MAINS DAILY QUESTIONS & MODEL ANSWERS
Q1. Analyse critically if state funding of Indian elections is feasible or not.
GS II – Election-related issues
- Election funding mechanisms known as “state funding” include the government providing financial support to political parties and politicians in exchange for their candidatures.
Benefits of State Election Funding:
- Funding transparency: The state’s provision of election funding satisfies citizens’ entitlement to information regarding election expenditures and funding. so improving the election’s openness.
- Election fairness: State-sponsored elections will guarantee equal opportunities for all candidates and political parties. This will guarantee that the election process is fair.
- Decrease in the Criminalization of Politics: In accordance with the recommendations of the Vohra committee, political parties have been given illegal funds, which has led to the criminalization of politics. Politics will become less criminalised if political parties receive state backing for elections.
- Encourage citizen-centric decision-making: By breaking the corporate-political nexus, public funding of elections will push the current administration to make decisions that prioritise citizens and uphold good governance.
- Enhanced accountability: By enhancing party-public relations, the use of public funds will hold political parties more accountable to the people.
Difficulties with the execution:
- Financial constraints: The government is battling an increasing budget deficit. The government’s financial situation will deteriorate if state-sponsored election money puts further burden on the public coffers.
- Government support for elections sponsored by the state will result in money being diverted from social sectors like health, education, and skill development that require urgent attention.
- Operational challenge: Reaching an agreement on the standards for allocating the funding to political parties and candidates will be extremely difficult.
- Risk of Abuse of State-Sponsored Election Funding: There is a possibility that a large number of petty political parties may emerge in order to obtain state subsidies rather than contesting for office and carrying out development efforts.
- Regulatory obstacles: The Indian Election Commission has rejected state sponsorship of elections, arguing that it cannot forbid or regulate candidates’ expenditures above what the state already provides.
- Restricted advantages because to a lack of intra-party democracy: The absence of intra-party democracy will restrict the advantages of public funding for elections.
Direction of Travel:
- The Law Commission of India’s 255th report recommends capping anonymous donations; this must be done.
- One can look for ways to put the Indrajit Gupta Committee’s suggestion of “partial state funding” into practise.
- Former Chief Election Commissioner T.S. gave the idea for the National Electoral Fund. Krishnamurthy, as a substitute for governmental funding of elections, can be investigated.
- A desirable objective to bring about openness in electoral spending is the implementation of state funding of elections. Nonetheless, we must come up with a suitable funding distribution process that has the support of all significant parties.
Q2. Over the decades, India’s miniature painting culture changed. Discuss.
GS I – Indian Culture
- Miniature stands for paintings that are sparsely painted, meticulously detailed, and carefully applied. Indian miniature paintings have a rich and extensive history spanning over a millennium. Indian miniature paintings portrayed the people of India as spiritual and religious. These miniature paintings have a long history on the Indian subcontinent, and numerous related schools with varying perspectives and compositions have emerged.
Development of the Miniature Painting Tradition:
- Origin under the Pala’s Period: The first miniature paintings in India date to the 7th century AD, when the Bengali Palas were their patrons and they were at their height of popularity. Buddhist deities were depicted in illustrations on 3-inch-wide palm leaf manuscripts that contained texts and teachings. Subdued hues and flowing lines that evoked the Ajanta murals typified Pala art.
- Under Jainism: Although Buddhism predominated in the East, Jainism served as the impetus for the Western Indian style of miniature painting. From the 12th to the 16th century AD, this form was predominant in the regions of Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Malwa. Vibrant lines, vivid colours, and exaggerated physical characteristics were used to embellish Jain writings.
- The Mughal Influence: Paper began to take the place of palm leaves when Persian influences arrived in the 15th century. Hunting scenes and a variety of face shapes also began to appear, along with the use of rich aquamarine blues and golds.
- Under the Mughals (16th–18th century AD), miniature art in India experienced a true heyday, marking a fruitful chapter in the country’s artistic history. Paintings of the Mughal style combined elements of tradition, culture, and religion. Persian and regional Indian painting styles combined to produce a rich, intricate work of art.
- Portraits that chronicled palace life and the many accomplishments of royalty beginning to be seen frequently under Emperor Akbar. Emperor Jahangir’s reign witnessed the addition of numerous natural features as well as further refinement and beauty in the design. Later on in these paintings, European painting skills like perspectives and shading were also added.
- Rajasthani Miniature Art: Many skilled Mughal Miniature Artists moved to neighbouring princely palaces when patronage declined under Aurangzeb’s rule. Rajput miniature art then emerged in the 17th and 18th centuries in what is now modern-day Rajasthan.
- Rajasthani miniatures, which were produced as manuscripts and decorations for the walls of havelis and forts, were based on the love stories of Lord Krishna and the legendary texts of the Ramayana and Mahabharata, in contrast to Mughal miniature art, which portrayed regal life. The art of Rajasthani miniature painting was divided into numerous schools, including those of Malwa, Mewar, Marwar, Bundi-Kota, Kishangarh, and Amber.
- Pahari style: In the mountainous areas between Jammu and Himachal Pradesh, another style that developed under the Rajputs’ patronage was the Pahari style. The Pahari school emerged from the blending of Vaishnavite legends with Mughal miniature painting.
- Pahari art comes in different forms: the robust, multi-floor constructions and monochromatic colours of Basohli art; the delicate, lyrical Kangra style with its depictions of realism and “sringar”; and other schools like Guler and Kullu-Mandi.
- Deccani Style: From the 16th to the 19th century, miniature paintings in the Deccani style were created in Bijapur, Ahmednagar, Golconda, and Hyderabad. This style first evolved without reference to Mughal influences. It was a kind of art that combined Turkish, Iranian, and European inspirations into an Islamic painting style. During this time, the Holy Quran and the Surahs were the subjects of paintings that focused on text illumination and adornment. Subsequently, the art form was combined with Mughal art, romantic aspects, and more indigenous art forms.
- Many of the conserved miniature paintings can now be found in historical Rajasthani forts and museums. Though not as detailed as the original paintings, the art is still performed in a few parts of India, occasionally with the support of royal families. Miniature art holds a special position in history as a record of knowledge transmitted through the ages, despite its declining practise.