121) Between 1880 and 1920, forest cover in the Indian sub-continent declined by 9.7 million hectare, from 108.6 million hectare to 98.9 million hectare. Discuss the role of the following factors in this decline. (a) Railways (b) Ship Building (c) Agricultural Expansion (d) Commercial Farming of Trees (e) Tea/Coffee Plantations (f) Adivasis and Other Peasant Users
Answer:(a) Railways (i) The spread of railways from the 1850s created a new demand. Railways were essential for colonial trade and for the movement of imperial troops. To run locomotives, wood was needed as fuel and to lay railway lines sleepers were essential to hold the tracks together. Each mile of railway track required between 1760 and 2000 sleepers. (ii) From the 1860s, the railway network expanded rapidly. As the length of the railway tracks expanded, a very large number of trees were felled. As early as the 1850s, in the Madras presidency alone 35000 trees were cut annually for sleepers. Forests around the railway tracks started disappearing very fast.
(b) Ship Building By the early 19th century, oak forests in England were disappearing. This created a problem of timber supply from the Royal Navy. English ships could not be built without a regular supply of strong and durable timber. Imperial power could not be protected without ships. Therefore by the 1820s, search parties were sent to explore the forest resources of India. (ii) Within a decade trees were being felled on a massive scale and vast quantities of timber were being exported, leading to disappearance of forests.
(c) Agricultural Expansion (i) As population increased, the demand for food went up. Peasants extended the boundaries of cultivation by clearing forests. (ii) In the early 19th century, the colonial state thought that the forests were unproductive. They were considered to be wilderness that had to be brought under cultivation so, that the land could yield agricultural products and revenue and enhance the income of the state. Thus, between 1880 and 1920, cultivated area rose by 6.7 million hectares by clearing the forests. (iii) The demand for commercial crops like jute, sugar, wheat, cotton and raw material for industries increased. Therefore, the British encouraged expansion of cultivation by clearing forests, leading to decline in forest cover.
(d) Commercial Farming of Trees (i) In commercial farming, natural forests which had lots of different types of trees were cut down. In their place one type of trees were planted in straight rows. This is called a plantation. To promote plantation farming or commercial farming, different varieties of trees were cut down leading to loss of many species and loss of forest cover when the trees were cut for commercial use.
(e) Tea/Coffee Plantation (i)Large areas of natural forests were also cleared to make way for tea, coffee and rubber plantations to meet Europe's growing need for these commodities. (ii) The Colonial Government took over the forests and gave vast areas to European planters at cheap rates. (iii) These areas were enclosed and cleared of forests and planted with tea or coffee. (iv) Plantations were large in area leading to loss of large forest areas.
(f) Adivasis and other Peasant Users (i) As in most parts of the world, shifting cultivation was done by the Adivasis and other peasant communities, in India also it is was practiced. (ii) In shifting cultivation, parts of the forest area are cut and burnt in rotation. Seeds were sown in the ashes after the first monsoon rains and the crop was harvested by October-November. When fertility decreased, the process was repeated at another location. This led to a large loss of forests. Note In the examination, this question will not be asked completely, only its one or two sub-parts will be asked.
122) How did the Forest Act affect the lives of foresters and villagers? Or How did Forest Act mean severe hardship for villagers across the country? Explain.
Answer: The 1878 Forest Act divided forests in India into three categories: reserved, protected and village forests. Foresters and villagers had very different ideas about a 'good forest'.
(i) Villagers wanted forests with a mixture of species to satisfy different needs-fuel, fodder and leaves. Villagers could not take anything from 'reserved' forests. For house building or fuel, they could take wood from protected or village forests. On the other hand forest department needed trees that could provide hard, tall and straight woods for commercial price. So, they encouraged to plant only Teak and Sal and other trees were cut.
(ii) In forest areas people use forest products roots, leaves, fruits, tuber, etc. Almost everything is available in the forest for their livelihood. The Forest Act meant severe hardship for them. All their everyday practices cutting wood for their houses, grazing their cattle, collecting fruits and roots, hunting and fishing became illegal.
(iii) Now villagers were forced to steal wood and if they were caught, they were at the mercy of the forest-guards, who even claimed bribe from them.
(iv) Women who collected fuel wood and food were scared from the forest guards.
(v) It became common practice for police constables and forest guards to harass villagers by demanding free food for them.
123) 'The introduction of railway had an adverse impact on the forests'. Justify by giving examples.
Answer: From the 1860s, the railway network expanded rapidly. Sleepers were the basic inputs required for constructing a railway line. Each mile of a railway track required between 1760, to 2000 sleepers. To meet this demand, large number of trees were felled. To run locomotive, wood was needed as fuel. As railway was being spread throughout India, more and more wood was required which could be used as fuel. The government gave out contracts of individuals to supply the required quantities. These contractors began cutting trees indiscriminately. Thus, forests around the railway tracks started disappearing fast. As early as the 1850s, in the Madras presidency alone, 35,000 trees where being cut annually for sleepers.
Converting sal logs into sleepers
124) (a) 'Forest are the National Wealth'. Illustrate your answer with suitable examples. (b) What values/lesson do you learn from this given statement?
Answer:(a) It is quite proper to say that forests are the national wealth. (i) Forests not only add to the beauty of a country but they are also an important source of many useful products. (ii) The wood that we get from the forests, it is important for building and construction purposes, for railway track, ship building, furniture and for fuel. In India, many industries are based on the forest products. (iii) We get the sandalwood, gums, resins, turpentine oil, honey, herbs, lac, etc from forests. (iv) Grass grown in forests is used for grazing the cattle, sheep, camel, etc. To great extent, the shortage for fodder is also made up by these forests.
(b) From the given statement, I have learnt that forests play an important role in the like of a nation and make a great contribution in the creation of economic structure of a country.
125) Why is it necessary to increase the areas under forests? Give five important reasons.
Answer: A large part of our forests was cleared for industrial uses, cultivation, pastures and fuel wood. Thus, a necessity of increasing the area under forests becomes inevitable in India. The five important reasons are
(i) To maintain the ecological balance It is necessary for maintaining ecological balance and absorption of carbon dioxide.
(ii) To regulate the flow of rivers Forests regulate the flow of rivers both in the rainy and dry seasons by absorbing or releasing water systematically. In this way, they reduce the chances of both floods and droughts.
(iii) To provide natural habitat to wildlife Forests provide natural habitat to wildlife and in this way they held in their preservation.
(iv) To help in precipitation or rainfall Forests help precipitations of rainfall and thus minimise the possibility of droughts.
(v) To conserve the soil Forests play an important role in the conservation of soils as the roots of the trees do not allow the soil to flow away with the water.
126) How did commercial farming led to a decline in forests cover during colonial period?
Answer:Before colonial period, India had nearly one-third of the total land area under forest cover which rapidly declined. In the early 19th century, the colonial powers held the opinion that forests were unproductive and were in no way useful in increasing the income of the state. Dietrich Brandis set-up the Indian Forest Service in 1864 and realised that a proper system had to be introduced to manage forests. The Britisher encouraged the production at commercial crops like jute, sugar, wheat, and cotton. They also encouraged plantation of tea, coffee and rubber. So, the Indian farmers cleared forests for the commercial crops. It affected the ecological balance against multi species forest. The Britishers exported timber like oak, sheesham and teak wood for Royal Navy to make strong ships. Expansion of the railway was another reason for clearing forest, as a large number of 'sleepers' were required for railway tracks. As the population increased and the demand of food went up. The forest were cleared for the expansion of agricultural land
127) How did the British exploit the forests resource of India for their economic development?
Answer: Under the British colonial rule the process of deforestation for economic development in India became systematic and extensive.
(i) By the early 19th century, oak forests in England were disappearing, British needed timber supply for their Royal navy and they sent search parties to explore forest resources of India in 1820. Within a decade vast quantities of timber were being exported from India.
(ii) Not only Royal navy for the movement of imperial troops, the Britishers needed the expansion of railways for their colonial trade. To run locomotives they needed wood and also for railway tracks they needed timber supply.
(iii) Large areas of natural forests were cleared to make way for tea, coffee and rubber plantations to meet Europe's growing need for these commodities. For this purpose, the Colonial Government took over the forests and gave vast areas to European planters at cheap rates.
(iv) In the colonial period, cultivation expanded rapidly. The British directly encouraged the production of commercial crops like jute, sugar wheat and cotton. These crops were demanded for the consumption of urban population and also for the raw materials needed in industrial production.
(v) The colonial power thought that forests were unproductive, so they tried to expand agriculture by clearing forests which would enhance the revenue of the state. Between 1880 and 1920, cultivated area in India rose by 6.7 million hectares.
128) Describe the new occupations adopted by people when forest department took control of the forests. Or How did the British bring change in the trade of forest products? What were the effects of these changes? Or Explain how did the lives of forest-dwellers change after the forest department took over control of the forests? Mention any five points.
Answer: The forest department took control of the forests by introducing the forest Act of 1865 and 1878.
(i) After this, some people benefitted from the new opportunities, they left their traditional occupations and started trading in forest products.
(ii) From the medieval period onwards adivasi communities were trading elephants and other goods like hides, horns, silk cocoons, ivory bamboo, spices, fibres, grasses, gums, resins, etc.
(iii) The British Government took total control of the trade in forest products. They gave many large European trading firms the sole right to trade in the forest products of particular areas.
(iv) Grazing and hunting by local people were restricted. Many pastoralist and nomadic communities like the Korava, Karacha, Yerukula of Madras Presidency and Banjaras lost their livelihoods.
(v) Sometribals were branded as 'criminal tribes' and they lost their old occupations and were forced to work in factories, mines and plantation under government supervision and were offered a very low wage,. In this way, the lives of forest-dwellers were completely changed after the forest department took over control of the forests.
129) Why did the people of Bastar rise in revolt against the British? Explain. Or How did the people of Bastar react against the British forest policies? What were its consequences?
Answer:Bastar is located in the Southernmost part of Chhattisgarh, borders of Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Maharashtra. A number of different communities like Maria and Muria Gonds, Dhurwars, Bhatras and Halbas live in Bastar who speak different languages but share common customs and beliefs. They believe that each village was given its land by the Earth and in return they look after the land and give some offerings at each agricultural festival.
(i) When the colonial power proposed to reserve two-thirds of the forest in 1905 and stop shifting cultivation); hunting and collection of forest product the people of Bastar became worried.
(ii) Some; people were fallowed to stay in 'forest villages on the condition that they worked for the forest department and protected the forest from fires. Other people were displaced without any notice or compensation.
(iii) For long the villagers had been suffering from increased land rents and frequent demands for free labour and goods by colonial pfficials.-
(iv) Moreover there were two terrible famines, one in 1899-1900 and other m 1907 1908. (v) People began to gather and discuss these issues in their village councils, but the initiative was taken by the Dhurwar of Kanger forest, where reservation first took place; (iv) In 1910, mango boughs, a lump of earth, chillies and arrows, began; circulating between villages.
(vii) Bazars were looted, the houses of officials and traders, schools and police stations were burnt and robbed and grain redistributed.
(viii) The British: troops suppressed the rebellion. Adivasis fled in to jungles, their leaders Gunda Dhur was not captured.
(ix) In a major victory for the rebels, work on reservation was temporarily suspended and the area to be reserved was reduced' to roughly half of that planned before 1910.
130) Name at least six items around you which come from forests.
Answer: Some items around me which come from forests are paper in books, wood for desks and tables, dyes that colour my cloth, honey, coffee, tea, oil, tannin, etc.
131) In which parts is Swidden agriculture practised?
Answer: This is traditional agricultural practice in many parts of Asia, Africa and South America.
132) Each mile of railway track required between 1760 and 2000 sleepers. If one average sized tree yields 3 to 5 sleepers for a 3 metre wide broad gauge track, calculate approximately how many trees would have to be cut to lay one mile of track.
Answer:Average number of sleepers required per mile sleepers Average number of sleepers obtained from one tree = 4 Therefore, approximate number of trees to be cut trees
133) Write a dialogue between a Colonial Forester and an Adivasi discussing the issue of hunting in the forest.
Answer:A sample dialogue is given below Colonial Forester Who are you? What are you doing inside the forest at this time? Adivasi I am a villager living in XYZ village on the South edge of this forest. I have come to hunt some animals for feeding my family. Colonial Forester Don't you know that we have banned the hunting of animals in the forest? Go away, you can not be allowed to hunt animals. It is illegal. Adivasi I need the flesh of the animal, so that my wife can cook the food. I regularly hunt for animals and nobody has stopped me before. Colonial Forester No, you will not be allowed to do this. Only Britishers are allowed to hunt animals. Go back to your village. Otherwise, you will be punished. Adivasi Okay, if you say so, I will go. But I will return.
134) What is the local name of 'Madhuca Indica?
Answer: The local name of 'Madhuca Indica' is mahua. Villagers wake up before dawn and go to the forest to collect the mahua flowers which have fallen on the forest floor. It can be eaten or used to make alcohol and its seeds can be used to make oil.
135) In which year did the Bastar rebellion take place?
Answer: In 1910, the Bastar rebellion took place.
136) Which decade witnessed rapid expansion of the railways network in India?
Answer: 1860s witnessed rapid expansion of the railways network in India.
137) Point out Bastar District in Chhattisgarh. Write down the name of the states which share common borders with it.
Answer: (See the map below) Bastar District is bounded on the North-West by Rajnandgaon District, on the North by Kondagaon District, on the East by Nabarangpur and Koraput districts of Odisha state, on the South and South-West by Dantewada District and on the West by Gadchiroli District of Maharashtra state.
138) When was the Indian Forest Service set up?
Answer: The Indian Forest Service was set up in 1864.
139) How much India's landmass was under cultivation in 1600?
Answer: One-sixth of India's landmass was under cultivation in 1600.
140) Which Act was passed in 1865?
Answer: Indian Forest Act was passed in 1865.
141) What do you mean by deforestation?
Answer:The disappearance of forests is referred to as deforestation.
142) Where was the Imperial Forest Research Institute set up in 1906?
Answer: The Imperial Forest Research Institute was set up in 1906 in Dehradun.
143) How many tigers were killed between 1875-1925?
Answer: Over 80000 tigers were killed between 1875-1925.
144) Which colonial power ruled Java?
Answer:Java was ruled by the Dutch.
145) Where is Bastar located?
Answer:Bastar is located in the Southernmost part of Chhattisgarh and borders of Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Maharashtra.
146) Which country occupied Indonesia during the Second World War?
Answer:During the Second World War, Japan occupied Indonesia.
147) Between 1700 to 1995, how much area of forest cover in the World's area was cleared for industrial uses, cultivation, pastures and fuel wood?
Answer:Between 1700 to 1995, 13.9 million sq km area of forest cover in the World's total area was cleared for industrial uses, cultivation, pastures and fuel wood.
148) Which Forest Act divided forest into three categories, viz reserved, protected and village forests?
Answer: The Forest Act of 1878, divided forests into three categories viz reserved, protected and village forests.
149) How many sleepers were required for each mile of railway track?
Answer: Each mile at railway track required between 1760 to 2000 sleepers.
150) What is scientific forestry?
Answer:Scientific forestry means natural forests which had lots of different types of trees were cut down and in their place, one type of tree was planted in straight rows.
151) Who was the community of skilled forests cutters and shifting cultivators in Java?
Answer:The Kalangs of Java were a community of skilled forest cutters and shifting cultivators.
152) Who was the leader of rebel foresters in Andhra Pradesh?
Answer:Alluri Sita Rama Raju was the leader at rebel foresters in Andhra Pradesh.
153) Which species of trees are suited for building ships and railways?
Answer:Teak and Sal trees are suited for building ships and railways.
154) From which tree, latex can be collected?
Answer:Latex can be collected from a rubber tree.
155) Where the Blandongdiensten System was introduced?
Answer:The Blandongdiensten System was introduced in Java by the colonial power Dutch to control the forest land.
156) What is the local name of shifting cultivation of South-East Asia?
Answer: Lading is the local name of shifting cultivation of South-East Asia
157) Name some Indian communities who live in Bastar.
Answer:A number of different communities live in Bastar such as Maria, Muria Gonds, Dhurwar, Bhatras and Halbas.
158) Who was the leader of the Forest Revolt in Bastar?
Answer: Gunda Dhur was the leader of the Forest Revolt in Bastar.
159) For which product is Java famous?
Answer: Java is famous as a rice-producing island in Indonesia.
160) Who was the first Inspector-General of forests in India?
Answer: Dietrich Brandis was the first Inspector-General of Forests in India.
161) Which transport system was most essential for colonial trade and movement of goods?
Answer:Railways were most essential for colonial trade and movement of goods.
162) How was Siadi creeper used for?
Answer: Siadi creeper was used to make ropes.
163) Which trees were promoted for building ships or railways by the colonial government?
Answer: Teak and Sal trees were promoted for building ships or railways by the colonial government.
164) What were the wooden planks laid down across railway tracks to hold tracks in a position called?
Answer:The wooden planks laid down across railway tracks to hold tracks in a position is called sleepers.
165) Which forest community of Central India sent a petition against stopping of shifting cultivation in 1892?
Answer:Baigas are a forest community of Central India who sent a petition against stopping of shifting cultivation in 1892.
166) Which river flows across Bastar from East to West?
Answer:The river Indrawati flows across Bastar from East to West.
167) Name the forest which the Dhurwars were associated with.
Answer:Dhurwars were associated with Kanger forest, where reservation first took place.
168) There are many tribes living in India. Visit any one of them and give a brief on the life led by the tribals.
Answer:(i) Most of the tribals in India live in far off villages.
(ii) They look after earth, show respect to the spirit of rivers, forests and mountain.
(iii) If they want to buy some wood or take wood from other villagers, they pay taxes like dovsari.
(iv) Some tribals also keep men for protecting their forests.
(v) They also do hunting for fuel, animals meat etc.