Saturday, 2 June 2012

History Two-Markers 2008

CSE (Mains) 2008, GS Paper I

Ilbert Bill: The Ilbert Bill was introduced by Lord Ripon in 1883 that allowed Indian judges and magistrates the jurisdiction to try British offenders in criminal cases at the District level. It was named after Courtenay Ilbert, the recently-appointed legal adviser to the Council of India, who had proposed it as a compromise between two previously suggested bills. However, the introduction of the bill led to intense opposition in Britain and from British settlers in India that ultimately played on racial tensions before it was enacted in 1884 in a severely compromised state. The bitter controversy deepened antagonism between the British and Indians and was a prelude to the formation of the Indian National Congress the following year.1

Lala Har Dayal: founded the Ghadr Party in America. He encouraged Indian students to acquire a scientific and sociological education and set up a house for them (similar to Shywamji Krishnaverma's India House in London). He was a scholar of Sanskrit, studied in Oxford University and had a teaching position at Princeton University (USA).2

Vaikom Satyagraha: sought freedom of movement for all sections of society through the public roads leading upto the Shiva temple in Vaikom (Kerala) in 1924-25. The Satyagraha became national in scope eliciting support from different corners of India, various leaders and that of Gandhi and the Indian National Congress.Finally in 1925 Gandhi negotiated a deal with the Travancore princely State in 1925 and three roads leading to the temple were thrown open to all castes.3

Indian States Commission: was appointed by Lord Irwin in 1927 under Harcourt Butler- thus better known as the Butler Commission. The Commission reviewed the question of paramountcy and was mandated to recommend measures for establishment of better relations between the Indian states and Central government.The Princes of India wanted to review the issue of Paramountcy while bargaining for their participation in Round Table Conference. However Butler concluded, "Paramountcy must remain paramount."
Although the recommendation of the committee was not in favour of the Council of Princes, their main fear  was that if Dominion Status was imparted to India, there could be a central government dominated by the Congress members. In response the Butler Commission recommended that the states should not be handed over to an Indian Government in British India, responsible to an Indian legislature, without the consent of the states.
Further it said that for the purpose of international relations, state territory (princely states) is in the same position as British territory and state subjects in the same position as British subjects. - means that the Government of India exercised complete and undisputed control in international affairs, and could declare war, peace, neutrality for the princely states. 4,5,6

Bodhisattva: In Buddhism Bodhisattva refers to an 'enlightened being' or 'one who is on the path of enlightenment'. It is also a popular subject in Buddhist art.

Megasthenes: was an ambassador of Greek General Selecus Nicator at the court of Chandragupta Maurya in 4th century BC. He travelled wide and far in the Mauryan kingdom, recording his observations about the polity, society and economy of the people- compiling it in the four-volume 'Indica'. Indica can be touted as the first authentic account of India to the western World. 7

Brihadeswara Temple (Tanjore):  This Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva, was built in 1010 AD by Chola King RajaRaja I. It has been recognised as UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. It is built in the Dravidian school of temple architecture and is the largest temple in India. 8

Perini ShivatandavamPerini Tandavam is a semi-classical warrior-dance. The dance derives its name from "prerana", which means inspiration. The warriors performed this dance before the idol of Lord Nataraja, as a mode of worship, before leaving for the battlefield with the motto of invoking Shiva to dance through them.  It incorporated veera and raudra rasas of Lord Shiva.
The masculine dance style was in vogue and was patronised in the reign of the kings of Kakatiya Dynasty in Warangal (1100-1300 AD). This is well evident from the fine sculptures of this dance at various Kakatiya temples (Ramappa temple, Warangal). 9

Allasani Peddanna: was a court poet of Sri Krishnadevaraya, King of Vijayanagara in 1500 AD. He was given the title of Andhra Kavita Pitamaha (Grandfather of Telugu Poetry) by the King. His most famous work is Swarochissa Manu Sambhavam which is counted amongst the Panch Kaavya (five great books of Telugu literature). 10, 11

Golkonda Fort:  Golkonda was originally built by the Kakatiya dynasty in the 13th century. However, the most important builder of Golkonda was Ibrahim Quli Qutub Shah Wali of the Qutub Shahi Dynasty. 

Chisti Silsila: The Chishtī Silsila is a  Sufi order within the mystic Sufi tradition of Islam. It began in Chisht, a small town near Herat, Afghanistan about 930 CE. The Chishti Order is known for its emphasis on love, tolerance, and openness. The Chishti Order is primarily followed in Afghanistan and South Asia. It was the first of the four main Sufi orders (Chishti, Qadiriyya, Suhrawardiyya and Naqshbandi) to be established in this region. Moinuddin Chishti introduced the Chishti Order in Lahore (Punjab) and Ajmer (Rajasthan), sometime in the middle of the 12th century AD. Several Mughal rulers were devotees, with Akbar being a fervent devotee of Moinuddin Chisti (aka Garibnawaz of Ajmer).Other famous saints of this order were Bakhtiyar KakiBaba Farid and Nizamuddin Auliya.12,13

Chouth and Sardeshmukhi: Chauth (from Sanskrit meaning one-fourth) was an annual tax or tribute imposed, from early 18th century, by the Maratha Empire in India. It was nominally levied at 25% on revenue assessment or produce, hence the name.  The right to assess and collect this tax was first asserted by Shivaji in the late17th century. It was realized from the alien territories to save themselves from annual Maratha incursions. He extracted chauth from the Muslim kingdoms of Bijapur and Golconda starting in 1665.
Sardeshmukhi was an additional levy of 1/10th of the revenue which Shivaji claimed on the 'fiction' that he was the Sardeshmukh or overlord of the territory of the payee.
The terms Chauth and Sardeshmukhi as conventional or legal revenues of the Maratha state find their place in the history of India since the Mughal-Maratha treaty of 1718. 14,15,16

Poona Sarvajanik Sabha: was founded by Justice Mahadev Govind Ranade and others in 1870. It was a socio-political association which aimed to form a bridge between the government and people. Its main concerns were the effects of government policy on education, taxation, land revenue and public employment. The Sabha petitioned and agitated on a wide range of subjects like Lytton's Vernacular Press Act, Bombay Forest Regulations, supported Ilbert Bill, reform of civil service etc. The Sabha conferred with other associations across India, and these alliances were the birthing ground for the Indian National Congress.The Sabha played a leading role in establishing the Congress and its provincial conferences in the 1880s and 1890s.17, 18

5. Spectrum's Modern India.
7. Megasthenes, Amar Chitra Katha Vol 722. 
16. Advanced Study in the history of Modern India 1707-1813.
17. Jhonson, G. 2005, Provincial Politics and  Indian Nationalism: Bombay and the Indian National Congress 1880-1915.  
18. Spectrum's Modern India


  1. Hey I would suggest you one thing. If you want to do the 2 markers I think go for all the 2 markers related to culture portion asked in like some last 20 years - there are more chances of having some repeat questions from there. And I have some feeling that may be architecture portion in culture will be important this year.

  2. Good point Ankur, but actually only from 2009 onwards have culture questions been asked separately . Before that the culture-related questions were included in the list of 15 2-markers with historical personalities. So will definitely put down notes on 2009-11 culture questions separately. Prior to that it will get covered in this section.

    About architecture, you are right. The other probable topic could be sculpture.