Class 8 History Social Science Chapter 3 Ruling the Countryside

Class 8 History Social Science Chapter 3 Ruling the Countryside

Q1. What changes came in the company as it got the right of Diwan?
Ans. As Diwan:-
./ The Company became the chief financial administrator of the territory under its control.
./  Now it had to think of administering the land and organizing its revenue resources.
./  This had to be done in a way that could yield enough revenue to meet the growing expenses of the company.
./  A trading company had also to ensure that it could buy the product it needs and sell what it wanted.
Q2. Why did ruling the countryside become a necessity?
Ans Over the years the company also learnt that it had to move with some caution. Being an alien power, it needed to pacify those who in the past had ruled the countryside, and enjoyed authority and prestige. Those who held local power had to be controlled but they could not be entirely eliminated. The British wanted to collect the more revenues and they also wanted to show that they were paramount.

Q3. Why did the need to improve the agriculture in Bengal arise?
Ans. The need to improve the agriculture in Bengal arise as it was felt that
./  This would ensure a regular flow of revenue into the company’s coffers and at the same time encourage the zamindars to invest in improving the land.
./  Since the revenue demand of the state would not be increased the zamindars would benefit from increased production from the land.

Q4. Why was there demand of Indigo in Europe?
1.     British cloth dyers, however, preferred indigo as a dye Indigo produced a rich blue colour, whereas the dye from woad was pale and dull.
2.     By the seventeenth century, European cloth producers persuaded their government to relax the bam on indigo import.
3.     The French began cultivating indigo in St. Domingue in the Caribbean islands, the Portuguese in Brazil, the English in Jamaica, and the Spanish in Venezuela. Indigo plantations also came up in many parts of North America.
4.     By the end of the eighteenth century, the demand for Indian indigo increased its existing supplies from the West Indies and America collapsed for a variety of reasons. Between 1783 and 1789 the production of indigo in the world fell by half. Cloth dyrs in Britain now desperately cooked for new source of indigo supply.

Q5.  How else did the British use the countryside from other than collecting revenue?
Ans. The other ways were:-
·        They forced the artisans to sell their goods to the company at low prices.
·        Peasants were forced to pay dues that were being demanded from them.
·        The Britishers also forced Indians to cultivate opium and indigo.

Q6. Explain the following terms:-
1.      Plantation: - A large farm operated by a planter employing various forms of forced labour. Plantations are associated with the production of coffee, sugarcane, tobacco, tea and cotton
2.      .Mahal: -In British revenue records mahal is a revenue estate which may be a village or a group of village.
3.      Bigha: - A unit of measurement of land. Before British rule, the size of this area varied. In Bengal the British standardized it to about one third of an acre.
4.      Slave: - A person who is exploited and is forced to follow the orders given by its master. A person who is owned by someone else –the slave owner. A slave has no freedom and is compelled to work for the master.
5.      Nij: -Nij was a system of indigo cultivator within the system of nij cultivation, the planter produced indigo in lands that he directly controlled.
6.      Ryoti: -Ryoti was another system of indigo cultivation. Under the ryoti system, the planters forced the ryots to sign a contract, an agreement (satta).

Q7. What was the problem with nij cultivation?
The problem with nij cultivation was that the planters found it difficult to expand the acre under nij cultivation.
./  Indigo could be cultivated only on fertile lands, and these were all already densely populated. Only small plots scattered over the landscape could be acquired.
./  Planters needed large areas incompact blocks to cultivate indigo in plantations. They attempted to lease in the land around the indigo factory, and evict the peasants from the area. But this always led to conflicts and tensions.
./  Nor was labour easy to mobile. A large plantation required a vast number of hands to operate. And labour was needed precisely at a time when peasants were usually busy with their rice cultivation.
./  Nij cultivation on a large scale also required many ploughs and bullocks.  Quebigha of indigo cultivation required two ploughs. This means that a planter with 1,000 bighas would need 2,000 ploughs. Investing on purchase and maintenance ploughs was a big problem. Nor could supplies be supplies he easily get from the peasants since their ploughs and bullocks were busy on their rice fields, again exactly at the time that the indigo planters needed them.

Q8. What were the problems with ryoti system?
1.     Under the ryoti system, the planters forced the ryots to sign a contract, an agreement (satta). At times they pressurised the village headman to sign the contract on behalf of the ryots.
2.     Those who signed the contract got each advances from the planters at low rates of interest to produce indigo. But the loan committed the ryot to cultivating indigo on at least 25 per cent of the area under his holding.
3.     The planter provided the seed and the drill, while the cultivators prepared the soil sowed the seed and looked after the crop.
4.     The planters wanted that the indigo should be grows in the best soil.

Q9. What was the blue rebellion? Give its consequences.
Q.  What were the circumstances which led to the eventual collapse of Indigo production in Bengal?
Ans) In March 1859 thousands of ryots in Bengal refused to grow Indigo.
1.      Ryoti refused to pay rents to the planters, and attacked indigo factories armed with swords and spears, bones and arrows. Women turned up to fight with pots, pans and kitchen implements.
2.      Those who worked for gomasthas were beaten up.
3.      Ryots swore they would no longer take advances to sow indigo nor be bullied by the planter’s lathiyals.

./  The Queen also declared that sowing of indigo was not compulsory for the ryots.
./  Worried by the rebellion, the govt. brought in the military to protect the planters from assault, and set up the Indigo Commission to enquire into the system of indigo production.
./  The commission held the planters guilty, and criticized them for the coercive methods they used with indigo cultivators.
./  The company asked ryots to fulfill their existing contracts but also told them that they could refuse to produce indigo in future.

Q10.  How was Gandhi related to the Indigo planters?
1.     After the revolt, indigo production collapsed in Bengal. But the planters how shifted their operation to Bihar. With the discovery of synthetic dyes in the late 19th century their business was severely affected, but yet they managed to expand production.
2.     When Mahatma Gandhi returned from South Africa, a peasant from Bihar persuaded him visit Champaran and see the plight of the indigo cultivators there.
3.     Mahatma Gandhi’s visit in 1917 marked the beginning of the Champaran movement against the indigo planters.

Q11. What gave the indigo peasants the power to rebel?
·        In 1859, the indigo ryots felt that they had the support of the local Zamindar and Village headmen in their rebellion against the planters.
·        In many villages, headmen who had been forced to sign indigo contracts, mobilized the indigo peasants and fought pitched battles with the lathiyals.
·        In other places even the zamindarswent around villages urging the ryots to resist the planters.
·        These zamindars were unhappy with the increasing power of the planters and angry at being forced by the planters give them land on long bases.
·        The indigo peasant also imagined that the British govt. would support them in their struggle against the planters.

Q12. How did the artisans in Bengal face a deep crisis?
./  The British administration was just like a sponge which absorbs everything from the banks of upper Ganga and then squeezed into the bank of River Thames.
./  The British exploited our country in such a way that the backbone of our economy i.e. agriculture and industry was spoiled completely.
./  Soon it was clear that the Bengal economy was facing a deep crisis as the British become its Diwani.
./  Artisans were deserting village since they were being forced to sell their goods to the company at low prices.
./  Artisan production was in decline, and agricultural cultivation showed signs of collapse. Then in 1770 a terrible famine killed ten million people in Bengal. About one third of the  population was wiped out.

Q13. Why were the ryots reluctant to grow indigo?
Ans. The ryots were reluctant to grow indigo as those who signed the contract get cash advances from the planters at low rates of interest to produce indigo and the cultivators weren’t having even a bit of profit in the process rather their land was getting deter collated.

Courtesy : CBSE