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Women, Caste and Reform NCERT Solutions for Class 8 Social Science History Chapter 9
Class 8 History Chapter 9 Women, Caste and Reform InText Questions and Answers
Activity (Page 95)
Can you think of the ways in which social customs and practices were discussed in the pre-printing age when books, newspapers, and pamphlets were not readily available?
The social customs and practices might be discussed in the following ways :
- By organizing regular social meetings and gatherings.
- By hand-written letters on palm leaves, etc.
- By giving speeches to the general public.
- By discussions among intellectuals and learned persons of different areas.
Activity (Page 97)
This argument was taking place more than 175 years ago. Write down the different arguments you may have heard around you on the worth of women. In what ways have the views changed?
- Women have the same worth as men. They are doing very well in all aspects of life. They are performing well in studies, politics, army, etc. They are becoming engineers, doctors, scientists, army officers, political leaders, etc. Now, society recognizes their ability in every field.
- However, even today, there sure some people who believe that women are inferior to men.
(2) With the increase in the level of education, the views gradually changed. In the course of time, Indian women began to enter schools, colleges, and universities. Many women began to write and publish their critical views on the status of women in society.
Activity (Page 102)
Imagine that you are one of the students sitting in the school veranda and listening to the lessons. What kind of questions would be rising in your mind?
The following type of questions would be rising in my mind :
- Have the people sitting in the classroom any moral value?
- How unjust the social system is!
- Why are they dividing the society in the name of caste?
- Is it not a hindrance to the social and economic welfare of a country?
Some people thought this situation was better than the total lack of education for untouchable people. Would you agree with this view?
Yes, I do agree with the statement that this situation was better than the total lack of education for untouchable people. It is rightly said that something is better than nothing.
Activity (Page 103)
Carefully read source 3. What do you think Jyotirao Phule meant hy, “me here and you over there again”?
By “me here and you over there again”, Jyotirao Phule meant untouchability. He wanted to say that the call for unity by the upper castes had a hidden purpose. In his view, the upper castes wanted first to win over the Britishers by the strength of unity and then to sing a song of untouchability again.
Activity (Page 105)
Why does caste remain such a controversial issue today? What do you think was the most important movement against caste in colonial times?
- Caste remains such a controversial issue today mainly due to dirty politics by some political leaders and parties.
- In my opinion, the most important movement against caste in colonial times was the Temple Entry Movement.
Let’s Imagine (Page 108)
Imagine you are a teacher in the school set up by Rokeya Hossain. There are 20 girls in your charge. Write an account of the discussions that might have taken place on any one day in the school.
I am a Social Science teacher in Begum Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain Muslim Girls School, Patna. One day, some Muslim leaders came to my school and began to argue against women’s education, particularly going outside the home. A hot discussion started on this topic between the teachers and the leaders. Begum Hossain was also present in the school. She commented that it is the religious leaders of every faith who were responsible for the inferior position of women in society.
Class 8 History Chapter 9 Women, Caste and Reform Exercise Questions and Answers
What social ideas did the following people support?
Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar
- Rammohan Roy — the emancipation of women, anti sati act 1829.
- Dayanand Saraswati — against idol worship, widow remarriage, girl education.
- Veerasalingam Pantulu — widow remarriage.
- Jyotirao Phule — against caste distinctions, girl education.
- Pandita Ramabai — economic independence of women, widow homes.
- Periyar — self-respect movement.
- Mumtaz Ali — a reinterpretation of the Quran for women’s education.
- Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar — women education, widow remarriage act 1856.
State whether true or false :
(a) When the British captured Bengal they framed many new laws to regulate the rules regarding marriage, adoption, the inheritance of property, etc.
(b) Social reformers had to discard the ancient texts in order to argue for reform in social practices.
(c) Reformers got full support from all sections of the people of the country.
(d) The Child Marriage Restraint Act was passed in 1829.
How did the knowledge of ancient texts help the reformers promote new laws?
- The reformers used ancient texts to convince people that social evils like caste distinctions, child marriage, sati, etc. had no sanction in ancient texts.
- The knowledge of these texts gave reformers a sense of confidence and moral support to promote new laws.
What were the different reasons people had for not sending girls to school?
People had the following reasons :
- People feared that school would take girls away from home.
- It would prevent them from doing their domestic duties.
- They would have to travel through public places in order to reach school.
- This would have a corrupting influence on them.
- In many parts of the country, people believed that if a girl was educated, she would become a widow.
Why were Christian missionaries attacked by many people in the country? Would some people have supported them too? If so, for what reasons?
People suspected that Christian missionaries were involved in the forced conversion of the poor and tribal people from Hinduism to Christianity. If some people have supported them, it must be due to the reason that the poor and the tribal people, converted to Christianity, would get a golden opportunity of going to school. The school would equip them with some resources to make their way into a changing world.
In the British period, what new opportunities opened up for people who came from castes that were regarded as “low”?
These opportunities were as follows:
- Christian missionaries began setting up schools for tribal groups and lower-caste children. These children were thus equipped with some resources to make their way into a changing world.
- Job opportunities were opening up in the cities. There was work in the factories that were coming up and jobs in municipalities.
- The demands of labour as coolies, diggers, carriers, bricklayers, sewage cleaners, sweepers, palanquin bearers, rickshaw pullers increased.
- Job opportunities also opened up in plantations in Assam, Mauritius, Trinidad, and Indonesia.
How did Jyotirao the reformers justify their criticism of caste inequality in society?
Jyotirao attacked the Brahmans, claim that they were superior to others because they were Aryans. Phule argued that the Aryans were outsiders. They came from outside the sub-continent and defeated and subjugated the true children of the country – those who had lived here from before the coming of the Aryans. These Aryans established their dominance and began looking at the defeated population as low-caste people. Phule opined that the “upper’ castes had no right to their land and power. The land, in fact, belonged to the natives, who were considered as low-caste people.
Why did Phule dedicate his book Gulamgiri to the American movement to free slaves?
In 1873, Phule wrote a book named Gulamgiri meaning slavery. Some ten years before this, the American civil war had been fought which led to the end of slavery in America. That is why Phule dedicated his book to all those Americans who had fought to free slaves. Phule established a connection in his book, Gulamgiri between the conditions of the lower- castes in India and the black slaves in America.
What did Ambedkar want to achieve through the Temple Entry movement?
Ambedkar led three temple entry movements between 1927 and 1935. His sole purpose behind these movements was to make people see the power of caste prejudices within society.
Why were Jyotirao Phule and Ramaswamy Naicker critical of the national movement? Did their criticism help the national struggle in any way?
They were critical of the national movement because the nationalists often made seating arrangements following caste distinctions at feasts. The lower castes were made to sit at a distance from the upper castes. Their criticism helped the national struggle to a great extent. Ramaswamy Naicker inspired the untouchables to fight for their dignity by initiating the Self Respect Movement.