Insights Daily Answer Writing Challenge Day – 53

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

86 Responses

  1. maneshwar rai says:

    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.

  2. Karthikeyan V says:

    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.

  3. amiti says:

    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.

  4. Aditya Jha says:

    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.

    • Aditya Jha says:

      Please review the answer, waiting for some critical observers.

      • smit shah says:

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

        • Vijay Pateriya says:

          ” 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

          • Aditya Jha says:

            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.

        • Aditya Jha says:

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

  5. Abhijit says:

    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

  6. SREEJESH says:

    “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.

  7. Vijay Pateriya says:

    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.

    • Aditya Jha says:


      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.

  8. Vijay Pateriya says:

    please review…………….

  9. salman says:

    “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

  10. ekta says:

    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 says:

      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.

  11. help needed says:

    @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

  12. salman says:

    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

  13. ekta says:

    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

  14. AB says:

    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.

  15. RAHUL says:

    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.

  16. Abhishek Kumar says:

    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.

  17. abhiluck says:

    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.

  18. rahul gupta says:

    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.

  19. sid says:

    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.

  20. Mohit says:

    “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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