UPSC IAS Mains History Optional Solved Exam Paper - 2005

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UPSC IAS Mains History Optional Solved Exam Paper - 2005

:: Paper - I ::

"Section A"

1. Mark any fifteen of the following places on the map supplied to you and write short descriptive notes on places plotted by you on the map:
1. Mohenjodaro 
2. Burzahom
3. Inamgaon 
4. Sannathi
5. Kaveripattinam 
6. Sisupalgarh
7. Anuradhapura 
8. Karnasubarna
9. Chittagong 
10. Chitore
11. Pratishthana 
12. Vidisa
13. Hampi 
14. Warangal
15. Diu 
16. Seringapatam
17. Debal 
18. Fatehpur Sikri
19. Bijapur 
20. Sasaram

Ans. 1. Mohenjodaro: It is situated on the bank of the Indus River, in the Sindh province of Pakistan. It is a Harappan site where R.D.Banerjee, Dayaram Sabot, Mackay, K.N.Dixit and M.S.Vats excavated the remains of Indus valley civilization. The city of Mohenjodaro was based on a grid plan: the main streets were as wide as 30 feet. They Were straight and intersected each other at right angles thereby dividing the city into large rectangular blocks. Sheets and building were provided with drains made out of burnt bricks whereas houses were equipped with rubbish bins and bathrooms. The most important excavation was the Great Bath.
2. Burzahom: This place in Kashmir valley near Srinagar is associated with megalithic settlements (dating 2400B.C.) where the people lived on a plateau in pits using tools and weapons of stone (axe) and bones. The information that we gather fromBurzahom throws light on the proto-history of India. This site was discovered first byDeTerra and Paterson in 1935, yet its Neolithic character was established after the excavation from 1960-71. The deposits of this place can be divided into four periods. The first-two of them are Neolithic settlements while the third is of the Megalithic age and the last belongs to early historic era. The people of the I Phase lived in pit-dwellings of irregular shapes;some of them are round, oval,square, or rectangular. Circular pits were bigger and deeper.
3. Inamgaon: This place of Maharashtra in the Narmada valley is associated with ChalcolithicCulture of India. This culture belongs to the period between 1400 and 1000B.C. but it continued up to the 700B.C. level at Inamgaon. The people of this site lived in rectangular and circular houses.Walls Were Made from clay and kneaded mud with straw roofs. The black­on- red diagnostic potteries with the designs of parallel lines are found here. The people used to produce bajra, wheat, lentil, kulthi etc. They domesticated cow, buffalo. goat. sheep, pig and horse. The disposal of the dead is an important feature here. Urns or jars were used many times. These urns were buried underneath the house floor or close by.
4. Sannathi: Situated in the district ofLudhiana in Punjab, Sannathi was an urban centre during the Post-Mauryan period. Thissite is known for its largest hoard of ancient coins. Some of the coins bear the testimony of the inscriptions of the Kushanas. Evidences of grainary, cottages of servants etc. have been noticed from the excavation of this site.
5. Kaveripattinam: Known also as Puhar. Kavcripattinam was the Chola capital and chief port in Sangam period (200 B.C.-300 A.D.) with a large colony of foreigners. It was an important trade centre. Ships Were sailing from here toSouth-EastAsia.Along poem on this Chola capital- is the part of the famous Sangam work Pattupattu (Ten Idylls).
6. Sisupalgarh: This place is near the capital of modern Orissa, Bhuwaneshwar. Cultural remains of ancient India, B.C.300-300A.D., have been recovered from here, This place is identified as the capital of Kharavela,Kalinga-Nagar.Dhauli isnotfarfromthisplace where we have the famous Rock-Edicts of Ashoka. Coins of the Kushana rulers, Roman goods and a large bead of tusk are found from this place.
7.Anuradhapura: This Is The capital ofSrilanka in ancient period. This is on the bank of Malvattuoy River. The famous Buddhist texts the Mahavamsa records that Ashoka’s son and daughter, Mahendra and Sanghmitra cropped a branch of the Bodhi tree at Anuradhapura. The Cholas plundered this city several times and changed its name to Polonnaruwa.
8. Karnasubarna: It refers to the capital of Sasanka of Bengal who was a contemporary of Harshavardhan and Bhaskar Batman.Actually, it was on the western bank of the Ganges River in between Murshidabad and Rajmahal. It was a famous trade centre of ancient period. The empire of Karnasubarna refers to the region of Bengal, Jharkhand and Orissa in the early 7th -century A.D. Harsha and Bhaskar Varman divided this region after the death of Sasank in 619A.D.
9. Chittagong: The present city of Chattogram in Bangladesh was once a famous trade centre because of its geographical location. This was the capital of King Ganesh from1415 to 1418A.D. Thenceforth, it went under the rule of the King of Arakans. Famous ruler ofBengal Hussain Shah once again occupied this city. After his death it was regained by the Arakans. Mughal General Shaishta Khan brought this city under the empire ofAurangzeb.
10. Chitore: This place near Udaipur on the bank of the Gambhira River was the centre of power of the Kingdom of Mewar. The fort of Chitore was inaccessible to Muslim invaders ofMedieval India. It wasAlauddin Khilji who captured it from Ratan Singh and changed its name toKhizrabad. Later on,Bahadur Shah ofGujarat got victory of Chito and thenAkbar occupied it from Rana Sanga for a short time.
11. Pratishthana: Modern Paithan at the mouth of the river Godavari in the Aurangabad district of Maharashtra was called Pratishthana in ancient time. It was the capital of the Satavahana Kings during Post­Maurya period. Coins and inscriptions of these rulers are found from here. It was an important commercial martlinked with Shravasti,Bhrigu-Kachha, Kaushambi and Gandhar. Greek and Roman writers also record the prosperity of this city in their accounts.
12. Vidisha: Modern Besnagar, near Bhilsa at East Malwa in Madhya Pradesh, was a part of Sunga Empirewith Agnimitra, the son of Pushyamitra Sunga, as the viceroy. TheVidisha guild of ivory workers was famous for these workers carved the stone sculpture on the gateways and railings surrounding the Sanchi Stupa. It indicates commercial prosperity. It was also famous for the Garuda Pillar Inscription which testified its erection by a GreekAmbassador named Heliodorus in honour of Vasudeva Krishna, the god of the Bhagavatas. .
13. Hampi: 353 km from Bangalore and 74 kms from Bellary is Hampi on hank of the Tungabhadra River.The erstwhile capital oftheVijayanagarKingdom (1336-1565A.D), this place is full of delightful surprises like the King’s Balance where rulers were weighed against grain, gold or money which was then distributed to the poor, the Queen’s bath with its arched corridors, the Lotus Mahal, the Virupaksha and the Vithala temples.The once powerful Vijayanagar Empire was compared to Rome by the Portuguese traveller Paes.
14. Warangal: It refers to the modern district of Warangal ofAndhra Pradesh on the Southern bank of the Godavari River.It was the capital of the Kakatiya Kingdom in the 12th century. The ablest general of Alauddin Khilji Maliq Kafur invaded Warangal and Ram Chandra Deva was compelled to pay a huge sum. It was brought under the Sultanate of Delhi by Firoz Shah Tughlaq.
15. Diu: It was as a famous port on the Western coast which was under the rulers of Gujarat. Prior to their rule, it was called Devabandar. Mahmud Begra gave this island to thePortuguese for their settlements.
16. Seringapatam: This place of Karnataka was once under the Kingdom of Mysore,Tipu Sultan planted the ‘Tree of Liberty’ here. After the Third Anglo-Mysore War, Tipu concluded a humiliating treaty here and almost half of his empire was given to theEnglish.
17. Debal: At the mouth ofSindhuon theArabian coast, Debal was an important trade centre and part of pre-medievalIndia, over the issue of trade control there began a dispute, and MuhammadBin Qasim invaded Sindh in 712 A.D. and Dahir was killed.
18. Fatehpur Sikri: 40 kms from Agra, the city of Fatehpur Sikri served as the capital of the Mughal Empire between 1570 and 1586A.D. Akbar founded this city in honour’ of Saint Salim Chisti. The finest monuments within this area are the Dewan-i-Am, Diwan-i-khas, Panch Mahal, Jama Masjid, Buland Darwaza and theTomb of Saint Sheikh Salim Chisti.
19. Bijapur: At the confluence of Bhima and Krishna rivers, Bijapur is now in Karnataka. It was calledVijaypur during pre-medieval period when it was the capital of the Yadava rulers. It was a part of the Bahmani Kingdomin the 14th century.After the fall of this kingdom, Yusuf Adil Shah founded the independent state of Bijapur.
20. Sasaram: At present Sasaram is a district town ofBihar which was the main centre of activities of the Afghans in medieval period. Sher Shah began his career from this place and started his revenue reforms. His tomb is famous for its architectural excellence and composite technique.


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:: Paper - II ::

"Section A"

1. Comment on any three of the following statements in about 200 words each:
(a) ‘Upon the whole, then, I conclude that the treaty of Bassein was wise, just and a politic measure.’

Ans:The treatyofBassein was concluded in 1802 between theBritish Companyand the Peshwa Baji Rao 11.It was a treaty of perpetual and general alliance with the English. Upon the whole then it was conclude to be a wise, just and a polite measure.

As per the treaty. Peshwa agreed to receive limn the company a regular army to be stationed in his territories. Peshwa had to surrender territories yielding 26 lakhs of rupees apart from surrendering Surat. The Peshwa had to accept the company’s arbitration in all differences between him and the other powers. The Peshwa also agreed neither to commence nor to pursue in fortune away negotiations with any power without getting previous notice and constitution with the East India Company. The Peshwa agreed to give up all claims for chauth on the Nizam’s dominions and also agreed not to resort to arms against the Gaikwars. He also agreed to the Company’s arbitration in all differences between him and the Nizams & the Gaikwars.

The importance of the Treaty of Bassein in the building up of British supremacy in India has been variously estimated. It is contended that the Treaty of Bassein established the paramount British influence at Poona. The head of the Maratha confederacy accepted the position of dependent relationship with the company. By providing for company’s mediation in all cases of disputes between the Peshwa & the Nizam, the British achieved another objective that the state of Hyderabad definitely passed under the company’s protection. By camping the company’s subsidiary troops at Poona the Company got a very advantageous position in case of war with the Marathas or any other rivals.

Thus, the Treaty of Bassein threw a new power into the weight of its own scale. A lawful right was established to interfere in Peshwa’s authority, the intrigues of foreigners were excluded from his capital, the British military resources were considerably increased without the expense to the company and the army of the Peshwa was bound at the call of the company. In this sense, the Treaty of Bassein for the British was a wise, just & a polite measure and it gave the company by its direct & indirect operations the Empire ofIndia.

(b) ‘Whatever might have been its original character, it (Rebellion of 1857) soon became a symbol of challenge to the mighty British power in India.’

Ans: A mighty popular revolt broke out is Northern and Central India in 1857 & nearly swept away the British rule. It began with the mutiny of sepoys but soon engulfed wide regions & involved the-masses. Millions of peasants, artisans and soldiers fought heroically for over a year and by their exemplary courage wrote a glorious chapter on the history of Indian people.

The revolt of 1857marked that it was a challenge to the mightyBritish Empire. The spread, intensify of the revolt, and the measures taken by the British to suppress it brings out its challenging nature. 

The first challenge was in terms of the very geographical spread of the revolt. The whole ofNorth India from Punjab toBihar rose against theBritish. In many of the princely states, rulers remained loyal to their British overlord, but the soldiers revolted. Many small chiefs ofRajasthan & Maharashtra revolted with the support of people who were quite hostile to the British. Local rebellions also occurred in Hyderabad &Bengal.

Every where in Northern & Central India, the mutiny of the sepoys triggered popular revolts of the civilian population. Different sections of society like peasants, workers, traders, old zamindars, religious mendicants & soldiers ensured by their participation that the uprising was of massive nature and a real challenge to the British. This was in total contrast to the early uprisings of peasants & tribals in which a narrow section of the participated. Further, the participation of soldiers, who had been trained and paid by the British proved to be a mighty challenge to the British. The sepoys had been instrumental in building the British empire in India, but during the revolt, they turned the weapons and tactics learnt from the British against their masters themselves, which shocked the British.

The success of the rebels also shows that it was a mighty challenge to the British. In many places like Meerut, Delhi, Kanpur, Lucknow, the British power was overthrown. In Delhi, the Mughal KingBahadur Shah II was declared as the emperor of Hindustan.

Further many of the able military- generals. Like Nicholson, Wheeler proved incapable during the revolt. TheBritish had to channelise all their resources for the suppression of the revolt, which shows its mightycharacter.Moreover, the administrative,military & policy changes made after the revolt were all intended to prevent such outbreak in future.

The revolt of 1857 stands as beacon light of incipient Indian Nationalism and served as perennial source of inspiration for freedom struggle.

(c) ‘The impact of government on the people meant essentially the impact of government on the village.’

Ans: The British rule had pronounced and profound impact on India. There was hardly any section of society or corner of country which could escape the long arms ofBritish colonialism. India being a country with predominance of agriculture. any impact of government on the people turned out to be essentially the impact of government on the village.

One result of theBritish rule was the sudden and quick collapse of the urban handicrafts industry caused by the competition with the cheaper imported machine-goods from Britain. The building of railways and the oppression practiced byEast India Company together with the gradual disappearance of Indian rulers and courts only served to accentuate and accelerate the process. The ruined artisans and craftsmen unable to find any alternative job began to conic to villages and crowd into agriculture. This not only broke the union of agriculture overcrowding on land and destruction of self-sufficient rural economy. The peasant was also progressively impoverished under theBritish rule. TheBritish policy of extracting the largest possible amount of land revenue ruined the peasants’ condition. In both the permanently settled areas and areas under Ryotwari settlement, the lot of peasants remained unenviable. They were left at the mercies of the zamindars who ransacked them. and compelled them to pay illegal dues and to perform forced labour. The high land revenue demand was accompanied by rigidity in collection. rise of new landed gentry. and intrusion of money lenders.

Moreover, the impacts of other administrative measures like railways, Lawand order machinery was also felt in remote villages of India. Though, the railways served to verify India and brought the national consciousness, they served as the agents and areas of colonialism to drain off the valuable resources from India. A major impact of the British policies was its expression in poverty and farmers. These again found their most dire reflections in rural India. The tragedy also found manifestations in the stagnation and deterioration of agriculture and the transformation of India into an agricultural colony of theGreat Britain.

Thus, the impact of the government on the people meant essentially the impact of government on the village.

(d) ‘The national democratic awakening of the Indian people found expression also in the religious sphere.’

Ans: Immense intellectual and cultural stirrings characterized the 19" centuryIndia. The impact of the western empire and consciousness of defeat by a foreign power gave birth to a new awakening. There was awareness that a vast country like India had been colonized by foreigners because of internal weakness of Indian social structure and culture. Thoughtful Indians began to look for the strengths and the weaknesses of their society and means of removing the weaknesses. This national democratic awakening of the 19th century could not be confined to political sphere and found manifestation in religious realm also. There were efforts to reform and revitalize the Indian religious system. Several efforts were made for religious reformer. Raja Rammohan Ray started efforts to aid the popular religion of superstitions, which was exploited by ignorant and corrupt priests. He carried on persistent struggle against the polytheism, worship of idols, and the prevalence of meaningless religious rituals. He condemned the priestly class for encouraging there practices. He held that all the principal ancient texts of the Hindus preached monotheism or worship of one god. He published Bengali translation of Vedas and fire of Upanishads to prove his point.

Swami Dayanand Saraswati believed that selfish and ignorant priests had perverted Hindu religion with the aid of the Puranas which he said were full of lies. For his own inspiration, Swami Dayanand turned to the Vedas which he regarded as infallible being the inspired word of God, and as the fountain-head of all knowledge. His approach to the Vedas however had a nationalist aspect because the Vedas, though revealed had to be rationally interpreted by himself and others, who were human beings. Thus, individual reason was the deciding factor. Similarly, among the Muslims, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan carried the banner of religions reform. He was tremendously impressed by modem scientific thought and worked all hislife to reconcile it with Islam. He declared Quran above to be the authorative work of Islam and held all other Islamic writings to be secondary. Even the Quran be interpreted wasin the light of contemporary rationalism and science. He held any interpretation of Quran as conflicting with human reason to be a misinterpretation.

The awakening found expansion also in Gurudwara reform movement among Sikhs and in the TempleEntrymovement in the twenties.


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