NCERT Solutions for Class 8 Social Science History Chapter 7 Women, Caste and Reform contain solutions to the exercises given in the History book Our Pasts -III. These answers have been explained in a manner that you will easily understand all the concepts and get your doubts cleared without even seeking anyone’s assistance. You can read and download all the questions and answers in PDF format.
Class 8 History Women, Caste and Reform Questions and Answers
Question 1: What social ideas did the following people support?
Rammohun Roy Dayanand
Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar
Rammohun Roy: Supported the banning of the practice of ‘Sati’
Dayanand Saraswati: Supported Widow remarriage
Veerasalingam Pantulu: Supported Widow remarriage
Jyotirao Phule: Supported equality among castes
Pandita Ramabai: Supported Women’s Education, Economic Independence for women and set up widow homes
Periyar: Supported equality for untouchables.
Mumtaz Ali: Supported Women’s Education
Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar: Supported Widow remarriage
Question 2: State whether true or false:
(a) When the British captured Bengal they framed many new laws to regulate the rules regarding marriage, adoption, 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.
Question 3: How did the knowledge of ancient texts help the reformers promote new laws?
Answer: Whenever the reformers wished to challenge a practice that seemed harmful, they tried to find a verse or sentence in the ancient sacred texts that supported their point of view. They then suggested that the practice as it existed at present was against early tradition. Thus, the knowledge of ancient texts helped the reformers promote new laws.
Question 4: What were the different reasons people had for not sending girls to school?
Answer: Different reasons people had for not sending girls to school were as follows:
- They feared that schools would take girls away from home and prevent them from doing their domestic duties.
- Girls had to travel through public places in order to reach school. People believed that this would have a corrupting influence on them.
- They believed that girls should stay away from public spaces.
Question 5: Why were Christian missionaries attacked by many people in the country? Would some people have supported them too? If so, for what reasons?
Answer: The Christian missionaries were attacked by the people, as they were involved in the religious conversion of poor and tribal people that is, converting a Hindu into a Christian. These missionaries had also set up schools for tribal and poor kids to learn. However, the larger section of people who looked down upon the poor people and tribal people did not like the idea of exposing tribal people to education. Hence, the attacks on Christian missionaries started.
Question 6: In the British period, what new opportunities opened up for people who came from castes that were regarded as “low”?
Answer: The British period saw the rise of the cities. Many of the poor began leaving their villages and towns to look for jobs that were opening up in the cities. As the cities were growing, there was a great demand for labour for digging drains, laying
roads, constructing buildings, working in factories and municipalities, etc. This required coolies, diggers, carriers, bricklayers, sewage cleaners. This demand for labour was met by the population migrating from the villages and towns. There was also the demand for labour in the various plantations, both within the country and abroad. The army too offered opportunities for employment.
Many of these migrating people belonged to the low castes. For them, the cities and the plantations represented the opportunity to get away from the oppressive hold that upper- caste landowners exercised over their lives and the daily humiliation they suffered.
Question 7: How did Jyotirao the reformer justify his criticism of caste inequality in society?
Answer: Jyotirao Phule developed his own ideas about the injustices of caste society. He attacked the Brahmans’ claim that they were superior to others, since they were Aryans. He argued that the Aryans were foreigners who defeated and subjugated the true children of the country who had lived here from before the coming of the Aryans. He said that the upper caste had no right to their land and power. The land belonged to the low caste people who were the original inhabitants of the land.
Question 8: Why did Phule dedicate his book Gulamgirito the American movement to free slaves?
Answer: Jyotirao Phule wrote Gulamgiri in 1873. It means slavery. While writing this book, he was concerned with all forms of inequalities and injustices existing in society – whether it was the plight of the upper-caste women, the miseries of the labourers, or the humiliation of the low castes. By dedicating his book Gulamgiri to the American movement to free slaves, he linked the conditions of the black slaves in America with those of the “lower” castes in India. This comparison also contains an expression of hope that one day, like the end of slavery in America, there would be an end to all sorts of caste discriminations in Indian society.
Question 9: What did Ambedkar want to achieve through the temple entry movement?
Answer: Dr. B. R. Ambedkar started a temple entry movement in 1927 which was participated by his Mahar caste followers. Brahmin priests were outraged when the lower castes used water from the temple tank. Dr. Ambedkar led three such movements for temple entry between 1927 and 1935. His aim was to make everyone see the power of caste prejudices within the society.
Question 10: Why were Jyotirao Phule and Ramaswamy Naicker critical of the national movement? Did their criticism help the national struggle in any way?
Answer: Both Jyoti Rao Phule and Ramaswamy Naicker were critical of the national movement, as they thought that there were no differences between anti-colonialists and the colonialists. Phule thought that the upper-caste people who wanted to fight against the Britishers will want to rule once the Britishers leave. Phule was always against the upper caste people as he called them the ‘outsiders.’
Naicker was a part of Congress party and his experiences led him to believe that the party was not free from the taint of casteism. So, he was reluctant to take part in the anti-British national movement that was not concerned about creating a caste-less society.
Their criticism helped strengthen the national struggle. Reformists started restructuring their thoughts to get rid of the differences between the upper caste and lower caste. The national struggle became the tool to eradicate caste differences, religious and gender inequality.