Mains Marathon

Mains Marathon- GS Test 3 – Reference material

1. Ellora cave is a unique art-historical site in the country as it has monasteries associated with the three religions. Substantiate.

Ellora caves are situated north-west of the city of Aurangabad in the Indian state of Maharashtra, built by the Rashtrakuta dynasty

There are 17 Hindu (caves 13–29), 12 Buddhist (caves 1–12) and 5 Jain (caves 30–34) caves, built in proximity, demonstrate the religious harmony prevalent during this period of Indian history.

Buddhist caves

  • There are twelve Buddhist caves having many images belonging to Vajrayana Buddhism .
  • Cave structures consist mostly of viharas or monasteries. There are large, multi-storeyed buildings carved into the mountain face, including living quarters, sleeping quarters, kitchens, and other rooms.
  • Some of these monastery caves have shrines including carvings of Gautama Buddha, bodhisattvas and saints.
  • Most famous of the Buddhist caves is cave 10, a chaitya hall (chandrashala) or ‘Vishvakarma cave’, popularly known as the ‘Carpenter’s Cave’.
  • At the heart of this cave is a 15-foot statue of Buddha seated in a preaching pose.

Brahmanical caves

  • Brahmanical caves were constructed in the beginning of the 7th century.
  • Many caves are dedicated to Shaivism, but the images of both Shiva and Vishnu and their various forms according to Puranic narrative are depicted.
  • Cave 16, also known as the Kailasa temple, is considered one of the most remarkable cave temples in India. It is dedicated to Shiva and carved out of one single rock, and covers an area double the size of Parthenon in Athens.
  • Among the Shaivite themes, Ravana shaking Mount Kailash, Andhakasurvadha, Kalyanasundara are profusely depicted.
  • Among the Vaishnavite themes, the different avatars of Vishnu are depicted.

Jain caves

  • The 5 Jaina caves were excavated during ninth and tenth centuries. They all belong to the Digamabara sect of the Jaina faith.
  • They reflect a strict sense of asceticism – they are not relatively large as compared to others, but they present exceptionally detailed art works.
  • The Indra Sabha (Cave 32) is a two storeyed cave with one more monolithic shrine in its court. This cave dates back to 9th century. It has a very fine carving of the lotus flower on the ceiling.
  • The Jagannatha Sabha(Cave 33) is the second largest Jain cave in Ellora group of caves. The hall has two heavy square pillars in front and four in the middle area.


2. Linguistic principle as the basis of formation of states was accepted by the national movement of India Before independence then why it was rejected after independence. Discuss it’s immediate effects.

During colonial rule, the state boundaries were drawn either on administrative convenience or simply coincided with the territories annexed by the British government or the territories ruled by the princely powers.

Acceptance by national movement

Our national movement had rejected these divisions as artificial and had promised the linguistic principle as the basis of formation of states.

After the Nagpur session of Congress in 1920 the principle was recognised as the basis of the reorganisation of the Indian National Congress party itself.

Many Provincial Congress Committees were created by linguistic zones, which did not follow the administrative divisions of British India.

After independence

  • Things changed after Independence and Partition. The central leadership decided to postpone matters.
  • Our leaders felt that carving out states on the basis of language might lead to disruption and disintegration.
  • It was also felt that this would draw attention away from other social and economic challenges that the country faced.
  • The need for postponement was also felt because the fate of the Princely States had not been decided. Also, the memory of Partition was still fresh.


  • This decision of the national leadership was challenged by the local leaders and the people.
  • Protests began in the Telugu speaking areas of the old Madras province.
  • The Vishalandhra movement demanded that the Telugu speaking areas should be separated from the Madras province.
  • Nearly all the political forces in the Andhra region were in favour of linguistic reorganisation of the then Madras province.
  • Potti Sriramulu, a Congress leader and a veteran Gandhian, went on an indefinite fast that led to his death after 56 days.
  • This caused great unrest and resulted in violent outbursts in Andhra region. People in large numbers took to the streets. Many were injured or lost their lives in police firing.
  • In Madras, several legislators resigned their seats in protest. Finally, the Prime Minister announced the formation of a separate Andhra state in December 1952.


3. The socio-cultural regeneration of the India of the nineteenth century was occasioned by the colonial presence, but not created by it. Discuss

Regeneration occasioned by colonial presence:-

India in nineteenth century was suffering from various social and religious evils like:-

  • Monopoly of priests on scriptural knowledge,
  • Magic, animism and superstition.
  • Birth of a girl was unwelcome, her marriage, a burden and her widowhood inauspicious Points.
  • Caste a system of segregation, hierarchically ordained on the basis of ritual status.

Factors that occasioned the regeneration

  • Rulers who invade India before British assimilated into the superior culture of India, but when British invaded India, they found India a place of stagnant civilisation and a static and decadent society.
  • Colonial rule in India was followed by a systematic attempt to disseminate colonial culture and ideology as the dominant cultural current.
  • When people of India faced the challenge of the intrusion of colonial culture and ideology, attempts were made to reinvigorate traditional institutions of India.
  • Impact of modern western culture and consciousness of defeat by a foreign power in the Indians.
  • Impact of modern Western ideas like, culture renaissance and regeneration and increased awareness of the world strengthened the resolve of educated Indians to reform.

Implementation of Regeneration

Rationale thinking of reformers enabled them to adopt a rational approach to tradition and evaluate the  contemporary socio-religious practices from the standpoint of social utility and to replace faith with rationality.

  • Raja Rammohan Roy upheld the principle of causality linking the whole phenomenal universe and demonstrability as the sole criterion of truth.
  • in the Brahmo Samaj the repudiation of the infallibility of the Vedas was the result
  • While the Aligarh movement emphasised reconciliation of Islamic teachings with the needs of the modern age.
  • Syed Ahmed Khan went to the extent of emphasising that religious tenets were not immutable.
  • Swami Vivekananda held that the same method of investigation which applies to other sciences should form the basis on which religion is to justify itself.


4. Critically evaluate the contributions of moderate nationalists in the in the early phase of India’s struggle for independence.

Early phase of struggle for independence was dominated by moderate leaders like Dadabhai Naoroji.

Moderate leaders believed that political connections with Britain were in India’s interest at that stage of history and that the time was not ripe for a direct challenge to the British rule. Therefore, it was
considered to be appropriate to try and transform the colonial rule to approximate to a national rule.

Achievements of early nationalists:-

  • They were able to create a wide national awakening of all Indians having common interests and feeling of belonging to one nation.
  • They exposed the basically exploitative character of colonial rule, thus undermining its moral foundations.
  • They were able to establish the basic political truth that India should be ruled in the interest of Indians.
  • The early nationalists worked with the long-term objective of a democratic self-government. Their demands for constitutional reforms were conceded in 1892 in the form of the Indian Councils Act.
  • They created a solid base for a more vigorous, militant, mass based national movement in the following years

However they were not all successful in creating a national awakening due to following reasons:-

  • Moderate phase of the national movement had a narrow social base and the masses played a passive role.
  • Early nationalists lacked political faith in the masses, they felt that there were numerous’ divisions and subdivisions in the Indian society and took them as mere ignorants.
  • They failed to realise that it was only during the freedom struggle and political participation that these
    diverse elements were to come together.
  • Because of the lack of mass participation, the Moderates could not take militant political positions against the authorities.

But despite their criticisms and narrow social base the fact cannot be ignore that early nationalists
represented the emerging Indian nation against colonial interests.


  1. The Vaikom Satyagrahawas the first systematically organized agitation in Kerala against orthodoxy to secure the rights of the depressed classes. Elaborate

The Vaikom Satyagraha was the first systematically organized agitation in Kerala against orthodoxy to secure the rights of the depressed classes. Vaicom Satyagraha was started to establish the right for all people to walk through the temple roads. Leaders like K.P. Kesava Menon and T.K. Madhavan led the agitation.

For the first time in history, the agitation brought forward the question of civil rights of the low caste people into the forefront of Indian politics.

Events that led to the Satyagraha

  • According to customs in those days, Avarnas were not allowed to enter the temples.
  • At Vaikom, they were not permitted even to use the public roads around the temple.
  • Notice boards were put up at different spots prohibiting the entry of Avarnas reminding them of their social inferiority.
  • All the more unbearable to them were the fact that a Christian or a Muslim was freely allowed on these roads.
  • An Avarna had to walk through a circuitous route, two to three miles longer to avoid the road beside the temple.

Vaikom as a first organized movement:-

  • It was not the first agitation against untouchability. Ejhavas first took up issue in 1905 in the Travancore Legislature but could not get support.
  • But It was a first well planned Satyagrha, with defined objectives and step step by step progress.
  • Vaikom Satyagraha had sufficient elements like Committee formation, policy, objectives, using planned tactics and leaders to manage the movement, which made it an organized movement.
  • In 1923, TK Madhavan presented a report in Kakinada Congress meeting on the discrimination in Kerala and the plights of backward Hindus. Meeting decided to promote movements against untouchability
  • To fight intouchability in Kerala, a committee was formed with members including TK Madgavan, K Kelappan, K Velaudha Menon, TR Krishnaswami Iyer and Kuroor Neelakandan Namboothiri.
  • Many public meetings were held and leaflets were distributed to give vide publicity to the programme.
  • No mass protest in Kerala gained so much awareness and significance in the twentieth century as the Vaikom Satyagraha.

Results of Viakom satyagraha

Government let the roads on three sides of the temple (north, south and west) open for public but the eastern approach road, and the two roads leading to it from the north and south remained reserved to the Savarnas only.


6. Discuss the reasons that foreign policy of independent India vigorously pursued the dream of a peaceful world by advocating the policy of non-alignment (NAM). What were the effects of various wars faced by India over NAM.

The decision to adopt the policy of Non Alignment was influenced by the experience of 2 century long colonial rule. India was apprehensive of the aligning with any country.

India’s decision to adopt NAM reflects in the objectives. Primary objectives of the non-aligned countries focused on the support of:-

  • Self-determination, national independence and the sovereignty and territorial integrity of States;
  • Opposition to apartheid;
  • Non-adherence to multilateral military pacts and the independence of non-aligned countries from great power or block influences and rivalries;
  • The struggle against imperialism in all its forms and manifestations;
  • The struggle against colonialism, neocolonialism, racism, foreign occupation and domination;
  • Disarmament;
  • Non-interference into the internal affairs of States and peaceful coexistence among all nations;
  • Rejection of the use or threat of use of force in international relations;
  • The strengthening of the United Nations; the democratization of international relations;
  • Socioeconomic development and the restructuring of the international economic system;
  • As well as international cooperation on an equal footing.

Objectives reflect that countries aligned in NAM were against the policies of imperialist world powers, hence it was not possible to align with any imperial country

Effects of various wars on India’s Non- Alignment stand

After independence, India faced several wars with Pakistan and China. India’s stand to not aligning was affected during these wars.

During India-China war, India had to approach the Americans and the British for military assistance to tide over the crisis, hence compromising the NAM to some extent. The Soviet Union remained neutral during the conflict. The China war dented India’s image at home and abroad as the leading Non-aligned country.

In 1970’s India-Pakistan war, when Pakistan was getting the support of US and China and India was fighting alone. India had to approach to USSR for assistance and sign a treaty of friendship and cooperation.


7.Matura sculpture tradition became so strong that tradition spread to the other parts of India and world. Discuss the important features of Mathura art of sculpture and also give an account how features of Mathura art developed with time.

Finished mastery in execution and the majestic serenity of expression of the image of Buddha in Mathura art came to be adopted and locally modified by Siam, Cambodia, Burma, Java, Central Asia, China and Japan, etc., when these countries adopted the Buddhist religion.

Important features of Mathura art of sculptures

  • The artists of Mathura used spotted red sandstone as the material for making images and statues.
  • The early images of the Buddha and the Bodhisattva are happy, fleshy figures with little spirituality about them.
  • Buddha was depicted in the human form in the Mathura art for the first time, before that only symbols were used to depict Buddha.
  • Spheroid mass of the head
  • Life-size standing figures.
  • Faces characterized by an open, beaming expression, the eyes are fully open, the cheeks round and full, the mouth ample, with lips drawn into a slight smile.
  • The exquisite feminine figures created by the artists of Mathura bear a hallmark of elegance, charm and sophistication.
  • More stress is given to the inner beauty and facial emotions rather than bodily gesture.
  • Garments of the body are clearly visible and they cover the left shoulder

Development of features of Mathura art of sculptures:-

  • In the beginning there was boldness in carving the large images, the volume of the images was projected out of the picture plane, the faces were round and smiling, heaviness in the sculptural volume was reduced to relaxed flesh.
  • In the second century CE, images in Mathura get sensual, rotundity increases, they become fleshier.
  • In the third century CE, treatment of sculptural volume changes by reducing the extreme fleshiness, movement in the posture is shown by increasing distance between the two legs as well as by using bents in the body posture. Softness in the surface continues to get refined.
  • The trend continues in the fourth century CE but in the late fourth century CE, the massiveness and fleshiness is reduced further and the flesh becomes more tightened, the volume of the drapery also gets reduced.
  • In the fifth and sixth centuries CE, the drapery is integrated into the sculptural mass. Transparent quality in the robes of the Buddha images is evident.


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