Reading Comprehension [IAS (Admin.) IAS Mains Compulsory-English]: Questions 39 - 48 of 52

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Passage

Read carefully the passage below and writes your answers to the question that follow in clear, correct and concise language:

Oratory demands enthusiasm, which can spring only in an earnest soul; and neither beauty of composition nor graceful delivery can compensate for want of passion. To be able to interest people without tiring them is a prime test of oratory. It is a gift that may draw valuable aid from such natural advantages as a noble figure, handsome countenance, and pleasant voice. But there has been no lack of eminent orators of ungainly mien at any time. Few have equalled Sir Robert Peel in skilful management of the House of Commons, but he often assumed very undignified postures standing with his hands behind his coat tails, or thumbs buried in the pockets of his waistcoat, and threw one leg over the other in attitudes of nonchalance. The composition of his speeches was slovenly and they were noted for the disorder of their contents. Oliver Cromwell was one of the most influential speakers of his day, but he rarely wore clean linen and his voice was “harsh and untuneable.” The indispensable requisite of oratory is a mind well-stored with knowledge and information, sound reasoning, wit and humour, vehemence, fire, and imaginative insight all conducive to enhance the power of eloquence; but the same speakers are not able to make the same impression in all places, nor secure the same effect at all times. The pinnacle of triumph of oratory is reached when a speaker is able to magnetise his hearers into thinking as he thinks, and feeling as he feels. When Sheridan had concluded his famous speech in Parliament on the “Begum Charge” , so great was the excitement caused by it that the Minister concerned besought the House to adjourn the decision of the question, “as being incapacitated from forming a just judgement under the influence of such powerful eloquence.”

It is clear that there is a rivalry between the orator and the occasion and the dazzling effect of the moment does not always endure through later cool reflection.

The world moves in continual cycles of action and reaction, and the homage paid to speakers is followed by tests in the course of which there is unrelenting research as to what extent precept and example tally. When there is no wide gulf between the two, further speeches are listened to with increased respect.

Question 39 (1 of 4 Based on Passage)

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Appeared in Year: 2012

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How can you judge the true effect of a good oration?

Question 40 (2 of 4 Based on Passage)

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Appeared in Year: 2012

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What research does the audience do when they listen to speakers?

Question 41 (3 of 4 Based on Passage)

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Appeared in Year: 2012

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What are the most important qualities required for becoming a good orator?

Question 42 (4 of 4 Based on Passage)

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Appeared in Year: 2012

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What was the effect created by Sheridan՚s speech?

Passage

Read carefully the passage given below and write your answers to the Questions that follow in clear, correct and concise language:

It is often said that the Ghaznavid and Ghurid soldiers regarded death in a War against infidels as martyrdom in the cause Of Islam. But it is more likely that the real draw was the attraction of plunder, the likes of which they had not seen in campaigns in more arid lands. For Indian Commanders, apart from plunder, battles incorporated the niceties of a sport with its own rules of play. Immortalizing the heroism Of kings in battle, the poets and bards emphasized the rules Of war and chivalry. To apply the chivalric code in minor campaigns may have relieved the tedium of war, but the campaigns against the Ghurids were of an entirely different nature and this may not have been realized initially. Notions of honour and devotion were often placed above expediency, and gradually the astrologically deterrnined auspicious moment for attack took precedence over strategy and tactics. Inflated claims to valour, such as the hero who could defeat a thousand warriors simultaneously, began to enter the rhetoric of courtly literature.

The organization of Indian armtes added to their weakness. Each army had as its permanent core the Standing army, but many Of the soldiers were local levies or soldiers supplied by Samantas where this was part of the latter՚s obligation to the suzerain. In addition, mercenanes were a visible section of the armies of these times. Such a collection of soldiers had not always been trained to fight as a consolidated army. It was possibly also the dispersed character of the arrny that gave it a license to plunder indiscriminately. Villagers were harassed and looted by armies on the march, particularly if the campaign coincided with the harvesting of the Crop, as it often did. For peasants and merchants, war was a nightmare that disrupted the routine of earning a livelihood. Laying waste vast tracts of inhabited and cultivated land, merely because it was part Of the enemy՚s territory, was a proud boast attributed to Prithviraja Chauhan on defeating the Chandella ruler.

Historians have sometimes commented, perhaps more from hindsight, on why Indian rulers did not make a conjoint effort through the centuries to defend the North- Western passes. Time and again invaders came through these passes, yet little was done to prevent this, the defence of the region lying arbitrarily in the hands of the local rulers. It appears the construction of a series of fortifications along the passes was not thought feasible. Perhaps the need for defence was not given priority, the area being viewed as a natural frontier. Alternatively, given the mountainous terrain, the only routes for pastoralists and caravan were through the passes and it was therefore thought better to leave them open. The local kings and chiefs who controlled the passes derived an income from this trade. There would have been familiarity too with those coming across the passes and therefore a slow recognition that sometimes friendliness had turned into hostility. The effectiveness of mountains as a frontier was also thwarted by the many occasions when the Punjab Was conquered from across the borders or was involved in the politics Of Afghanistan and Central Asia. This closeness militated against a properly focused perspective on political developments across the borderlands and in Central Asia.

Invasions by outsiders are known in many parts of the world: the Huns attacking Rome, the Arabs invading Spain or the Spanish and Portuguese conquering Latin America. The potentialities of invasions were recognised only in Hindsight. These invasions were mounted by alien peoples who were little known, if at all, to the societies they invaded. But the Turks had been a contiguous people, familiar from trade in horses and other commodities and from the Turkish mercenaries employed in some Indian Armies. However, the historical Scene in Central Asia and West Asia had now changed, with new political ambitions after the rise Of Islam. For the rulers of Northern India, to recognize this would have required an understanding of a wider range of politics beyond the areas enclosed by the immediate frontiers. This does not appear to have been an Indian concern. Indians who travelled to different parts Of Asia on a variety of assignments wrote little about what they observed, remaining silent on the politics Of Other lands. It was almost as if the exterior landscape was irrelevant. Political interests therefore tended to be parochial. This marks a striking contrast to the world of the Chinese and the Arabs, both made aware of distant places through the detailed accounts of travellers and traders. Arabs had a fascination for the geography Of Other lands and the Chinese were wary of happenings in their neighbourhoods in Central Asia.

Alberuni, in the Opening chapter of his book, suggests other reasons for this lack of recording observations concerning the wider perception of the world, which one may or may not agree with: “The Hindus believe that there is no country but theirs, no nation like theirs, no king like theirs, no religion like theirs, and no science like theirs. They are by nature niggardly in communicating what they know, and they take the greatest possible care to withhold it from men of another caste from among their own people, still more of course from any foreigner” .

Question 43 (1 of 5 Based on Passage)

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Appeared in Year: 2018

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What was the nature of campaign against Ghurids?

Question 44 (2 of 5 Based on Passage)

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Appeared in Year: 2018

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Explain the statement “The potentialities of invasions were recognized only in hindsight” .

Question 45 (3 of 5 Based on Passage)

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Appeared in Year: 2018

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Give your critical observations on Alberuni՚s comments on Hindus.

Question 46 (4 of 5 Based on Passage)

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Appeared in Year: 2018

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Enumerate the major view points of the given passage.

Question 47 (5 of 5 Based on Passage)

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Appeared in Year: 2018

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According to the passage “the Indian rulers did not find it necessary to the North-Western Pass” . Why?

Passage

Read carefully the passage given below and write your answer to the questions that follow in clear, correct and concise language: 15 × 5 = 75 Marks

History has a great variety of definitions and applications. In the broadest sense, it considers every action and every thought that man has had since his first appearance and records every significant advance or recession. It attempts to evaluate all the developments in science, in art, in literature, in philosophy, in architecture, in sociology, in politics, in war, in religion, and in law. It sketches as complete a picture as possible of everything that has influenced man directly or indirectly.

History, more than any other subject, has been enslaved and distorted for selfish purposes. Members of the clergy have used it to glorify and to promote the interests of the church, statesmen have utilized it to sway masses, and writers have distorted facts to substantiate their conclusions. War spirit has been kindled through undue emphasis upon facts, if not falsification of them. The historian is likely to exaggerate the history of his own country — sometimes unintentionally — because of his environment, and sometimes in order to facilitate the sale of his book. In all countries, there are zealots in responsible positions who cannot bear to have their fatherland criticized. Truth is frequently sacrificed at the altar of patriotism. Henry C. Lea, an outstanding American historian, declared that history should be “a serious attempt to ascertain the severest truth as to the past and set it forth without fear or favour.” Michelet, a famous French historian, believed that “sacrilege and the mocking of false gods are the historian՚s first duty, his indispensable instrument for re-establishing the truth.”

The slight progress that we have made in the direction indicated by Lea and Michelet is rather discouraging, but there is a trend toward a broader and more inclusive point of view in the writing and teaching of history. World history, correctly interpreted, puts the individual state in the proper perspective and lessens the dangers of excessive nationalism. History has become more than war and politics. To make the story complete, the historian of the new school makes use of the work of the ethnologist, the anthropologist, the geographer, the archaeologist, the geologist, the psychologist, the astronomer, the zoologist, the biologist, the chemist, the sociologist, and the economist. He is concerned with man՚s cultural advances and his society, as well as with charters, constitutions, and wars.

There are dangers, as well as virtues, in the vast scope of the “new history” . Over popularization and under specialization tend to cheapen history and to destroy some of its qualities as a basic and sober study. There are decided advantages in the comprehension of the broad scope of history, but, in addition, the student should be able to appreciate the depth of the subject. Years of research have been spent and volumes have been written on a single topic. Without these specialized works, surveys would be of no particular value. However, some of the historians of the “new history” have sacrificed important fundamental facts in order to make a chronicle of heroic persons and romantic occurrences. They have overstepped the point where history and fiction should meet. The historian should make his description of the past lifelike; hence, he should include grim realities as well as romantic incidents.

One of the important aspects of the “new history” is the emphasis upon man՚s cultural developments, popularly termed civilization. Civilization is difficult to define and evaluate. Just where it began and where man՚s actions and thoughts became human is impossible to determine. Man, like animals, has senses but some are less acutely developed; man has emotions, most of which are present, but latent, in animals. Comfort seems to be the chief goal of the lower forms of animal life, but man pushes beyond that toward something that he has difficulty in defining. This intangible something may be called civilization. Professor Lynn Thorndike believes that civilization “is the product of our higher qualities as exercised first by original and superior individuals and then accepted or followed by a sufficient number of human beings to make it a social fact.” Buckle held that moral and intellectual progress is the basis of civilization. Emerson believed that civilization is progress, and Bertrand Russell, a modern philosopher, thinks that it is the progress and predominance of science. Perhaps we can agree that knowledge of nature, progress in art, an ethical code, a government, and a degree of material prosperity are essential in any form of civilized society. Civilization became possible when chaos and insecurity were minimized. Curiosity and constructiveness were encouraged when fear was overcome and man turned his attention toward the understanding and embellishment of life.

Question 48 (1 of 5 Based on Passage)

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Appeared in Year: 2019

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How does the author, describe the new school of historians?