HISTORY OF INDIA: 1707-1950
BHIC 134 Solved Free Assignment 2023
BHIC 134 Solved Free Assignment January 2023
Assignment – I
Q 1. Was there a political revolution in Bengal between 1757-1765? Discuss.
Ans. The period between 1757 and 1765 was a significant phase in the history of Bengal, which saw the arrival of the British East India Company and the establishment of British rule in India.
The events that took place during this time have been widely debated, with many historians arguing that it marked a political revolution in Bengal.
In 1757, the British East India Company, led by Robert Clive, defeated the Nawab of Bengal, Siraj ud-Daulah, at the Battle of Plassey.
This victory paved the way for the Company’s control over Bengal and marked the beginning of British rule in India.
However, the British did not immediately take over the administration of Bengal but instead entered into a series of alliances with local rulers and nobles, which gave them control over the region’s resources and revenue.
One of the most significant changes that occurred during this period was the transformation of the Bengal economy.
Prior to the British arrival, Bengal was one of the wealthiest regions in the world, with a thriving textile industry and a vast network of trade routes.
However, the British introduced a series of policies that aimed to maximize profits for the Company, which had a profound impact on the local economy.
They imposed a land tax that was higher than what was previously paid, which led to the impoverishment of many peasants and small landowners.
Additionally, the British dismantled the existing trading system, which had been controlled by local merchants, and replaced it with their own system, which gave them a monopoly on trade. BHIC 134 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The changes in the Bengal economy had a significant impact on the region’s social and political structures.
The impoverishment of the peasantry and the decline of the textile industry led to a rise in unemployment and poverty, which in turn fueled social unrest.
Additionally, the British policies that favored certain classes of people, such as the zamindars, who were given control over land and revenue, created new power structures that were not present before.
There is much debate among historians as to whether these changes constitute a political revolution in Bengal.
Those who argue that a revolution did occur point to the transformation of the Bengal economy and the changes in social and political structures as evidence of a significant shift in power.
They argue that the British takeover of Bengal marked the end of the traditional systems of governance and the beginning of a new era of colonial rule.
However, there are also those who argue that the changes in Bengal were not revolutionary but rather a continuation of existing trends.
They point out that the decline of the textile industry and the rise of unemployment had begun before the British arrived and that the policies of the British simply accelerated these trends. BHIC 134 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Additionally, they argue that the British did not completely dismantle the existing systems of governance but rather modified them to suit their needs.
One of the key arguments against the notion of a political revolution in Bengal is the fact that the British did not completely replace the existing power structures.
Instead, they entered into alliances with local rulers and nobles, who were allowed to maintain some degree of autonomy in their respective regions.
Additionally, the British did not completely eradicate the existing systems of governance but rather modified them to suit their needs.
For example, they continued to use the existing administrative system but appointed British officials to oversee it.
Another argument against the notion of a political revolution in Bengal is the fact that the British did not completely destroy the existing social structures.
While they did introduce policies that favored certain classes of people, such as the zamindars, they did not completely eliminate the existing systems of social hierarchy.
Additionally, while there were instances of social unrest, there was no widespread rebellion against British rule.
Despite these arguments, there are still several factors that suggest a political revolution did occur in Bengal between 1757 and 1765.
For example, the transformation of the Bengal economy had a profound impact on the region’s social and political structures, leading to the creation of new power structures and a decline in traditional systems of governance.
Additionally, the British introduced new technologies and systems of governance that were radically different from those that had existed in Bengal before.
For example, they introduced a system of revenue collection that relied on written records rather than oral traditions, which had been the norm in Bengal.
Another significant factor that suggests a political revolution occurred in Bengal is the resistance and opposition that the British faced from the local population.
There were several instances of social unrest and rebellion, such as the Chittagong uprising of 1760, which saw the local population rise up against the British.
Additionally, there were several instances of resistance by local rulers and nobles, who sought to maintain their autonomy and resist British control.
Furthermore, the British introduced new legal and administrative systems that had a significant impact on the region’s political and social structures.
For example, they introduced a system of courts that were based on British legal principles, which had a significant impact on the administration of justice in Bengal.
They also introduced a new system of land ownership and revenue collection, which led to the creation of a new class of zamindars who were loyal to the British.
In conclusion, the period between 1757 and 1765 was a significant phase in the history of Bengal, which saw the establishment of British rule in India.
While there is much debate among historians as to whether this period marked a political revolution in Bengal, the transformation of the Bengal economy, the changes in social and political structures, and the resistance and opposition faced by the British suggest that a significant shift in power did occur.
However, it is important to note that the changes were not entirely revolutionary and that the British did not completely destroy the existing systems of governance and social structures. BHIC 134 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Nonetheless, the impact of this period on the history of Bengal and India cannot be overstated, and it remains a topic of great importance and interest to historians and scholars.
Q 2. Discuss the differences between the Moderates and Extremists in the Indian National Congress.
Ans. The Indian National Congress was founded in 1885 with the aim of seeking political rights and representation for Indians under British colonial rule.
During the early years of the Congress, there was a division between two groups: the Moderates and the Extremists.
The Moderates were led by leaders such as Dadabhai Naoroji and Gopal Krishna Gokhale, while the Extremists were led by leaders such as Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Lala Lajpat Rai.
One of the key differences between the Moderates and the Extremists was their approach to British colonial rule.
The Moderates believed in peaceful negotiation and persuasion with the British government to achieve their political goals.
They believed that Indians could win concessions from the British government by working within the existing framework of British law and institutions.
The Moderates were focused on seeking representation for Indians in the British legislative councils and argued that Indians could influence British policy by working within the system. BHIC 134 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The Extremists, on the other hand, believed in more aggressive tactics to achieve their goals.
They believed that the British government would not willingly grant political rights to Indians, and that the only way to achieve these rights was through mass mobilization and direct action.
The Extremists were more confrontational in their approach, and believed in using protests, strikes, and civil disobedience to put pressure on the British government.
Another key difference between the Moderates and the Extremists was their vision for India’s future.
The Moderates were often wealthy and educated, and they saw India’s future as being closely aligned with British values and institutions.
They believed that India could modernize and develop economically by following the British model of governance and industry.
The Moderates were focused on achieving limited political representation for Indians within the British system, rather than seeking independence from British rule.
The Extremists, on the other hand, had a more radical vision for India’s future. They believed that India should be governed by Indians, and that the British should be removed from power entirely.
They saw India’s future as being free from colonialism, and believed in the importance of Indian culture, language, and traditions.
The issue of communalism was another key difference between the Moderates and the Extremists. BHIC 134 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Communalism refers to the tendency for people to identify strongly with their religious or ethnic group, rather than as a unified national identity.
The Moderates believed that communalism was a divisive force in Indian society, and that Indians should prioritize their identity as Indians over their religious or ethnic identity.
The Extremists, however, saw communalism as an important part of Indian identity, and believed that it was important to preserve Indian culture and traditions.
They argued that India’s diversity was a strength, and that communalism could be harnessed for political mobilization.
The issue of economic policy was also a point of difference between the Moderates and the Extremists.
The Moderates believed in a laissez-faire economic policy, and saw economic development as being closely tied to political representation.
They argued that Indian economic growth would be achieved by following British policies of free trade and industrialization.
The Extremists, on the other hand, believed in a more interventionist economic policy, and saw economic development as being tied to political independence.
They argued that India’s economic resources should be controlled by Indians, and that Indian industry should be protected from foreign competition.
Finally, the issue of Swaraj, or self-rule, was a key difference between the Moderates and the Extremists. BHIC 134 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The Moderates believed in seeking limited political representation within the British system, while the Extremists believed in achieving complete independence from British rule.
The Extremists believed that self-rule was the only way to achieve true political, social, and economic freedom for India.
They argued that the British government would never grant Indians full political rights while they continued to maintain control over the Indian economy and institutions.
It is worth noting that the Moderates and Extremists were not necessarily fixed, permanent categories, and many leaders moved between the two groups over time.
For example, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, who was a prominent Moderate, was initially critical of the Extremists but eventually came to support some of their ideas.
Similarly, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, who was a leader of the Extremists, moderated his stance over time and came to support some of the Moderate positions.
The differences between the Moderates and Extremists also reflected broader social and political changes in India during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The emergence of Indian nationalism was part of a wider movement of anti-colonialism and self-determination that was occurring in many parts of the world during this period.
Indian nationalism was also influenced by ideas of socialism and democracy that were spreading globally.BHIC 134 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The Moderates and Extremists represented different responses to these broader social and political changes, and their differences reflected the complexity of the Indian independence movement.
Despite their differences, the Moderates and Extremists were united in their desire for Indian independence, and both groups played an important role in the Indian national movement.
The Moderates were successful in achieving some limited political representation for Indians within the British system, and their advocacy for social and economic reform helped to lay the groundwork for independent India.
The Extremists, with their focus on mass mobilization and direct action, helped to create a groundswell of support for independence and inspired a new generation of Indian leaders.
Ultimately, the Moderates and Extremists both contributed to the achievement of Indian independence, although they did so in different ways.
The Moderates helped to create a space for Indian voices within the British system, while the Extremists helped to create a groundswell of popular support for independence.
The differences between the Moderates and Extremists were reflective of the complexity and diversity of the Indian independence movement, and their contributions should be recognized as important steps towards the creation of a free and independent India.
In conclusion, the differences between the Moderates and Extremists in the Indian National Congress were significant and reflected different approaches to achieving Indian independence. BHIC 134 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The Moderates believed in peaceful negotiation and persuasion with the British government, while the Extremists believed in more aggressive tactics.
The two groups also had different visions for India’s future, with the Moderates seeing India as closely aligned with British values and institutions, while the Extremists believed in a more radical vision for India’s future.
Despite their differences, both groups played an important role in the Indian independence movement, and their contributions should be recognized as essential to the creation of a free and independent India.
Assignment – II
Q 3. What were the main ideas of the Utilitarians?Discuss.
Ans. The Utilitarians were a group of philosophers and social reformers who emerged in the 18th and 19th centuries in Britain.
Their central idea was that the goal of society should be to promote the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people.
This philosophy, known as Utilitarianism, had a significant impact on the development of modern social and political thought and influenced many aspects of British society, including education, law, and government policy.
The key figure in the development of Utilitarianism was the philosopher Jeremy Bentham. BHIC 134 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Bentham believed that human beings were driven by a desire for pleasure and a fear of pain and that the purpose of society should be to maximize happiness and minimize suffering.
He argued that all actions, laws, and institutions should be evaluated according to the extent to which they promoted happiness.
One of the most significant contributions of the Utilitarians was their approach to moral reasoning.
Rather than basing moral decisions on abstract principles or religious teachings, they argued that morality should be based on the principle of utility, which states that actions should be evaluated according to their ability to promote the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people.
This approach allowed the Utilitarians to critique traditional moral and political systems and argue for social and political reforms that would improve the lives of ordinary people.
The Utilitarians were also strong advocates for democratic reform. They argued that political power should be distributed more widely, and that democracy was the best way to ensure that the interests of the majority were represented.
They were particularly critical of the British electoral system, which at the time was dominated by wealthy landowners and aristocrats.
The Utilitarians believed that everyone should have an equal say in government, and that this would help to promote the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people.BHIC 134 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Another important aspect of Utilitarian philosophy was their emphasis on education. The Utilitarians believed that education was essential to the promotion of happiness and that it should be made available to everyone, regardless of their social or economic status.
They argued that education should be practical and useful, with a focus on skills that would enable people to be productive members of society. This idea had a significant impact on the development of education systems in Britain and other parts of the world.
In addition to their focus on education, the Utilitarians were also strong advocates for social and economic reform.
They argued that poverty and inequality were major sources of unhappiness and that society should be reorganized to promote greater equality and social mobility.
They advocated for policies such as progressive taxation, public education, and social welfare programs to help alleviate poverty and improve the lives of the less fortunate.
The Utilitarians also had a significant impact on the development of British law and legal theory.
They argued that laws should be evaluated according to their ability to promote the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people, and that the law should be used as a tool to promote social and economic equality.
They were critical of the harsh punishments and severe sentencing practices that were common in the British legal system at the time and argued for more humane and rational approaches to criminal justice.
Q 4. Comment on the economic impact of the British rule.
Ans. The economic impact of British rule on India is a complex and contentious topic that has been the subject of much debate among scholars and historians.
While some argue that British rule had a positive impact on India’s economy, others argue that it had a negative impact, with many pointing to the exploitation of India’s resources and people by the British.BHIC 134 Solved Free Assignment 2023
One of the main ways in which British rule impacted the Indian economy was through the establishment of a colonial trade system that was designed to benefit British industry and commerce.
The British East India Company, which controlled much of India’s trade, imposed heavy taxes on Indian goods and limited Indian access to foreign markets, thereby stifling India’s own industries and hindering its economic development.
In addition to the trade system, British rule also brought about significant changes in the Indian economy through the introduction of new technologies and infrastructure.
The British built railways, canals, and other transportation networks, which facilitated the movement of goods and people and helped to integrate the Indian economy into the global economy.
They also introduced modern agricultural practices, such as the cultivation of cash crops like tea, coffee, and cotton, which had a significant impact on the Indian economy.
However, while these changes brought about some economic benefits, they also had negative consequences for India’s economy.
The introduction of cash crops led to the displacement of traditional subsistence agriculture, which had been the mainstay of India’s rural economy for centuries.
This, in turn, led to the impoverishment of many rural communities and the growth of a landless labor class that was vulnerable to exploitation by landlords and other elites.BHIC 134 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The British also exploited India’s natural resources for their own benefit. They used India as a source of raw materials, such as cotton, tea, and spices, which were then processed and manufactured in Britain and sold back to India at a significant profit.
This trade relationship was highly unequal, with India receiving very little in return for its resources and labor.
Perhaps the most damaging aspect of British rule on the Indian economy was the imposition of heavy taxes and land revenue, which impoverished many Indians and made it difficult for them to invest in their own businesses and industries.
The British also imposed a tariff system that favored British imports over Indian goods, which further hampered the growth of Indian industry and commerce.
Despite these negative impacts, some argue that British rule also had some positive effects on the Indian economy.
For example, the British introduced modern banking and finance systems, which helped to facilitate trade and investment, and also introduced English as a language of business and education, which helped to create a more educated and skilled workforce.
Q 5. What was the role of the Constituent Assembly in shaping the Indian Constitution?
Ans. The Constituent Assembly played a critical role in shaping the Indian Constitution.
The Assembly was tasked with the responsibility of drafting a constitution that would establish India as a sovereign, democratic republic.
The Assembly met for several years, from 1946 to 1950, and its members engaged in extensive deliberations and debates to draft the final constitution.
One of the most significant contributions of the Constituent Assembly was the inclusion of a range of fundamental rights in the constitution.
These rights, such as freedom of speech, religion, and assembly, were seen as critical in protecting individual liberties and promoting democracy.
The Assembly also included provisions for affirmative action programs, such as reservations in educational institutions and government jobs, to promote the interests of historically disadvantaged communities.
The Assembly also played a crucial role in defining the structure and powers of the Indian government. BHIC 134 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The constitution established a federal system of government, with power divided between the central government and state governments.
The Assembly also created a system of checks and balances to ensure that no branch of government became too powerful.
Another important contribution of the Constituent Assembly was the creation of an independent judiciary.
The constitution provided for a Supreme Court and a High Court in each state, with judges appointed through a rigorous process to ensure their independence from political influence.
The judiciary was empowered to protect the rights of citizens and to interpret and enforce the constitution.
The Assembly also recognized the importance of local governance and included provisions for the creation of panchayats, or village councils, to promote grassroots democracy.
The Assembly recognized that local governance was critical in ensuring that the benefits of democracy and development reached all communities, especially those in rural areas.
The Assembly also played a critical role in shaping India’s economic policies. The constitution established a mixed economy, with both private and public ownership of key industries.
The Assembly recognized that economic development was critical in reducing poverty and improving the standard of living of all citizens.
The constitution included provisions for land reforms, which aimed to redistribute land from large landowners to poor farmers, and for the establishment of a planning commission to promote economic growth and development.
In addition to these contributions, the Constituent Assembly was also instrumental in promoting social and cultural unity in India.
The constitution recognized India’s diverse cultural and linguistic heritage and included provisions for the protection of minority rights.
The Assembly recognized that unity in diversity was critical in promoting national integration and harmony.BHIC 134 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Assignment – III
Q 6. Ryotwari Settlement
Ans. Ryotwari Settlement is a system of land revenue collection that was implemented by the British colonial administration in India.
The term “ryot” refers to the peasant cultivator who tilled the land and paid the revenue to the state.
Under the Ryotwari system, the state directly dealt with individual cultivators and collected revenue from them.
The Ryotwari Settlement was introduced in parts of India where there was no established system of land revenue collection.
It was implemented in areas with a low population density and where the land was not extensively cultivated.
The system was also introduced in regions where land rights were not well defined and where there were no intermediaries between the state and the cultivators.
Under the Ryotwari system, the cultivator was recognized as the owner of the land and was responsible for paying the land revenue directly to the state.
The revenue was determined based on the area of land cultivated and the crop grown. The cultivator had the right to sell or mortgage the land, but he had to pay the revenue due to the state before doing so.
The Ryotwari Settlement was seen as an improvement over the previous system of revenue collection, which was based on intermediaries such as zamindars and talukdars. BHIC 134 Solved Free Assignment 2023
These intermediaries often exploited the cultivators and collected exorbitant rents, leading to widespread poverty and debt.
The Ryotwari system, on the other hand, eliminated intermediaries and established a direct relationship between the cultivator and the state.
The Ryotwari Settlement also provided some protection to the cultivator against arbitrary eviction. The cultivator had the right to occupy the land as long as he paid the revenue due to the state.
The state could not evict the cultivator without proper notice and compensation. This provided some security of tenure to the cultivator, which was absent under the zamindari system.
Q 7. State formation in Mysore in the 18th century
Ans. State formation in Mysore in the 18th century was a complex and multifaceted process that was shaped by a range of political, economic, and social factors.
Mysore was ruled by the Wodeyar dynasty, which had established itself as a regional power in the late 16th century. BHIC 134 Solved Free Assignment 2023
However, it was during the reign of Hyder Ali and his son Tipu Sultan in the 18th century that Mysore emerged as a significant state in southern India.
One of the key factors that contributed to the state formation in Mysore was the military reforms introduced by Hyder Ali.
Hyder Ali recognized the importance of a strong and well-organized military in consolidating his power and expanding his territories.
He introduced a range of reforms, including the recruitment of soldiers on a permanent basis, the establishment of a standing army, and the adoption of modern military techniques and weaponry.
Another factor that contributed to the state formation in Mysore was the expansion of trade and commerce.
Mysore was strategically located at the crossroads of several trade routes, and its rulers recognized the economic benefits of trade. They encouraged the development of markets, promoted industries such as silk weaving and metallurgy, and established commercial links with other regions.
The state formation in Mysore was also shaped by the cultural and social changes that were taking place at the time. BHIC 134 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan were patrons of the arts and literature and encouraged the development of a distinct Mysorean culture. They also promoted religious toleration and supported the construction of temples, mosques, and churches.
The state formation in Mysore was not without its challenges, however. The Wodeyars and their successors faced constant threats from their rivals, both from within and outside the state.
They also had to deal with the machinations of the British East India Company, which was expanding its territories in southern India.
Q 8. The Orientalists in India
Ans. The Orientalists were a group of scholars and administrators who played a significant role in the British administration of India in the 18th and 19th centuries.
They were primarily interested in the study of Indian languages, literature, religion, and culture, and sought to understand and preserve these aspects of Indian civilization.
The Orientalists believed that India was a land of great antiquity and cultural richness, and that its traditions and knowledge systems were worth studying and preserving. BHIC 134 Solved Free Assignment 2023
They saw themselves as custodians of Indian civilization and worked to promote the study of Indian languages, literature, and philosophy.
The Orientalists also played an important role in the development of a new kind of knowledge about India, which was grounded in empirical observation and scientific investigation.
They sought to challenge the prevailing stereotypes and prejudices about India, which were based on ignorance and misunderstanding.
One of the key figures in the Orientalist movement was William Jones, who founded the Asiatic Society of Bengal in 1784. Jones was a linguist and scholar who had a deep interest in Indian languages and literature.
He believed that Indian civilization was as ancient and sophisticated as those of Greece and Rome, and sought to promote the study of Indian languages and culture in Europe.
The Orientalists also played a significant role in the development of the British administration of India.
They worked as administrators and translators, and helped the British to understand and govern India. BHIC 134 Solved Free Assignment 2023
They played a key role in the development of the legal system in India, and in the translation and dissemination of Indian texts.
Q 9. Communalism
Ans. Communalism is a political ideology that emphasizes the identity of a particular community, based on religion, ethnicity, or language, over and above other forms of identity such as nationality or citizenship.
It can be a divisive force in society, leading to sectarian conflicts and violence.
In India, communalism has been a persistent problem, especially since the partition of the country in 1947. The partition was based on religious lines, with the Muslim-majority areas forming the separate state of Pakistan.
This led to the displacement and migration of millions of people, and created deep scars on the social and political fabric of the country.
Since then, communalism has taken various forms in India, with different communities seeking to assert their identity and interests.
The most prominent form of communalism in India is Hindu nationalism, which seeks to promote the interests of the Hindu majority and assert the dominance of Hindu culture and values.BHIC 134 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Hindu nationalism has its roots in the early 20th century, when a group of intellectuals and political activists formed the Hindu Mahasabha, which aimed to defend the interests of the Hindu community.
The movement gained momentum in the 1980s and 1990s, with the rise of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its affiliates, such as the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP).
The Hindu nationalist movement has been characterized by a range of beliefs and practices, including the promotion of Hindu religious symbols and practices, the assertion of Hindu cultural and historical superiority, and the demand for the construction of a Hindu temple at the site of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, which was demolished by Hindu mobs in 1992.
The rise of Hindu nationalism has also led to communal violence and discrimination against religious minorities, especially Muslims.
There have been several instances of communal riots and mob violence, often instigated by right-wing Hindu groups. BHIC 134 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The violence has led to the loss of lives and property, and has created a climate of fear and mistrust between different communities.
Q 10. Transfer of Power
Ans. The transfer of power in India, also known as Indian independence, was a historic event that marked the end of British colonial rule and the birth of the modern Indian nation.
The process of transfer of power began in the early 20th century and culminated in the transfer of power on August 15, 1947.
The transfer of power was a complex and often contentious process that involved negotiations between various political parties and leaders, as well as the British government.
The Indian National Congress, which was the largest political party in India, played a key role in the negotiations and was led by figures such as Jawaharlal Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi, and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
The negotiations resulted in the creation of two independent countries: India and Pakistan. The partition of India was based on religious lines, with the Muslim-majority areas forming the separate state of Pakistan.
This led to the displacement and migration of millions of people, and created deep scars on the social and political fabric of the region.
The transfer of power was a major turning point in Indian history, and marked the beginning of a new era of political, social, and economic development.
It gave India the opportunity to shape its own destiny and to chart a course towards progress and prosperity.BHIC 134 Solved Free Assignment 2023
One of the key challenges that India faced after independence was to build a strong and unified nation out of a diverse and complex society.
The Indian Constitution, which was adopted in 1950, provided the framework for a democratic and secular state, and established the principles of equality, justice, and freedom for all citizens.
In the years following independence, India made significant progress in various fields, including education, healthcare, agriculture, and industry.
The country embarked on a program of economic development, which included the nationalization of key industries and the establishment of public sector enterprises.
However, India also faced significant challenges, including poverty, inequality, and social unrest.
The country was also involved in several conflicts, including the wars with Pakistan in 1965 and 1971, and the conflict with China in 1962.
Despite these challenges, India has emerged as a vibrant and dynamic democracy, with a strong economy and a rich cultural heritage.
The transfer of power was a pivotal moment in Indian history, and marked the beginning of a new era of freedom and progress for the people of India.