History Of India 1707-1950
BHIC 134 Free Solved Assignment
BHIC 134 Free Solved Assignment July 2021 & Jan 2022
Assignment – I
Q 1 What were the causes for the Revolt of 1857?
Ans: Causes of 1857 Revolt
The issue of greased cartridges and military grievances has been over-emphasized, as the factor for the Revolt of 1857.
However, recent researches have proved that the cartridge was not the only cause for this revolt. In fact, multiple causes i.e., social-religious-political-economic worked together to produce the rebellion.
It was the first expression of organised resistance against the British East India Company It began as a revolt of the sepoys of the British East India Company’s army but eventually secured the participation of the masses.
1 Social and Religious Causes: The British had abandoned its policy of non-interference in the socio-religious life of the Indians. Abolition of Sati (1829), Hindu Widow Remarriage Act (1856).
Christian missionaries were allowed to enter India and carry on with their mission of proselytizing. BHIC 134 Free Solved Assignment
The Religious Disabilities Act of 1850 modified the traditional Hindu law. According to it, the change in religion would not debar a son from inheriting the property of his heathen father.
2 Economic Causes: British rule led to the breakdown of the village self-sufficiency, commercialization of agriculture which burdened the peasantry, adoption of free trade imperialism from 1800, deindustrialization, and drain of wealth all of which led to the overall decline of the economy.
3 Military Grievances: The extension of British dominion in India had adversely affected the service condition of the Sepoys.
They were required to serve in an area away from their homes without the payment of extra Bhatta.
An important cause of Military discontent was the General Service Enlistment Act, 1856, which made it compulsory for the sepoys to cross the seas, whenever required.
The Post Office Act of 1854 withdrew the free postage facility for them.
4 Political Causes: The last major extension of the British Indian territory took place during the time of Dalhousie. Dalhousie announced in 1849, that the successor of Bahadur Shah II would have to leave the Red Fort.
The annexation of Baghat and Udaipur was, however, canceled and they were restored to their ruling houses. BHIC 134 Free Solved Assignment
When Dalhousie wanted to apply the Doctrine of Lapse to Karauli (Rajputana), he was overruled by the court of Directors.
Causes of 1857 Revolt Failure:
1 Some of the local rulers like Scindia of Gwalior, the Holkar of Indore, the Nizam of Hyderabad, the Raja of Jodhpur, the Nawab of Bhopal, the rulers of Patiala, Sindh, and Kashmir, and the Rana of Nepal provided active support to the British.
2 The military equipment of the rebels was inferior. Comparative lack of efficient leadership.
3 The modern intelligent Indians also didn’t support the cause.
Impact of the 1857 Revolt:
1 The revolt was mainly feudal in character carrying with it some nationalist elements.
2 The control of Indian administration was passed on to the British Crown by the Government of India Act, 1858.
3 The army was carefully reorganized to prevent the recurrence of such an event.
The Revolt of 1857 was an extremely important event in Indian history. It was merely a product of Sepoy but was accumulated grievances of the people against the Company’s administration and of their dislike for the foreign regime
Q2 Discuss the controversies regarding the origin of the Indian National Congress.
Ans:Controversies regarding the origin of the Indian National Congress:
Since the 1ndian National Congress has played an important role in India’s history, it was natural that contemporary opinion as well as subsequent historians should have speculated about the reasons which led to its establishment.BHIC 134 Free Solved Assignment
In fact this question has been discussed ever since the congress was founded.
Many scholars have made diligent attempts to identify the efforts of an individual or individuals or the particular circumstances which can be considered as the principal immediate factors behind the event.
But the evidence is conflicting. The issue continues to be discussed among historians, a hundred years after the event.
We shall see how far the foundation of the Indian National Congress can be explainec in terms of the alternative positions of:
- Official Conspiracy Theory:
If a body like the Indian National Congress had been founded by an Indian, it would have been accepted as something normal and logical.
But the fact that the idea of an all-India political organisation was given concrete and final shape by an Englishmen -A.O. Hume has given rise to many speculations.
Why should an Englishman take the initiative?
Moreover, Hume was not just any Englishman: he belonged to the Indian Civil Service.
It is said that while in service he had come across a mass of material which suggested that as a result of the sufferings of the masses and alienation of intellectuals, much discontent had accumulated and this could pose a threat to the continuance of British rule.
- Ambitions and Rivalries of Indian Elite:
During the last two decades many historians, mainly centred at Cambridge, have argued that the Indian National Congress was, in some ways, not really national,
that it was a movement of self-interested individuals and that it functioned as a vehicle for the pursuit of their material interests and parochial rivalries. (Anil Seal has been the most influential historian to express this view).
But this view has been challenged in India. It is true that lust for power or desire to serve one’s interests cannot be totally ignored. BHIC 134 Free Solved Assignment
But at the same time the general factors cannot be brushed aside. Such an explanation ignores the feeling of hurt caused by racial discrimination.
feeline of nride in the achievements of fellowcountrymen and also the slowly growing perception that interests of their countrymen would be better served if relations between Britain and India were restructured.
- Need for an All-India Body:
Viewed in a larger context, the founding of the Indian National Congress was a response to the then existing political and socio-economic conditions which had resulted from long subjection to the alien rule.
During the 1880s, as we have seen, the idea of a national organisation was very much in the air.
In fact, during the last ten days of 1885, as many as five conferences were held in different parts of the country.
The Madras Mahajan Sabha held its second annual conference from 22 to 24, December. It was so timed as to enable the members of the Sabha to attend the Congress at Poona.
The Second Indian National Conference, convened by the Indian Association, met at Calcutta.
Early in December 1885 when the plan to hold a conference at Poona was announced, an attempt seems to have been made to persuade Surendranath Banerjea to cancel his conference. But he expressed his inability to do so at that stage.
Assignment – II
Q 3 ‘The eighteenth century was a century of universal decline’. Comment.
Ans: The eighteenth century was a century of universal decline:
The decline of the Mughal Empire was only natural, after the death of Aurangzeb. Aurangzeb died in 1707 at the age off 88.
His wars against the Marathas lasted nearly 26 years and depleted his treasury of all monies. BHIC 134 Free Solved Assignment
Though the death of Aurangzeb was a significant event in Mughal history (and also in the 18th century), the decline of the Mughal Empire cannot be wholly attributed to this single event because Aurangzeb’s successors did try to reverse the downfall of their dynasty, though unsuccessfully.
In order to understand the process of Mughal decline one has to take both a long-term view and a conjunctural view.
The long-term view is that the Mughal Empire provided a number of institutions ostensibly to centralize power, but unfortunately those led to periodic crises in institutional and fiscal arrangements of the empire, which the Mughals were unable to sort out effectively.
Some examples of this are the inability of the state to affect parity between assessment of revenue and what was actually collected, or its failure to prevent transmission losses of up to 20 percent of its revenue from the countryside.
There was also the more structural inability of the empire between a set of enduring systems between the agrarian elite and the state.
Both existed in a state of perennial contradiction. Of course, there were instances of rapprochements between the two.
For example, there was the so-called Rajput policy of Akbar; but even this did not cover the whole of Rajputana or the entire grid of Rajput clans, nor was it able to contain a potent source of political friction. BHIC 134 Free Solved Assignment
This was further aggravated by the inability of the state to strike out workable (consensual) arrangements with a myriad of small zamindars scattered even in the heartland of the empire as well as all over the country, and this accentuated problems.
Q 4 Discuss the nature of Sikh state.
Ans: Nature of Sikh state:
There is no denying the fact that the teachings of the Sikh Gurus provided the basic foundation for the Sikh polity.
The movement that had developed amongst the Sikhs to fight against the socio-economic and religious injustices in the medieval period ultimately got transformed into a political movement in the course of the 18th century.
So the basis of the Sikh polity was laid down by the moral ethos and the democratic traditions of the Sikh Gurus.
The reflection of this democratic tradition is found in the Sikh polity of the Misl period with its various features like the Gurmata, the Dal Khalsa, ruling in the name of the Khalsa, etc.
It is important to point out here that the historians are not unanimous about the nature of the Sikh polity during the Misl period.
According to some historians, the organization of the Misis was ‘theocratic’ in character; on the other hand, it has also been poidted out that the functioning of the Misl Chiefs suggests that they acted independently in their own respective areas, sometimes guided by their own interests.
Their attendance in the meetings of the Sarbat Khalsa was not compulsory.
They attended the meetings to discuss an emergency situation or for matters of mutual interest; decisions were not universally regarded as binding.
Moreover, inspite of the framework of a democratic tradition, in the internal organization of the Misls there was not such democracy.BHIC 134 Free Solved Assignment
The idea of personal government was much in practice. There was no doubt a confederacy of the Misls but within the Misl the Sardar or the chief had complete independence.
The confederacy existed mainly because there was external threat. In the sphere of internal affairs the confederacy had no control over the Misis.
The emergence of Sikh monarchy in place of various independent chiefs brought further change in the nature of Sikh polity.
Q 5 What were the ideological tools and methods of mass mobilization employed by Gandhi?
Ans: Ideological tools and methods of mass mobilization employed by Gandhi:
Gandhiji, being a lawyer educated from Britain, always celebrated the ideals of non-violence and Satyagraha for achieving justice for the masses.
He was aware of the fact that Satyagraha in the form of non-violent protests through peaceful gatherings and mass disobedience to unjust laws were the best mechanisms for pressurizing the tyrant authorities than trying to equal them through use of forces.
His reason for resorting to non-violence was well illustrated in the book, wherein Gandhiji said that the poor and oppressed masses of India were not capable enough to fight the military strength that the British authorities possessed.
But this should not stop them as they have an even powerful tool i.e. Satyagraha
(seeking the truth). BHIC 134 Free Solved Assignment
Mass Civil disobedience in this way would show the light to these otherwise seemingly weak common masses.
When Mahatma Gandhi was called upon to Durban in 1893 on a one year contract to solve the legal problems of Dada Abdullah, a Gujarati based there, he realized the position of Indians and blacks living there.
He protested there against the discriminatory treatment that was meted out to the Indians by the white authorities.
This landed him in jail but he formed the National Indian Congress, inviting all Indians situated in South Africa.
He, along with his Indian masses began an unequal and heroic struggle against the racist authorities,
He set up the Tolstoy farm which is regarded as a precursor to the Gandhi ashrams that he set up across India to mobilize the masses.
Assignment - III
Q 6 Ryotwari System
Ans:Ryotwari System: Ryotwari system, one of the three principal methods of revenue collection in British India.
It was prevalent in most of southern India, being the standard system of the Madras Presidency (a British-controlled area now constituting much of present-day Tamil Nadu and portions of neighboring states).
The system was devised by Capt. Alexander Read and Thomas Munro at the end of the 18th century and introduced by the latter when he was governor of Madras.
The principle was the direct collection of the land revenue from each individual cultivator by government agents. BHIC 134 Free Solved Assignment
For this purpose all holdings were measured and assessed according to crop potential and actual cultivation.
The advantages of this system were the elimination of middlemen, who often oppressed villagers, and an assessment of the tax on land actually cultivated and not merely occupied. Offsetting these advantages was the cost of detailed measurement and of individual collection.
Q 7 Orientalism
Ans:Orientalism: Orientalism, Western scholarly discipline of the 18th and 19th centuries that encompassed the study of the languages, literatures, religions, philosophies, histories, art, and laws of Asian societies, especially ancient ones.
Such scholarship also inspired broader intellectual and artistic circles in Europe and North America, and so Orientalism may also denote the general enthusiasm for things Asian or “Oriental.”
Orientalism was also a school of thought among a group of British colonial administrators and scholars who argued that India should be ruled according to its own traditions and laws, thus opposing the “Anglicanism” of those who argued that India should be ruled according to British traditions and laws. BHIC 134 Free Solved Assignment
In the mid-20th century, Orientalists began to favour the term Asian studies to describe their work, in an effort to distance it from the colonial and neocolonial associations of Orientalism.
More recently, mainly through the work of the Palestinian American scholar Edward Said, the term has been used disparagingly to refer to the allegedly simplistic, stereotyped, and demeaning conceptions of Arab and Asian cultures generally held by Western scholars.
Q 8 Socio-Religious Reform movements in Western India in 19th century
Ans: Socio-Religious Reform movements in Western India in 19th century:
Basically, there were two kinds of reform movements in the 19th century in India were were Reformist Revivalists. BHIC 134 Free Solved Assignment
These movements responded with the time and scientific temper of the modern era was These movements started reviving ancient Indian traditions and thoughts and believed that the western thinking ruined Indian culture and ethos.
Brahmo Samaj (Reformist): Founded in 1828 in Calcutta by pioneer social reformer Raja Ram Mohan Roy,the movement fought against idol worship, polytheism, caste oppression, unnecessary rituals and other social evils like Sati, polygamy, purdah system, child marriage, etc.
Arya Samaj (Revivalist): Founded in 1875 in Bombay by Swami Dayanand Saraswati, this society strove against idolatry, polytheism, rituals, priesthood, animal sacrifice, child marriage and the caste system. It also encourages the dissemination of western scientific knowledge.
Q 9 Moderates and Extremists
Ans:Moderates: BHIC 134 Free Solved Assignment
Moderates believed in Liberalism and Moderate Politics.
They believed that the British rulers were merely unaware of the plight of the Indian masses and that once they were made aware the British authorities would do their utmost to improve the lives of the local populace.
The moderates found their support base in the Zamindars and the upper-middle-class.
The Extremist leaders firmly believed that the British had no interest of the Indian people in mind.
It was evident from the lackluster response from the authorities during a plague or famine.
The extremists found their support bases among the educated middle-class and lower classes.
Q 10 Cabinet Mission Plan
Ans: Cabinet Mission Plan
Cabinet Mission was a high-powered mission sent in February 1946 to India by the Atlee Government. BHIC 134 Free Solved Assignment
The mission had three British cabinet members Pethick Lawrence, Stafford Cripps, & and A.V. Alexander.
The Cabinet Mission’s aim was to discuss the transfer of power from British to Indian leadership.
In September 1945, the new elected Labour government in Britain expressed its intention of creating a Constituent Assembly for India that would frame India’s Constitution; the Cabinet Mission was sent to India in March 1946 to make this happen.
The Mission had to deal with a major obstacle:
the two main political parties the Indian National Congress and the Muslim League had fundamental differences over India’s future.
While the Muslim League wanted the Muslim majority provinces of India to constitute a separate sovereign state of Pakistan, the Congress wanted a united India.
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