UPSC Mains Daily Answer Writing (18-10-2022)


  1. Muslim rulers absorbed many features of local cultures and traditions and combined them with their own architectural practices in India. Examine in the context of Indo-Islamic architecture. (150 words) 10 marks
  2. The dilemma of Congress over supporting British war efforts was resolved by the outcome of the Cripps Mission. Comment. (150 words)      10 marks

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Model Solutions

Q1. Muslim rulers absorbed many features of local cultures and traditions and combined them with their own architectural practices in India. Examine in the context of Indo-Islamic architecture. (150 words)

Model structure

  • Indo-Islamic architecture in Indian sub-continent emerged as a result of the Muslim ruler’s conquest and settlement in India. Broadly, it is categorized into:
    • Imperial style: Delhi Sultanate
    • Provincial Style: Mandu, Gujrat, Bengal and Juanpur
    • Mughal Style: Delhi, Agra and Lahore
    • Deccani Style: Bijapur and Golconda

Main Body:

  • The Muslim rulers initially converted existing temples into mosques, for e.g. Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque and Arhai Din ka Jhonpra. Later, they started construction of buildings combining the local features with their own architectural practices.
  • Imperial Style: Delhi Sultanate
    • Initially, they used indigenous craftsmen trained in local architectural styles. Later, some master architects came from West Asia to guide them.
    • The Arch and Dome Method was known to Indians earlier but was neither used in large scale nor scientifically developed.
      • Under the Muslim rulers, it was refined and combined with the lintel and beam method.
    • In decoration, they used geometrical and floral designs, combining with panels containing verses from the Quran, which is called Arabesque.
      • They also used the Hindu motifs such as the bell motif, swastika, lotus etc.
    • The tradition of tower building is found both in India and West Asia.
      • But the Muslim ruler’s constructed towers with the main tower linked projected balconies and used red and white sandstone and marbles.
  • Provincial Style: Mandu, Gujrat, Bengal and Jaunpur
    • These centers were also powerfully influenced by the local traditions of architecture.
    • For example, the 15th century white marble dargah of markedly regional Sheikh Ahamad Kattu of Sarkhej. It has character borrowed elements from-
      • Regional temple traditions such as toranas, lintels in mihrabs, carvings of bell.
      • Chain motifs along with carved panels depicting trees for tombs, mosques and darghas.
  • Deccani Style: Bijapur and Golconda
    • Tombs such as the Gol Gumbaz at the time of its construction was the largest space covered by a single dome.
    • In Qutb Shahi tombs and Charminar of Hyderabad verses from the Quran along with Hindu motifs like the lotus, chain and pendant adorn the wall.
    • Jama Masjid and Gol Gumbaz of Bijapur have both Persian and Indian features.
  • Mughal Style
    • During the Mughal rule, Gujarat and Bengal styles were used most widely in the palaces for Rajput wives.
    • Local features such as deep eaves, balconies, and fanciful kiosks are also visible in Palace cum Fort complex at Fatehpur Sikri.
    • Even in the Panchmahal, all the types of pillars used in various temples were employed to support flat roofs.
      • Similar types of buildings were also built at the fort of Agra.
    • Later, the Mughal architectural traditions based on a combination of Hindu and Turko-Iranian forms continued without a break into the 18th and early 19th centuries.
      • For e.g.,Golden temple at Amritsar incorporated many features of Mughal tradition.


  • Thus, the local culture and traditions and their own architectural practices possessed the distinct features; the mingling of the two led to the rise of Indo-Islamic architecture.

Q2. The dilemma of Congress over supporting British war efforts was resolved by the outcome of the Cripps Mission. Comment. (150 words)

Model Structure

  • Cripps Mission was a British government delegation led by Sir Stafford Cripps sent to India in 1942 to seek Indian support for World War II (WW2).

Main Body:

  • Congress was in a dilemma over supporting British war efforts, due to:
    • Nature of WW2: for Gandhi and Nehru, WW2 was fought between democratic powers and fascist powers and Britishers were on the right side of history.
      • However, for SC Bose it is an imperialist war and both are fighting for control of colonies.
    • British Intentions: Gandhiji believed that Britishers have good intentions and they will, in time, give India its independence.
      • On the other hand, SC Bose believed that Britishers have no intention to free India and they will keep exploiting India and Indians as long as they can.
    • Means and Ends: Gandhiji did not want to take advantage of the Britishers by diverting their attention towards India.
      • However, SC Bose believed that advantage should be taken of the international crisis to strive for independence.
    • Political Reality: Gandhi and Ors. believed that there was communal discord, class strife and a lack of unified vision.
      • They believed that people were not ready for a revolution.
      • In contrast, SC Bose was of the firm belief that people are more than ready for an immediate mass struggle.
  • However, the British policies were not in tune with the Congress demand:
    • Britain refused to define its war aims.
      • It also used draconian powers to stifle dissent and used divisive policies to use Muslim League and Princes against the Congress.
    • Viceroy Linlithgow in 1940 proposed dominion status after the war, as the objective for India. (August Offer)
  • The War reversals in 1942 made it necessary for the Britishers to get India’s support for the War. As a result, the Cripps Mission was sent to India. The Cripps Mission offered:
    • Dominion Status after the War as against demand of full independence.
    • A Constituent Assembly to frame the Constitution after the war.
    • Freedom for provinces to not join the Indian Union and have a separate agreement with Britain. (To accommodate Muslim League’s demand of Pakistan)
  • The mission completely failed to meet the aspiration of the congress and Gandhiji termed the Cripps Mission as a ‘post dated cheque’.
  • The proposal of the Mission made it clear that Britain was in no mood to liberate India and, thus Cripps Mission resolved the Congress’s dilemma leading to the launch of Quit India Movement.

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