Ques 1: Why is the sixth century BCE often regarded as a major turning point in the early Indian history?
Ans: (1) The 6th century BCE is generally regarded as an important turning point in early-history. It was an era associated with early states.
(2) This period also experienced the development of diverse systems of thought, including Buddhism and Jainism.
Ques 2: Point out one supportive and one conservative view on the opportunities provided to the Indian women in the colonial cities.
Ans: (1) Conservatives, were of this opinion that the education of women would turn the World upside down. They would endanger the basis of the whole social fabric.
(2) After sometime, women became more visible in public life. They began to join new professions in the city as domestic and factory workers, teachers and theatre and film actresses.
Ques 3: Analyse the role of memories and oral narratives in constructing the history of the partition of India.
Ans: Memories and Experiences: Millions of people viewed Partition in terms of the suffering and challenges of the times. For them it was no mere constitutional divisions or just the party politics of the Muslim League Congress and others. For them, it meant the unexpected alterations in life as it unfolded between 1946 and 1950 and beyond requiring psychological, emotional and social adjustments. Memories and experiences shape the reality of an event.
Oral Narration: Oral history allows historians to broaden, the boundries of their discipline by rescuing from obligion, the lived experiences or the poor and the powerless. The oral history of partition has succeeded in exploring the experiences of those men and women whose existence has hitherto been ignored, taken for granted or mentioned only in passing in mainstream history.
Ques 4: 'The arguments and evidences offered by the Fifth-Report cannot be accepted uncritically.' Give arguments.
Ans: 1. The Fifth Report was the report on the administration and activities of the East India Company in India. From the time the company established its rule in Bengal in the mid-1760s its activities were closely watched and debated in England.
2. There are many groups in England who were opposed to the monopoly that the East Indian Company had over trade with India and China, who wanted a revocation of the Royal Charter that gave the company this monopoly.
3. Also the private traders wanted a share in India trade and the British Industrialists were keen to open up the Indian market for British manufacturers. Many political groups argued that the conquest of Bengal was benefiting only the East India Company but not the British National as a whole.
4. Information about company misrule and maladministration was hotly debated in Britain and incidents of the greed and corruption of company officials were widely publicised in the Press. The British Parliament passed a series of Acts in the late 18th century to regulate the control company rule in India.
The Acts forced the company to produce regular reports on the administration of India and appointed committees to enquire into the affairs of the company. The Fifth Report was one such report produced by a Select Committee.
Ques 5: 'Abul Fazi has described the ideal of Sulh-i-Kul of Akbar as the corner-stone of his enlightened rule.'Justify.
Ans: Sulh-i-kul as describe by Abul Fazi was absolute peace as the corner stone of enlightened rule. Mughal chronicles present the empire as comprising many different ethnic and religious communities - Hindus, Jainas, Zoroastrians and Muslims. As the source of all peace and stability the emperor stored above all religions and ethnic groups, mediated among them, and ensured that justice and peace prevailed.
In Sulh-i-kul all religions and schools of thought had freedom of expression but on condition that they did not undermine the authority of state or fight among themselves.
The idea of Sulh-i-kul was implemented through state policies in which nobilities comprising of Iranis, Turanis, Afgans, Rajputs, Deccan is all of whom were given positions and awards purely on the basis of their service and loyalty to the king. Akbar abolished the tax of pilgrimage in 1563 and Jizya in 1564 as the two were based on religious discrimination for which instructions were sent to officers of the empire to follow the precept of Sulh-i-kul in administration.
All Mughal emperors gave grants to support the building and maintenance of places of worship.
Ques 6: Critically examine the limitations of the inscriptional evidences in understanding political and economic history of India.
Ans: Epigraphists face limitations of Inscriptional evidence in the following way:
1. Technical Limitations: Sometimes the letters are very faintly engraved and thus there is uncertainty of reconstructions, inscriptions may be damaged or letters missing. It is not always easy to be sure about the exact meaning of the words used in inscriptions; some of which may be specific to a particular place or time. This has lead the scholars constantly debating and discussing alternative ways of reading inscription.
2. Problem of deciphering: Although several thousand inscriptions have been discovered, not all have been deciphered, published and translated. Besides many more inscriptions must have existed, which have not survived the ravages of time. Therefore, what is available at present is probably only a fraction of what was inscribed.
3. Fundamental problem: Fundamental problem is not everything that we may consider politically or economically significant was necessarily recorded in inscriptions. For example, routine agricultural practices and the joys and sorrows of daily existence find no mention in inscriptions, which focus more often than not on grand, unique events. Besides the content of inscriptions almost invariably protects the perspective of the persons who commissioned them. Therefore, they need to be juxtaposed with other perspectives so as to arrive at a better understanding of the past.
Thus, epigraphy alone does not provide a full understanding of political and economic history for which historians often questioned both old and new evidence.
Ques 7: Explain the strategies used by the archaeologists to understand socio-economic differences among the Harappans.
Ans: Archaeologists generally use the following strategies to find out the social and economic differences amongst people living within a particular culture in Harappan Civilisation.
1. Burials: At burials in Harappan sites the dead were laid in pits which were made in different ways like the hollowed out spaces were lined with bricks.
Some graves contained pottery and ornaments, indicating a belief that these could be used in the afterlife. Jewellery has been found in burials of both men and women.
An ornament consisting of three shell rings, a jasper bead and hundreds of micro-beads was found near the skull of a male was found in excavations at the cemetery in Harappa in the mid. 1980s. Dead were also found burned with copper mirrors in some cases.
2. Luxuries: Objects of daily use made of ordinary materials like stone or clay which were querns, pottery, needles, flesh - rubbers were usually found distributed throughout settlements. Archaeologists also found out objects which were rare and made of costly, non-local materials or complicated technologies. Thus, little pots of faience were considered precious as they were difficult to make.
The distribution of rare artefacts of valuable materials were concentrated in large settlements like Mohenjodaro and Harappa and rarely found in the smaller settlements. For example, miniature pots of faience, used as perfume bottles, were found in Mohenjodaro and Harappa and there were none from small settlements like Kalibangan.
Thus, the findings of the above artefacts prove that there were social and economic differences in Harappan culture.
Ques 8: 'The rulers of Vijayanagara innovated and developed new traditions in the Virupaksha temple.' Elaborate.
Ans: The distinctive physical location of Vijayanagara Empire has helped to meet the requirement or water in the following way:
The striking feature about the location of Vijayanagara is the natural basin formed by river Tungabhadra which flows in north easterly direction. A number of streams flow dawn to the river from the granite hills that seem to term a girdle around the city.
Embankments were built along these streams to create reservoirs of varying sizes.
Elaborate arrangements had to be made to store rain water and conduct it to the city as Vijayanagara is one of the most arid zones of the peninsula. The most important tank was built in the early years of the 15th C was known as Kamalapuram tank, water from this tank was used for irrigating the fields as well as conducted through a channel to the Royal Centre. Another most prominent water work to be seen among the ruins is the Hiriya Canal. This canal drew water from a dam across the Tungabhadra and irrigated the cultivated valley that separated the ?sacred centre from the urban core?. This was built by the kings of the Sangama dynasty.