HISTORY OF INDIAN ECONOMY
MHI 05 Free Solved Assignment
MHI 05 Free Solved Assignment Jan 2022
Q 1 Give a critical account of the major trends in colonial historiography?
Ans:Major trends in colonial historiography:
The Colonial Viewpoint:– The men who ruled India and the colonial scholars who assessed that rule were at great pains to emphasize that the advent of British rule had brought peace and good government to the subcontinent.
Pax Britannica and the enormous public investment in the country brought about the development of a modern transport and communications network that laid the foundations of a modern economy.
The railway network and irrigation system introduced by the British was the bedrock on which a modern economy was built in India.
The British conferred the benefit of western science and education and prepared the Indians for eventual self-government. MHI 05 Free Solved Assignment
The Nationalist View:– Nationalist economists like Dadabhai Naoroji, Mahadev Govind Ranade, and J.V. Joshi were strong proponents of a theory of drain of wealth from India to Britain.
Naoroji developed the argument about the drain of wealth from India in Poverty and Un-British Rule in India.
They argued that British rule led to the impoverishment of India and that the Indian economy was subordinated to meet the needs of the British economy.
A policy of free trade led to de-industrialisation and the growth of landless agricultural labour and the decline of employment in the secondary sector of the economy.
The Marxist Perspective:- The Marxist understanding of the colonial economy was that it was linked to broad changes in the British economy.
The phases of capitalist development in Britain determined the features of imperialism in the colonial world. The phase of merchant capitalist development led to the exploitation and plunder of the resources of the non-European world.
The exploitation of Bengal, after the battle of Plassey in 1757, was responsible for the ‘drain of wealth’ to Britain in the second half of the 18th century.
Liberal and Neo-Liberal Interpretation:– In the 1980s the counter-revolution’ in economic history gained momentum in the Anglo-American world.
The rise of monetarist theories and the growing rejection of Keynesian economics led to a revaluation of major issues in the economic history of Britain and other countries.
The revaluation of imperialism also began in this period and scholars like Cain and Hopkins, Patrick O’Brien, Davis and Huttenback began to question some of the staunchly held views of the Marxist and left-liberal intelligentsia about the nature of colonialism.
Economic Theory, Anthropology and Ecology:- In Indian economic history we find theoretical sophistication in the work of Amit Bhaduri [1999 ] and Krishna Bharadwaj in their discussions of agricultural development. MHI 05 Free Solved Assignment
The use of quantitative techniques can be found in the work of Omkar Goswami and Shrivastava at the level of the regional economy and the work of Blyn, Heston and Sivasubramanian at the level of the Indian economy as a whole.
There has also been the use of anthropological evidence to interpret economic and social change.
In his study of the emergence of bonded labor in the Gaya and Shahabad districts of Bihar Gyan Prakash has used the oral Lorik literature of the bhuinyan landless labourers to reconstruct the past and understand the kamiamalik relations in the region.
Dipesh Chakravarty has used ideas of Marx and Heidegger to interpret the Vishvakarma puja by industrial workers.
Q 2 Critically examine the chief characteristics of the Harappan civilization.
Ans:Chief characteristics of the Harappan civilization:
The material characteristics here includes town planning, pottery, tools and implements, arts and crafts,scripts and subsistence pattern of Harappan civilization.
Town Planning: The Archaeologists, Mortimer Wheeler and Stuart Piggot believed that the Harappan towns had a remarkable unity of conception.
As each town was divided into two parts, one part for rulers and other part for ruled and poors. The rulers build citadels for their glorious isolation.
Towns were located on the plains of rivers, on fringes of deserts or on sea coast.
The poors were in lower city. The citadel and lower city was surrounded by wall street were from north to south in the lower city and cut at right angles, a good town planning. They were using baked and unbaked bricks of standard size.
Mohanjodaro was not constructed inhomogeneous manner. In Kalibangan mud bricks were used, Lothal was a rectangular settlement with the brick walls, surrounding it.
Mohanjodaro showed excellent arrangement for sanitation. The waste water from houses through chutes was connected to public drains on margin of the streets.
Housing Pattern: Average citizens seems to have lived in the blocks of houses in the lower city. Houses were of single room houses complete with courtyards and having upto twelve rooms were present. MHI 05 Free Solved Assignment
Bigger houses were with private wells and toilets. No window faced the street. Exclusive swimming pool (the great bath) was also seen there.
Some lived in barracks. Lower city houses contained a large number of workshops also.
Pottery: Pottery represents the blending of the ceramic tradition of Baluchistan and the cultures east of the Indus system.
It was mostly plain. Sometimes with red slip and black painted decoration. Chequers, leaf patterns, birds, fishes and animals were shown on it.
Shapes were like pedestal, dishes, goblets, cylindrical and bowls. Some pottery show mark of stamp. This civilization exhibited a uniform pottery tradition.
Tools and Implements: There also show a uniformity. Tools were made of copper, bronze and stone. Basically, it was flat axe,chisels, knives, spear and arrow heads of copper and bronze. MHI 05 Free Solved Assignment
They were also using dagger, knives and flat tangs. The new bronze and copper casting. Stone tools were also used. They usually made long regular blades.
Arts and Crafts:From Harappan settlements terracotta figurines have been found in large numbers they were used as toys or cult figures.
Harappans used beautiful beads with agate, turquoise, carnelian and steatite stones. For this workshop is found in Chanhudaro which shows making of beads from stones.
More than 2000 seals have been found which show outstanding contribution of the Indus civilization to ancient craftsmanship.
Stone sculptures were rare and undeveloped. Important findings are a bronze nude dancing figure and a bearded man from Mohenjodaro.
The Indus Script: Seals carried some form of writing. Still it is not read. They used idiograms and wrote from left to right.MHI 05 Free Solved Assignment
Subsistence Pattern: Harappan Urbanism was based on agricultural production. Sheep, goat, humped cattle’s were domesticated, Boars, buffaloes, elephants and camels were also present.
Horse seems to have been unknown to them. Among wild animals present at time are deer, rhinoceros, tortoise, etc.
Wheat and barley were frequently found. Dates and peas were also present Mustard and Sesamum were also grown.
At Mohenjodaro cotton cloth fragments was found. They were using wooden plough. Lots of crops were grown. This provided good economy to them.
Q 3 Enumerate the features of the economy of the Kushanas.
Ans:Features of the economy of the Kushanas:
Archaeology of excavated and explored sites together with literature, epigraphy and numismatics form the main source for the study of the economy of the Kushana empire.
Agrarian Economy:- We possess very little information on the land system under the Kushanas. State initiative in agricultural production is not much evident. Large area of land tilled by the administration is hardly seen in the Kushana realm.
However due importance to irrigation for the expansion of agricultural production was given at least in the northwestern part of the empire.
A survey of the Peshawar region has enabled scholars to locate remans of old canals, indications of agricultural land on the river courses, and traces of fields on hill terraces with devices to channelise rain water from fields at the top to those at the bottom, the origins of which can be dated to the Kushana age.MHI 05 Free Solved Assignment
Private donative Kharoshti inscriptions of the Kushana period are replete with references to digging of wells.
This may suggest that in the regions concerned, a well was looked upon as another important source of water which could be used for irrigation and hence an attempt to create water reservoir was considered as an act of merit.
The excavation of one such well at Sorane in the Varter area to the east of Dargai (now in Pakistan) has been dated to the same period.
The Kushanas, though having natural granaries in the fertile valley of the Indus and in a part of the Gangetic valley did their best to boost agricultural production in areas which did not receive bountiful supply of rainfall.
Trade, Merchants and Monetization:- Agriculture, however was not the mainstay of the economy in the Kushana realm. MHI 05 Free Solved Assignment
The Kushana monarchs mobilized huge amount of resources, primarily, through trade – internal and external.
The other financial and fiscal sources of the empire were gaining control over areas which were of utmost economic importance, crafts production, mining and different kinds of taxes were imposed on the subjects.
Trade within the empire is indicated by substantial archaeological data.
Excavations at Begram in Eastern Afghanistan have brought to light a store house of the Kushana period consisting of wares from different countries as well as from areas within the Kushana realm itself.
Thus we have plaques of carved bone and ivory which display figures carved out on the style of Mathura art.
Pottery recovered from a Kushana stratum at Ahichchhatra (Uttar Pradesh) shows a preference for a stable base in pots by making them flat based or ring based which certainly was a feature of Sirkap pottery. MHI 05 Free Solved Assignment
Craft Production, Guilds, and Urbanization:- Another remarkable feature of economic life was proliferation of crafts which is closely related with
Sifting through the epigraphic material of the Kushana period particularly from Mathura we get an idea of the occupation and crafts in practice at that time.
Thus we come across superintendents of constructions (navakarmikah), actors (sailakah), carpenters (vaddhaki), perfumers (gamdhika), goldsmith (suvarnakara), clothmakers (pravarika), lohakara (ironsmith), jewellers (manikara) and so on.
The archaeological material discovered from the sites of the Kushana period in the form of pottery, terracotta objects, metal, stone, ivory and bone objects, plaques and sculptural pieces, beads, etc. indicates the existence of potters, smiths, sculptors, weavers and similar other craft groups in the material milieu of the Kushana period.
Q 7 Examine the development of agricultural technology during the medieval period.
Ans:Development of agricultural technology during the medieval period:
The most important agricultural advances took place in the countries north of the Alps, in spite of the large population changes and warfare that accompanied the great migrations and the later onslaughts of Northmen and Saracens.
Agriculture had, of course, been practiced regularly in Gaul and Britain and sporadically elsewhere in Europe both before and during the Roman epoch.
The climate and soils and, perhaps, the social organization compelled different arrangements of land division and the use of more complex tools as more and more farmland was converted from forest, marsh, and heath to meet the needs of a rising population. MHI 05 Free Solved Assignment
Open-field system:- The precise origin of the open-field arrangement, which involves long strips of arable land separated from each other by a furrow, balk (ridge of land left after plowing), or mere (boundary), is obscure.
The earliest examples of this system date from roughly 800, the year Charlemagne was crowned emperor of the West.
Usually these strips of land, normally about 1 acre (0.4 hectare) in size, were laid out in two or three large fields.
Each farmer in the village worked a number of these acres; the units forming his holding were scattered among those of other men.
The open-field system continued as more land was reclaimed and lasted for many centuries-longer, of course, in some places than in others.MHI 05 Free Solved Assignment
It has been suggested that the length of each strip was determined by the distance a draft animal, usually an ox, could haul a plow before stopping for a rest.
The intermingling of the strips was said to have been the result of a jointly owned plow team and plow supplied by a number of farmers working together, each being allotted a strip in turn.
Plows and plowing:– Besides the different arrangement of the plowland, there were other changes, some of them important.
Though Pliny the Elder claimed a wheeled plow was used in Cisalpine Gaul about the time of Christ, there is a good deal of doubt about that.
A wheeled asymmetrical plow was certainly in use in some parts of western Europe by the late 10th century. MHI 05 Free Solved Assignment
Illuminated manuscripts and somewhat later calendars show a plow with two wheels fitted with a rudimentary moldboard and a coulter.
This plow could invert the soil and turn a true furrow, thus making a better seedbed. Its use left high ridges on the land, traces of which can still be seen in some places.
Hand tools:- Modifications, slight but important, had been introduced into the design of hand tools. A more effective ax made forest clearance easier and faster.
The jointed flail supplanted the straight stick. The scythe was more frequently in use for mowing grass, reaping barley, and performing similar tasks.
Wind power was applied to the grinding of grain by the earliest windmills. All these changes and adaptations helped expand the cultivated area and supply food for the growing population. MHI 05 Free Solved Assignment
New lands and crops:- Not only were forests cleared and heavy land cultivated, but, in the Netherlands, reclamation from marshland and from the sea was extended.
Terps, artificially made patches of higher land on which houses and barns could be built, were made at a very early date in the midst of the marshes.
Ditches to drain the fens were dug in the 10th century. Polders, land reclaimed from the sea, are first recorded in the 12th century.
Q 8 Analyse the impact of colonial interventions on tribal economy.
Ans:- Impact of colonial interventions on tribal economy:
By the 1940s it was sufficiently clear that tribals in most parts of the country had lost their access and control over all productive resources [land and forests) and village-based infrastructure that could support their survival.
The growing landlessness of tribal people coupled with their lack of access to forest resources led to the complete breakdown of the tribal production system and the incorporation of the tribal economy into the larger colonial and capitalist economy.
This incorporation was mainly in terms of different forms of labour that naturally incorporated the local knowledge and techniques in harnessing both land and forest resources. MHI 05 Free Solved Assignment
The second major impact of the colonial interventions was on identity formation and the nature of tribal polity. In this section we consider both these processes.
- From Producers to Labourers:
The changing forms of labour employment and the swelling of the tribal labour force was something that was common to both permanent settlement and government owned areas.
However the forms of labour varied from region to region. In the zamindari areas of Chhotanagpur, Santhal Parganas, Eastern Uttar Pradesh and Orissa migration became a way of life.
The loss of land coupled with the lack of income or exploitation induced migration to mining areas as well as tea gardens in Assam.MHI 05 Free Solved Assignment
In upper Assam, labour was procured through an indentured system for the tea gardens whereby labour was recruited from Chotanagpur, Santhal Parganas, Bihar and eastern United Provinces often by deceptive and coercive methods involving contractors.
Where available without the system, it was later drawn into the higherpaying petroleum and coal operations.
In other areas where such migration did not exist, tribals worked in the forest department and on the fields of caste-Hindu peasants.
However the seasonal nature of on farm labour ensured that most of the tribals were forced to work primarily for the forest department in order to earn their livelihood.
For example in the Central Provinces the formation of forest villages in the late 19th century were aimed at providing a continuous flow of labour to the forest department.
Modes of Protest and Identity Formation:– It is not as if the tribal people of the country were mute spectators to colonial interventions. The earliest tribal revolts can be traced to mid 19th century with the Kol rebellion. MHI 05 Free Solved Assignment
Thereafter the zamindari areas of Chhotanagpur faced several other rebellions prominent amongst which was Birsa Munda’s rebellion against the dikus or outsiders in the region.
In response to this movement the British were forced to enact the Chhotanagpur Tenancy Act in 1885. (K.S. Singh, 1985) Several princely states also saw tribal movements in response to adverse changes in land and forest management.
Prominent amongst these was the Maria rebellion in Bastar in 1876 and 1910 which was meant to be against police repression and forest laws.
Here too, the slogan was ‘Bastar for Bastaris’ against outsiders.
In all these cases there was a perception that the Rajas had begun to deprive the tribal people of their customary rights especially after the advent of the British.
It is because of this that tribal elites led the revolts against the Rajas.
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