I knew him from the days of my extreme youth, because hemade my father’s boots; inhabiting with his elder brother twolittle shops let into one. That tenement had a certain quietdistinction; there was no sign upon its face that he made forany of the Royal Family – merely his own German name ofGessler Brothers; and in the window a few pairs of boots. Iremember that it always troubled me to account for thoseunvarying boots in the window, for he made only what wasordered, reaching nothing down, and it seemed soinconceivable that what he made could ever have failed to fit.Had he bought them to put there? That too, seemedinconceivable. He would never have tolerated in his houseleather on which he had not worked himself.
Besides, they were too beautiful – the pair of pumps, soinexpressibly slim, the patent leathers with cloth tops, makingwater come into one’s mouth, the tall brown riding boots withmarvellous sooty glow, as if, though new, they had been worna hundred years. Those pairs could only have been made byone who saw before him the Soul of Boot – so truly were theyprototypes incarnating the very spirit of all foot-gear. Thesethoughts, of course, came to me later, though even when I waspromoted to him, at the age of perhaps fourteen, some inklinghaunted me of the dignity of himself and brother. For to makeboots – such boots as he made seemed to me then, and stillseems to me, mysterious and wonderful.
1. What is the style of the passage and why?(a)Abstract (b) Descriptive (c)Narrative (d) Analytical2. What is the tone of the passage and why?(a) Reminiscent (b) Implicative (c)Appreciative (d) euphoric
Two students from Lucknow have sent a legal notice to PressCouncil of India chairperson Justice Markandey Katju for hiscomment at a seminar last week that “90% of Indians wereidiots”.The notice of Katju was sent by law student Tanaya Thakurand her brother, Class XI student Aditya Thakur. Both saidthey found the comments hurtful:” We are deeply hurt andhumiliated by Justice Katju’s words.”the duo said on Monday,adding that Justice Katju’s statements “would depreciate thereputation of India and its citizens.” A person of Justice Katju’sstature should have deliberated on the implications of hisstatement, “ they said, and sought a public apology from theformer Supreme Court judge.
The students said that if a public apology was notforthcoming, they would move the court in themonth’s time. At a seminar in New Delhi last week,Justice Katju had claimed that at least 90% ofIndians are “idiots”, easily be misled by mischievouselements in the name of religion. “ I say 90% ofIndians are idiots. You people don’t have brains inyour heads. It is so easy to take you for a ride, “hewas quoted as saying at the seminar.
3. What is the style of the passage and why?(a)Abstract (b) Descriptive (c)Analytical (d)Narrative4. What is the tone of the passage and why?(a) Objective (b)Tongue-in-check (c)Sarcastic(d)Critical
India’s sex ratio, among children aged 0-6 years, isalarming. The ratio has declined from 976 females(for every 1000 males) in 1961 to 914 in 2011.Every national census has documented a decline inthe ratio, signalling a ubiquitous trend. Preliminarydata from the 2011 census have recorded manydistricts with sex ratios of less than 850. The ratio inurban areas is significantly lower than those in ruralparts of the country. The overall steep andconsistent decline in the ratio mandates seriousreview.
Medical technology (like amniocentesis andultrasonography), emplloyed in the prenatalperiod to diagnose genetic abnormalities,are being misused in India for detecting thesex of the unborn child and subsequently forsex-selection. Female foetuses, thusidentified, are aborted.
A large, nationally representative investigation ofmarried women living in 1.1 million householdsdocumented markedly reduced sex ratios of 759and 719 for second and third births when thepreceding children were girls. In contrast, sex ratiosfor second or third births, if one or both of theprevious children were boys, were 1102 and 1176respectively. A systematic study in Haryanadocumented the inversed relationship between thenumber of ultrasound machines in an area and thedecline in sex ratios.
The steady decline in the sex ratio suggeststhat marked improvements in the economyand literacy rates do not seem to have hadany impact on this index. In fact, theavailability of new technology and its easyaccess for the urban, wealthy and theeducated have worsened the trend.
The social system of patriarchy, with males as theprimary authority figures, is central to theorganisation of much of Indian Society. Patriarchalsocieties in most parts of India have translated theirprejudice and bigotry into a compulsive preferencefor boys and discrimination against the girl child.They have also spawned practices such as femaleinfanticide, dowry, bride-burning and sati. They haveled to the neglect of nutrition, health care,education, and employment of girls. Women’s workis also socially devalued with limited autonomy indecision-making. The intersections of caste, classand gender worsen the situation.
Despite its social construction, patriarchial culture,reinforced by the major religions in the country,maintains its strangehold on gender inequality. It isthis large base of discrimination against women thatsupports the declining sex ratio.While strict implementation of the law will helpreduce female foeticide and infanticide, it will noteliminate the problems. Simply exhorting thegeneral population and the medical profession todesist from such practices without attempting tochange patriarchy will prove futile.
The major barrier to gender inequality in socio-cultural issues. The systematic discriminationagainst girls and women needs to be tackled ifinterventions have to work. It is the hazy butdominant relationshipo between gender andpatriarchy that has a major impact on the outcome.The failure to recognise this relationship and therefusal to tackle these issues result in the decliningsex ratio. Debates on gender equality should not bereduced to talking about culture, tradition andreligion. The prevalent patriarchal framework needsto be acknowledged as casual, interrogated and laidbare.
While women are guaranteed equality under theConstitution, legal protection has little effect in theface of the prevailing patriarchal culture. Indianeeds to confront its gender bias openly it wouldappear that nothing short of a social revolutionwould bring about an improvement in the health andstatus of women in the country. Irony and hyprocrisyare the two words that come to mind whenpatriarchal societies talk about justice for theirwomen. Surely, the disappearance of millions ofgirls in India is reason enough to question theacceptance of patriarchy and search for anegalitairan social order.
5. What is the style of the passage and why?(a)Argumentive (b) Descriptive (c)Analytical (d)Data based6. What is the tone of the passage and why?(a)Pensive and persuasive (b)Alarmist andprescriptive (c)Sarcastic and persuasive(d)Persuasive and prescriptive
When talks come to how India has done for itself in50 years of independce, the world has nothing butpraise for our success in remaining a democracy.On other fronts, the applause is less loud. Inabsolute terms, India hasn’t done too badly, ofcourse, life expectancy has increased. So hasliteracy, Industry, which was barely a fledging, hasgrown tremendously. And as far as agriculture isconcerned, India has been transformed from acountry perpetually on the edge of starvation into asuccess story held up for others to emulate.
But these are competitive times when change israpid, and to walk slowly when the rest of the worldis running is almost as bad as standing still orwalking backwards. Compared with large chunks ofwhat was then the developing world South Korea,Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand Indonesia, Chinaand what was till lately a separate Hong Kong –India has fared abysmally.
It began with far better infrastructure than most ofthese countries had. It suffered hardly or not at allduring World War II. It had advantages like anEnglish speaking elite, quality scientific manpower(including a Nobel laureate and others who could beranked among the world’s best) and excellentbusiness acumen. Yet, today, when countries areranked according to their global competitiveness, itis tiny Singapore that figures at the top. Hong Kongis an export powerhouse. So is Taiwan. If a symbolwere needed of how far we have fallen back, notthat while Korean Cielos are sold in India, no one inSouth Korea is rushing to buy an Indian Car.
The reasons list themselves, Topmost is economicisolationism. The government discouraged importsand encouraged self-sufficiency. Whatever the aimwas, the result was the creation of a totallyinefficient industry that failed to keep pace withglobal trends and, therefore, became absolutelyuncompetitive. Only when the trade gates wereopened a little did this become apparent. The yearssince then have been spent in merely trying to catchup.
That the government actually sheltered its industrialists fromforeign competition is a little strange. For, in all other respects,it operated under the conviction that businessmen were littlemore than crooks who were to be prevented from entering themost important areas of the economy, who were to behamstrung in as many ways as possible, who were to betolerated in the same way as an inexcisable wart. The high,exporpriatory rates of taxation, the licensing laws, thereservation of whole swathes of industry for the public sector,and the granting of monopolies to the public sector firms werethe principal manifestations of this attitude. The governmentforgot that before wealth could be distributed, it had to becreated. The government forgot that it itself could not create,but only squander wealth.
Some of the manifestations of the old attitude have changed.Tax rates have fallen. Licensing has bee all but abolished. Andthe gates of global trade have been opened wide. But most ofthese changes were forced by circumstances, partly by theforeign exchange bankruptcy of 1991 and the recognition thatthe government could not longer muster the funds to supportthe public sector, leave alone expand it. Whether the attitudeof the government itself or that of more than a handful ofministers has changed is open to question.In many other ways, however, the government has notchanged one whit. Business still has to negotiate a welter ofnegotiations Transparency is still a longer way off. And there isno exit policy. In defending the existing policy, politiciansbetray or inability to see beyond their noses. A no-exit policyfor labour is equivalent to a no-entry policy for new business. Ifone industry is not allowed to retrench labour, other industrieswill think a hundred times before employing new labour.
In other ways too, the government hurts industries. Publicsector monopolies like the department of telecommunicationsand Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd. Makes it possible for Indianbussinesses to operate only at a cost several times that oftheir counterparts abroad. Infrastructure is in shambles partlybecause it is unable to formulate a sufficiently remunerativepolicy for private business, and partly because it does nothave the stomach to charge market rates for services.After a burst of activity in the early nineties, the government isdragging its feet. At the rate it is going, it will be another 50years before the government realises that a pro-businesspolicy is the best pro-people policy. By then of course, theworld would have moved even farther ahead.
7. The writer’s attitude towards the government is(a) Critical (b) ironical (c)sarcastic (d) derisive8. The writer is surprised at the government’s attitude towardsits industrialists because(a) The government did not need to protect its industrialists.(b) The issue of competition was non-existent.(c) The government looked upon its industrialists as crooks.(d) The attitude was a conundrum.9. The government was compelled to open the economy due to(a) Pressure from international markets.(b) Pressure from domestic market(c) Foreign exchange bankruptcy and paucity of funds with the government.(d) All of these
10. The writer ends the passage on a note o0f(a)Cautious optimism. (b) Pessimism. (c)Optimism (d) Pragmatism.11. According to the writer, India should have performed better thanthe other Asian nations because(a) It had adequate infrastructure.(b) It had better infrastructure.(c) It had better politicians who could take the required decisions.(d) All of these12. India was in a better condition than the other Asian nations because(a) It did not face the ravages of the World War II.(b) It had an English speaking populace and good business sense.(c) It had enough wealth through its exports.(d) Both (a) and (b)