31 May RAS Mains Answer Writing

Ras mains answer writing practice

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SUBJECT – Indian Political System

TOPIC – Political Dynamics: Role of Caste, Religion, Class, Ethnicity, Language, and Gender in Indian Politics | Political Parties and Electoral Behaviour | Civil Society and Political Movement, Issues related to National Integrity and Security, Potential areas of Socio-Political conflicts

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Q1 Caste and electoral politics are interrelated. Comment. 2M


Caste is a crucial determinant in Indian politics.

  1. Political Mobilization and Voting Patterns: Parties consider caste composition when distributing election tickets. Voters often consider candidates’ caste. The Congress party’s initial success came from its “coalition of castes” support base.
  2. Caste-Based Political Parties: The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), founded in 1984, has a strong Dalit base and is influential in states like Uttar Pradesh.
  3. Impact on Political Representation: Caste dynamics have increased representation of marginalized groups (Dalits, OBCs) in legislative bodies through political reservations.
  4. Secularization and Politicization of Caste: Caste identities are mobilized for political gains, breaking traditional rigidities and promoting social mobility. Rajni Kothari noted that caste is politicized, not politics impacted by caste.

Challenges and Criticisms

  • Caste-based politics has increased participation but also exacerbated caste violence and conflicts.
  • Focus on caste can overshadow critical issues like economic development, health, and education.

Q2 Enumerate the criteria and benefits associated with recognizing a political party as a national political party. 5M


{Context: Recently, The EC recognised AAP as a national party }

As per the ECI’s Political Parties and Election Symbols, 2019 handbook, a political party would be considered a national party if:

  • It is ‘recognised’ in four or more states; or
  • If its candidates have secured at least 6% of total valid votes in at least 4 states (in latest Lok Sabha or Assembly elections) and the party has at least 4 MPs in the last LS polls; or
  • If it has won at least 2% of the total seats in the LS from at least 3 states.

Benefits of recognised as a National/State Party:

  • Provision of time for political broadcasts on the state-owned television, Radio stations.
  • Star campaigners: These parties are allowed to have 40 “star campaigners” during the time of elections
  • Exclusive symbols: Every national party is allotted a symbol exclusively reserved for its use throughout the country. 
  • Government Land Allocation: A party with the ‘national’ status gets land from the government to build its headquarters.
  • Single Proposer: National parties need to have just one proposer to submit a nomination. 

Access to electoral rolls : They are given two free sets of electoral rolls during the roll revision. They also get one free electoral roll for each candidate during general elections.

Q3 What are the primary reasons for unrest in Manipur, and how do they impact regional security? 10M


Manipur is facing a humanitarian crisis due to ongoing violence between the Kuki-Zomi tribals and the largely Hindu Meitei community. 

Reasons for unrest in Manipur 

  1. High Court’s order as a trigger point: Recent protests erupted following the Manipur High Court’s directive to grant Scheduled Tribe status to the Meitei community, reigniting historical tensions.
    1. Tribals feel that the ST status to the Meiteis would lead to loss of job opportunities and allow them to acquire land in the hills and push the tribals out.
  2. Development Disparities: Tribal areas (Nagas and Kukis )cover 90% of Manipur’s land, but the majority of budget and development efforts are concentrated in the Meitei-dominated Imphal valley.
  3. Ethnic Fault Lines: Past Naga and Kuki movements have fueled Meitei nationalism.
  4. Political and Legal Issues: Meiteis are barred from buying land in hills, unlike tribals who can purchase land in the valley.
  5. Political Marginalization of Hilly People:The valley, covering 10% of Manipur, is dominated by non-tribal Meitei with 40 out of 60 MLA seats.In contrast, the hills, representing 90% of the area and home to over 35% recognized tribes, only have 20 MLAs in the Assembly.
  6. Refugee Crisis: The February 2021 coup in Myanmar led to an influx of refugees, particularly in Kuki-majority areas, sparking tensions.
  7. Government’s Eviction Drive: The crackdown on drugs began by destroying poppy fields. Illegal settlers from Myanmar, linked to the Kuki-Zomi people, are suspected of clearing forests and government lands to grow opium and cannabis.

Impact of Manipur unrest on regional security

  • Disruption of Social Fabric: Violence along ethnic lines threatens social cohesion, reversing recent gains in insurgency control. Internal displacement may strain neighboring regions’ resources, escalating tensions further.
  • Economic Impact: Unrest disrupts development initiatives and investment flows, hindering efforts to integrate the region into the mainstream.
  • Diplomatic Fallout:Northeast strife can strain India’s ties with Myanmar and Bangladesh, affecting the Act East Policy.
  • Border Vulnerability: Manipur unrest may increase cross-border criminal activities like smuggling and trafficking, heightening border insecurity.
  • Potential Ripple Effects:  Escalating tensions in Manipur can embolden dormant groups in neighboring states, amplifying regional instability.
  • Humanitarian Crisis: Ethnic violence results in grave human rights abuses, including civilian casualties, especially targeting women.

Way forward : 

  1. Review ST Status Criteria: considering recommendations from committees like the Lokur Committee (1965), Bhuria Commission (2002-2004), and Xaxa Committee in 2013.
  2. Border Surveillance: Increase surveillance along border areas to prevent migrant incursions from Myanmar. 

Building Trust: Efforts to address historical grievances and foster dialogue are essential for long-term peace and stability.

Q4 Make a precis of the following passage in about one-third of its length. 
Social media has become an integral part of modern life, but it comes with a set of significant drawbacks. One of the primary concerns is the negative impact on mental health. Excessive use can lead to feelings of isolation, depression, and anxiety, as individuals compare their lives to curated online versions. Cyberbullying is another alarming issue, where users face harassment, threats, and humiliation. Privacy concerns are prevalent, with personal data often mishandled or misused by platforms and third parties. Additionally, the spread of misinformation and fake news on social media can have serious real-world consequences, affecting elections, public health, and more.


PRECIS: Dangers of Social Media

While being integral to modern life, social media has notable downsides. It harms mental health, leading to isolation, depression, and anxiety. Cyberbullying and privacy issues are common, and misinformation on these platforms can have severe real-world consequences.

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