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Anthropology Civil Services Paper 2 Section- A, Questions 1,2_ Solutions

1. a. Pit-dwellers of Kashmir

Answer- The Pit-dwellers of Kashmir was a community of people who lived in pit dwellings, which were small underground homes dug into the sides of hills or mountains. These pit dwellings were typically made of mud or stone and had very basic amenities, such as a fireplace for cooking and warmth.

The exact origins of the Pit-dwellers of Kashmir are not clear, but they are believed to have lived in the region for centuries. They were mainly concentrated in the mountainous areas of Kashmir, particularly in the districts of Baramulla, Kupwara, and Bandipora.

The Pit-dwellers of Kashmir was primarily a farming community and relied on agriculture for their livelihood. They grew crops such as rice, maize, and wheat and also kept livestock such as sheep and goats. They were also known for their skill in making pottery.

Over time, as modernization and development swept through the region, the traditional way of life of the Pit-dwellers of Kashmir began to decline. Many members of the community migrated to urban areas in search of better opportunities, while others adapted to the changing times by transitioning to other professions.

Today, the Pit-dwellers of Kashmir is a relatively small and marginalized community, with many struggling to maintain their cultural traditions and way of life in the face of modernization and development.

b. Varna and Buddhism

Answer- Varna is a Sanskrit term that refers to the traditional fourfold caste system in Hinduism. Buddhism, on the other hand, does not recognize the caste system and emphasizes the importance of individual spiritual development rather than social hierarchy.

Buddhism originated in India, where the caste system was deeply entrenched, and it challenged the traditional social norms of the time. The Buddha taught that all beings have the potential for enlightenment regardless of their social status or birth. He also rejected the idea of a permanent soul or self, which is central to the Hindu concept of caste.

While Buddhism does not have a formal caste system, it has sometimes been influenced by the social structures of the societies in which it has spread. For example, in some Buddhist countries, such as Sri Lanka and Thailand, there is a hierarchy of monks based on seniority and the length of time spent in the monastic order.

Overall, however, Buddhism emphasizes the importance of compassion, wisdom, and non-attachment, and encourages individuals to overcome social conditioning and attachments to external labels and identities

c. Dharma versus Religion

Dharma is a Sanskrit term that has multiple meanings, depending on the context in which it is used. It can refer to the natural order of the universe, the teachings of the Buddha, or one's duty or moral responsibility.

In the context of religion, dharma can be understood as the ethical and moral principles that guide an individual's behavior and actions. It is often associated with Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, among other traditions.

Religion, on the other hand, refers to a set of beliefs, practices, and rituals that are centered around the worship of a deity or deities. It is a term that is typically used to describe organized systems of faith and worship, such as Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, and Buddhism, among others.

While the two terms are related and may overlap in some ways, they are not interchangeable. Dharma is more focused on personal ethics and moral responsibility, while religion is focused on the worship of a higher power and the rituals and practices associated with that worship.

In essence, dharma can be thought of as a broader concept that encompasses religious principles but is not limited to them. It emphasizes the importance of living a virtuous and ethical life, regardless of one's religious beliefs or practices.

d. Safeguards for linguistic minorities in India.

Answer- India is a linguistically diverse country with over 1,600 languages and dialects spoken. The Indian Constitution recognizes the importance of preserving linguistic diversity and provides for safeguards to protect the rights of linguistic minorities. Some of the safeguards for linguistic minorities in India include:

Official Language Policy: The Indian Constitution recognizes Hindi and English as official languages of the Union government, while also providing for the development of other languages spoken in various states.

Education: Linguistic minorities have the right to receive education in their mother tongue. Article 29 of the Indian Constitution guarantees the right to conserve the language, script or culture of minorities.

Government Services: Linguistic minorities have the right to access government services in their mother tongue. In areas where a significant population speaks a particular language, the government is required to provide services in that language.

Representation: Members of linguistic minorities have the right to representation in legislative bodies, government institutions, and public services. The Constitution provides for the reservation of seats for linguistic minorities in state legislative assemblies.

Cultural Rights: Linguistic minorities have the right to preserve and promote their cultural heritage, including language, literature, and art.

Autonomous Councils: The Constitution provides for the establishment of autonomous councils for regions where a significant population speaks a particular language. These councils have the power to regulate and promote the use of the language in official and educational settings.

Overall, the Indian Constitution provides a comprehensive framework for protecting the rights of linguistic minorities, and the government has taken various steps to implement these safeguards. However, challenges remain, and there are ongoing efforts to strengthen and expand these protections.

e. Westernisation and Modernisation

Answer- Westernisation and modernization are two concepts that are often used interchangeably, but they have different meanings.

Westernization refers to the adoption of Western culture, values, and practices by non-Western societies. This can include the adoption of Western clothing styles, food, music, language, and political systems. The process of Westernisation often occurs as a result of colonialism, globalization, and cultural exchange.

Modernization, on the other hand, refers to the process of social and economic change that occurs as societies move from traditional to modern ways of living. This can include the adoption of new technologies, increased urbanization, changes in the role of women, and shifts in economic structures. Modernization is often associated with the development of industrial societies and is seen as a necessary step for countries to achieve economic growth and improve the standard of living for their citizens.

While there is some overlap between the two concepts, they are distinct and should be understood separately. Westernization is a cultural phenomenon, while modernization is an economic and social process. Additionally, while Westernisation has been associated with colonialism and cultural imperialism, modernization is seen as a natural part of societal development.

2. (a) Illustrate the contribution of Irawati Karve to Indian Anthropology. Make a

special mention of her literary contribution.

Irawati Karve was a prominent Indian anthropologist who made significant contributions to the study of Indian society and culture. She was born in 1905 in Maharashtra and completed her education at the University of Oxford, where she earned a degree in anthropology. After returning to India, she became a professor of anthropology at the University of Pune and founded the Department of Sociology and Anthropology there.

Karve is best known for her studies of the caste system in India. In her book, "Kinship Organization in India," she examined the complex system of kinship relationships that underpins the caste system and showed how it shapes social and economic life in India. She argued that the caste system is not a static, unchanging institution but is constantly evolving and adapting to new social and economic conditions.

Karve also made important contributions to the study of Indian folklore and literature. She wrote a number of books and articles on the subject, including "Yuganta: The End of an Epoch," which is a study of the characters in the Hindu epic, the Mahabharata. In this book, she analyzed the personalities of the epic's heroes and villains and showed how their actions and motivations reflected the social and cultural values of ancient India.

Karve's literary contributions were also significant. She was a skilled writer and wrote a number of books and articles in both Marathi and English. Her writing was characterized by clarity, insight, and a deep understanding of Indian society and culture. She also translated several works of Marathi literature into English, including the famous novel "Rao Bahadur M.V.," which was written by her grandfather.

Overall, Irawati Karve's contributions to Indian anthropology were substantial and wide-ranging. Her studies of the caste system and kinship organization in India remain influential to this day, and her literary works continue to be celebrated for their insight and clarity.

b. What are the arguments for excluding Narmada Man from Homo erectus


Answer- Narmada Man, also known as the Narmada hominin or Narmada fossil, is a fossilized skullcap found in the Narmada River valley in central India. It was initially classified as a member of the Homo erectus species, but there have been arguments for excluding it from this category. Some of the arguments include:

Morphological differences: The morphology of the Narmada Man skullcap is different from other known Homo erectus fossils. For example, it has a more rounded shape and lacks the pronounced brow ridges that are characteristic of Homo erectus.

Age: The age of the Narmada Man fossil is not clear, but it is thought to be between 400,000 and 700,000 years old. This means it is potentially older than other Homo erectus fossils found in Asia, raising questions about whether it can be classified as the same species.

Geographical location: The Narmada River valley is geographically isolated from other Homo erectus sites in Asia, which may suggest that it represents a separate population or species.

Genetic evidence: Recent genetic studies of fossils from Asia, including Homo erectus fossils, have suggested that there was significant genetic diversity among ancient human populations in the region. This raises the possibility that the Narmada Man fossil represents a distinct branch of the human family tree.

Overall, while the classification of the Narmada Man fossil as Homo erectus is still a subject of debate, there are valid arguments for excluding it from this category based on its morphology, age, geographical location, and genetic evidence.

c. Critically describe Dr. B. R. Ambedkar's argument on the origin of Indian caste


Answer: Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, a prominent Indian social reformer and the chief architect of India's Constitution argued that the caste system in India has its origins in the varna system, which was originally based on occupational distinctions.

According to Ambedkar, the varna system was a simple occupational division of labor, where people were classified into four broad categories based on their occupations - Brahmins (priests and scholars), Kshatriyas (warriors and rulers), Vaishyas (merchants and traders), and Shudras (laborers and artisans). However, over time, the varna system became rigid and hierarchical, with the Brahmins at the top and the Shudras at the bottom, and this gave rise to the caste system as we know it today.

Ambedkar argued that the caste system was not a product of Hinduism, as some scholars had suggested, but was a social system that existed independently of religion. He believed that the caste system was a result of the interaction between two distinct groups - the Indo-Aryans, who came to India from Central Asia around 1500 BCE, and the indigenous population, who were already living in India.

Ambedkar argued that the Indo-Aryans brought with them a hierarchical social system, which they imposed on the indigenous population, who were then classified into castes based on their occupations and social status. The Brahmins, who were the dominant group among the Indo-Aryans, used their religious and social authority to maintain and perpetuate the caste system, which eventually became a deeply ingrained social institution in Indian society.

Ambedkar believed that the caste system was a major obstacle to the progress of Indian society, and he dedicated his life to fighting against it. He advocated for the abolition of caste-based discrimination and worked to improve the social and economic conditions of the so-called "untouchables," who were considered to be at the bottom of the caste hierarchy.

Overall, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar's argument on the origin of the Indian caste system was that it was a product of historical, social, and economic forces that evolved over time, rather than a religious or cultural phenomenon. He believed that the caste system was a major impediment to social progress and worked tirelessly to challenge and reform it.

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