UPSC Mains Daily Answer Writing (15-11-2022) - GS 1

UPSC Mains Daily Answer Writing

Questions

Q1. The Shimla Agreement was a peace treaty signed between India and Pakistan on 2 July 1972 in Shimla. It followed the decisive win of India in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. Critically analyze how the Shimla Agreement reads more like a communiqué than a peace agreement. (150 words)   10 marks

Q2. The American revolution was in essence a pursuit for economic freedom. Comment. (250 words)  15 marks


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Model Solutions

Q1. The Shimla Agreement was a peace treaty signed between India and Pakistan on 2 July 1972 in Shimla. It followed the decisive win of India in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. Critically analyze how the Shimla Agreement reads more like a communiqué than a peace agreement. (150 words) 10 marks

Model Structure
Introduction:

  • The Simla Agreement contains a set of guiding principles, mutually agreed to by India and Pakistan, in managing relations with each other.

Main Body:

  • The following points of the Agreement are, however, particularly noteworthy:
    • Withdrawal: Indian and Pakistani forces shall be withdrawn to their side of the international border and exchange Prisoners of War.
    • Dispute settlement: The two countries would resolve their differences by peaceful means through bilateral negotiations.
    • Use of Force: Both nations would refrain from threatening the territorial integrity or political independence of each other.
  • The Shimla Agreement has been criticized as a communique for lacking enforceable measures to achieve peace
    • Failure to achieve long lasting peace: The agreement did not have clear grounds for achieving peace between the two nations.
      • The peace did not last long and soon converted into a nuclear arms race, and encouragement to insurgency in India such as in Punjab.
    • Too lenient to Pakistan: The Simla Agreement, and the subsequent Delhi Agreement, gave Pakistan everything it wanted
      • The territory it lost to India in the war and the safe return of all its soldiers.
    • Unenforceable commitments: The agreement did not pin Pakistan down to future good behavior.
      • It included a very unrealistic expectation from Pakistan to take all steps within their power to prevent hostile propaganda against India.
    • Lost opportunity: Many experts believe that a long-lasting solution to the Kashmir problem could have been achieved as Pakistan had lost 15,000 sqKm of land and 90,000 PoW making it vulnerable to accept Indian peace conditions.
      • Clause for an international tribunal for war crimes would have helped eliminate the Pakistani Army as a threat to regional peace.

Conclusion:

  • Although the agreement looked more like a communique, the Shimla agreement led to immediate ceasefire of hostilities between the two nations and provided a tremendous morale booster for India and its armed forces. But in hindsight, the Shimla Agreement represents a lost opportunity for achieving regional peace.

Q2. The American revolution was in essence a pursuit for economic freedom. Comment. (250 words) 15 marks

Model Structure
Introduction:

  • The American Revolution (1775-83) was the struggle for independence of 13 North American British colonies from the British empire.
  • It was the result of growing tensions between residents of Britain’s 13 North American colonies and the British government and its governance policies for the American colonies.

Main Body:

  • Many experts argue that despite various strands in motives and causes, the American revolution was, in essence, a pursuit for economic freedom, due to following reasons:
    • Restrictive trade policies: The English Parliament had forbidden its American colonies from using non-British ships in their trade.
      • Moreover, certain products, such as tobacco, cotton and sugar, could be exported only to England.
    • Restricted development: England's policies in America prevented the American colonies from developing an independent economy.
      • The colonies were not allowed to start modern industries like iron and steel, textile, etc. such as through the Iron Act 1750.
    • Prohibition on land ownership rights: The aristocrats from Britain bought most of the land in North America but British policies prohibited land ownership for the colonists in the west.
      • Unsurprisingly, one of the major features of the post-revolution American constitution was the right to property.
    • Excessive taxation: Stamp duty was made mandatory on every legal document.
      • This led to widespread protest by colonists. Townshend Act (1767) proposed duties on colonial imports of glass, lead, paint, paper and tea.
    • Forced to pay for the British protection: The seven-years' war (1756-63) proved costly and strained the resources of Britain.
      • To compensate for the financial burden, the British government started imposing heavy duties on American colonies.
  • But along with the pursuit of economic liberty, other factors that contributed to building the American revolution:
    • Formative factors: After the landmark event of Boston Tea Party, the British government closed the port of Boston to all trade and further precipitated the uprising of the colonies, and promoted disgust among colonists for the British metropole.
    • Ideological: philosophers' thought and reasoning such as Jefferson’s assertion that the colonists had the right to rebellion, encouraged their increasing desire for independence.
    • Political: The American colonist population had no political representation in the British Parliament.
      • This led to the famous slogan of "No taxation without representation".

Conclusion:

  • Pursuit of economic freedom was the major essence of the American revolution. However, the political environment and ideological support also contributed to the unfolding of the American revolution.
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