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CBSE Class-12 Exam 2020 : Question Paper (Knowledge Traditions and Practices of India )

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CBSE Class-12 Exam 2020 : Question Paper (Knowledge Traditions and Practices of India )

  • Subject :-Knowledge Traditions and Practices of India 
  • Class : XII
  • Year : 2020


(Reading Skills)

1. (a) Read the passage given below and answer the questions that follow : 10

Agricultural practices often involve some technique of irrigation. Wholly or partly irrigated crops were raised thanks to canals, smaller channels or reservoirs such as village tanks. Reservoirs also served the purpose of water harvesting to cope with the dry seasons or prolonged droughts. Similarly farmers knew how to select healthy seed from a ripening crop. The importance of good seed was so clearly recognized that the law-giver Manu recommended severe punishment for the adulteration of seed. The art of sowing rice seed in small areas, i.e., in nurseries, and transplanting the seedlings is not a recent practice. It was first perfected in the deltas of Godavari and Krishna rivers in the 1st century CE. Since Vedic times, owning cattle meant possessing wealth. The Rgveda . is replete with references to cattle and their management. References can be found to grazing of livestock, provision of water from clean ponds and succulent green fodder, and livestock barns. Later, cattle sheds were constructed and cleanliness of the shed was emphasized. Cows came to be regarded as sacred, while Buddhism and Jainism promoted non-killing of all animals. Among other officers, the Arthaśāstra notes the ‘Superintendent of cattle’, who supervised livestock in the country, kept a census of livestock and ensured their proper rearing. Livestock was classified as tame steers, draft oxen, bulls to be trained to yoke, stud bulls, livestock reared for meat, buffaloes and draft buffaloes, female calves, heifers, pregnant cows, milking cows, barren livestock (either cows or buffaloes), and calves up to two months old. The Arthaśāstra gives an elaborate description of the rations that a bull, cow or buffalo should be supplied with. Maintenance of pastures around villages was encouraged.

Agriculture was an integral part of popular culture and gave rise to annual fairs, cattle melas, festivals and rituals, all of which were occasions for celebration. Such festivals not only helped to bond local communities together, but have promoted national integration.

Answer the following questions in relation to the above passage :

(i) Consider the importance of irrigational techniques and the art of saving the water. Do they have any relevance in today’s agricultural systems ? 4
(ii) Highlight the significance of cattle and their management in ancient times. 4
(iii) What were the benefits of holding fairs and cattle melas ? 2

(b) Read the passage given below and answer the questions that follow : 10

Indian society is among the oldest societies in continuous existence with broadly the same ancient social system in which a ‘state’, rājya, has several dimensions — the duties/rights of the ruled and the rulers, the rules of governance and the rules that govern the rulers and the ruled. In the same way, a ‘society’, samāja, has its components, the different jātis or communities, and functional units that we may call varnas . or castes. The Indian society has always been pluralistic in that this land has been since time immemorial inhabited by many jātīs or ethnic communities professing different religions and faiths, speaking different languages, wearing different dresses, eating different foods, following different occupations, different social norms, customs and practices. But this plurality has never hindered a harmonious social life at the grassroots. In belief system, in being god-fearing and hospitable, respect for age, knowledge and renunciation, restraint in public conduct in matters of language, dress and eating/drinking, there is a pan-Indian commonality that has evolved over time to make the Indian society a recognizable Indian system. 

Answer the following questions in relation to the above passage :

(i) Discuss the special features of Indian society. 4
(ii) What is plurality ? Why did it never hinder the Indian social fibre ? 4
(iii) Why are rules and regulations needed in a state ? 2


(Analytical Skills) 

2. Read the passages given below and answer the questions that follow : 10

(a) Dance has a long history in India. A large amount of material related to dance, dating from as early as the 2nd century BCE up to the 21st century CE, is available. The first still available classical manual on dance is Bharata Muni’s NāÊ yaśāstra (about 2nd century BCE). It gives a clear and detailed account of dance. Dance is either mārgī or deśī, the two categories that apply to all arts. Mārgī is the standard, formal traditional; deśī is folk, variable traditions. There are three main components — nāÊ ya, n¨tya and n¨tta — which together with other elements make up the classical dance. NāÊ ya corresponds to drama; it is the dramatic element of a stage performance. Bharata defines nāÊ ya as ‘a mimicry of the exploits of gods, demons, kings, as well as of householders of this world’. N¨tya is the rhythmic movement of the body in dance combined with emotion or rasa and bhāva. N¨tta stands for rhythmic movements and steps. Indian classical dance forms were nurtured with a purpose in the sacred premises of temples. Temple dancing was imbued with the idea of taking art to the people and conveying a message to the masses. The temple rituals necessitated the physical presence of mortal women to propitiate the gods. The allegorical view of dance, used for the purpose of the pleasing the devas, was gradually transformed into a regular service in the temples of the medieval times. This was possibly the reason behind the origin of devadāsīs, the earliest performers of the classical Indian dances. They were supposed to pursue the dance forms devotedly and excel in them. They lived and danced only in the temple premises, their vocation enjoying great religious prestige. 

(b) Painting, citrakala in Hindi and anciently called varnana, evolved in India through a fusion of various cultures and traditions over centuries. The earliest paintings in India are rock paintings of pre-historic times, found all over India, especially in places like the Palaeolithic Bhimbetka rock shelters in Madhya Pradesh whose almost 10,000-year old rock paintings display the concerns of early man — food, survival in a difficult environment and struggle in subduing animals. The colours used are mostly of mineral origin and have survived because the paintings were deep inside the caves or on inner walls. 

Early literary compositions of India such as Ramayana and Mahabharata, make many references to art galleries or citrasalas. The silpa sastra texts of art and architecture deal with the art of mural and miniature painting and also paintings executed on wood and cloth. The most comprehensive text is the Vishnudharmottara Purana which deals with the interdependence of dance, music and visual arts. India’s literature is replete with texts that describe places of the aristocratic class embellished with paintings but the paintings of the caves of Ajanta are the most significant. 


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