When People Rebel
NCERT TEXTBOOK Solutions for Class 8 Social Science
What was the demand of Rani Lakshmibai ofJhansi that was refused by the British?
Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi wanted the Company to recognise her adopted son as the heir to the kingdom after the death of her husband. But the British refused her plea.
What did the British do to protect the interests of those who converted to Christianity?
Those who converted to Christianity would inherit the property of his ancestors.
What objections did the sepoys have to the new cartridges that they were asked to use?
The sepoys objected that the new cartridges that they were asked to use were coated with the fat of cows and pigs.
How did the last Mughal emperor live the last years of his life?
The last Mughal emperor lived a very pathetic life during the last years of his life. He was tried in court and sentenced to life imprisonment. He and his wife were sent to prison in Rangoon. He died there after four years.
What could be the reasons for the confidence of the British rulers about their position in India before May 1857?
The reasons are given below:
1. Since the mid-18th century Nawabs and Rajas had gradually lost their authority and honour. Residents had been stationed in many courts, the freedom of the rulers reduced, their armed forces disbanded and their revenues and territories taken away by stages.
2. The Company decided to end the Mughal dynasty. In 1849, Governor- General Dalhousie announced that after the death of Bahadur Shah Zafar the family of the king would be shifted out of the Red Fort. In 1856, Governor-General Canning decided that Bahadur Shah Zafar would be the last Mughal emperor and after his death his descendants would be recognised as princes.
What impact did Bahadur Shah Zafar’s support to the rebellion have on the people and the ruling families?
Bahadur Shah Zafar’s support to the rebellion boosted the morale of the people and the ruling families. They became united to fight the British authority with double spirit.
People of the towns and villages rose up in rebellion and rallied around local leaders, zamindars and chiefs. Nana Saheb, the adopted son of the late Peshwa Baji Rao, who lived near Kanpur, gathered arme^ forces and expelled the British garrison from the city. He proclaimed himself Peshwa. He declared that he was a Governor under emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar. In Lucknow, Birjis Qadr, the son of the deposed Nawab Wajid Ali Shah, was proclaimed the new Nawab. He too acknowledged the suzerainty of Bahadur Shah Zafar. In Jhansi, Rani Lakshmibai joined the rebel sepoys and fought the British along with Tantia Tope, the general of Nana Saheb.
How did the British succeed in securing the submission of the rebel landowners of Awadh?
The British succeeded in securing the submission of the rebel landowners of Awadh by providing them inheritance rights, i.e. they would enjoy the traditional rights over their land. The British also exempted them from taxes.
In what ways did the British change their policies as a result of the rebellion of 1857?
As a result of the rebellion of 1857, the British changed their policies. Following are the important changes that the British made:
1. The powers of the East India Company, was transferred to the British Crown in order to ensure a more responsible management of Indian affairs.
2. The Governor-General of India was given the title of Viceroy, that is, a personal representative of the Crown.
3. All ruling chiefs of the country were assured that their territory would never be annexed in future. They were allowed to pass on their kingdoms to their heirs, including adopted son. But they had to acknowledge the British queen as their Sovereign Paramount.
4. It was decided that the proportion of Indian soldiers in the army would be reduced and the number of European soliders 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 Gorkhqs, Sikhs and Pathans.
5. The British decided to respect the customary religions and social practices of the people in India.
Find out stories and songs remembered by people in your area or your family about San Satavan Ki Ladaai. What memories do people cherish about the great uprising?
Students are suggested to visit the library of their school and collect songs and stories related to the revolt of 1857.
Find out more about Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi. In what ways would she have been an unusual woman for her times?
Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi played a vital role in the revolt of 1857. She fought bravely with the British force. She challenged the British law which had debarred her adopted son from being the ruler. She was one of the great forces behind the revolt against the British. The matchless courage that she showed is rare.
I. MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTIONS
Choose the correct option:
(i) The new law passed in 1850 made
(a) conversion into Christianity easier
(b) people of India Christains
(c) the life of the Indians difficult
(d) none of the above
(ii) The Revolt of 1857 began from:
(iii) Mangal Pandey, a young soldier, was hanged to death for
(a) killing an Englishman
(b) attacking his officers in Barrackpore
(c) telling lies
(d) attacking English factories
(iv) The Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar died in-
(a) the Rangoon jail
(b) the Royal palace
(c) the Mosque
(d) the Audience Hall
(v) The British regained control of the country in the year
Answer: (i) (a), (ii) (d), (iii) (b), (iv) (a), (v) (c)
Fill in the blanks with appropriate words to complete each sentence.
(i) In the countryside peasants and zamindars resented the …………. and the rigid methods of collection.
(ii) The British passed laws to stop the practice of …………….. and to encourage the …………. of widows.
(iii) The rebels rushed to Delhi from Meerut and proclaimed ……………. as their leader.
(iv) Nana Saheb, the adopted son of the late Peshwa Baji Rao, gathered armed forces and expelled the ……………. from the city.
(v) …………….. fought a guerrilla war against the British with the support of several tribal and peasant leaders.
(i) High taxes; revenue
(ii) Sati, remarraige
(iii) Bahadur Shah Zafar
(iv) British Garrison
(v) Tantia Tope
State whether each of the following statements is True or False.
(i) None of the Indians wanted to change existing social practices.
(ii) In 1856, Governor-General Canning decided that Bahadur Shah Zafar would be the last Mughal king.
(iii) The Indian sepoys were unhappy about their pay, allowances and conditions of service.
(iv) The British could not repress the revolt and called the rebels for negotiations.
(v) After the Revolt of 1857, the Governor- General of India was given the title of Admiral-General.
Match the items given in Column A correctly with those given in Column B.
Answer: (i) (d), (ii) (c), (iii) (a), (iv) (e) (v) (b).
II.VERY SHORT ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS
What was the plea of Nana Saheb, the adopted son of Peshwa Baji Rao-II?
Answer: Nana Saheb pleaded that he be given his father’s pension when the latter died.
What was the first step taken by the Company towards ending the Mughal dynasty?
Answer: The name of the Mughal king was removed from the coins minted by the Company.
Why were the Indian sepoys unhappy with the British rule? Give any one reason.
Answer: The Indian sepoys were underpaid.
What rumour spread among the sepoys of the Meerut regiment about the new cartridges?
Answer: The rumour spread that the new cartridges were coated with the fat of cows and pigs.
What did the ageing Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar do after he was declared the leader of the rebels?
Answer: 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.
Name any two smaller rulers who acknowledged the suzerainty of Bahadur Shah Zafar.
Answer: Nana Saheb and Biijis Qadr.
Who was Tantia Tope?
Answer: He was the General of Nana Saheb.
Who was Ahmadullah Shah? What was his prophesy?
Answer: Ahmadullah Shah was a maulvi from Faizabad. His prophesy was that the rule of the British would soon come to an end.
Who was Bakht Khan?
Answer: Bakht Khan was a soldier from Bareilly. He took charge of a large force of fighters who came to Delhi.
Question 10 .
When did the British recapture Delhi?
Answer: The British recaptured Delhi in September 1857.
Why were the powers of the East India Company transferred to the British Crown?
Answer: The powers of the East India Company were transferred to the British Crown in order to ensure a more responsible management of Indian affairs.
Under what condition the ruling chiefs could pass on their kingdoms to their heirs?
Answer: They could do so only when they were ready to acknowledge the British Queen as their Sovereign Paramount.
Why did the British treat Muslims with suspicion and hostility?
Answer: The British believed that Muslims were responsible for the rebellion in a big way.
III.Short Answer Type Questions
Under what pretext did the Company take over Awadh?
In 1801, a subsidiary alliance was imposed on Awadh, and in 1856, it was taken over. Governor-General Dalhousie declared that the territory was being misgoverned and British rule was needed to ensure proper administration.
How did the Company plan to bring an end to the Mughal dynasty?
(a) First of all the name of the Mughal king was removed from the coins minted by the Company.
(b) In 1849, Governor-General Dalhousie 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 live in.
(c) In 1856, Governor-General “Canning decided that Bahadur Shah Zafar would be the last Mughal king and after his death his descendants would be known as princes.
Why were the Indian sepoys in the employ of the Company discontented? Give sufficient reasons.
Reasons for their discontentment:
1. The Indian sepoys were given poor salaries and allowances.
2. The conditions of service also made them unhappy.
3. Some of the new rules even violated their religious sentiments and beliefs.
4. Those were the days when many people in the country believed that if they crossed the sea they would lose their religion and caste. So when in 1824 the sepoys were told to go to Burma by the sea route to fight for the Company, they refused to follow this order. As a result they were given severe punishment. What is more, in 1856, the Company passed a new law which stated that every new person who took up employment in the^ Company’s army had to agree to serve overseas if required.
What reforms did the British introduce in the Indian society? How did the people of India respond to them?
The British introduced several reforms:
1. They passed laws to stop the practice of sati and to encourage the remarriage of widows.
2. They promoted English language education.
3. In 1850, the Company passed a new law that made the conversion to Christianity easier.
Many Indians began to feel that the British were destroying their religion, their social customs and their traditional way of life. But at the same time there were other Indians who readily accepted the reforms introduced by the British. In fact, they wanted to change existing social practices.
Why did the chiefs and rulers support the Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar in the revolt?
The Mughal dynasty had ruled over a 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 the Mughal authority.
How did the British try to win back the loyalty of the people after they recaptured Delhi?
(a) The British announced rewards for loyal landholders by allowing them to continue to enjoy traditional rights over their lands.
(b) Those who had 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.
IV.Long Answer Type Questions
How did other Indian soldiers in Meerut participate in the Revolt of 1857? How did the regiments stationed in Delhi respond when they came to know about the arrival of the Meerut sepoys in the city?
The other Indian soldiers in Meerut participated in the uprising wholeheartedly. On 10 May, 1857 they marched to the jail in Meerut and released the sepoys who were sentenced to ten years’ jail for disobeying their officers. They attacked and killed British officers. They captured guns and ammunition and set fire to the buildings and properties of the British and declared war on the firangis. The soldiers were determined to bring an end to the British rule in the country.
The sepoys of Meerut rushgd to Delhi in the early hours on 11 May. As news of their arrival spread, the regiments stationed in Delhi also rose up in rebellion. Again British officers were killed, arms and ammunition were seized, buildings were set on fire. Triumphant soldiers gathered around the walls of the Red Fort where the Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar lived, demanding to meet him. The emperor was not willing to challenge the mighty British power but the soldiers persisted. They forced their way into the palace and proclaimed Bahadur Shah Zafar as their leaders. The emperor finally accepted this demand. After getting the leader, the soldiers began to plan for further action.
How did the rebellion spread to other regions of the country?
The position of the British became very weak in Delhi and they were almost defeated by the rebel force. Therefore, there was no uprising for almost a week. Afterwards a spurt of mutinies began in several parts of India. Regiment after regiment mutinied and took to join otlter troops at nodal points like Delhi, Kanpur and Lucknow. After them, the people of the towns and villages also” rose up in rebellion. They rallied around local leaders, zamindars and chiefs who were prepared to establish their authority and fight the British.
Nana Saheb, the adopted son of the late Peshwa Baji Rao who lived near Kanpur, gathered armed forces and expelled the British Garrison from the city. He proclaimed himself Peshwa. He delcared that he was a Governor under emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar. In Lucknow, Birjis Qadr, the son of the deposed Nawab Wajid Ali Shah, was proclaimed the new Nawab. He too acknowledged the suzerainty of Bahadur Shah Zafar.
In Jhansi, Rani Lakshmibai joined the rebel sepoys and fought the British along with Tantia Tope, the General of Nana Saheb.
A situation of widespread rebellion also developed in the region of Awadh. Many new leaders also came up and joined the revolt. Ahmadullah Shah, a maulvi from Faizabad, raised a large force of supporters. He came to Lucknow to fight the British.
In Delhi, a large number of religious warriors came together to wipe out the white people. Bakht Khan, a soldier from Bareilly, took charge of a large force of fighters who came to Delhi. In Bihar, an old zamindar, Kunwar Singh, joined the rebel sepoys and battled with the British for several months.
How did the Company suppress the revolt?
The Company did not get nervous to sea the strength of the rebel forces. Instead, it decided to suppress the revolt with all its might. It brought reinforcements from England, passed new laws so that the rebels could be convicted with ease, and then moved into the storm centres of the revolt. Delhi was recaptured from the rebel forces in September 1857. The last Mughal emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar was tried in court and sentenced to life imprisonment. He and his wife were sent to prison in Rangoon in October 1858.
The recapture of Delhi did not mean that the rebellion died down completely. People continued to resist and battle the British. So, the British had to fight for two years to suppress the massive forces of popular rebellion.
The British took Lucknow in 1858. Rani Lakshmibai was defeated and killed in June 1858. Tantia Tope, who fought
a guerrilla war, was finally captured, tried and killed in April 1859.