Argumentative Essay ICSE 1999

This Argumentative Essay was asked in ICSE 1999 board exam. You can find Previous Year Argumentative Essay Topics asked in ICSE board exams.

Argumentative Essay ICSE 1999

“Cigarette smoking in public places should be banned.”Give your views for or against this statement. (ICSE 1999)

Cigarette smoking in public places should be banned.

  • Reasons for smoking
  • Harmful effects of smoking
  • Infringes the fundamental right of others
  • Banned in advanced countries showing favourable results

Immediate need to ban smoking in public places

Millions of people die across the world because of cancer and heart attack caused by smoking. It is because of this, there is a statutory warning on each packet stating “Cigarette smoking is injurious to health.” Despite this, people smoke. Smoking cigarettes not only harms the smoker but also endangers the life of others who are exposed to passive smoking. Does anyone have the right to harm himself and others by such irresponsible behaviour? Definitely not.

Cigarette smoking has now become fashionable. Many psychologists have done detailed statistical studies, to investigate why people smoke? Their findings are indeed shocking. Some of the reasons given by smokers are that, it is habit forming, increases concentration, aids in killing time and helps to be in fashion.

These are purely psychological whims without any concrete reason. On the other hand, specific medical studies have confirmed a direct linkage between nicotine that is present in tobacco and the high incidence of heart attack and cancer in smokers, even passive smokers. These are dreadful diseases and at times prove fatal.

The fortunate few who manage to survive its clutches through expensive surgery and medication remain scarred for life. They ultimately quit smoking and are compelled to adopt a very strict and somber lifestyle to live. No one has the moral right to smoke in public places there by exposing innocent people to the vagaries of this scourge. Someone rightly said, “You smoke we choke”.

Smoking in public places is also an infringement on the fundamental rights of our fellow citizens, for it violates their right to live. Protagonists may argue that banning smoking would violate the fundamental right of an individual. This is untrue, for no one has the right to endanger his own as well as the life of others around him.

Taking note of serious danger to public health, countries like the USA and UK have banned smoking in public places. The immediate fallout has been a drastic reduction of 30 to 40 per cent in cases of cancer and heart attack cases. The increasing trend of these diseases in our country makes it imperative for the government to also ban smoking in public places.

Indeed the consequences of smoking are grave. Besides placing a statutory message on cigarette packets something more needs to be done to curtail smoking. This calls for building public opinion against smoking and ban smoking in public places.


  • ‘Consumption of alcoholic beverages in public places should be banned.’ Give your views for or against the statement.
  • ‘Drug abuse among students calls for an effective ban.’ Discuss the problem and what needs to be done.

‘Tradition is an obstacle to progress” Give your views for or against the statement. (ICSE 1999)

What is tradition?

  • Tradition plays a noble and significant role in our life
  • Tradition helps in progress
  • Historical evidence in support of the above
  • Not all traditions are good.

A virtue that guides our lives.

“Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die,”

Said, Lord Tennyson about the noble tradition of discipline in the patriotic fighting forces across the world. The word ‘tradition’ means unwritten beliefs and customs handed down from one generation to another which we knowingly or unknowingly adhere to in our daily life. It is the emotional fabric, which binds us to our forefathers and makes us distinct from one another. Some of the finest moments are in upholding the tradition of the family, clan or country. Men have laid down their lives for upholding noble traditions making them immortal and great.

Tradition plays a noble and significant role in our life. It lays down guidelines for simple and even complex decision-making so that we can utilise our time more effectively. Take for example the complex decision of marriage. If there is a tradition of marrying in the same or related clan, then the decision is easier and more acceptable. Its advantages are evident in the Indian society. This has proved to be more successful than love marriages in the west, with fewer cases of divorces and broken homes.

It-also has a lot of emotional and ornamental value, which is practised very proudly by our armed forces. Some of them being passed on from the British Army. The ceremonial parade, flag hoisting and many others are fine traditions that should be maintained at all cost.

Tradition is a stimulant to progress. One does not have to worry about doing mundane or even important things, for there is a set custom or procedure. It is a scientific approach where the final outcome is assured without having to experiment. It makes us emotionally and physiologically peaceful, so that we can focus all our energy for self advancement and progress.

The tradition of holding the flag high in the face of adversary has made many ordinary men immortal and great. They did not think twice before laying down their lives upholding this tradition. Their act of bravery has at times changed the course of a battle and even history.

However not all traditions are good. There is need to weed out traditions and practices like untouchability, child marriages and dowry. These have no place in modem society. Enlightenment and education has enabled us to differentiate between good and bad. It should be our endeavour to promote the good and weed out the bad traditions, in keeping with the time.

Following a tradition is a virtue, which helps us lead a happy and progressive life. It guides and saves us from many pitfalls and dangers. It is not an obstacle to progress for in the words of Somerset Maugham, “Tradition is a guide and not a jailor.”


  • ‘Tradition has no place in modem society.’ Give your views on the same.
  • The role of tradition in our lives
  • Tradition and the Indian youth

Of all the subjects you are studying at present which one do you think would be the most useful to you in future and why? (ICSE 1999)

Need for studying many subjects

  • They all are all relevant in later life
  • The subject of my choice – Science
  • It would be useful in realising my ambition of becoming a doctor

Studying for the love of the subject

The multiplicity of subjects that I have to study sometimes bewilders me. I often wonder the utility of studying Shakespeare in English Literature, History, Geography, Social Studies, etc. There are a host of other subjects, which probably have no use. This to my mind is not, for each subject is unique in importance.

All the subjects that I am studying at present would help me develop a holistic approach to life. It would help me identify my area of interest, enabling me to choose a subject for higher studies. Moreover knowledge of other subjects is important, for a doctor must know, why and how climatic variations take place. A historian should also have elementary knowledge of the human body, to take proper care of his own health.

However, out of all the subjects I am studying, I have a special liking for Science, because it is more practical and useful in everyday life. It is not only interesting but also systematic and logical. Chemistry and Physics are tough no doubt, but quite engrossing. Biology is the most interesting of the three, for it dwells on issues concerning my health. Besides this, I get to know the functions of different organs of the body like heart, liver and kidney.

Knowledge of hygiene and health enables me to avoid dreadful diseases like malaria, chickenpox, and dysentery. In the unfortunate event of affliction with these diseases, I can take care of myself. The reason for my choice is obvious. It would help me realise my ambition of becoming a doctor, a profession which is noble and respectable.

My interest in Science would enable me to pursue medicine as a career in later life. However, to fulfil my dream I would have to pass the pre-medical competitive examination, that is held every year for selecting students to pursue medical studies in a medical college. The competition is very tough because lakhs of students appear in the examination for only a few thousand seats.

The competition would be stiff indeed, but this does not deter me, for I am not studying out of compulsion or force, but for the love of the subject. I know that my labour would not go in vain, for I firmly believe in the words of H.W. Longfellow, “Life’s battle don’t always go to the stronger or the fastest man, but sooner or later the man who wins is the man who thinks he can.”


Of all the games you play at school, which according to you would be most useful to you in future and why?