Sunday, June 30, 2019

Tribals, Dikus And The Vision Of A Golden Age - History 8th - Chapter 4


Let's Recall
Q1. Fill in the blanks:
(a) The British described the tribal people as __________.
(b) Tribal people were hunters, gatherers and _______.
(c) The tribal chiefs got _________ titles.
(d) Tribals considered traders and money lenders as ______.
(e) Tribals went to work in the ____________ of Assam
and the ____________ in Bihar.
(a) The British described the tribal people as wild and savage.
(b) Tribal people were hunters, gatherers and cultivators.
(c) The tribal chiefs got titles land titles.
(d) Tribals considered traders and money lenders as enemies.
(e) Tribals went to work in the tea plantation of Assam
and the coal mines in Bihar.
Let's Discuss
Q2. State whether true or false:
(a) Jhum cultivators plough the land and sow seeds.             False
(b) Cocoons were bought from the Santhals and sold by the traders at five times the purchase price.                     True
(c) Birsa urged his followers to purify themselves, give up drinking liquor and stop believing in witchcraft and sorcery.                 True
(d) The British wanted to preserve the tribal way of life.      False
Q3. List problems did, shifting cultivators face under British rule?
Ans. Shifting cultivators faced a lot of problems under British rule. The British government tried settling the jhum or shifting cultivators. However, settled plough cultivation did not prove to be helpful to these jhum cultivators. They often suffered because their fields did not produce good yields. The new forest laws also affected their lives. Thus, the jhum cultivators were prevented from practicing jhum cultivation freely. Many were forced to move to other areas in search of work and livelihood.
Q4. How did the powers of tribal chiefs change under colonial rule?
Ans. Tribal chiefs enjoyed a certain amount of economic power. Though they were allowed to keep their land titles over a cluster of villages and rent out lands, the administrative, judicial and economic powers they enjoyed before the arrival of the British were no longer in force. They were required to follow the British laws and pay tribute to the British. As a result, they lost the authority they had earlier enjoyed among their people, and were unable to fulfil their traditional functions.

Q5. What accounts for the anger of the tribals against the dikus?
Ans. Dikus were the outsiders, who were responsible for the misery of tribals. They were helping British in implementing the laws. The tribal’ s life depended on forests but the British policy stopped them to live inside the forests. This created the anger of tribals against the dikus.
British policies put a great impact on tribal people. They were forced to leave their lands and live a poor and miserable life. Almost all people faced misery. As a result, there were many revolts against British.
Q6. What was Birsa’s vision of a golden age? Why do you think such a vision appealed to the people of the region?
Ans. Birsa talked about a golden age, a satyug, an age of truth in which, like in the past, the tribal people would live a good life, construct embankments, tap natural springs, plant trees and orchards and practice cultivation to earn their living. He talked of an age in which the tribals would not kill one another and would live an honest life. His golden age consisted of a reformed tribal society in which there was no place for vices like liquor, uncleanliness, witchcraft and sorcery, and outside forces like the missionaries, Hindu landlords, moneylenders, traders and the Europeans.
This vision was appealing to the tribal people as all the vices and outside forces that Birsa talked about were indeed thought of by everyone as the root causes of their misery and suffering.

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