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Women, Caste and Reformx

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NCERT Solutions for Class 8 History Chapter 7

This chapter explores the social conditions of women and the rise of reform movements in 19th century India. Here’s a quick breakdown:

Women’s Status:

  • Limited Rights and Opportunities: Women faced restrictions on education, property ownership, and social participation. Practices like child marriage and sati were prevalent.

Need for Reform:

  • Social Evils: Many reformers believed these practices were barbaric and needed to be abolished. They argued for a more just and equitable society.
  • Western Influence: Exposure to Western ideas of equality and women’s rights influenced some reformers.

Reformers and Movements:

  • Raja Ram Mohan Roy: A pioneer of reform, he advocated for abolishing sati and promoting widow remarriage. He also emphasized female education.
  • Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar: He championed women’s education and campaigned against child marriage.
  • Jyotirao Phule: A social reformer from Maharashtra, he fought against caste discrimination and advocated for women’s education, particularly among lower castes.
  • Sarda Act (1929): This act, passed much later, finally outlawed child marriage in India.

Impact of Reform Movements:

  • Gradual Change: While widespread change took time, these movements initiated a dialogue on social reform and challenged traditional practices.
  • Education for Girls: The importance of female education gained recognition, paving the way for future generations.
  • Seeds of Change: These reform movements laid the foundation for future struggles for women’s rights in India.

NCERT Solutions for Class 8 History Chapter 7

Exercise

1. What social ideas did the following people support:

  1. Rammohun Roy
  2. Dayanand Saraswati
  3. Veerasalingam Pantulu
  4. Jyotirao Phule
  5. Pandita Ramabai
  6. Periyar
  7. Mumtaz Ali
  8. Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar

Ans : 

Rammohun Roy (1772-1833):

  • Social Reform: A key figure in the Bengal Renaissance, he advocated for social reforms like abolishing sati (widow burning) and promoting widow remarriage.
  • Education: He emphasized the importance of education for both men and women, establishing schools for girls and introducing modern education systems.
  • Religious Reform: He sought to reform Hinduism, rejecting idol worship and advocating for monotheism. He founded the Brahmo Samaj, a monotheistic Hindu sect.

Dayanand Saraswati (1824-1883):

  • Arya Samaj: Founded the Arya Samaj, a Hindu reform movement that aimed to revive Vedic principles and reject idol worship.
  • Education and Social Reform: He promoted education for all, including women, and advocated against social evils like child marriage and caste discrimination.
  • Vedic Supremacy: He believed in the supremacy of the Vedas, the oldest scriptures of Hinduism, and emphasized returning to their original teachings.

Veerasalingam Pantulu (1826-1919):

  • Women’s Rights: A champion of women’s rights, he campaigned against child marriage, sati, and polygamy.
  • Widow Remarriage: He actively supported widow remarriage and established an organization to help widows.
  • Education and Social Reform: He promoted education for both men and women and advocated for social reforms like inter-caste marriages.

Jyotirao Phule (1827-1890):

  • Anti-Caste Activist: A fierce critic of the caste system, he fought for equality and social justice for lower castes and untouchables.
  • Education for All: He established schools for lower castes and untouchables, particularly girls, to provide them with education and opportunities.
  • Women’s Rights: He advocated for women’s rights, including education, property ownership, and freedom from child marriage.

Pandita Ramabai (1856-1900):

  • Women’s Education and Empowerment: She dedicated her life to educating and empowering women, establishing the Sharada Sadan, a school and refuge for widows.
  • Social Reform: She campaigned against child marriage, sati, and purdah (seclusion of women) and advocated for women’s property rights.
  • Christianity: She converted to Christianity and established the Mukti Sadan, a Christian orphanage and school for girls.

Periyar E.V. Ramasamy (1879-1973):

  • Self-Respect Movement: Founded the Self-Respect Movement, a social reform movement that challenged Brahminical dominance and advocated for social equality.
  • Anti-Caste Activist: He strongly opposed the caste system and fought for the rights of lower castes and untouchables.
  • Women’s Rights: He supported women’s rights, including education, property ownership, and freedom from child marriage.

Mumtaz Ali (1882-1951):

  • Ahmadiyya Movement: A prominent Ahmadi Muslim leader, he advocated for the teachings of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the founder of the Ahmadiyya movement.
  • Social Reform: He promoted education, social justice, and interfaith harmony.
  • Community Development: He established schools, hospitals, and other institutions to serve the Ahmadiyya community and beyond.

Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar (1801-1891):

  • Education for Women: A pioneer in women’s education, he established schools for girls and campaigned against child marriage.
  • Social Reform: He advocated for social reforms like widow remarriage and the abolition of untouchability.
  • Bengali Language: He played a significant role in the development of the Bengali language and literature.

4. State whether true or false:

  1. When the British captured Bengal they framed many new laws to regulate the rules regarding marriage, adoption, the inheritance of property, etc.
  2. Social reformers had to discard the ancient texts in order to argue for reform in social practices.
  3. Reformers got full support from all sections of the people of the country.
  4. The Child Marriage Restraint Act was passed in 1929.

Ans : 

  • False: The British initially applied existing customary laws regarding marriage, adoption, and inheritance when they captured Bengal. They introduced new laws later.
  • False: Social reformers like Raja Ram Mohan Roy often used religious texts to argue for reform, reinterpreting them to promote their ideas.
  • False: Reformers faced opposition from conservative sections of society who were invested in maintaining traditional practices.
  • True: The Child Marriage Restraint Act was passed in 1929.

3. How did the knowledge of ancient texts help the reformers promote new laws?

Ans : Reformers in India used ancient texts to:

  • Challenge existing practices by showing they weren’t in the original teachings.
  • Gain authority for their arguments by referencing respected scriptures.
  • Build support by finding common ground for reform within religious beliefs.

4. What were the different reasons people had for not sending girls to school?

Ans : Here are some reasons why people in 19th century India might not have sent girls to school:

  • Domestic Duties:  Many families believed a girl’s primary responsibility was to help with housework and prepare for marriage. Education was seen as unnecessary or even a hindrance to these duties.
  • Safety Concerns: Letting girls travel outside the home, especially to attend schools in public spaces, was a concern for some families.
  • Limited Benefits: Education wasn’t seen as directly beneficial for girls who were expected to become homemakers. The focus was often on practical skills learned at home.
  • Cost and Opportunity Cost:  School fees and the loss of a girl’s help with chores could be a burden for families, especially those in poverty.
  • Traditional Gender Roles:  Societal norms often emphasized girls’ roles in the domestic sphere, and education wasn’t seen as important for them.
  • Early Marriage: Many girls were married young, further limiting the perceived need for formal education.

5. Why were Christian missionaries attacked by many people in the country? Would some people have supported them too? If so, for what reasons?

Ans : 

Missionaries in India faced attacks for:

  • Disrupting traditional religions and culture.
  • Challenging the caste system.
  • Being seen as tools of colonialism.

Some still supported them for:

  • Offering education, especially for girls.
  • Providing healthcare.
  • Advocating social reforms.
  • Creating job opportunities.

6. In the British period, what new opportunities opened up for people who came from castes that were regarded as “low”?

Ans : British rule, though oppressive, offered some openings for lower castes in India:

  • City jobs: New cities needed workers for building, cleaning, and services, creating opportunities beyond traditional work.
  • Military service: Lower castes could join the British army, escaping caste restrictions and earning a steady income.
  • Limited education: Some lower castes accessed mission schools or government institutions, offering a path to better jobs.
  • New ideas: Exposure to British ideas like equality might have sparked a questioning of the caste system in some.

These opportunities were limited, and the caste system remained strong.

7. How did Jyotirao, the reformer, justify their criticism of caste inequality in society?

Ans : Jyotirao Phule, a prominent social reformer in 19th century India, challenged the caste system through a multi-pronged approach:

  • Historical Challenge: He argued that the Aryans, considered upper caste, were not indigenous but had subjugated the original inhabitants, forcing them into lower castes. This challenged the legitimacy of the caste hierarchy.
  • Religious Reinterpretation: He reinterpreted Hindu scriptures, emphasizing the importance of treating all people equally. He argued that true Hinduism did not support caste discrimination.
  • Social and Economic Upliftment:  He focused on empowering lower castes by establishing schools for girls and boys, especially untouchables,  promoting education and challenging the idea of lower castes being unfit for learning.
  • Women’s Rights: He recognized the link between caste and gender oppression. By advocating for women’s education and opposing child marriage, he fought for a more egalitarian society.

8. Why did Phule dedicate his book Gulamgiri to the American movement to free slaves?

Ans : Jyotirao Phule dedicated his book “Gulamgiri” (meaning “slavery”) to the American movement to free slaves because he saw a strong parallel between the condition of African Americans enslaved in the US and the condition of lower castes in India.

Here’s why this comparison resonated with Phule:

  • Similar Oppression: Both African Americans and lower castes faced brutal oppression, denied basic rights, and forced into menial labor.
  • Challenging the Status Quo: The success of the American abolitionist movement in ending slavery offered Phule hope that the oppressive caste system in India could also be dismantled.
  • Highlighting Injustice: By drawing this connection, Phule aimed to raise awareness about the plight of lower castes in India and garner international support for social reform.

9. What did Ambedkar want to achieve through the temple entry movement?

Ans : Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, a prominent leader for Dalit (untouchable) rights, led the Temple Entry Movement in the 1920s and 30s. His goals were multifaceted:

  • Equal Rights:  One primary aim was to secure equal access to temples for Dalits, who were traditionally denied entry due to their caste status. This challenged the notion of untouchability and the social exclusion it enforced.
  • Self-Respect:  By demanding entry, Ambedkar sought to uplift the self-respect and dignity of Dalits. Participating in religious practices, previously denied to them, would empower them and challenge societal discrimination.
  • Highlighting Injustice:  The movement served as a powerful public display of the injustice faced by Dalits. It exposed the discriminatory practices ingrained in religious institutions and forced a national conversation on caste inequality.
  • Social Change:  Ambedkar hoped that by highlighting the issue and securing temple entry rights, it would pave the way for broader social reforms and the eradication of untouchability in all spheres of life.

10. Why were Jyotirao Phule and Ramaswami Naicker critical of the national movement? Did their criticism help the national struggle in any way?

Ans : Both Jyotirao Phule and E. V. Ramasamy Naicker were critical of the national movement during their respective times. Phule was skeptical of the nationalism promoted by the upper castes, arguing that their calls for unity among Shudras, Muslims, and Parsis were superficial and insincere. He noted that such unity was only temporary and would eventually revert to a status quo where upper castes dominated. Naicker, initially a member of the Congress party, became disillusioned and left after witnessing caste-based seating arrangements at a nationalist-organized feast. Their outspoken criticism and incisive writings spurred introspection and self-criticism among upper-caste nationalist leaders.

NCERT Solutions for Class 8 History Chapter 7

FAQ’s

What is the main focus of NCERT Solutions for Class 8 History Chapter 7?

The main focus of NCERT Solutions for Class 8 History Chapter 7 is to provide detailed explanations and insights into the historical events covered in the chapter, helping students understand the significance and impact of these events.

Why is it important to study NCERT Solutions for Class 8 History Chapter 7?

Studying NCERT Solutions for Class 8 History Chapter 7 is important as it helps students grasp the key historical events and their impact, ensuring a thorough understanding that is essential for exams and overall historical knowledge.

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NCERT Solutions for Class 8 History Chapter 7 help students by providing clear, well-structured answers to textbook questions, aiding in the comprehension of historical concepts, and enhancing retention through detailed explanations and examples.

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Yes, NCERT Solutions for Class 8 History Chapter 7 are reliable for exam preparation as they are based on the latest NCERT syllabus and provide accurate, comprehensive answers to all textbook questions.

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NCERT Solutions for Class 8 History Chapter 7 can be accessed online through various educational websites like education85, apps, and platforms that offer free or subscription-based access to these resources.

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Yes, the solutions provided in NCERT Solutions for Class 8 History Chapter 7 are aligned with the latest NCERT guidelines and syllabus, ensuring that they are up-to-date and relevant for current academic requirements.

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Yes, NCERT Solutions for Class 8 History Chapter 7 are designed to be comprehensive and detailed, making them ideal for self-study. They help students independently understand and learn historical concepts at their own pace.

How do NCERT Solutions for Class 8 History Chapter 7 explain complex historical concepts?

The solutions break down complex historical concepts into simpler language, use illustrative examples, and provide detailed explanations to help students understand and retain the material effectively.

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