NCERT Solutions for Class 8 History Chapter 4 Tribals, Dikus and the Vision of a Golden Age Social Science

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NCERT Solutions for Class 8 History Chapter 4 Tribals, Dikus and the Vision of a Golden Age

Chapter 4 Tribals, Dikus and the Vision of a Golden Age NCERT Solutions for Class 8 History

Let’s recall

1. Fill in the blanks: 

(a) The British described the tribal people as __________. 

(b) The method of sowing seeds in jhum cultivation is known as ___________. 

(c) The tribal chiefs got _________ titles in central India under the British land settlements. 

(d) Tribals went to work in the ___________ of Assam and the __________ in Bihar.


(a) wild and savage.

(b) broadcasting or scattering.

(c) land titles

(d) 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. 

(b) Cocoons were bought from the Santhals and sold by the traders at five times the purchase price.

(c) Birsa urged his followers to purify themselves, give up drinking liquor and stop believing in witchcraft and sorcery. 

(d) The British wanted to preserve the tribal way of life.


(a) False
(b) True
(c) True
(d) False

3. What problems did shifting cultivators face under British rule?


• For administrative and economic reasons, the British government tried settling the jhum or shifting cultivators. However, settled plough cultivation did not prove to be helpful to these jhum cultivators. 
• They often suffered because their fields did not produce good yields.
• The new forest laws also affected the lives of the shifting cultivators.
• Shifting or jhum cultivation can be done on small patches of forest land. However, under the forest laws, the British extended their control over all forests and declared that forests were state property.
• As a result, the jhum cultivators were prevented from practising jhum cultivation freely. Many were forced to move to other areas in search of work and livelihood.

4. How did the powers of tribal chiefs change under colonial rule?


Under the colonial rule, the tribal chiefs changed their functions and powers considerably. They used to enjoy a certain amount of economic power before the arrival of British colonizers. They also used to administer and control their territories before British colonizers came. In this process, they lost much of their administrative power and were forced to follow laws made by the British officials. They also had to pay tribute to British and discipline the tribal groups on behalf of the British. Under the colonial rule, they lost the authority they had earlier enjoyed amongst their people and were unable to fulfill their traditional functions.

5. What accounts for the anger of the tribals against the dikus? 


The word “dikus” means outsiders or who come from outside like moneylenders, traders, zamindars, contractors, British etc. There are a number of reasons for anger of the tribals against the dikus:
• The tribes practiced shifting cultivation but the British forced them to follow settled agriculture and also introduced land settlements.
• In a forest, traders and moneylenders were coming into the area, wanting to buy forest produce at a very cheap rate, luring them with cash loans at high interests. The innocent and poor people initially agreed to take this loan and remained indebted throughout their lives. So the tribal people came to consider the traders, moneylenders as evil outsiders.
• Under British rule, tribal chiefs lost their authority and were unable to fulfill their traditional functions. Tribal chiefs had to pay tribute to the British instead.
• By the introduction of forest laws, the British made it harder for them to find work and livelihood. As a result, they became homeless and went in search of jobs and resources.

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 talked about the golden age, the satyug, an age of truth in which, like in the past, the tribal people would live a good life, construct embankments, tap natural springs, plant trees and orchards and practise cultivation to earn their living.
• He talked of an age in which the tribals would not kill one another.
• His golden age consisted of a reformed tribal society in which there was no place for vices like liquor, uncleanliness, witchcraft and sorcery, and outside forces like the missionaries, Hindu landlords, moneylenders, traders and the Europeans.
• This vision spoke to the tribal people and they began to see Birsa as a source of hope that they could defeat the vices and outside forces that made them suffer.

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