Ques 1: Mention any two methods adopted by the Harappans for increasing the agricultural production.
Ans: They used following two techniques to increase agricultural production:
(i) They used animal power such as oxen to plough the fields.
(ii) They used irrigation such as canals to water the fields.
Ques 2: Name any two hill stations developed during the British period. Why did these hill stations become an ideal destination for the British and Europeans? Give any one reason.
Ans: Following two hill stations were developed during British period:
(i) Shimla in Himachal Pradesh
(ii) Mount-Abu in Raj as than
They developed hill stations because they found its environment similar to that of Europe and thus was ideal for holidays and recreation.
Ques 3: Mention any three evidences that reflected the disappearance of Harappan civilization by 1800 BCE. Explain any two factors that led to the abandonment of the Harappan sites (cities).
Ans: Archeologists find decreased number of material artifacts during 1800 BCE such as beads, seals, weights, long-distance trades etc. Thus it suggests that far fewer materials were used to make far fewer things.
Also, there is evidence of deterioration of Housing techniques which also suggest in declining urban civilization of Harappans.
There are varied views about the reasons for abandoning of Harappan sites by people.
There are evidences of overouse of landscape, flooding and climate change.
At the same time, some archaeologists suggest invasion by another people and they found skeletons of massacre.
Ques 4: Explain the ideal occupation, as laid down in Dharmashastras and Dharmasutras for the four Varnas and one strategy evolved by the Brahmanas to enforce these norms.
Ans: The Dharmasutras and Dharmashastras also contained rules about the ideal occupations of die four varnas.
(i) Brahmanas were supposed to study and teach the Vedas, perform sacrifices and get sacrifices performed, and give and receive gifts.
(ii) Kshatriyas were to engage in warfare, protect people and administer justice, study the Vedas, get sacrifices performed, and make gifts.
(iii) Vaishyas were expected to engage in agriculture, pastoralism and trade in addition to study vedas, make gifts and get sacrifices performed.
(iv) Shudras were in occupation of serving the other three higher varnas.
The Brahmanas asserted that this division of occupation was a Varna order of divine origin.
Ques 5: 'Amar Nayakas system was a major political innovation of the Vijayanagara Empire.' Justify.
Ans: The Amara-Nayaka system was a major political innovation of the Vijayanagara Empire. Most probably many features of this system were derived from the iqta system of Delhi Sultanate.
Nayakas of Vijayanagara were warriors holding an office bestowed on them by the central government on the condition of rendering military service.
These Nayakas possessed revenue and administrative rights over these territories. They collected taxes and other dues from peasants, craftsman and traders in the area. They used part of the revenue for personal use. Some of the revenue was also used for the maintenance of temples and irrigation work. They deposited the rest with the state treasury.
Amara - Nayaka was a designation conferred on a military officer or chief who had under his control a specified number of troops. They were required to maintain elephants, horses and soldiers in certain numbers, which were included in the royal army during wars.
Part of the revenue collected by them was used in maintaining a stipulated contingent of horses and elephants. They sent tribute to the king annually and personally appeared in the royal court with gifts to express their loyalty. Kings occasionally asserted their control over them by transferring them from one place to another.
Thus this concept led to better revenue collection, better army maintenance but in course of time, Nayakas began to assert their military, administrative and economic powers, which later became a major cause of the decline of the Vijayanagara Empire after the death of Krishnadev Raya.
Ques 6: Explain how rumours and prophecies played an important part in moving people to action during the revolt of 1857.
Ans: Rumours and prophecies played an important part in the revolt of 1857 as these rumours touched the very essence of lives of people i.e., their religion and caste.
Greased Cartridges of Enfield rifles: There were rumours among sepoys that the newly introduced cartridges of infield rifles were greased with fat of cow and pigs and that the sepoys will have to open these with their mouth thus defiling the religion of Hindus and Muslims respectively.
Bone Dust in Flour: There were rumours that British wanted to destroy the religion of Indians and convert them to Christianity. Thus they had mixed the bone dust of cows and pigs into the flour that was sold in the market.
Prophecy: The response to the call for action was reinforced by the prophecy that British rule would come to an end on the centenary of the Battle of Plassey, on 23 June 1857.