Detailed, Step-by-Step NCERT Solutions for Class 12 History Chapter 8 Peasants, Zamindars and the State: Agrarian Society and the Mughal Empire Questions and Answers were solved by Expert Teachers as per NCERT (CBSE) Book guidelines covering each topic in chapter to ensure complete preparation.
Peasants, Zamindars and the State: Agrarian Society and the Mughal EmpireNCERT Solutions for Class 12 History Chapter 8
Peasants, Zamindars and the State: Agrarian Society and the Mughal Empire Questions and Answers Class 12 History Chapter 8
What are the problems in using the Ain as a source for reconstructing agrarian history ? How do historians deal with this situation ?
Ain-i-Akbari was written by Abul Fazl in 1598 C.E. He had revised it five times to avoid any kind of errors. He collected and compiled all his information with an extra caution. He verified and cross-checked all the oral testimonies before their inclusion in his book. In fact, he wanted to minimise the chances of transcriptional errors. However, many historians have found some problems in this book. First of all, they have found out many errors in totalling.
Secondly, the quantitative data has not been uniformly collected from all the provinces. For example, Abul Fazl has not given the caste composition of Zamindars in Bengal and Orissa. Thirdly, he had not given any vital parameters in the determination of prices and wages. He based his assessment on the data that he got from Agra.
To get rid of these drawbacks, the historians use all documents that they found in Gujarat, Rajasthan and Maharashtra in the 17th and 18th centuries. They have also come across many documents of East India Company which throw a light on the agriculture of Mughal times.
To what extent is it possible to characterise agricultural production in the sixteenth-seventeenth centuries as subsistence agriculture ? Give reasons for your answer.
How were the subsistence and commercial production closely inter¬twined in an average peasant’s holding during the Mughal period in 16th and 17th centuries ? Explain. (C.B.S.E 2014 (O.D))
During the Mughal period, the primary purpose of agriculture was to feed the people. So most of the peasants grew basic staples such as rice, wheat or millets. They heavily depended on Monsoon which was intrinsically the backbone of the Indian agriculture. Additional water was required to irrigate the fields and therefore artificial systems of irrigation were developed.
In the northern India, the state undertook the digging of new canals (nahar or nala) and the repair of old canals like Shah-nahr in Punjab. Besides, the farmers used those technologies which harnessed animal power.
The agriculture moved around two major seasonal cycles. The Kharif was sown in the autumn season. The Rabi was sown in the spring season. All the farmers produced a minimum of two crops in a year. A few others even grew three crops. Thus, agriculture was not only for subsistence but also to earn profit or more money.
The use of term Jins-i-Kamil meant perfect crops. Most of the peasants grew cash crops which brought in more revenue. They considered cotton and sugarcane an excellent crops to earn profit. Thus, subsistence and commercial production were closely linked to an average peasant.
Describe the role played by women in agricultural production.
How were women considered an important resource in agrarian society ? (C.B.S.E. 2012 (O.D.))
Examine the role of women as an important resource in agrarian society in the 16th-17th centuries. (C.B.S.E. 2019 (Comp.))
Describe briefly the role of women in agrarian society during 16th and ,17th centuries. (C.B.S.E. 2012 (O.D.))
During the Mughal period, women worked shoulder to shoulder with men in the fields. Men tilled and ploughed the fields whereas women sowed, weeded, threshed and winnowed the harvest. In other words, there was no gender-based segregation in the Mughal society. Both worked hard to enhance the agricultural production.
The women belonging to the landed gentry enjoyed the right to inherit property. Many examples have been cited by the historians from Punjab to show that women actively participated in the rural land market. They sold the property which they had inherited. A few women also performed artisanal tasks. They spun yarn and sifted and kneaded clay for pottery. Besides, they did the embroidery work.
Discuss, with examples, the significance of monetary transactions during the period under consideration.
(i) During the Mughal period, India witnessed a growth in trade via sea. It led to the start of an export of various goods. Due to this export, there was a rapid inflow of silver in the market in Asia. Much part of this silver also reached India. It was a good thing for India as it lacked natural resources of silver. As a result, there was an economic stability due to silver currency.
There was an unparalleled expansion in the minting of coins and monetary transactions. Besides, the Mughals found it easy to collect the revenue in cash. Jovanni Karari, an Italian traveller, passed through India in 1690 C.E. He has clearly written how silver reached India from all parts of the world. From his description, we also come to know how there was an exchange of cash and goods in India in the 17th century.
(ii) The mutual exchange in villages was also in cash. As the villages had set up links in the urban markets, there was a considerable increase in monetary business. In this way, villages became an important part of the monetary market.
(iii) Due to the monetary transactions, it was easy to pay daily wages to labourers in cash.
Examine the evidence that suggest that land revenue was important for the Mughal fiscal system.
Examine vivid aspects of the Land revenue system of the Mughal empire. (C.B.S.E. 2019 (Comp.))
Land revenue was the main source of income during the Mughal period. Therefore the State considered it vital to create an administrative apparatus to ensure control over agricultural production. This arrangement was fixed to collected revenue in the whole country. There was an office (daftar) of the Diwan who supervised the fiscal system of the Mughal Empire.
The collection of revenue had two important stages. First of all, the revenue was assessed. Secondly, it was collected. The first stage was called as the Jama and the second stage was referred to as the Hasil. According to a decree of Akbar, it was the duty of revenue collector (amil-guzar) to make cultivators pay in cash. However, the option of making payment in kind was also kept open. Thus, monetary transactions during the Mughal period were quite significant.
To what extent do you think caste was a factor in influencing social and economic relations in agrarian society ?
Describe caste and rural milieu of Mughal India. (C.B.S.E. 2016 (D))
Caste has greatly influenced social and economic relations of the people in an agrarian society. Because of caste-based inequalities or distinctions, we find many heterogeneous groups in the society. Many of those who tilled the land, worked as menials or agricultural labourers (majurs). As they did menial jobs in society, they were relegated to poverty. They had the lowest position in the caste hierarchy as they lacked resources.
Such caste-based distinctions and inequalities were also found in the Muslim communities where people did scavenging. They lived outside the boundaries of the village. Thus, there was a direct co-relation between caste, poverty and social status at the lower level. But at the intermediate level, these co-relations were not so marked.
In the 17th century, Marwar Rajputs were considered as important as the Jats, though these Jats had a lower status in the caste hierarchy. On the other hand, the Gauravas, who cultivated land near Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh, sought Rajput status in the 17th century. Similarly Ahirs, Gujjars and Malis rose in the caste hierarchy because they earned huge profits. In the end, we can say that caste is a great determining factor in both social and economic relations.
How were the lives of forest dwellers transformed in the sixteenth ; and seventeenth centuries ?
Who were the forest dwellers ? Explain how their lives changed in the 16th and 17th centuries. (C.B.S.E. 2008 (O.D.))
Describe the life of forest dwellers in the Mughal Era. (C.B.S.E. 2015 (O.D.))
Examine how were the lives of forest dwellers transformed in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. (C.B.S.E. 2016 (D))
Forest dwellers were often termed as Jangli in the Mughal period. But it did not mean that they had no civilisation. Rather, it means that the forest- dwellers were those people who earned their livelihood from the produce of forests. They were also engaged in hunting and shifting cultivation. They mostly performed specific seasonal activities. For example, the Bhils collected the forest produce in spring. They went on fishing in summer, they cultivated their land in the months of monsoon and went for hunting in autumn and winter. So they exercised a perpetual mobility.
Capturing and supply of elephants : Many forest-dwellers captured elephants. They supplied these elephants to the royal army. So the peshkash levied from the forest people often included a supply of elephants.
The spread of commercial agriculture : Many forest dwellers made use of the spread of commercial agriculture. They exported honey, gum and wax to other countries in the seventeenth century.
Overland trade : Many tribesmen like the Lohanis of Punjab were engaged in an overland trade between India and Afghanistan. So most of them had become Zamindars. A few of them had even become kings.
Military service : Many tribesmen rendered military services to the king. They also demanded when they became the kings, that their fraternity should provide military service. For example, the Ahom kings had people who provided them military service in exchange for land.
Examine the role played by Zamindars in the Mughal India. (C.B.S.E. 2013 (O.D.))
Explain the role of Zamindars in Mughal India during 16th-17th centuries. (C.B.S.E. 2014 (O.D.))
Explain why the Zamindars were central to the agrarian relations in the Mughal period. (C.B.S.E. Sample Paper 2011)
Explain the origin, consolidation and the role of zamindars in the villages. ‘ Were they an exploitative class ? (C.B.S.E. 2011 (D))
Analyse the role of zamindars during the Mughal period. (C.B.S.E. 2016 (D))
Explain the role played by ‘.zamindars during 16th and 17th ‘centuries in India. (C.B.S.E. 2019 (D))
The Zamindars were that class of the people who did not directly participate in the processes of agricultural production. They enjoyed an elevated status in the society.
(i) The Zamindars were the proprietors of their land. They considered their land as their property (milkiyat). They could sell, give and mortgage it. They enjoyed many social and economic privileges because of their superior status in the society.
(ii) The Zamindars belonged to the upper caste. It added to their exalted status in society.
(iii) The Zamindars rendered certain services (Khidmat) for the state for which they got respect and position in the state.
(iv) The Zamindars became very powerful because they collected revenue on behalf of the state. They also got financial compensation for this work.
(v) Another source for the power of Zamindars in society was their control over the military resources. They kept a fortress as well as an armed unit comprising of cavalry, artillery and infantry.
(vi) The Zamindars played an important role in inhabiting and developing the agricultural land. They helped in the settlements of farmers by lending them money and agricultural instruments. Because of the sale and purchase of land by the Zamindars, the market became quite brisk. Besides the Zamindars used to sell the crops grown on their land. There are evidences that the Zamindars held bazaars where even the farmers came to sell their crops.
(vii) If we observe social relations of villages of the Mughal age as a pyramid, then Zamindars were at the top, i.e., their place was the highest.
(viii) There is no doubt in the fact that the Zamindars belonged to an exploitative class. But their relations with the farmers depended on their mutual togetherness and hereditary patronge. That is why Zamindars often got support of peasants in case of their revolt against the state.
Discuss the ways in which Panchayat and village headman regulated the rural society.
Explain the ways through which Mughal village Panchayats and village headmen regulated rural society. (C.B.S.E. 2013 (D))
Explain the role of Panchayats in the Mughal rural Indian society during 16th – 17th centuries.(C.B.S.E. 2014 (D))
Examine the role of Panchayat as the main constituent of the Mughal village community. (C.B.S.E. 2014 (D))
Assess the role played by Panchayats in the villages during ’ l Mughal Period. (C.B.S.E. 2016 (O.D.))
“The village Panchayat during the Mughal period regulated rural society.” .Explain the statement. (C.B.S.E. 2016 (D))
The village Panchayat was an assembly of elders or important people of the village. In villages, where people of many castes lived, the Panchayat was usually a heterogeneous body. It represented all the castes and communities. Its decisions were binding on all its members.
Role of the Headman : The Panchayat was headed by a muqaddam or mandal. He was usually called the headman and was often chosen with consensus of the village elders. He remained in the office till he enjoyed the confidence of the elders of the village. He supervised the village accounts and was assisted by a patwari or an accountant. He also coordinated activity to tide over natural calamities like floods and tried to prevent caste-based offences.
Functions of Panchayats : The main function of the Panchayat was to ensure that all communities lived within caste boundaries. Secondly, it had the authority to levy fines. Thirdly, it could also give more serious
punishments like expulsion from the community. It acted as a deterrent to violation of caste norms.
Jati Panchayats : The Jati Panchayats had a considerable influence in rural society. In Rajasthan, the Jati Panchayats resolved civil disputes between members of different castes. They also mediated in disputed cases of land.
They also decided if the marriage were solemnised in accordance with the norms of particular castes. The decisions of the Jati Panchayats were even respected by the state.Archival records of western India, especially Rajasthan and Maharashtra, include few petitions presented to Panchayat complaining about collecting taxes forcefully or the demand of hegar, i.e., unpaid labour.
These petitions were generally submitted by most weaker sections of rural communities. These petitions were made collectively by a community or caste group against the morally illegitimate demands of elite groups. One of these demands was excessive taxes. They considered right of minimum basic means of life as their traditional rights. They wanted that Gram Panchayat should listen to this and must ensure that state must give them justice.
In case of demand of excessive taxes, different classes were advised by Panchayat to come to a compromise. When reconciliation was not possible, peasants took more drastic forms of resistance like deserting the village. As uncultivated land was easily available and there was competition over labour resources, it was an effective weapon in the hands of cultivators.