservation for women in Panchayats empowered them? Throw light on major factors hindering their active participation in Panchayats. (250 Words)

    Article 243 in constitution of India has provision for the reservation of 1/3rd of the seats in Panchayati Raj Institutions. Many of states have further increased the women reservation in PRI to 50 % to provide adequate representation to women in line with their ration in overall population.
    Number of elected women representatives in India is more than million. Women reservation has opened up opportunity for deprived, illiterate & marginalized women to become a competent representatives. PRI reservations have empowered women to control the resources, officials& schemes of development. Increased participation has helped the women to boost their self-image and changed the society perception about them. Women participation has brought a new approach to governance issues especially related to alcohol abuse, domestic violence, family health care, child marriage etc which impact them the most. Representation not only empowers the women representative but infused confidence among women at large to raise their voice against social evil and to demand their basic rights. Reservation has helped women to step outside their home and interact with the outside world.
    Society attitude toward women is major hurdle in the effective participation in Panchayat. Due to illiteracy, lack of confidence and purdah caused by social discrimination had led husbands or male family members to take over the decision making power of women representative. Elected representative also find it extremely difficult to balance time between panchayat and domestic work in the absence of family support. Women who regularly participate in panchyat meeting hardly have full freedom of speech due to patriarchal setups. They frequently suffer from non-cooperation from the fellow male members in Panchayat due to societal attitude towards women. All this has led the women representative to skip Panchayat meetings. Women participation has increased due to reservation but women candidates are rarely vying for the general seats. Still there is a minority of women who are in PRI due to their leadership qualities.
    In order to achieve the actual women empowerment, co-ordination of different sections of the society such as male members, religious groups, and political leaders etc. is must. Such sections need to come forward and get rid of their personal interest and ego to understand and appreciate that the women are equally as important segments of society as men. Until the wide spread male chauvinism in our society ends, any act of women empowerment will not meet its objective in real sense.

  • Sumeet

    “The nationalist leadership failed to some extent in raising the political consciousness of Muslims to the higher plane of secular political consciousness.” Critically comment. (250 Words)

    Words – 227; Time Taken – 11 mins.
    The national leadership during India’s freedom struggle played a vital role in uniting a fragmented society. However, this unification got primarily restricted to the majority population of the Hindus neglecting the role of minority groups especially the Muslims.
    The methodology for the spread of Nationalism amongst the masses extensively made use of symbols relating to that of the Hindu culture. Tilak’s propaganda of conducting Ganpati and Shivaji festivals in Maharashtra united the Hindus but at the same time alienated the Muslims. Even the social reforms initiated by reformers like Raja Ram Mohan Roy and Dayanand Saraswati aimed specifically at the Hindu religion. This led to the development of a feeling amongst the Muslims that they would get subordinated to the Hindus whenever India gained freedom and this sowed the seeds of the vision of a separate Muslim nation.
    With the arrival of Gandhi at the centre stage of the national movement, attempts were made to reconcile the two groups and unity could be seen during the Khilafat-Non Cooperation joint agitation. However, over time the Muslim leaders distanced themselves partly due to the British appeasement policies towards them and their own desire for a separate nation.
    The consequences of these factors led to the failure of the establishing a secular political consciousness which worked to the benefit of the British extending the periods of their rule over India.

    Please Review…!

  • Sumeet

    Evaluate to what extent has the reservation for women in Panchayats empowered them? Throw light on major factors hindering their active participation in Panchayats. (250 Words)

    Words – 320; Time taken – 16 mins.
    The 73rd Constitutional amendment in 1992 was a masterstroke in the sense that it not only helped in democratizing Democracy in India but at the same time attempting to empower the women by providing a 33% reservation at all levels of the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs). Over the period of 20 years since its inception, the impact of PRIs on women empowerment can best be described as of a mixed character.
    Evaluative studies by the Planning Commission and independent bodies have highlighted the fact that the reservation for women in principle has led to an improved status of women. Their empowerment has led to the women articulating their demands more effectively which have been incorporated in the planning and execution process of the PRIs. It has given them an opportunity to step out of their homes and participate in the decision making process. The empowerment has not only been in the political sense but also in the economic sense with their dependency on the male members of the family greatly reduced. Convening of women SHGs and other initiatives have led to a domino effect in further contributing to their empowerment.
    However, research conducted by sociologists like Gail Omvedt and Leela Dube highlight that empowerment of women has not been achieved in the true sense of the term. They have argued that women functionaries are merely proxy candidates while the real decision making process lies in the hands of the husbands and fathers. Empowerment has been restricted to only those women who are part of the PRIs and not diffused on to the normal women folks. Recent reports of thrashing of a woman Sarpanch in Rajasthan further highlights the continued dominance of patriarchy in the rural setting.
    Empowerment in letter is the starting point but adopting the same in spirit is the completion of the process. The progress has been made but still India needs to go a long way in achieving women empowerment in its true sense.

    Please Review…!
    I know I overshot the word limit…

  • SD

    1. Evaluate to what extent has the reservation for women in Panchayats empowered them? Throw light on major factors hindering their active participation in Panchayats. (250 Words)

    One of the main objectives of the 73rd constitutional amendment act was the empowerment of women through provision of one third reservation of seats. To what extent women have been able to actively participate in these institutions and voice their issues has been studied in various parts of the country and the findings are not uniform.
    Thus, the level of active participation of women varies from region to region. But on an average the awareness has vastly improved and women are more aware of their rights then they were two decades ago. Women sarpanches in many PRIs are making bold reforms for the betterment of their society and initial resistance from some quarters has given way to acceptance on finding the positive outcomes. There have been huge benefits and the foremost have been that it has motivated women to contest elections and participate actively. The provisions have also helped in empowerment of women as it promoted grater gender equality as women experienced increased self confidence, more respect, sharing of responsibilities at home, more voice in decision making, leadership skills and so on.
    However, the benefits of empowerment are not uniform and there are lot more issues to be resolved. The first is the issue of surrogate participation which is a uniform hindrance in almost all regions. The other major limitation is the lack of proper grievance redressed mechanism .Then there are issue of illiteracy, inexperience, lack of awareness and a patriarchal society that inhibits the empowerment of women.
    There is a major difference between representation and participation which needs to be understood and there is lot to be done to make women active participants in the decision making process.

  • pallavi

    “The nationalist leadership failed to some extent in raising the political consciousness of Muslims to the higher plane of secular political consciousness.” Critically comment. (250 Words)
    Nationalist movement took political colour after formation of congress, but most of the members were fromupper class hindu community and dominated by upper class. The propaganda undertook by them to include more mass with them was based on hindu religion and custom for ex. using picture of hindu devi or god, depcting india in a female role with saffron colour flag, using hindu festival or gathering to address mob etc that is why muslim could not feel the tight bondage with nationalist, and they always felt themselves in secondary role in national movemnt.
    In late 19th century Md. Ahmed started movement for reform of the muslims but later it converted itself in to communal group which created gap between hindu and muslim, In 1906 they formed seperate group ito represent intrest of muslim community in the form of ” Muslim league”.
    In 1909 under the divide and rule policy britishers provided them seperate electorate system for muslim which further widened the gap between hindu and muslim, it delineated the muslim fron national movement,
    After entrance of MAHATMA GANDHI in national movement ALL INDIA CONGRESS tried to be secular and Mahamtma Gandhi took step like accepting their separate electrorate demand in 1916, supporting KHILAFAT MOVEMENT etc but still they could not become successful to mobilize large no.of muslims to a mass level.
    After call for separate country for muslim by Iqbal and Jinna. nationalist tried their best to prohibit them from formation of seperate countary but they got failed and ultimately it led to separation of India.
    This gives us picture that nationalist leadership failed to some extent in raising the political consciousness of muslim.

    • pallavi

      wlecome to critic

  • maneshwar rai

    Through 73 rd amendment act of constitution panchayati raj system came into existence and in this act it is mandatory to reserve 1/3 rd seat for women and it can be enhanced by state amendment act .
    As indian society is patriarchal in nature there is less women participation in public official but by this act the participation of women has increased many fold.Although representation has ameliorated but the character of representation is proxy in nature due to male domination.Generally the women representative came from influential class so the role of women isn’t justified due to their lack of representation in decision making.This we may see in the movie well done abba where Ballamma is a sarpanch but her every decision is encroached by his husband which harsh the moral of women empowerment.
    Other problem which is seen in last decade is reservation rotation.A/c to survey the women getting elected second time is abated by 87%..Due to prevalence of illiteracy among women in backward region and less experience in public participation reservation rotation after one term harsh the moral of women empowerment.So if reservation rotation is augmented then it will benefit representative to get expertise in governance and it will boost their moral .
    Despite all these facts it’s also true that there are success stories.e.g. in Rajsthan and Andhra Pradesh the women representatives has set a benchmark in curbing corruption. and proper plan implementation.
    From last three years the growth rate of Bihar and other backward states has shown significant improvement.So one of the factor behind achieving this growth rate is women empowerment also.In Bihar reservation for women in PRI is 50% and their representation is 54%.
    To get full benefit from reservation there is a need to reform of edacation system,mere women participation in public official.Women from lower strata has insignificant representation so by proper functional education system there participation can enhanced in significant proportion.

  • Karthikeyan V

    Q. “The nationalist leadership failed to some extent in raising the political consciousness of Muslims to the higher plane of secular political consciousness.” Critically comment. (250 Words)

    A. Hindu-Muslim unity was one of the key points in the agenda of the Nationalist Leaders and they made conscious efforts in opposing the communal political forces. But, their efforts proved not so fruitful in making the political consciousness of the Muslims secular.
    The following points highlights the failure of the Nationalist Leadership
    I. The basic strategy of the Nationalist leaders was to bring about unity through negotiations with the communal leaders. By negotiating with communalists, the nationalist leaders approved their politics and gave them prominence.
    II. On the above front, Lucknow Pact of 1916 between Muslim League and the Congress is of great importance. The pact accepted the demand for separate electorates to protect the interests of minorities.
    III. During the Khilafat Movement both Hindus and Muslims fought together against the Colonial Rule but there were inherent weakness in this movement. But, the Muslim leaders started looking at political issues from religious point of view.
    IV. The All-Party Conference in 1928 on Nehru Report deserves a mention here. The Report partly ceded to the demands by the Muslim League and the strategy if agreement or pact with communal groups proved to be futile and suffered from setbacks.

    The real solution to the Communalism is to oppose it politically, socially and ideologically.
    I. The Nationalists should have had a scientific understanding of the communal ideology and made a socio-political struggle against the Communal forces.
    II. Peasant struggles were not given due important and their struggles were turned communal.
    III. The Nationalists failed to fight communalism on the basis of rationality and science.

    • Karthikeyan V

      Hi Friends,

      Need your review so that I can improve upon.
      Thanks in advance.

  • amiti

    Evaluate to what extent has the reservation for women in Panchayats empowered them? Throw light on major factors hindering their active participation in Panchayats. (250 Words)
    Panchayati raj which was the vision of our constitution makers in 1950
    got constitutional backing in 1992. In 1992 73rd amendment act provided for formation of PANCHAYATI RAJ For empowrement of women IT seeks 1/3rd reservation of seats.
    After passing of two decades it has increased the polictical participation of women but still there are many things to be achieved This act has not achieved its esteemed goal because a lot of social and cultural evil prevailing in patriachial society. Women are still not allowed to come outside of their house and take part in active politics, at many of the places women’s husband or father are representing the elected women.
    Literacy and language barrier is playing another role in dealignieating from politics. Women pradhan are still prone to domestic violence.Financal control still in the hands of men
    Empowering women requires integrated approach of social refom, educational refom and political reform.

  • Q2. Evaluate to what extent has the reservation for women in Panchayats empowered them? Throw light on major factors hindering their active participation in Panchayats. (250 Words)

    The 73rd constitutional amendment mandated reservation of one-third of seats to women in the PRIs at all levels, including that of chairpersons.

    Prior to the enactment, women representation and participation was virtually non-existent, wherever panchayats existed. With the promise of reservation, political participation of women has conspicuously increased, leading to political empowerment. A women enjoys a distinct privilege in the Indian society, when she leads, especially a political forum. This has led to social empowerment. The post also carries remuneration, empowering women economically. Moreover, women (representatives) focus more on health, hygiene, nutrition and education(in the village), especially those of girl child. Thus this sympathetic relationship has empowered not only the position holders, but women as a whole. Now, they are not considered as a burden, but as an asset to the family.

    But, on the other hand, they remain merely as position holders, and real power, authority and decision-making is exercised by their family members, often husbands. They win local elections on the credentials of their family and husband, not their own.

    The factors behind this veiled representation are many. The patriarchal nature of society does not allow women to lead, often giving stiff resistance. This coupled with safety issues in village restrict women from travelling to PRIs. Also, a women burdened with household work has little time to heed to and decide local matters.

    To that extent, this veiled authority has not led to real empowerment, but at the same time it also can not be denied that it has not led to any at all. The position of women in society is much better today politically, socially and economically.

    • Please review the answer, waiting for some critical observers.

      • smit shah

        it is good to use word empathy rather then sympathy in second para.

        • Vijay Pateriya

          ” women (representatives) focus more on health, hygiene, nutrition and education(in the village), especially those of girl child. Thus this sympathetic relationship has empowered not only the position holders, but women as a whole. Now, they are not considered as a burden, but as an asset to the family.” have a relook at it ……seems like you are also portraying them as champions of only their own community…. also they are assets to their family its good but the word “now” i didnt get the sense…by the way nice finish…pls see my answer and provide input

          • Vijay, actually i could not explain the “burden and asset” line properly. I did not wish to portray them as the champions of their own community, but wanted to state that empathy changes behaviour. And, it is required in a patriarchal society.

            The “asset” line was actually said in the the sense of post-reservation and empowerment, and it was a result of overall empowerment. I should not have used the word “now”.

            Thanks for the feedback.

        • Yes smit, actually empathy is the right word. I had it i my mind, but it just slipped at the moment. Thanks.

  • Abhijit

    Evaluate to what extent has the reservation for women in Panchayats empowered them? Throw light on major factors hindering their active participation in Panchayats. (250 Words)
    73rd and 74th constitutional amendments envisioned rural empowerment in general and women’s empowerment in particular, created the broadest democratic base of political representatives in the world by providing not less than 1/3rd reservation to women.
    It has paved a path for mass political mobilization and hence ensured greater participation of women in democracy at very grassroots level.
    15 states has increased the reservation up to 50% which underlines the growing political and social importance of women’s participation. this process has sensitized the approach of society towards women. with greater power in hand many Sarpanch women have taken up many issues like proper health care , sanitation, education, water and electricity supply with special attention toward women beneficiaries through many Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS). Many schemes like NRHM,NRLM,MGNREGA and IAY has been drafted and implemented with special regard to reduce the gender discrimination with the help of PRIs. women in PRIs have also helped in creating many successful self help groups Like Kudumbini in Kerala.
    nevertheless the dream of true empowerment of women has not been fulfilled owing to many structural and implementation problems. Husband or other male from family becoming the De facto member of PRI has become a regular practice. Highly skewed power structure based on gender, caste and class inequalities has been proving major obstacle in path of democracy combined with lack of education,awareness, support from bureaucracy, Lack of sufficient funds, complex working structure of CSS along with criminalization and monetization of elections.
    PRIs in their nascent stage can overcome these problems with due restructuring of socio-political dynamics in rural area ensuring inclusive and participative democracy


    “The nationalist leadership failed to some extent in raising the political consciousness of Muslims to the higher plane of secular political consciousness.” Critically comment.

    The Indian National movement gained momentum with the arrival of extremists in INC in the beginning of 20th century. The radicals started using religious symbols to awaken the masses such as celebrating “Ganapati festival” in Bombay by Tilak. But this type of symbolism started alienating Muslims from the INC.

    The Britishers cleverly employed the tacits of “Divide and Rule” and assisted in the establishment of “All India Muslim League” in 1906 to counter INC.IN response to Muslim League, the birth of several Hindu radical organizations such as “Hindu Mahasabha” took place.

    The arrival of Mahatma Gandhi on the National stage, though for short period, got the support of Muslims against Britishers under the banner of “Khilafat Movement” and “Non cooperation movement”, but later it helped people to develop their identities on communal lines.

    The Gandhi’s concept of Ram-Rajya, the cow protection movement by Hindu Mahasabhaites and mute support of congress to it, the ban on people belonging to Muslim radical organizations from membership of INC and at the same time granting it to Hindu radicals etc. strengthened the belief of Muslims that once India gets freedom they will be subdued under majority rule forever.

    The thumping victory of congress in 1937 elections prompted Muslim League to be more radical and assertive in their behaviour and started demanding separate Muslim nation i.e. Pakistan under the leadership of Jinnah.

    The congress leaders under Pt.JL Nehru though started mass contact programe to join Muslims in their rank and fight against the colonial tyranny but it became too late by that time and this cold and impassionate approach by nationalist leaders costed our country an irrepable Partition.


      INSIGHTS awaiting for your valuable inputs.

  • Vijay Pateriya

    Evaluate to what extent has the reservation for women in Panchayats empowered them? Throw light on major factors hindering their active participation in Panchayats. (250 Words)

    The 73rd AA was a landmark in the Indian history towards decentralization and particularly with a provision for 1/3rd seat reservation to women a tool employed to empower women;make them conscious of their rts. and utilize their potential for societal devt.
    Participation of women in PRIs instills them with self confidence,self respect,raise their prestige,help them depict their leadership,organizational and decision making skills,their capacity to contribute to devt. Process.Their contacts with officials,other panchayat members makes them sensitive towards the problems persisting in their society and the process to eradicate them,secures their participation in governance process.
    Reservations have certainly accelerated this process.Unfortunately a huge proportion among women participants remains illiterate,politically unconscious to collective decision making but with time it will surely pay out as expected.
    But only providing for reservation doesn’t empowers them really,it successfully increases the numbers but not their active participation, it remains surrogate participation with their male counterparts by and large dominating their post’s powers,influencing decision making.Also illiteracy,no training hampers their potential performance quality.Moreover they feels as only community representative and allies to parochial community interests.
    Even if they overcomes these,chances of their reappearance are less because of rotational reservation policy to which they owes their position.

    Also Our traditional societal structure with patriarchy and current status quo oriented admn.tive structure do hurdle many a problems in ‘real’ empowerment of the women but as political will has shown the way these will too open up.The requirement are literacy and awareness to women initiated on their own.SHGs are excellent mechanism towards it.

    • Vijay,

      The introduction is good. It will be better if you avoid short forms like rts. devt. for rights and development. I understand that either you wish to save time or it just happens. But, this may become a habit and may cost you in exams.

      A structure is missing in the answer. This disrupts flow. The answer could be structured like this : Intro , evaluation, factors and conclusion. At times you have mixed the last three. For e.g. “Unfortunately a huge proportion among women participants remains illiterate,politically unconscious to collective decision making but with time it will surely pay out as expected.”

      Also, change paragraphs only when you wish to introduce a different idea in the next one.

      4th and 5th paragraph can be combined and condensed.The conclusion is good but in the opening lines it just repeats what you had said previously. The conclusion should be your own final judgement based on the body of the answer.

      But, you have included the right points. Just present them well. It not only matters what you write, but also how you write it.

      • Vijay Pateriya

        thanks a lot
        i accepts the faults i will try to incorporate your views next time………….

  • Vijay Pateriya

    please review…………….

  • salman

    “The nationalist leadership failed to some extent in raising the political consciousness of Muslims to the higher plane of secular political consciousness.” Critically comment. (250 Words)

    Ans:The slow speed of progress among the muslims(as compared to Hindus),fossilisation of islam in India,deliberate policies of the british,the feudal character of majority of the muslim leaders and reasons of their own making for which the muslims held responsible the Hindus led to the growth of political consciousness of the Muslims not as an Indian nation but as a Muslim nation within nations.

    The Muslim leaders from the beginning,partly because of the jealousy with the fast progressing Hindus and partly under influence of British,felt that their interests and concerns as Muslims where different from other Indians.The failure here was not only of the Muslim national leaders but large organizations like INC as well.They politicized Muslims on issues alien to India like Khilafat.They also made major mistake of accepting communal electorates in the Lukhnow session of 1916 there by admitting that the issues of Muslims were different from others.

    The use of religious symbols and festivals for raising the political consciousness of the masses during the national movements ,which is commonly the case in any part of the world ,led to a sense of fear and alienation among the muslims. They started looking to the leaders of islamic west and hark back to the glory days of the muslims in central Asia a and Persia.They failed to understand that they are Indian first and though they shared the religion of the people of Islamic west,but their issues were as the color of their skin.

    The national leadership failed to grasp these issues and nip it in the bud.The national leadership looked for tactical solutions for achieving Hindu-muslim unity devoid of any strategy.These tactics led to growth of leaders like Jinnah which hardly had any following during their early political carriers.Had the national leadership been more sagacious in having a coherent strategy to achieve Hindu-Muslim unity and driving home the point early in the national movement that the issues of the muslims and hindus were not different,The Indian subcontinent would have had a different history

    • salman

      somebody kindly review

  • ekta

    2. Evaluate to what extent has the reservation for women in Panchayats empowered them. Throw light on major factors hindering their active participation in Panchayats.

    Panchayati Raj Institutions were established by the 73rd Amendment Act to decentralise power till the grass root level. The main objective was to involve peolpe in the grass roots in the decision making process and thus fulfilling Gandhian dream of self-governance. However, without the inclusion of women and so their reservation would have unleashed the dream only half.

    Presently, a mandatary reservation for women is one third of the total in panchayati offices, chairpersons and SC, STs. States can extend the reservation for women which many have done to 50%.

    Patriarchy is one of the major features of rural India. To challenge this as a barrier, reservations for women are to a large extent have been successful. Through these elections, women are at least stepping out of their houses. They are gaining confidence through SHGs, PRIs, etc. Marginalised women have actively engaged with others to have a say in the decisions. This decision making power to women in PRIs is also reflected back home. This has put women at par with men to certain extent. Elected Women Representatives (EWR) empower other women as well. EWRs take up women concerned issues amd other issues that generally male representatives do not give proper attention, for eg, keeping a check on the presence of teachers and medical staff, making efforts for smokeless stoves, etc.

    However, the picture is not as smooth as looks prima facie. There are certain factors hindering their active participation. Mere representation of women doesnt mean their participation. Rural women are illiterate, lack exposure, confidence to speak in this patriarchal society. Proxy participation ie woman’s male relatives influencing decision making process through them is a common practice today. Even at the panchayat office, EWRs’ consent is asumed as default to the male representative decisions.

    This fact cant be neglected that women representation and participation is a challenge to status quo social and political rural system. Along the process, women will gain confidence enough to assert their voicss. This effort will take its own time to bear fruits.

    • ash07

      Hi, was going through your answer. There are a couple of factual errors in the writeup, would like to correct on that only:
      1. Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) were not established by Constitutional Amendment, however they are one of the oldest forms of governance but their structure in present form viz; 3 tier was firmed up by a committee established by govt. of india in 1957. Subsequently this system was adopted by state governments in 1960. The 73rd Amendment to Constitution was made in 1992 to accomodate this idea and to grant them constitutional status. Importantly it contained provisions of devolution of powers and responsibilities of these institutions. It is Article 243D of constitution which clearly mandates reservation quota of seats for women in the PRIs.
      2. Secondly, The present mandate is NOT 33%. Rather, The latest Cabinet approval to Constitutional (110th amendment) Bill, 2009 stipulates reservation of women in Panchayats at all 3 tiers from present 1/3rd to at least 50%. The Bill has got Cabinet Approval in 2013 and was pending since 2009.
      3. Thirdly, The office of the chairperson and the office of SC/ST are also panchayati offices. In fact, Panchayati offices (Gram, Block, Zila) at all 3 tiers comprise of office of elected representatives, office of chairperson and office of SC/ST.
      4. The Third paragraph only focuses on the role of women in Gram Sabha level and limits the scope of analysis to a lop side by compartmentalizing their role in women concerned issues, thereby leading to an undesirable and biased indication. Rather a study of even 2-3 states and surveys suggest that the national trend is such that women have outperformed men representatives in efficiency in performing these leadership roles concerning all issues at the local governance level since last 20 years and a ‘social acceptability’ of women is being observed as reflected by ever increasing proportion of EWRs (Elected Women reprsentatives) in local elections in majority of states.

  • help needed

    @INSIGHTS :: Kindly review answers so that we can know which answer is good and what corrections are needed in the same.

    as we all are in a process of learning and few of us like me have not finished the whole syllabus. and so l m unable to answer all questions. but at the end of the day, I take a note of good answers.

    in the absence of critical reviews , it becomes difficult to do this.

    I request all and Insight sirs that at the end, kindly comment on answers which ever is good for each question, so that we can refer to it.

    Thank you

  • salman

    Evaluate to what extent has the reservation for women in Panchayats empowered them. Throw light on major factors hindering their active participation in Panchayats

    Ans:Real empowerment does not mean getting elected to panchayats and attending panchayat meetings.It means taking informed and independent decisions which bring about transformation among the women members in particular and their families and villages in general.

    The 73rd amendment has mandated 1/3rd reservation of seats in panchayats for women.Some states have even reserved 50% of the seats.This has only caused the increase of physical presence of the women.These women are still dominated and influenced by the male members of their house holds.The site of a woman panchayat member or even the woman sarpanch for that matter being accompanied by her husband or male member of the household to the panchayat is very common.Also common is the site of the female sarpanch being the de-jure and her husband as the de-facto head of the panchayat.This is mainly because of the patriarchal nature of the rural society ,low education of rural women and financial dependence.

    The solution to the empowerment of the rural women lies not in increasing the reservation.It lies in promoting education,achieving financial independence and organizing national level training programs to inculcate leadership qualities among the rural women.These programs should make them realize the importance and value of independent decision making and motivate them to break the patriarchal nature of the rural landscape

  • ekta

    Thankyou ash07 for pointing out errors and explianing them

    1. yes I agree with your thorough reviews. I should not make these factual errors.

    2. I checked the status of 50% reservation before answering, but it showed the bill to be still pending, so I wrote it as states can extend as per their wishes.

    3. it is again a crime against facts

    4. the line stating that ‘women take up issues concernimg women ….’, rather it should be women ALSO take up issues concerning women apart from regular issues. yes there is a need to mention about acceptability of women as EWRs.

    thankyou once again

  • AB

    Q: “The nationalist leadership failed to some extent in raising the political consciousness of Muslims to the higher plane of secular political consciousness.” Critically comment. (250 Words)

    A: “The nationalist leadership failed to some extent in raising the political consciousness of Muslims to the higher plane of secular political consciousness.” Critically comment. (250 Words)

    INM was a result of political, social and economic consciousness among the middle class intelligentsia. Clearly interpreted as an existential threat by the colonial rulers, they fanned communal feelings and encouraged communal politics to keep the nationalist sentiments in check.

    Starting with the communal demands of Syed Ahmed Khan in his search of political relevance to the ultimate partition of the country, INM failed miserably in stemming the communal tide in country. The communal ideology got politicised with formation of ML backed strongly by British. However with INC unable to connect Muslim mass with their struggle as evident in Swadeshi movement, they made Lucknow Pact with ML. The very acceptance of communal electorates legitimized the communal ideology (Hindus can’t look after Muslim interests).

    INC and Gandhiji gave full support to Khilafat movement, but the move smacked of a myopic view. Though Khilafat movement was directed against imperialism, but it was based on religious grounds unrelated to the socio-economic condition Muslims. So the muslims, de facto, didn’t fight for the inherent contradictions of colonial empire with native interests. INC was also slow in arresting the rise of leaders like Lalaji and Malviya ji who used Congress platform to preach their mildly communal ideology. Their hesitation to step into peasant struggles also allowed them to gain communal colour despite being a class struggle like in Malabar, Bengal.

    In all the nationalist movement could not help the muslim masses organize against imperial empires for their secular rise. Their efforts to pacify communal leaders only legitimized their claims, weakened secular Muslim leaders and created a Frankenstein Monster.

    • AB

      Insights and all, any review please.


    The participation of woman in Panchayat has created huge political and social revolution.
    The reservations in Panchayat seats have resulted more woman participation. In the survey commissioned by ministry of Panchayati Raj ,3/4th of the total elected Woman Representatives belongs to disadvantaged groups (SC,ST,OBC ) in 23 states.It has solved the dual purpose of emancipation of disadvantaged woman as well as maintaining the purpose of gender equity in the society.Contrary to this it is often said that due to reservation the 86% of the total woman representatives are new entrants replacing the former representatives whose experience are not utilized by Panchayati Raj.
    Fear, Low self confidence,Less knowledge,Compliance to traditional Castes and Gender Roles has caused poor participation but community groups like Mahila Mandal, SHG’s etc also is working in the motivation of the participation of woman.The more and more participation due to reservation has created self confidence,leadership quality and their participation in family decision also and successively reduction in domestic violence.
    Female citizens feel free in sharing their problem to woman representatives and most importantly responsibility is going to teach accountability to representatives and then they will seamlessly move to every nook and corner of country.This fact is well appreciated by the state of Bihar which has reserved 50% seats for woman in Panchayat.

  • Abhishek Kumar

    1. “The nationalist leadership failed to some extent in raising the political consciousness of Muslims to the higher plane of secular political consciousness.” Critically comment. (250 Words)

    PS: This is the first time I am attempting any answer. Hence, Request to please review and suggest improvements upon the writing skills.

    It is true to some extent that the nationalist leaders lacked in guiding the political awareness and activities of Muslims into the mainstream in a secular way. The leaders not only joined hands with them in helping them achieve their religious agenda, they also accepted some of the most fatal causes of communalism such as ‘separate electorate’ which the Lucknow pact accepted in lieu of getting their support in putting forward common political demands before the government . This gesture by the nationalist leaders encouraged them and emboldens them to demand more in future. Negotiations with communal leaders gave them the recognition and validated their pro religious actions in various agitations such as Khilafat where religious fatwas and other sanctions were issued to the fullest to arouse consciousness and political awareness. The national leaders though tried to bridge the gap between nationalist politics and communist politics, they met with little success. In view of the Simon commission, both the Muslims leaders (Delhi Proposal), Jinnah’s 14 points, and Nationalist leaders (Nehru report) prepared their proposals which were meant for aligning the expectations of Communal leaders and overall goal of self governance. However, it failed to achieve the desired objective. Gandhiji’s strict opposition to the communal award was a right step in this regard however the intolerance towards communism should have been practiced in a more rigorous fashion.

  • abhiluck

    2. Evaluate to what extent has the reservation for women in Panchayats empowered them? Throw light on major factors hindering their active participation in Panchayats. (250 Words)

    73rd Constitutional amendment act enabled the implementation of 3-tier panchayati Raj system in the country. It took the governance to the grass root level which was the dream of our great leaders including Gandhiji. A well thought of provision of mandatorily reserve seats for women was included in it. In this provision a minimum of one third seats was to be reserved for women. However, the states were freed to decide the actual percentage. Many states took this opportunity to increase this percentage even upto 50%. Bihar is one such state where around 56% of total representatives in Panchayati Raj are women. Similar instances can be found at other states as well.
    The reservation for the women in Panchayats has given ample opportunities and empowerment to directly take part in the day to day issues and they are now participating in decision making and preparing and implementing the schemes of economic and social development. The reservation has enabled millions of women to come out of the regular house wife job and take part in the mainstream work. The reservation is especially critical in representing the disadvantaged groups including women representatives below poverty line.
    However, there are certain challenges and hindrance towards the active participation of women in Panchayats. The foremost is being the ‘proxy representation’. The current perception goes by the thought that women are merely acting as the pseudo head of the panchayat. The actual power is being used by her husband/father/son. Also, the large number of women representatives is found to be illiterate which certainly is a bottleneck in effectively executing their responsibilities.
    Nevertheless despite all the challenges there is no denying the truth that Panchayati Raj has indeed achieved to certain its goal of empowering women.

  • rahul gupta

    The efforts of leaders of Indian National Movement during late 19th century and 20th century to create pan-India national consciousness transcending all diversities like sect,region,religion etc could not be full manifested especially regarding raising political consciousness of muslims to secular level.There are various reasons for this ranging from institutional,social to political etc.
    After war of 1857,due to British policy of Divide et Impera among Hindu-Muslim and growing feeling of distrust against Hindus and of loyalty towards British by Indian Muslims led to their increasing sense of separation towards Hindus and greater assertion of their political rights for safeguarding their interests and rights.Also growing process of Hindu nationalism through greater emphasis on Hindu religious values like Kali Pooja, Ganesh Festival,establishment of Gaurakshini Samaj for denouncing slaughter of cows by muslims led to increasing religious differences among Hindus and Muslims. To propel of cause of muslim social,educational,political rights and to show their loyalty towards British,Sir Syed Ahmad khan established Mohammadan Anglo-Oriental College in 1875 and Indian patriotic Association in 1886.When first pan-india political organisation,Indian National Congress was formed in 1885,Syed Ahmad Khan opposed association of muslims with INC.Consequently,many muslims refrained from joining INC and therefore issues regarding challenges and rights of muslims did not get sufficient voice in INC.
    This situation further compounded with partition of Bengal based on policy of divide and rule leading to further politicisation of minds along communal lines.INC leaders like Dadabhai Naroji,GopalKrishna Gokhale,BalGangadharTilak could not do enough to dispel feeling of insecurity and alienation among muslims regarding their political status.This later manifested into formation of Muslim League in 1906 which projected itself as guaranteer and protector of muslim rights.At this stage,INC due to its organisational problems like Surat split,lack of muslim representation did not promote activities of solidarity and sensitiveness towards Muslims rights.After Lucknow Pact 1916, INC in a way recognised Muslim League as representative of muslims and therefore further become alienated from Muslim cause. Lack of proactive interventions,intentions,works by INC leadership towards shaping political consciousness of muslims to cause of national movement on path of secularism,solidarity and tolerance proved disastrous.It began to look for opportunities to reconcile muslims and sympathise them with their rights like when it garnered their support during Non Cooperation Movement due to Khilafat movement rather then actively pursuing cause of Muslims.

    Insightians please review my answer.Thanks in advance.

  • sid

    During the colonial era, religion was a serious fact of life, as it is today to some extent, for both hindus and muslims. Secularism was more or less a unknown concept. Indian national movement, spearheaded by congress was composed of mainly hindu majority, especially brahmins. Eventhough congress pursued secular agenda, muslims were becoming skeptical of their actions. This skeptical behavior was also encouraged by britishers, who followed the policy of divide and rule. There were also instances where
    leaders invoked ancient hindu figures like ram or the kings like maharana pratap who fought against muslim rulers for motivating the masses. Ancient indian history, which is predominantly hindu was also invoked and eulogised. At the grassroot social level also, Muslims were apprehensive of the hindu social-religious practices. Hindus treated muslims more or less inferior to themselves and even foreigners or intruders, which muslims percieved as direct outcome of Indian leaders eulogising hindu religion. Muslims were also fearful of the concept of democracy, which meant ‘rule of the majority, and in india hindus are majority, hence they will have to live under hindu rule. Muslims saw no chance of coming to power from this political system as they will always be minority. This all made communal divide obvious in the indian society. Indian leaders of 20th century were also hindu and their practices appealed to hindus but more or less failed to capture the muslim mind of that period. They appealed to muslims less. For example, Mahatma Gandhi, who was one of main leader of indian national movement, was always seen in hindu attire, speaking words of holy Gita. From all this Gandhi failed to influence muslims mind who increasingly saw him as a Hindu leader. These all factors distanced muslims from indian national leaders who they perceived as advocating hindu rule and this led to their parting with Jinnah. Distancing was so substantial that it even lead to the partition of country.

    • sid

      Please review this answer.

  • Mohit

    “The nationalist leadership failed to some extent in raising the political consciousness of Muslims to the higher plane of secular political consciousness.” Critically comment.

    The bulk of nationalist leadership during India’s national movement from Dadabhai Naoroji to Gandhiji and Nehru believed in secularism. This secular political consciousness of the nationalist leadership could not translate to a secular political consciousness of Muslims as well.

    The primary reason for this failure lies in the fact that the nationalist leadership did not feel it necessary to engage with the Muslim masses to remove communal ideology from their minds. Instead their primary strategy was to negotiate with only leaders of communal parties whom they tacitly assumed to represent the views of their entire community. The Lucknow Pact of 1916 between Congress and Muslim League was an example of such negotiation.

    The best opportunity for raising the political consciousness of Muslims was provided by the Non Cooperation Movement. Hindu Muslim unity was at its peak in the entire nation during this movement. However, Khilafat leaders appealed to religious emotions of the people and made use of fatwas to explain Muslims of the need to participate in Non Cooperation Movement. The Congress leadership did not oppose to such religious appeals by Khilafat leaders and this led the door to future communal exploitation open.

    This failure of nationalist leaders to raise political consciousness of Muslims to secularism was one of the main reasons why Jinnah could later raise the communal card for his demand for Pakistan. Had the ideology of communalism been debated and analysed threadbare by the nationalist leadership earlier, the people would not have supported the demand for a separate Muslim state

    2. Evaluate to what extent has the reservation for women in Panchayats empowered them? Throw light on major factors hindering their active participation in Panchayats.

    Reservation for one third seats for women in all 3 levels of Panchayats was made compulsory by the 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act which also granted constitutional status to Panchayati Raj Institutions in the country.

    The compulsory provision for reservation of seats has been the main reason for women to fight for panchayat elections and thus get elected. Thus without reservation, most women wouldn’t have occupied seats in the panchayats. On a whole, holding an office in the panchayats has led to social and political empowerment of women in rural India to some extent. It should be noted that this varies as per the extent of patriarchy and other societal norms related to women in different rural areas across the country. According to a study, between 30% – 50% of elected women representatives (EWRs) across 20,000 Panchayats in the country have reported empowerment in the following forms:
    1. Greater self confidence
    2. Increase in leadership skills
    3. More role allowed in family decision making
    4. Increased sharing of responsibility by other family members in care of children
    5. Greater respect among other villagers

    However, this reservation has not resulted in same amount of active participation of women in the meetings and decision-making process of Panchayats. Several factors such as illiteracy, low respect among fellow villagers, language barriers and other such issues have been responsible for this. Surrogate participation of women, where women are just surrogate participants to men in their family is also a reason hindering active participation of women. Other factors are the consensus decision making process of panchayats where weak voices of women are naturally drowned by the stronger opinions of male members. Traditional beliefs of Indian society where women are not held in regard when it comes to work outside house is also a factor for neglecting women’s opinions in panchayats.

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