Topic: Art and culture; Role of women
1) Do you agree that taking cue from Shaktism, the idea of shakti can be used to empower Indian women to resist patriarchy? Critically comment. (250 Words)
Why this question?
This question tries to test both concept and your ability to link it with contemporary issue. You may not expect this question in UPSC, but Shaktism as a concept can be used in essay on women empowerment. Shaktism and its cultural influence on other religions is important from Mains point of view (for ex – influence on Buddhist art)
Key demand of the question:
Link the concept with various aspects of discourse on women empowerment in the Indian society with special focus on resisting patriarchy
Critically comment – Here you should provide balanced criticism. Shouldn’t be biased – which means you may both agree and disagree that women empowerment goes beyond Shaktism.
Structure of Answer:
In the introduction present a grim picture about disconnect between India’s culture and women empowerment.
In the body, divide answer into 4-5 paragraphs each dedicated to discuss each aspects of women empowerment and whether Shaktism could provide inspiration/solution.
As said above, spend more words on patriarchy and other solutions (within cultural context) needed to resist it. Give lots of examples and facts to substantiate your views.
In the conclusion, give a message that idea of women empowerment in the Indian society is complex and requires behavioural and attitudinal change from all stakeholders.
(it’s difficult to write 250 word answer though)