8 April 2024 RAS Mains Answer Writing

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Subject – Indian History

Topic – Fine Art, Performing Art, Architecture & Literature from Indus Civilization to British Era

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Indian History PYQs – Click Here

Click on the question to know the model answer (8 April 2024). Submit your answers below and complete the 90-day challenge for RAS Mains answer writing

Briefly describe the features of the Nataraja Bronze Sculpture of the Chola Period.”(2M)

The sculpture depicts Lord Shiva in his cosmic dance, known as the “Ananda Tandava,” symbolizing the eternal rhythm of creation, preservation, and destruction. Notable features include :

  • Shiva is balanced on his right leg and and suppressing the apasmara, the demon of ignorance
  • His left leg is raised in a bhujangatrasita stance which represents tirobhava, that is kicking away the veil of maya (illusion)
  • Four arms: Right hand in Abhaya hasta (gesture suggesting fearlessness), upper right holds damaru (musical instrument), left hand in dola hasta (connects with Abhaya hasta), upper left carries a flame.
  • The matted and flowing locks of Shiva represent the flow of river Ganges
  • The Nataraja is surrounded by a nimbus of glowing lights ( symbolising the vast unending cycles of time)


Explain the nature of Ashoka’s “Dhamma”.(5M)

Although Asoka embraced Buddhism and took efforts to spread Buddhism, his policy of Dhamma was a still broad concept. His principles of Dhamma were clearly stated in his Edicts. main features may be summed as follows:

  1. Service to father and mother, practice of ahimsa, love of truth, reverence to teachers and good treatment of relatives.
  2. Prohibition of animal sacrifices and festive gatherings and avoiding expensive and meaningless ceremonies and rituals.
  3. Efficient organization of administration in the direction of social welfare and maintenance of constant contact with people through the system of Dhammayatras.
  4. Humane treatment of servants by masters and prisoners by government officials.
  5. Consideration and non-violence to animals and courtesy to relations and liberality to Brahmins.
  6. Tolerance among all the religious sects.
  7. Conquest through Dhamma instead of through war.

Therefore , ashoka’s dhamma was a way of life, a code of conduct and a set of principles to be adopted and practiced by the people at large.His Dhamma is so universal that it appeals to promote the welfare of humanity even today.

Discuss the Contribution of Akbar in Mughal Architecture.(10M)

The Mughal architecture is a blend of Indian, Persian, and Turkish styles, encompassing forts, palaces, mosques, mausoleums, public buildings, and gardens. Akbar’s era particularly stands out for its extensive construction projects.

Principal Features of his reign:

  • Blending indigenous styles with Persian, Central Asian, and Timurid influences.
  • Use of redstones and marble
  • Introduction of “Tudor arch” (four centred arch)

Some of Prominent works:

  1. Forts :He built many forts  → Agra Fort was built in red sandstone (inside garden – char bagh style). His other forts are at Lahore and Allahabad, ajmer (Magazine fort)
  2. Fatepur Sikri : described as a “frozen moment in history” as buildings are unique blend of hindu and persian styles
    • It is  a palace cum-fort complex at Fatepur Sikri (City of Victory.  
    • Many buildings in Gujarathi and Bengali styles are found in this complex. 
    • The most magnificent building in it is the Jama Masjid and the gateway to it called Buland Darwaza or the Lofty Gate. The height of the gateway is 176 feet. It was built to commemorate Akbar’s victory over Gujarat. 
    • Other important buildings at Fatepur Sikri are Jodh Bai’s palace and Panch Mahal with five storeys, ibadat khana, Diwan-I-Aam, Diwan-I-Khas, tomb of salim chisti
  3. the Humayun’s tomb was built at Delhi and it had a massive dome of marble. It may be considered the precursor of the Taj Mahal.
  4. Nilkanth Temple or Imarat-i-Dilkhusha (the heart-pleasing abode) is a temple built on the orders of Mughal Emperor Akbar by the governor of Mandu, Shah Badgah in 1574 AD.
  5. Raja Man Singh and Akbar built a temple of Govind Dev in Vrindavan.

In conclusion, Akbar’s impact on Mughal architecture is evident in the demonstration of a seamless integration of various cultural influences.

निम्नांकित पंक्ति का भाव-विस्तार कीजिए : (शब्द सीमा : लगभग 100 शब्द) [RAS Mains 2018]

“असफलताएँ सफलता का आधार-स्तंभ हैं”   

मनुष्य का जीवन कर्म-प्रधान है। किसी महापुरुष ने सत्य ही कहा है कि, “जीतने वाले कभी हार नहीं मानते और हार मानने वाले कभी जीत नहीं सकते।” असफलताएँ सफलता का आधार स्तंभ हैं। गिरकर उठना जीवन का मूल मंत्र है। हर असफलता हमें कुछ महत्वपूर्ण सबक सिखा के जाती है और सफल होने की ओर अग्रसर करती है। हमें धैर्य के साथ, ध्येय की ओर कटिबद्ध होकर अभ्यास करते रहना चाहिए। 
कहा गया है- करत-करत अभ्यास से जड़‌मति होत सुजान; रसरी आवत जात है, सिल पर पड़त निशान। 
 अर्थात्, प्रयास से हर कार्य किया जा सकता है, किन्तु असफल होने पर निराश होने की बजाय इरादों को और मजबूत किया जाना चहिए। थॉमस एडीसन भी कईं असफलताओं के बाद सफल हुए। अमिताभ बच्चन की पहली सफल फिल्म कईं रुकावटों के बाद आई। कर्तव्य पथ की राह सदा सुगम नहीं होती लेकिन हर विफलता रूपी चुनौती का सामना कर मंज़िल तक पहुंचा जा सकता है।

“मैं हारा हूं, पर मैंने हार नहीं मानी” 
हार जीत में तभी बदल सकती है जब हम अपने लक्ष्य की ओर और अधिक ऊर्जा के साथ बढ़ें। जो व्यक्ति अंधेरे पथ में भी स्वंय दीपक बनकर अपनी राह तलाश लेता है, वास्तव में वही इंसान सफल और कर्मठ है। 
असफलता को अपनी जीत का आधार बना लें। 

याद रखिए- ना हार में ना जीत में, किंचित नहीं भयभीत में;
कर्तव्य पथ पर जो भी मिला, यह भी सही, वह भी सही।

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