Thursday, August 18, 2005
Quiz - Indian freedom struggle
Quiz: Struggle for Independence

In lieu of the 58th anniversary of Indian independence coming up on Monday, August 15, it is only fitting that this week’s quiz be devoted to the freedom struggle. A lot of the questions are devoted to identifying personalities who played key roles in this struggle. In addition, the present quiz reverts back to the verbose questions that you are used to seeing from me. Actually the question itself is not verbose, but I have tried to thrown in plenty of related information that makes the question look bulky. Some of you might actually find the info interesting – those who don’t, just ignore it and i hope you wont have too much time 'finding the question' amongst all the info!

1. Which leader of the 1857 mutiny died in exile in 1862 in Burma, and was buried near Shwe Degon Pagoda, Rangoon? When the rebellion was crushed, he was captured and his sons Mirza Mughal and Khizar Sultan and his grandson Abu Bakr were executed in his presence and, famously, their severed heads presented to him.

2. The ‘Doctrine of Lapse’ was an important reason for the outbreak of the mutiny in 1857, and was responsible for the changes in fortune of several princely states - Satara (1848), Jaitpur and Sambalpur (1849), Nagpur and Jhansi (1854) and Awadh (Oudh)(1856). What was this ‘doctrine’?

3. (a) Which retired British civil servant is considered the founder of the Indian National
Congress? (b) Who was the first president of the INC?

4. Which British viceroy ordered the partition of Bengal in 1905? [The huge province of Bengal was split into ‘Eastern Bengal & Assam’ (capital – Dhaka, and comprising modern Bangladesh and the northeastern states of India, the latter clubbed together as Assam) and ‘West Bengal’ (capital – Calcutta, and comprising modern West Bengal, Bihar and Orissa). The action was hastily conceived and reeked of ‘divide and rule’ and led to widespread agitation and a Congress boycott of British goods under the banner of ‘swadeshi’.]

5. Which revolutionary was famous for his role in the Kakori Rail Dacoity in 1925, and the assassination of John Saunders (in protest of the lathi charge which claimed thelife of Lala Lajpat Rai)? He was born in Varanasi in 1906, and was surrounded by British police in 1931 at Alfred Park (Allahabad) following betrayal by an informer. Rather than be captured, he shot himself in the temple after fighting till the last bullet.

6. Which auxiliary force was created by Rash Behari Bose and Captain Mohan Singh mainly by the recruitment of Indian prisoners of war who, in the course of service in the armed forces of the British Indian Empire, had been captured by Japanese forces?

7. Who started the ‘Khudai Khidmatgar’ (Servants of God) organization with brownish (or red) uniforms? They were also known as the ‘Red Shirts’.

8. Which famous lawyer (who was regarded as one of the ‘young and upcoming members of the Bombay Bar’) began his political career with Annie Besant’s Home Rule League? He represented the rights of the farmers of Gujarat following Vallabhbhai Patel’s Bardoli satyagraha, and was one of the main members of the 17 member defense team set up by the Congress to defend the officers of the Indian National Army (along with Jawaharlal Nehru and Tej Bahadur Sapru). Giveaway clue – the US consulate in Mumbai is located on the street named after him!!

9. In 1940 who was chosen by Gandhiji to be the first Individual Satyagrahi (an Individual standing up for Truth instead of a collective action) against the British rule?

10. Which freedom fighter founded the Servants of India Society, which trained people to be selfless workers so they could work for the common good of the people? He was one of the founders of Fergusson College, Pune in 1885.

a. One of the highlights of the civil disobedience movement started in 1930 was the observance of the Purna Swaraj (complete independence) day. What was the date? This day is today a special day for all of us.
b. Also a highlight of this movement was an event that took place on April 6, 1930. Name this event.

12. Who was the British monarch at the time of Indian independence (and also the ‘Emperor of India’ (as was the official title)?

13. Who unfurled the National Flag at the August Kranti Maidan after the arrest of Gandhiji and other major leaders? She was the first Mayor of Delhi and posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1997 after her death in 1996 at the age of 86. Her husband was the first Indian Ambassador to the US.

Friday, August 05, 2005
Quiz - Hindu Mythology (Part 2)
its been an extremely hectic month of july at work, leaving me no time to work on any quizzes ... so this one's been a long time coming. i had promised part deux of the hindu mythology quiz, and finally here it is.

Just like the previous one, this one comes with a disclaimer – since the Sanskrit words are spelled in English, the can seem a little weird (or even incorrect at times!). Also, it’s a little hard to come up with these quizzes – so you might find the questions too hard or too esoteric. So please bear with me and feel free to report the errors.

1. Vichitraviya, the king of Hastinapura died childless. To continue the ‘Kuruvansh’, which great rishi ‘fathered’ Dhritarashtra and Pandu?

2. Who built Yudhishtira’s palace at Indraprashtha? It was supposed to be exquisite and even the gods were supposed to have been envious of it.

3. Of Arjuna’s many wives, who was the mother of Abhimanyu?

4. In the Ramayan, who was the wife of Ravana?

5. ‘Indraprastha, Varnavata, Vrikaprastha, Jayanta and one more of your own choice’! What am I referring to?

6. In the ‘ViraatParva’ of the Mahabharata appear two characters named 'Kanka’ and ‘Sairandhari’. Who are these characters?

7. Who was the son of Brihaspati who took tutelage under Shukraachaarya to learn the art of Sanjivani?

8. After the death of Duryodhana, Yudhishthira became the king of Hastinapura and went to Bhisma (still on the bed of arrows), who instructed him in the various aspects of life and Dharma. After this, Yudhishthira asked if there was one thing through which one can achieve all, Bheeshma tells him the ‘__________’?

9. Whose son is Pradyumna?

10. What is the name of the serpent that bites Parikshit ?

11. What/who was depicted on Arjuna's flag?

12. The grandfather of Bali (of Vamana avatar fame) was a principal protagonist in another of Vishnu’s avatars. Who are we talking about, and which avatar?

Powered by Blogger