Plus Two History Chapter Wise Questions and Answers Chapter 11 Rebels and the Raj: The Revolt of 1857 and its Representations

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Kerala Plus Two History Chapter Wise Questions and Answers Chapter 11 Rebels and the Raj: The Revolt of 1857 and its Representations

Question 1.
Where did the 1857 Revolt start?
Answer:
Meerut

Question 2.
Who was the leader of the Revolt at Kanpur?
Answer:
Nanasahib

Question 3.
Who was the Governor General who said that Awadh was a cherry that would fall into their mouth?
Answer:
Dalhousie

Question 4.
Who is the person behind the Military Aid System?
Answer:
Lord Wellesley

Question 5.
Which principality is known as the nursery of the Bengal army?
Answer:
Awadh

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Question 6.
Who drew the picture called “Relief of Lucknow”?
Answer:
Thomas Johns Barker

Question 7.
1857 Revolt had a common style or model. Explain.
Answer:
Historians generally believed that there was no planning or united effort on the part of the rebels. But later studies show that there was some planning and unified effort on the part of the army in the Revolt. They had mutually exchanged news of their activities. Therefore the 1857 Revolt had a style of its own. When the news of Revolt of one city reached another city, there also Revolt took place. The incidents that occurred in different army units were similar in nature. The rebels attacked and looted the homes of the British officials, they vandalized the government organizations, they burned the documents and records and they looted the treasury. These things were similar everywhere.

Attacking government officials was part of the revolt. The rebels also attacked Collectors, judicial personnel and policemen. They also destroyed railways lines and communication channels. These were some of the ways in which the rebels revolted.

Question 8.
How was the Mutiny planned? What were the means of communication used by the rebels?
Answer:
There was communication among the different military groups in the army camps. For example, after refusing to use the new greased cartridges, the cavalry in Awadh (7th Awadh Irregular Cavalry) informed the 48th Native Infantry about this. In the letter from Awadh it was mentioned that they were protecting their faith and they were waiting for further instructions from the 48th Infantry. The Sepoys and their messengers from one centre exchanged their ideas and schemes . with another centre and that way the Revolt was planned. People talked about the Revolt.

The captain of the Awadh military police was Hearsey. He was given protection by the Indian officials working under him. 41 Native Infantry asked the Military Police to either kill Hearsey or hand him over to them. But the Military Police did not do any of these. Finally a group of officials chosen from each regiment was given the right to take a decision in this matter. Charles Ball, one of the early historians of the Revolt, has pointed out that at night there used to be meetings of such military councils. It shows that during the Revolt some decisions were taken collectively. Sepoys were living in barracks. They had similar ways of life. Often they belonged to the same religious faith. Therefore it was possible for them to plan together and take decisions. The Sepoys themselves were the planners of their Revolt.

Question 9.
Who were the leaders of the 1857 Mutiny? What roles did Shah Mai and Moulavi Ahmadullah Shah. play in it?
Answer:
Shah Mai was an important leader of the 1857 revolt. He lived in a village in Baraut Pargana in U.P. He belonged to the Jats. Many of the Jats were rich people. They objected to the land tax system of the British government. High taxes and the way in which it was collected affected the lives of the people. Their lands were often occupied by traders and money lenders. Shah Mai raised his voice against the exploitation of the British and their agents.

Shah Mai organized the fanners and heads of villages. He travelled in the nights and encouraged people to rise in revolt against the British. The revolt slowly became a popular revolt. The peasants fought against all kind of injustices. The followers of Shah.

Mai destroyed government buildings and bridges. They also destroyed the roads to prevent the government military from entering their villages. They saw the roads and bridges as the symbols of British rule. They also sent arms and food to the rebels in Delhi. They also destroyed the communication facilities between the British headquarters and Meerut.

Shah Mai forcefully occupied the bungalow of a British official and converted it into a Hall of Justice. There he settled the quarrels among the villagers and punished the culprits. He also established a kind of secret service chain.

Moulavis played a significant role in the 1857 revolt. One of them was Moulavi Ahamadullah Shah. He was educated at Hyderabad. From an early age, he became a religious preacher. In 1856, he openly came out against the British. He declared jihad against the British and travelled across the villages. He exhorted the people to rebel. He travelled in a palanquin with drummers in front and followers behind. He was therefore popularly known as Danka Shah. Danka means a drum or a tom-tom

Thousands of people began to accompany the Moulavi. Many considered him a prophet. The British were frightened. In 1856 the Moulavi reached Lucknow. The British prevented him from making propaganda in the town. As he refused, he was arrested and sent to a prison in Faisalabad. When he was released, the 22 Native Infantry declared him their leader. He took part in the famous Chinhat battle. In this battle the British army under Henry Lawrence was utterly defeated. The courage and strength of the Moulavi attracted people. Some people believed that he had some magical powers. They believed that he was undefeatable and the British could not kill him. It was this belief that gave the Moulavi his strength.

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Question 10.
Rumours and predictions played a big role in the 1857 Revolt. Explain with examples. Why did people believe in the rumours?
Answer:
Rumours and predictions did play a big role in the 1857 Revolt. They worked as a propelling force for the rebels to be more active. The immediate cause of the Revolt was the rumour about the new cartridges for the Enfield rifles. A rumour spread that these cartridges were smeared with cow and pig fat. This news spread among the North Indian sepoys like wildfire. The sepoys of Meerut went to Delhi. They told the Emperor Bahadur Shah about this. The covers of the new cartridges were to be opened by using teeth. The use of cow and pig fat would thus pollute both the Hindus and Muslims. They felt their religions were in danger. Although the British tried to show that this was just a rumour, people refused to believe them.

The origin of this rumour was later found out. Captain Wright, who was the Commander of the Rifle Instruction Depot, had reported an Incident. In the 3rd week of January 1857, a khalasi from a lower caste asked a Brahmin sepoy to give him some water from his container of water. The sepoy refused to give him his container saying that touch by a lower caste would pollute the water. The angered Khalasi then told him that soon he would have to use cartridges smeared with cow and pig fat and then he would lose his caste. We don’t know the truth of this story. But this rumour spread fast, creating great unrest among the sepoys of both religions. The British failed to explain things in time.

Another rumour quickly followed. It said that the British government was deliberately panning to destroy the Hindu and Muslim faiths. The rumour mongers also said that the bones of both cows and pigs were ground and mixed with the flour sold in the market. People then refused even to touch this flour. There was also a feeling that the British were trying to convert Hindus and Muslims into Christianity. This increased the fear and anxiety of the followers of these religions. Although the British official tried to remove their fear, they did not believe them.
All these rumours played havoc.

The British also took steps to take over the small kingdoms or principalities in the land. They annexed Awadh on the pretext of maladministration. They took Jhansi and Satara using laws of succession and heredity. In all the regions taken by them, the British enforced their own administration, laws, tax systems and means of tax collection. All these things made the people of North India worried. They felt that their religious, social and economic ideas were being destroyed by the British. The activities of the Christian missionaries made their doubts stronger. In such uncertain circumstances, rumours spread like wild fire.

Question 11.
Awadh was a Centre of the 1857 Revolt. Based on this statement, prepare an essay on the Revolt in Awadh.
Answer:
The taking over of Awadh by the British made the local kings, talukdars, peasants and sepoys very unhappy and angry. By taking over Awadh, not only the Nawab but also many talukdars lost their jobs. The talukdars had many estates and fortresses in the villages of Awadh. They had been in control of these lands for generations. They had much power in the villages. They also used to keep small army units with them. Some even had armies numbering up to 12,000 soldiers. Even the small ones had 200 footmen.

The British refused to accept the autonomy and authority of the talukdars. Soon after they took over Awadh, they dispersed the armies of the talukdars and destroyed their fortresses. The land tax system also was not liked by the talukdars. The British enforced the new tax system in 1856. This was called the Summary Settlement of 1856. This was enforced with the concept that the talukdars had no permanent ownership of the land. The British saw them as encroachers who got the ownership of the land using all kinds of cheating and even force.

The British wanted to avoid the talukdars and make settlements with the real owners of the land. They thought this would reduce exploitation of the farmers and increase the government’s income. But in reality none of these happened. The officials soon realized that the tax imposed on the farmers was much more than their capacity to pay. In short the Summary Settlement was a failure. St satisfied neither the farmers nor the talukdars.

As talukdars lost their positions, their social status was lost. The relations between them and the farmers were ruined. Before the take-over by the British there was cordiality between the talukdars and the farmers. Although the talukdars were strict, they often behaved like the guardians of peasants. They helped peasants in their needs. They also gave peasants loans during festivals. Peasants also showed loyalty to talukdars. But the coming of the British spoiled all these. The farmers got no consideration from the British. The British charged them heavy tax and used strict methods to collect it. During crop failure, or times of trouble, or feasts, the British never helped the peasants.

The ousted talukdars wanted to get back their lost estates and power. They became the strongest enemies of the British. In places like Awadh, where the revolt was the worst, the talukdars and the farmers were in the forefront of the revolt. Many of the talukdars were loyal to the Nawab. They joined Begum Hazrat- Mahal, the wife of the Nawab, in her fight against the British. Even in failure, the talukdars did not abandon the Begum.

The taking over of Awadh by the British made the sepoys also unhappy. Many of them were from Awadh itself. They did not like the idea of their birthplace getting into the hands of the British.

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Question 12.
Who was the man behind the Military Aid System? What were its conditions?
Answer:
It was Lord Wellesley that introduced the Military Aid System, in 1728. The rulers who agreed to this system had to accept certain conditions.

  • The ruler of the principality should maintain a permanent army of the Company in his land.
  • The expenses for this army should be borne by the ruler.
  • The rulers who join this system must not make any alliance with other countries or go to war without permission from the British
  • The Company will be responsible for the safety of the ruler and his kingdom. The principality should, maintain a British Resident in his capital.
  • Resident is the official designation for the representative of the Governor General. A Resident is appointed in places where there is no direct British rule.

Question 13.
Explain the role of talukdars in the 1857 Revolt.
Answer:
The British wanted to avoid the talukdars and make settlements with the real owners of the land. They thought this would reduce exploitation of the farmers
and increase the government’s income. But in reality none of these happened. The officials soon realized that the tax imposed on the farmers was much more than their capacity to pay. In short the Summary Settlement was a failure. It satisfied neither the farmers nor the talukdars.

As the talukdars lost their positions, their social status was lost. The relations between them and the farmers were ruined. Before the take-over by the British, there was cordiality between the talukdars and the farmers. Although the talukdars were strict, they often behaved like the guardians of the peasants.

They helped the peasants in their needs. They also gave the peasants loans during festivals. The peasants also showed loyalty to the talukdars. But the coming of the British spoiled all these. The peasants got no consideration from the British. The British charged them heavy tax and used strict methods to collect it. During crop failure, or times of trouble, or feasts, the British never helped the peasants.

The ousted talukdars wanted to get back their lost estates and power. They became the strongest enemies of the British. In places like Awadh, where the revolt was the worst, the talukdars and the farmers were in the forefront of the revolt. Many of the talukdars were loyal to the Nawab. They joined Begum Hazrat Mahal, the wife of the Nawab, in her fight against the British. Even in failure, the talukdars did not abandon the Begum.

The taking over of Awadh by the British made the sepoys also unhappy. Many of them were from Awadh itself. They did not like the idea of their birthplace getting into the hands of the British.

Question 14.
The Sepoys had many problems and complaints. What were they?
Answer:
The Sepoys had many problems and complaints. They had small salaries. The places they had to stay and the food they got were not of good quality. It was also difficult to get leave. The chances of promotion were limited. They did not get any foreign service allowance for working outside India. The journeys across the seas were not liked by many, because some religions prohibited such journeys. They also were unhappy because the British did not allow many of them to wear head covers and also beards.

Question 15.
There was a vision of unity among the people in the 1857 Revolt. Clarify.
Answer:
One of the most important features of the 1857 Revolt was the unity exhibited by the Hindus and Muslims. This unity was the strength of the rebels. It was clear from the declarations they made. They were addressed to all the people irrespective of their religious faith. The edicts issued by the Muslim rulers made sure that they respected the feelings of Hindus. The Revolt was seen as a battle in which both Hindus and Muslims had to win. These declarations reminded people of the unity that existed in pre-British India. Under the Muhgal rule, both the communities had worked together. An edict that came from Bahadur Shah asked the people to stand behind the flags of both Muhammed and Mahavira to fight against the British. During the Revolt, no difference between Hindus and Muslims was seen.

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Question 16.
What measures did the British adopt to suppress the 1857 Revolt?
Answer:
It was not easy for the British to put down the Revolt quickly. They took legal, military and diplomatic measures to suppress the Revolt.
The British made many new laws to suppress the Revolt. By the laws made in May and June 1857, the entire North India was brought under military law. The military commanders were given the power to try and punish the rebels. Even ordinary British citizens were given this right. In short, normal laws and judicial procedures were suspended. All the rebels were sentenced to death. With the aid of the new laws the British tried to suppress the Revolt.

The British made use of their military might to suppress the Revolt. More soldiers were brought from England. They tried to recapture the lost regions. ‘ Their main aim was Delhi. They knew the symbolic significance of Delhi. So they wanted to get it back at any cost. They planned a two-pronged attack. Two sets of armies were used. One set began to move from Calcutta to Delhi and the other from Punjab. They started their efforts in June, but they could capture Delhi only at the end of September 1857. Both the rebels and the army fought bitterly. All the rebels from North India came to Delhi to prevent the British from taking over Delhi. Finally Delhi fell into the hands of the British.

.In the Ganges Plain also the progress of the British was slow. British soldiers took the villages one by one. The villagers fought heroically against the British. The British soon realized that they were facing not just a rebellion but a huge revolt. Forsyth who was a British official said that \(\frac{4}{3}\) of the Awadh male adults took part in the fight. The British could recapture the place only after a long fight, in March 1859. The leaders of the revolt were forced to surrender. All the rebel centres – Kanpur, Lucknow, Jhansi, Bareilly, Banaras, Allahabad, and Gwalior-were recaptured by the British.

The landowners and the farmers of most of the modem Uttar Pradesh combined their efforts in fighting the British. This made the British worried. So they played diplomacy here. They promised the landlords that they would return the land taken from them. They ousted the landowners who still rebelled and gave presents to those who withdrew from the revolt. Many landowners died heroically in their fight against the British. Many escaped into Nepal but died their either from hunger or disease. By the end of 1859, the revolt was completely put down. Thus the authority of the British over India was re-established.

Question 17.
There are differing views about the Revolt in the pictures drawn by people. In light of this statement, describe how the Revolt was presented in British pictures.
Answer:
In the British pictures there are differing views. In fact the Revolt was often pictured in such a way as to get public opinion in their favour. They praised the British leaders who saved the British and suppressed the rebels. The picture ‘Relief of Lucknow’ drawn by Thomas Johns Barker was one such picture. When the rebels attacked LucknovV, the Commissioner Henry Lawrence, along with some Christians, took refuge in the Residency, protected by fortresses. Lawrence was killed, But Colonel Ingles saved the Residence from the rebels. In the meantime the British army under James Otram and Henry Havelock suppressed the rebels. Soon Colin Campbell, who was the new commander of the army of British came with an army and released all those who had taken shelter in the Residency. In the British descriptions this is shown as an example of heroic defence by the British and how gallantly they fought against the rebels.

The picture of Barker shows the entry of Campbell. In the middle of the picture we see the British commanders Campbell, Outram, and Havelock. The sighs of hands around point them to the middle of the picture. The heroes are standing in a well-lit maidan. In front there are shadows of the broken down Residency. In front there are wounded and dying people as proof of the sacrifices the British made in defending their Empire. There are also pictures of triumphant horses indicating the reestablishment of the British authority. Such pictures increased the self-confidence of the British. They also gave them the feeling that the revolt had ended and the British had been triumphant.

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