CBSE NCERT Class VIII (8th) | Social Studies | History

Chapter  :  Tribals ,Dikus And A Vision Of A Golden Age

CBSE NCERT Solved Question Answer

Q1. Who were the tribals?
Ans. Tribals are a group of people within a traditional society sharing customs and beliefs and led by a chief.

Q2. What were the features of tribal society?
Ans. The features of the tribal society are:
·        Most tribes had customs and rituals laid down by Brahmans.

·        These societies also did not have the sharp social divisions that were characteristics of caste societies.
·        Al those who belonged to the same tribe thought of kinship (they belong to the same king). However, this did not mean that there was no social and economic difference within tribes. 

Q 3. How did the traders and money lenders become important in tribal society?
Ans. Tribal groups often needed to buy and sell in order to be wage to get the goods that were not produced within the locality. This led to their dependence.

Q4. How did the tribals react against the forest laws?
1.      Many tribal groups reacted against the colonial forest laws.
2.      They disobeyed the new rules, continued with the practices that were declared illegal and at times rose in open rebellion such was the revolt of Songram Sangma in 1906 in Assam and the forest Satyagraha of the 1930’s in the Central Provinces.

Q5. What did Birsa movement aim at?
Ans. The aim of Birsa movement was that it wanted  to drive out missionaries, money lenders, Hindu landlords and the government and set up a Munda Raj with Birsa at its head.

Q6. Mention the cultivation practiced by tribal groups. And how was it done?
1.       Some of the tribal practiced jhum cultivation that is, shifting cultivation. This was done on small patches of land, mostly in forests. The cultivators cut the treetops to allow sunlight to reach the ground, and burnt the vegetation on the land to clear it for cultivation.
2.       They spread the ash from the firing, which contained potash, to fertilize the soul. They used the axe to cut trees and the hoe to scratch the soil in order to prepare it for cultivation.
3.       They broadcast the seeds, that is, scattered the seeds on the field instead of ploughing the land and sowing the seeds. Once the crop was ready and harvested, they moved to another
field. A field that has been cultivated once was left fallow for several years.

Q7. Why the British favour is settled cultivator over jhum cultivators?
1.      The British favoured settled cultivators because the British were uncomfortable with groups who moved about and didn’t have a fixed home.
2.      They wanted  to  settle  down  and  become  peasant  cultivators  was  easier  to  control  and administer them people who were always on the move.
3.      The British also wanted a regular revenue source for the state; so they introduced land settlements – that is they measured the land and defined the rights of each individual to that land and fixed the revenue demand for the state.

Q8. Mention the various names of tribals.
Ans. The various names of tribals are:-
·        Santhals

·        Oraons

·        Labadir

·        Bakarwals

·        Khonds

·        Baiga

·        Gaddir

·        Van Gujjars.

Q9. Write a short note on silk growers.
Ans. In the 18th century, Indian silk was in demand in European markets. The fine quality of Indian silk was highly valued and exports from India increased rapidly. Santhals reared cocoons in Hazaribad. The silk growers cashed very little. Understandably, many tribal groups saw the market and the traders as their enemies.

Q10. What did Birsa means when he talked of a ‘Golden Age’?
Ans. Birsa meant by the ‘Golden Age’, a satyug (the age of truth). When Mundas lived a good life, constructed embankments, tapped natured springs, planted trees and orchards, practiced cultivation to earn their living. They did not kill their brothers and relatives. They lived honestly. Birsa also wanted people to once again work on their land, settle down and cultivate their fields.

Q11. Due to enactment of forest laws what problems did the British face and how did they overcomes this problem?
Ans.  Problems Faced By Britishers:-

·        Due to enactment of forest laws British stopped the tribal people from living forests, they faced problem.

·        From where would the forest department get its labour to cut tries for railway sleeper and to transport logs.

·        They decided they would give jhum cultivators small patches of land in forests.

·        Allow them to cultivate these on the condition that those who live in the villages would have to provide labour to forest department and look after the forests.
·        So in many regions forest Department established forest villages to ensure regular supply of cheap labour.

Q12. What were the problems faced by tribals during British rule?
·        Before Britishers tribal people had tribal chiefs who were important and had certain amount of economic power and had their own police as well as rules at some places but they lost considerable when Britishers came.

·        Britishers  wanted  that  moving  tribals  groups  should  settle  down  and  become  peasant cultivators as settled tribes were easier to control.

·        The Britishers tried to settle down jhum cultivation but they were unsuccessful.

·        Some forest were said to be reserved forests which will provide material to British.

·        The traders and  money lenders started coming in forests wanting to  buy forest products which caused problem.

Q13. Mention the various categories of tribal people.
·        Jhum/ shifting cultivators who lived in North East and Central India.

·        The herders and gatherers who lived in forests of Orissa.

·        The pastoralists who moved with their herds of cattle or sheep according to seasons.


·        The  VAN  GUJJARS of the Punjab hills and habaddis of Andhra Pradesh were cattle – herders, the Gaddis of kulu were shepherd and Bagaryal of Kashmir hearded goats.
·        Settled cultivators such as the Mundas of chhota Nagpur, Gonds and Santhals.

Q14.  What were the results of tribal dependence on traders and money lenders?
1.      Traders came around with kings for sale and sold the goods at high prices. Moneylenders gave loans with which the tribal met their cash needs, adding to what they earned.
2.      The interest charged on the loans was visually very high. So, for the tribals, market and often  meant debt and poverty.
3.      They therefore came to see the money lender and trader as with outsides and the cause of their misery.

Q15. What problems did the shifting cultivators face under British rule?
·        The tribal groups were directly connected to the forest so changes in forest laws had a considerable effect on tribal lives.
·        The British extended their control over all forests and declared that forests were classified as reserved forests as they produced timber which the British wanted.
·        In these forests people were not allowed to move freely, practise jhum cultivation, collect fruits or hunt animals.
·        Therefore, the jhum cultivators couldn’t survive the situation. Many were forced to move to other areas in search of work and livelihood.

Q16. How did the powers of tribal chiefs change under the colonial rule?
·        Before the arrival of the British, in many areas the tribal chiefs were important people. The enjoyed a certain amount of economic power and had the right to administer and control their territories.
·        In some places they had their own police and decide on the local rules of land and forest management. Under British rule, the functions and powers of the tribal chiefs changed.
·        They were allowed to keep their land titles over a cluster of villagers and rent out lands, but they lost much over their administrative power and were forced to follows laws made by British officials in India.
·        They had to pay tribute to the British and discipline the tribal groups on behalf of the British. They lost the authority they had earlier enjoyed amongst their people, and were unable to fulfill their traditional functions.

Q17. Write a short note on Birsa Munda. Why was the Birsa movement important in history?
·        In 1885, a man named Birsa Munda was seemed roaming the forests and villages of Chhotanagpur in Bihar. He was born in a family of Munda.

·        People said he had miraculous power as he could cure diseases and multiply grains.

·        Birsa himself declared that God has appointed him to save his people from trouble, free them from slavery of Dikus (outsiders).
·        Soon thousands began following Birsa from different tribes believing that he was ‘Bhagwan’ and had come to solve theirs problems.
Birsa movement was important in 2 ways:-

·        It forced the colonial government to introduce laws so that the land of the tribals could not be easily taken over by Dikus.
·        It should once again that the tribal people had the capacity to protest against injustice and express their own specific way, in renting their own rituals and symbols of struggles.

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Chapter Summary : Tribals ,Dikus And A Vision Of A Golden Age

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