Read the passage given below and solve the questions based on it.
India is renowned for its diversity. Dissimilitude abounds in every sphere – from the physical elements of its land and people to the intangible workings of its beliefs and practices. Indeed, given this variety, India itself appears to be not a single entity but an amalgamation, a “constructs” arising from the conjoining of innumerable, discrete parts. Modem scholarship has, quite properly, tended to explore these elements in isolation. (In part, this trend represents the conscious reversal of the stance taken by an earlier generation of scholars whose work reified India into a monolithic entity – a critical element in the much maligned “Orientalist” enterprise.) Nonetheless, the representation of India as a singular “Whole” is not an entirely capricious enterprise; for India is an identifiable entity, united by – if not born out of – certain deep and pervasive structures. Thus, for example, the Hindu tradition has long maintained a body of mythology that weaves the disparate temples, gods, even geographic landscapes that exist throughout the subcontinent into a unified, albeit syncretic, whole. In the realm of thought, there is no more pervasive, unifying structure than karma. It is the “doctrine” or “law” that ties actions to results and creates a determinant link between an individual’s status in this life and his or her fate in future lives. Following what is considered to be its appearances in the Upanishads, the doctrine reaches into nearly every corner of Hindu thought. Indeed, its dominance is such in the Hindu world view that karma encompasses, at the same time, life-affirming and life-negating functions; for just as it defines the world in terms of the “positive” function of delineating a doctrine of rewards and punishments, so too it defines the world through its “negative” representation of action as an all but inescapable trap, an unremitting cycle of death and rebirth. Despite – or perhaps because of – karma’s ubiquity, the doctrine is not easily defined. Wendy Doniger O’Flaherty reports of a scholarly conference devoted to the study of karma that although the participants admitted to a general sense of the doctrine’s parameters, considerable time was in a “lively but ultimately vain attempt to define … karma and rebirth”. The base meaning of the term “karma” (or, more precisely, in its Sanskrit stem form, karman a neuter substantive) is “action”. As a doctrine, karma encompasses a number of quasi-independent concepts: rebirth (punarjanam), consequence (phala, literally “fruit,” a term that suggests the “ripening” of actions into consequences), and the valuation or “ethic-ization” of acts, qualifying them as either “good” (punya or sukarman) or “bad” (papam or duskarman). In a general way, however, for at least the past two thousand years, the following (from the well known text, the Bhagavata Parana) has held true as representing the principal elements of the karma doctrine: “The same person enjoys the fruit of the same sinful or a meritorious act in the next world in the same manner and to the same extent according to the manner and extent, to which that (sinful or meritorious) act has been done by him in this world.” Nevertheless, depending on the doctrine’s context, which itself ranges from its appearance in a vast number of literary sources to its usage on the popular level, not all these elements may be present (though in a general way they may
The orientalist perspective, according to the author: