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Class 8 NCERT Solutions History Chapter 5 - When People Rebel

When People Rebel Exercise 63

Solution 1

Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi wanted the East India Company to recognise her adopted son as the heir to the kingdom of Jhansi after the death of her husband. The British however, refused to accept her adopted son as the king and annexed Jhansi under the Doctrine of Lapse.

Solution 2

The British passed a new law in 1850 which made conversion to Christianity easier. This law also allowed an Indian convert to inherit the property of his ancestors.

Solution 3

The British introduced a new cartridge which had a greased paper cover. This paper cover had to be bitten off before loading the cartridge into the rifle. The rumors spread that the greased paper was made up of beef and pork. The Hindu and the Muslim soldiers felt that it was a move by the British to defame their religion.

Solution 4

Bahadur Shah Zafar was the last direct descendant of the Mughal rulers. He was proclaimed as the ‘leader of the revolt’ by the sepoys. He wrote letters to several kings and nawabs to support the sepoys in their war against the British. After the failure of the revolt of 1857, Bahadur Shah Zafar was tried in the court and was sentenced to imprisonment. His sons and grandson were shot dead by the British. He along with his wife was sent to a prison in Rangoon where he died in 1862.

When People Rebel Exercise 64

Solution 5

There were many reasons for the confidence of the British rulers about their position in India before May 1857. These were:

  1. Most of the Indian kings and the nawabs were under the British rule. Their autonomy and authority was curtailed by the presence of the British residents which were stationed in their courts. Thus, the British thought that they would not be able to plot against them.
  2. Various kingdoms were forced to disband their armies and enter in to the Subsidiary Alliance system with the British. Under this system, the British had the responsibility of protecting the kingdom against any external attacks. Hence, the British were maintaining their own troops in the states which entered into this alliance with the British.
  3. The decline of the Mughal Empire which had been ruling the country since last three hundred years further strengthened the position of the British in India.

Thus, the belief of the Company that it was the paramount power in India and no king or nawab could challenge its authority boosted its confidence and led them to believe they could never be challenged in the country.

Solution 6

The Mughal kings had been ruling the country since last three hundred years. Though, after the death of Aurangzeb, the empire began to disintegrate, there were many kings and nawabs who still owed allegiance to the Mughal ruler. They were controlling and ruling various parts of the country on the behalf of the Mughal ruler. Threatened by the expansionist policies of the British, the kings and the nawabs felt that they could rule again under the British authority.

When Bahadur Shah Zafar took over the leadership of the revolt and wrote letters to various chiefs and the rulers to support the sepoys, the rebellion quickly spread in the northern parts of the country. The leadership of the Mughal emperor seemed to provide legitimacy to it. Sepoys revolted in Delhi, Awadh and Kanpur. The people also participated in the revolt. The leadership of Bahadur Shah Zafar gave a national character to the revolt which was mainly centered in northern parts of the country.

Solution 7

Awadh was one of the main centers of the revolt. Many Sepoys, villagers, peasants and landlords revolted against the British. After the British suppressed the revolt, they tried to win back the loyalty of the people. The British allowed the loyal land owners to enjoy traditional rights over land. Those landowners who had rebelled were assured of their safety and rights over land if they had not killed any white man. It was through these measures that the British succeeded in securing the submission of rebel landowners of Awadh.

Solution 8

Transfer of Powers from the Company to the Crown: An Act of 1858 was passed in the British parliament which ended the rule of the East India Company and established the rule of the British crown over the Indian territories to ensure smooth management of Indian affairs.

Changes in Administration: A British cabinet member was appointed as the Secretary of State for India who was responsible for all matters that were concerned with the governance of the country.

The Governor General was now called the Viceroy. Through these measures, the British government accepted the direct responsibility for ruling India.

Assurances to the Local Rulers and the zamindars The British government assured all the ruling chiefs of the country that their lands would not be indiscriminately taken away. They were also allowed to pass on their kingdoms to their adopted sons.

However, the Indian rulers had to accept Queen Victoria as the paramount power and had to work as subordinates of the British Crown.

Reorganization of the Army: It was decided to reduce the number of Indian soldiers in the army and increase the number of European soldiers in the Indian army.

Since the Sikh, Gurukhas and the Pathan soldiers had helped the British in suppressing the rebellion, the British decided to recruit them in large numbers in the Indian army.

Policy of Non Interference in the Religious Policies of the Natives: The British decided to respect the religious, social and cultural practices of the Indians.

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