Ques 1: State whether gender differences were really important in the early societies from c. 600 BCE to 600 CE.
Ans: Gender differences were not really important in the early societies from c. 600 BCE to 600 CE as jewellery has been found in burials of both men and women.
Ques 2: Examine the significance of enclosing agricultural land within the fortified area of the city of Vijayanagara.
Ans: Significance of enclosing agricultural land within the fortified area of the city of Vijayanagara are: It had an elaborate canal system which drew water from the Tungabhadra to provide irrigation facilities. It enclosed agricultural tracts, cultivable fields, gardens, and forests. These enclosures saved crops from being eaten by wild animals.
Ques 3: Explain how you will prove that the text of Mahabharata was a dynamic one.
Ans: Mahabharata is a Dynamic Text:
1. The original story was probably composed by charioteer-bards known as sutas and was circulated the story orally for many decades.
2. Then from the fifth century BCE, Brahmanas took over the story and began to commit it to writing. This was the time when chiefdoms such as those of the Kurrus and Panchalas, around whom the story of the epic revolves, were gradually becoming kingdoms.
3. The growth of the Mahabharata did not stop with the Sanskrit version. Over the centuries, versions of the epic were written in a variety of languages through an ongoing process of dialogue between peoples, communities, and those who wrote the texts.
4. Several stories that originated in specific regions or circulated amongst certain people found their way into the epic. At the same time, the central story of the epic was often retold in different ways.
5. Episodes of Mahabharata were depicted in sculpture and painting.
6. They also provided themes for a wide range of performing arts - plays, dance and other kinds of narrations.
Ques 4: Examine why Bernier described the Mughal towns as the 'Camp Towns'.
Ans: Bernier's Travels in the Mughal Empire was marked by detailed observations, critical insights and reflection. His account contains discussions trying to place the history of the Mughals within some sort of universal framework. He constantly compared Mughal India with cotemporary Europe, generally emphasising the superiority of the latter. His representation of India works on the model of binary opposition, where India is presented as the inverse of Europe. In fact, during the seventeenth century about 15 percent of the population lived in the towns. This was on average, higher than the proportion of urban population in Western Europe in the same period. Inspite of this Bernier described the Mughal cities as Camp towns, by which he meant towns that owed their existence and depended for their survival, on the imperial camp. He believed that these came into existence when the imperial court moved in and rapidly declined when it moved out. He suggested that they did not have viable social and economic foundations but were dependent on imperial patronage.
Ques 5: How do you think that Qandhar remained a bone of contention between the Mughals and the Safavids? Explain.
Ans: The political and diplomatic relations between the Mughal kings and the neighbouring countries of Iran and Turan hinged on the control of the frontier defined by the Hindukush mountains that separated Afghanistan from the regions of Iran and Central Asia. All conquerors who sought to make their way into the Indian Subcontinent had to cross the Hindukush to have access to North India. There was a constant effort by the Mughal policy to ward off this potential danger by controlling strategic outposts - notably Kabul and Qandahar. Qandahar was a bone of contention between the Safavids and the Mughals. The fortress town had initially been in the possession of Humayun, reconquered in 1595 by Akbar. While the Safavid Court retained diplomatic relations with the Mughals, it continued to stake claims to Qandahar. In 1613, Jahangir sent a diplomatic envoy to the court of Shah Abbas to plead the Mughal case for retaining Qandahar but the mission failed. In the winter of 1622 a Persian army besieged Qandahar. The ill-prepared Mughal garrison was defeated and had to surrender the fortress and the city to the Safavids.
Ques 6: 'After introducing the Permannent Settlement in Bengal, the zamindars regularly failed to pay the land revenue demand'. Examine the causes and consequences of it.
'A chain of grievances in Awadh linked the prince, taluqdars, peasants and sepoys to join hands in the revolt of 1857 against the British.' Examine the statement.
Ans: Fifth report was a series of reports submitted about the working and administration of East India Company in India. This report was presented in British Parliament in 1813. It was significant because it gave clear picture of what happened in rural Bengal in the late 18th century. This report had invaluable evidence.
According to this report:
(a) The condition of the Zamindars was deteriorating and their lands were auctioned from time to time.
(b) They were facing poverty due to the collapse of Zamindari system.
(c) They could not repay or pay back the revenue.
(d) The Zamindars were losing their land at regular time of intervals.
(e) In a situation to pay back their loan, their zamindari was auctioned.
(f) They were not always displaced from their land. By manipulating, they used to retain their zamindari.
(g) It criticised the maladministration of the company.
(h) It exaggerated the downfall of zamindari system.
In 1856, Awadh was annexed and its king Wajid Alt Shah was dethroned and exiled to Calcutta. Annexation by the British had created disaffection but nowhere more so than in Awadh. The British had thought that Wajid AH Shah was an unpopular ruler. They were wholly mistaken he was very popular amongst his public. When he left his beloved Lucknow, thousands of his subjects followed him to Kanpur. British officers believed that by removing the taluqdars they would be able to settle the land with the actual cultivators of the soil and thus reduce the exploitation of the peasants and increase the amount of revenue coming to the state. In practice, this did not happen, revenue inflows to the state increased but the burden on the peasants did not decline. Officials discovered that large areas of Awadh had actually been over-assessed; the increase of revenue demand in some places was from 30 to 70 per cent.
Similarly, the fears of sepoys about the cartridge and the loss of caste and religion were also quickly communicated to the villagers of Awadh. As were stories of verbal and physical abuse that the sepoys suffered at the hands of the white officers. This link between the sepoys and the rural world was important. When the sepoys mutinied, they were quickly joined by their brotherhood from the villages. The mutiny became a rebellion.
A chain of grievances linked prince, taluqdar, peasant and sepoy. A whole mixture emotions and issues, traditions and loyalties worked themselves out in the revolt of 1857.