Pastoralists in the Modern World CBSE Class 9
Topic– 2: Colonial rule and Pastoral Life
Very Short Answer Type Questions. [1 Mark]
- How did the life of pastoralists change dramatically under colonial rule?
Ans. Their grazing grounds shrank, their movements were regulated and the revenue paid by them increased.
- Why did the colonial state want to transform all grazing lands into cultivated farms?
Ans. (i) Lard revenue was one of the main sources of its finance
(ii) By expanding cultivation, it could increase its revenue collection.
- What were the Forest Acts?
Ans. Through these Acts, some forests which produced valuable timber were declared ‘Reserved’. No pastoralists were allowed across to these forests. Other forests were classified as ‘protected’. In these, some customary grazing rights of pastoralists were granted but their movements were severely restricted.
- How did the Forest Acts change the lives of pastoralists?
Ans. They were prevented from entering many forests. Even in the forest, they were allowed entry, their movements were regulated. They needed a permit to enter and the timing of their entry and departure was specified.
- What was the meaning and purpose of the Criminal Tribes Act of 1871?
Ans. By this Act many communities of craftsmen, traders and pastoralists were classified as criminal Tribes. They were stated to be criminal by nature and birth. These communities were expected to live only in notified village settlements.
- What did the colonial government do to increase and expand taxation?
Ans. The tax was imposed on land on canal water, on salt, on trade goods, and even on animals. Pastoralists had to pay tax on every animal they grazed on the pastures.
- How did the pastoralists cope with the changes?
Ans. Some reduced the number of cattle in their herds. Others discovered new pastures. Richer
pastoralists bought land, settled down and gave up a nomadic life.
Short Answer Type Questions. [3 Marks]
- How did the Forest Acts change the life of pastoralists?
Ans. Forest Acts were enacted to protect and preserve forests for timber which was of commercial importance. These Acts changed the life of pastoralists. They were now prevented from entering many forests that had earlier provided valuable forage for their cattle. They were issued permits which monitored their entry into and exit from forests. They could not stay in the forests as much as they liked because the permit specified the number of days and hours they could spend in the forests. The permit ruled their lives.
- When was the Criminal Tribes Act passed? What effect did it have on the forest tribes?
Ans. The colonial government wanted to rule over a settled population. They wanted the rural population to live a settled life in villages. People who moved from place to place were looked upon with suspicion and regarded as criminals. The Criminal Tribes Act was passed in 1871 by which many nomadic communities were declared as criminal tribes. They were supposed to be criminals by nature and birth. Once this Act came into force, these communities were expected to live in notified village settlements. They were not allowed to move out without permits. The village police kept a continuous watch on them.
10. How did the pastoralists cope with the changes during the colonial period?
Ans. Under colonial rule, the life of the pastoralists changed completely. Their grazing grounds became less, their movements were regulated, the revenues they had to pay increased, their trade and crafts and agricultural produce declined. The pastoralists adjusted with these changes. They reduced the number of cattle in their herds. They discovered new pastures. Some bought land and began to lead a settled life. Some poor peasants borrowed money to survive. In due course of time, they lost their cattle and sheep and became labourers.
11. Why did the British introduce Wasteland Rules? How did they affect the pastoralists? Explain briefly.
Ans. Wasteland rules were introduced because the colonial officials all uncultivated land appeared to be unproductive. It produced neither revenue nor agricultural produce.
By these rules, uncultivated land was taken over and given to select individuals. These individuals were given concessions and encouraged to settle these lands. Some of them were made headmen of villages. In most areas, lands taken over were actually grazing tracts, regularly used by pastoralists and the decline of pastures created trouble for the pastoralists.
Long Answer Type Questions. [5 Marks]
- What effect did the colonial rule have on the pastoralists? How did this happen?
Ans. Colonial rule had far-reaching effects on the pastoralists and their lives. With the advent of colonialism, the pastoralists found that their movements became restricted, the grazing grounds for their cattle reduced in size and the revenue they had to pay increased. In addition, their agricultural stock dwindled and their trade and crafts were on the verge of destruction.
(i) The land was very important for the colonial state. It brought revenue as well as produced crops, both food as well as cash crops. Land revenue was the main source of finance for the state and cash crops were required for British industries in England. Hence, all land that was not cultivated was regarded as wasteland which could be brought under cultivation. In the mid 19th century onwards Wasteland Rules were enacted to bring cultivated land under cultivation. This greatly reduced the area of land which was being used as pastures by pastoral herds. Pastures began to decline at an alarming speed.
(ii) Certain Forest Acts were enacted in different provinces. This happened in the middle of the 19th century. According to these Acts, forests were categorised as ‘reserved’ and ‘protected’. Those forests which produced commercial timber were known as
‘reserved’, while those in which some customary pastoral rights were granted but their movements severely restricted were known as ‘protected’. These Acts changed the lives of pastoralists. Their entry into the forests was restricted. They were issued permits which had details of their entry and exit from the forest areas. These passes also specified the dates they could enter the forest. They could not remain in the forest at their will and in areas of their choice.
(iii) The colonial government wanted to rule over a settled population and not a nomadic one. They were highly suspicious of the nomadic pastoralists. The colonial government passed the Criminal Tribes Act in 1871 by which certain communities were classified as criminal by nature and birth. They had to live within a notified area and not move without a permit. They were constantly under the supervision of the village policemen.
(iv) The colonial government-imposed taxes on land, water, trade goods, etc. They even imposed a tax on animals. Grazing tax was also introduced in the grazing tracts. The pastoralists had to pay a tax on every animal they had, in addition to the grazing tax.
The systems of tax collection were very efficient.
Why did the colonial government pass the law Criminal Tribes Act and the imposition of Grazing Tax?
Ans. British officials were suspicious of nomadic people. They distrusted mobile craftsmen and traders who hawked their goods in villages and pastoralists who changed their places of residence every season, moving in search of good pastures for their herds. The colonial government wanted to rule over a settled population. They wanted the rural people to live in villages, in fixed places with fixed rights in particular fields. Such a population was easy to be identified and control. Those who were settled were seen as peaceful and law-abiding; those who were nomadic were considered to be criminal. Because of all the above reasons, in 1871 the colonial government in India had passed the Criminal Tribes
Act. By this Act, many communities of craftsmen, traders and pastoralists were classified as criminal tribes. They were stated to be criminal by nature and birth. To expand its revenue income, the colonial government imposed the grazing tax. Pastoralists had to pay tax on every animal they grazed on the pastures.
- Explain any four laws which were introduced by the colonial government in India which changed the lives of pastoralists.
Ans. (i) From the mid-nineteenth century, Wasteland Rules were enacted in various parts of the country. By these rules, uncultivated lands were taken over and given to selected individuals. (ii)By the mid-nineteenth century, various Forest Acts were also enacted in different provinces. Through these Acts, some forests which produced valuable timber like deodar or sal were declared ‘Reserved’. No pastoralist was allowed access to these forests. Other forests were classified as ‘protected’. (iii)In 1871, the colonial government in India passed the ‘Criminal Tribes Act’. By this Act, many communities of craftsmen, traders and pastoralists were classified as Criminal Tribes. They were stated to be criminal by nature and birth. Once this Act came into force, these communities were expected to live only in notified village settlements. (iv)To expand its revenue income, the colonial government looked for every possible source of taxation. So the tax was imposed on land, on canal water, on salt, on trade goods, and even on animals (the Grazing Tax).
- How was the Grazing Tax implemented by the British on the pastoralists during the mid-nineteenth century? Explain.
Ans. Pastoralists had to pay tax on every animal they grazed on the pastures. In most pastoral tracts of India, grazing tax was introduced in the mid-nineteenth century. The tax per head of cattle went up rapidly and the system of the collection was made increasingly efficient. During the 1850s to the 1880s, the right to collect the tax was auctioned out to contractors. These contractors tried to extract as high a tax as they could to recover the money they had paid to the state and earn as much profit as they could within the year. By the 1880s the government began collecting taxes directly from the pastoralists.
Each of them was given a pass. To enter a grazing tract, a cattle herder had to show the pass and pay the tax. The number of cattle heads he had and the amount of tax he paid was entered on the pass.