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PSIR 1A-9.6 MK Gandhi – Previous Year Questions & Answers

Previous Year Questions (2013-2022)

1] “The Panchayats with Gram Sabhas should be so organised as to identify the resources locally available for the development in agricultural and industrial sectors.” Examine the statement in context of Gram Swaraj. [2022/15m/200w/4b]

2] Explicate the ideological components of Gandhism. [2020/20m/250w/3a]

3] Discuss MK Gandhi’s concept of Swaraj. [2019/10m/150w/1e]

4] Examine Gandhi’s critique of modernisation. [2016/15m/200w/4c]

5] Comment on Gandhi’s views on the state. [2015/10m/150w/1e]

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1] “The Panchayats with Gram Sabhas should be so organised as to identify the resources locally available for the development in agricultural and industrial sectors.” Examine the statement in context of Gram Swaraj. [2022/15m/200w/4b]

The given statement reflects the political and economic philosophy of local governance, given by Gandhi as Gram Swaraj.

The Gram Sabha is the fulcrum of the Panchayati Raj and village development, defined in the Constitution of India under Article 243(b). People use the forum of the Gram Sabha to discuss local governance and development and make need- based plans for the village.

The Panchayat implements development programs under the overarching mandate, supervision and monitoring of the Gram Sabha. All decisions of the Panchayat are taken through the Gram Sabha and no decision is official and valid without the consent of the Gram Sabha. The decisions taken by the Gram Sabha cannot be annulled by any other body. The power to annul a decision of the Gram Sabha rests with the Gram Sabha only.

The importance of the gram sabha cannot be stressed, it being an important body of the Panchayat Raj system that gives direction to the development projects of the village and keeps a check on the panchayat body, making the elected members responsible to the villagers. It also gives the villager a sense of empowerment, as it leads to direct participation in the democratic functioning of the village.

Gram Sabha is an example of direct and deliberative democracy where people get the opportunity to come together and allocate public resources. The proper implementation of these principles of local governance will ensure that communities become more self-sufficient and can achieve their development goals in a sustainable way. [248 words]

2] Explicate the ideological components of Gandhism. [2020/20m/250w/3a]

Gandhism is an ideology which seeks to combine various ideas of Gandhi in both political and economic spheres.

Gandhiji believed that man’s ultimate goal in life was self-realisation and invoked the five-fold moral principles: truth, non-violence, non-stealing, non-possession and celibacy. That the ends and means are related to each other is one of the basic tenets of Gandhian philosophy. And he would not like to attain the noblest end if that was to be achieved through impure means.

Gandhism is a profound engagement with modernity and its pitfalls. Against the evils of industrialisation, materialism and selfish pursuits, Gandhi suggested, swadeshi, primacy of the self and trusteeship; against the institution of the state, he favoured a swaraj type of democracy where everything springs from the free individual and where decisions are made bottom-up with the locus of power below.

Gandhi proposed a minimal state, vested only with coordinative powers, that supports decentralisation with the autonomous individual as its base of support. He wanted the centre of power to move from cities to villages.

Gandhism also encompasses a spiritual perspective to life. His political understanding and practices, suggestions on the economy, social mobilisation and practical life have their basis in morality and ethics. Pursuit of Truth is his mantra and non-violence was integral to it.

Gandhism is a rich and complex philosophy that has had a profound impact on the world. The principles of Gandhism continue to inspire people today and they offer a way of living that is both ethical and sustainable. [251 words]

3] Discuss MK Gandhi’s concept of Swaraj. [2019/10m/150w/1e]

Swaraj is a Sanskrit word that means “self-rule” or “self-government. For Gandhi, swaraj is an ideal for both the individual and the nation.

To be a devotee of satyagraha, Gandhi said, an individual had to be capable of self-rule: “Swaraj has to be experienced by each one for himself’.

Gandhi laid down a code of conduct that would help individuals attain swaraj. Every individual who chose the path of satyagraha would learn to regulate his own life by observing perfect chastity, adopting poverty, following truth and cultivating fearlessness. Swaraj at the individual level where “each person will become his own ruler” would lead to swaraj for the nation.

At a social level, swaraj was an ideal state of social existence, ethical and simple in nature, situated amidst ideal villages that existed only in (Gandhi’s) imagination and were different from the contemporary villages of his times. It was an idea that was premised on the principle that worldly pursuits should give way to ethical living.

Gandhi’s concept of Swaraj has had a profound impact on India and on the world. It has inspired movements for social change around the world, and it continues to be a source of inspiration for people who are committed to non-violence, self-reliance, and social justice. [209 words]

The post contains answers to the last 5-year papers i.e. (2022-2018). Answers to the previous year questions from 2013-2017 are a part of our book PSIR Optional Model Answers to PYQs (2013-2022)

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