CAT 2019 VARC section was a true nightmare. It was the most taxing section of the three. With some of its questions requiring critical reasoning, demanded even the avid of the readers to read and reread the passages before landing on an answer. We've tried our best to present these actual questions from CAT 2019 VARC section in their least intimidating from (at least in the font), with detailed solutions in a student friendly format to test yourself and understand the importance of reading for VARC section of the CAT exam. For a curated reading list head out here: Bharath’s Reading List. If you are planning to take CAT 2019 paper as a full fledged mock, it would help if you go back to : CAT Question Bank and solve questions that are not from actual CAT Question papers.
British colonial policy . . . went through two policy phases, or at least there were two strategies between which its policies actually oscillated, sometimes to its great advantage. At first, the new colonial apparatus exercised caution, and occupied India by a mix of military power and subtle diplomacy, the high ground in the middle of the circle of circles. This, however, pushed them into contradictions. For, whatever their sense of the strangeness of the country and the thinness of colonial presence, the British colonial state represented the great conquering discourse of Enlightenment rationalism, entering India precisely at the moment of its greatest unchecked arrogance. As inheritors and representatives of this discourse, which carried everything before it, this colonial state could hardly adopt for long such a self-denying attitude. It had restructured everything in Europe—the productive system, the political regimes, the moral and cognitive orders—and would do the same in India, particularly as some empirically inclined theorists of that generation considered the colonies a massive laboratory of utilitarian or other theoretical experiments. Consequently, the colonial state could not settle simply for eminence at the cost of its marginality; it began to take initiatives to introduce the logic of modernity into Indian society. But this modernity did not enter a passive society. Sometimes, its initiatives were resisted by pre-existing structural forms. At times, there was a more direct form of collective resistance. Therefore the map of continuity and discontinuity that this state left behind at the time of independence was rather complex and has to be traced with care.
Most significantly, of course, initiatives for . . . modernity came to assume an external character. The acceptance of modernity came to be connected, ineradicably, with subjection. This again points to two different problems, one theoretical, the other political. Theoretically, because modernity was externally introduced, it is explanatorily unhelpful to apply the logical format of the ‘transition process’ to this pattern of change. Such a logical format would be wrong on two counts. First, however subtly, it would imply that what was proposed to be built was something like European capitalism. (And, in any case, historians have forcefully argued that what it was to replace was not like feudalism, with or without modificatory adjectives.) But, more fundamentally, the logical structure of endogenous change does not apply here. Here transformation agendas attack as an external force. This externality is not something that can be casually mentioned and forgotten. It is inscribed on every move, every object, every proposal, every legislative act, each line of causality. It comes to be marked on the epoch itself. This repetitive emphasis on externality should not be seen as a nationalist initiative that is so well rehearsed in Indian social science. . . .
Quite apart from the externality of the entire historical proposal of modernity, some of its contents were remarkable. . . . Economic reforms, or rather alterations . . . did not foreshadow the construction of a classical capitalist economy, with its necessary emphasis on extractive and transport sectors. What happened was the creation of a degenerate version of capitalism—what early dependency theorists called the ‘development of underdevelopment’.
Question 21 : All of the following statements, if true, could be seen as supporting the arguments in the passage, EXCEPT:
The question asks us to choose the statement which cannot be seen as supporting the arguments in the passage.
Option 1 states that the introduction of capitalism in India was not through the transformation of feudalism, as happened in Europe. This statement supports the arguments in the passage. See what paragraph 2 says about the introduction of modernity by the British: ‘First, however subtly, it would imply that what was proposed to be built was something like European capitalism. (And, in any case, historians have forcefully argued that what it was to replace was not like feudalism, with or without modificatory adjectives.)’ The passage argues here that what European modernity tried to introduce was not like European capitalism and that what it tried to replace was not like feudalism in Europe.
Option 2 states that modernity was imposed upon India by the British and, therefore, led to underdevelopment. This statement also supports the arguments in the passage. That modernity was imposed on India can be inferred from multiple references in the passage, to quote a few: ‘initiatives for modernity came to assume an external character. The acceptance of modernity came to be connected, ineradicably, with subjection’ and ‘...transformation agendas attack as an external force’. That modernity imposed by the British led to underdevelopment can be inferred from the last lines of the passage: ‘Economic reforms, or rather alterations did not foreshadow the construction of a classical capitalist economy, with its necessary emphasis on extractive and transport sectors. What happened was the creation of a degenerate version of capitalism—what early dependency theorists called the ‘development of underdevelopment’. That is, economic reforms imposed by the British in India only resulted in underdevelopment.
Option 3 states that throughout the history of colonial conquest, natives have often been experimented on by the colonisers. This statement, too, supports the arguments in the passage. See paragraph 1: ‘...empirically inclined theorists of that generation considered the colonies a massive laboratory of utilitarian or other theoretical experiments.’ That is, colonizers regarded colonies as laboratories of practical or theoretical experiments.
Option 4 states that the change in British colonial policy was induced by resistance to modernity in Indian society. This statement does not support the arguments in the passage. Did the resistance to modernity in India result in a change in British colonial policy? The passage does not say this. The passage only talks of resistance resulting in a ‘the map of continuity and discontinuity’ being left behind at the time of independence. So, option 4 is the correct answer.
The question is "All of the following statements, if true, could be seen as supporting the arguments in the passage, EXCEPT:"
Choice D is the correct answer.
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