Glimpses of the Past
Question 1: Do you think the Indian princes were short-sighted in their approach to the events of 1857?
Answer: The dialogue shown in the comics indicates that Indian princes were selfish. They always thought of protecting their fiefdom. The idea of nationhood was not present. For them their princely estates were of utmost importance. In order to strengthen their stranglehold they were ready to be pawn in the hands of British.
Question 2: How did the East India Company subdue the Indian princes?
Answer: The internal rivalry between various princes was enough for British to pit them against each other. This was a good example of their, Divide and Rule Policy. Internal fighting weakened them to the point when East India Company could easily subdue them.
Question 3: Quote the words used by Ram Mohan Roy to say that every religion teaches the same principles.
Answer: Ram Mohan Roy took the example of a cow. He said that no matter of what colour a cow is, the milk is always white. Similarly different religious preachers may sound different but the real meaning and lesson from them is always same.
Question 4: In what ways did the British officers exploit Indians?
Answer: British officers increased taxes on farmers. Inability to pay the land tax resulted in heavy punishment. British reduced import duty to help British goods get a hold on the Indian market. This led to unemployment among local artisans. Disparity in salary of British officers and Indian workers was very large. This led to overall resentment among Indians working for British government.
Question 5: Name these people
(a) The ruler who fought pitched battles against the British and died fighting.
Answer: Tantya Tope and Kunwar Singh fought pitched battle against the British and died while fighting.
(b) The person who wanted to reform the society.
Answer: Raja Ram Mohun Roy was educated and wanted the society to get rid of superstitions and harmful social practices like untouchability and sati.
(c) The person who recommended the introduction of English education in India.
Answer: Macaulay was of the opinion that to get an educated workforce British government should start English education for Indians. Because of this fact Indian English is sometimes called Macaulay’s English.
Question 6: Mention the following:
(a) Two examples of social practices prevailing then.
Answer: Two examples of social evils during British rule:
- Sati: According to this system a widow had to immolate on her husband's pyre.
- Fear Against Sea Voyage: It was believed that sea voyage resulted in making your soul impure, so people were against it.
(b) Two oppressive policies of the British.
Answer: Two oppressive policies of British:
- High land revenue taxes
- Imprisonment of Indians without trial.
(c) Two ways in which common people suffered.
Answer: Two ways in which common people suffered:
- People lost their livelihood because of cheaper imports from England.
- High lagan led to poor condition of farmers.
(d) Four reasons for the discontent that led to the 1857 War of Independence.
Answer: Four reasons for the discontent leading to the 1857 War of Independence:
- Farmers lost their land leading to depravity
- Landlords lost their land because of British policies.
- Salary disparity between British and Indian workers.
- British had no respect for Indian’s religious beliefs and customs.