Ruling The Countryside
Class VIII Cbse Ncert History - Our Pasts III
NCERT Solutions of History Chapter 3 Exercise Questions
Question.1: Match the following:
(c) Cultivation on Ryot’s Land
(d) Cultivation on Planter’s Own Land
Solution: (1)-b (2)-a (3)-d (4)-c
Question.2: Fill in the blanks:
a) Growers of woad in Europe saw _______ as a crop which would provide competition to their earnings.
b) The demand for indigo increased in late 18th century Britain because of ________.
c) The international demand for indigo was affected by the discovery of _________.
d) The Champaran movement was against _______.
Solution: (a) Indigo (b) industrialization and its cotton production expanded dramatically creating huge demand for cloth dyes (c) synthetic dyes (d) the oppressive attitude of the indigo planters.
Question.3: Describe the main features of the ‘Permanent Settlement’.
Solution: The main features of the Permanent Settlement, which was introduced by Lord Cornwallis in 1793, are as follows:
a) The Rajas and Taluqdars were recognized as Zamindars.
b) They were agreed to collect rent from the peasants and pay revenue to the Company.
c) The amount to be paid (revenue) was fixed permanently that it was not to be increased ever in future. The condition was that the Zamindars had to pay this revenue rigidly on due date even if the crop had failed for some reason as otherwise the land were to be sold.
d) 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 for improving the land.
e) Since the revenue demand of the state would not be increased, the zamindar would benefit if he could increase production from the land by his own efforts.
f) The Company officials ultimately discovered that the zamindars were not interested in investment for improvement of the land.
g) It was also discovered that the revenue which had been fixed was so high that the zamindars found it difficult to pay. Also the peasants were in distress as they found the system extremely oppressive.
So, the ‘Permanent Settlement’ system was not successful as expected.
Question.4: How was the Mahalwari System different from the Permanent Settlement?
1. This system was devised by Holt Mackenzie which came into effect in 1822 in the North West provinces of Bengal Presidency.
2. The revenue was not fixed and the Government could increase the same whenever it was in need of money to meet its expenses of administration.
3. The estimated revenue of each plot within a village was added up to calculate the revenue that each mahal (village) had to pay.
4. The charge of collecting the revenue and paying it to the Company was given to the village headman. Thus the ‘village’ and the ‘village headman’ would benefit since there was no middleman between the British and the village headman.
5. The village headmen had a scope to negotiate with the Company if they were unable to pay the revenue fro some reason and also continued to cultivate the land.
1. This system was devised by Lord Cornwallis and came into effect in 1793.
2. The revenue to be paid was fixed and could not be increased in future.
3. The revenue to be paid by zamindars was once fixed by the Company which was already very high.
4. The zamindars had to pay his revenue rigidly on the due date every year, even if the crop had failed for some reason. But then the zamindars would also benefit if he could increase production from the land by his own efforts.
5. If the zamindars were unable to pay the revenue their lands were auctioned by the Company. Also the cultivator’s right on the land, which he had cultivated for generations, was insecure.
Question.5: Give two problems which arose with the New Munro System of Fixing Revenue.
Solution: Within a few years after the new Munro System of fixing revenue was introduced it was clear that all was not well with them. The Company revenue officials fixed too high a revenue demand, driven by the desire to increase the income from the land.
Peasants were unable to pay ryots, fled the countryside and the villages became deserted in many regions.
The optimistic officials imagined that the Munro system would transform the peasants into rich enterprising farmers, what happened was just reverse.
Question.6: Why were ryots reluctant to grow indigo?
Solution: The ryots were reluctant to grow indigo because of the following reasons:
a) The indigo growing system was intensely oppressive.
b) Under the ‘Ryoti system’ the planters forced the ryots or a village headman to sign a contract of agreements. Those who signed the contract got cash advances as loans from the planters to produce indigo.
c) As per this agreement the ryot had to produce indigo on at least 25% of the area under his holding and also to supply the indigo to planter only from whom he had taken loan.
d) The price they got for the indigo from these planters was very low than the market. As a result the ryot had to take a new loan and thus the cycle of loans never ended.
e) The ryots who were initially tempted by the loans soon realized how harsh the system was. They had to borrow again and again to meet their needs and could never free themselves and ended up like a bonded labour.
f) The planters also insisted the cultivators or ryots to cultivate indigo on the most fertile soils of their area in which they preferred to grow rice. Because of its deep routes cultivating indigo exhausted the soil rapidly and rendered the soil unfertile for rice cultivation.
Because of these harsh reasons, in March 1859 thousands of ryots in Bengal refused to grow indigo.
Question.7: What were the circumstances which led to the eventual collapse of indigo production in Bengal?
Solution: Because of the highly oppressive system, in March 1859, thousands of ryots in Bengal refused to grow indigo which ultimately took the shape of a rebellion. They got the support of the local zamindars and village headman in their rebellion against the planters. As the rebellion spread they refused to pay rents to the planters, attacked indigo factories and fought with the lathiyals kept by planters. After the revolt of 1857 the British Government was worried about the possibility of another popular rebellion in the indigo districts. In Barasat (near Kolkata), the magistrate Ashley Eden issued a notice stating that the ryots would not be compelled to accept indigo contracts and even Queen Victoria had declared that indigo need not be sown. An Indigo Commission was set up to enquire into the system of indigo production. The Commission held the planters guilty and criticized them for the oppressive methods they used with indigo cultivators. It further declared that the indigo production was not profitable for ryots. So the Commission said the ryots to fulfill the existing contracts and they could refuse to produce indigo in future.
Now the ryots became free and were not compelled to produce indigo. This had led to the fall in indigo production in Bengal.