Briefly describe the attacks on the Ahoms.
Answer: In the south-west the Ahoms faced many invasions. In 1552 under Mir Jumla, the Mughals attacked the kingdom. The Ahoms were defeated despite their strong defence. However the Mughals could not have direct control over them for a long time.
Who were the Cheros?
Answer: Chero chiefdoms had emerged in the present-day Bihar and Jharkhand by the 12th century. They were attacked and defeated by Raja Man Singh, Akbar’s famous general in 1591. Though large amount of booty was taken from them, they were not fully subdued by him. But the Mughal forces under Aurangzeb captured many Chero fortresses and they were ultimately subjugated.
What occupation did the Ahoms take up?
Answer: During war almost all adult males served in the army. They were engaged in building dams, irrigation systems and other public works at other times. They introduced new methods of rice cultivation.
Briefly describe the inequality that existed in the society.
Answer: Already the society was divided according to the rules of varna in large parts of the subcontinent. These rules were prescribed by the Brahamanas and accepted by the rulers of large kingdoms. The gap between the high and low, and rich and poor, widened. This hierarchy between social classes grew further under the Delhi Sultans and the Mughals.
Describe the administration of the Gonds.
Answer: The administration system of these kingdoms was becoming centralized in nature. The kingdom was divided into garhs. A particular Gond clan controlled each garh. This was further divided into units of 84 villages known as chaurasi. The chaurasi was subdivided into barhots. Barhots were made up of 12 villages each. The emergence of large states led to changes in the nature of Gond society. The society which had equality in it gradually got divided into unequal social classes. The Gond rajas gave land grants to the Brahmanas. The Brahmanas hence became more influential. Now the Gond chiefs wished to be recognized as Rajputs. Hence Aman Das, the Gond raja of Garha Katanga, assumed the title of Sangram Shah.
Describe the Ahom society.
Answer: The Ahom society was divided into clans or khels. The artisan community had very few castes, hence artisans in the Ahom areas came from adjoining kingdoms. A khel often controlled many villages. The peasant was given land by his village community which could not be taken away even by the king without the community’s consent. The Ahom society was quite sophisticated. Theatre was encouraged. Poets and scholars were given land grants. Important works in Sanskrit were translated into the local language; even historical works were written. These were written first in the Ahom language and then in Assamese. These were known as buranjis.
Write in detail about the changes in the social aspects in the subcontinent during the period.
Answer: During the period that we have been examining, there were a lot of social changes. Varna-based society and tribal people interacted constantly with each other. This caused both the societies to adapt and change. There were variety of tribes and they were engaged in diverse occupations. Many of them, over a period of time, merged with caste-based society. There were, however some tribes who rejected both the caste system and orthodox Hinduism. Some tribes also organized extensive states and introduced well-organised systems of administration in them, hence gaining political power. This lead to conflicts between them and the larger, more complex kingdoms and empires.
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