When People Rebel Class 8 Questions and Answers History Chapter 5
History Class 8 Chapter 5 NCERT Textbook Questions and Answers
Imagine you are a British officer in Awadh during the rebellion. What would you do to keep your plans of fighting the rebels a top secret?
I would have used a code word Gulab (Rose) to convey about my future plans. I knew that Gulab was being used by the rebellion, just to create confusion in the minds of the Indians.
I used to wear Indian dress of the area. I would keep a large number of troops, judging their loyalty. I would have asked the Muslim soldiers to take an bath of Holy Quran of loyalty to the British and same oath by the Hindu soldiers, telling them to put their hands on Holy Bhagwadgita. I would have used all tactics to loyalty among the rebels of the Awadh. I would have send some loyal females to know future plan of the higher British officers.
What was the demand of Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi that was refused by the British?
The demand of Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi was to recognise her adopted son as the Heir to the kingdom (Jhansi) after the death of her husband Gangadhar Rao. She desired to negotiate with the East India Company to protect her family’s interests.
What did the British do to protect the interests of those who converted to Christianity?
In 1850 a new law was passed to make conversion to Christianity easier. This law allowed an Indian who had converted to Christianity to inherit the property of his ancestors.
What objections did the sepoys have to the new cartridges that they were asked to use?
The sepoys had raised the following objections when they were asked to use new cartridges :
- The cartridges used for new rifles were greased with the fat of cows and pigs. It is a great insult to the religions of Indian sepoys—the Hindus as well as the Muslims.
- It appeared to the Indian soldiers that the great aim of the English was to turn all the sepoys into Christians, and they had therefore introduced the cartridge in order to bring this about, since both Mohammedans and Hindus would be defined by using it.
How did the last Mughal emperor live the last years of his life?
The last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah II (or Bahadur Shah Zafar) lived a miserable life in his last time.
When the British captured Delhi in September, 1857, Bahadur Shah left Lucknow, from there he continued his fight against the British. At last his sons along with some other rebels were captured by the English. His two sons and a grandson were shot dead before his old eyes. Their dead bodies were hanged at the Khooni Darwaja to create terror among the rebels. Bahadur Shah himself was departed to Rangoon where he died in 1862. His last words were :
“Zafar was really unfortunate for he could not get a six feet grave in the street of his beloved (country).”
No doubt Bahadur Shah was the weakest link in the revolt. Because of his old age and weak mind he failed to impress even an ordinary sepoy. He is accused of having no sympathy for his sepoys.
What could be the reasons for the confidence of the British rulers about their position in India before May, 1857?
The reasons for the confidence of the British rulers about their position in India before May, 1857 are as follows :
- The Indian nawabs, and rajas lost their power. They had gradually lost their authority and honour.
- The British Governor-Generals posted their residents in several courts, the freedom of the rulers reduced, their armed forces disbanded and their revenue and territories taken away stage by stage.
- The Company was confident of its superiority and military powers. So it turned down the plan of Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi (to grant her right of adoption) and Peshwa’s (Baji Rao II) plea that he be given his father’s pension.
- In 1801, subsidiary alliance was imposed on Awadh and in 1856 it was taken over (It was one of the last territories to be annexed).
- The name of the Mughal King, was removed from the coins minted by the Company. In 1849, Governor-General Dalhausie announced that after the death of Bahadur Shah Zafar, the family of the king would be shifted out of the Red Fort and given another place in Delhi to reside.
- In 1856, Governor-General Canning decided that Bahadur Shah Zafar would be the last Mughal King and after his death more of his descendant would be recognised as king. They would just be called princes.
What impact did Bahadur Shah Zafar’s support to rebellion have on the people and the ruling families.
The impact of Bahadur Shah Zafar’s support to the rebellion have on the people and the ruling families :
1. The sepoys of Meerut rode all night of 10th May to reach Delhi in the early hours of the next morning. As news of their arrival spread, the regiments stationed in Delhi also rose up in rebellion. Again British officers were killed, arms and ammunition seized, buildings set on fire. Triumphant soldiers gathered around the walls of the Red Fort where the Badshah lived, demanding to meet him.
2. The Emperor was not quite willing to challenge the mighty British power but the soldiers persisted. They forced their ways into the palace and proclaimed Bahadur Shah Zafar as their leader.
3. The ageing emperor had to accept this demand. He wrote letters to all the chiefs and rulers of the country to come forward and organise a confederacy of Indian states to fight the British. This single step taken by Bahadur Shah had great implications.
4. The Mughal dynasty had ruled over a very large part of the country. Most smaller rulers and chieftains controlled different territories on behalf of the Mughal ruler. Threatened by the expansion of British rule, many of them felt that if the Mughal emperor could rule again, they too would be able to rule their own territories once more, under Mughal authority.
5. British had not expected this to happen. They thought the disturbance caused by the issue of the cartridges would die down. But Bahadur Shah Zafar’s decision to bless the rebellion changed the entire situation dramatically. Often when people see an alternative possibility they feel inspired and enthused. It gives them the courage, hope and confidence to act.
How did the British succeed in securing the submission of the rebel land- owners of Awadh?
The submission of the rebel land owners of Awadh :
- In the countryside peasants and zamindars resented the high taxes and the rigid methods of revenue collection. Many failed to pay back their loans to the moneylenders and gradually lost the lands they had tilled for generations.
- Just as victories against the British had earlier encouraged rebellion, the defeat of rebel forces include land owners of Awadh encouraged desertion. The British also tried their best to win back the loyalty of the people. They announced rewards for loyal landholders would be allowed to continue to enjoy traditional rights over their lands.
- Those who rebelled were told that if they submitted to the British, and if they had not killed any white people, they would remain safe and their rights and claims to land would not be denied.
- Nevertheless, hundreds of sepoys rebels, nawabs and rajas were tried and hanged.
In what ways did the British change their policies as a result of the rebellion of 1857?
I. Introduction :
The British had regained control of the country by the end of 1859, but they could not carry on ruling the land with the same policies any more. Given below are the important changes that were introduced by the British.
II. Main changes in British Policy under the Company’s Rules :
- The British Parliament passed a new Act in 1858 and transferred the powers of the East India Company to the British Crown in order to ensure a more responsible management of Indian affairs. A member of the British cabinet was appointed Secretary of State for India and made responsible for all matters related to the governance of India.
- He was given a council to advise him, called the India Council. The Governor- General of India was given the title of Vicerory, that is a personal representative of the Crown. Through these measures the British Government accepted direct responsibility for ruling India.
- All ruling chiefs of the country were assured their territory would never be annexed in future. They were allowed to pass on their kingdoms to their heirs, including adopted sons. However, they were made to acknowledge the British Queen as their Sovereign Paramount. Thus the Indian rulers were to hold their kingdoms as subordinates of the British Crown.
- It was decided that the proportion of Indian soldiers in the Company army would be reduced and the number of European Soldiers would be increased. It was also decided that instead of recruiting soldiers from Awadh, Bihar, Central India and South India, more soldiers would be recruited from among the Gurkhas, Sikhs and Pathans.
- The land and property of Muslims was confiscated on a large scale and they were treated with suspicion and hostility. The British believed that they were responsible for the rebellion in a big way.
- The British decided to respect the customary religions and social practices of the people in India.
- Policies were made to protect landlords and zamindars and give them security of rights over their lands.
Thus a new phase of history began after 1857.
Find out stories and songs remembered by people in your area or your family about San Sattavan Ki Ladaai. What memories do people cherish about the great uprising?
- Sepoy Mutiny started from Meerut.
- Support of Bahadur Shah Zafar.
- Spread of the mutiny over all of India.
- Thousands of Firangis killed.
- Thousands of people sacrificed their lives.
- Mutiny suppressed.
- British Foundation was shaken in India.
- Concessions are given to Indians.
Find out more about Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi. In what ways would she have been an unsual woman for her times?
1) Rani Laxmibai was born sometime around 1828 in Varanasi. His father Moropant Tambey was a Marathi Brahmin. Her mother Bhagirathibai was a cultured religious woman.
2) She was raised in the Court of Baji Rao II, the last of the Maratha Peshwas. At the age of 14, she was married to Raja Gangadhar Rao of Jhansi. Here she was given a new name, Laxmibai.
3) She gave birth to a son but soon he died. In 1853 Gangadhar Rao fell ill. He was persuaded to adopt a child as his heir. He adopted Damodar Rao, a little child. The next day he died.
4) Rani claimed that Damodar Rao was their legal Heir. The British rule rejected Rani’s claim and decided to annex Jhansi under the Doctrine of Lapse.
5) Rani sought the advice of a British lawyer and fought her case in London. Her petition was ultimately rejected. The British confiscated the state jewels and deducted her husband’s debt from her annual pension.
6) She was asked to leave Jhansi fort. Laxmibai was determined to defend Jhansi. She proclaimed her decision with the famous words “Mi Mahji Jhansi Nahi dehnar (I will not give up my Jhansi).
7) She raised a volunteer army in which both men and women were recruited. She fought for two weeks but the Fort of Jhansi was lost to the British.
8) Rani escaped in the guise of a man with a few of her supporters with her son tied behind her back and a sword in her hand. She regrouped her force and moved towards Gwalior. She fought for a week but finally became a victim of a bullet on the battlefield in 1858.
9) It was not easy for a woman to be the head of State at that time. Rani faced many difficulties but she ran the kingdom well. She mastered martial arts and inspired Jhansi’s women to join the army and take a more active role in defending the country. All these made her an unusual woman for her times.
Immagine you a sepoy in the Company army, advising your nephew not to take employment in the army. What reason would you give?
Never join the army, very low pay, no allowances and condition of service not good, ill treated by officers, officers speak rough language and also ask us to do their household works.
What were the important concerns in the minds of people according to Sitaram and according to Vishnubhatt?
According to Sitaram and Vishnubhatt the people were angry and distrust and wanted to plot against the Government. According to Sitaram the sepoy’s minds had been inflamed by the seizure of Oudh, their religions were also being insulted by the British.
According to Vishnubhatt, the sepoys were angry because the English were determined to wipe out the religious of the Hindus and the Muslims. The main motive of the sepoys was to gather together and overthrow the English power.
What role did they think the rulers were playing? What role did the sepoys seem to play?
The rulers were trying to turn the sepoys into Christians so that they do not revolt against them. For this reason they introduced the cartridge so that both Hindus and Muslims would be defited by using it.
The sepoys were keen to throw the English power by hook or crook. They invented ten thousand lies and promises to persuade the soldiers to muting and turn against their masters, the English, with the object of restoring the Emperor of Delhi to the throne.
Why did the Mughal Emperor agree to support the rebels?
The Company began to plan how to bring the Mughal dynesty to an end. The name of the Mughal king was removed from the coins minted by the Company. In 1849, Dalhausie announced that after the death of Bahadur Shah Zafar, the family of the king would be shifted out of the Red Fort. In 1856, Canning decided that Bahadur Shah Zafar would be the last Mughal king and after his death none of his descendents would be recognized as kings. These reasons hit the sentiments of Bahadur Shah Zafar, made him angry and motivated him to support the rebels.
Write a paragraph on the assessment he may have made before accepting the offer of the sepoys.
The Mughal emperor would have only agreed to join the rebels by getting a promise from them that he would remain the Emperor of Delhi, his powers would be same as his ancestors. And his descandants would be recognisd as kings after his death.
Make a list of places where the uprising took place in May, June and July 1857.
Merrut, Delhi, Bareilly, Lucknow, Faizabad, Kanpur, Jhansi, Awadh, Bihar.