1. Fill in the blanks:
(a) The British described the tribal people as wild and savage.
(b) The method of sowing seeds in Jhum cultivation is known as broadcasting.
(c) The tribal chiefs got land titles in central India under the British land settlements.
(d) Tribals went to work in the tea plantations of Assam and the coal mines in Bihar.
2. State whether true or false:
(a) Jhum cultivators plough the land and sow seeds – FALSE
Explanation: Jhum cultivators do not sow seeds, instead they used to scatter seeds.
(b) Cocoons were bought from the Santhals and sold by the traders at five times the purchase price- TRUE
(c) Birsa urged his followers to purify themselves, give up drinking liquor and stop believing in witchcraft and sorcery- TRUE
(d) The British wanted to preserve the tribal way of life- FALSE
Explanation: British do not like the tribal way of life and found the settled people more civilised and easy to control.
3. What problems did shifting cultivators face under British rule?
The British rule created many problems for the shifting cultivators. The British were uncomfortable with the shifting cultivators, as they were always moving from one place to another while they considered the settled people as more civilised and due to fixed lands they are easier to control than those who are constanly moving like the shifting cultivators, they tried to control the practice of jhum but failed due to protests. The changes in the forest law on other hand impacted the cultivators as British extended their control over all forests and declared thema s state property. Some forests were declared reserved and restricted the movemnt of people in the forest, stopping them to hunt, collect fruits and stopped the practice of Jhum and hence many of the cultivators have to move our of the villages to look for other jobs like labourers.
4. How did the powers of tribal chiefs change under colonial rule?
Before the Brtish the tribal chiefs enjoyed a certain amount of economic power and had the right to administer and control their territories. But under the colonial rule, their functions and powers changed to a great extent:
5. What accounts for the anger of the tribals against the Dikus?
The tribals considered the British, moneylenders and traders as ‘Dikus’ which means outsiders. They believed that the Dikus were responsible for all their miseries. The anger against the Dikus was due to:
6. What was Birsa’s vision of a golden age? Why do you think such a vision appealed to the people of the region?
Birsa Munda was a charismatic leader of the Munda tribe. His vision of golden age talked about the time when the tribals would have their land free of Dikus and regain their lost glory, the one like satyug in the past. He talked about the age when the tribals would not kill each other and live an honest life. He urged the people to give up drinking liquor, clean their village, and stop believing in witchcraft and sorcery. He wanted to move out the outside participants like missionaries, Hindu landlords, moneylenders, traders and Europeans.
His vision appealed to the people as they believed that all their miseries were the result of the unfair laws and policies of the Dikus and British which they called ‘Ravana’, and they beleived that to lead a peacful and free life they need to get rid of the Diku and gain their age old lands back.