CIVILISING THE “NATIVE”, EDUCATING THE NATION TEXTBOOK (NCERT) Questions and Answers of CBSE, Class 8, History Chapter-8

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CIVILISING THE “NATIVE”, EDUCATING THE NATION TEXTBOOK (NCERT) Questions and Answers of CBSE, Class 8, History Chapter-8

Text book solutions.

1 . Match the following:-

a . William Jones                _               Promotion of English education.

b . Rabindranath Tagore  _               Respect for ancient culture.

c . Thomas Macaulay.      _                Gurus.

d . Mahatma Gandhi.      _                 Learning in natural environment.

e . Pathshalas.                _                 Critical of English education.


a . William Jones.                    _                     Respect for ancient culture.

b . Rabindranath Tagore.      _                     Learning in natural environment.

c . Thomas Macaulay.           _                      Promotion of English education.

d . Mahatma Gandhi.           _                       Critical of English education.

e . Pathshalas.                      _                         Gurus.


2 . State whether true or false:-

a . James Mill was a severe critic of Orientalists.

Ans: true.

b . The 1854 Despatch on education was in favor of English being introduced as a medium of higher education in India.

Ans: true.

c . Mahatma Gandhi thought that the promotion of literacy was the most important aim of education.

Ans: false.

d . Rabindranath Tagore felt that children ought to be subjected to strict discipline.

Ans: false.

3 . Why did William Jones feel the need to study Indian history , philosophy and law?

Ans: William Jones came to Calcutta in 1783 and was designated as the junior judge at the Supreme Court. He was interested in learning different languages. Like, he was fluent in French and English. He also learned other languages like Arabic and Persian. When he came to Calcutta, he took lessons from the Pandits about the Sanskrit language, grammar, and poetry.  He was interested in the history of India and started learning law, philosophy, religions, arithmetic, and many other subjects. Jones also observed that the other British officials like Henry Thomas Colebrooke and Nathaniel Halhed were also interested in ancient Indian culture. Jones felt the importance of studying Indian law, philosophy, history for the following reasons:-

A . According to Jones, Indian culture acquired its fame in the past but slowly it came to an end. He had a different point of view regarding Indian culture. He gave respect to the ancient Indian culture, unlike the other officials.

B . Jones felt that to know the actual culture of India they should come across the legal petitions of the past. Those petitions could help them to discover the actual laws that were set up for the Hindus and the Muslims. This would help the government to set up administrative laws in India and develop its power in India.


C . Jones also believed that it would help the Indians to reinvent their ancient heritage, culture, and tradition. This would also help the British to interact with the Indians easily and develop their control over India without facing many problems.

D . Jones thought that to win the heart of the Indians the government should encourage them to learn with what they were friendly. Any new, unknown subjects shouldn’t be forcibly imposed on them. So, he had set up several institutions where teaching Sanskrit and Persian was encouraged. In the year 1781, to facilitate the study of Arabic, Islamic laws a “madrasa” was set up in Calcutta, and the Hindu College was also constructed in 1791 to make people familiar with the Sanskrit language.

4 . Why did James Mill and Thomas Macaulay think that European education was essential in India?

Ans: Many British officials did not support the study of the ancient Indian culture. In the early nineteenth century many officials opposed these studies and considered them as impractical, unrealistic and non-serious. So, they disagreed with the British government on spending so much money and efforts in the support of the study of Arabic, Islamic and Sanskrit languages.

James Mill was one of the leading figures who opposed the study of ancient Indian culture. He found it extremely foolish of the British government to support the orientalists just to win the heart of the people. According to him, the main aim of education was to make the natives friendly with the scientific and technical way of thinking which was common in the West.

One such authoritative and straightforward critics, Thomas Babington Macaulay spoke up during the 1830s. He considered India as uncultured and uneducated and there was a need to introduce the scientific education system in India.  According to him  “ a single shelf of a good European library was worth the whole native literature of India and Arabia”. He requested the British government not to support oriental learning as it had no use. Macaulay focused on introducing the language English in different institutions. According to him, this would provide an opportunity for people to read some of the best literature in the world. This would also help them to analyze the improvement in science and philosophy. This would allow them to change their taste, art, culture, tradition, etc. Hence in 1835, the government passed an act called the English Education Act which aimed at teaching English in almost every institution.

5 . Why did Mahatma Gandhi want to teach handicrafts?

Ans: Mahatma Gandhi was a strong opponent of Western Education system. He thought that the western education would not help the students to think of their own. They would loose their ability of thinking and would not try to invent something new. As per his views , this system will not value the Indian culture, art and tradition. Hence, Mahatma Gandhi influenced people to learn handicrafts. This would help them to understand their capabilities and would improve their thinking ability by developing their mind. He also wanted people to learn crafts, do work with their hands rather than depending on readymade products and also to come across how things were operated in different ways. This would make the Indians self-confident as well as self-dependent.


6 . Why did Mahatma Gandhi think that English education had enslaved Indians?

Ans: Mahatma Gandhi was a strong opponent of the Western education system as he though it would develop a feeling of inferiority among the masses. The introduction of Western Education system demolished the pride that the Indians had regarding their education, culture, civilization etc. He said that Western education was like poison and it emitted some evil spell which trapped the Indians and enslaved them.

Mahatma Gandhi during the national movement requested and influenced the people to have some self-belief and self-respect and leave the British educational institutions to prove to the British government that the Indians were unwilling to be enslaved. According to him, local languages should become a medium of teaching as speaking in English will not help them to communicate with the people and would create distance from the surroundings.

Gandhiji also said Western education emphasized reading and writing and did not give importance to oral knowledge. He also said that this reduces the thinking capacity. Textbooks were given the topmost priority over the practical knowledge, technical skills, and experience gathered by the people. Mahatma Gandhi didn’t consider literacy as education. Hence, he thought that Western Education had enslaved the Indians.

7 . Find out from your grandparents about what they studied in school.

Ans: During our grandparent’s time schooling system was very interesting. They did not always focus on the information that the books provided. They also believed in self-learning, live experiences, technical skills, and practical knowledge. In their schools, they were taught Hindi, Bengali, Urdu, English, social study, mathematics, and other subjects of science. Along with these subjects, they were also taught music, drawing, weaving , dance etc. They were also taught different varieties of sports such as running, cricket, football, badminton, hockey, etc. They were given the complete education in school and hence, they need not go to any extra teacher for extra classes. The teachers could give equal importance to all the students as the number of students was less. Annual examinations were taken every year to test the children. Hence during that time education was encouraged along with sports and the students were not restricted to the books only.