Topics: Western culture, India Pages: 9 (2540 words) Published: May 26, 2013
Code No. 301


Time : 3 hrs. General Instructions (I) (II) This paper is divided into three sections : A, B and C. All the sections are compulsory, Separate instructions are given with each section and question, wherever necessary. Read these instructions very carefully and follow them faithfully. M.M. 100

Section A : Reading
1. Read the passage given below and answer the questions that follow: 1. India is so lively and refreshing. From here, the West looks somewhat old, gray and struggling. Indeed, India looks all set to regain the centrestage it occupied a few centuries ago. But while it is developing very fast and its elite is striving to match up with the West, is it not, at the same time, putting at stake much of its precious environment, culture, traditions and values? Of course, the great country has abscribed influences of many previous invaders and colonizers without losing its identity. But presently, its “westernization” seems to be taking place at a frightening speed. Foreign trade delegations are rushing into the country even during the hottest months of the year. Starry-eyed businessmen, dressed in crisp black suits are hopping from one five-star hotel to another, cracking mega deals. Market scales and huge figures make them drool. They all want their chunk of the great Indian curry. However, the West is not always exporting its very best to India. Because it’s not just higher standards of safety or environmental friendliness, or valuable technologies and know-how that are flowing from the western world. 151 XII – English




Fast food, tobacco, alcohol and toxic skin-whitening creams are pouring into India. This wave is promoting a western lifestyle based on consumerism, individualism and meaninglessness. And the pace of consumption is indeed picking up in India. Manufacturers of goods as different as cars, clothes or cellphones have noticed that in recent years the life cycle of products has shortened. While the older generation of Indians would buy a new product only when the previous one’s useful life had ended, the young generation tends to fall for novelty. People want the latest generation of gadgets because they have more money and more access to such goods. But mostly, they are made to believe, by ever increasing and omnipresent publicity, that they will feel happier with the new product. To encourage this shopping frenzy, a quiet revolution is taking place in the form of rapidly increasing credit penetration. For historical and cultural reasons, well-to-do Indians traditionally avoided indebting themselves. This may be one less talked about reasons why the country’s economy avoided major trouble during the recent crisis. Only 20 million Indians possess a credit card and personal loans represent about 10% of GDP. Whilst in most western economies, the latter account for approximately 100% of it. But all this is about to change with a booming credit industry. These trends may be healthy ingredients for thriving capitalism. But they may not prove soothing for the soul. Even if they all possess their own television, car, washing machine and fridge, Westerners are not necessarily a happier lot. Surveys show that their happiness has declined in correlation with the development of consumerism since World War II. Moreover, most people in the so-called developed nations suffer from obesity, loneliness depression and addiction to prescribed drugs. May be once upon a time they danced, sang songs and told stories, but now, free time often means watching TV or shopping. To meet the growing demand, natural resources are now being exploited in India, displacing millions of tribal people towards urban slums fuelling growing pockets of civil war-like conflicts across the country. Efforts may be made to fight the old caste system, but a social stratification based on consumption power is emerging. Along with this, India’s comparatively good...
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