Reading Comprehension For IBPS PO 2017: Part 14


I remember years ago the Delhi School of Economics had many great scholars visit the campus. They talked passionately and knowledgeably not just about the subject but about knowledge as a vocation. One of the most memorable of these performances was by TeodorShanin,
the economic historian who also edited Peasants and Peasant Societies. He talked quietly about his love for his subject and confessed, “I have been studying the peasantry when it was out of fashion, I am in it now when it is fashionable, and I will be there long after it has become out of fashion again.” I recollected his passion as I read sadly about farmers’ protests across India, particularly in Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh.
It was not the nature of the reports that was distressing. It was more the way the regime was reacting to it. It was a kind of repeat of its response to the farmers complaining about the long drought in Tamil Nadu. Watching the protest and its drama, one sensed the regime did not care. The protest was dismissed as a colourful spectacle. The peasant as victim was dismissed as a futile clown, a failed trickster.One must emphasise that this was not due to the callousness of media reporting. Over the last month, journalists have captured the protests of the farmers in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh. They have emphasised that what is rocking India is not only the battle of caste groups or worker struggles but the huge range of farmer protests across the country. Yet, one senses news is not enough. Information has not graduated to storytelling or even knowledge to dent the regime’s idea of agricultural policy. Something like what Buddhist monks dub “a touch of wholeness”. Somehow the narratives of agriculture have never possessed that sense. One misses an Indian Shanin, who can weave theory and practice, storytelling and policy together.
The government’s reaction, bordering between illiteracy and indifference, has often made social scientists cynical. They retreat into the realm of jokes, of slapstick or concentration camp humour. The jokes might sound silly but they hit home, conveying the despair of the spectator and witness. I remember two in particular.
A former member of the now disbanded Planning Commission asks his class at the Delhi School of Economics, “What is the difference between the Congress and the BJP?” Answer: the Congress knows economics but not agriculture. The BJP (BharatiyaJanata Party) is illiterate about both.
The second comment comes from the tragedy, the continuous epidemic of agricultural suicides that have haunted India for over a decade. The question is why John Maynard Keynes is not applicable to India. This joke remembers Keynes’s observation that in the long run, we are all dead. In India, we are dead in the short run too if one looks at suicide and starvation deaths. Behind the drab comedy, there is a poignant point. We might be an agricultural country, but our rulers lack a sense of political economy or sociology of agriculture.One has sensed this watching Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan respond to the protests at Mandsaur. There has been no sense of an agricultural crisis in their language. The BJP, in its paranoid way, converts every protest into a problem of law and order, into an internal security threat, imagining the forces of insurgency behind it. It creates a cordon sanitaire around the area, preventing activists and Congress leaders from reaching the area. The suicides of more than a dozen farmers create no sense of connectivity with similar happenings elsewhere.

1. TeodorShanin talked quietly about his love for his subject and confessed:
I. I will be there long after it has become out of fashion again.
II. I have been studying the peasantry when it was out of fashion
III. I am in it now when it is fashionable

A. Only II
B. Only III
C. Only I
D. Both I and III
E. All of these

2. Over the last month, journalists have captured the protests which of the following states of farmers. 
A. Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra 
B. Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu
C. Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka
D. Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu
E. Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Karnataka

3. Rearrange the following sentences: 
I. The BJP, in its paranoid way, converts every protest into a problem of law and order, into an internal security threat, imagining the forces of insurgency behind it. 
II. There has been no sense of an agricultural crisis in their language.
III. It creates a cordon sanitaire around the area, preventing activists and Congress leaders from reaching the area.
IV. One has sensed this watching Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan respond to the protests at Mandsaur.

A. I, III, IV and II
B. IV, III, I and II
C. I, IV, II and III
D. IV, II, I and III
E. None of these

4. Which of the following is definitely false according to the passage? 
I. The government’s reaction, bordering between illiteracy and indifference, has often made social scientists cynical. 
II. The jokes might sound good but they hit home, conveying the despair of the spectator and witness. I remember two in particular.
III. The second comment comes from the tragedy, the continuous epidemic of agricultural suicides that have haunted India for over a decade.

A. Only III
B. Only I
C. Only II
D. Both I and II
E. Both II and III

5. Which of the following is definitely true according to the passage? 
I. A former member of the now disbanded Planning Commission asks his class at the Delhi School of Economics, “What is the difference between the Congress and the BJP?” Answer: the Congress knows economics but not agriculture. The BJP (BharatiyaJanata Party) is illiterate about both. 
II. A former member of the now disbanded Planning Commission asks his class at the Delhi School of Economics, “What is the difference between the Congress and the BJD?” Answer: the Congress knows economics but not agriculture. The BJP (BharatiyaJanata Party) is illiterate about both.
III. A former member of the now disbanded Planning Commission asks his class at the Delhi School of Economics, “What is the difference between the Congress and the BJP?” Answer: the Congress does not know economics and agriculture. The BJP (BharatiyaJanata Party) is illiterate about both.

A. Only I
B. Only II
C. Only III
D. Both II and III
E. Both I and II

6. Choose the word which is MOST OPPOSITE in meaning of the word printed in bold as used in the passage. 
Trickster 
i. Hoaxer 
ii. Cheat
iii. Prankster

A. Only i
B. Only ii
C. Only iii
D. i and ii
E. None

7. Choose the word which is MOST OPPOSITE in meaning of the word printed in bold as used in the passage. 
Futile 
i. Vain 
ii. Fruitless
iii. Productive

A. Only i
B. Only ii
C. Only iii
D. i and iii
E. i and ii

8. Choose the word which is MOST SIMILAR in meaning of the word printed in bold as used in the passage. 
Poignant 
I. Emotional 
II. Calm
III. Good

A. Only I
B. Only II
C. Only III
D. Both II and III
E. None of these

Answers With Solution:

1. Ans. E. 

Solution: 
(He talked quietly about his love for his subject and confessed, “I have been studying the peasantry when it was out of fashion, I am in it now when it is fashionable, and I will be there long after it has become out of fashion again.) 

2. Ans. A. 

Solution: 
(Over the last month, journalists have captured the protests of the farmers in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh.) 

3. Ans. D. 

Solution: 
(One has sensed this watching Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan respond to the protests at Mandsaur. There has been no sense of an agricultural crisis in their language. The BJP, in its paranoid way, converts every protest into a problem of law and order, into an internal security threat, imagining the forces of insurgency behind it. It creates a cordon sanitaire around the area, preventing activists and Congress leaders from reaching the area.) 

4. Ans. C. 

Solution: 
(The jokes might sound silly but they hit home, conveying the despair of the spectator and witness. I remember two in particular.) 

5. Ans. A. 

Solution: 
(A former member of the now disbanded Planning Commission asks his class at the Delhi School of Economics, “What is the difference between the Congress and the BJP?” Answer: the Congress knows economics but not agriculture. The BJP (BharatiyaJanata Party) is illiterate about both.) 

6. Ans. E. 

Solution: 
All are synonyms of trickster 

7. Ans. C. 

Solution: 
Futile opposite: Productive 

8. Ans. A. 

Solution: Poignant synonym: Emotional
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