(Paper) Previous Year Question Paper (BA LLB) - 2011
Section - I : English Comprehension
The questions in this section are based on a single passage. The questions are to be answered on the basis of what is stated or implied in the passage.
Please note that for some of the questions, more than one of the choices could conceivably answer the question. However, you are to choose the best answer; that is, the response that most accurately and completely answers the question.
Passage for Questions 1 to 10
In 1954, a Bombay economist named A.D. Shroff began a Forum of Free Enterprise, whose ideas on economic development were somewhat at odds with those then influentially articulated by the Planning Commission of the Government of India. Shroff complained against the ‘indifference, if not discouragement’ with which the state treated entrepreneurs.
At the same time as Shroff, but independently of him, a journalist named Philip Spratt was writing a series of essays in favour of free enterprise. Spratt was a Cambridge communist who was sent by the party in 1920s to foment revolution in the subcontinent. Detected in the act, he spent many years in an Indian jail. The books he read in the prison, and his marriage to an Indian woman afterwards, inspired a steady move rightwards. By the 1950s, he was editing a proAmerican weekly from Bangalore, called Myslndia. There he inveighed against the economic policies of the government of India. These, he said, treated the entrepreneur `as a criminal who has dared to use his brains independently of the state to create wealth and give employment’. The state’s chief planner, P.C. Mahalanobis, had surrounded himself with Western leftists and Soviet academicians, who reinforced his belief in `rigid control by the government over all activities’. The result, said Spratt, would be `the smothering of free enterprise, a famine of consumer goods, and the tying down of millions of workers to soul-deadening techniques.’
The voices of men like Spratt and Shroff were drowned in the chorus of popular support for a model of heavy industrialization funded and directed by the governments. The 1950s were certainly not propitious times for free marketers in India. But from time to time their ideas were revived. After the rupee was devalued in 1966, there were some moves towards freeing the trade regime, and hopes that the licensing system would also be liberalized. However, after Indira Gandhi split the Congress Party in 1969, her government took its `left turn’, nationalizing a fresh range of industries and returning to economic autarky.
1. Which of the following statements can most reasonably be inferred from the information available in the passage:
(a) P.C. Mahalanobis believed in empowering private entrepreneurs and promoting free market.
(b) Phillip Spratt preferred plans that would create economic conditions favourable for a forward march by the private enterprise.
(c) Restrictions on free markets enriched large Indian companies.
(d) Philip Spratt opposed the devaluation of rupee in 1966.
2. Which of the following statements is least likely to be inferred from the passage:
(a) Acceptance of A.D. Shroff’s plans in the official circles smothered free enterprise in India.
(b) The views of the Forum of Free Enterprise ran against the conception of development then prevalent among the policy makers.
(c) A.D. Shroff believed that state should actively support the private sector.
(d) Philip Sprxtt had been educated in Cambridge.
3. Select the statement that best captures the central purpose of this passage:
(a) Highlight that even though there were advocates for free-market and private enterprise in the early years of independent India, they were crowded out by others who supported a dominant role for state over private enterprise.
(b) Explain the politics behind Indira Gandhi’s decision to nationalise the banks.
(c) Demonstrate with the help of statistics how the preference of policy makers for Soviet-style economic policies prevented India’s economic growth.
(d) Establish that devaluation of rupee in 1966 was vindicated by subsequent experience.
4. Philip Spratt came to India because he:
(a) Fell in love with an Indian women
(b) Wanted [o protest against the economic policies of the Indian government.
(c) Was offered the editorship of Mysindia.
(d) Had been instructed to work towards the goal of inciting a revolution in India.
5. The author avers that A.D Shroffs ideas were somewhat at odds with the views of Planning Commission because:
(a) A.D. Shroff was in favour of rigid governmental control over all economic activities.
(b) Shroff had opposed government’s decision to devalue Indian rupee.
(c) The hostility of the government to private entrepreneurs was complained against by A.D. Shroff.
(d) Shroff had been critical of the influence of Soviet academicians over India’s economic policy.
6. The ideological shift of Philip Spratt to the right was caused by:
(a) The demise of the Soviet Union.
(b) The start of the weekly called MysIndia.
(c) The books that he encountered in the prison.
(d) The dissolution of his first marriage to his college friend.
7. Select the statement that could be most plausibly inferred from this passage:
(a) Philip Spratt and A.D. Shroff were members of the Forum for Free Enterprise.
(b) The first two Five Year Plans emphasised on the importance of private enterprise as the spearhead of economic growth.
(c) P.C. Mahalanobis had mooted the expulsion of foreign firms like Coca Cola and IBM from India.
(d) The hopes that the licensing regime would be liberalized after the devaluation of Indian rupee were belied in the aftermath of the split in the Congress Party.
8. The author alludes to nationalization of industries in 1969 in order to:
(a) Show the contradictions between AD Shroff’s economic views and the official economic policies of the Government of India.
(b) Exemplify the shift of the Indira Gandhi led government to the `left’
(c) Demonstrate the ideological changes in the worldview of Philip Spratt.
(d) Highlight the negative political repercussions of the decision to devalue the Indian currency.
9. “Neither Philip Spratt nor A.D. Shroff_______able to convince Mahalanobis.” Select the most appropriate phrase out of the four options for filling the blank space in the aforesaid sentence.
10. The word `inveighed’ in this passage means:
Passage for Questions 11 to 20
In Mann Joseph’s debut novel Serious Men, the protagonist, Ayyan Mani, is a U1, scheming Dalit-Buddhist who almost gets away with passing off his partially deaf son, Adi, as a prodigy, a genius who can recite the first 1,000 prime numbers. The garb of satire-where almost every character cuts a sorry figure-gives the author the licence to offer one’ of the most bleak and pessimistic portrayals of urban Dalits. Despite his savage portrayal of Dalit (and female) characters–or perhaps because of it?-Serious Men has won critical appreciation front a cross-section of readers and critics.
At a time when a formidable body of Dalit literature- writing by Dalits about Dalit lives-has created a distinct space for itself, how and why is it that a novel such as Serious Men, with its gleefully skewed portrayal of an angry Dalit man, manages to win such accolades? In American literature-and particularly in the case of African- American authors and characters-these issues of representation have been debated for decades. But in India, the sustained refusal to address issues related to caste in everyday life-and the continued and unquestioned predominance of a Brahminical stranglehold over cultural production-have led us to a place where non-Dalit portrayal of Dalits in literature, cinema and art remains the norm.
The journey of modem Dalit literature has been a difficult one. But even though it has not necessarily enjoyed the support of numbers, we must engage with what Dalits are writing-not simply for reasons of authenticity, or as a concession to identity politics, but simply because of the aesthetic value of this body of writing, and for the insights it offers into the human condition. In a society that is still largely unwilling to recognise Dalits as equal, rights-bearing human beings, in a society that is inherently indifferent to the everyday violence against Dalits, in a society unwilling to share social and cultural resources equitably with Dalits unless mandated by law (as seen in the anti-reservation discourse), Dalit literature has the potential to humanise non- Dalits and sensitise them to a world into which they have no insight. But before we can understand what Dalit literature is seeking to accomplish, we need first to come to terms with the stranglehold of non-Dalit representations of Dalits.
Rohinton Miary’s (A Fine Balance), published 15 years ago, chronicles the travails of two Dalit characters-uncle Ishvar and nephew Omprakash-who migrate to Bombay and yet cannot escape brutality. While the present of the novel is set at the time of the Emergency, Ishvar’s father Dukhy belongs to the era of the anti-colonial nationalist movement. During one of Dukhi’s visits to the town, he chances upon a meeting of the Indian National Congress, where speakers spread the “Mahatma’s message regarding the freedom struggle, the struggle for justice,” and wiping out “the disease of untouchability; ravaging us for centuries, denying dignity to our fellow human beings.”
Neither in the 1940s, where the novel’s past is set, nor in the Emergency period of the 1970swhen the minds and bodies Ishvar and Omprakash, are savaged by the state-do we find any mention of a figure like BR Ambedkar or of Dalit movements. In his `nationalist’ understanding of modem Indian history, Mistry seems to have not veered too far from the road charted by predecessors like Mulk Raj Anand and Premchand. Sixty years after Premchand, Mistry’s literary imagination seems stuck in the empathy-realism mode, trapping Dalits in abjection. Mistry happily continues the broad stereotype of the Dalit as a passive sufferer, without consciousness of caste politics.
11. Which of the following is the closest description of the central argument of this passage :
(a) Manu Joseph’s novel presents a scathing portrayal of Dalits.
(b) Contemporary American literature is very cautious on politically correct representation of minorities.
(c) The last two decades have witnessed the rise of a very vibrant Dalit literature.
(d) Portrayal of Dalits by non-Dalits merely as passive victims has been the dominant norm in Indian literature, cinema and an.
12. According to this passage, Premchand and Mulk Raj Anand:
(a) Presented a stereotyped version of Dalit characters in their writings.
(b) Excelled in writing satires on social inequality.
(c) Were politically opposed to the views of B.R. Ambedkar.
(d) Were closely involved with the leadership of the nationalist movement.
13. The writer refers to the ‘anti-reservation discourse’ in order to argue that:
(a) Dalit literature has had a very dif6cultjoumey since its origins.
(b) Manu Joseph is viscerally opposed to Dalits.
(c) Persons belonging to the upper castes are inherently indifferent to routine violence against Dalits.
(d) Indian society is not yet ready to equitably share, on its own, social, cultural and political space with Dalits.
14. Which of the following statements is least likely to be inferred from this passage:
(a) The author of Serious Men has used the literary device of satire to present an unflattering picture of women characters.
(b) Issues of representation of minorities have been debated extensively in American literature.
(c) The writer of this passage believes that engagement with Dalits is necessary only because such engagement affirms the importance of identity politics.
(d) The writer believes that Rohinton Mistry presented a stereotypical representation of Dal its character in his book.
15. According to the information available in the passage, the writer attributes the’prevalence of representation of Dalits by non-Dalits in literature, art and media to:
(a) The nationalist understanding of Indian history.
(b) Marginalisation of B.R Ambedkar from nationalist movement.
(c) The anti-reservation discourse
(d) Brahminical control over cultural production.
16. Which of the following is not among the reasons suggested by the writer for engaging with Dalit writing:
(a) Dalit literature has the potential to sensitize non-Dalits about the experiences of the former.
(b) Dalit writing is more authentic than representation of Dalits by non-Dalits.
(c) Dalit literature does not have the support of numbers.
(d) The aesthetic value of Dalit writing.
17. Which of the following statement cannot be inferred from the passage:
(a) Upper-castes have dominated the instruments of cultural production in Indian society.
(b) Indian society is unwilling to recognise Dalits as equal, rights-bearing human beings.
(c) Dalit writers have carved out a space for writings on Dalit experience and world view.
(d) The judiciary in India, in its opposition to reservation, has betrayed its unwillingness to acknowledge Dalits as equal bearer of rights.
18. The writer of this passage is critical of Rohinton Mistry’s A Fine Balance for the reason that:
(a) It is an example of a book on Dalit characters by a Non-Dalit.
(b) The book suggests that Dalits are nothing more than passive sufferers without any agency.
(c) The book ignores the everyday violence that Dalits have to confront with.
(d) It bares the passive literary style of the author, Rohinton Mistry.
19. Which of the following words would be the best substitute for the word ‘sly’ in this passage:
20. “It is not as if Dalit movements ______not active during the periods that form A Fine Balance’s backdrop.” Select the most appropriate choice to fill in the blank in the above sentence:
Passage for Questions 21 to 30
In recent weeks, the writers William Dalrymple and Patrick French, among others, have come before a fusillade of criticism in India, much of it questioning not their facts, not their interpretations, but their foreignness.
“Who gets to write about India?” The Wall Street Journal asked on Wednesday in its own report on this Indian literary feuding. It is a complicated question, not least because to decide who gets to write about India, you would need to decide who gets to decide who gets to write about India. Rather than conjecturing some Committee for the Deciding of the Deciding of Who Gets to Write about India, it might be easier to let writers write what they please and readers read what they wish.
The accusations pouring forth from a section of the Indian commentariat are varied. Some criticism is of a genuine literary nature, fair game, customary, expected. But lately a good amount of the reproaching has been about identity.
In the case of Mr. Dalrymple, a Briton who lives in New Delhi, it is – in the critics’ view – that his writing is an act of re-colonization. In the case of Mr. French, it is that he belongs to a group of foreign writers who use business-class lounges and see some merit in capitalism and therefore do not know the real India, which only the commentariat member in question does.
What is most interesting about these appraisals is that their essential nature makes reading the book superfluous, as one of my Indian reviewers openly admitted. (His review was not about the book but about his refusal to read the book.) The book is not necessary in these cases, for the argument is about who can write about India, not what has been written.
For critics of this persuasion, India surely seems a lonely land. A country with a millennial historv of Hindus, Christians, Jews, Muslims and Buddhists living peaceably together; a country of hundreds.of dialects in which so many Indians are linguistic foreigners to each other, and happily, tolerantly so; a country that welcomes foreign seekers (of yoga poses, of spiritual wisdom, of ancestral roots) with open arms; a country where, outside the elite world of South
Delhi and South Bombay, I have not heard an Indian ask whether outsiders have a right to write, think or exist on their soil.
But it is not just this deep-in-the-bones pluralism that challenges the who-gets-towrite- aboutIndia contingent. It is also that at the very heart of India’s multifarious changes today is this glimmering idea: that Indians must be rewarded for what they do, not who they are.
Identities you never chose – caste, gender, birth order – are becoming less important determinants of fate. Your deeds – how hard you work, what risks you take – are becoming more important.
It is this idea, which I have found pulsating throughout the Indian layers, that leaves a certain portion of the intelligentsia out of sync with the surrounding country. As Mr. French has observed, there is a tendency in some of these writers to value social mobility only for themselves. When the new economy lifts up the huddled masses, then it becomes tawdry capitalism and rapacious imperialism and soulless globalization.
Fortunately for those without Indian passports, the nativists’ vision of India is under demographic siege. The young and the relentless are India’s future. They could not think more differently from these literatis.
They savour the freedom they are gaining to seek their own level in the society and to find their voice; and they tend to be delighted at the thought that some foreigners do the same in India and love their country as much as they do.
21. Which of the following statements is least likely to be inferred from the passage:
(a) Younger generations of Indians are more tolerant of foreign scribes who write about their country.
(b) The writer believes that a section of Indian intelligentsia is very hostile to upward economic mobility.
(c) Mr. William Dalrymple has been accused of recolonising India through his writings.
(d) Most of the criticism that has been recently directed at Patrick French has emphasized mainly on the writer’s undenvhelming literary style.
22. Which of the following would be the best substitute for the word, `fusillade’ in the passage?
23. The writer uses the phrase, ‘who-gets-to-write-about-India contingent’ in this passage to refer to:
(a) Foreign writers who have written books on India.
(b) Critics who have attacked foreign writers writing on India for their mere foreignness.
(c) Elite residents of South Delhi and South Bombay.
(d) Cultural pluralists.
24. The writer believes that the most peculiar aspect of the criticisms that Patrick French and William Dalrymple have received is that:
(a) Most such condemnation has emerged from elite Indians.
(b) Such critics are hostile to upward immobility.
(c) These censures are not centered on the books of such writers or their literary styles but are targeted at their identity instead.
(d) These critics ignore the plural ethos of India.
25. Which of the following statements can be inferred from the passage?
(a) Ascriptive identities like caste, tribe, etc. are becoming more and more important with the passage of time.
(b) Patrick French believes that the new market friendly economic policies followed for the last decades have resulted in the rise of tawdry capitalism and rapacious imperialism.
(c) The writer is of the opinion that a section of the intelligentsia is divorced from the views of their compatriots.
(d) While India has historically been very hospitable to a variety of religions, it has not been equally open to linguistic foreigners.
26. According to the information available in the passage, the writer is of the opinion that:
(a) Writers like Patrick French do not know the real India.
(b) Most of the condemnation heaped on Dalrymple, French and himself has been on expected lines.
(c) India’s reputation of pluralism is cosmetic at best, one that hides deep rooted hatred towards foreigners.
(d) The new generation of Indians have internalized the idea that people should be rewarded for what they do and not who they are.
27. The writer refers to the history of Hindus, Christians, Jews, Muslims and Buddhists living peaceably together in India for millions of years in order to:
(a) Show India’s openness to foreigners who have visited Indian in the quest for yoga.
(b) Argue that India is a country of hundreds of dialects.
(c) Demonstrate the religiosity pervading in an average Indian.
(d) India’s deep-in the bones pluralism.
28. The writer argues that the nature of criticism he, Dalrymple and French have received for their books renders reading their books superfluous because:
(a) Such criticism has been limited to a very small minority of Indians.
(b) These writers are popular among Indian youth, even among those who have not read their books.
(c) The literary styles of these writers are not the sole focus of such criticism.
(d) Such criticism is less about what has been written in their books than about who can write on India.
29. According to the passage, the question `who gets to write about India’ is complicated because:
(a) India has been historically open to and tolerant of foreign writers and artists.
(b) This issue can be satisfactorily resolved only if we can decide who gets to decide who gets to write about India.
(c) Ascriptive identities are becoming more and more important in a globalised world.
(d) This would result in a shift of attention from what has been written to who has written.
30. “But with many outsiders’ India-related books recently hitting bookstores there, the sensitivity – flared into a bout of vigorous literary nativism, with equally vigorous counterpunches.” Select the most appropriate choice to fill in the blank in the above sentence:
Passage for Questions 31 to 40
If religion and community are associated with global violence in the rtvnds of many people, then so are global poverty and inequality. There has, in fact, been an increasing tendency in recent years to justify policies of poverty removal on the ground that this is the surest way to prevent political strife and turmoil. Basing public policy – international as well as domestic- on such an understanding has some evident attractions. Given the public anxiety about wars and disorders in the rich countries in the world, the indirect justification of poverty removal -not for its own sake but for the sake of peace and quiet in the world – provides an argument that appeals to self interest for helping the needy. It presents an argument for allocating more resources on poverty removal because of its presumed political, rather than moral, relevance.
While the temptation to go in that direction is easy to understand, it is a perilous route to take even for a worthy cause. Part of the difficulty lies in the possibility that if wrong, economic reductionism would not only impair our understanding of the world, but would also tend to undermine the declared rationale of the public commitment to remove poverty. This is a particularly serious concern, since poverty and massive inequality are terrible enough in themselves, and deserve priority even if there were no connection whatsoever with violence. Just as virtue is its own reward, poverty is at least its own penalty. This is not to deny that poverty and inequality can – and do – have far reaching consequences with conflict and strife, but these connections have to be examined and investigated with appropriate care and empirical scrutiny, rather than being casually invoked with unreasoned rapidity in support of a `good cause.”
Destitution can, of course, produce provocation for defying established laws and rules. But it need not give people the initiative, courage, and actual ability to do anything very violent. Destitution can be accompanied not only by economic debility, but also by political helplessness. A starving wretch can be too frail and too dejected to fight and battle, and even te protest and holler. It is thus not surprising that often enough intense and widespread suffering and misery have been accompanied by unusual peace and silence.
Indeed, many famines have occurred without there being much political rebellion or civil strife or intergroup warfare. For example, the famine years in the 1840s in Ireland were among the most peaceful, and there was little attempt by the hungry masses to intervene even as ship after ship sailed down the river Shannon with rich food. Looking elsewhere, my own childhood memories in Calcutta during the Bengal famine of 1943 include the sight of starving people dying in front of sweetshops with various layers of luscious food displayed behind the glass windows, without a single glass being broken, or law or order being disrupted.
31. Select the statement that can be most plausibly inferred from the aforesaid passage:
(a) A society plagued by recurrent famines can never witness political revolution.
(b) Religious discrimination inevitably leads to violence and strife.
(c) Destitution of the masses leads to peace and social stability.
(d) Famines and starvation do not necessarily result in political rebellion.
32. The author believes that it may not be advisable to emphasise on the connection between poverty and violence as:
(a) Emphasis on such connection appeals only to self-interest of persons.
(b) Linking poverty and violence undermines the moral character of anti-poverty measures.
(c) The absence of any essential connection between poverty and violence may then weaken the very rationale of anti-poverty policies.
(d) There is no necessary link between poverty and inequality.
33. Which of the following best captures the central argument of this passage:
(a) Religion is inextricably linked with violence
(b) Famines may not necessarily result in civil unrest.
(c) Global poverty and inequality are one of the fundamental causes of global violence and strife.
(d) Basing anti-poverty programmes on the need for avoidance of violence and strife is dotted with many pitfalls.
34. In the given passage, the word `perilous’ means:
35. The author refers to his own experience as a child during the Bengal famine of 1943 in order to:
(a) Illustrate how religiosity may instill passive acceptance of even the worst forms of starvation among people.
(b) Repudiate the argument that religious discrimination usually tends to inspire violent protests.
(c) Substantiate his assertion that it is not unusual to have the most intense suffering and misery co-exist with complete peace.
(d) Demonstrate that people confronted with acute starvation are rendered too helpless to protest ever at all.
36. The word ‘destitution’ in this passage can be best substituted by.
37. Which of the following statement is least likely to be inferred from the passage:
(a) History is replete with instance of famines that have occurred without there being much violent protest.
(b) Many writers and critics are increasingly advocating for stronger policies on poverty removal on the ground that this would help prevent political turmoil.
(c) The author believes that the links between poverty and violence must never be emphasized at all.
(d) Economic debility in turn inhibits political freedom.
38. The author asserts that basing anti-poverty measures on the avowed connections between poverty and violence has certain apparent benefits because:
(a) Poverty is similar to religious exploitation in terms of the potential violent consequences.
(b) It leads to allocation of more resources on anti-poverty policies.
(c) The widespread concern about war and violence provides a rationale for povertyremoval that appeals to the `self-interest’ of persons
(d) Otherwise, there would not have been the tendency to justify anti-poverty policies on the ground that they prevent political turmoil.
39. Economic reductionism’ in this passage means;
(a) Neglecting the economic connection between poverty & violence
(b) Excessive accent on poverty and inequality
(c) Emphasizing on the linkage between violence, poverty and economic equality.
(d) The view that every conflict is caused by underlying economic tensions.
40. “A sense of encroachment, degradation and humiliation can be even easier _ mobilize for rebellion and revolt.” Select the most appropriate word out of the four options for filling the blank space in the aforesaid sentence.