Ruling the Countryside - NCERT Solutions

CBSE Class–VIII Social Science
NCERT Solution
History Chapter 3
Ruling the Countryside

1. Match the following:
nijcultivation on ryot's lands
ryoticultivation on planter's own land
Ans :
nijcultivation on planter's own land
ryoticultivation on ryot's lands

2. Fill in the blanks:
(a) Growers of woad in Europe saw ______ as a crop which would provide competition to their earnings.

Ans :
 Growers of woad in Europe saw indigo as a crop which would provide competition to their earnings.
(b) The demand for indigo increased in late-eighteenth- century Britain because of ________.
Ans : The demand for indigo increased in the late-eighteenth-century Britain because of the expansion of cotton production as a result of industrialisation, which in turn created an enormous demand for cloth dyes.
(c) The international demand for indigo was affected by the discovery of __________.
Ans :
 The international demand for indigo was affected by the discovery of synthetic dyes.
(d) The Champaran movement was against __________.
Ans :
 The Champaran movement was against indigo planters.

3. Describe the main features of the Permanent Settlement.
Ans :
 In order to get a stable revenue income, most of the East India Company’s officials believed that investment in land had to be encouraged and agriculture had to be improved. This led to introduction of permanent settlement in 1793. The main features of the Permanent settlement were:
  1. The amount of revenue was fixed permanently, that is, it was not to be increased in ever in future.
  2. 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 in improving the land.
  3. Since the revenue demand of the state would not be increased, the zamindar would benefit from increased production from the land.
  4. Under this system revenue had been fixed so high that the zamindars found it difficult to pay.
  5. Even when the income of zamindars increased with the expansion of cultivation, the company had no chance of gain because it could not increase a revenue demand that had been fixed permanently.
  6. The system proved oppressive for the cultivators.

4. How was the mahalwari system different from the Permanent Settlement?
Ans :
Mahalwari SettlementPermanent Settlement
The mahalwari system, devised by Holt Mackenzie, came into effect in 1822, in the North Western provinces of the Bengal Presidency.The Permanent Settlement was introduced in 1793 by Lord Cornwallis.
It was devised as an alternative to the Permanent Settlement.It was aimed at ensuring stable revenue for the East India Company.
The village headmen were in charge of collecting revenue.The rajas and taluqdars were in charge of collecting revenue.
The revenue amount was not fixed, and was to be revised periodically. The estimated revenue of each plot within a village was added up to calculate the revenue that each village or mahal had to pay.The revenue amount was fixed and was never to be increased in the future.

5. Give two problems which arose with the new Munro system of fixing revenue.
Ans :
 Two problems which arose with the new Munro system of fixing revenue were:
  • Driven by the desire to increase the income from land, revenue officials fixed too high a revenue demand.
  • Peasants were unable to pay the revenue as the crop failed in the countryside and villages became deserted in many regions.

6. Why were ryots reluctant to grow indigo?
Ans :
 The ryots were reluctant to grow indigo because:
  1. The planters paid a very low price for indigo.
  2. The ryots were not in a position to even recover their cost, earning a profit was a far-fetched idea. This meant that the ryot was always under debt.
  3. The planters insisted that the peasants cultivate indigo on the most fertile parts of their land, but the peasants preferred growing rice on the best soils after an indigo harvest. The land could not be used for sowing rice, the ryots were reluctant to grow indigo.

7. What were the circumstances which led to the eventual collapse of indigo production in Bengal?
Ans :
 The ryots in Bengal got fed up with the coercive methods the planters used with them and finally refused to grow indigo. They became violent. They not only refused to pay rents to the planters, but also attacked indigo factories armed with swords and spears, bows and arrows. Meanwhile the local zamindars and village headmen also began to favour the indigo ryots. They mobililsed the indigo peasants and fought pitched battles with the lathiyals, the lathi- wielding strong men maintained by the planters. In other places even the zamindars went around villages urging the ryots to resist the planters. Worried by the rebellion, the government brought in the military to protect the planters from assault, and set up the Indigo commission to enquire into the system of indigo production. The commission held the planters guilty and criticised them for the coercive method they used with indigo cultivators. It declared that indigo production was not profitable for ryots. The commission asked the ryots to fulfill their existing contracts but also told them that they could refuse to produce indigo in future. After this revolt, indigo production collapsed in Bengal.