WHEN PEOPLE REBEL-1857 AND AFTER TEXTBOOK (NCERT) Questions and Answers of CBSE, Class 8, History Chapter-5

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WHEN PEOPLE REBEL-1857 AND AFTER TEXTBOOK (NCERT) Questions and Answers of CBSE, Class 8, History Chapter-5

Text book solutions.

1 . What was the demand of Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi that was refused by the British?

Ans: Rani Lakshmibai and Gangadhar Rao Newalkar after the death of their son in 1851, adopted a child named Anand Rao and he was later renamed, Damodar Rao. The British government agreed that he would be given the respect he deserved.

The introduction of the Doctrine of Lapse by Lord Dalhousie changed everything. According to this policy, the adopted child will not be considered as the next successor to the throne and the Kingdom would automatically come under British rule. The adopted heir would have rights only in the private properties of the deceased ruler. In 1853, when Gangadhar Rao Newalkar died his son Anand Rao was not considered as the successor to the throne and Rani Lakshmibai was given a pension and they were said to leave the kingdom. But Rani Lakshmibai wanted to consider Anand Rao as the successor to the throne which was refused by the British government and she protested against the British.

2 . What did the British to protect the interest of those who converted into Christianity?

Ans: The British aimed at increasing the number of Christian in India. They passed many laws in India to make the conversion from any religion to Christianity easier India. The British government made the life of the Christian easier. In 1830, the British government permitted Christian missionaries to work freely under British rule. They were also allowed to have their own land and properties. In 1850, the British government passed a law that declared that the people who converted themselves into Christian would be allowed to take over the properties, land, titles of their ancestors. The British government also introduced the Western system of Education which was not well accepted by the Hindus and the Muslims as they thought it would convince the Indians to get converted into Christian.

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3 . What objections did the sepoys have to the new cartridges that they were asked to use?

Ans:  In 1856, the Company decided to introduce the new “ Enfield Rifle”. To load the rifles it was necessary to bring the cartridges to the mouth and tear up the greased paper with mouth.

In January 1859, in Bengal regiments rumors spread about the greased cartridges. People said that the greased cartridges were made with the fat of cow or pig. For the Hindus cow was sacred and for the Muslims, the pig was taboo. The introduction of such greased cartridges convinced the Hindu and the Muslim sepoys aimed at damaging the purity of the Hindu and the Muslim religions. The sentiments and emotions of the sepoys were hurt. They thought that the government was interfering in their religious matters and wanted to convert the Indians into Christian. So, they became furious and started protesting against the government.

4 . How did the last Mughal Emperor live the last year’s of his life?

Ans: The British government declared that Bahadur Shah Zafar would be considered as the last Mughal Emperor and his successors will not be given any right to the throne. Bahadur Shah Zafar’s last years of life were pathetic. He was given an annual pension from the British and was kept under the safety of the British. Later on, in 1849 Lord Dalhousie declared that Bahadur Shah Zafar would not be allowed to live in the palace of Red Fort instead he was shifted to a place near Qutab Minar.  Bahadur Shah Zafar and his wife Zinat Mahal became furious and started plotting against the British.

After the popular rebellion of 1857, Bahadur Shah Zafar and his wife Zinat Mahal were given a punishment of life imprisonment. Their sons were killed in front of their eyes. In October 1858, they were sent to the prison in Rangoon. In November 1862, Bahadur Shah Zafar died in the jail of Rangoon.

5 . What could be the confidence of the British rulers about their position in India before May 1857?

Ans: The British arrived in India for trading purposes but after seeing the prosperity and vast resources of India they planned to conquer India.

Before May 1857, the British government was confident about their position in India because:-

  • The British were more educated than the Indians. In the beginning, the British observed everything about Indians and then made plans and passed laws that would be beneficial for the government.
  • They had vast military powers. Their sepoys were given advanced training which the Indian rulers failed to do due to lack of facilities.
  • The rulers of India did not have any independent leadership. They did not have any independent social, political, and economic strength of their own.
  • The Indians did not have unity among themselves. They often raised battles against each other and couldn’t take any United decision.
  • Many people practiced social and traditional practices. So, they were not interested in any sort of revolts against the British government.

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6 . What effect did Bahadur Shah Zafar’s support to the rebellion have on the people and on the ruling families?

Ans: The soldiers of Meerut became extremely furious after the death of Mangal Pandey and the punishment given to eighty-five sepoys for disobeying the government. So, the soldiers decided to throw away the British government. They attacked and killed many British officials. They decided to meet Bahadur Shah Zafar and make him their leader for the rebellion. So they went to convince him to support them in the revolt against the British. Although, he was unwilling to protest against the British, at the request of the sepoys he again turned up against the British. Bahadur Shah Zafar wrote letters to the other rulers of India requesting them to come together and fight against the British Raj.

The step taken by Bahadur Shah Zafar gave hope to other rulers that they could get back their kingdom and rule again under the Mughal authority. The soldiers felt extremely confident, boosted up to fight against the British. They became hopeful that under the guidance of Bahadur Shah Zafar they could easily defeat the British.

People from all over India came up to join the rebellion with double spirit. All the sections of the society like the farmers, the peasants, the laborers, the zamindars, etc. became united and fought against the British without worrying about caste and religious issues. Nana Saheb helped a lot in collecting armed forces. Later on, Rani Lakshmibai along with Tantia Tope also joined the rebellion.

Bahadur Shah Zafar’s support helped the Indians to unite together and fight against the government.

7 . How did the British succeed in securing the submission of the rebel landowners of Awadh?

Ans: After the victory of the British in many places, the British wanted to get back the loyalty of the people. The British succeed in getting back the loyalty of landowners of Awadh by giving them back their lost lands. They were also rewarded with the power to enjoy their rights over the lands owned by them. The British also promised that those who had confessed themselves to the British government and did not kill any British officials would remain protected under the government and no one could snatch away their rights.

Moreover, the British also announced that the Indian rulers who remained loyal to the British government during the rebellion could adopt heirs and the adopted ones would be given the respect they deserve.

By giving these rights and rewards the British aimed at getting back the loyalty of the people.

8 . In what ways the British change their policies as a result of the rebellion of 1857?

Ans: The uprising of 1857 brought an end of the East India Company in India. There were many changes in the policies after 1857. This change were done by the government in the India Act of 1858. The changes made by the government are as follows:-

  • The power to govern India was shifted from the East India Company to the British crown.  The power to rule India was exercised by the Secretary of State who was a member of the British government.
  • Out of 15 members, nine members were  Indians who served India for at least ten years. Those members were appointed to assist the secretary of state.
  • The Viceroy of India was made to promise that he would not interfere in the social and religious matters of the Indians.
  • The Indians and Europeans were promised to be treated equally. The Viceroy also promised to improve the industrial and agricultural conditions in India.
  • It was promised that those who have taken part in the rebellion would be given an annual pension by the Viceroy. Policies were introduced to protect the rights of the landlords and zamindars.
  • The number of European soldiers was increased up to 65000 whereas the number of Indian soldiers was reduced to 140,000. But the Indian soldiers were not given a higher post in the army.
  • The British considered the Muslims as the main cause of the revolt so they ceased the lands and properties of the Muslims.

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9 . Find out stories and songs remembered by people in your area or your family about San Sattavan Ki Ladaai. What memories do people cherish about the great uprising?

Ans: The great uprising of 1857 was the first freedom struggle fought by the Indians against the British government. It gave direction for the next national movement . The British government never saw such an uprising before where all the Indians became united irrespective of their caste and religion and fought against the British.

The rebellion started from Meerut after Mangal Pandey was killed and eighty-five soldiers were sentenced to ten years of imprisonment. On 10th May 1857, the Indian soldiers marched from Meerut to Delhi. There they killed many British officials and destroyed their offices. Then they convinced Bahadur Shah Zafar to stand up for them. His support gave them proper guidance,  confidence, and strength to protest against the British. Thousands of people sacrificed their lives for freedom. Many peasants, farmers, laborers rose against the British. Nana Saheb, Rani Lakshmibai, Tantia Tope also took part in the rebellion. Many new leaders came up to fight back such as Ahmadullah Shah from Faizabad.

As the revolt spread, the British passed laws to suppress the revolt but couldn’t suppress the revolt. Later on, Bahadur Shah Zafar was arrested. They recaptured Delhi. It took two years for the British government to suppress the massive forces. In March 1858 Lucknow was recaptured. Rani Lakshmibai was killed in June 1858. In this way, the revolt was suppressed. But it threatened the East India Company which brought an end to its rule in India and the power to control India was handed over to the British crown.

10 . Find out more about Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi. In what ways she had been an unusual women for her times?

Ans: Lakshmibai, the Rani of Jhansi was born in Benaras in the kingdom of Kashi on 19 November 1828. She was known as Manikarnika Tambe. She was known for her bravery which she showed against the British. Moreover, she was one of the leading figures of the great rebellion of 1857. She reigned from 21 November 1853 to 10 March 1854 and then from 4 June 1857 to  April 1858.

Manikarnika was married to the Maharaja of Jhansi, Gangadhar Rao Newalkar in May 1842. She was later on known as Lakshmibai. Lakshmibai gave birth to a child named Damodar Rao in 1851 who died soon after four months of his birth. Later, they adopted a child, Anand Rao, and was renamed, Damodar Rao. The British officials had given them a letter that the child will be given full respect after the death of Gangadhar Rao Newalkar.

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As soon as Lord Dalhousie introduced the Doctrine of Lapse in 1852 the behavior of the government changed towards Anand Rao. According to this policy, the adopted child would not be considered as the next successor of the throne. This policy forbidden Anand Rao to become the next successor after the death of Gangadhar Rao Newalkar and Rani Lakshmibai was paid an annual pension and was ordered to leave Jhansi. This made Rani Lakshmibai extremely furious and she turned up against the British. This made Rani Lakshmibai a bitter enemy of the British. She took part in the great uprising of 1857 and fought continuously against the British till her last breath.

On 23rd March Sir Hugh Rose sieged the fortress. Rani Lakshmibai resisted in March 1858 but Jhansi was captured by the British. She escaped from the fortress on April 4  1858 and joined Tantia Tope at Kalpi. Rani Lakshmibai along with Tantia Tope captured the Fort of Gwalior from Sindhia. She died fighting against the British on June 17, 1858, at Gwalior.

Rani Lakshmibai will always be honored for her bravery and remembered for her extraordinary fight against the British. These qualities made her different from other women of her time.

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