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Answer Writing

Manoj K. Jha

Offc. No. 6, I Floor, Apsara Arcade, Karol Bagh, New Delhi-5, (Karol Bagh Metro Gate No. 5)
9953595114, 9873245114

 How to Write a Good Essay An Overview .... 1-5

 Essay: Topic Analysis .... 6-10

 Model Essays with Approach Notes .... 11-22

 Idea for Rough Work with Hints .... 23-49

 ESSAY Test (UPSC Mains 2015 Questions) with Hints .... 50-66

 Essay Test-1 with Hints .... 67-75

 Essay Test-2 with Hints .... 76-86

 Essay Test-3 with Hints .... 87-94

 Essay Test-4 with Hints .... 95-106


How to Write a Good Essay

An Overview
It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book. - Friedrich Nietzsche
What is An Essay?
• An essay is a focused, descriptive and analytical write up on any particular topic. But this is different in
format and presentation from any other kind of write up on the same topic.
• An essay is a tight write up which has a certain theme at its core and the write up is marked by its
simplicity, lucidity, flow and orderliness.
• It should generally avoid terse and unwieldy expressions, unnecessary exposition and excessive facts,
especially numbers.
• An essay is a write up that evolves from childhood to youth and thereafter to maturity.
• An essay should generally reflect the perceptions, understanding, and stance/take of the writer, which may
be supported by facts, quotes and findings of similar kinds.
What An Essay Should not be...
• It should not be a mere compilation of information or facts.
• It should not be a long note.
• It should not be a brief note.
• It should not be a theoretical exposition.
• It should not be a conglomeration of great ideas by great people.
What Constitutes a Good Essay?
A good essay should have three distinct parts-
• Introduction
• Description
• Conclusion
A good essay should be close to its subject or theme throughout the write up.
A Good Essay Should Reflect...
• Understanding of the writer
• Thoroughness of the writer
• Analytical capacity of the writer
• Research and analytical capability of the writer
• Reading habits of the writer

Essay Workbook 1

Essay Needs a Good Command Over Communication Abilities, viz...

• Articulation
• Effective expression
• Logic, flow and rhythm
• Right grammar
• Style

Brief for Practicing Essay Writing - Pre Exam Hall Approach

How to write a good Essay can be viewed sequentially, as if going through ten sequential steps in an essay
writing process.

1. Research: Begin the essay writing process by researching your topic, making yourself an expert. Assuming
you've been given a topic, or have narrowed it sufficiently down, your first task is to research this topic.
You will not be able to write intelligently if you don't have any knowledge about the topic. To discover
worthwhile insights, you'll have to do some patient reading and information gathering. Though IAS
aspirants are hard pressed of time but don't forget it is of 250 marks and highly neglected. It can be done
through integration of your daily newspaper reading and through preparation of GS also. But you need
some different strategy to do so.

2. Analysis: Now that you have a good knowledge base, start analyzing the arguments of the essays/articles
you're reading. Clearly define the claims, write out the reasons, the evidence, etc. Look for weaknesses
of logic, and also strengths. Learning how to write an essay begins by learning how to analyze essays
written by others.

3. Brainstorming: Your essay will require insight of your own. Ask yourself a dozen questions and answer
them. Meditate with a pen in your hand. Think and think until you come up with original insights to write

4. Thesis: Pick your best idea and pen it down in a clear assertion that you can write your entire essay
around. Your thesis is your main point, summed up in a concise sentences that let the reader know where
you're going, and why. It's practically impossible to write a good essay without a clear thesis.

5. Outline: Sketch out your essay before straight away writing it out. Use one-line sentences to describe
paragraphs, and bullet points to describe what each paragraph will contain. Plan the essay's order. Map
out the structure of your argument, and make sure each paragraph is unified.

6. Introduction: Now sit down and write the essay. The introduction should grab the reader's attention, set
up the issue, and lead in to your thesis. Your intro is merely a buildup of the issue, a stage of bringing
your reader into the essay's argument. (Note: The title and first paragraph are probably the most important
elements in your essay. This is an essay-writing point that doesn't always sink in within the context of
the classroom. In the first paragraph you either hook the reader's interest or lose it.)

7. Paragraphs: Each individual paragraph should be focused on a single idea that supports your thesis.
Begin paragraphs with topic sentences, support assertions with evidence, and expound your ideas in the
clearest, most sensible way you can. Speak to your reader as if he or she were sitting in front of you.
In other words, instead of writing the essay, try to talk through essay.

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8. Conclusion: Gracefully exit your essay by making a quick wrap-up sentence, and then end on some
memorable thought, perhaps a quotation, or an interesting twist of logic, or some call to action. Is there
something you want the reader to walk away and do? Let him or her know exactly that.

9. Style: Format your essay according to the correct guidelines for citation. All borrowed ideas and quotations
should be correctly cited in the body of your text, followed up with a Works Cited (references) page
listing the details of your sources.
10. Language: You're not done writing your essay until you've polished your language by correcting the
grammar, making sentences flow, incorporating rhythm, emphasis, adjusting the formality, giving it a level-
headed tone, and making other intuitive edits. Proof read until it reads just how you want it to sound.
Writing an essay can be tedious, but you don't want to bungle the hours of conceptual work you've put
into writing your essay by leaving a few slippy misspellings and poorly worded phrases.

Steps to be Followed During Examination

We must keep in mind that an essay written in the examination hall is developed on the spot within a given
time period, is something different from an essay written leisurely and with mature deliberation for a publication
or for a prize competition.
A Candidate writing an essay for Civil service examinations should keep in mind that he has to satisfy the
examiner regarding to 3 things
1. He has good ideas on given subject/chosen field.
2. He can arrange his ideas systematically.
3. He can express, and analyze his opinion correctly using good language.

Required steps to create a rough sketch before actual writing

1. Selection of suitable topic
2. Make an outline of your ideas
3. Write introduction points
4. Write main points of the body
5. Brief sketch about view, history, facts, illustrations, examples, etc.
6. Idea about critical discussions, pro and opposite views
7. Drawing a conclusion that clearly expresses your opinion and always end with a futuristic note. Selection
of topic is the key for scoring in essay. Around 15 to 20 minutes can be spent on choosing best topic.
We also needs to be sure about the flow of thought, rich facts and figures, history, analytical expression
and all to be collectively rated high in the selected topic. It impacts your marks. Out of six topics consider
each one independently in-depth in accordance with your knowledge and presentation skills not in bird-
eye-view manner.
Patience and perseverance must be maintained while selecting a topic and make it sure about excellence to
present cogently.
Next step is outlining the selected topic by putting ideas in a separate page, in organized form by writing sub
topics and important points to be covered in the essay. For this one can make use of flow chart model or line

Essay Workbook 3

chart or tabulation. Grouping of thoughts must be in a way to categorize the sub headings while writing the
detailed essay. We can use 15 to 20 minutes for this task.
Then start with the introduction which can be a dialogue, quotation or anecdotes, that summarizes complete
idea to the reader about the essay. A dialogue could be simply the pertinent fact that explicitly illustrates the
point you are planning to make. An anecdote is story that illustrate the point. Be sure that your anecdote is
short, precise and relevant to the topic.

Three Problems that Candidates Face While Writing An Essay

1. Ideas

2. Coherent arrangement
3. Expression

About the subject is nothing, but the knowledge that needs to be looked in different perspective, whether
social, economic, political, religious, cultural, literary, national, or environmental. Candidate should think on
different questions
- What is definition/scope/history of the topic?

- What can be said on particular subject from various perspectives?

- What are positives/negatives?
- Answers for different questions/dimensions
- Your thought for critical appraisal
Arrangement of an essay means the contents with a definite structure to be framed. The structure must be
exposed indirectly through the flow of writing with interlinking of sub topics and paragraphs explaining the
scope, meaning, description and discussion.
Illustration and quotations known can be presented lively and aptly to increase the richness of the content. It
is like the flavour added to the dishes to attract the reader to be perfectly relevant to the topic/argument. If
the Quotations exceed unnecessarily, it will disturb the quality of presentation.

Interlinking of thoughts, comparison and contrasting view points can be expressed only with the special
reference to the application of thoughts.

Opinions and arguments with strong self explanatory sentences will reflect the candidates' solid and clear
understanding of the subjects.
Now you need to give the powerful and logical conclusion which is the consequence of every thing discussed
earlier. Conclusion brings the reader closure or summing up of points and also gives final perspective. It should
not be rhetoric outburst. It must be balanced and free from prejudice. Mind it, give proper space to the
conclusion. Don't sum up in haste.

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Do’s and Don'ts for that 'Killer' 3 Hrs

• Read the title, understand the meaning and scope.
• Thinking and comprehensive planning before starting.
• Effective, brief and strong words consist of good thoughts makes your essay best.
• Avoid vague generalization, slang's and colloquialism.
• Don't try to present whatever you know on the subject.
• In controversial topic discuss pros and cons dispassionately and give effective conclusion.
• Length of essay is not fixed. But don't be exhaustive.
• Never forget to read and revise the essay written before submission to examiner.

Essay Workbook 5

Essay: Topic Analysis

An essay is a piece of writing that methodically analyses and evaluates a topic or an issue. Fundamentally,
an essay is designed to get your academic opinion on a particular subject-matter.
Many students get confused about the word 'opinion' in academic writing, and think that academic writing
should just stick to reporting the facts and forget about opinion altogether. However, there are important
differences between an academic opinion and a personal opinion, and it's important to grasp these when you're
putting together an essay.
Writing a great essay is not about simply surveying and re-telling existing ideas. Instead, a good essay takes
into account various opinions and point of view and puts forward an argument that reflects the writer's
informed opinion. Before you begin planning any essay, then, it's crucial to have a clear idea of what you think
about your topic; you need to have a position, argument, or clear stance on a topic that you defend with
evidence or argument against.

Academic Opinion
There are two specific qualities that differentiate academic opinion from personal opinion:
1. You can make an argument which is then supported by evidence or an established body of knowledge; for example,
Alchemy or astronomy is not a established body of knowledge and thus, cannot be used as a reference
for your arguments. However, one can always resort to theology, to substantiate his arguments.
2. You can critique and comment on the arguments, evidence, and reasoning of others. It is not necessary to support
the central argument of the subject and one can very well go against it, but can you simply say, I disagree,
because don't feel the same. No, that's where academic opinion gets above personal opinion, even, if you
oppose some argument, you must do so, with your own argument, which in itself must be supportable
by some existing theories or hypothesis.
Academic Opinion v. Personal Opinion
Determined by: Conducting research, examining evidence, Gut feelings, personal experiences,
even-handedly considering issues own worldview
Characterized by: Objectivity - guided by logic and rational Subjectivity - guided by emotions,
thinking personal experiences and individual
Is it defendable? Yes - you can defend or support an academic it's hard to say that one 'gut feeling'
argument by citing credible evidence or worldview is any more valid
and laying out a reasoned argument than another's, so these are very
hard to defend and validate

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Specific aspects of the UPSC Main Examination Essay

A general essay and UPSC essay differs in two aspects:

1. Since the later is competition essay, there is no scope for post-writing revision or source attribution.
Thus, the importance of these two decreases considerably:

a. It is expected that source attribution or citation will be used only rarely, when a very well known
person has said something that is directly related to the subject matter. Similarly, Quotes should not
be used to demonstrate your knowledge or beautify your essay. Use it only when you can recall a quote,
which is directly related to your central argument.

b. Since editing or revision is not possible during examination, the role of rough-work or pre-writing
analysis becomes paramount. The rough-work/mind-map technique/pre-writing analysis would be dealt
in detail in the subsequent chapters.

2. It is a well-known fact that UPSC syllabus is very vast and diverse; covers almost all the possible
dimensions. This, however, also means that whatever is covered is covered only in general overview and
awareness context and one needn't display deep subject knowledge on any subject, even if he is privy to
the same. We would even suggest to not attempt an essay topic, regarding which candidate knows too
much, as the essay will not be a general essay in that case answer is more likely to become a specialized
and narrow discussion regarding the topic, but not around the general theme. For example, if an topic is
asked regarding, Rising Rape cases in India, then it is not expected that someone will write about the
detailed statistics and legal solutions for the same; instead student is expected to write about the root of
the problem, that lies with patriarchic system, lengthy and cumbersome legal recourse, government's
apathy, social stigma for victim, and lack of police reforms, among others.

What is expected from an Essay?

Miscellaneous observations on a topic are not enough to make an accomplished essay. An essay should have
an argument. It should answer a question or a few related questions. It should try to prove something-develop
a single "thesis" or a short set of closely related points by reasoning and evidence, especially including apt
examples and to support your argument involved.

A successful argument should be able to clear the

image in the reader's mind, and that image would
be something like this diagram, wherein it is a
sum of its components, and it's the integration of
the components that defines the ultimate image.
Thus, in order to create a clear image in the
examiner mind it is very important to use correct
building blocks and then integrate them well.

Essay Workbook 7

Brainstorming: How to Identify and Integrate the Building Blocks

1. Analyze the Topic
Note the key terms in the topic, for example, an essay on, 'Is Disinvestment a One Stop Solution for all the
Problems of PSUs', most important term is Disinvestment followed by Public sector Units Performance. The
major themes in the same topic would be IMF structural adjustments followed by budgetary support,
bureaucratic red tape, and labor welfare and reforms. Thus, there are two key topics that need to be analyzed
in terms of the 4 major themes.

2. Identify the Parameters

Look especially for words that define the kind of reasoning you should be using: why, how, analyze, compare,
evaluate, argue, etc. Be sure you understand the specific meanings of these terms.

a) Analyse means look behind the surface structure of your source material. See the relationship of parts
to whole. Be able to recognize relationships such as cause and effect, even if it's unstated in what you
read. Look for underlying assumptions and question their validity. How and why imply an answer reached
by analysis.

b) Compare means find differences as well as similarities. You will need to formulate the aspects which you
are looking at in each item; consider organizing your paper by using these aspects as headings.

c) Evaluate stresses applying your judgement to the results of your analysis. It asks for an opinion based
on well-defined criteria and clearly stated evidence. Wording such as to what extent also asks for an
evaluation of an idea.

d) Argue (or agree or disagree) likewise asks you to take a stand based on analysis of solid evidence and
explained by clear reasoning. You will need to consider other possible viewpoints and defend your own
in comparison.

e) Critical Analysis involves carefully considering an idea and weighing up the evidence supporting it to see
if it is convincing.
Then being able to explain why you find the evidence convincing or unconvincing.
It helps if you ask yourself a series of questions about the material you are reading. Try using these
questions to help you think critically.

3. Structure Planning Through Rough Work

Try to jot down ideas randomly about the topic in terms of:

a) Inter-relate the terms and themes on relevant points

b) Identify various issues/problems that characterize the key terms and themes?

c) What theories or examples of academic theories relate to your topic?

d) What questions arise when you think about your topic?

e) What tricky or contentious terms need to be defined within your topic area?

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4. Organize the Rough Points

Jot down the rough points in order of sequence of emergence, i.e., how one issue leads to another. This will
enable the text of essay to be smooth and have a logical flow throughout its body. Ideally, the text should read
as if, you are not making an effort to collect points, instead it shall read as if one argument is naturally leading
to another.
For each paragraph in your essay:
• establish the topic and the argumentative point
• write out a dot-pointed plan for how it will unfold
• determine what evidence and/or resources you will incorporate to support your point

Planning the Structure of the Essay (Through Illustration)

Consider this topic: Strategy to address the communication issues among bureaucrats.
Content Planning
For this topic, first we need to identify the source of communication problems, which as they come out are
mostly because of diverse cultural background, work-place politics, high-headedness, and frequent transfers.
Second part would be to analyze the nature of the problems, while two of these are behavioral problems; the
other two are organizational problems. Thus, strategy has to address both of the issues. Thus, a two-pronged
strategy needs to be adopted.
Structure Planning
The first part of our essay in which we outline the possible magnititude of communication problems is likely
to be relatively brief - perhaps a third of the word count - with the main focus on the second part of the
We need to think very carefully so that we can confidently recommend the best strategy-mix.
We need to move beyond 'description' or 'reporting' in the second part of the essay in order to evaluate the
pros and cons of each strategy option and make a convincing argument about the strategy we recommend.
5. Note which Concepts or Methods the Topic asks you to Use (Possible During Practice Only)
Are you to develop a point with others' theories and arguments, or to explore your own argument?
Does the topic ask you to go into depth about some material already covered? Or does it suggest that you
evaluate a theory or model by applying it to an example from outside the course material?
Whatever the topic may be, an essay assignment expects you to use course concepts and ways of thinking;
it encourages you to break new ground for yourself in applying established methodology.
To generate ideas from which you can choose the direction of your argument or preliminary analysis, ask
yourself questions about the specific topic in terms of the concepts or methods that seem applicable.
Looking for controversies in the material will also help you find things worth discussing. You may want to look
at some general articles in reference works such as encyclopedias to see how others have framed questions or
seen problems to discuss.
Once you repeat this exercise several times, you will get a grasp over how to visualize and pre-structure a
standard essay.

Essay Workbook 9

Some Additional Tips

How to Transform Your Style from Descriptive to Analytical
Avoid unnecessary description - only include general background details and history when they add to your
argument, e.g., to show a crucial cause and effect. Practice distinguishing between description (telling what
happened) and analysis (judging why something happened).
Interpret your evidence - explain how and why your evidence supports your point. Interpretation is an
important part of critical analysis, and you should not just rely on the evidence "speaking for itself".
Be specific - avoid making sweeping generalizations or points that are difficult to support with specific
evidence. It is better to be more measured and tie your argument to precise examples or case studies.
Use counter-arguments to your advantage - if you find viewpoints that go against your own argument, don't
ignore them. It strengthens an argument to include an opposing viewpoint and explain why it is not as
convincing as your own line of reasoning.
Consider Your Print Diet
what are you reading in your spare time? This is an important question because what you read can influence
what you write. The computer science term "garbage in, garbage out" applies. If you are reading mediocre
writing, it won't help your essay, but if you consistently read great writing, it can make a difference with your
own. Syntax, structure, and style can improve under the influence of writers who are masters at their craft.

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Model Essays with Approach Notes

Approach to Writing Essays, Explained Through Annotated Essays

We have provided 4 essays from 2014 IAS Mains Examination Paper with topic analysis approach.

1. With Greater Power comes Greater Responsibility

2. Is the Growing Level of Competition Good for the Youth

3. Words are sharper than two edged swords

4. Fifty Golds in Olympics: Can this be a reality for India?

Each essay is based on different approach and a specific analysis on how to plan and structure the essay in
advance before starting writing.

Essay Workbook 11

With Greater Power comes Greater Responsibility

Topic Analysis
Content Planning
Key Terms: Power, Responsibility
Key Themes: Corruption, Self-restraint, Despotism, Leadership, etc.
Structure Planning
First we must establish beyond doubt that whether we are going with the statement or arguing against the statement. This
statement is almost an universal truth, thus, it would be better to support the argument and substantiate it. Thus, in first
part of essay, we must establish the statement with its elaboration either through, similar quotes from prominent leaders
or thinkers or examples. (One/third of total length)
Connect the theme to current scenario in India (most of the essays asked in exam have some current relevance). In this
case the theme is such that the essay can be easily connected to Indian Political system.
Now we need to devote the second half of essay into the choice, which makes powerful good or bad, with ample examples
and real-world events. Similarly we must broaden the concept of irresponsibility here and define what possible shortcomings
can be attributed as misuse or improper use of power.
In the conclusion, we must establish, that power is not bad and not necessarily affects people badly. It's the abuse of power
which is bad and thus, powerful must behave with responsibility.

Model Essay
Power is multipronged sword. Friedrich Nietzsche pointed out that power is always dangerous. Power attracts
the worst and corrupts the best. And as the saying goes, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
However, power does not always lead to distortion, especially if it is used with responsibility. Power gives us
control and freedom. The immense control that comes with power may help us to do positive things, welfare
and development works for the poor, weak and meek; the deserving and performers. Freedom that comes with
power kindles our hidden potential, courage, entrepreneurship and creativity. Nevertheless, unfettered freedom
may make us headstrong, megalomaniac, a believer in one-upmanship. If power leads to distortion, then it
must be blended with responsibility. Power may distort our character in the absence of responsibility whether
we are a leader, business tycoon, politician or anything else. The greater the amount of power, the greater is
the chance of such distortions. Edmund Burke, a great philosopher said, ‘The greater the power, the more dangerous
the abuse.’ Power has the potential of making one arrogant, indifferent, cruel and unscrupulous. It could be
understood well by a simile- The grip and balance (responsibility) should be very reliable and strong if we are
driving with a great speed on a very high altitude (power). Therefore, responsibility (grip and balance) prevents
misuse of power. Higher the power, higher is the need for responsibility.
In an Oscar winning movie the Schindler's list, a business tycoon named Schindler, says to a drunken Colonel
of Hitler who is aiming to shoot at two resting labours in a labour camp… that 'power is that you can forgive,
that you can control yourself'…, the Colonel who himself was badly drunk, responds… 'I think you are drunk'.
Hitler's Colonels had immense power, and with this power they set the records of crimes against humanity
rather than doing any good. No doubt, power beyond a limit blurs our vision and takes heart out of our bodies
if we do not choose to be wise and humane. Winston S. Churchill rightly said, ‘The price of greatness is

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If one has immense power, he/she is under the constant watch and glare of public or media. One mistake
or aberration can tarnish the hard earned power and image of people of substance. We know about the
Watergate scandal or private life aberrations of great American Presidents Nixon and Bill Clinton respectively,
how these irresponsible acts spoilt their image.
People enjoying the seat of power raise expectations of the people and any failure on their part to come up
to the expectations of the people may make their thrones of power unstable. The new Prime Minister of India,
for example, is being considered by millions of Indians as a 'rainmaker', an apostle of hope, who has medicines
or quick heals for all the malaises that India is currently facing. In such a situation, if he fails to come up to
the expectations for people, the people will be disappointed and they may change their views. It is, therefore,
being said that the current Prime Minister has got no honeymoon period. The day of assessment started from
the day he assumed power. The previous government was successful in implementing many welfare and
development programmes, but it was marked by policy paralysis on several fronts, especially in giving clearance
to development projects and checking corruption. People were disappointed and it was reflected in their
electoral mandate in 2014 elections. The American Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney rightly said during
his campaign speech that leadership is about taking responsibility, not making excuses. But the last government
of India fell into the fallacy of excuses. Despite its several good works, people rejected the government.
The people with great power are not spared even for decisions that went wrong despite all their good intentions.
It is because sometimes the damages are of such an extent that they are unforgettable or immitigable. India's
first Prime Minister was a great statesman, but he is criticized for his 'forward policy' regarding China that
unexpectedly led to Indo-China war ending in a humiliating debacle for India. The error was not due to
irresponsibility, but the effects were far reaching. Mahatma Gandhi, a man of highest integrity and truth, is
still scrutinized critically about his decision in Tripuri Congress in 1939 which compelled Netaji to quit the
post of Congress President. It was not an irresponsible act or malafide act, but even then it was a decision
that affected natural leadership to grow.
People with power are respected by people not because they generate fear or not by their titles but good deeds.
Vivekananda the great spiritual master bolstered the image of India as the spiritual guru of the world but there
are other spiritual gurus whose irresponsible behavior has eroded the faith of people in religion and spiritualism.
In fact responsibility means doing the assigned tasks, fulfilling the commitments, standing by the side of truth
and justice, helping the meek and the poor, etc. There are bureaucrats and technical experts who delivered what
they were assigned to do and they are worshipped by the people. The pioneer of nuclear research in India
Homi Jahangir Bhabha or Sridharan, head of Delhi Metro or the Varghese Kurian of Amul fame have become
iconic. The billionaires like Bill Gates, George Soros, Azim Premzi or Sachin Tendulkar have become
philanthropists beyond comparison because they feel that after their success in life, they have responsibilities
towards society which gave them wealth and power. On the other hand there are examples of so many
irresponsible authorities who earned bad names as they impeded the process of welfare and development, stole
from public exchequer, etc. These people are much known for showing the ugly face of power and wealth.
This includes erring politicians and bureaucrats among others.
One of the greatest irresponsibility is inaction. Great philosopher John Stuart Mill rightly points out that, ‘a
person may cause evil to others not only by his actions but by his inaction, and in either case he is justly accountable
to them for the injury.’ People in power cannot afford to be inactive if, for example, poverty is worsening or law
and order is deteriorating or civil strife takes place or natural disaster strikes. The people who have power can
make difference by their decisions and actions. In the crucial moments, it is the people in power who people
look up to. If the leaders cannot lead when darkness prevails or hopes are shattered then who can? It is the
responsibility of people in power to take lead in such crucial moments. Wealth is power. Knowledge is power.
Political authority is power. People expect people in power to do something that makes their lives beautiful.

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Sigmund Freud said that, ‘most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most
people are frightened of responsibility.’ We have a tendency to take the credits, but we are afraid of taking
responsibilities of failures. Standing neutral and being a fence watcher is always easier than participating in an
act and having the courage to accept errors and omissions. Our real stuff is what we do when we are in power.
Abraham Lincoln rightly pointed out, ‘Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character,
give him power.’
Power gives us rights, opportunities and priced possessions. John D. Rockefeller, one of the pioneering
industrialists of the US once said, ‘Every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation, every
possession, a duty.’ And devoid of these attributes power becomes useless and unproductive. Power should
ideally make us more enterprising, more creative and more caring and sensitive. If power consists of these
qualities, it yields the best results- be it individual life or social life. Eleanor Roosevelt rightly says that in the
long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices
we make are ultimately our own responsibility. Power gives freedom to do whatever one likes. Bob Dylan
rightly says, ‘A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom.’ There are notorious
examples of dictators in the world history who misused their powers- Pol Pot in Cambodia, Idi Ameen in
Uganda, and Saddam Husain in Iraq, etc. They have been described as tyrants in history. On the other hand
history saw people in power, who guided the world to peace and prosperity, to name a few, Abraham Lincoln,
Roosevelt, Churchill, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, etc. are remembered for their
positive contributions which flowed from their responsible behavior. In ultimate analysis power is not a means
to corrupt, it is the human beings who use or misuse it. William Gaddis says, ‘Power doesn't corrupt people, people
corrupt power.’

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Is the Growing Level of Competition Good for the Youth?

Topic Analysis
Content Planning
Key Terms: Competition, Youth
Key Themes: Quality v/s Quantity, Survival of Fittest, Rat-race, Burden and stress, General Reading v/s
Narrow Studies, Quality of life, etc.
Structure Planning
First we must establish how we are interpreting this statement. Whether we can support it or shall go against it. In this
particular case, it would be better to take the middle path as there are both advantages and disadvantages of the competition.
Thus, in first part of essay, we will evaluate the statement from both aspects. We shall establish the general idea about
the impact of competition on youth. (One third of total length)
In second part we shall elaborate the both sides of coin, with relevant arguments aided by suitable quotes or examples.
For example, healthy competition is necessary to develop and build some seriousness in the pursuit of goal in efficient
manner. However, it shall not increase the tension so much that, the enjoyment and learning in the process is lost.
Connect the theme to current scenario in India (most of the essays asked in exam have some current relevance). In this
case we shall highlight the professional careers v/s the career in sports and creative arts. There can be many other ways
to connect the topic with current scenario, but choose something which you can properly elaborate. Similarly, the reasons
of cut-throat competition can also be explained in brief.
In the conclusion, we must establish that competition is not bad and not necessarily affects people badly. It's the excess
of it that must be checked.

Model Essay
Growing level of competition is not an unmixed blessing. The present day youth are living in an era of cut
throat competition. Everywhere they are compelled to prove their worth, excellence, skills, etc. to get a
standing in life. Competition, therefore, brings out the best in the youth, it makes them more efficient and it
enhances their capabilities and performance. It induces them to optimize the resources, enhance productivity
and eventually to enjoy the fruits of success and wealth. This is one side of the story. The other facet of
competition is ugly- it makes the youth mechanical in work, dry and insensitive in relationship and causes
stress, restlessness, unease, envy, jealousy, bitterness and eventually hollowness and emptiness due to their
inability to enjoy freedom, leisure, beauty and bounty of nature and relationship like friendship and even family
ties. Competition makes the life of ordinary people uneventful and unpleasant because they do not get enough
wherewithal to meet their basic needs or recognition of their problems by a society where only the winners,
fastest, most skillful and the most efficient have a place. The saying is: you go up or you go out.
Gianni Versace, an Italian fashion designer said, ‘It is nice to have valid competition; it pushes you to do better.’
Competition, in an aspirational society, brings out the best of human spirit, endurance, hard work, imagination
and creativity. Young generation has an unfathomable desire and passion to win. The younger generation is
ready to put everything on stake for achieving their goals. They are often filled with missionary zeal. They
sacrifice rest, entertainment, liberty and freedom and discipline themselves like a soldier. They prepare themselves
to take rigour and pain to achieve their goals. It is a saintly behavior which they inculcate- sacrifice and
discipline. It does not matter to them how many times they fell, but how many times they rose like phoenix.
Competition becomes a way of life. Walt Disney describes such a situation very nicely, ‘I have been up against
tough competition all my life. I wouldn't know how to get along without it.’

Essay Workbook 15

Competition is important to select the best for a particular job or mission or service. Generally everybody
claims excellence, superiority and credit for achievements. It is difficult to take their words without testing
whether they stand up to their claims. For non-performers, competition is a scary word, for doers and performers
competition is an opportunity to display their excellence. Mrs. Indira Gandhi recounted thus, ‘My grandfather
once told me that there were two kinds of people: those who do the work and those who take the credit. He told me to
try to be in the first group; there was much less competition.’
Competition, however, snatches away the peace and poise of youth, the music and melody of their life and
they lose the driver's seat in their lives and something very external drives them. They become unnatural and
become prematurely mature in their lives. They lose their freedom and liberty. They become slaves of their
desire and their career goals, which are forced on them by the social value system. Being a doctor, engineer,
civil servant, management executive, etc. solely determine their lives, which becomes an onerous journey. The
essence of Youth is destroyed. The fear of failure always hovers and confidence level dwindles. In extreme
cases when a young wo/man fails to achieve the goals thrust on her/him, they try to end their lives, commit
suicide. Excessive competition is not good either for physical health or for mental health. Too much competition
has an adverse effect on our digestive and nervous systems because we fail in taking rest and doing exercise.
Also too much work and prolonged work kills our creative and imaginative capacity. We are too tired and too
busy to think and dream. Similarly, the performing arts and sports in India have also been badly affected, as
even very talented and athletic kids are redirected to sought-after professional careers, such as medical and
engineering, ignoring their natural inclinations. Thus, while Indians have succeeded world-over as doctors and
engineers, India is still a laggard when it comes to sports and similarly classical Indian performing arts are on
Franklin D. Roosevelt is right when he cautions that competition has been shown to be useful up to a certain
point and no further, but cooperation, which is the thing we must strive for today, begins where competition
leaves off. Healthy competition is good, but competition is such a mad game that as and when it intensifies
the distinguishing line between healthy and bad completion is blurred. The competition turns into a war and
in war and love everything, as the saying goes, is fair. The youth must learn the language of cooperation.
Jealousy and envy must give way to love and care. The youth should be educated about the beautiful idea of
'live and let live.' But since we are living in an age of unlimited wants and limited resources, it is very hard
to adopt the idea of cooperation. The race is for fulfilling unlimited wants with limited resources. In fact, in
countries like India, one of the main reasons for competition is dearth of good educational institutions first
and employment opportunities at the end of school or college education.
In conclusion, we can say that while the law of competition may be sometimes hard for the individual, it is
best for the race, because it ensures the survival of the fittest in every department (Andrew Carnegie).
However, winning is not always necessary for survival. The healthiest competition occurs when average people
win by putting above average effort. Nevertheless, the ultimate victory in competition is derived from the inner
satisfaction of knowing that you have done your best and that you have gotten the most out of what you had
to give (Howard Cosell). Sacrificing beautiful and natural things for the sake of winning in the competition dries
away the colours of life and saps out the music and melody of life. At stake are freedom, liberty and natural
way of living. Don Kardong describes this situation very nicely, "Eventually, competition and adventure wane,
and I enter my ibuprofen phase. Tweaky hamstrings and achy knees restrict mileage, but I continue running
for health, sanity, and the ritual of a Sunday trail run with like-minded buddies. We discuss the nagging injuries
that bedevil us, and remember the good old days when we were kings."Youth must work hard to win, but they
must also enjoy the careless freedom and joy of youth so as to be creative, imaginative and romantic. No
achievement can ever match the beauty and joy of youthfulness. A balancing act is needed between competition
and freedom.

16 Essay Workbook

Fifty Golds in Olympics: Can this be a reality for India?

Topic Analysis
Content Planning
Key Terms: Olympics, Indian Sports
Key Themes: Competitive Athletics, Sports administration in India, Physical Education, Sporting Culture,
Structure Planning
Be careful, that you do not go through the, 'Support or Against Approach' for this topic, as it is very different from typical
debates as it is hypothetical. The topic is here is plausibility of a vision statement, thus, we have to evaluate the vision
and explore its possibility. Thus, evaluate the statement by comparing it with the past performance by Indians. Similarly,
also explore, why this seems possible, even if very difficult.
In second part, we shall explore the reasons of India's poor performance in sports in general and competitive sports
particular. While doing so, explore all the themes that have been listed above.
In the conclusion, we must establish that Olympics are about the spirit of competition and not national glory alone, they
are about exploring the best in youth through competitive sports.

Model Essay
India is an emerging economy and society. Today's India is aspirational India. It has started believing that 'it
can do' what it wills and dreams to achieve. And all of us have this fundamental right to hope that all dreams
are possible to be realized if we are ready to offer blood, sweat and tears required for them. Fifty Gold medals
in Olympics is a far-fetched dream given the past record, yet it is not impossible. In the starting all big dreams
seem impossible, but if we step forward strategically and are ready to endure all the adversities in the path
of progress with unflinching faith and determination, the dreams are bound to be real. To quote Clara Hughes
(a Canadian cyclist and speed skater, who has won multiple Olympic medals in both sports), 'If you dream and
you allow yourself to dream you can do anything. And that's what this Olympic medal represents.' True, India's
Olympic performance has not been so inspiring in the past except men's hockey. Even Indian men's hockey
which had a great past in Olympic Games faltered in the last three decades. But then India improved its
performance in four other games, i.e., shooting, wrestling, boxing, and badminton in which it has been able
to claim medals. If past was not so inspiring that does not mean we should stop dreaming and hoping. Every
victory has a price. And if India is determined enough at the government and household levels to set higher
benchmarks for themselves in all the arenas of life including sports, it has potential to win fifty gold medals.
Any doomsayer who finds this goal too ambitious to achieve needs to be told that all big efforts start with
big dreams. In fact, it is the right amount and direction of our efforts that leads to success. Without fighting
the full battle, it is not wise to think that we cannot do. Fifty gold medals in Olympic- 'yes India can.'
India started participating in the Olympics in 1900. It was not altogether hopeless performance, but was short
of expectations. Indian athletes have won a total of 26 medals, all at the Summer Olympic Games. For a
period of time, India national field hockey team was dominant in Olympic competition, winning eleven
medals in twelve Olympics between 1928 and 1980. The run included 8 gold medals total and six successive
gold medals from 1928-1956. In the 2008 Summer Olympics, India won its first ever individual gold medal
when Abhinav Bindra won the 10m air rifle event. The 2012 Summer Olympics saw an 83-member Indian
contingent participating in the games, and set a new best for the country with six total medals. Wrestler Sushil
Kumar became the first Indian with multiple individual Olympic medals since Norman Pritchard in 1900.
The failures of the past had several reasons. Firstly, a sport in India was mainly taken as a means for healthy
entertainment and not as an errand for boosting national glory by winning. In this context, it is pertinent to

Essay Workbook 17

cite the examples of erstwhile Soviet Union or East Germany where government's made passionate and
deliberate efforts to win in international games like Olympic to establish the superiority and glory of their
nations. This problem was further aggravated in India by intermittent wars in medieval times and imperialist
regime afterwards which did not allow pursuit of sports as an organized and professional activity. Secondly,
when India became free, as a developing society; there was a mental block in India accepting sports as a
vocation or career. The saying went, 'if you go for sports, fun and frolic you will be spoilt; if you study, you
will become a king.' There was an exaggerated thrust on education in the middle class society than on sports
or other activities. This attitude, nevertheless, made India an unsporting country. Thirdly, in free India, though
sports and playing grounds were part of school curriculum, yet the focus on this segment with regard to
infrastructure, education and training was very scant and insufficient. And so were employment opportunities
for the sports persons. This was because of both- lack of resources as well as lack of interest. India has not
been able even today to develop good playgrounds, stadiums, indoor facilities and infrastructure at district or
block levels, where talents could be searched and groomed. Fourthly, the nutritional standard of the Indians,
especially of children and women is not up to mark to make good sports person. Last but not the least, the
youth and children in India today are engage most of the time on the desktops, laptops and mobiles in
computer games for time pass or entertainment rather than real time games in play grounds. This reflects lack
of sporting culture. In Brazil and the whole of Europe being a footballer is considered very respectable and
rewarding. In the USA professional basket ball or athletics is very rewarding and respectable. In many
countries of Europe, gymnastics is taken as a sports as well as an art form. Swimming is a sport, an
entertainment as well as an exercise in the USA, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan, etc. We also need to
develop a sporting culture in which sports as a vocation is respected and rewarded. Sports should figure a little
more in our lives even for health and entertainment. Lastly, and most importantly, Sports administration in
India is equally responsible for India's poor performance, as there is too much political and bureaucratic
interference; sportsperson are not given adequate support at international venues; massive corruption in sports
bodies eats up into players facilities and sports infrastructure; and unprofessional management is responsible
for keeping India's flag down at most international events.
If government takes sports as priority and does everything possible for excellence in sports, India has got
talent to perform. We need to develop a sports culture, create infrastructure and facilities, and open rewarding
and respectful employment opportunities for the performing sports persons not only in cricket but other
games as well, provide adequate nutrition and ample opportunities and coaching to youth to win fifty gold
medals. This demands spending huge resources, but in any cost-benefit analysis we find that such a spending
has far more benefits that outnumber the costs. The past has a key to understand why did we perform below
potential, and if we learn from the past we can move forward with higher confidence. Albert Einstein rightly
suggested, 'Learn from yesterday, live for today, and hope for tomorrow.' If it was possible for India to be the best
in men's hockey at the Olympics, the same may be achieved in the other arena of Olympic Games. Winning
50 gold medals in Olympics is a tall order with the kind of constraints India is facing at attitudinal as well
as practical levels. At attitudinal levels we do not have a sporting culture; at practical level we do not have
proper mechanism for talent search, facilities for training and grooming, infrastructure, coaching, employment
avenues, etc. If we recognize these problems and systematically remove them, for a big and talented country
like India fifty gold medals in Olympic is not an unachievable goal. But every big dream has a big price. Are
we ready to pay the price? This is the million dollar question.
Pierre de Coubertin rightly says ‘the most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part;
the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well.’ Olympic is one of the greatest teachers for the youth
of a country. Aspiring for as high benchmarks as set by Olympic will help the nation to grow in other arenas
of life as well. Richard M. Daley very rightly remarks that the spirit of the Olympic movement is great for
young people because it teaches them about the training and discipline required to compete. Even if they
don't make the teams, they can dedicate their lives to the art of sport, discipline, and physical fitness. These
qualities are very useful in other fields of life as well, especially for raising productivity and creativity. The

18 Essay Workbook

poverty of a nation cannot be made as a pretext of not performing well at international level sports. Both
Ethiopia and Somalia of Africa are poor countries and face civil strife. But Ethiopia has successfully participated
and won medals in Olympic while Somalia has yet to win a medal. Ethiopian athletes have won a total of
45 medals (21 gold medals in total since 1956), all in athletics. China vowed in the 1980s to be the number
one in medal tally in the Olympics. It took two and a half decades of hard, honest, and dedicated work to
reach the top where it stands today. If India wants to pursue the goal of fifty gold medals in Olympic patiently
and passionately, it needs to learn from those who made it possible and act accordingly. Ken Robinson rightly
says, 'It is the inspiration of the Olympic Games that drives people not only to compete but to improve, and to bring
lasting spiritual and moral benefits to the athlete and inspiration to those lucky enough to witness the athletic dedication.'

Essay Workbook 19

Words are Sharper than two Edged Swords

Topic Analysis
Content Planning
Key Terms: Communication, Sagacious v/s Impulsive Behaviour
Key Themes: Importance of Communication, Importance of Balance in Life, Communication as Reflection of
Mental State, Role of Communication in Leadership
Structure Planning
Be careful, that you do not go through the, 'Support or Against Approach' for this topic, as this proverb is universally
accepted and respected world-over. Thus, we have to elaborate and explain what we understand from it.
In second part we shall explore both sides of the coin, i.e., both the positive effects of judicious words and the negative
effects of impulsive outbursts and habitual swearing.
In the conclusion, we must suggest that the words are effective, if they are backed by actions and honest intensions.

Model Essay
Words are very important for communication. They have apparent meanings, hidden meanings and shuttle
meanings. They please, they mesmerize, and they make us laugh and weep. They inspire, cajole and empathize.
Words do not always help, they may be dangerous and they may harm, breed hate and contempt, shatter hopes
and break hearts and demoralize. Yehuda Berg rightly remarks, 'Words are singularly the most powerful force
available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using
words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate
and to humble.' No doubt words are sharper than two edged swords.
Words can connect people to an idea or to a movement and cement an unbreakable bond. People trust the
words of the leader in whom they repose confidence. A beloved trusts the words of his lover and is ready to
go to the edge of earth to realize their communion. A religious devotee takes the words of an scripture as the
guiding principle of his or her life. This happens because words have the capacity to create inner bonds. Words
reflect our intent and purpose. Great philosopher poet Rumi says, 'Words are a pretext. It is the inner bond that
draws one person to another, not words.' Without right purpose and intent words may or may not lead to a 'bond'.
Words may lead or mislead. They can mesmerize people to follow an ideology or to support a leader and his
movement- good or bad. Most of the leaders in the past and even in present times have a common trait: they
speak effectively; they are good orators; they stir people's mind and heart. Hitler, Martin Luther King, Kennedy,
Nelson Mandela, Fidel Castro, etc. have one thing in common that they were good orators. The Charisma and
appeal of an idea or a leader crucially depend on words. The violent and fundamentalist movements in the
world today draw recruits because their leaders successfully indoctrinate the followers. To quote Rudyard
Kipling, 'Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.' Insight into character comes from listening
intently to the spoken word. The physical person, their charisma, charm, and dramatic flair is more often used
to persuade audiences, as they use these stealth tools of disguise and deception (Maximillian Degenerez).
The words of a good teacher or parents or friends can kindle hope, inspire, and raise the dormant confidence
within a person. Our success and failure, our perception, imagination and vision and our understanding and
analysis crucially depends on what kind of words we have listened and learnt and lived with in the process of
growing through parenting and teaching. I see the world as beautiful and livable; the other person sees it as ugly

20 Essay Workbook

and not-livable. I see possibilities in every situation; the other person sees constraints. All this is because of
the different contexts we have lived in and different words that have entered into our DNA while we were
growing. Mother' words have made great leaders. Teacher's words have made great people. Neighborhood Good
Samaritan's words have enabled many poor and wrenched persons to write rags to riches story. Good words
create Vivekananda, Mahatma Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln, Barak Obama, William Sisters, MS Dhoni, Narendra
Modi, etc. Words have great effect.
Words can make a negotiation successful. They can also lead to a fight. Words give us maneuvering and
diplomatic space- we can convince or we can raise doubts. The quality of a successful negotiator or motivator
is that they can change you and your perception by logic and analysis communicated with measured words.
This is true in personal social and national and international contexts. In an interview, we may gain an extra
point or lose points by proper use or misuse of words. We may be misunderstood on a larger platform if we
do not exercise caution in use of words. Negotiations fail or succeed, battles are avoided or ignited and
differences resolved or increase by the use of words. Napoleon Hill rightly says think twice before you speak,
because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.
If we use modest and friendly words, it helps us to cultivate friendship and trust. In public relationship, it is
said that there is great relevance of saying words like 'good morning', 'please', 'kindly' and 'with warm regards'.
In personal lives good words express the love in our hearts for our kith and kin. Words have power. Words
can light fires in the minds of men and women. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts.
Use of words needs a variety of cautions. We should not commit what we cannot do or deliver. It is important
to support our words by action. We may fail in personal or public lives if we fail to act according to the words
we have given unto ourselves or to the public. John F. Kennedy rightly said 'as we express our gratitude, we must
never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.' Words have a mysterious property-
they carry the attitudes of the user with them even if we are using them unconsciously. We should, therefore,
be cautious. People may hear your words, but they feel your attitude. Arundhati Roy writes in her The God
of Small Things, 'That's what careless words do. They make people love you a little less.'
Poor language reflects anxiety, frustration, and lack of understanding. The unnecessary uttering from Queen
Marie Antoinette of France, 'Let them eat Cake (if they don't have bread)', is widely considered to be the final
event that triggered French Revolution. Similarly, during the recent general elections in India, the uncouth
statement by a leading member of the ruling party (INC) is widely considered to have an conveyed extremely
negative message regarding his political party, 'I promise you in 21st Century Narendra Modi (leading contestant
before election) will never become the Prime Minister of the country. ...But if he wants to distribute tea here, we will find
a place for him'.
Children who were brought up in a household where sharp criticism and cruel taunts were the norm can tell
you that words can hurt even more than body blows. That's because they imbed themselves in young minds,
along with the pain that someone who should love you and cherish you - a mother, a father - apparently doesn't
think very much of you at all. Those kind of painful hurts replay themselves for decades to come. Very few
children growing up can unleash themselves from the brand labeled on them by a cruel parent or other
authority figure. If people who are powerful and in charge think so little of the child, what will he learn about
how to think of himself ? How can he get away from words that burn themselves mercilessly into young,
unformed souls? Negative words are powerful indeed.
Michael Ondaatje, writes in her book, The English Patient, 'She had always wanted words, she loved them; grew
up on them. Words gave her clarity, brought reason, shape.' Words can help us in adversity and despair. Richard
Wright says, 'I would hurl words into this darkness and wait for an echo, and if an echo sounded, no matter how faintly,
I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight, to create a sense of the hunger for life that gnaws in us all.' But
words need to be supported by right purpose, attitude, intent, meaning and action to be believed. Hollow words

Essay Workbook 21

are noises and they are frustrating so much so that William Faulkner quips in his Mosquitoes, 'Talk, talk, talk:
the utter and heartbreaking stupidity of words.' Mahatma Gandhi's words were taken by the people because they
were supported by action. Martin Luther was believed by the people because he was honest in intent. Nelson
Mandela had great purpose behind his words so he led people to freedom struggle.
Words can be life changers. They give new meanings to our lives if we try to seek this from them. Words
provide props to our falling hopes in goodness and possibilities. Words enter into our psyche, our character or
consciousness. So Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said, 'Every day we should hear at least one little song, read one
good poem, see one exquisite picture, and, if possible, speak a few sensible words.' And of all words of love and hate,
cooperation and aggression, prayers have greatest effect. The words of prayers are inspiring, reassuring and
purifying. Mahatma Gandhi rightly says, 'Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission
of one's weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart. Words,
therefore, derive their meanings by the intent, purpose, attitude and actions of the user. Words are sharper than
two edged swords.

22 Essay Workbook
Idea for Rough Work
1. The increasingly rapid pace of life is creating more problems than
it solves.
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2. The surest indicator of a great nation is not the achievements of
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4. Being pro-market and being pro-poor is not mutually contradictory.
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6. Character determines destiny.
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Essay Workbook
Rough Work Idea www.iasscore.in

1. The increasingly rapid pace of life is creating more problems

than it solves.
Key Idea
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement
and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you
should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these
considerations shape your position.

Restate the Issue:

In this case, the position is stated in the positive. It tells what the rapid pace of life does. But we also

need to interogate the topic and create opinion that expresses the issue in the negative or which tells
that statement in not fully true.

In other words:
The increasingly rapid pace of life does not solve more problems than it causes.
You could also determine what question the statement answers.

What are the results of the increasingly rapid pace of life?

Creating a question may help you formulate alternative answers.

Now think about the parts of the original statement that provide evidence that you can refute or

a) increasingly- This implies that the pace of life is more rapid than it used to be, and that the rate
is still increasing.

b) today- This may lead to the assumption that the pace of life did not increase before now, that it
is a current phenomenon.

c) more- This is a comparative word and is almost always followed by then. In this case, there are
more problems than solutions.

Opposing viewpoint: The increasingly rapid pace of life does not cause more problems than
it solves. Or. The increasingly rapid pace of life today solves more problems than it causes.
Identify the parts of the opposing statement that provide evidence to affirm or refute.

In this case, they would be the same as in the original statement.

Is there any other way to look at this statement? What would life today be like if the pace were
slower? Is this a new phenomenon?

Hints: Essay Workbook [39]

New viewpoint:
The increasingly rapid pace of life today is exciting for those who embrace it but overwhelming for those who
do not adapt.
Identify parts of the new statement that can create evidence for you to refute or affirm.
a) exciting - This can also mean stimulating. The rapid pace of life may stimulate one's creativity or
sense of adventure.
b) embrace - To embrace something is to accept it willingly. Embrace has a positive connotation.
c) overwhelm - Being overwhelmed means that one's abilities or emotions are unable to handle an
d) adapt - Adaptation is essential to the theory of evolution. Those who fail to adapt do not thrive.

The increasingly rapid pace of life today creates both obstacles and opportunities.

Examples of obstacles:
a) Some people feel compelled to try to keep up with everything. They stretch themselves too thin.
b) Cultures are losing their unique qualities thanks to rapid travel and communication.
c) The rapid pace tries people's ability to adapt.

Examples of opportunities:

a) Medical research is closing in on cures for deadly and debilitating diseases.

b) The world has become a global village thanks to rapid travel and communication.

2. The surest indicator of a great nation is not the achievements

of its rulers, artists, scientists, or businessmen, alone.

Claim: The surest indicator of a great nation is not the achievements of its rulers, artists, or scientists.
Reason: The surest indicator of a great nation is actually the welfare of all its people.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the claim and
the reason on which that claim is based.

Restate the Claim

Combine the claim and reason into a single statement.

In other words
The surest indicator of a great nation is actually the welfare of all its people rather than the achievements of
its rulers, artists, or scientists.
What are the assumptions in the claim and reason? These will be statements that you can wither
affirm or refute in your response.
Assumption 1: The achievements of rulers, artists, or scientists are not a nation's most important
[40] Hints: Essay Workbook
Assumption 2: People judge a nation's success by the achievement of its rulers, artists, or scientists.

Assumption 3: The welfare of its people is the most important accomplishment of any nation.

Assumption 4: The achievements of a nation's rulers, artists, or scientists do not contribute to the
welfare of its people.

Next, create a statement that expresses the opposing point of view, using language similar to that in
the original claim. In this case, the reason could become the claim, and the claim becomes the reason.

Opposing viewpoint:
Claim - The surest indicator of a great nation is not the welfare of all of its people alone.

Reason - The surest indicator of a great nation is the achievements of its rulers, artists or scientists.

How does this new claim and reason affect the earlier assumptions?

Assumption 1: The accomplishments of a nation's rulers, artists, or scientists also determine a

nation's greatness.

Assumption 2: The welfare of a country's people alone does not determine the greatness of that

Assumption 3: Outsiders judge a nation by the accomplishments of its rulers, artists, or scientists.

Alternative claim:
An important indicator of a nation's greatness is the achievements of its rulers, artists, or scientists.
Alternative reason:
The welfare of a nation's people depends on those achievements.

Assumption 1: A country is judged by the achievements of its rulers, artists, or scientists.

Assumption 2: The achievements of a nation's rulers, artists, or scientists affect the welfare of its


Support for alternative claim and reason:

Example 1: The achievements of Abraham Lincoln had a profound effect on the welfare of all
Americans. The Civil War reunited the states. The Emancipation Proclamation freed the slaves.

Example 2: The Human Genome Project has enabled doctors and scientists to isolate genes responsible
for deadly diseases.

Example 3: Adolph Hitler and Joseph Mengele performed atrocities upon specific populations in
Europe during the 1930's and 1940's.

3. Its human who face threat, Earth has survived many

Model Approach: Write for the statement, as it is true; support your arguments with some data and
current research on global warming and previous extinctions on earth.
Hints: Essay Workbook [41]
Explore who faces threat?
This is a factual answer. There are so many endangered and extinct species on earth that all the
diversity of life on earth has never existed together. Thus, all species and biomes go extinct after a
certain point of time. Are we sure it’s the time for humans now? Provide the global warming data
and increasing threat.
What is extinction?
An extinction event is a widespread and rapid decrease in the amount of life on Earth. Such an event
is identified by a sharp change in the diversity and abundance of multi-cellular organisms.
Earth and previous extinctions
Earth has survived at least 5 mass extinctions and there are so many unknown species, which live
in such inhospitable environment and condition that they are likely to survive mass extinction and
become harbinger of life on earth once again. Thus, neither earth nor life faces extinction, but

Main body:
Provide a snapshot of current situation with data and research findings
Earth is losing mammal species 20 to 100 times the rate of the past. Extinctions are happening so
fast; they could rival the event that killed the dinosaurs in as little as 250 years. Given the timing,
the unprecedented speed of the losses and decades of research on the effects of pollution, hunting
and habitat loss, the researchers asserts human activity is responsible.

Since 1900 alone, 69 mammal species are believed to have gone extinct, along with about 400 other
types of vertebrates. Evidence for species lost among non-vertebrate animals and other kinds of living
things is much more difficult to come by, but there’s little reason to believe that the rest of life on
Earth is faring any better.
We can confidently conclude that modern extinction rates are exceptionally high, that they are
increasing, and that they suggest a mass extinction under way.

Self-interest not charity:

The approach towards conservation needs to be changed, as by conservation efforts we are not merely
helping other species, but it is in our own self-interest. Thus, it should not be viewed as a noble or
charitable work for the privileged few, but a necessary drive to be followed by all.
Will only future generations benefit or the present generation also will gain from such efforts?
The sustenance efforts are often called inter-generational equity, but now we need to change this
perception as the threats are immediate and can severely affect human life within a generation and
can wipe it out within millennia.
Provide a summary of the situation and why humans are likely to go extinct, and then jump to the
next issue:
Can we do something to reverse the situation?
Now get into the dimension of requirement of international cooperation and monitoring for the
purpose. While we can control and possibly reverse the damage, but more and more time is wasted

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into developing consensus and if things will remain like that for long, the situation will be irreversible.
The situation is alarming and we are behaving like ostrich, digging our heads in sand.

4. Being pro-market and being pro-poor is not mutually

The contemporary debate on development revolves around two approaches- ‘development from
above’ and ‘development from below’. In a layman’s parlance, if growth accelerates, more and more
wealth is created, which not only creates more employment, but also raises the general living standard.
Thus market mechanism is the most appropriate method to raise efficiency and productivity, which
leads to higher growth rate. Therefore, free market and free enterprise helps to achieve prosperity for
all. This is what capitalism promotes. The second approach, i.e., development from below believes
taking care of basic needs of the people such as health, nutrition, education, training and skill
formation; it will lead to growth which would be more equitable, sustainable and desirable. The
second model may be based on socialism or mixed economic system with a tilt towards socialism.
This in effect means government controls and interventions that promote well-being of the people
down the ladder and SMEs and public funding of welfare programmes, subsidies, administered prices
rather than market determined prices. Both the approaches have sound reasons behind them. The first

says let’s take care of growth; it will take care of poverty. The other says that let’s take care of
poverty; it will take care of growth. The question that the title of the essay seeks to answer is that

are these two approaches reconcilable or do they stand on parallel roads which never meet?
The World Bank and Asian Development Bank studies in the late sixties and seventies pointed out
that although free markets and private enterprise lead to enhanced production and in turn higher
growth due to more optimum use of resources than government, the mechanism of trickle down that
is purported in capitalism to take the fruits of development to the lowest socio-economic strata failed
to do so. It is these institutions, which advocated government intervention to remove poverty,
unemployment and inequality. The government intervention in the form of subsidized food, fuel and
fertilizer as well as policies and programmes for direct attack on poverty and unemployment were
adopted. However, these programmes required huge public funding, which put a heavy fiscal burden
on the government leading to ever rising fiscal deficit, eventually making these programmes
unsustainable. Another difficulty in such poverty alleviation progrmmes is multiplicity of programmes,
poor implementation, leakage and corruption. The gap between outlays and outcomes were also

glaring. It was pointed out by many experts that the resources going to welfare programmes could
have been channeled into creation of infrastructure and other development works to reap much better
outcomes, which in turn might have reduced poverty on a sustained rather than seasonal basis.
In fact it is true that being pro-market is not essentially being anti-poor. Pro-market policies such as
expansion of market size, free enterprise, free exchange on market determined prices, competition,
freedom, decentralization of decision making etc. are proven instruments of accelerating economic
growth. Higher economic growth means higher employment and higher per capita income. Infrastructure
develops and living standards improve. A classic case to define the virtues of capitalism is North and
South Korea. While, North adopted the state-controlled communism after the Korean War, the
Southern counterpart established capitalism, placing it’s faith in power of free-market mechanism and
democracy. Today, while North Korea shares equal misfortunes among its entire citizen, South Korea
spread unequal happiness among its population. The average income of bottom 20 percent population
in South Korea is more than the average income of top 20 percent population in North Korea.
Market is faulted by greed and profiteering cartels, sometimes with the active support of the government
and sometimes without it. The experiment with capitalism and free market in Philippines, Thailand,
Indonesia, some Latin American and African countries, have shown that though the model has led
to higher growth rates, but the living standard of people did not rise too much and larger parts of
fruits of development were reaped by the cronies of the government or mighty business firms.
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Capitalism has been criticized as a soul-less and greed-driven system, where one may enjoy at the cost
of other’s miseries. It is therefore, sometimes also described as most pro-rich and anti-poor system.
Even in developed countries these tendencies are observed and the fruits of development are
concentrated in a few hands, who launder it to tax havens. The highest amount of black money
generation and laundering has taken place from developed countries like the US, U.K, Russia, Italy,
China, South Korea. India stands far below in such lists. This does not mean that capitalism or market
per se is bad. It simply indicates towards the need of regulation.
On the other hand we have two examples to assess the role of state intervention for removal of
poverty. One is China and the other is India. Indian economy was a highly regulated and controlled
economy till 1991, the year when it embraced the new economic policies. The Indian economy of
yester years was marked by multiple controls on the industries such as licensing policies, reservation
for small scale industries, MRTP and FERA etc. Agriculture, however, was proactively supported by
government by providing cheap HYV, subsidized chemical fertilizers and almost free irrigation. But
till 1980s, India remained below the Hindu Growth rate (below 3-4%). The poverty ratio was close
to 50 per cent of the total population in 1970s and early 1980s. It was only after the policy of
liberalization was adopted in the 1980s, and more prominently in the 1990s when market forces were

allowed free play that growth and living standard increased and improved very fast. Agriculture grew
because of its commercialization as well. There is no doubt that direct intervention might have an
impact on the decline of poverty ratio, but more marked fall in poverty has been recorded after the
mid 1980s, when liberalization led to higher growth of the Indian economy. China on the other hand
liberalized its economy since 1979 and it recorded double digit growth rates since the mid 1980s
leading to drastic fall in its poverty ratio. What government subsidy did was slow, what growth did
to poverty was fast. In China’s case poverty declined more because of growth rather than government
support. In fact it is easy to understand that if there is a very miniscule number under poverty line,

government support can eradicate it, but when vast majority is in poverty, it could be removed only
through a right development strategy and not through subsidy or short term government policies.
Subsidies and short term welfare programmes eat into the precious resources.
The pro-poor programmes are needed to provide minimum basis needs like food, nutrition, primary
education, primary health care and shelter to the poor. These are commitments which a democratic
welfare state cannot ignore. But the funds for these programmes are mobilized with the help of taxes

and other collections from higher income groups and industries. Higher taxes adversely affect saving,
investment and enterprise. The government is also considered as a wasteful user of precious resources.
Higher public expenditure also leads to crowding out of private investment. All these adverse effects,
point to the fact that government’s pro-poor programmes cannot and need not be funded through
transfer of income from the rich to the poor indefinitely. Such welfare programmes are not sustainable,
if economic growth is scuttled. Therefore, a fine balance is needed in government policy that promotes
market and therefore growth and at the same time tries to minimize poverty and inequality through
a mix of methods comprising sustainable amount of subsidy on the one hand and income and
employment generating opportunities on the other.
There is an old debate in economics, which is relevant even today. Is there a tradeoff between growth
and equity? For higher growth we need free markets, lower taxes, higher savings and higher investment.
Such a policy needs a little compromise on the goal of equity. For realizing higher level of equity and
reduction in poverty we need to transfer income from the rich to the poor by way of higher taxation,
subsidies and variety of free services and welfare programmes. This approach compromises a little
on economic growth.
Being pro-market means the commitment to keep markets free from unnecessary interventions, either
from state or private sector. State interventions are in a manner of controlling markets by fixing limits
or minimum objectives over production or a minimum price or ceiling, instead of leaving those
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decisions to demand and supply forces. Private sector interventions are disturbances by individuals,
who hold considerable monopoly power in the market and they, either limit supply of key inputs to
artificially increase their price, or engage in price war and sell at loss (in short-term) to kill competition,
a process also known as ‘predatory pricing’. Thus, while being pro-business means no government
interventions, pro-market means no intervention at all, whether its government or private.
There are possibilities of market failures. A pro-business government is usually a result of corporate-
funded elections. In such cases, a political party feels compelled to favor its corporate donors (crony-
capitalists), either by granting government projects with scope of considerable ‘windfall gains’, or by
erecting barriers for new entrants in their domain. Both of these are against the spirit of business and
destroy entrepreneurship, as the basic spirit of capitalism is competition and free-markets and not
monopoly with inaccessible markets. A country with rampant crony-capitalism often transforms into
plutocracy, where rich effectively barricade their empires by government’s help and new entrepreneurs
face, almost insurmountable difficulties in start-ups. Such a system is also against innovation and
consumer welfare, as the big businesses are protected and they don’t feel the need for product
improvement in absence of competition. Similarly, they also charge super-normal profits on their
products as these are not challenged by other products in market.

USA and EU have very strong mechanism to prevent such a situation and political parties have to
release the details of their corporate funding; a separate regulatory body then keeps track of any

possible gains to these corporate houses through government activities. Similarly, the laws against anti-
competitive practices and monopolistic tendencies are very strong and companies like Microsoft has
been penalized in past for not releasing its programming codes for third-party software developers.
Though the programming codes were Microsoft’s own property, it was asked to release them, as its
efforts to keeping the codes secret, was interpreted by courts as an attempt to further establishing its
monopoly power on basis of its strong market share. Such regulations keep the arena open for small
entrepreneurs, as they could then develop products for Microsoft’s software; also it means better
products for people, as new people will bring in fresh ideas and new designs, while established
companies at times feel the reluctance to significantly change their already successful products.
Famous economist Schumpeter called this phenomenon the ‘Perennial Gale of Creative Destruction’,
as capitalism is always in a mode of destruction of inefficient and stale processes and new and
creative ideas takes their place.

There are glaring market failures in India as the market was freed in 1991 but institutions of the
country were not adequate to handle the big money and big business. Crony-capitalism pervaded
because of corruption and lack of transparency and accountability. RBI governor, Dr Raghuram Rajan
once observed, ‘an important issue is whether we had substituted the crony socialism of the past with
crony capitalism, where the rich and the influential are alleged to have received land, natural resources
and spectrum in return for payoffs to venal politicians. By killing transparency and competition, crony
capitalism is harmful to free enterprise, opportunity, and economic growth. And by substituting
special interests for the public interest, it is harmful to democratic expression.’
It is, however, possible to reconcile the pro-market approach and pro-poor approach to development.
The economic and commercial activities should mostly be left on the market forces and private
enterprise with transparent regulations. The government should take care of basic infrastructure and
social sector. The public expenditure should be utilized for creation of infrastructure and socio-
economic overheads, which help both the private enterprises and people equally. It would be much
better to adopt public private project approach even in these sectors. India and all developing countries
are capital deficient. Therefore, they cannot afford wasteful and populist programmes. All welfare
programmes should be based on asset creation and productive employment generation.
Although a true pro-market system empowers poor by increasing their purchasing power through
keeping prices under control and gives them space to grow subject to their entrepreneurial ability and
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skills, there are constraints in mobilizing funds or loans for economic enterprises and economic
activities by poor. The micro-finance institutions today are coming up to bridge the funding gap for
the poor. Institutional sources can also provide easy financial access to capital at low rates, as
availability of required investments is the most common barrier for new entrepreneurs and if we look
at long-term interest rates globally then it is clear that the countries with highest per capita incomes
are also the one with lowest long-term interest rates.
If the dirigisme of yester years and license permit raj were against free market and enterprise, and
had throttled growth and so poverty remained high, the policies of liberalization, privatization and
globalization, called the New Economic Policies, has raised growth but failed to create desired level
of employment and so the poor people have become more vulnerable. Some economists called these
post NEP years as lost years, because the policies failed to create employment. Therefore, we need
economic reforms with a human face. The country needs to have a good social security system as
well safeguards to stop starvation deaths. Subsidies and welfare programmes need to be evaluated
against their outcomes and not their intents. If it is possible to have a public healthcare system in
the UK and most of the Eurozone countries and public education system in Germany, we can also
have them. The main point is that they should be fiscally sustainable. We can use user’s charges, we
can target the subsidies better, and we can stop populist subsidies.

5. We don't see things as they are; we see them as we are.
“Reason is always and everywhere the slave of the passions” - David Hume (1711-76)
We see and understand things not as they are but as we are. In order to more fully understand and
question this statement, it must be broken down to its core. ‘We see,’ is referring to the way in which
a human perceive the world. If looked at from a visual perspective, one person will see a guitar in
the exact same way as millions of others do. However, ‘see’ in this case is referring to the thought

process that occurs in our minds after we use our five senses (touch, smell, hear, tastes and see) to
perceive the object or idea and is very closely linked to ‘understand’ which is to think about and
comprehend something. The word ‘things’ is referring to anything in the world, whether it is a tangible
object, a thought, a concept, a theory, an emotion, etc. The phrase, ‘not as they are but as we are,’
is implying that we see the world differently from everyone else as our past experiences mould the
way in which we ‘see and understand things.’ Furthermore, the statement also suggests that everything
has one absolute, true form which exists and can only be seen through a person who holds no bias.

Therefore, the way in which we view the world tells us more about ourselves, then the world itself.
We wouldn’t have much knowledge of the outside world without our perception. For example, in
many parts of Eastern Europe, a head-nod means NO and a shake means YES; anyone from south
Asia would be totally confused if trying to establish contact through head-gestures. The central issue
here is that, a same thing is perceived differently by different observers due to various aspects in their
lives. These perceptions are often strongly influenced by our experiences and memories, religion,
personality, culture and even gender. Plato defined knowledge as “Justified True Belief ”. Mostly the
knowledge primarily is based on cultural backgrounds and past knowledge. For example dogs will
always scare a man if he has been bitten by dog in the childhood while some people on the other
hand have dogs as pets and loves them as their own children.
One of the main issues of knowledge in this context would be to explore the question that states that
do emotions affect the way we see and understand things? For example, sacrifice of self is highly
appreciated in some cultures but in others self reliance is honoured the most. This reveals that culture
plays a significant role in what we see and how we perceive it. Similarly, when it comes to business,
an Indian seeks to build trust in order to do business. For Americans, this is frustrating because this
takes time. And for them, it’s the other way around. Trust happens later, as a consequence of
business, or what is called a track record.

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Religion also plays a part in the perception of people. For example Muslims and Jews are not allowed
to eat pork and they have religious justifications to prove their belief, but for the rest of the world,
it is quite normal to eat pork and in many countries, they serve it both at their national and holy
events. Therefore a same event in time and space cannot be perceived by same point of view by
particular group of people. These three examples reveal clearly that perception is so strongly influenced
by emotions, culture and religion that people see the reality as they are not as the reality is.
Sometimes one comes across knowledge that seems authentic and is also well-accepted, but that is
not true. I will quote the 4th century BC concept that the earth is flat. Lack of equipment and modern
technology lead ancient scientists to claim this hypothesis. The scientists justified this hypothesis by
saying that if earth was not flat; rather sphere then the things on the curved surface of the earth would
slide and fall down. Moreover they also justified that the earth appears to be flat even viewed from
a high altitude. Since their conclusion (justifications) made sense to the people of that era, so they
considered this knowledge valuable. But with the passage of time, scientists realized that earth is
spherical instead of flat. “They justified this belief by showing the fact that if earth was flat then,
all the bodies in the sky should be visible at the same time for all parts of the surface”. Also when
a ship disappears in the horizon justifies that the earth is sphere. These justifications were not enough
for old believers of flat earth. Advancement in science and technology made humans land on moon.

When astronauts showed pictures of earth taken from the surface of moon, people started believing
the new knowledge. Pictures served as proof for the belief. Even in the presence of these strong

reasoning some old religious scientists deny the fact and are still proving their old knowledge. They
believe that in such cases pictures can serve as propaganda. Knowledge based on photographs could
be biased or subjective. Thus this example shows that the knowledge that people value the most is
the one with their own concrete justifications based on the circumstances or the previous knowledge.
More there are justifications, more reliable the belief is, but sometimes even justifications and proofs
fail to convince people. So this whole discussion can be concluded by saying that knowledge that is
most valuable traits depends on how it is acquired, from person to person. If for someone any
knowledge that satisfies his belief, emotions, and actions is valued to him. Then it is not true
knowledge, instead it should help to universalize these and should be able to remove biases. There
is seldom such a thing as an absolute truth, as it is nearly impossible to remove bias from one’s mind.
Everything we see and hear causes us to come to a conclusion about what we have seen or heard
based upon our own experiences up to that point.

6. Character determines destiny

Watch your thoughts, for they become your words, choose your words, for they become your actions, understand
your actions, for they become your habits, study your habits, for they will become your character, develop your
character for it becomes your destiny...
History is largely known to us through the acts, thoughts and spoken words of great heroes whose
character shaped their times. But as important as it is to understand how powerful character is in
influencing events, it is of greater importance to recognize how powerful we are in molding our own
character and, therefore, in controlling our destiny. Character may indeed determine our fate, but
character is not determined by fate.
A bad habit has a long term negative consequences, but it still gives immediate comfort that’s why
unaware of the negative consequences people so blissfully get addicted to the immediate comfort “.
They cannot accept the ‘bad’ of their habits, but can accept the situation of becoming socially
unpopular and unacceptable.
Alcoholism, smoking, drug abuse, sexual promiscuity are to the physical health, what gossiping,
backbiting, criticising, jealousy and hatred are to the mental health. These are the habits which are
termed as “bad”. Some people, when things go wrong, thinking that life had been unjust and unkind
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to them, in self-pity join the downward trend and take to drinking, drug abuse etc and their lives will
further be snarled up by bad habit patterns followed by bad human relations.
A man of character is he who commands the respect and admiration of all. It is true, that in many
cases heredity and upbringing play their part in strengthening and perfecting a man’s character. Then
there is the influence of the age in which one lives. Character is the sum of those qualities, actions
and tendencies which distinguish one man from another. In this scene many men do not have definite
character. As Oscar Wilde puts it, “Most people are other people”. Their thoughts are someone else’s
opinions. their passions a quotations”. So the first essential of character is individuality and
independence. It does not mean that the man of character should all the time do what others have
not done to keep up his independence. That would be foolishness. What is meant is that the man of
character should be able to go against the accepted view or opinion or convention when his judgment
guides him to do so.
Another essential of character is that the evil passions should be effectively checked or conquered.
A man of character is not to be swayed of his path of duty and rectitude by a temptation. All of
us cannot be saints. But if we have any pretensions to character we should see that we do not give
way to evil passions. These cannot be destroyed altogether, but they should be held in check. This

means that the man of character should have a regulated and finely tempered will. On the negative
side it would help him to restrain and control undesirable feelings; on the positive side it would enable
him to make up his mind about something quickly and finally. Prejudices should not be encouraged.
A man of prejudices and superstitions cannot be a man of character.
Character is often thought of as something fully formed and permanently fixed early in life. This
belief implies that we have very little to do with who we are, that what we call character is essentially
a composite of hereditary tendencies and temperaments, and environmentally imposed values and

This fatalistic notion must be challenged as exercising good character is a choice. There is no doubt
that the good and bad habits that become our virtues and vices are strongly influenced by both our
inheritance and environment. But in no sense is anyone predestined to be good or bad, nor is a
person’s character permanently fixed by external circumstances.
Describing a person’s character is like taking inventory of that person’s habits of thought and action

at a particular time. Of course it’s not easy to change our ways as our habits of heart and mind are
well entrenched, rooted in durable dispositions and beliefs. Yet just as a mountain is constantly being
reshaped by weather, our character can be reformed by our choices. Our human capacity to reason
and choose makes the formation of our character an ongoing, lifelong process.
Real life is not a clockwork mechanism but a fluid, complex, dynamic system. We are parts of this
system so it doesn’t help to think of ourselves as absolute slaves or masters of it. Nothing is
completely fixed or free because everything is affected by what surrounds it. We should simply
change what we can, knowing that we cannot control everything. Given this the question arises what
can rescue us from temptations that surround us? If we are aware of the end results, how bad habits
can really hurt and twist our lives, worse still our children’s lives and probably may result in a broken
home, we will develop a defence mechanism, which will make us ‘pause, stop and not proceed’ into
darkness of evil habits.
Our inclinations will lead us in certain directions, but we don’t have to follow them all the time. After
all, we can train ourselves to behave differently. Even if we are introverted, for instance, we can push
ourselves to be a bit more sociable sometimes, whether we feel like it or not. Going with the grain
may be more comfortable, but there is no reason why we should always be comfortable. Taking
inspiration from Aristotle, we should remember that altering our habits can be a powerful tool for self-
training. Humans are complex and multifaceted, neither completely fixed nor infinitely flexible. Even

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some of our enduring personality traits can change, although we do not really know to what extent
until we try. Taking refuge behind such phrases as “I’m like this” won’t do: we should take responsibility
for making an effort if we have good reason to. How we think about who we are can make all the



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(UPSC Mains 2015 Questions)
Time Allowed: 3 hrs. Max. Marks: 250

Instructions to Candidate

• Both sections are compulsory.

• Attempt an essay from each section.

• Each essay carries 125 marks.

• Write each essay in about 1000-1200 words.

• After finishing the first essay, attempt the next on a fresh Page.

• Any page left blank in the answer-book must be crossed out clearly.

(Examiner will pay special attention to the candidate's grasp of his/her material, its relevance
to the subject chosen, and to his/ her ability to think constructively and to present his/her
ideas concisely, logically and effectively).


1. Lending hands to someone is better than giving a dole.
2. Quick but steady wins the race.
3. Character of an institution is reflected in its leader.
4. Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make a man more clever
1. Technology cannot replace manpower.
2. Crisis faced in India - moral or economic.
3. Dreams which should not let India sleep.
4. Can capitalism bring inclusive growth?
Section ‘A’
1. Lending Hands to Someone is Better than giving a dole.

“Was it you or I who stumbled first? It does not matter. The one of us who finds the strength to get up first,
must help the other.” 
OR –Vera Nazarian 
Lending hands is giving support to a struggling person in order to add something towards his or her
empowerment so that the person is able to overcome a crisis or adversity on the basis of his or her own
might/ strength on a sustained basis. Giving a dole is mainly propelled by feeling of kindness towards a
person in difficulty to give a temporary solace. The example of former is giving education, vocational training
and skill formation, low cost credit etc. to an entrepreneur while giving a dole is offering food to a starving
person or clothes to a beggar in winter.
Lending support is based on a fellow feeling, perhaps on a much equal terms whereas giving dole is based
on a sense of superiority. A support that is enabling lasts longer in the sense of empowerment for livelihood,

achieving a higher living standard and pursuing dreams according to one’s potential. Support ends up in
enabling a person for productive and fulfilling pursuits and so the fruits of support are sustainable. Dole is
a temporary gift in order to please or show kindness to somebody, but it becomes burdensome and unsustainable
for the giver if it becomes too frequent.
Lending support serves the cause of individual dignity on both the sides- the lender of the support as well
as beneficiary. However, dole may be upholding the superiority of the giver, it is surely undignified for the
receiver, especially the receiver for whom dole becomes a habit rather than exceptional situation. Putting the
theme in current perspective also leads us to the ongoing debate on empowerment versus allowances, creation
of productive assets versus subsidy, and economic rationality versus populism. Whatever way we go, there
is no doubt that lending hands to someone is better than giving a dole.
Doles are like free lunches. Milton Friedman, one of the great patriarchs of capitalism said there’s no such
thing as a free lunch and everybody should pay the price of the commodity or service he or she enjoys.
Milton Friedman’s reasoning is easy to understand. If one individual or group gets something at no cost,
somebody else ends up paying for it. If there appears to be no direct cost to any single individual, there is
a social cost. Similarly, someone can benefit for “free” from an externality or from a public good, but
someone has to pay the cost of producing these benefits. It also leads to wastage as the user who gets things
for free would never realize the actual cost and never be prompted for economizing or conservation. Safety
nets for the poor and disadvantaged are a must for any compassionate nation, but encouraging folks to go
on the dole when not absolutely necessary is disgraceful. In a country like us where one third of the
population is below poverty line, food subsidy cannot be altogether done away with. However, distributing
doles to garner support during elections is not only illegal and unconstitutional but immoral also. Subsidies
that are populist and irrational such as free electricity or free irrigation are called non-merit subsidies because
their social benefits are far less than private benefits. These are also economically unsustainable in the long
run. Subsidies in the nature of dole are very difficult to stop once offered to public. Prime Minister of
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Malaysia Najib Razak points out that giving subsidies is a two-edged sword. Once you give it, it’s very hard
to take away subsidies. There’s a political cost of taking away subsidies.
Supporting those who want to work earnestly towards their livelihood, entrepreneurship and upliftment is a
good proposition. This can be done by creating entitlements in terms of Amartya Sen’s words such as
nutrition and health, literacy, skill formation, entitlement to cultivable land, venture capital or micro finance
to an entrepreneurs etc. A woman can be supported for education or employment. She can be given freedom
to decide about her marriage, career, and method of contraception or child bearing. This support would allow
women to be free and dignified individuals of our society.
It has been seen in India that government’s support to farmers in the adoption of new agricultural technology
has helped increasing agricultural production and productivity and made India selfreliant in foodgrains
production. Creation of core and basic industries as well as infrastructure accelerated industrialization in
India. Poverty alleviation and employment generation programmes have also helped raising living standards.
The scheduled caste and scheduled tribe categories have seen increased representation in government jobs as
well as parliament and assemblies due to special provisions for them. This has given them representation in
the power structure of the country. It is a step towards empowerment. Such supports are immensely important
in a society in which inequality is glaring and people do not have equal opportunities. In this sense reservation
of seats for women in the Panchayati Raj system is also a welcome support.
Subsidies in India have often been in the nature of doles. The subsidies provided by government are marked
by leakages, corruption, mis- targeting as well as non-asset creating expenditures. Subsidies have often been

guided by populism rather than economic rationality. Such subsidies have been proving a drain on the
budgetary resources and their effect has been price distorting. It would have been better to provide infrastructure
and productive assets to create sustained employment through these resources. Now the government has
started concentrating on supportive measures rather than subsidies of dole nature. Jan Dhan Yojana and
Direct Cash Benefit transfer are new enabling supports that government is providing to the financially
excluded and the weaker sections. Government is also concentrating on skill formation and promotion of
entrepreneurship rather than confining itself primarily to wage employment programmes. Wage employment

programmes have been dovetailed with asset creating programmes as we see in MNREGA.
Providing support is always desirable among human beings and especially members of a society or compatriots.
In the absence of support budding geniuses, students, scientists, entrepreneurs or any potential performer can
suffer defeat or underperform. It is the moral duty of all individuals and democratic states to support its
citizens. Shannon L. Alder rightly says, “A best friend is the only one that walks into your life when the world
has walked out.” 

Such a great feeling overpowers us if somebody supports and helps us. We feel grateful. This does not apply
at individual level only. Even at social level offering support to the deserving is a moral duty of each of us.
For any democratic and just fellow it is worthwhile to remind, “Stand up for the underdog, the ‘loser.’
Sometimes having the strength to show loving support for unacknowledged others turns the tides of our own
lives.” Somebody has rightly pointed out that the next time you want to withhold your help, or your love,
or your support for another for whatever the reason, ask yourself a simple question: do the reasons you want
to withhold it reflect more on them or on you? And which reasons do you want defining you forevermore?
Citizens of a nation are grateful if it cares for them and supports them in adversity. A bond of trust develops
and patriotism becomes a natural instinct. A nation whose government is indifferent and insensitive is
condemned to face social tension and even betrayal.
And above all service to humanity in any form is a noble act. People who are emancipated or even properly
educated serve even those who are still backward, selfish, rude and laggards in all respects. Somebody has
rightly pointed out that the task of the moral philosopher-thinker is to support and strengthen the voice of
human conscience, to recognize what is good or what is bad for people, whether they are good or bad for
society in a period of evolution. Giving support to anybody who apparently seems to be undeserving, because
of some negative traits consequent upon his societal location is a benevolence that comes to us due to
sympathy and empathy as a human being. And it is morally justified. On this ground even dole can be
justified. But any support or dole that creates an everlasting dependence is not desirable for a healthy growth
of society.
Thus, giving, whether through support or dole, is noble. But equally important is the consequence of giving.
If support helps to explore and develop the possibilities inherent in a society or an individual, it is desirable.
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If a dole can save lives, inspire the shattered and broken people, fills their life with hope, it may be justified
for a short while. But eventually the quality of our intervention matters. Support is better than dole. It is
dignified and sustainable. Dole is like giving crutches forever by making the recipient a lame who cannot do
without it. Dole is at times a reward for inaction and inefficiency, support is just the reverse, i.e. it is reward
for enterprise and efficiency. Dole ends the dreams and hopes decisively, support rekindles them.
2. Quick but Steady Wins the Race.

Fast, fast, far too fast.

Life cannot be at such a pace, to last.
…….. …….. ………
Criticized for going too fast 
and too slow, 
a no win situation, 

but for I, the pace of life, 
shall choose, 
that I do know.
For I see this as fundamental, save. 
To live a life in the fast lane 

and burn oneself out, 

physically and mentally, 
will surely lead to an early grave. 
–Victor Gatenby

Quick but steady wins the race is a modern adage that is just the opposite of the old adage which says slow
and steady wins the race. The modern age adage is relevant in the context of intense competition that we
face and immense possibilities that technology has made possible in our times. We are living in an age of
cut throat competition. In this age all pursuits become a race which needs both speed and continuity to win.
Speed ensures that we move faster than others while remaining steady ensures continuity in our endeavors.
But this new idea cannot be taken on its face value as a superior strategy to win. Speed has its advantages
and disadvantages both while in the name of continuity, steadiness should not mean procrastination and delay
marked by inefficiency and lack of dynamism and vigour. Also steadiness should not mean foolhardiness to
stick to and continue with a project indefinitely even if it is not delivering the desired results. This new age
idea is opposed to the age old belief that slow and steady wins the race. The old adage essentially means
that rather than speed, it is continuity of effort that matters more in winning. The idea is not without merit.
Remaining slow should not be interpreted superficially. In fact every project which we choose to work on has
a certain gestation period and we cannot achieve them without the relevant amount of patience and rigour.
With breakneck speed, steadiness may not come as we are tired soon whereas when our speed is reasonable
we can run a longer race. Wisdom leads us to the conclusion that both the new adage and old adage should
be seen in context. Both the strategies have their own merits and demerits and when we are to choose
between the two, we must be aware as to which of the two strategies works better in a given condition rather
than blindly following them.
The modern age is very competitive and technology has added more to that. People have devised new
technologies and strategies that make it possible to accomplish the tasks at hand faster. We can see how mill
production replaced handmade production in the market place, how people using cars, trains, airplane can
travel faster, modern gadgets can cook faster, using mechanical support can do farming operations faster etc.
The advent of Information Technology and convergence has led to immense speed in delivery and sharing
of information. Computers can do computation faster. Automation and instrumentation has helped to
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accomplish tasks of a month in a week. There are fast modes of transport like bullet trains based on the
Japanese technology. The countries which are technologically advanced produce more, consume more, and
enjoy more. Even the various examinations for recruitment of human resources test both speed and accuracy.
A reasonable speed is indispensable to accomplish the tasks faster and remain ahead than other competitors.
But speed has several disadvantages.
With great speed, the chances of errors and mistakes increase. Speed also leads to compromise on the quality
of work. In speed we are not able to see the problems arising in the process of our work, and even far less
chance we get an opportunity to mend ways for improvement. We need time out to think and ponder, to
be creative and innovative and to be corrective and improving. When we are at great speed in our lives our
sense of beauty and aesthetics is blurred.
Slow and steady wins the race has been anecdotal theme and most well known of them is the story of hare
and tortoise who decided to compete in a race. Although the hare was ahead initially, he became complacent
later and fell into a brief slumber while tortoise which was lagging behind continued steadily and eventually
won the race. The maxim means that even those who are slow in actions can succeed with constant efforts
in their venture. People who appreciate the seriousness of a work usually chose to keep their speed at a
reasonable level so that they can give ample time to the task at hand. Without properly working on the
prerequisites of a task speed would not lead us anywhere. The old adage cautions that people who start their
work with vigor but do not remain steady in their commitment to accomplish the task till end and become
overconfident and complacent are condemned to fail in their endeavours.

Being slow is not a quality in itself. It is very important to assess the situation and its requirement before
deciding about the required speed. The speed of action must be justified by the purpose and goal that we
are pursuing. Sometimes we have only option- being quick and going fast! If there is a fire in a building or
if there is a violent tornado or cyclone building up near the place where we live; we have no other option
then to act fast. But this is not true about all the situations. A painter cannot hasten to make a master piece.
A poet cannot hasten to produce 100 poems of high quality in a month.
Being slow in the first instance is the proof of our laziness, inefficiency, inaction, lack of dynamism and

deftness in our skills. While laziness etc., inaction and lack of dynamism make us slow and need to be
overcome, at the same time we must also realize that learning a skill, inculcating efficiency and deftness in
a work are slow processes which need to be followed and practiced slowly. Thus, Carl Honore rightly points
out that the slow philosophy is not about doing everything in tortoise mode. It’s less about the speed and
more about investing the right amount of time and attention in the problem so you solve it.

Slowness is neither a disgrace nor a bad trait if it is adopted as a strategy to deal with a particular situation.
We see a signboard of caution at dangerous traffic spots or narrow paths- “go slow”. Being slow gives us a
time to think and ponder, to be creative and innovative and also to be error free. Going slow also makes it
possible to see the aesthetics of our actions and feel it. In speed our senses do not support us; in a slow speed
our senses remain poised. Milan Kundera goes to the extent to say, “The degree of slowness is directionally
proportional to the intensity of memory. The degree of speed is directionally proportional to the intensity
of forgetting.”
In both the adages, however, steadiness remains to be a common positive attribute for winning. Whether we
are quick or slow, steadiness or continuity of efforts is extremely important for winning. Taking any dream
or project to fruition requires untiring and continued efforts. Paolo Coelho says the beauty of life is that we
fall seven times and get up eight times. With great speed we are tired soon, whereas with reasonable speed
we continue with our struggle till we reach our goal. Life is very occasionally a magic, it is often more akin
to music. Magic may be quick and fast but music becomes quick and slow depending upon the requirement
of a situation. We won’t disagree with Robert W. Service when he asserts, “It’s the steady, quiet, plodding
ones who win in the lifelong race.”
However, winning the race is a multifaceted concept in the sense that it means different things to different
people. In an acquisitive society we want to have it all fast and quick- wealth, power, recognition or even fun.
But for another set of persons winning race may mean living for making a change in the existing order of
the things for larger good, justice, innovation, creativity, art, and aesthetics. Some people give lives in the
service of humanity or for the cause of freedom and liberty. These processes by their very nature are slow.
The first set of people may opt for speed while the second set may rely on steadiness. In fact in some cases
it is possible to be quick as well as steady, but in other cases being quick may not always be compatible with
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being steady. Reasonable speed is certainly a prerequisite of success, but excessive speed is dangerous. There
is always a danger of collision or a fall if our breaks fail.
Slowness as a personality trait doesn’t help. It breeds laziness, inefficiency, inaction, lack of dynamism as
highlighted above. But slowness as a choice has its own beauty. Success is steady progress toward one’s
personal goals. It is a mistake to think that moving fast is the same as actually going somewhere. It is very
important to ascertain where are we going. Being quick is a proof of efficiency, but speeding towards our goal
breeds immense restlessness which makes us uncaring, ruthless and often brazenly mechanical. The limits of
speed has to be decided, otherwise it becomes frustrating.
Being quick as a mark of efficiency, deftness and skill is good. But being quick by using steroids or unfair
means is not earning your victory but stealing it, which when detected brings more disgrace and shame than
a sense of fulfillment. One American commentator Will Ferrell quips, “America is all about speed. Hot,
nasty, badass speed.” Mahatama Gandhi has rightly said, “There is more to life than simply increasing its
speed.” When our speed is reasonable we are in our senses and our capacity to realize and feel aesthetics
and beauty in our struggle for our dreams; that is is very fulfilling. The process becomes enjoyable. It does
not hurt anybody, yet we move forward. Every flower blooms at a different pace. We must choose our speed
depending on our requirement and skill, and gradually hone it up to the desired level. Impatience will not
help. Patience and perseverance will. The most successful men in the end are those whose success is the result
of steady accretion.

3. Character of an Institution is Reflected in its Leader.
Character is the most defining attribute for a leader as well as the institution that he leads. Character is our
inherent wisdom and beliefs that guide us in our actions and practices and which make our world view. If
we believe in goodness, the whole world appears a beautiful place and a place for mutual coexistence to us
and if we believe in the evil, the whole world appears ugly and a place with only cut throat competition. The
statement character of an institution is reflected in its leader, applies the other way also, i.e., character of the
leader is reflected in the character of an institution.
Leaders are made in a set up; that may be a family, a group, an institution and society at large. The motto
and mission of that setting guides and propel the leaders as well as the followers in an institution. According
to Mark Zuckerberg Facebook was not originally created to be a company. It was built to accomplish a social

mission - to make the world more open and connected. We can see how it is reflected in his actions when
he wants to connect people for personal as well as social concerns not in urban areas and cities alone, but
has a plan for rural areas where communication is still poor. In his recent India visit he made his plans public.
Amid all allegations of hegemony, America is a country that is guided by the principles of democracy and
peace and so no American leader can turn out to be autocratic.
Leadership is the capacity and will to rally men and women to a common purpose and the character which
inspires confidence. The respect that leadership must requires that one’s ethics be without question. A leader
not only stays above the line between right and wrong, he stays well clear of the gray areas. Successful
leadership is not about being tough or soft, sensitive or assertive, but about a set of attributes. First and
foremost is character. The character of the leader blends into the blood and veins of the institution that he
leads. It is the action in display at the top that guides the people working in an organization or institution.
Character is the firm foundation stone upon which one must build to win respect. Just as no worthy building
can be erected on a weak foundation, so no lasting reputation worthy of respect can be built on a weak
character. Indian freedom struggle was led by great leaders like Mahatama Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru,
Lokmanaya Tilak, Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel, who even today define the character and discourses of Indian
The relationship between an institution and a leader is a two way process. There are institutions or companies
whose main motto is to make life beautiful and not just wield power and make profit. They aim at maximum
happiness for maximum people. This does not help them just to make a separate identity or brand, but also
motivate their leaders and members to act in the best possible way to achieve their motto. Tata is an
outstanding Indian company that has produced several great leaders. The Ivy League Universities of the US
have also produced great leaders with great values in almost all the arenas of life.

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But on the other hand we have seen how leaders have made great institutions. Narayan Murthi has given birth
to a unique work culture and profit sharing model. Sreedharan has shown how mammoth projects involving
huge funds can be managed without any blot or blemish. Azim Premji has shown how every employee of
a company is equally important as a team member. The honesty, integrity and team spirit of these leaders
have given birth to new age corporate entities and work culture.
On the other side of the spectrum we see the institutions with sole motive of profit and vested interests and
hidden agendas, how they have come to blind alley. Their leaders also face serious charges and blemish.
Sahara and Satyam are two great stories whose leaders are today held responsible for several malfeasance and
inappropriate transactions.
There is no doubt that institutions define the character of the leaders as much as the leaders define the
character of the institutions.
4. Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make a man more clever devil.

Education gives awareness and information. It gives knowledge and knowledge is power. It gives skills and
enables us to seek good career opportunities, livelihood, and opportunities for earning wealth, name and fame.
It gives moral values and emancipates us as a human being. Education has multiple roles to play. It is ironic;
however, that emancipatory role of education has given way to the utilitarian role. Education has fast become

a means to learn the skills which makes us smarter at the market place rather than making a good human
being. A professional, an entrepreneur, a political leader, a doctor or a teacher or whatsoever; devoid of
human values all of them are just like a robot or programmed computers to accomplish certain tasks for his
or her employers benefit. The purpose of education should go much beyond that. Education is not just skill
and attributes needed to get money and power, it is also a means to learn and inculcate values and character
that lead to changes in personal as well as social lives for betterment of life in general and for making the
world a beautiful place to live.

Education helps us to understand our self interest and enables us to adopt suitable strategies to achieve our
self interest. Pursuit of self interest is one of the greatest symbols of individual freedom and liberty. There
is nothing to be ashamed about this. But unabashed pursuit of self interest without caring for its repercussions
on others or society at large takes us to a blind alley from where there is no return and we end up like the
greedy fellow of Tolstoy’s story ‘how much land does a person need’. He knew that he can own as much
land as he runs through, and he ran through the whole territory of the king, only to fall down breathless and

die finally.
Education leads to develop logical capacity and communication skills in us. It also helps us to devise suitable
strategies to achieve our goals. But if we are not taking the lessons of emancipatory part of education, not
learning moral values and not inculcating good character, education can make us devils for each other who
can go to any extent in their Darwininan struggle for existence and cut throat competition for wealth and
Stephen Covey rightly points out that for success in career, we need personality attributes but for success in
life we need character attributes.
The popularity of ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’, authored by Stephen R. Covey is based
on the distinction he made between the character ethic and the personality ethic. Significantly, the sub-title
of this book is: ‘Restoring the character ethic’. In stark contrast, almost all the literature in the first 150 years
of motivational literature or so focused on what could be called the Character Ethic as the foundation of
success: things like integrity, humility, fidelity, temperance, courage, justice, patience, industry and modesty.
The Character Ethic taught that there are basic principles of effective living, and that people can only
experience true success and enduring happiness as they learn and integrate these principles into their basic
character. But shortly after World War I the basic view of success shifted from the Character Ethic to what
we might call the Personality Ethic. Success became more a function of personality, of public image, of
attitudes and behaviors, skills and techniques that lubricate the processes of human interaction. This Personality
Ethic essentially took two paths: one was human and public relations techniques and the other was positive
mental attitude. Some of this philosophy expressed by Stephen Covey is very inspiring and sometimes he
has used valid maxims such as “Your attitude determines your altitude,” “Smiling wins more friends than

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frowning,” and “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe it can achieve.” Other parts of the
personality approach, however, are clearly manipulative, even deceptive, encouraging people to use techniques
to get other people to like them, or to fake interest in the hobbies of others to get out of them what they
wanted, or to use the “power look,” or to intimidate their way through life.
In modern life although character is considered as an important attribute for success, it does not get recognition
as foundational and catalytic attribute. Reference to the Character Ethic has become mostly a lip service; the
basic thrust in modern times seems on quick-fix influence techniques, power strategies, communication skills,
and positive attitudes. Here lies the fault of the process of our education system, formal as well as informal.
No amount of ambition and mundane success can bring fulfillment and happiness if we ignore moral values
and justified means. We can bulldoze all the fellow beings who appear to us only as a competitors in pursuit
of success. In such a blind pursuit we do not value fellow feeling or other people’s dreams. We are extremely
focused in the pursuit of our own success and self interest with killers’ instincts.
Success at any cost is the sense and sensibility in which we live. In the process we do not remain human
and become robots, which are heartless and value free. Success may come to us but at the end we are not
having a sense or feeling of fulfillment. It is because of lack of values. David Starr Jordan, a leading
educationist, and founding President of Stanford University, rightly points out that there is no real excellence
in all this world which can be separated from right living.

Martin Luther King Jr. said that the function of education is to teach one to think intensively and critically.
Intelligence plus character is the goal of true education. Education without character offers just a skill or

knowledge that can be often used for maneuver, deception or thuggery. Theodore Roosvelt sarcastically said
that a man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car; but if he has a university education,
he may steal the whole railroad. All white collar crimes in our times underscore the fact that it is not lack
of education that leads to corruption, but lack of character. It is only when education succeeds in building
character that people are able to use their powers constructively. There are educated people who are divisive,
misleading and ill motivated. Many of them are against peace and harmony for promoting their narrow

agenda. Some of them misuse power bestowed on them by people for personal benefits. All scams and
episodes of corruption in the recent times in our country such as Coalgate, 2G scam or Satyam episode and
insider trading in the US involving noted people like Rajat Gupta are evidence to human failure not because
of lack of education, but because of palpable character. Good character and conviction in right principles
never allow one to buckle under pressure or greed.

It is important to have an intelligent mind but far more important is to have good heart. Nelson Mandela
has rightly pointed out that a good head and good heart are always a formidable combination. One can come
with flying colours in toughest of endeavours with the combination of these two things; however, a good head
without a good heart is very dangerous. What is the difference between a true soldier and a terrorist? A soldier
gives life for his people and his country while a terrorist takes the lives of innocent people for ulterior
motives. Soldier has both brain and heart, the terrorist has got only brain. Of late it has been seen that many
educated people are inclined to pursue terrorism either in the name of religion or politics. The nascent
upsurge in terrorism in the Middle East has seen many youths joining the terror groups and committing
heinous crimes against humanity. Many of them are technically qualified and use their knowledge for making
bombs and creating booby traps for civilians as well as police and army. Education with character can help
the youth to understand the meaninglessness of indulging into terrorist and violent acts. Today the youth in
the Islamic countries are being told by people like Abu Bakr that the greatest enemies of Islam are democracy
and secularism and some others are propagating that if you give your life in violent jihad, you will get a place
in heaven or jannat. These examples highlight how education can be used to propagate ideas which are not
only irrational but against peace, harmony and progress. Character helps us to decipher and choose between
good and bad acts while education only makes us aware about variety of acts.
No amount of teaching can impart education laden with value without the real role models who practice good
values in life. Thus, far more effective in imparting values and virtues is to practice them. Life and action
as they happen in our lives are better teachers. Oscar Wilde said, “Education is an admirable thing, but it
is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.” When education
becomes a devil’s means, how to hasten towards our selfish goals, by hook or crook, it sets in a process of
begetting thousands of devils. Jim Henson rightly says, “[Kids] don’t remember what you try to teach them.
They remember what you are.” Formal education, therefore, has severe limitations. It is necessary that we
practice the good values which education imparts us. This becomes an example for others to follow. Although
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it is an informal channel of education, it is far more effective as good values at play in real life have their
immitigable imprint on the minds of youth.
Education should not make only eagles. It should also allow the dove inside us to develop that feeling of
let hundred flowers bloom together or live and let live are needed to be inculcated for mutual coexistence
of all of us with peace, prosperity and happiness. Machiavellian traits may be needed in certain circumstances;
cunningness, maneuver and machination may win projects and fat salaries and profits but happiness and
peace would come only through moral values. If we are confined only to the first set of attributes in our
education it certainly makes us a devil for each other.
The real education should come with moral values and character. Nothing could open our eyes more than
the letter that Abraham Lincoln wrote to the headmaster of his son in this regard:
“He will have to learn, I know that all men are not just and are not true….
In school teach him it is far more honourable to fall than to cheat….
Teach to have faith in his own ideas, even if everyone tells him he is wrong.
Teach him to be gentle with gentle people and tough with tough.
Try to give my son the strength not to follow the crowd when everyone getting on the bandwagon…..

Teach him to listen to all men; but teach him also to filter all he hears on a screen of truth, and take only the good
that comes through.
Teach him if you can, how to laugh when he is sad… teach him there is no shame in tears.
Teach him to scoff at cynics and to beware of too much sweetness. Teach him to sell his brawn and brain to highest
bidder, but never to put a price on his heart and soul. Teach him to close his ears to howling mob… and stand and
fight if thinks he is right.

Treat him gently but do not cuddle him because only the test of fire makes fine steel. Let him have the courage to be
impatient… let him have the patience to be brave. Teach him always to have sublime faith in himself, because then he
will have faith in humankind.
This is a big order, but see what you can do… He is such a fine little fellow my son!”
Section ‘B’

1. Technology cannot Replace Manpower.


“Modern technology has become a total phenomenon for civilization, the defining force of a new social order
in which efficiency is no longer an option but a necessity imposed on all human activity.”
Jacques Ellul
“If you want to plant for a year, plant corn; if you want to plant for ten years plant trees; and if you want
to plant for hundred years, plant men.”
Chinese proverb
Modern age is an age of technology. Technology has led to progress of civilization. It has made human life
more comfortable by giving support to each and every activity. Technology, nevertheless, is developed and
applied by human beings and not the other way round. It helps us to enhance productivity, improve working
conditions and quality of life by providing variety of industrial machines, household gadgets, faster modes
of transport and variety of avenues for entertainment and information. It has also helped us in fighting fatal
and life threatening diseases and improving health and life expectancy. The question of replacing manpower
by technology comes to our mind for tackling the problem of scarcity of labour, rising wages, peculiar
situations where manpower faces adverse and harsh conditions or even threats to life and also in places where
high level of precision is needed. But technology cannot replace manpower. Technology can give us machines,
but manpower drives the machines. Machines follow the commands that manpower gives and can be used
according to the will, skill and intent of manpower. Manpower will always remain the superior power.

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Although the discovery of fire or invention of wheel are the two great technological symbols that led to
progress of human civilization from ancient times, the advent of modern technological age followed the
industrial revolution. It was the invention of steam engine and various machines for production and modes
of transport that led to material progress and improvement in the quality of life. The industrial revolution
saw increase in mill production and profit of the owners of capital. Although it helped the manpower to
increase productivity, it also led to deterioration in the working and living conditions of the workforce due
to the greed of capitalists and exploitation of labour. In due course of time, labour force organized itself in
trade unions and bargained higher wages and better living. The advent of welfare state and communism also
helped to improve the plight of the labour force. Manpower became the focus of development in the post
second world war period when Japan and Germany showed that efficient use of resources and technology
leads to progress and prosperity. The Nobel Prize winners Arthur Lewis and Schulz have shown in their
studies that development of human resources holds the key to economic growth and social progress. Mahbub-
Ul Haq has rightly said that earlier we were taking care of growth so that it will take care of people; now
the time has come that we take care of people, it will take care of growth.
The importance of technology increased in the world where competition for economic and military hegemony
defined the new world order. The material progress of Western Europe and the United States is attributed
in the first instance to their excellence in technology. To a great extent their military dominance is also due
to their superiority in defense technology. But in all these processes they did not ignore their manpower. With

material progress and military superiority, these societies also developed their manpower by spending huge
sums of money on health, nutrition and education of their population. The actual superiority of advance

nations lies in the superiority of manpower. Their man power is capable of research and development,
innovation and discoveries and thus they remain ahead of world in trade, commerce, industrialization and
even in military affairs.
Technology can be best developed and used only when man power is capable. Capacity creation is not about
creating plants and equipment or infrastructure, but also manpower suitable for operating various systems
efficiently. Shortage of manpower can impede production, poor quality of manpower lead to loss of
competitiveness, dissatisfied manpower can lead to lockouts and spurt in trade unionism and even social
tensions. If manpower is not developed properly, it can also throttle research and development.
Technology and manpower could be seen not as substitutes but as complements to each other. Industrialization
in Japan and Korea and agricultural progress in post green revolution period in the world are examples of
how technology can accelerate production and productivity. Rising incomes, however, were sustained by

improving the manpower through skill formation, training and education, health and nutrition in the western
countries or even in the Asian Tigers of South East and East Asia. Both are symbiotic.
India and China became independent almost about the same time. And India was ahead of China in many
respects at that time. But in due course of time China succeeded in industrialization because of its focus on
development of skilled manpower. Today China is the manufacturing hub of the world and now it is
transforming itself from low-end technological products to high-end technological products. It is today seeing
technological breakthroughs in telecommunication and mobile technologies and also its capacity for
implementing difficult projects. It has developed nuclear and military technology of world standard. All
because it focused on the development of manpower. Today China is the largest spender on R&D in the
world. Manpower development is still the main priority when China is pursuing a policy of moderate growth
and rebalancing.
India on the other hand lagged behind despite being rich in natural resources and an early advantage in many
areas. India could not remove illiteracy and create skills as fast as China did. So it lagged behind in both-
agriculture and industrialization as well as research and development. Pallam Raju rightly pointed out that
while China succeeded in transferring nearly 150 million people from agriculture to manufacturing, we could
not do so, due to lack of skilled manpower.
Technological development depends on manpower; its uses too depend on it. Productivity increases because
of innovation and better use of new technology. But behind all this, there is an efficient manpower. Paul J
Meyer rightly says that Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to
excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort. There is no single development, in either technology or
management technique, which by itself promises even one order-of-magnitude improvement within a decade
in productivity, in reliability, in simplicity. It is the education level, training, skill and dedication of manpower,

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which makes it possible. Julia Gillard rightly says that our future growth relies on competitiveness and
innovation, skills and productivity and these in turn rely on the education of our people.
The happiness and satisfaction of manpower is very important for increasing productivity. In the post
industrial revolution phase in Europe and Post Green Revolution period in India, there appeared a tendency
to substitute labour by machines due to rising wages and labour disputes. But this trend was criticized for
both being inexpedient as well as anti people. Any growth in productivity should lead to rise in living
standards, and this is possible by increasing employment and not by substitution of labour. Even there is a
limit to substitution as machines cannot have the capacity to plan and decide beyond what is fed in their
software. It has been shown by many experiments that improved payment and perquisites have a very
positive effect on productivity. Employees who report receiving recognition and praise within the last seven
days show increased productivity, get higher scores from customers, and have better safety records. They’re
just more engaged at work. There is no exaggeration in saying that even profitability comes from loyalty,
productivity, and having a character base from which to work. Human resources are at the heart of productivity
and profitability. Employee loyalty begins with employer loyalty. Your employees should know that if they
do the job they were hired to do with a reasonable amount of competence and efficiency, you will support
Technology alone is not sufficient for realizing the goals of progress and prosperity. Management is very
important. This is true for both- nations as well as corporations. Management is a human act. Stephen Covey
rightly says, “Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the

ladder is leaning against the right wall.”Technology and automation are very important for enhancing
productivity and efficiency. But use of technology requires certain cautions. Bill Gates for example says,
“The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will
magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the
inefficiency.” Who will decide about an efficient operation? Manpower, and none else!
Technology is an enhancer, a facilitator, but it cannot replace manpower. The man behind an idea and the
man behind the machine are very important. Technology can support, it cannot supplant. It reminds us the

statement of Jack Welch, “The idea flow from the human spirit is absolutely unlimited. All you have to do
is tap into that well. I don’t like to use the word efficiency. It’s creativity. It’s a belief that every person
counts.” Those who devise better methods of utilizing manpower, tools, machinery, materials and facilities
are making real contributions. Japan has shown the way how manpower and technology can be synchronized
to be an industrial giant without local resources and now China is following suit. All the modern wars,
especially Korean War show quite clearly that in major conflict manpower is as important as
horsepower. Technology brings the excitement; helps look into the future, and make us brave enough to try

to shape it. The whole idea is not about the choice between using or not using technology. The challenge is
to use it right. One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one
extraordinary man. Somebody pointed out that humanity is acquiring all the right technology for all the
wrong reasons. It’s supposed to be automatic, but actually you have to push the button. Manpower including
the leader is very important in the use of technology for peace and prosperity. Today technology is considered
to be a panacea of all the maladies, which it is not. Human discretion and vision will always remain important
and so will manpower. For the time being, in the words of Albert Einstein, “It has become appallingly
obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.”
2. Crisis faced in India - Moral or Economic.

India is at cross roads. We are living in an age of aspirational India, restless to perform, achieve, and acquire
everything that is good. They are brimming with new confidence that “they can do it.” They want freedom,
they want higher standard of living, and they want money, power, recognition and what not! These are very
legitimate desires of a growing society. However, rather than pursuing these goals with patience and perseverance,
a large number of Indians have become impatient and restless; they want to have it quick and now. It is
natural human desire and very legitimate to hasten towards our goals as fast as we can. But when we become
too restless and fast, we do not care about the red lights and rules of the game on which modern democratic
welfare states are built. We do not care about the means we adopt because we want to get success in our
pursuits faster and faster. We care much about our rights but forget about our duties. The power of modern
India lies in the power of its aspirations, but its restlessness has led to a moral crisis where ends matter more
than means. Nobody ever asks in modern India how did you succeed, it is just sufficient to succeed by
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whatever means, you are a hero. But for legal provisions, the things would have been far worse. What could
be the plausible explanation of these trends, this mindset? The suppression of imperial era might give one
explanation that people in free India now want to fulfill all what was not possible or allowed during those
days. Also after India embraced the policy of liberalization, the pent up desires for more production and more
consumption got a vent. And moreover, the demonstration effect of ‘good life’ of the western societies made
possible due to spread of information technology and it has given new wings to the aspirations of the young
generation. It is not always easy to segregate moral crisis from economic crisis. Economic crisis is responsible
for moral crisis on the one hand and on the other moral crisis is responsible for the economic crisis. They
are closely entwined. If we fall into the debate which is the leading crisis, the debate will be unending- chicken
first or the egg?
India is a country marked by poverty, inequality and social and economic duality. The very structure of the
country - social and economic - has the elements that can manifest in moral crisis. For example, feudalism
in India might have been a better social and economic organization than slavery in the west as some people
believe, but it cannot be denied that it had many immoral elements in it. The past of India has been marked
by turbulence of medieval times and exploitation, especially in the imperial era. The ‘golden bird’ as India
was called in the ancient times was reduced to a floundering economy with backwardness marked by low
productivity in agriculture and lack of industrialization. This also led to poor quality of basic services such
as health, housing and education. All these bred a sense of inferiority and insecurity. The moment India got

freedom, its aspirations and expectations soared very high. It got further fillip after India embraced the New
Economic Policy in 1991.

The people of India have passionately wanted to reverse the adversities bred by economic and political
suppression over the past so many centuries. So there is restlessness to remove poverty and inequality, to
raise living standards and to improve the records of human development and human rights. But yet there
is a conflict between the national interest and individual aspirations. That insecurity and fear of the imperial
era still lurks in the Indian psyche - will I get my deserved share in development? Will I get equal opportunity,
a chance to pursue my dreams and well being? Will I get justice? These fears and apprehensions are the

breeding ground of mistrust and moral crisis. It is aggravated further when people who do immoral acts
appear to be more successful materially or even acquire political power; the aspirational India becomes prone
to losing all faith in good means and values. It acts in vengeance and does everything that can make them
successful, whether the rules of the country or the hearts of our other compatriots are broken, it hardly
matters. That is of course a moral crisis. There is nothing between I and my goals. Everything is fair in war
and love. The aspirational India is in both the modes.

There is an old debate that people are backward, because of their inherent moral inferiority or genetic
inferiority. It was Gunnar Myrdal who first questioned the western thesis about racial superiority of the
western powers under which they thought that Afro-Asian people are poor and underdeveloped because of
their genetic and even moral inferiority and it is white man’s burden to make them civilized and prosperous.
When we talk about moral crisis in India we are extending this logic even in case of India without having
any concern for social and political dynamics which made many Indians poor and weak. Gunnar Myrdal
offered along with many subsequent thinkers the social theory of culture of poverty to explain why poverty
exists despite anti-poverty programs. There is no doubt that we must analyse how structural factors interact
and conditions individual behavior to explain their persistent poverty.
To judge whether India is in moral crisis or economic crisis or both it will be interesting to note the studies
made by institutional thinkers. One example is a study by Lewis. Lewis gave some seventy characteristics
that indicated the presence of the culture of poverty, which he argued was not shared among all of the lower
classes. The people in the culture of poverty have a strong feeling of marginality, of helplessness, of
dependency, of not belonging. They are like aliens in their own country, convinced that the existing institutions
do not serve their interests and needs. Along with this feeling of powerlessness, there is a widespread feeling
of inferiority, of personal unworthiness also. This is true of the slum dwellers of Mexico City, who do not
constitute a distinct ethnic or racial group and do not suffer from racial discrimination. In the United States the
culture of poverty that exists in the African Americans has the additional disadvantage of racial discrimination.
Today we in India also have marginalized classes who overact to defend their interest, sometimes they join
militant or sectarian groups and sometimes they become naxalites. Although, apparently it seems a moral
crisis, in deep analysis we find the root cause of the problem is marginalization and indifference of the
democratic institutions to safeguard the economic, political and social rights of these people. People with a
culture of poverty have very little sense of history. They are marginal people who know only their own

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troubles, their own local conditions, their own neighborhood, their own way of life. Usually, they have neither
the knowledge, the vision nor the ideology to see the similarities between their problems and those of others
like themselves elsewhere in the world. They are desperate and they can react in an unanticipable way when
it comes to their interest.
In no case, however, any behavior which is anti social or anti national can be justified. There is a close relation
between marginalization and moral crisis. However, it is not difficult to cite examples when people who are
rich, powerful and enjoying all comforts of life indulge in immoral and illegal activities. Crony capitalism is
a term which is widely being used to explain the phenomenon of corruption in developing and emerging
economies. The state machinery and corporate barons often collaborate to do things which are illegal and anti
social for their own benefits. In crony capitalism, success in business depends on close relationships between
business people and government officials. It may be exhibited by favoritism in the distribution of legal
permits, government grants, special tax breaks, or other forms of state interventionism. Crony capitalism is
believed to arise when business cronyism and related self-serving behavior by businesses or business-people
spills over into politics and government, or when self-serving friendships and family ties between businessmen
and the government influence the economy and society to the extent that it corrupts public-serving economic
and political ideals. The term “crony capitalism” made a significant impact in the public arena as an
explanation of the Asian financial crisis. It is also used to describe governmental decisions favoring “cronies”
of governmental officials. This is not the manifestation of poverty, but surely a manifestation of moral crisis.
Many of the corruption cases in contemporary times are the products of crony capitalism. It is therefore,
apt to say that moral crisis of modern times have their seeds in economic crisis.

But this would be a partial truth to insist on this line of arguments made above. There are many aberrations
in Indian life which emanate from moral crisis. The existing gender inequality and brutalization of women
and employing children as labour in India are some of the examples of a crisis due to patriarchal or feudal
mindset. The absence of doctors from hospitals and teachers from schools during working hours is nothing
but a moral crisis. The insensitivity of the government officials in redress of the people’s grievances and
police excesses towards common man is a moral crisis. Road rages are moral crisis. Excesses towards weaker
sections and corruption in government offices spring from moral crisis. The disruptions in the working of

democratic institutions like constitution and parliament are examples of moral crisis. Lack of good governance
to a great extent is due to moral crisis, apart from inadequate institutional arrangements. Poor implementation
of development and welfare programmes are indicative of inefficiency as well as moral crisis.
The discussion is, therefore, giving us two lines of thinking. One, that there is a close relation between
economic crisis and moral crisis. Secondly we must also agree that moral crisis also exists without economic
underpinnings in India. Therefore, the policy prescription that emanates from the discussion is that we must

step up our efforts to tackle the problem of poverty, inequality and marginalization on the one hand and on
the other hand work towards attitudinal changes through education and publicizing as role models the icons
of ancient, medieval and modern India who are apostles of great values and morality. The battle with Indian
crisis is therefore multipronged.
3. Dreams which should not let India Sleep.

Thinking about dreams which should not let India sleep is like “romancing” with India. There is so much
to dream about India; so much to cherish, so much to cheer, so much to desire about it. There is so much
that India has accomplished after independence dawned. India marched on the path of progress with five year
planning for economic development and industrialization and a democratic constitution and polity that is
guided by noble ideas enshrined in directive principles of state and promises to safeguard the fundamental
rights of every Indian. India is an ancient country but a young nation and we, Indians are united and are proud
of their rich culture and rich heritage, proud of secular democracy, proud of its vastness, its diversity and
proud of its rivers, mountains, plains, plateaus and deserts. But all these matters which make them proud
cannot help them to look away from some of the bitter realities that peep into the eyes and hearts of all
Indians who can discern and feel the agonies of starving poor, malnourished, ill-fed and out-of-school children,
unemployed youth, brutalized and chained women, villages without basic amenities like roads, power, schools,
hospitals, farmers in distress and labour working and living in inhuman conditions, government run schools
and hospitals in cities without basic facilities, people in power misusing their power and siphoning of
development money for personal rather than public benefit.

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The eluding tryst with destiny that the first Prime Minister of India promised when India awoke to freedom
at the stroke of midnight shatters our hearts and frustrates our hopes - the failings are from both the sides,
our leaders as well as people! The night that was supposed to be short lived seems unending and continues
like a nightmare for many Indians, begetting a sense of deception. They wonder if there is ever a possibility
of a dawn of peace, prosperity, happiness and progress as promised by our great leaders. Yes, there are
unfulfilled dreams that should not allow India to sleep. The words of Robert Frost, which are said to have
been jotted down by our Prime Minister in his diary before his death, continue to stir and jolt us - “The
Woods are lovely dark and deep; I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep”…. However, the
moot question is – which dreams should not allow India to sleep?
There are two Indias and hence two sets of dreams. One that is euphemistically called ‘India’ which is
aspiring for material progress and living standards matching that of the Western countries. It is the aspirational
India which is in haste and thinking about ‘more’ and ‘better’ of everything that is good. This India is filled
with the confidence and hope that ‘we can do it’. It wants acceleration in economic growth rate through
industrialization, state of the art infrastructure, research and development, global integration- all aiming at
enhancing production, productivity and material progress making India a super power, restoring the lost glory
of the ‘golden bird’ as India was called in the past.
On the other side there are Indians who feel that their claim to independence had been held hostage, that
their survival, dignity and freedom is at stake and every fleeting moment is a moment of insecurity and

hopelessness. This is euphemistically referred to as ‘Bharat’ which still awaits the fruits of development to
trickle down so that they can have two square meals a day, a roof on their heads, clothes to wrap themselves

up and basic amenities of life that keep them surviving and going. Freedom came to them on crutches and
they look back to Mahatma Gandhi every time they face adversity, injustice, exploitation. Mahatma Gandhi,
on board SS Rajput on his way to Round Table Conference had said, “I would work for an India, in which
the poorest shall feel that it is their country…; an India in which there shall be no high class and no low class
of people; an India where all communities will live in a perfect harmony….Women will enjoy the same rights
as men. We shall be at peace with all the rest of the world.”
The apparent dilemma in dreaming for India reflects our ignorance. There is apparent contradiction in the
dreams of India and Bharat, which in reality is not so. India needs to grow economically and it needs rapid
industrialization as well as agricultural growth. India needs modern infrastructure and facilities for Research
and Development. India needs to be integrated with the world. India needs to explore and exploit the
immense potential it has to be a global power. This is what aspirational India wants. But until and unless the

potential and energy of the vast masses in India is unleashed and they are empowered to take part in India’s
great journey to development, power and glory, we can never be able to give a big push to our dreams. A
critical minimum effort is needed to take along those Indians who lagged behind in our development journey.
If one part of the body is in pain, the other part cannot live in peace and comfort. There is really no dilemma.
India is one nation bound by shared dreams of peace, prosperity and progress. If growth and development
is thwarted, welfare of the poor and the miserable cannot be taken care of Growth and development will
also never be achieved up to the full potential that India has by keeping the vast masses suffering.
The dreams which should not let India sleep can be seen in the above mentioned perspective. Some of the
dreams that need to be cherished and pursued in the right earnest by all the Indians can be enlisted. As
Gandhiji felt we should also dream of India where there will be no inequality, poverty, social injustice,
illiteracy, gender discrimination, social oppression, corruption, casteism and communalism and people will
have an improved and good quality of life.
One Indian nation with a shared dream of excellence in all the arenas of life made possible by participation
of all the Indians is a dream that should not let us sleep till it is realized. National Unity or Integrity of India
is extremely important. India should be united in its journey towards progress and glory. This is the area
where we have achieved immense success, but still there are divisive tendencies. We are able to strengthen
India as a nation by strengthening the Indian unity politically, economically and emotionally and pushing
forward the process of nation-in-the-making. However, we still suffer from the social diseases of casteism,
communalism and regionalism. We need to work proactively to eliminate these evils of our society. Regionalism
is a serious threat that has recently taken an ugly shape. People resort to regionalism citing the difference of
their cultures from others. They demand for separate states or ouster of so-called outsiders from their
respective states- for example, recent demand for a separate state of Telangana and Maharashtra Nav-nirman
Sena’s (MNS) anti-North Indian stand. India needs to consider measures that can eradicate these maladies.

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It should explore the possibilities of factoring in other factors than language to carve out new states; it should
consider banning the divisive political parties at regional or caste or religious basis, it should pursue uniform
civil code without forcing it. It is necessary that all the anti-Nation thoughts and undercurrents should be
curbed. The centrifugal forces in the Indian society should be tamed and unity and integrity of the country
should be safeguarded at any cost. Who lives when India dies and who dies when India lives!
Another area where we need to dream and act in right earnest, is the malady of poverty and starvation.
India’s one third of population is poor and half the children and women are malnourished. In over seventy
years, India has failed to eradicate poverty despite consistent economic growth. In the early sixties, Planning
Commission came up with a concept of Poverty Line. Below this line were people whose consumption of
food-grains did not come up to a minimum level in terms of calories. We need innovative methods and real
concern to alleviate these maladies. Indian society is dualistic in nature and the spectrum of Indian society
has an upper layer which has a living standard comparable with the developed nations, but on the other side
of the spectrum are the people who are as deprived as we find in the most backward regions of the world.
There are reports of starvation deaths from various parts of the country. We should dream of an India which
has no households without food and where there is no inequality in terms of basic amenities and services.
This is a precious dream and we should work ardently to achieve this.
India should stand at the top of Human Development Index. A dream of all dreams, it should not let us
sleep! The poor quality of life aggravates the plight of already poor Indians. The physical and social needs
of teeming millions of India have not been met even at minimally desired level. Whatever progress has been

made in this respect has been tardy and inadequate. India’s HDI value for 2013 is 0.586, ranking it 135 out
of 187 countries and territories, the lowest among the BRICS countries with Russia at 57, Brazil at 79, China
at 91, and South Africa at 118, and slightly ahead of Bangladesh and Pakistan. India also ranks low with
respect to the Gender Development Index (GDI). The GDI value for India is 0.828 and it is ranked 132
among 148 nations. In comparison, Bangladesh and China are ranked higher. India still remains a laggard.
From 2004-05 to 2011-12, India’s poverty ratio dipped from 37.2% to 21.9%, a 16 percentage point drop.
But in terms of human development index - measured on the basis of health, education, and standard of
living - and gender equality, India still has a long way to go, trailing behind other emerging economies and

even some of its neighbours. We lack in literacy. Illiteracy is rampant. More than 20 per cent of Indian
population is illiterate and illiteracy is more rampant among women. If there is one dream that should keep
India awoke, that is, achieve 100 per cent literacy.
Health is a major area of concern too. India needs improvement in terms of sanitation, potable drinking water
and proper healthcare facilities at village-level. Preventive health care should be available by ensuring this.
There should be no polio stricken child or no incidence of water born diseases among Indians. Every Indian

having access to curative health care at affordable price will be a great symbol of a welfare state. That food
and nutrition is adequate to keep our women, men and children in good health is a dream which should not
let India sleep.
The dream that never ever any Nirbhaya is brutalized again will symbolize a modern and progressive India
where patriarchal society stops doing khap panchayats and our daughters and sisters walk fearless and with
dignity in the pursuit of their dreams. That girls would also be able to look after their parents in the absence
or presence of their brothers and give fire to their departing fathers after death and widows could also
participate in happy occasions of life is a dream that should not let India sleep.
Another dream that should not let India sleep is full and productive employment to the working population
of India. Let us dream of India where there will be jobs available in each city and people will not have to
migrate to other cities. This will also reduce the burden on the resources of the cities like Mumbai, Delhi,
Bangalore, etc. Employment is one of the most important factors that can lead to radical change in the
standard and quality of life. Though with the advent of I.T., jobs have increased but these are concentrated
in few cities like Bangalore, Delhi, Pune, Hyderabad, etc. while other cities either have no employment
opportunities or the demand is very low. Also, it is an irony that a Mechanical or Electrical engineering
student has to work in the field of IT because opportunities are very few in the core sectors. This internal
brain drain leads to mismatch between demand and supply of labour force affecting growth and development.
India is an emerging economy. Infrastructure deficit is a major impediment in India’s economic progress. The
dream of fully developed infrastructure should not let us sleep. We need world class roads, railway, ports,
airports and uninterrupted power supply and telecommunication that is cheap, fast and reliable. All these are
important to improve the productivity and quality of life of the Indians. Better infrastructure promotes

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industrialization, trade and commerce on the one hand and improves the quality of life. For example better
supply of electricity will positively impact production and transport and also the quality of life of masses
as most modern goods that make life easier and entertainment readily available need electricity like TV,
washing machines, radio, refrigerator, etc. Consumption of Power is directly proportional to the Quality of
Life and every Indian often dream of a time when India would be able to generate so much energy that, like
US citizens, Indians will face no power-cuts.
Another dream that should not let us sleep is the realization of benchmarks of good governance. India should
become a corruption free country where there is utmost transparency and accountability in all the institutions
and activities. The realization of all our dreams depends crucially on good governance. Transparency and
accountability would stop the misuse of public funds. People will get their genuine grievances redressed
within a given time frame. The development projects would meet their time schedules. Various welfare
programmes would be implemented faster and without any loopholes.
Indians should stand up together in respect of constitution, rule of the law and comply with various rules
and regulations. This is a dream that should not let us sleep. In a densely populated country where more than
a billion people are pursuing their dreams with all their might needs discipline and care for the institutions
and their rules. Otherwise the country will turn into a jungle and life into a chaos.
No doubt we still have ‘promises to keep and miles to go…’ We still face the challenges of poverty, diseases,

illiteracy, inequality, social backwardness and gender and caste discrimination and oppression. Johann Wolfgang
von Goethe said that daring ideas are like chessmen moved forward; they may be beaten, but they may start
a winning game.
There is no ground for pessimism or resignation, for frustration or lack of pride. India has impressive
achievements to its credit in the economic and political arena. The major reason for our optimism lies in our
belief that a vibrant democracy like India can find the solutions for these problems. William Dement said,
“Dreaming permits each and every one of us to be quietly and safely insane every night of our  lives.” He
says that sometimes this insanity can be fruitful and sometimes very infectious and sometimes very delectable
and delicious. It is in many ways necessary for a country like India to be insane and dream as it is a bigger
crime not to dream than to dare to dream. Israelmore Ayivor rightly says, “Until you get enough of enough,
the “enough” that is never enough, you dare not quit! If your good is better, your better can be best; your
best too can become excellent!” Dreams may be tough. The roads may be rocky. The journey may be
arduous. But all these risks are worth taking as in the words of Kahlil Gibran ‘trust the dreams, for in them
is hidden the gate to eternity.’

4. Can Capitalism bring Inclusive growth?


Capitalism is the economic system which has endured many ups and downs because of its many inherent
properties. It is based on the liberal ideals of post renaissance Europe and later on it was further strengthened
by democratic movements, especially in the United States and France, among others. Capitalism is about
freedom of enterprise. It is about consumers’ sovereignty. It is about decentralization of power. It is about
laissez fair and market mechanism. It is, therefore, much closer to democratic ideals. Although capitalism is
considered very efficient in production and consumption, it is not considered just and fair when it comes to
distribution of development and economic growth. The system is based on a system of production in which
some people who have ownership over capital hire labour on market wages to produce commodities of use
whose prices are determined by the market forces. Your purchasing capacity determines what and how much
you are capable to consume. But there are occasions when markets are imperfect, when market fails and
when people are unable to exercise their choices due to many non-freedoms or lack of entitlements. Capitalism
presumes a perfect market, which is nonexistent. Capitalism assumes equal opportunities, which does not
exist because of many socio-economic and political dynamics at work. Capitalism in its purest sense is
inclusive, but we cannot rule out imperfections that hinder inclusiveness. Capitalism is based on self interest
and animal instincts. Its rationality lies in maximizing profit and consumption. And probably this one
inherent logic of capitalism, among others, which leads to inequality over a period of time. Inclusiveness
comes under threat. Now it is well recognized that where markets fail in inclusive growth, welfare state must
come forward with rational and positive interventions.
The most respected thesis of capitalism in so far as inclusiveness is concerned is the trickledown theory.
Under trickledown theory growth is given preference over the goals of equity and assumed that if growth
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takes place first, then the fruits of growth would gradually trickle down to the lowest strata of the society.
The theory is well recognized for its immense possibility, but its efficacy in terms of time taken and in view
of market and systemic imperfections has been questioned. Therefore, inclusiveness in capitalism depends
on certain ethical considerations as well as assumptions regarding market perfection. The moment capitalism
deviates from the ideals it becomes exploitative and unjust, especially for the people who have no capital and
control in their hands.
It is well recognized in the capitalist theories that there is a trade-off between growth and equity. If more
growth is needed more income inequality would allow more savings and investment which may again push
growth further high. Also the returns on capital are most of the times higher than on labour, leading to
inequality. The speculators are major gainers while the laborers and ordinary people are at the margins. Gini
coefficient in almost all the capitalist developed economies measures high at 0.5 vis-a-vis less developed
countries (0.3–0.4).
The major barriers to inclusiveness in capitalism are unethical pursuit of super normal profits, cartelization
and monopoly, cronyism and corruption etc. Also the lack of entitlements like land, capital, credit, education
and skills do not allow people to participate in the market on equal terms. There are also several kinds of
unfreedoms due to poverty, social system, lack of good governance and political inefficiency that people are
compelled to participate in the market process on unequal terms.
The modern welfare states based on capitalist principles are aware about the market failures. They have made
anti-trust rule against cartelization and monopoly. They have also made stringent rules against ill motivated

speculators. The modern states have given more thrust on good governance, transparency and accountability.
Cronyism is being disincentivised and punished. With an active media people have access to information and
judicial activism and public interest litigation has given an opportunity to people to express their concerns
and get them redressed.
Further, to make capitalism inclusive in case of market failure, lack of entitlements and existence of
unfreedoms, the welfare states have evolved a system of merit based subsidies to provide food and nutrition,
health and housing, education and skill formation at affordable prices to their citizens. Of late the Bangladesh

experience of micro finance that allows small and marginal entrepreneurs to mobilize cheap funds for self
employment and entrepreneurship is being replicated in many capitalist or mixed economies. Today corporate
sector is also increasingly realizing its corporate social responsibility.
Thus it may be concluded that inclusive growth is possible even in capitalism. But market forces alone cannot
grant this. We need positive intervention on the part of the state and ethical behavior on the part of the

corporate entities to ensure inclusive growth. We need good governance, good institutions and a responsive
government to remove the aberrations in capitalist development, if they arise at any moment. Capitalism
versus socialism debate has now reconciled at a point where it is believed that market and incentive based
system is more efficient in production while quality state intervention may be allowed where there are
aberrations in consumption and distribution. An authoritarian state and centralized planning is inefficient and
without incentives and the concept of private property, development will come to a standstill sooner or later.


[66] Hints: UPSC Mains 2015 Essay

Essay Workbook


1. The danger of the past was that men became slaves, the danger of future is that they
may become robots.

2. We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.

3. Mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent.

4. A free and fair election is not possible without media.

Essay Workbook

Hints: Essay Test - 1

1. The danger of the past was that men became slaves, the danger
of future is that they may become robots.
Slavery is lack of freedom and liberty. Freedom means you are unobstructed in living your life
as you choose it. Anything less is a form of slavery. The great French Philosopher Jean-Jacques
Rousseau said that, 'man is born free and everywhere he is in chains'. Man was condemned to be
in chains for one reason or the other, right from his birth. From ancient times, man was forced
to live amidst one or the other kind of slavery. Fear and hegemony are natural instincts in man,
as much as in animals. The weak and ignorant people came under the hegemony of the strong
and the wise. In due course of time, when civilization developed, man became subservient to
social structures, its mores, manners, beliefs, etc. Religion and religious codes evolved over a
period of time, which needed the followers to be compliant of a set of regulations. The role of
religion became so over-arching in due course of time that man lost all his existence to religion
and religious codes. The Churches in Europe and other religious establishments elsewhere came
very hard on those, who questioned their authority or legitimacy. Kings and monarchs ruled
people in the past by virtue of force. When monarchy gave way to oligarchy, and later on,
democracy and republicanism, a few people ruled and governed over a vast number of people.
With the growth of capitalism, based on the idea of laissez faire (non-intervention), it seemed
that freedom and liberty have come permanently to free man from slavery, but it did not happen.
Capitalism led to the advent of an industrial age, in which a few who had capital started
exploiting and ruling those who didn't have it. Globally, capitalism led to the birth and progress
of imperialism and mercantilism, leading to exploitation of one nation by the other. Then came
a beautiful idea called socialism, which believed in state intervention, centralization, and state-
ism, preventing the institution of property (capital) to exploit the have-nots (those who did not
have capital). But, it ended up in being undemocratic and excessive power and privileges to a
selected few. It also proved detrimental to free enterprise. Thus, the past history of the human
kind for a major part had been struggling to come out of the danger of slavery. Man, now started
experimenting with technology rather than various ideologies, in a much more intense and
focused manner, to find the freedom and liberty he could not get from both the systems- capitalism
and socialism.
Technology led to immense growth of wealth through industrial progress, improvement in transport
and communication, trade and commerce, and improvement in living standards of the households
and individuals. It provided them with machines of convenience in day-to-day life, freeing them
from menial labour, and allowing them to accomplish their tasks faster. But, excessive reliance
on machines is no less menial and ironical than slavery. Man's freedom and liberty became so
reliant on machines that rather than being a means to an end, machines gradually became an
end in themselves. And, two miracle machines, computer and robot, became central to human
lives, so much so, that not a single moment could be conceived without them. Computers and

[68] Hints: Essay Workbook

robots are, however, made up of hardware and programmes called softwares and they are not
sensitive and emotional like human beings. They have programmed minds for particular situations,
but they are heartless. And, the loneliness and hollowness of the industrial world increased, due
to over-reliance of these heartless machines. The world is in the danger of an invasion by
machines, where computers and robots may subjugate man.
In the seventeenth and eighteenth century, particularly after the great renaissance in France and
other parts of Europe, individualism, freedom, liberty, and equality became popular ideas. After
the industrial revolution, freedom of enterprise and laissez faire led to the growth of capitalism
and it seemed that slavery has become a thing of the past. The firm believers in the laissez faire
(free-market) believed that a free-market system allows all parties to compete, which ensures the
best, and most competitive project emerges, and ensures a fair and democratic process. But,
capitalism that led to advent and growth of an industrial era was marred by exploitation of
labourers, by the owners of capital-extended working hours, bad working and living conditions,
lower or fixed wages, poverty, unemployment, etc. Slavery did not end; it only changed its garb.
Slavery to a man, to a power, to a system, to an institution, or mental slavery- all are against
freedom and liberty. Slavery is a weed that grows on every soil. The threat of slavery has been
weakened, but not vanished altogether. The existence of democratic welfare states has reduced
the possibilities of slavery by institutionalizing freedom and liberty to a great extent. But, today
man is looking on to a future which would be over reliant on machines- heartless entities with
programmed minds! Computers and Robots signify such machines in general. Their importance
has increased so much and poised to increase further, that if computers and robots fail, man
would be relegated to ancient hunting and gathering level! If computers and robots fail, humanity
and civilization may fail. Such a stupid reliance on machines we have chosen that our natural
power, sentiments and humanness is under threat. Andre Norton says, 'I think the human race
made a big mistake at the beginning of the industrial revolution, we leaped for the mechanical things,
people need the use of their hands to feel creative.'
Thus, both the dangers, slavery from the past and over reliance on machines today and in future,
persist. Friedrich Nietzsche rightly points out, 'today as always, men fall into two groups: slaves
and free men. Whoever does not have two-thirds of his day for himself, is a slave, whatever he may be:
a statesman, a businessman, an official, or a scholar.' What is the way out? The way out to slavery
or over-dependence on machines is education, reason, and knowledge. The way out is courage.
The way out is institutionalizing freedom and liberty. But also, we need to practice and pervade
human values- love, kindness, compassion, friendship, live and let live etc. Machines need to give
way to human spirit, endurance, and creativity. This can be inculcated in society only through
education and awareness. Life needs fulfillment coming from a hard-earned success or realization
of our goals. Machines may be a means to an end, but the end is human-satisfaction and sense
of fulfillment. A heartless world, howsoever prosperous, would never be beautiful. For achieving
freedom, we need to dare.
Sometimes a technology is so awe-inspiring, that the imagination runs away with it- often far-
far-away from reality. Robots are like that. A lot of big and ultimately unfulfilled promises were
made in robotics early on, based on preliminary successes. Artificial intelligence is growing up
fast, as are robots, whose facial expressions can elicit empathy and make your minor neurons
quiver. Looking ahead, future generations may learn their social skills from robots in the first
place. The Keepon robot, from Carnegie Mellon University, has shown the ability to facilitate
social interactions with autistic children. Morphy, at the University of Washington, teaches
gestures to children by demonstration. However, we're not like robots. In fact, if we were to lose
the ability to be emotional, if we were to lose the ability to be angry, to be outraged, we would
be robots. That will not be less painful than slavery.
Hints: Essay Workbook [69]
2. We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.
As goes a famous song 'sometimes in our lives we all have failed and we all have sorrow, but
if we are wise, we know that there's always tomorrow'. Failures and following disappointment
are finite in nature, because we look back to count them, however, when we look forward there
are infinite possibilities and hope we can never measure or count. We are so bogged down by
disappointments when we fail that we could see only the door which has closed instead of
looking on to the several new doors which have opened up. This occurs to both ordinary
individuals as well as extra ordinary leaders in a variety of arenas of life. Nevertheless, the main
difference between the ordinary and extraordinary is that the ordinary falls and falters, the
extraordinary falls and rises up again. The famous motivational writer Paulo Coelho says the
beauty of life is that you fall seven times and rise up eight times.
The statement 'we must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope' is also attributed
to great religious leader Martin Luther King who fought against injustice and discrimination
with immense faith and confidence. Some people would like to say that if America is a free-for-
all country today, it is because of people like Martin Luther King. Life was never free from odds
and constraints and failures abounded in number. But Martin never gave up hope! Accepting
disappointments does not mean surrendering or giving up; it only means poise and patience as
well as courage to accept the failures. The moment we do this, we start analyzing what went
wrong, and preparing for the next bout equipped with experience and better strategies.
However, the first and foremost condition of resurrection as Leo Tolstoy says is confession (of
your sins or failures). Contrary to this, human beings have a tendency to continuously deny their
failure which snatches the opportunity from them to start their battles afresh with new strategy
and hope. The great sages advise us to remain nonchalant in both success and failure. We should
take both of them in stride as advised in the Bhagvat Geeta- 'sam shitoshna sukh dukha daya'
(remaining unaffected by heat and cold, happiness and sorrow). In the language of meditation,
we should allow and accept the things as they happen and shape up without any resistance.
This should not be construed as surrendering before adversity or remaining inert. Meditation
does not advocate halting to carry out our duty (Dharma) and Karma (the work which nature
has ordained for us).
There are several advantages of counting our disappointments. The processes and experiments
we undertook and associated strategies that we adopted while pursuing a goal or a mission
which eventually failed enriches us with experience. By doing so we are not in the constant
denial mode, which brings stress and erodes confidence if continues. The moment we accept our
failures without losing grace, poise and confidence, it gives us an opportunity to rethink, analyze,
and improve the processes and strategies for the next bout.
Secondly, counting our disappointments or failures leads to the realization that although it is our
arduous and unrelenting effort, which crucially counts, there are many exogenous forces too that
determine success or failure. The feeling that 'I can do' is very good, it breeds hope and confidence,
but the feeling that 'I will always succeed' is not only unrealistic but it reflects foolhardiness and
In every battle of life there are some winners and equal or more number of losers. Counting our
disappointments and accepting our failures involves giving credit to people who like us gave the
best and toughest efforts for their success and lady luck smiled on them. By recognizing their
victories we honour their struggle, hard work, and unflinching faith. All hard earned victories
by their very nature inspire. Rather than envy, jealousy, anger frustration and remaining in a
state of constant denial of our failures, it is better to accept the victories of the winners and get
[70] Hints: Essay Workbook
inspired. When we count our disappointments, we also see the winning people around and
analyze the reasons behind their success. It helps us to prepare for the next bout.
Christ, Socrates, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and Martin Luther King, among others
faced occasions of disappointment, defeat and indignation several times. They were aware about
their disappointments, but they carried forward their struggle with infinite hope. They were
filled with great purposes and a missionary zeal that produced immense hope and vigor in them
to bear up with the injustices and indignation meted out to them. And they did not give up. The
more they were repressed, the more courageous and confident they came up. It was because they
never lost faith in infinite hope.
Hope is the basis of all our dreams and actions. Hope drives us to do untiring and hard work,
to focus and give our best for what we cherish, to make sacrifices, to remain patient and to carry
on in adversity and the worst of the times. Hope is a miraculous word. The soldiers of Napoleon
said that it was not possible to scale the Alps to get across it. He said, 'impossible is found in the
dictionary of fools'. 'Let's go forward'. Next morning Napoleon's army was across the Alps. Hope
has enabled many people to rise from ashes like phoenix. Today we have the most popular
matinee idol of the world in India, Amitabh Bachchan who suffered many setbacks for one
reason or the other, but he kept on doing what he could. He has come out as a winner and role
model to many youths. When he was disappointed from initial failures he wrote a letter to his
poet father asking for ways how to endure. His father said- "jo ho to achcha, na ho to us se bhi
accha" (if your efforts pay, it is good, if they do not pay it is even better). 'One door closes and
many new doors open. Keep on going.'
The very idea that 'we shall overcome, some day' is the guarantee that we do not stop amid
adversity. We move forward come what may. The night is always followed by a day. At the end
of the tunnel there is always light. Hope is basically a tribute to god and believing in unfathomable
potential that god has given in the human beings. Helen Keller lost her eyes, but she kindled her
light within and today she inspires millions of people through her writing. Jessie Ovens, one of
the greatest athletes of all times was a cobbler, but he gave all his focus and might to sports
without an iota of disappointment due to his poverty. He brought laurels to America and
African-American community which was racially discriminated upon those days, and he still
keeps on inspiring people to perform their best even in stress.
All our efforts face equal odds. This means that every effort has two broad outcomes- either we
succeed or fail. Nevertheless, neither success is ever lasting nor failure is final. Success brings joy
and hope, failures despair and disappointment. The human nature fails to realize the transitory
nature of success and failures. While in success there is a tendency to go for unbridled celebration,
in failures we fall into despair and disappointment. Both the tendencies are indication of
immaturity and lack of wisdom. Mature people have the confidence that if they fail in their
errands and enterprise today, tomorrow they would have far better opportunities to fight for
their goals with better understanding, better strategy and a new vigor.
Life like nature has an infinite capacity to rejuvenate itself every time it meets a shocker or
disaster. Life is like a jigsaw. It passes through ups and downs, through troughs and peaks,
through autumn and spring. All our efforts do not yield results in the way we desire. We are
not the only dreamers, there are innumerable people who may be pursuing their dreams more
passionately and paying a higher price than we do. We may remember and count our
disappointments for an educative and instructive value only. Eventually, we should look forward
with hope. Only this would help us to carry on with our missions. Hope is infinite and it has
wings to carry you through all the odds and adversities. Hope is the light within and as long as
there is a flicker in this light, nothing can deter us in our pilgrimage called life.
Hints: Essay Workbook [71]
3. Mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent.
Society is an agglomeration of Individuals who have both evil and good within them. Those
individuals are considered bad whose evil attributes have taken over the good attributes. By
allowing this to happen, the bad individuals consciously or unconsciously punish themselves
through the responses of their own conscience. In Fyodor Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment
one of the characters says" And the more I drink the more I feel it. That's why I drink too. I try
to find sympathy and feeling in drink.... I drink so that I may suffer twice as much!" But apart
from individual conscience based suffering of a guilty person we need a social system of crime
and punishment for order and peace in society. There are instances when the evil heart, the
guilty hurt other individuals in particular or the whole society in general. In such cases, it is
extremely important to deter them or isolate them. If this is not done, they cause irreparable
damage to other individual's life and property or to the nation or society. The societies, which
show leniency to the guilty, are condemned to be demoralized, de-motivated and hopeless. There
is no doubt mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent. The innocent people should not be
allowed to suffer due to brutality, whims and temper of those who violate social norms, rule of
the law and encroach upon freedom, life and property of others.
However, the most intricate question is how to be sure what guilt is and who is guilty? Robert
Louis Stevenson rightly says that in each of us, two natures are at war - the good and the evil.
All our lives the fight goes on between them, and one of them must conquer. But in our own
hands lies the power to choose - what we want most to be we are. Some of us succeed to give
more chance to the goodness inside us and some of us fail to do so. There should always be space
while judging guilt for bonafide human mistakes and instincts. As long as a guilty person is not
a threat to society and there are chances of improvement in him and her, the punishment for
the guilt should always keep space for a chance to improve. Notwithstanding difficulties in
determining guilt and guilty every society chooses and devises some standard criteria and code.
Nevertheless the sanctity of those chosen criteria for the determination of guilt and the guilty
may not always qualify on the parameters of justice. This is why determining the degree of guilt
and relevant punishment may puzzle the best of judges in our courts. One commentator, Jim
Butcher says, "You know how confusing the whole good-evil concept is for me!"
In fact there won't have been any problem in deciding about guilt and the guilty if the eternal
values and ethics were allowed to remain pure and uncontaminated as they are. Violence,
looting, stealing, terrorizing, brutalizing, kidnapping, killing, raping; there are umpteen examples
where crime and guilt is apparent. But this is not so in other cases. When the perpetrator of the
guilt is powerful, smart, and wealthy it is hard to prove his/her guilt. The first kind of guilt and
guilty is easy to detect and take ameliorative measures. But the second kind of guilt where social,
economic and political dynamics blur the reality and the innocent becomes guilty and the guilty
becomes judge is what is very peculiar and complex. J.K Rowling (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's
Stone) says, "There is no good and evil, there is only power and those too weak to seek it." The
role of media, government institutions, and interest groups sometimes help to blur the truth and
destroy the prospects of justice. Recently the Supreme Court of India requested the Prime Minster
and all the Chief Ministers not to take the persons in their ranks of Ministers who have serious
criminal antecedents. Yet there comes a question in mind- who elected them to the seats of
parliament if they were criminals and guilty of doing unlawful and anti-social acts? In such cases
guilty have been rewarded in the court of people.
Whatever is the case, if guilt and guilty are detected and sufficient evidence against them is
available, they must be tried and punished. It is important to maintain law and order in the

[72] Hints: Essay Workbook

society. It is also important to maintain the faith and confidence of people in the system. A
society in which there is no security of property and life, it is not possible to run enterprises and
do productive works. In a society where people are insecure and terrorized, there is no possibility
of flourishing art and culture. In the absence of peace, it will be difficult to pursue good things
of life. The innocent people want to do all these things, but the criminals do not allow them. The
ultimate casualty is freedom, creativity, and productivity if the guilty are not punished. In this
sense it is true that mercy to the guilty is injustice to the innocent. Martin Luther King Jr. has
very rightly said that 'injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere'. It is interesting,
however, to analyze the situations in which mercy to the guilty may do a greater good than
punishment. Then there is an adage- to err is human, to pardon divine. If the extent of guilt is
very small and the involved person is not arrogant and obdurate and shows the potential to
improve, it is better to use punishment as a warning or caution so that the person gets a chance
for correction.
There are times when the context of guilt also needs to be taken on a serious note before
punishment. The principles of jurisprudence differentiates between a thief who stole food while
he was on the verge of starvation or who stole money for buying medicine for her sick child and
those who stole for fun , thrill, enjoyment or killed the weak and poor who did not accept low
wages and declined to work in their factories or farms. In modern democratic states there are
many legitimate protests for minimum basic needs such as food, water, electricity, minimum
wages, health and education or discrimination on the part of ruling class. If somebody is held
guilty of such protests, the administrators and judges are supposed to take a different view while
deciding about punishment. Such protests are legitimized by great thinkers as well. Elie Wiesel
says there may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a
time when we fail to protest. Justice however has two layers. A judge is needed to fix guilt on
the basis of prevalent law and available evidence at a general level. At higher level there are
principles of jurisprudence. The basic of jurisprudence takes into account the situation in which
the guilt or crime was committed and the belief that even if hundred guilty are acquitted, not
a single innocent should be punished. It is to suggest that in our bid to save the innocent, we
may not be extra enthusiastic to fix the guilt and punish in haste. There is always a chance that
innocent people are dubbed and framed by the mighty people or state through crafted evidences.
The principle of jurisprudence cautions against such cases where there are chances to frame
innocent people. There are many thinkers who support this view. Voltaire says, it is better to risk
saving a guilty man than to condemn an innocent one.
The discussion leads us to the conclusion that a society must have strong provisions to deter
crime and punish the guilty. Rule of the law is a precondition for progress. Also it is important
to create a positive milieu for economic activities, art, and culture. This is possible if there is
security from terrorism and crime and the freedom to live life according to ones will as long as
the state's law and order is not broken ordinarily. The political protests or protests for human
causes should be treated at a different level. Law should also consider variety of situations in
which the guilty commit the crime. The present crisis of faith in the society is because many
guilty people have their say supported by their wealth, power and loopholes of the legal system.
This needs to be addressed if collective faith has to be restored. Yet we should avoid the statist
or mechanical interpretation of law while punishing the guilty. Albert Einstein rightly points out
that God did not create evil. Just as darkness is the absence of light, evil is the absence of Good.
Mercy on guilty is not to be advocated, but while fixing the guilt utmost caution and humanitarian
attitude need to be maintained. Ultimately love would make life beautiful and truth would
survive. Mercy should be deserved. Aberrations need strong deterrence, but a chance to say sorry
and improve should be allowed to the guilty.
Hints: Essay Workbook [73]
4. A free and fair election is not possible without media.
Various aspects to see the essay topic: The media has pivotal role in dispensing information
about various parties and candidates. It also helps in shaping opinion in any society, so it has
to be independent, unbiased and factually correct.
Media organizations may support a particular ideology, but they must not present their opinions
as a facts and influence people with them as truism. Result of election is reflection of opinion of
the society regarding the contesting political parties, ideologies and candidates.
• Educating voters on how to exercise their democratic rights;
• Reporting on the development of an election campaign;
• Providing a platform for the political parties and candidates to communicate their message to
the electorate;
• Providing a platform for the public to communicate their concerns, opinions, and needs, to the
parties/candidates, the EMB, the government, and to other voters, and to interact on these
• Allowing the parties and candidates to debate with each other;
• Reporting results and monitoring vote counting;
• Scrutinizing the electoral process itself, including electoral management, in order to evaluate the
process's fairness, efficiency, and probity;
• Providing information that as far as possible avoids inflammatory language, to help prevent
election-related violence.
The media is not the sole source of information for voters, but in a world dominated by mass
communications, it is increasingly the media that determine the political agenda, even in less
technologically developed countries.
Media acts as a mechanism for the prevention and investigation of allegations of violations or
malpractice. This watchdog role extends from accountability of officials and their actions while
'in office' to entire processes.
For example, media presence at voting and counting centres is critical to preventing electoral
fraud, given that full measures protecting freedom of speech are guaranteed, and that media are
free to act independently and with impartiality.
Challenges: Despite positive role of media there are a few challenges too that has to be addressed
to make media more responsible towards conduct of free and fair elections.
The challenges lie in making media independent, free from any bias and ensuring accuracy of
reportage by the media. The media can be a tool for fanning violence and conflict if not properly
managed. The use of radio during the Rwandan genocide in 1994 in mobilising the population
to participate in violence was a striking example of the power of radio to serve destructive
political interests by manipulating hearts and minds.
Independence of media/ Biases & prejudice:
Many of the media houses in India are either controlled by some or other political parties or big
corporations. Examples of media houses/ major publications controlled by political parties include,
SUN TV network (owned by DMK MPs), Hindustan Times and News 24 (owned by Congress
MPs) etc; the list is very long. Even the state broadcaster like Doordarshan and AIR are alleged
to be heavily in control of the ruling party.
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Almost all parties have media presence so the competition somewhat rules out heavy media tilt
towards one party. But it confuses the voters because there may be conflicting reportage. Classic
example of this is opinion polls by various media houses; they differ so much that they leave
voters confused and sometimes leads voters to the outcome intended by them.
Freedom of speech is guaranteed by the constitution of India, so government has limited powers
to impose restrictions on the dissenting media houses. Still the government enjoys considerable
power to control the media, it the Supreme Court which intervenes to keep the government in
More over economic interest of media houses by way of government advertisement contract
forces them to side with the ruling party. Legally speaking, media in India is by and large
independent but it is mostly their vested interest that limits their freedom.
Election commission also has ordered the public broadcasters to provide mandatory stipulated
screen or air time to different state and national political parties for the purpose of election
campaigning. However this facility is not available to registered-unrecognized political parties or
any independent candidates.
The Supreme Court in Ramakant Pandey vs. Union of India held that the recognized National
and State parties stand on a different footing from the unrecognized political parties and any
discrimination between these two categories of political parties would be a reasonable and valid
classification. This provision gives equality of opportunity regarding election campaign to all
political parties.
Some media houses are biased because of their ideology, while some have been affected by paid
news and other incentives, such as state awards and powerful positions.
Exit polls are banned in India, but there is no such ban on opinion polls. Opinion polls are
opinion formed on the basis of small sample of data collected via surveys. The process of conducting
such surveys is quite questionable.
It is duty of media to report factually which is also suitable according to context.
There are many media guidelines and best practices which must be followed to ensure free and
fair elections. But sadly in our country we witness phenomenon like 'Paid News'. The Paid News
is a phenomenon found in Indian media, in which many of the mainstream media outlets engage
themselves in publishing favorable articles in exchange for payment.
Political parties get a small positive development pictured as a great achievement. Another
phenomenon is that of advertisements being shown as news item. All these are aimed at
fraudulently influencing opinion of voters positively towards own party or taking them away
from other party. This fraudulent practice must stop. Again in the age of internet and social
media ensuring that all reportage is correct and relevant to the context is not possible.
It is evident that the without media playing a democratic role, democratic elections are simply
not possible. On the contrary it seems that media is not simply restrained from advancing
democracy, but actively utilised to counter it.
So while media to self regulate itself for the good of democracy and conduct of free and fair
elections, there shall be a exemplary punishment for the politicians and media involved in paid
news and false reporting.

Hints: Essay Workbook [75]

Essay Workbook


1. Indian Democracy at Crossroads: Need of Good Governance.

2. Only those who can deliver should Rule.

3. We don't have to sacrifice a strong economy for a healthy environment

4. Make in India is the first stage; the final stage that is, made in India is very demanding.
Essay Workbook

Hints: Essay Test - 2

1. Indian Democracy at Crossroads: Need of Good Governance.
India is a young and growing democracy, so it is perpetually at crossroads till it achieves some
maturity and stability.
After years of single party government in initial years to fractured mandate and coalition politics;
India today has a stable government enjoying full majority.
Since our democracy is still not mature enough and is growing so it finds itself often at crossroads,
wherein it has to choose path it wants to follow.
Frequent use of RTI, demand for more responsible institutions like CAG, LOKPAL, Independent
CBI, etc, shows that democracy is growing and maturing. People don't want to be ruled anymore
but want to be governed with a equal right for feedback and power sharing.
Everybody agrees that there is a need for good governance, but what they don't agree upon is
the question of what is good governance? Good governance means different thing to different
people. For people having capitalist view, good governance is minimum governance, wherein
market plays dominant role in regulating society and economy.
For people having socialist leaning, good governance is government with maximum welfare
schemes for vulnerable sections of society. For communists, it is equal distribution of resources.
Good governance doesn't have any universal mechanism of delivery.
Contemporarily if we interpret the last general election, as the mandate given by people for good
governance, the same can be summarized from the major election issues as consisting of following
Removal of corruption and introduction of transparency: Corruption has been one of the most
debated issue in the last election. People don't want to elect a government which indulges in
corruption even if the government gives out lot of subsidies.
Some novice political parties rose to prominence on the plank fight against corruption. People
today are more informed and know that corruption weakens the democracy so they want a
clean and efficient government. Corruption also increases cost of living for people. We have seen
people's movement for demanding transparency in governance. RTI and LOKPAL bill are product
of people's demand.
End of Policy Paralysis: People want quick and effective decision making instead of bureaucratic
delays. They don't want to wait endlessly to avail of essential goods and services provided by the
various governments. They don't want long lines so they are demanding rapid computerization
of the system. Many services like passport, gas connection, etc are provided online.
Many states have come up with public services law wherein time limit for delivery of services
are fixed and government officials have to ensure delivery of services in such stipulated time.
Citizen charter is still not fully implemented but there is strong demand coming from ground.
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People are getting extremely vocal and rightly so about their rights. It is good for governance that
people are asking for the efficiency form the government departments instead of policy paralysis.
Maximum participation of people in decision-making: Participation of people in election is
increasing election after election; it shows people who were earlier silent want their voices to be
Voting percentage in last election suggests that rich and middle class who earlier ignored the
elections are now casting their votes. This is good for democracy as it brings in more educated
and informed voters.
The rapid growth of social media also enables people to give their suggestions to the government
and thereby participate in decision making process.
Growth and development: People are becoming increasingly impatient about lack of employment
opportunities so they want establishment of new factories and new employment opportunities
at the earliest. They want inflation to be tamed and economic growth to pick up pace. Last many
years we experienced jobless growth. People at the same time want infrastructure in transport,
health, education, entertainment, etc. India being a nation of young people has immense potential
for economic growth and development.
Economic and social equality along with justice: Agitation after infamous rape case of December
2012 suggests that people are restless for justice and want a law and order which ensures social
equality. Gender equality is one of the most important aspects of social equality. After that
women safety has been on the agenda of all the political parties in the subsequent elections.
Numerous PILs (Public Interest Litigation) also suggests that people are increasingly demanding
enforcement of their rights. They want a responsive judiciary which stands as a guard for their
People all over country want equitable distribution of resources. Every now and then we hear
news of agitation in various part of our country demanding land, agricultural, forest, mineral
There is a visible departure in participation pattern of civil society to from elitist and downtrodden
to middle class and urban youth, which is a welcome change and may bring a change in very
nature of our political system.
Final Direction
Since both our democracy and governance system and mechanism are growing we cannot have
a fixed perspective of both democracy and governance.
Our concept of good governance does have indigenous flavor and is suited to our own unique
needs and the concept will adapt to the changed environment.
Good governance has many dimensions but its major characteristics in a country with mixed
economy and vibrant and developing democracy must include, people's participation, rights
based development, removal of red tape, consensus orientation, accountability, transparency,
responsiveness, effectiveness and inclusiveness in patterns and mechanism of delivery.
So that corruption is minimized, views of minorities are taken into account and that the voices
of the most vulnerable in society are heard in decision-making.
2. Only those who can deliver should Rule.
In any political setup, it is quite difficult to disagree with the statement that, only those who can
deliver should rule, but precondition for governing in a democracy is the selection through
general election.
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But when we consider non-democratic circumstances, we must state that only those, who really
represent people, should rule or govern.
As in matters of delivery of governance, even autocratic government, bureaucracy, or even
judiciary may deliver, but it doesn't mean that autocrats, bureaucracy or judiciary should rule.
When we break the statement "Only those who can deliver should Rule" these questions come
to fore and they are:
a) What is to be delivered?
b) Who can deliver?
c) Who will judge the delivery?
d) Who should rule?
There is hardly any consensus on the above questions. These questions carry many perspectives,
so we will have different voices supporting different perspectives and thus arriving at a consensus
is difficult.
What is to be delivered?
Despite a few common needs, different people have different needs and all needs can't be
fulfilled; so there are different priorities for different set of people. Examples of common needs
of any society are food, law & order, health, etc. Society often asks for what it doesn't have. An
underdeveloped society will ask for basic needs to be fulfilled. A developing society will ask for
mixture of needs. A developed society will mostly ask for social security, maintenance of status,
and freedom. Resources available with any government are limited, so it has to prioritize what
is to be delivered. It has to establish a balance between conflicting demands of the present and
has to look for the future sustainability.
Who can deliver?
A layman often identifies the highest executive responsible for delivery of governance. The
executive may be called by the name of governor, president, prime minster, chief minister etc.
The highest authority bears all the blame for failure of delivery and credit for its success. However,
in reality there is presence of number of institutions between common man and the top executive.
No matter how willing or good intentioned the top executive is, he can't deliver unless there is
a well functioning bureaucracy. The top executives can only deliver with the help of good
institutions. However, the importance of institutions doesn't undermine the importance of top
executive. It is the leader who directs and guide the institution to deliver, when the leader is lazy,
the institutions also becomes so. Institutions often emulate their leaders, so a corrupt leader will
also corrupt the institutions. Another important player involved in delivery of governance is
people themselves. No delivery is possible without the participation of the public.
In matters of delivery of governance, watchdogs like judiciary, ombudsman, CAG, also play an
important role in delivery of goods and services. They keep the institutions alert and responsive
to the citizens and also ensure that there is equal treatment of all. However, institutions like
judiciary and ombudsman shouldn't interfere in day to day functioning of the institutions.
Who will judge the delivery?
In democracy people are the sole judge to decide where the delivery of governance was good or
bad. They give their opinion in election or through protests. Other indicators of delivery of
governance are economic data like GDP growth, unemployment rate, poverty rate etc. Some
social indicators like gender ratio, social inequality, literacy, etc also help in deciding, whether
delivery of governance was good or bad.
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Who should rule?
In democratic setup answer to this question is one who is eligible for the election and able to
deliver should rule. On the question of who is eligible, some people advocate that there should
be academic qualification for the rulers. Recently Rajasthan government brought a law which
mandates that all the candidates participating in local body election must possess certain minimum
educational qualification. While this is a right step, but is implemented in a wrong way. There
must have been some notice period of say, 5 years, before implementing it. Elected representatives
need to communicate, both written and oral, thus, we need literate representatives.
Some also suggest that only people with certain experience in administration should only be
eligible for the top post in a country so that they have experience of delivering on governance.
This view, assumes that novices can't perform well. It is not true as youth has at times performed
better than the previous generation, for example, the freedom struggle became stronger with
each inclusion of newer generation in leadership.
In parliamentary representative democracy people vote for parties and parties elect the chief
executive. So it is parties that rule, and not a person directly. Ultimately, it is institutions, which
must be strengthened to deliver governance rather than leaving it to a random leader. An
individual on the top position is always important, but the focus should be on strengthening the
institutions for delivery of governance. In past, there have been benevolent rulers, who have
taken their society to peace and prosperity, but the mechanism broke down after their demise.
In comparison if good institutions are nurtured, they not only survive for a long period of time,
but also enable a consistent flow a delivery and at times also emerge as training ground of new
leaders. We can conclude that it is desirable that people who can deliver should govern, but for
that to happen people's participation and awareness is also important, so that they don't choose
3. We don't have to sacrifice a strong economy for a healthy
Key Concept: Sustainable Development
Key Themes: Balance b/w Economy and Ecology, trade-off for Development, Clean Energy,
Renewable Energy, Smart Cities (efficient), Public Transport, Kyoto Protocol, carbon credits,
investment efficiency (ICOR), Greenfield projects v/s Brownfield projects, recycling
The essay is about sustainable development. Thus, the thrust should be on feasibility of the
same (explained with illustrations) contrasted with the challenges (supported by Reports or
Quote: You don’t have to sacrifice environmental protection to get economic growth. The
choice between jobs and environment is a false one: we can have both.” Bill Clinton
Approach for the Essay
This, is a very straight forward topic and shall be elaborated as per the statement, however,
there is a challenge, sustainable development is easier said than done, thus, the essence would
be on the part, how you substantiate your argument with data and reports. Especially, when
given the record of past 20 years we can see not much has improved on sustainable development
front and each passing day we are damaging our habitat.
First task shall be to elaborate the statements, while clearly stating the challenges in the path
of sustainable growth. Also, explain the point, while we can preserve environment with a
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strong economy, the investment efficiency and ICOR would fall and thus, aggressive economic
growth would not be possible.
Body Text
Elaborate how this can be achieved through increasing the reliance on Clean and Renewable
Energy. Use the concept of smart cities that focus on energy efficiency through good public
transport, focus on green lifestyle and recycling through citizen involvement. Also, include the
economic cost of developing such smart cities and jobs that the process would create and
further boost growth. Include some examples of Greenfield projects v/s Brownfield projects
and how excessive focus on Greenfield projects affects the environment and reduce the forest
and green cover.
Include the international agreements dimension with Kyoto Protocol and carbon credits
Include the challenges in the process and above mentioned themes and conclude on an
optimistic note while charting out the limited progress in last 20 years.
The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership. Since the Industrial
revolution of eighteenth century and more particularly after the Second World War economic
growth became the first priority of all the welfare democratic states to enhance national wealth
in order to uplift the living standard of the people. Economic growth increased in leaps and
bounds due to technological and managerial innovations on the one hand and optimum use of
resources on the other. In the post world war period, however, it was increasingly being realized
that growth has its own cost and it puts pressure on the limited resources beyond their carrying
capacity. Once growth takes place beyond the carrying capacity the quality of natural resources
such as soil, water and air deteriorate. Such a development is not sustainable. The concern gave
birth to discussions whether there is ‘limits to growth’? Is there any trade off between growth
and sustainable development? On the one side of the spectrum there are people who think that
nature has immense power to rectify the imbalances and resuscitate and regenerate itself and so
the fear about a nightmare or a natural disaster is not warranted. On the other side of spectrum,
there are experts who believe that unfettered industrialization and commercialization lead to
many aberrations and imbalances due to excessive use of land and water, use of chemical
fertilizers and pesticides, emission of pollutants and carbon from fossil fuels, excessive use of
processing materials etc. eventually destroying the capacity of nature to rectify, resuscitate and
rejuvenate. But mid between the two spectrum, there is an optimist class that believes that a
balancing act between growth and conservation and protection of nature is possible. They believe
that since the world population has increased, it is necessary to increase national wealth for
improving the standard of living of the people and remove poverty. Humanity needs to have
wise policies to ensure growth and development that is sustainable. Ban Ki-moon rightly points
out: Sustainable development is the pathway to the future we want for all. It offers a framework to
generate economic growth, achieve social justice, exercise environmental stewardship and strengthen
governance. He further says that climate change is destroying our path to sustainability. Ours is
a world of looming challenges and increasingly limited resources. Sustainable development offers
the best chance to adjust our course.
The Club of Rome, a global think tank raised considerable public attention in 1972 with its report
The Limits to Growth. The Limits to Growth is a 1972 book about the computer simulation of
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exponential economic and population growth with finite resource supplies. Five variables were
examined in the original model. These variables are: world population, industrialization, pollution,
food production, and resource depletion. The authors intended to explore the possibility of a
sustainable feedback pattern that would be achieved by altering growth trends among the five
variables under three scenarios. They noted that their projections for the values of the variables
in each scenario were predictions “only in the most limited sense of the word,” and were only
indications of the system’s behavioral tendencies. Two of the scenarios saw “overshoot and
collapse” of the global system by the mid to latter part of the 21st century, while a third scenario
resulted in a “stabilized world.” tendencies of the variables in the system (population or pollution,
for example) to change as time progresses. A variable may increase, decrease, remain constant,
oscillate, or combine several of these characteristic modes. For example, a population growing in
a limited environment can approach the ultimate carrying capacity of that environment in
several possible ways. It can adjust smoothly to equilibrium below the environmental limit by
means of a gradual decrease in growth rate. It can overshoot the limit and then die back again
in either a smooth or an oscillatory way. Or it can overshoot the limit and in the process decrease
the ultimate carrying capacity by consuming some necessary nonrenewable resource. This behavior
has been noted in many natural systems. For instance, deer or goats, when natural enemies are
absent, often overgraze their range and cause erosion or destruction of the vegetation.
Although in the 400 years of development, market economies achieved higher and higher economic
growth without jeopardizing much in terms of environment and ecosystem till the Second World
War. But in the baby boom years America and Europe at the core and Asian and African nations
at the periphery emulated the same models of industrialization and commercialization- ‘more’
was better than ‘less’ in both production and consumption in this model of growth. Population
also increased because of improvement in clinical facilities and better nutrition. Meanwhile
technological innovations, packaging and advertisement created demand for many products,
which were not so vital as food, cloth and shelter. All this resulted in excessive pressure on the
limited resource, over use of fossil fuels and unmanageable waste and byproducts as pollutants.
Thus the question has risen whether growth and development are unmixed blessings?
Recent studies have shown that Global warming and climate change is taking place. Scientist
have observed century-scale rise in the average temperature of the Earth’s climate system and its
related effects. Multiple lines of scientific evidence show that the climate system is warming.
More than 90% of the additional energy stored in the climate system since 1970 has gone into
ocean warming; the remainder has melted ice, and warmed the continents and atmosphere. The
observed increases in global average surface temperature and atmospheric carbon dioxide have
been much faster in recent decades than the natural changes of previous millennia, and levels
are now higher than at any time for hundreds of thousands of years prior.
Scientific understanding of the cause of global warming has been increasing. In its fourth
assessment (AR4 2007) the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported that
scientists were more than 90% certain that most of global warming was being caused by increasing
concentrations of greenhouse gases produced by human activities (anthropogenic). In 2010 that
finding was recognized by the national science academies of all major industrialized nations.
Climate model projections were summarized in the 2013 Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) by the
IPCC. They indicated that during the 21st century the global surface temperature is likely to rise
a further 0.3 to 1.7 °C (0.5 to 3.1 °F) for their lowest emissions scenario using stringent mitigation
and 2.6 to 4.8 °C (4.7 to 8.6 °F) for their highest
Future climate change and associated impacts will vary from region to region around the globe.
The effects of an increase in global temperature include a rise in sea levels and a change in the
amount and pattern of precipitation, as well as a probable expansion of subtropical deserts.
Warming is expected to be strongest in the Arctic, with the continuing retreat of glaciers, permafrost
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and sea ice. Other likely effects of the warming include more frequent extreme weather events
including heat waves, droughts, heavy rainfall, and heavy snowfall; ocean acidification; and
species extinctions due to shifting temperature regimes. Effects significant to humans include the
threat to food security from decreasing crop yields and the loss of habitat from inundation.
Now it is felt everywhere that instead of growth and development, the economies should pursue
the goal of sustainable development. Sustainable development is a road-map, an action plan, for
achieving sustainability in any activity that uses resources and where immediate and
intergenerational replication is demanded. As such, sustainable development is the organizing
principle for sustaining finite resources necessary to provide for the needs of future generations
of life on the planet. It is a process that envisions a desirable future state for human societies in
which living conditions and resource-use continue to meet human needs without undermining
the “integrity, stability and beauty” of natural biotic systems. As a working definition, sustainability
can be defined as the practice of maintaining processes of productivity indefinitely-natural or
human made-by replacing resources used with resources of equal or greater value without
degrading or endangering natural biotic systems. According to M. Hasna, sustainability is a
function of social, economic, technological and ecological themes. Sustainable development ties
together concern for the carrying capacity of natural systems with the social, political, and
economic challenges faced by humanity.
Former US President Bill Clinton rightly points out, “You don’t have to sacrifice environmental
protection to get economic growth. The choice between jobs and environment is a false one: we
can have both.” The idea of the US President is today a norm rather than exception. Today the
national governments as well as multilateral forums are trying hard to find ways and means to
achieve a balance between growth and environment, i.e to realize sustainable development.
There are many measures which have either been initiated or in the offing to reduce the adverse
effects of growth on natural resources, environment and ecosystems. All the national governments
have made laws for the conservation of forest, flora and fauna. The industries are required to
take clearance from green tribunals and departments. There are many countries which have
started green accounting. Even in the corporate sector practices like green audit and corporate
responsibility are being adopted. Many countries are promoting use of renewable energy and
nuclear power which will help provide the electricity that our growing economy needs without
increasing emissions. This is truly an environmentally responsible source of energy.
Countries across the globe are engaging in forestation, soil conservation and purification of their
water bodies and rivers by stopping effluents from draining into them and effluent treatment.
Throughout the globe, a grand endeavour is underway to develop green technology so as to
control carbon and other green house gases emissions.
By 1990s, it was realized that unfettered industrialization may cause permanent damage to the
planet earth, so a collective effort known as Kyoto Protocol was adopted. The Kyoto Protocol is
an international treaty, which extends the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on
Climate Change (UNFCCC) that commits State Parties to reduce greenhouse gases emissions,
based on the premise that (a) global warming exists and (b) man-made CO2 emissions have
caused it. The Protocol is based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities: it
puts the obligation to reduce current emissions on developed countries on the basis that they are
historically responsible for the current levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The Protocol’s
first commitment period started in 2008 and ended in 2012. A second commitment period was
proposed in 2012, known as the Doha Amendment, in which 37 countries have binding targets.
Also the world today has a system of carbon trading. Carbon emissions trading is a form of
emissions trading that specifically targets carbon dioxide (calculated in tonnes of carbon dioxide
equivalent or tCO2e) and it currently constitutes the bulk of emissions trading. Under Carbon
trading, a country having more emissions of carbon is able to purchase the right to emit more
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and the country having less emission trades the right to emit carbon to other countries. More
carbon emitting countries, by this way try to keep the limit of carbon emission specified to them.
This form of permit trading is a common method countries utilize in order to meet their obligations
specified by the Kyoto Protocol; namely the reduction of carbon emissions in an attempt to
reduce (mitigate) future climate change.
There are also proposals on using user charges for soil, water and other natural resources with
an element of progressive taxation- more you use more you pay. In the similar fashion, there are
proposals for environmental tax. Environmental taxes, which many people refer to as “green
taxes,” are taxes that focus on improving the environment. The objective it to use taxation as a
way to encourage businesses to use resources more efficiently and prevent long-term damage to
the environment. According to the Internal Revenue Service, no business, government agency,
Indian tribal government or nonprofit educational organization is exempt from U.S. environmental
tax laws.
US present a good model of environmental tax. Environmental taxes in the U.S. focus on
environmentally harmful products. They include the oil spill liability tax that the IRS imposes on
refineries for crude oil and petroleum products. They also include taxes for companies that use
ozone-depleting chemicals and imported products that contain or use ODCs during manufacturing.
Taxes are often tied to a company’s particular use of resources. For example, the IRS website
notes that there are taxes on crude oil when it is received at a U.S. refinery. In this case, the
operator of the refinery is liable for the tax. However, when crude oil is used to extract oil or
natural gas on the site where the crude was produced, the tax is imposed on the user or exporter.
In addition, there is a “floor stocks” environmental tax imposed on ODCs that resellers and
manufacturers hold in inventory on January 1 of each year, either for sale or as a raw material.
Last but not the least there is immense possibility of global cooperation in mitigating the adverse
effects of economic growth on environment. The world community has built a Global
Environmental Facility. The Global Environment Facility (GEF) unites 183 countries in partnership
with international institutions, civil society organizations (CSOs), and the private sector to address
global environmental issues while supporting national sustainable development initiatives. Today
the GEF is the largest public funder of projects to improve the global environment. An independently
operating financial organization, the GEF provides grants for projects related to biodiversity,
climate change, international waters, land degradation, the ozone layer, and persistent organic
pollutants. Since 1991, the GEF has achieved a strong track record with developing countries and
countries with economies in transition, providing $12.5 billion in grants and leveraging $58
billion in co-financing for over 3,690 projects in over 165 countries. Through its Small Grants
Programme (SGP), the GEF has also made more than 20,000 small grants directly to civil society
and community based organizations, totaling $653.2 million. The technologically advanced nations
are also readying themselves for transfer of green technology to the less advanced developing
countries so as to pursue environment friendly growth and development.
It can be safely concluded that the world is today more aware than ever that sustainable
development is the only way for the survival of mother earth. In fact plans to protect air and
water, wilderness and wildlife are in fact plans to protect man. (Stewart Udall). The global
fraternity will have to conserve the natural resources and sparingly use them to give sufficient
time for regeneration. Aldo Leopold is right when he says conservation is a state of harmony
between men and land. It is very important to educate people and make them aware about the
trade-off between growth and environment. The is an urgent need to communicate with the
public and help to explain where there is consensus, and where are there doubts about the issues
of sustainable development. (Jeffrey Sachs). Talking will not help much and something concrete
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need to be done as the world community has already started. People have an inertia against
change, but change we must for sustainable development. Jaime Lerner says:
I always run into these Ph.D.s. They write and write and write about sustainable development.
Then these guys ask me, ‘But, how do you do it?’ They are scared to death to do anything.”It
is not that growth needs to be halted, but a caution in needed in overuse of natural resources,
greed and lust for profit. It is said umpteen times that nature has given ample resources for need
of all human beings, but no amount is sufficient for greed. Sometimes it is in the long-run interest
of the business sector to restrict the freedom of individual firms so that they do not destroy the
common pool of resources that all of them need, such as natural resources or the labour force.
We may finally conclude that whether humans are responsible for the bulk of climate change
should be left to the scientists, but it’s all of our responsibility to leave this planet in better shape
for the future generations than we found it.
To quote Ban Ki-moon: “Saving our planet, lifting people out of poverty, advancing economic
growth... these are one and the same fight. We must connect the dots between climate change,
water scarcity, energy shortages, global health, food security and women’s empowerment. Solutions
to one problem must be solutions for all.”
4. Make in India is the first stage; the final stage that is, made in
India is very demanding.
Dimensions Analysis
• India has qualified from a developing country to an emerging economy. But despite this the
structure of the Indian economy is still dominated by agriculture and other primary activities.
• Services has the highest share in the GDP followed by the manufacturing sector and agriculture
but agriculture still employs more than 50 per cent of the work force.
• India’s manufacturing sector’s share in the GDP and employment is miniscule at 15 percent
only as compared to about 50 per cent in the case of Chinese economy, which is called the
manufacturing hub of the world.
• It is easy to see what difference it has made to income, output employment and exports of the
Chinese economy, which has become today a $ 7 trillion economy as compared to India which
is $ 2.5 trillion economy. China has also been successful in addressing the problem of poverty
better than India.
• India has announced a new manufacturing policy in 2012 with an objective to enhance the
share of the manufacturing sector to 20 per cent of the GDP by 2020. This goal will address the
problem of the Indian economy arising because of its skipping the second stage of economic
transition from an agricultural economy to a manufacturing led economy in its way to become
a developed economy.
• As a first step towards this goal, the government of India is trying to attract both domestic as
well as foreign investors to “Make in India” the new age products with modern technology and
management so that employment and income could be generated at an accelerated pace and
India turns out to be an important exporter.
• India is trying to create better infrastructure and enhance ease of doing business by taking several
measures. It is also trying to liberalize its foreign investment regime. However, this is only the
first stage of industrialization.
• The second stage of industrial development will be “Made in India”. This will require all what
make in India requires, but it goes further.
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• India would require excellence in R&D, which would require focus on tertiary education, it
would require mammoth amount of investment in creation of infrastructure and human resources
and a pro-active support by the government for entrepreneurship.
• It also requires attitudinal changes in the India society. So the second stage is very demanding.

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Essay Workbook


1. Beware the Barrenness of a Busy Life

2. Gender equality is a more than a goal in itself.

3. Development means only human development; all other measures of growth are

4. The superior man thinks always of virtue; the common man thinks of comfort.
Essay Workbook

Hints: Essay Test - 3

1. Beware the Barrenness of a Busy Life
Beware the barrenness of a busy life- is a statement that highlights too much indulgence of
human beings in mundane affairs and not keeping aside some time for communication with the
self, for thinking, for dreaming, for caring, loving, and leisure for enjoying the fruits of hard work
etc. Since the times Adam ate the prohibited apple the humanity is required to hunt and gather
food and accumulate for future needs or wielding power. The modern man’s action in all
societies could be understood with the help of Maslow’s need-hierarchy theory. The need-hierarchy
classification of Individual/social life cycle seems to be the propelling force for all without exception
- that an individual first makes an effort to ensure livelihood need, thereafter in sequence pursues
its goals of security need, recognition need and self actualization need in that order. The modern
industrial man is busy in achieving all these stages of life as soon as possible. The industrial man
is workaholic. It may not be so during the time of the Greek thinker who gave the above
statement, yet there must have been large number of people running after material well being
and political power, keeping them all the while busy, so busy that they could not have time to
think about the small things of life full of beauty and aesthetic or values which make life beautiful
even without much wealth and power.
Life without action is inconceivable. Some of the basic and legitimate necessities need to be met,
no matter how much of hard work they require. But running after acquisition of wealth and
power is like chasing a mirage that in the end leave an individual as empty and hollow as in
the beginning of his pursuits. The competition to achieve our mundane goals is so stiff and cut
throat that while pursuing these goals, we sacrifice or ignore many beautiful things of life which
give us satisfaction, fulfillment, and happiness. The busy life is also the reason that we do not
care much about others. Further, a busy life is less conducive for creative thinking. All the
business we have in our lives is because we have desire to be the wealthiest and most powerful
or to be recognized. Even sacred books like Geeta, therefore, emphasize Karmayoga- Karmanye
wadhikaraste ma phaleshu kadachana (do your work without desire of fruits). In fact Geeta
preaches us to disengage from greed, lust, fear or weakness for kith and kin while working, so
that our Karma remains supreme and free from our character. But we need to be yogis- detached
from desire and to be Sthitha pragyan (In a state of equanimity or nonchalant in all circumstances).
These heavy ideas from Geeta can simply be interpreted that although remaining busy in our
works is inevitable, we must practice to inculcate disengagement, derive satisfaction and fulfillment
etc., which would never be possible if we become too mechanical. These attributes need poise
and serenity, not business and noise. The ideas of Socrates are much closer to the ideas of Geeta.
The Ancient hunting men or modern industrial men all indulged in a variety of activities- some
activities to fulfill their natural urges and the others to fulfill their social needs. When one desires
to excel, one need to work restlessly, whatever be the sphere of activity. The inventors and
discoverers work hard and even in extended hours keeping awaken continuously to find something

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which they believe, conceive or dream. The inventor of email- Subeer Bhatia worked for 18
hours a day, the leading management performers like Y.C. Deveshwar address 40 meetings in
3-days, India’s new Prime Minster-65 years of age- addressed about 500 meeting during 2014
national general elections; known to be working for 15-16 hours a day even today! Kabir, the
great Indian saint said- Sukhia sab sansar hai, khave or soye; Dukhiya das kabir hai, jage or rowe (All
the world is happy and eats and sleeps; only sad person is kabeer who is awoken and weeping).
It is said that the night India’s first Prime Minster died, he had written in his dairy famous lines
of Rudyard Kipling- ‘The woods are lovely, dark and deep; I have Miles to go before I sleep.’
Business has the key of success and it has the ability to keep away boredom and bad ideas from
our minds. The ancient Indian saints, therefore, said- Charaiveti, Charaiveti (keep on going, keep
on going). And one of the greatest world war time leaders Winston Churchill emulated the same
by saying- ‘Even if you are passing through the hell, keep on going.’ This is because keeping busy
is one of the best responses in adversity. May be the best strategy to change the course of life and
Keeping busy is the surest road to success. The more one works, the more one learns and
produces. The more one gives to a cause, the closer he comes to the goal. If somebody remains
busy it means that s/he has got so much of productive and creative urge and also opportunities.
Henry David Thoreau says success usually come to those who are too busy to be looking for it.
Remaining idle, or without any work is the surest way to pauperization and poverty. If we waste
out time, it wastes us. All time greatest Karate player Bruce Lee said, ‘if you love life, don’t waste
time, for time is what life is made up of’. In fact a man who dares to waste one hour of time has
not discovered the value of life (Charles Darwin). Further, inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action
breeds confidence and courage. Dale Carnegie says, ‘If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home
and think about it. Go out and get busy’. In the times of adversity, when we are empty and
alone, life seems to be nightmare. But if we do something and keep us busy it by and by
eradicates our fear and awakens our positive energy to fight back. In times of great stress or
adversity, it’s always best to keep busy, to plow your anger and your energy into something
But the moot point is we are busy what for. Is it simply getting driven by the popular and
fashionable societal factors that keep us moving or really meaningful endeavours in terms of
productivity or fulfillment? Thomas A. Edison rightly asserted that being busy does not always
mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these
ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as
perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing. Many of our efforts are meaningless and purposeless;
even then we keep ourselves busy. If we just analyze our own lives, it seems that Jane Austen
was right when she asserted that, ‘life seemed but a quick succession of busy nothings’. We are busy
often in wandering aimlessly, gossiping around, shopping, fighting, indulging in endless futile
discussions, or just day-to-day household chores. Busy we are. What is the end result? Doing
same things, over and over again, all the days that follows. The feelings like boredom, exhaustion,
lack of satisfaction, fulfillment etc. loom very large in our repeated works. The inner self cries for
communication, but we are either too busy or too tired to respond. We go on getting swayed by
routine affairs or very mundane activities that drive us away from our own self. Virginia Woolf
describes this situation in one of her works- ‘Once conform, do what other people do it because they
do it, and lethargy steals over all the finer nerves and faculties of soul. She becomes all outer show and
inward emptiness; dull, callous, and indifferent.’
The freedom to enjoy the fruits of your hard work, good and happy moments with your kith and
kin, the moments when you can choose what you like, can do what gives satisfaction and
fulfillment or just be aimless and idle are very important. These are not important just for a break
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from routine work or for unwinding your stress, such idle moments, aimless moments, free
moments are the moments when we love, dream, and indulge in romance of creativity and
otherwise seemingly improbable things. These things also drive our lives because they invigorate
and generate hope. These things cannot be generated or felt when we are too busy or under too
much pressure. When we are going at a breakneck speed in our lives, many finer and beautiful
details we miss. John Lennon says, ‘life is what happens while you are busy making other plans’.
Sometimes we like to be lazy despite our deep sense of responsibility and love for being busy. We
like to take time and relax and enjoy life. Nobody would disagree that work life balance is the
best strategy. All work alone makes us seek. All entertainment and no responsibility also do the
same. When we are too busy, we don’t have time for family and friends. This situation eventually
makes us alone and empty and it also gives pain to the people around us, when do not care.
Mary Kay Ash makes a point thus: No matter how busy you are, you must take time to make the
other person feel important. We can go a little further. We can make people feel that we love and
care! This is something which we will get in return with dividends. There would be lots of
satisfaction and fulfillment.
In fact sense of freedom and liberty is one of the biggest reasons of creativity and happiness. The
psychiatric consultants and motivators say that sometimes you’ve got to let everything go - purge
yourself. If you are unhappy with anything... whatever is bringing you down, get rid of it.
Because you’ll find that when you’re free, your true creativity, your true self comes out. The other
remarkable point about life is that very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within our
self, in our way of thinking. But in a busy life, we have no time to think, we are acquisitive and
not thinking men. Henry Ford pointed out that thinking is the hardest work there is, which is
probably the reason why so few engage in it. The most important thing is to enjoy your life - to
be happy - it’s all that matters. The truth is you don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow.
Life is a crazy ride, and nothing is guaranteed. If we go on sacrificing our present for an
imagined beautiful future, there is no guarantee that we can ever be able to enjoy life. We have
to work hard and at the same time buy time to love and being loved, to have fun and
entertainment, to have time to pursue our passions etc. We don’t have too many lives for
everything we like. The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are and not just being driven for
wealth and power.
The industrial man is busy and lonely. He has no time for anybody and others also do not have
time for him. Mother Teresa said ‘loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible
poverty’. If we do not have time to maintain friendship, relationships beyond our career
requirements, we are left lonely and empty. It leads to frustration and depression. We as human
beings need to love and being loved. We are not machines or robots. Technology can be our best
friend, and technology can also be the biggest party pooper of our lives. It interrupts our own
story, interrupts our ability to have a thought or a daydream, to imagine something wonderful,
because we’re too busy bridging the walk from the cafeteria back to the office on the cell phone.
We keep busy to achieve our career goals. But we are disappointed when we know that mechanical
pursuit of career goals has rendered us an unthinking man and a man with lesser attributes. It
is because we did never have time to think on other aspects of life. A person who scored well
on SAT will not necessarily be the best doctor or the best lawyer or the best businessman. These
tests do not measure character, leadership, creativity, and perseverance.
So it is necessary that we stop and think. Remaining busy forever, is against human construct.
Loneliness adds beauty to life. It puts a special burn on sunsets and makes night air smell better.
Being in an office or a factory or a market place keeps your heart and brains away from your
inner potential. It has been seen that great men are often lonely. This is understandable, because
they have built such high standards for themselves that they often feel alone. But that same
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loneliness is part of their ability to create. Further, the true secret of happiness lies in taking a
genuine interest in the minutest details of daily life. When we are too busy we have a tendency
to ignore such details. Life should not be like a blind race for success. How far you go in life
depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with
the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been
all of these. Life must be balanced and wholesome. Remaining busy is important for realizing our
goals, but being happy and free is also very important. Sai Baba rightly said, ‘Life is a song - sing
it. Life is a game - play it. Life is a challenge - meet it. Life is a dream - realize it. Life is a sacrifice
- offer it. Life is love - enjoy it’.
2. Gender equality is a more than a goal in itself.
When we say gender inequality is more than a goal, we mean that it is something more. Gender
equality may be a grand vision, it may be a mission, it may be a mechanism to facilitate equality,
freedom, dignity, modernization and development. Thus gender equality is not just seeking
parity with men or acting in revenge against the male society for discrimination and subjugation.
The issue of gender equality should be viewed in a broader context. A society’s progress can be
gauged from the status that it gives to its women. This statement of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru
takes the broader context of gender equality. Women are one half of population. If they are
given equal socio-economic opportunity, automatically it leads to improvement in living standard
and happiness in society. It is generally seen in developing society that the brunt of scarcity of
resources, poverty, malnutrition and lawlessness falls on women. They have to run their families
in resource constraints. They have to bear the consequences of unemployment of the male family
members on the one hand and their own unemployment on the other. The women of the poor
families have to work very hard to arrange food, collect water and fuel. In patriarchal and feudal
societies, the failure of law and order first affects women’s security and dignity.
No doubt, if the goal of gender equality is pursued in right earnest, it helps us to realize the
dream of a happy and prosperous society. A healthy mother, wife, sister and daughter provide
healthy progeny. An educated woman can be the greatest source of education, health hygiene,
awareness at family and village level or block level. The combined result of this would be great
on the prosperity and well being of a nation. Thus gender equality is more than a goal in itself.
Women are human beings like men. They need freedom, love, dignity, power and wealth just like
men. But the history of human development has a gender bias with occasional or incidental
exceptions. Societies are generally patriarchal and the patriarchs decide what is good and bad
for women. The women have no or little freedom to exercise their will and to pursue their
aspirations and ambitions. Their roles have been limited to what males consider appropriate.
Patriarchs are happy to see them in defined roles as mothers, sisters and wives, even as mistress,
beloved, concubines etc. But when a woman exercises her free will as a woman, even today they
are stoned to death in some countries in the name of infidelity- a word which always applies to
women and never to men! In such a case if we talk of gender equality we are talking about
freedom and free will of one half of the population i.e., better half of the population; a word so
driven away from the actual life experience! This infidelity argument does not stop on women’s
interaction with men. It goes beyond. Malala could be punished for her desire to be educated.
Nirbhaya could be killed for resisting beastly men who wanted to encroach upon her dignity and
freedom and women could be killed in far flung areas for being witches. If gender equality comes
in true sense, it would be victory of freedom and liberty over slavery and subjugation.
The dos and don’ts in our society are highly skewed in favour of males. For example polygamy
was allowed in ancient times (even in medieval times) by males of almost all the religions, but
women were not allowed to enjoy even basic freedom to choose their spouses or life partners,
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except in swayamvars, which was forgotten later as a method of choosing life partners. They
were forced to marry with males who were not fit according to age, attitude and likes of the
woman, but they married because it pleased the patriarchs or served their economic and political
purposes. Their dress codes, their manner of speaking, weeping and laughing or all other aspects
of life were defined by the males. A quote from Anon articulates this situation very well-”I was
told that whistling wasn’t ladylike, but I knew even then that women were simply not supposed
to be that happy.” There are more prohibitions on women in all societies- what to do and what
not to do- than for men. A Spanish proverb rightly points out the agony of such a situation-”To
tell a woman everything she may not do is to tell her (the limited options) what she can do.”
Gender equality makes an equal opportunity society. If women get opportunity for education,
employment, political participation and freedom to enjoy their individuality it could be leading
towards equality of opportunity, a hallmark of a successful democracy.
Giving a bigger say to women is giving chance to human values. Human values make a society
more livable. Human values are an antidote to violence and exploitation. Women are physically
weak but very strong in human attributes such as kindness, compassion, patience, tolerance, love
and giving. If women are given equality, it means propagation of these great values in the
society. Gender equality, therefore, has the potential to make a society more livable, peaceful,
happy and cooperative.
Women are beautiful creation of nature. They fill colours in life. It is said that without women
a home is a place where one can only stay and take rest. All the joys and colours of life can come
alive only if there are women- mothers, sisters, wives, beloved, daughter- who adorn a house.
It is said that god made mothers because he/she cannot be everywhere. Another adage is that
god gave wives to men to compensate for the loss of paradise. Women are like oases in the dreary
deserts of life. We see that the culture of every society finds a repository in women as mothers
and wives. Men are busy making money and acquiring power while women take care of the
more beautiful things in life- food, cloth, worship, prayer, art, dance, music, singing etc. It is not
that males do not do anything for the sake of culture, but women do more. This is far truer for
primitive and under developed societies. Thus gender equality helps to make society more beautiful.
Women are apostles of sacrifice. They have great capacity to give as a mother, as a sister, as wife
and even as a social agent. A society is blessed where women are given stakes in decision making
because their decisions are guided by noble human sentiments and maximum happiness for the
maximum people. We have heard about Florence Nightingale- the lady with the lamp, who
served the wounded and hurt during the Crimean war. We have seen Mother Teresa. We have
seen our own mothers and wives. They are ever ready to sacrifice their interest for the selfless
service of their families and even at a greater level. It is a matter to brood why women serve the
best as teachers to children and nurses to sick people- it is because they have immense patience
and capacity to give, to serve, to sacrifice. More women at right places where decisions are taken
and policies are implemented is a guarantee that there would be less irresponsibility and
carelessness, there would be more care and concern, there would be more love, kindness,
compassion etc.
Women are silent sufferers. If they are given equality, this will be a great service to justice. Bella
Abzug, first Jewish female member of Congress; feminist, peace and civil liberty activist rues on
women’s lack of politicization of their rights. She says, “They used to give us a day—it was called
International Women’s Day. In 1975 they gave us a year, the Year of the Woman. Then from
1975 to 1985 they gave us a decade, the Decade of the Woman. I said at the time, who knows,
if we behave they may let us into the whole thing. Well, we didn’t behave and here we are.”She
adds, “We are coming down from our pedestal and up from the laundry room. We want an
equal share in government and we mean to get it.”Susan B Anthony inspires women to be more
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politicized- There never will be complete equality until women themselves help to make laws and
elect lawmakers. There is a lot of talk, but really there is not attitudinal change or real work.
Women are very poorly represented in the places of power (parliaments and assemblies) world
over. In India everybody apparently wants to empower women- but neither do rapes nor domestic
violence stop nor does the women reservation bill get passed. Gender equality asks for breaking
the culture of silence and hypocrisy in the behavior of male dominated society. Gender equality
will cause an end to duality and double speak. It signifies a great social revolution. Thus gender
equality is not just a goal; it is a mission, a vision and a dream to make societies more livable,
prosperous and happy.
3. Development means only human development; all other measures
of growth are misleading.
Development is a broad term that encompasses material, social, spiritual and mental or attitudinal
changes. Economic growth is just a means to an end. Human development is the ultimate end.
The minimum basic needs approach in economics highlights that growth would be welfare
enhancing only if the minimum basic needs of the human beings is fulfilled.
There was an aversion in Europe in late 1970s in measurement of welfare in terms of
macroeconomic parameters like GDP and they devised an index called physical quality of life
Index as an alternate model that did not use any GDP based measure of welfare. The renowned
Pakistani economist Mehbub-ul Haq who invented human development index, and broadly used
it as a welfare measure, said- earlier it was said that take care of growth, it will take care of
people. Today the thinking is reverse; take care of people, they will take cae of growth.
In fact development needs to be people centric. Development is not just to create wealth, but it
is for satisfaction of the basic wants of the people. Even if growth rate is high, but there is
immense inequality and poverty, what is the value of such growth?
Going a little wider, development is growth plus change. Material progress is just one dimension
of development, there are other dimensions that signify change which are equally important.
Education, health, shelter, entertainment, freedom, equality, good governance and sustainable
development are some of the most important things that add value to human life. No doubt it
is the human development which is paramount.
But if development creates the preconditions of growth, without growth, human development
cannot be realized and sustained. Material wherewithal and creation of wealth is equally important
for human development. The approach, therefore, should be balanced without forgetting that
wealth is a means to an end and not an end in itself.
4. The superior man thinks always of virtue; the common man thinks
of comfort.
Common and social is not a division, but a state of mind. In common mindset a person exhibits
differently as compared to how he/she would behave in an enlightened state of mind. One, who
is common today, can be superior tomorrow and someone who is superior today may behave like
common people, with a lost focus and morale.
Common man is one who is inspired by mundane material achievements, which bring comfort
to him in umpteen ways. For a common man good living means good food, good cloths, good
house, good vehicle, etc. and a fat cash balance. He won’t mind diluting his principles and
convictions, if this flexibility brings him variety of comforts. But a superior man would be ready
to sacrifice all comforts for the values and virtues he cherishes. It needs to be noted, however,
that flexibility is a positive quality, permissiveness is not.
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On the other hand firmness in principles is a positive quality, but rigidity and closed mind is not.
We have one life in front of us which has to be lived with comfort and joy. Sacrificing joy and
comfort in our present lives at the altar of virtues that make our future lives or other’s lives better
is altruism. Choosing between self interest and altruism depends on our life missions.
Common people have ordinary visions and missions, whereas superior people have superior
visions and missions. None of them is good or bad, as there is no great achievement than living
and dying for what we cherish. It is, therefore, our visions and missions that propel us to be what
we are and accordingly our values and virtues are also molded. It is said that level of consciousness
determines whether we chose self interest or altruism, comfort or virtues, personal well being or
service to society. People have different levels of consciousness.
There are people who are charged by great ideals based on virtues like service to humanity, love,
compassion, giving, sacrifice, freedom and liberty, equality and justice etc. These people make the
life around them better than that they inherit. They change the lives of people and set higher
ideals. They inspire and change the way people think and societies move. They establish goodness
and hope. They promote the cause of truth and justice. These virtues are so dear to them that
they are ready to go to the edge of earth to realize them and establish them. In the process they
give their blood, sweat and tears. They bear up with pain and endure adversities. This can
happen only at a higher level of consciousness. We can cite many examples.
Common man is vulnerable due to greed, competition, jealousy, envy and sometimes due to
existentialist requirement. Common man also wants short cuts. Demonstration effect also plays
an important role in determining the hopes and aspirations of common man. He may choose to
be a dumb driven cattle or a game changer. It all depends what he thinks of as his goal.
Being a common man, nevertheless, is not being vulnerable always. Simplicity is a virtue. Being
contented and being human, however, makes common man extra-ordinary. If common man is
ready to sacrifice comforts he can be upright and honest. If a common man is ready to make
sacrifices and be giving, loving and forgiving he becomes great and human. It is the common
men with virtues that great men and role models are made of.

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Essay Workbook


1. Try not to become a man of success, rather try to become a man of value.

2. Bureaucracy is a giant mechanism operated by pygmies.

3. Leadership is not about the next election, it's about the next generation.

4. Without agriculture it is not possible to have a city, stock market, banks, university,
church or army.
Essay Workbook

Hints: Essay Test - 4

1. Try not to Become a Man of Success, but Rather Try to Become
a Man of Value.
The statement indicates that our urge to achieve success must be supported by good values.
These values help us to achieve our goals and also help us in cherishing our success with respect
and love. Lack of values brings only ephemeral or transitory success and even after getting such
success we do not get respect and love. Success without values is a burden that leads to emptiness
and hollowness rather than happiness. Deep in our conscience a success devoid of values never
allows us to feel like a hero but culprits or sinners.
Success is alluring because it gives wealth, power, and recognition. Its ultimate purpose,
nevertheless, is happiness and sense of fulfillment. Success is a vague term and not easy to
define; it has different meanings and connotations for different kind of people as they seek
different meanings from their lives. A person may interpret success as achievements of individual,
social, and spiritual goals achieved through fair means. For another person success may mean
achieving wealth and power at any cost even by treachery and deception or other types of unfair
means or achieving a design that impedes, defeats and, destroys others in their positive endeavours.
Success has, therefore, different meanings, which depends on the values and character of the
person in question.
Happiness, the ultimate goal of success has different reasons for different people. There are
qualitatively two different approaches in life— living with values and living arbitrarily just for
the satisfaction of animal instincts. True we are driven in our lives by animal spirits and realizing
individual selfish goals that give as success and happiness. But success and happiness must have
a moral purpose behind them for giving us a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction.
The society respects you or even fears you if you succeed, it ignores you or even hates you if you
fail. Such is the power of success. It is said that success has many fathers, but failure is an
orphan. Success, however, is ephemeral and it is known for putting new people in the thron,
while dethroning the older ones. Although success could be achieved by hook or crook, by
cunningness and cleverness, by good fortunes or windfalls; it neither lasts nor gives fulfillment
in such a case. When success is devoid of character and values, it is based on bullying, use of
unfair means, hurting and brutalizing others, indulging in deception, violence and untruth.
Nevertheless, success can also be achieved by fair means, hard work, dedication and determination.
In the first instance it does not give satisfaction and a sense of fulfillment, on the other hand it
neither lasts nor is respected. Such a success creates enemies. If success comes through character
and values it gives satisfaction and a sense of fulfillment and it lasts. Howsoever big or small such
success is, it is loved and respected.
Thus, it is two sets of values and approaches that lead to success, we may call them ‘white box
approach’ and ‘black box approach’. The white box approach is based on good values such as

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hard work, sincerity, firm determination, care, love, and cooperation while the black box approach
on negative values such as extreme selfishness, cunningness, maneuver, deception and indifference
or blindness to others plight. Therefore, it is our values that determine the quality as well as
sustainability and respectability of our success. The white box approach stands for traditional
values like honesty, equality, kindness, compassion, treating people the way you want to be
treated and helping those in need. Apart from eternal values or traditional values (classical
values), there are values of modern society, which have evolved through experiment, experience
and free discussions. New Age values are conscious evolution, a non-sectarian society, a non-
military culture, global sharing, healing the environment, sustainable economies, self-determination,
social justice, economic empowerment of the poor, love, compassion in action, going beyond
religious fundamentalism, going beyond nationalism-extreme nationalism, culture. The contrary
of the above comprises dark box approach.
Values are very important in our journey to success. Values help us to make all sacrifices and
enable us turn everything to achieve our mission and goals. Values help us to endure failures and
other adversities. Values impart us courage and hope to cross all impediments in our way. Values
help us to be noble and dignified in both success and failures. Values help us to respect other
dreams and struggles, to love and care and to keep our senses even if we become extremely
wealthy or powerful. The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of
strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will. Will-power springs from the purpose
behind our actions. Frail Mahatma Gandhi shook the British Empire, Nelson Mandela sustained
three decades in jail to fight against racialism, Aung San-Su-Kyi is bravely facing excesses of the
military dominated Junta to bring democracy in Myanmar. Such indefatigable will-power or
spirit springs from great values and purpose these people stand for.
We have many distractions and disappointments in our journey to success. We fail to focus on
our goals if we are not driven by values, as it is a key to success, but without values it is not
possible. The example of Varghese Kurian is relevant in this respect as he could have opted for
a great corporate career, but he preferred to opt for a cooperative movement to increase production
and distribution of milk in India, eventually leading to ‘operation flood’, making India number
one producer of milk. The reason for his choice of developing Amul, a milk cooperative movement,
was an article he read while he was in Britain for studies saying ‘milk supplied in the Indian
market is far worse than dirty water flowing in the drains of London.’ He was stirred so much
so that he decided to do something meaningful for the development of this sector.
Lack of values make us shaky, irresponsible, escapist, unscrupulous, greedy and headstrong etc.
The dictators succeed, but behind their black box approach to success they leave behind a bloody
trail of human rights violation whether it was Hitler, Saddam Hussain, or Gaddafi. They had
wealth and power and their success was accepted for a while, but eventually they were crushed
under the burden of their own sins. Bill Gates is right when he says, ‘Success is a lousy teacher.
It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.’ The result of Presidential elections in Sri
Lanka in 2015 is evidence how former President Rajapakshe underestimated the power of values.
The sub- prime crisis in 2007 and euro zone crisis in 2010 were not because of failures of
capitalism, but they were human failings due to lust for excessive or irrational profit just in the
manner that it was not the socialist system that led to the fall of the erstwhile Soviet Union, but
the profligacy and irresponsibility of the leaders who became unaccountable for their acts as well
as who treated themselves as more equal than other equals.
So Albert Einstein is right when he says, ‘Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to
become a man of value.’ We should not aim for success just because we want it; we should instead
just do what we love and believe in, and it will come naturally. In fact there is no contradiction
in collective success and there is no need for cut throat competition.
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2. Bureaucracy is a Giant Mechanism Operated by Pygmies.
The statement connotes the big size of the governing mechanism and limitations of bureaucrats
in terms of mandate, decision-making capabilities, efficiency, skills, honesty, integrity, and
dedication. This is unfortunately the popular view about bureaucracy, despite the fact that there
is a section among bureaucracy which helps the governments in all possible manners to run and
achieve their goals and missions. Government is a big mechanism and it needs administrators
to run it properly. By definition, a bureaucracy is a body of non-elective government officials
and/or an administrative policy-making group. Historically, bureaucracy referred to government
administration managed by departments staffed with non-elected officials. In modern parlance,
bureaucracy refers to the administrative system governing any large institution.
Since being coined, the word ‘bureaucracy’ has developed negative connotations among many
observers. Bureaucracies are criticized when they become too complex, inefficient, or too
inflexible. The dehumanizing effects of excessive bureaucracy were a major theme in the work
of renowned author Franz Kafka, and were central to his most well known work, The Trial.
Similarly, the elimination of unnecessary bureaucracy is a key concept in modern managerial
theory and has been a central issue in numerous political campaigns. The German sociologist Max
Weber argued that bureaucracy constitutes the most efficient and rational way in which human
activity can be organized, and that systematic processes and organized hierarchies were necessary
to maintain order, maximize efficiency and eliminate favoritism. But even Weber saw unfettered
bureaucracy as a threat to individual freedom, in which an increase in the bureaucratization of
human life can trap individuals in an ‘iron cage’ of rule-based, rational control.
Bureaucracy is supposed to mange administration and governance, implement development
schemes, facilitate entrepreneurs, and provide the basic services to the people through variety of
government departments. But bureaucracy is not always successful in fulfilling these duties due
to several reasons including red tape, inefficiency, indifference, corruption, lack of funds and
expertise. Since bureaucracy is the part of power structure, it seeks many privileges and rentals
for it without delivering their duties. Bureaucrats derive their power from their position in the
structure, not from their relations with the people they are supposed to serve. The people are not
masters of the bureaucracy, but its clients.’ Even then bureaucrats would have delivered their
clients what they are supposed to according to the contract and mandate given to them. Contrary
to it, they fleece and exploit their clients and make them miserable. People start depending on
the mercy of the bureaucracy for everything and they find no way to save themselves from the
unscrupulous and indifferent bureaucrats.
Bureaucracy is constituted by recruiting specialist and generalists to run the government for the
development and progress of a country and its people as well as to implement rule of the law.
Bureaucracy, however, has limitations in their power and mandate. Individual departments and
their heads often do not have coordination among them. They are often compelled by their
political masters to deviate from the ‘blue book’ (book of laws and regulations). Sometimes they
are hand in glove with their political bosses in doing things for personal benefits by using
executive power and public funds. They also indulge in nepotism and favouritism. Apart from
greed and lust for wealth and power, there are other reasons that bureaucracy fails in its mission.
It does not derive power through elections but selections through recruitment tests or political
nominations. In both the conditions, the political masters remain their masters. So in a big system
each bureaucrat is too small unit to make a great difference. In this sense they may be described
as pygmies. Nevertheless, they derive their power from constitution and other rules and regulations
and if they remain dedicated and honest, it is not easy to fail or falter them. They have a
permanent tenure as long as they do their duties rightly and fairly, i.e., according to the blue
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Max Weber has pointed out main features of bureaucracy thus: Precision, speed, unambiguity,
knowledge of files, continuity, discretion, unity, strict subordination, reduction of friction and of
material and personal costs - these are raised to the optimum point in the strictly bureaucratic
administration. But it is an idealized perception. In reality bureaucracy may achieve only a few
of its idealized qualities. Bureaucracy is often characterized by misplaced use of discretion,
ambiguity, poor file keeping, delays and increasing frictions. In India, starting a company needs
more than 50 approvals and the earliest, with hooks and crooks one can get all clearances is
about 45 days. Many of the projects hang in uncertainty for years. The bureaucrats prove out
to be impediments rather than facilitators. Even in case of public protests for provision of
compensation and rehabilitation and basic services they not only create hurdles, but often use
state power for suppression of legitimate demands. Bureaucracy is often found insensitive and
short of ideas. They go on committing delays and even careless mistakes without any accountability,
but if general public commits any mistake they pounce as a monster.
Bureaucracy traditionally was meant for maintain and impose the structure, however, over time,
the role of bureaucrats have evolved as an agent of development and change. But it has often
been seen that bureaucracy doesn’t like to change. For example, Indian bureaucracy still continues
to carry feudal aura around them and evokes fear of imperial times rather than acting as friend,
philosopher, and guide for free citizens and common man who need their help. Bureaucrats do
not allow the policies to change firstly, because they are bound by existing rules and secondly
they have to serve the dictates of their political masters. It has been rightly said that, bureaucracy
defends the status quo long past the time when the quo has lost its status. Besides this, they do
not want to give up their bureaucratic privileges and rentals even if it means misuse of public
money or the authority which they derive from their positions. They also influence the public
behavior and psyche because they are public’s most proximate role models.
The bureaucracy is run by people whose power and mandate is well defined. The several units
in bureaucracy have poor communication, integration, and coordination among them, so the
impact they are able to make on the system is very constrained. Yet all of them do not lack
dedication and efficiency in their assignments. In India we have seen bureaucrats who changed
the way India moves, to name a few, T.N. Sheshan as Chief Election Commissioner changed the
way election takes place in India; Sridharan made metro rail a symbol of fast, fair and
technologically sound implementation and operation of big projects; Police officers like D.N.
Gautam reduced crimes against innocent people in their day-to-day lives and Kiran Bedi made
jails a place for improvement, rectification and human treatment of prisoners in an exemplary
fashion. Nobody can call them pigmies. Vinod Ray is yet another bureaucrat who acted as a true
whistle blower as the CAG of India, despite knowing that it was a difficult path. There are many
others who are playing their silent roles in writing great stories of progress and development. We
always know the political leaders who lead the countries, but would never be able know about
the great fleet of pigmies, nay bureaucrats giving shape to their dreams.
Bureaucrats are turned into pigmies in the process of governance where compliance and established
disciplinary norms leave very limited mandate, less space for difference of opinion, questioning,
and innovation. Even the discretionary powers are very limited. A disciplined bureaucracy is a
must and most important resource in times of emergency, be it natural disasters or a war. This
also applies to some extent even in peace time activities of a government, where bureaucracy
needs to be compliant and disciplined to achieve the goals and targets. Bureaucracy needs to be
sensitive and thinking, innovative, forward looking, dedicated to the cause of nation and its
people. These will remove many of the problems which the bureaucracy is facing. The contribution
of bureaucracy may increase manifold if it adopts these values. But in the end it must be
underscored that part, i.e., bureaucrats will always remain small (pigmies) as compared to the
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whole machinery i.e., government and bureaucracy (giant), yet the system would continue to
work and any effort to change the bureaucracy would remain tough as ever. To conclude we
may quote Franz Kafka, ‘Every revolution evaporates and leaves behind only the slime of a new
bureaucracy.’ And Max Weber rightly asserts that with all its limitation, the modern societies
cannot do without bureaucracy.
3. Leadership is not about the next election, it's about the next
Key Terms: Leadership, People's Participation
Key Themes: Electoral Politics, Short-Term Populist Decisions, Long-Term Vision, Vote-Bank
System, Corruption, Lust for Power, Trade-Offs of Development, Resistance from Colleagues,
Sustainable Development, Policy Making, Getting above Petty Politics and Narrow Interests

Term 1: Leader's Perspective, i.e., how he shall perform?
He shall get above short-term populist decisions and shall take tough decisions too for the benefit
of next generation, for example, Uniform civil code, phasing out reservations, article 370 etc.
Generally these topics are considered taboo, as political leaders are afraid of losing their vote-bank
and thus, next election. Thus, real reforms and real issues are ignored. However, a true leader is
supposed to take such tough decision too and shall work with a long-term vision for country and

Term 2: People's Participation, i.e., what is the responsibility of the people?

People shall vote with reasonability and support a leader and ensure he/she mustn't loose election
because of tough decisions and long-term vision. They must get above vote-en-bloc mentality and
should not vote their caste.

Introduction (150-200 words)

First task shall be to elaborate and establish/counter the statement, depending upon the approach
or view taken by a candidate. Since, in this case the statement is a truism, and there are no pros
or cons of the approach as such. Thus, we shall explain what we understand or interpret from it.

Body Text (600 words)

We must analyze the key terms one by one w.r.t. the themes written above and finally must be able
to explain the responsibility and expectations from the both from maximum dimensions.

Conclusion (300-400 words)

We shall conclude by balancing the both aspects that while it is expected from leader's to work with
long-term vision, same would not happen until people also vote with responsibility and getting
above vested interests. Also, use some examples of good leader's who lost elections/credibility/
popular support because of their long-term vision, for example, Mohammad Bin Tughlaq, Atal
Bihari Vajpayee. Also, emphasize the importance of timing that a good leader must know the
statecraft well and shall be able to time his decision in such a way that his tough decisions are also
accepted by people.

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Leadership is a comprehensive concept which applies to all human activities and institutions.
There could not be a single definition of leadership but leaders can be defined with the attributes
they represent. A common definition of a leader in any arena of life may be given thus: If your
actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader (John
Quincy Adams). A leader is one who translates a vision into reality. Political leadership, however,
is a little different due to compulsions of electoral politics in a democracy where the leaders have
to create a winning arithmetic so as to reach the seat of power in order to convert their visions
into reality. The winning arithmetic needs short term populist decisions, propaganda, allurement
to interest groups by raising identity issues, offering privileges and even doling out pecuniary or
other gifts. However the process of creating a winning arithmetic should not blur the long term
vision of a leader because only that will enable them to make rational and sustainable development
policies. The urgency to create a winning arithmetic in the electoral policy is indispensable;
nevertheless, a leader should desist from delusion, deceit, untruth, divisiveness and economic
profligacy because the same would create impediments to the realization of their long term vision
of sustainable development with prosperity and happiness. No doubt there is a trade- off between
the compulsions of electoral politics and long term goals that a leader has to pursue. It is a
judicious blend of electoral engineering as well as a sound vision for long term that makes a good
Term 1
A leader needs to win elections to realise his vision and implement his plans and policies. He
should appeal to the psyche of people and commit himself to address their grievances. But in the
process he should not compromise on his grand vision and ethical and moral values. Just winning
the election by hook or crook would give birth to many new problems. For instance evoking
religious sentiments for electoral gains may pose threat to peace and unity in the country. If
populist welfare programmes are announced, that would lead to increase in burden on budget
consequent upon increase in public expenditure, especially subsidies without adding anything to
public assets or productivity. In the long run these populist measures would create impediments
to development.
A leader has a big and futuristic vision which he realizes with the people and for the people.
Removal of poverty and inequality, good health, education and shelter to all and equal opportunity,
freedom and dignity to all may be some of such long term goals.
A leader can see the broader picture and not only the most immediate and proximate issues and
situations. If making smaller states or giving free electricity to farmers or providing reservation
to a particular community in jobs or evoking religious sentiments fetch votes and win elections,
it may jeopardize the future of a society by creating fractures and frictions leading to loss of faith
and trust in the impartiality of the system, the very basis of national dream and unity.
A leader makes all efforts to fulfill people's aspirations by addressing their problems and plight
in the present and by carrying out reforms that not only improves their lives, but also of future
generations. An equal opportunity society is a better option than positive discrimination.
Empowering people to compete in the market place or removing their entitlement gaps for
empowerment is a better method than doles. A leader has not use narrow policies based on doles
to take vote, it is a kind of cheating. They should tell the truth to the people and prepare them
for long term.
But change or reforms cannot be thrust on people by force. A leader has the capacity to influence
and persuade people to realize a certain mission or objective. Leaders have great ability to
convince, persuade and inspire.

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Leaders influence people to accept good ideas and just and fair policies. There are many genuine
issues that need to be addressed, but leaders dither due to political consequences such as the issue
of non-merit subsidies in India, the Article 370 giving special status to Jammu and Kashmir, or
the issue of reservation(its modus operandi, extent and reservation in promotions etc.), and
uniform Civil Code etc. True these issues are like hornets' nest. But building consensus and
public opinion is also one of the important attributes of a leader. Martin Luther King, Jr. rightly
remarks that a genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.
While electioneering both the trends are observed- rubble rousing and finding faults on the one
hand and making excuses for failures. A leader in opposition should not only point out what was
not accomplished by the ruling party, but how to achieve those goals. A leader of ruling party
should not find excuses for failing to meet commitments, but should reassure that they would
make double efforts to plug the loopholes and achieve the targets. Thus, leaders shouldn't only
find faults, but remedies. A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.
A rubble rouser is not a leader. A fault finder is not a leader. One who sees only problems and
not the solutions is not a leader. Leadership - leadership is about taking responsibility, not
making excuses.
Term 2
Voting on the basis of educated and informed decisions, return good leaders to power. People
have a great responsibility to cast their votes on merit and not on whims and fancies, propaganda,
narrow categories such as caste or religion or region, emotive issues, revenge or retribution.
Voting should be done for vision, credibility, and capability of the leaders and above all their
capacities to achieve prosperity and happiness for all the fellow citizens. People have a responsibility
to know about the main issues facing the country and the leaders who have the ability to solve
them. Only then they can return right leaders to power. Besides, people also need to save
themselves from lust and greed and they should desist from receiving doles. People need to have
education and a minimum level of economic self reliance to be independent in decision making.
There is also need for freedom to discuss, differ and evolve consensus on variety of issues.
Task of a political leader is tough. The competitive interests in polity never allow politics to be
free from propaganda and populism. The political expediency, therefore, requires appeal to the
day-to-day needs and immediate interests and aspirations of the people. Only this can win
elections. But a leader should do this by setting certain standards.
A good leader can communicate with people in a manner to convince them about the larger
cause of maximum happiness for the maximum people, the great shared national vision and
goals, prepare them to swallow bitter pills of reforms today for a better future tomorrow. Winning
or losing elections have significance to achieve power but seat of power never remains intact,
leaders come and go, but great visions of great leaders live all the times. Future generations
benefit a lot from broad visions of the past leaders.
For leaders in the true sense, sometimes it does not matter whether they have popular support
in the beginning or not. When India was struck with an unprecedented BOP crisis, Prime
Minister Narasimha Rao and Finance Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh initiated the New Economic
Policy amid vociferous opposition and protests. Today we say they converted a crisis into
opportunity. Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Bajpayee went for Pokhran II, despite threat
from external powers, today we are one step ahead as a nuclear power; he started innovative
infrastructure programmes, educational programmes etc. despite several odds (such as facing
lack of funds and support from coalition partners on many issues) and succeeded .And above
all he defeated the ISI and Pakistan defence supported misadventure of Kargil when they tried
to misjudge his friendly gestures. Operation Vijay will be noted in the Indian history for the
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valour and courage of leader and soldiers. Muhammed bin Tughlaq was a great reformer who
tried to implement reforms for the benefit of public at the ire of ruling elites so nicely depicted
in Girish Kanard's drama named Tughlaq. He lost in his battle for reforms to corrupt and greedy
Amirs, but he is still remembered for his passion for reforms.
Leaders do not play to the gallery but their wisdom and conscience. They go ahead if they are
convinced about their moves. Leaders are not, as we are often led to think, people who go along
with huge crowds following them. Leaders are people who go their own way without caring,
or even looking to see, whether anyone is following them. "Leadership qualities" are not the
qualities that enable people to attract followers, but those that enable them to do without them.
They include, at the very least, courage, endurance, patience, humor, flexibility, resourcefulness,
stubbornness, a keen sense of reality, and the ability to keep a cool and clear head, even when
things are going badly. True leaders, in short, do not make people into followers, but into other
leaders." Leadership is about basic goodness that transcends time and space.
4. Without Agriculture it is not possible to have a City, Stock Market,
Banks, University, Church or Army.
Key Terms: Agriculture, Primary sector
Key Themes: Importance of Agriculture, Agriculture as Bedrock of Economy and Civilization,
Lopsided Valuation and Priorities, unrealistic and artificial importance of services over agriculture
Term 1: Agriculture and its Importance
Most important aspect of this statement is while, agriculture and farmers are no longer respected
in society; their income and output is only a small proportion of GDP; even if youth is not willing
to become farmer anymore, the essential truth, without farmers everyone else would die as agriculture
is the foundation of civilization.
Term 2: Agriculture may have been used in the topic, but the essence is primary sector, which
include livestock, fishing, mining, and forestry. Thus, while we must discuss agriculture with utmost
importance, we shall also touch upon these activities too.
Approach for the Essay
This, is a very straight forward topic and shall be elaborated as per the statement, only important
point that shall be remembered is, While we should establish beyond doubt that agriculture is the
foundation of civilization, right from the time when first humans settled down; we must not forget
that the agriculture has also been supported by scientific research and industrial production and it
is only because of their support production levels are where, what they are today. Thus, it would
be unwise to say that agriculture is most-important or for that matter any sector, just like each part
of body is important and cardinal and whole is incomplete without any, the humanity would also
be incomplete without any of its sectors.
Similarly the question shall be included and analyzed that, while agriculture is necessary, but is it

The discovery of agriculture was the first big step toward a civilized life. All great civilizations
flourished in the river valleys, for example Indus valley civilization, Mesopotamia and Egypt.
Agriculture gave a settled life to Homo sapiens who were initially wanderers, hunters and

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gatherers. Settled life gave birth to family and private property, religion and belief systems, trade
and commerce. It also gave opportunity for innovation and discovery leading to a variety of
industrial activities. Thus agriculture facilitated progress of civilization. Agriculture plays a very
important role even today by providing food and raw materials to ever rising population in the
world. Agriculture constitutes substantial part of GDP, employment and exports of many
developing countries. As the growth in agriculture sector was supported hugely by industrialization,
research and development, transport and communication etc., the role of other economic activities
and services in human progress cannot be undermined. One of the important reasons of progress
in agriculture has been provision of extension services to the sector. The French economic thinkers
named as physiocrats considered agriculture as the only productive activity while other activities
as futile or at best derived activities. However, the derived activities due to agricultural activities
such as industrialization, transport and communication and banking etc. are no less important
for progress.
It also needs to be appreciated that a one sided thrust on agriculture by ignoring other economic
activities has several disadvantages. For instance, over use of land for agriculture, and concomitant
increase in the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides leads to deterioration in the soil fertility,
salinity and degradation and pollution of other resources like air (due to too much use of
machines and fuel) and water. It is also increasingly realized that agriculture alone cannot
provide productive employment to ever increasing labour force. The income and wages in
agriculture is low because of low productivity and a traditionally low place of agricultural skills
in the value system. Today nobody wants to be a farmer because of a low status attached to
farming occupation. We need allied activities and non-farm activities to transfer labour to more
productive activities from agriculture sector where disguised unemployment is rampant. Also
agriculture has an adverse terms of trade with other sectors because lack of differentiation and
inelastic demand facing its products. Industrial products and services are differentiated and they
have better scope for packaging and marketing. It is therefore, other sectors enjoy better terms
of trade. This is why primary product traders and exporters are at a disadvantage vis-à-vis
industrial product or services traders/exporters.
Agriculture is the foundation of civilization and any stable economy. But civilization needs much
more because over a period of time and with progress our needs have gone beyond food and
fodder and raw materials for industries. Today's life has an overarching presence of variety of
services that make live more convenient and livable. It is, therefore, important to fine tune and
balance all the sectors for a balanced growth. Balancing act is also needed because all the sectors,
primary, secondary and tertiary crucially depend on each other for growth and development.
Term 1
The population of the world increased from about three billion at the beginning of twentieth
century to about 7 billion now. The fear expressed by Malthus and neo-Malthusians that rate of
population growth would outstrip the rate of growth in food grains production was falsified as
agriculture progressed in leaps and bounds due to technological innovation and good farming
practices. The natural disasters, which Malthus said, would balance the gap between population
and food supply was avoided to a great extent. India also achieved self sufficiency in food grains
production by the end of sixth five year plan due to success of Green Revolution. During the
Industrial Revolution in 18th century and even in post world war era, agriculture played an
important role in the development of textile industry, sugar industry, tea industry, paper industry
and a big food processing industry, which forms a major part of FMCG market. Even the meat
and milk industry crucially depended on agriculture to feed the animals. Agriculture, although
constitutes a a small proportion of GDP, it still remains to be an important employment provider

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in the developing countries. Food security and balanced nutrition has been possible due to
agriculture that leads to growth of healthy human resources. Healthy human resources is a pre-
requisite for raising productivity and making a disease free society. In an era of free trade and
globalization, agriculture also offers a big export market to earn foreign currency on the one
hand and to raise farmers' income on the other.
Term 2
Agriculture should not be seen as a lone activity of crop production. In fact agriculture comprises
a big sector, if it is seen along with the allied activities such as animal husbandry, fishing, poultry,
forestry and horticulture etc. The allied activities also lead to value addition in our GDP and
create huge employment opportunities. If we see the trends in the Indian economy it amply
becomes clear that allied activities of agriculture also play a significant role in growth and
development. India ranks first in milk production, accounting for 17 per cent of world production.
During 2012-13, milk production peaked at 132.43 mt, thus becoming an important secondary
source ofincome for 70 million rural households engaged in dairying and for 70 per cent of the
workforce that comprised women. In India fisheries is an important source of livelihood and fish,
are an important source of protein. There are 14.4 million fishermen in the country. India ranks
second in world fish production, contributing about 5.4 per cent of global fish production. It is
also a major producer of fish through aquaculture. Horticulture sector comprising a wide array
of crops from fruits and vegetables to nuts, spices, medicinal plants, flowers, and plantation
crops, provides many opportunities for income generation. Globally India is the second largest
producer of fruits and vegetables; the largest producer of mango, banana, coconut, cashew,
papaya, and pomegranate; and the largest producer and exporter of spices. Horticulture
production, estimated at 265 million tonnes, exceeded the production of food grains and oilseeds
in 2012-13.
In modern times agriculture also plays a very important role in development of stock markets.
Agricultural products are traded in derivative markets, which have several advantages. Opening
up of the commodity futures market in India was an important initiative taken with the aim of
improving domestic market efficiency. The commodity futures market facilitates the price discovery
process and provides a platform for price risk management in commodities. The Forward Markets
Commission (FMC), the regulator for the commodity futures market, was brought under the
administrative control of the Ministry of Finance in September 2013. Currently, only 46 of the
113 commodities that are notified for futures trading are actively traded in 6 National Exchanges
and 11 Commodity Specific Exchanges. Futures trading in agricultural commodities constituted
15.8 per cent of the total turnover in 2013-14, with food items (refined soya oil, soyabean, chana,
rapeseed/ mustard seed, and coriander) contributing 55.56 per cent, and nonfood items (castor
seed and cotton) 17.46 per cent.
Agriculture sector is thus extremely important for feeding the ever increasing population and
providing raw materials. But the sector cannot grow in isolation. It needs support from industrial
sector and services sector. Farm mechanization can improve productivity and working conditions
by removing the onerous drudgery of farming activities and compensating for labour shortage.
Industrial growths leads to ever increasing demand for agricultural products and also increase
in farm income leads to growth in the demand for industrial products and services like transport
and communication, health and education etc. The complementarities among these sectors cannot
be ignored.
The farming sector is today facing not only the problem of stagnating production or even declining
productivity, but also the problems related to marketing and warehousing, indebtedness, poverty,
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lack of training, skill formation, conservation of natural resources on which agriculture depends
crucially, dearth of consultancy and extension services and safety net etc. All these problems call
for action in other sectors, especially services sector and governance to address these problems.
Agriculture is today on the cross roads. The human civilization in the era of 3G and globalization
has many other preoccupations and the agricultural issues have gone on the background. However
each time we eat anything anywhere, we must remind us that the nature mother has gifted us
one economic activity, which keeps us surviving and going and continues adding natural aesthetics
to our habitats. Agriculture is the standing evidence of fertility and capacity to regenerate of
mother earth. We, therefore, must conserve water and soil, flora and fauna and help those who
do farming activities. Agriculture is a free gift of nature, but in recent technological era the value
of free gifts of nature has gone down in our psyche. The paramount doctrine of the economic
and technological euphoria of recent decades has been that everything depends on innovation.
It was understood as desirable, and even necessary, that we should go on and on from one
technological innovation to the next, which would cause the economy to "grow" and make
everything better and better. This of course implied at every point a hatred of the past, of all
things inherited and free. All things superseded in our progress of innovations, whatever their
value might have been, were discounted as of no value at all. This is our attitude regarding
agriculture as well and it is not good. Also to keep farmers on the farm we must maintain a
strong farm safety net, and also build a thriving companion economy in secondary and tertiary
sectors to compliment production in agriculture.

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