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CBSE Previous Year Question Papers Class 12 History 2015 Delhi

CBSE Previous Year Question Papers Class 12 History 2015 Delhi

Time allowed : 3 hours
Maximum marks: 80

General Instructions:

  • Answer all the questions. Some questions have internal choice. Marks are indicated against each question.
  • Answer to questions no. 1 to 3 carrying 2 marks should not exceed 30 words each.
  • Answer to questions no. 4 to 9 carrying 4 marks should not exceed 100 words each.
  • Answer to questions no. 10 to 12 carrying 8 marks should not exceed 350 words each.
  • Questions no. 13 to 15 are source based questions.
  • Question no. 16 is a Map question that includes identification and location of significant test items. Attach the map with the answer-book.

CBSE Previous Year Question Papers Class 12 History 2015 Delhi  Set – I

Part – A

Questions 1.
Why was Maury an Empire regarded as a major landmark in the early Indian history ? [2]

  1. The Mauryan Empire was the first Empire in the early Indian history which was based on mutual harmony and religious tolerance.
  2. Many historians maintained that the messages on Ashokan inscriptions were very different from that of most other rulers.

Question 2.
Name the major anthology compiled by the Alvars which is also described as the Tamil Veda. How did various chiefdoms in the Tamil region help them in the early first millennium CE ? [1 + 1 = 2]

  1. The major anthology compiled by the Alvars was the Nalayira Divya prabandham, it is also describe as the Tamil Veda.
  2. There were many significant chiefdoms in the Tamil region in the early first millennium CE. They got occasional royal patronage.

Question 3.
Explain how the conversion of (census data into convenient statistical data by the Britisher in India riddled with ambiguities in the late nineteenth century. [2]

  1. The census commissioners made categories for classifying different section of the population.
  2. However, this classification was usually arbitrary and failed to hold the fluid and overlapping identities of people.

Part – B

Question 4.
How have historians provided new insight into the subsistence strategies of the Harappan culture ? [4]

  1. The Harappans consumed a wide range of plant and animal products, including fish.
  2. The archaeologists have reconstructed dietary habits from finds of charred grains and seeds. These dietary practices have been extensively studied by archaco-botanists.
  3. Wheat, barley, lentil, chickpea, seasame and millets have been found from various Harappan sites.
  4. Animal bones of cattle, sheep, goat, buffalo and pig have been found. Various studies done by archaco-zoologists indicate that all these animals were domesticated.

Question 5.
Critically examine the limitations of the inscriptional evidences in understanding political and economic history of India. [4]

  1. Letters are very faintly engraved, and thus reconstructions are uncertain.
  2. Inscriptions may be damaged or letters missing.
  3. It is not always easy to be sure about the exact meaning of the words used in inscriptions.
  4. Not all inscriptions have been deciphered.
  5. Many inscriptions have not been translated or published.

Question 6.
“The Mahanavami Dibba in the Royal Centre of Vijaynagar has been assigned name on the basis of its form of buildings as well as functions.” Elaborate. [4]

  1. The name comes from the shape of the platform and the Mahanavami festival which was observed here.
  2. It had two of the most impressive platforms, the “Audience Hall” and the “Mahanavami Dibba”.
  3. The entire complex was surrounded by high double walls with a street running between them.
  4. The “Mahanavami Dibba” was a massive platform rising form a base of about 11,000 sq. ft. to a height of 40 ft.
  5. Rituals associated with the structure have coincided with Mahanavami of the ten-day Hindu festival during the autumn months of September and October. Known variously as Dussehra, Durga Puja and Navaratri or Mahanavami.
  6. The ceremonies performed on the occasion included worship of image, keen worship of the state horse, and the sacrifice of buffaloes.
  7. Dance, wrestling matches and processions of caparisoned horses, elephants and chariots and soldiers as well as ritual presentations before the king and his guests by the chief nayaks and subordinate kings marked the occasion.
  8. Nayakas brought gifts and tribute for the king.

Question 7.
“The heat of the Mughal Empire was its capital city.” Explain with examples. [4]

  1. Undoubtedly, the heart of the Mughal Empire was its capital city, where the court assembled. During the 16th and 17th centuries the capital cities of the Mughals usually shifted e.g., Babur took over Agra by his court was frequently on the move.
  2. Akbar decided to build a new capital at Fatehpur Sikri in the 1570s. However, in 1585 the Mughal Capital was transferred to Lahore. Its main purpose was to bring the north-west under control.
  3. Shah Jahan moved the court, army and household from Agra to Shahjahanabad in 1648.
    Shah Jahan followed sound fiscal policies and accumulated sufficient money for building activities,
  4. Shahjahanabad was a new addition to the old residential city of Delhi. It had the Red Fort, the Jama Masjid, Chandni Chowk and spacious homes for the nobility.

Question 8.
Explain how the East India Company subdued the authority of the zamindars in Bengal during 18th century. [4]

  1. Though the East India Company had recognized the zamindars yet it wanted to control and regulate them. The company subdued their (zamindars) authority and restricted their autonomy.
  2. The troops of the zamindars were disbanded by the company and custom duties were abolished. Their cutcheries (courts) were brought under the supervision of a collector appointed by the East India Company.
  3. Consequently the zamindars lost their authority to organise local justice and the local police.
  4. Now, the collectorate emerged as an alternative centre of power. The authority of the zamindars was severely curtailed.

Question 9.
Analyse the provisions of the Cabinet Mission of 1946. [4]

  1. The Cabinet Mission recommended a weak three-tier confederation. However, India was to remain united.
  2. A weak central government was proposed. It could control only foreign affairs, defence and communications. The then provincial assemblies were grouped into three sections to elect the Constituent Assembly. Sections A was for the Hindu majority provinces and Sections B and C were for the Muslim majority provinces of the north-west and the north-east.
  3. In the beginning, all the major parties accepted the provisions of the Cabinet Mission. However, the agreement was short lived. It was based on mutually opposed explanations of the plan.
  4. The Muslim League wanted the grouping to be compulsory with the right to secede from the union in the future. On the other hand, the Congress wanted that provinces be extended the right to join a group. As a result of these contradictions neither the Congress nor the League accepted the Cabinet Mission’s provisions.

Question 10.
Read the following passage and answer the question that follows : [4]
“The nationalist movement in the twentieth century drew its inspiration from the events of 1857. A whole world of nationalist imagination was woven around the Revolt. It was celebrated as the First War of Independence in which all sections of the people of India came together to fight against imperial rule.” “The Revolt of 1857 marked first nationalist challenge to the English in India.” Explain giving examples the values imbibed and practised by the rebels to set the beginning for it. Answer: The Revolt of 1857 was truly secular in its action and perception. The rebels appealed time and again to all sections of population irrespective of their caste, religion and creed.

Hindus and Muslims made a bridge of mutually accepted sentiments and the same was supported by the pillars of the Hindu-Muslim unity.

The rebellion was considered as a war in which both Hindus and Muslims had equally to lose or gain. The British tried to create cracks in the Hindu- Muslim unity, but such cracks were hardly noticeable.

Part – C

Question 11.
Explain the structural and sculptural features of the Sanchi Stupa. [4 + 4 = 8]
Structural features :

  1. The Stupas were built on the relics of Buddha and hence were considered sacred.
  2. The stupa originated as a semi-circular mound of earth, later called Anda.
  3. The Stupa evolved into a more complex structure, balancing round and square shapes.
  4. A balcony like structure represented the adobe of the Gods was placed above the Anda.
  5. Arising from the Harmika was a mast called the yashti.
  6. The Harmika was surmounted by a chhatri or umbrella.
  7. Around the mound was railing, separating the sacred space from the secular world.
  8. Sanchi Stupa had stone railing which resembled a bamboo or wooden fence.
  9. The gateways of Sanchi were richly carved and installed at the four cardinal points.

Sculpture features :

  1. Stories from Jataka tales are made in the form of sculptures on the gateways.
  2. The empty seat to indicate the mediation of the Buddha.
  3. The Stupa was meant to represent the mahaparinibbana.
  4. Another frequently used symbol was the wheel, it stood for the first sermon given by Buddha at Sarriath.
  5. The shalabhanjika motif suggest that many people who turned to Buddhism enriched it with their own pre-Buddhist and even non-Buddhist beliefs, practices and ideas.
  6. Jatakas tales contain many animal stories of e.g., elephants, horses, monkeys and cattle. Elephants signified strength and wisdom.
  7. A motif of a woman surrounded by lotus and elephants is called Maya, the mother of the Buddha and others think that it is Gajalakshmi, the Goddess of good fortune.
  8. Serpents have been depicted on the pillars of r Stupas. They are a part of popular traditions.
    Some other sculptures at Sanchi were probably not directly motivated by Buddhist ideas e.g., beautiful women swinging from the edge of the gateway holding on to a tree. Here, we find some bf the finest depictions of animals such as elephants,. horses, monkeys and cattle. Animals were generally depicted as symbols of human qualities e.g., elephants were depicted to glorify strength and wisdom.
    Other motifs are that of a woman encircled by lotuses and elephants and the serpent which is found on many pillars.

Question 12.
Examine the role of Panchayat as the main constituent of the Mughal village community. [8]
(i) Structure : The village panchayats were an assembly of elders. However, in mixed-caste i villages the panchayats were usually a heterogeneous body. The panchayats were headed by a headman known as muqaddam or mandal. Headmen used to r hold their respective offices as long as they enjoyed, the confidence of the village eleders, failing which they could be dismissed by the village elders. The ‘ main function of the headman was to supervise the preparation of village accounts, assisted by the ‘ patwari of the panchayat.

(ii) Collection of funds: The panchayat derived its funds from contributions made by individuals to a common financial pool. These funds were used for meeting the costs of entertaining revenue officials who visited the village from time to time. Expenses ‘ for community welfare activities such as tiding over natural calamities were also met from these funds.
The funds were also deployed in construction of a bund or digging a canal.

(iii) Regarding caste boundaries : One of the most important function of the panchayat was to ensure that caste boundaries among the various communities inhabiting the village were upheld. In eastern India all marriages were held in the presence of the mandal. The duty of the village headman was to oversee the conduct of the members of the village community so as to prevent any offence against their caste.

(iv) Authority to levy fines: The Panchayats had the authority to levy fines and inflict more serious forms of punishment like expulsion from the community. These meant that the person was forced to leave the village and become an out caste and he lost the right to practise his profession. Such a measure was taken as a violation of caste norms.

Question 13.
“Gandhiji encouraged the communication of the nationalist, message in the mother tongue rather than in the language of the ruler.” Examine how he knitted the Non-Cooperation Movement with his philosophy. [8]
Gandhiji was a practical leader. His idealism of non-violence or Ahimsa was based on mass appeal. He genuinely linked himself with the masses. His simple fife style mesmerised the masses, His appeal among the poor and farmers in particular was increased by his ascetic way of living. He glorified the symbols of ‘Charkha’ and ‘Dhoti’ very wisely.

Basically, Gandhiji was the first national leader who felt the pulse of the masses as the doctor of politics. Gandhiji appeared not just look like the masses but he understood them and, related to their day-to-day lives.

He changed the character and structure of the Congress party and brought the party from conference rooms to the fields and factories. The network of the Congress was spread out in every nook and cranny of the country.

To make the Congress party’s aims more practical, Gandhiji encouraged the communication of the nationalist message in the mother tongue, rather than in the language of the rulers. Prior to Gandhiji’s arrival on the national scene the Congress party was a party of the classes. With his mass appeal and magnetic touch it became the party of the masses. Gandhiji was a unique confluence of different streams. Among Gandhiji’s admires and followers were both poor peasants and industrialists. In this way, Gandhiji brought together different ideologies and interests.

Gandhiji infused his philosophy into the Non-Cooperation Movement. People from all walks of life such as peasants, workers, students, tribes and educated Indians actively participated in this movement. According to Louis Fischer “Mahatma Gandhi became an epoch in the life of India and of Gandhiji. Non-Cooperation was negative enough to be peaceful but positive enough to be effective. It entailed denial renunciation and self-discipline. It was training for self-rule.”

Part – D

Question 14.
“Some scholars see partition of India as a culmination of communal politics that started developing in the opening decades of the twentieth century.” Elucidate. [8]

  1. They suggested separate elctorates for Muslims, created by the colonial government in 1909 and expanded in 1919, this crucially shaped the nature of communal politics. This created a temptation for politicians working withih this system to use sectarian slogans and gather a following by ; distributing favours to their religious groups.
  2. Jinnah insisted that the league be recognised as a one spokesman of Muslim.
  3. On 23 March, 1940 the ‘league marked a resolution demanding a measure of autonomy for Muslim majority areas of subcontinent.
  4. Mohammad Iqbal raised the demand for Pakistan in his presidential address in Muslim League in 1930.
  5. Quit India Movement which started in 1942 compelled the Britishers to open dialogue with Indian parties for transfer of power.
  6. In 1946 personnel election congress sweft the general constitution and league won are 30 rescue committee.
  7. Muslim League announced 10 August, 1946 as direct action day for winning its demand for Pakistan for withdrawn support to cabinet mission.
  8. By 1947 violence spread to many parts of north India.
  9. Gandhi rejected religion as determining a nation. He believed Hindus and Muslims shared a common culture and constituted a single nation. Even till the day of independence Gandhi never participated in any kind of festivities of independence.
  10. Mountbatten plan endorsed a separate nation for Muslims and partitioned India.
  11. Hindu-muslim riots after partition of India.

Question 15.
Read the following paragraph carefully and answer the questions that follow:
Draupadi’s Questions
Draupadi is supposed to have asked Yudhishthira whether he had lost himself before staking her.
‘ Two contrary opinions were expressed in response to this question.
One, that even if Yudhishthira had lost himself earlier, his wife remained under his control, so he could stake her.
Two, that an unfree man (as Yudhishthira was when he had lost himself) could not stake another person. The matter remained unresolved; ultimately,
Dhritarashtra restored to the Pandavas and Draupadi their personal freedom.
(15.1) How did Draupadi’s question unsettle everyone in the assembly ? [2]
(15.2) What was the implication of her question ? [3]
(15.3) What makes Draupadi’s question admirable ? [2]
(15.1) Draupadi’s question certainly unsettled everyone when she asked Yudhishthira whether he had lost himself before stoking her.
(15.2) Draupadi asked whether an unfree man (Yudhishthira) could stake a person. It was certainly a logical query. However, the whole matter remain unresolved.Finally, Dhritarashtra restored to the Pandavas and Draupadi their personal freedom.
(15.3) Draupadi’s question was not only logical but also analytical. It had a touch of morality and equality.

Question 16.
Read the following paragraph carefully and answer the questions that follow:
The Poor Peasant
An excerpt from Bernier’s description of the peasantry ion the countryside :
Of the vast tracts of country constituting the empire of Hindustan, many are little more than sand, or barren mountains, badly cultivated, and thinly populated. Even a considerable portion of the good land. Even a remains untilled for want of labourers; many of whom perish in consequence of the bad treatment they experience from Governors. The poor people, when they become incapable of discharging the demands of their rapacious lords, are not only often deprived of the means of subsistence,. but are also made to lose their children, who are carried away as slaves. Thus, it happens that the peasantry, driven to despair by so excessive a tyranny, abandon the country.

In this instance, Bernier was participating in contemporary debates in Europe concerning the nature of state and society, and intended that his description of Mughal India would’ serve as a warning to those who did not recognize the merits’ of private property.
(16.1) Name the book written by the
Francois Bernier on the critical insight and reflection on the empire of Hindustan. [1]
(16.2) What description Bernier has given
on the condition of. Indian peasantry during the Mughal Empire ? [3]
(16.3) Which fundamental differences he found between Mughal India and Europe during 16th and 17th century ? [3]
(16.1) Francois Bernier’s book name was, ‘Travel in the Mughal Empire’.

  1. Bernier gave a subdued description on the condition of Indian peasantry during the Mughal Empire.
  2. The poor and resourceless peasants became
    incapable of discharging the demands of their greedy owners.
  3. Peasants were not only deprived of the means, of subsistence, but were also made to lose their children, who were carried away as slaves.


  1. According to Bernier, one of the fundamental differences between Mughal India and Europe was the shortage of private property in land in the Mughal India.
  2. Bernier was a staunch supporter of private property. He felt that in the Mughal Empire the emperor owned all the land and distributed the same among his nobles. However, it had disastrous results for the economy and society.
  3. Bernier opined that there was no middle state in India. On the other hand, none of the Mughal official documents suggest that the state was the only owner of land.

Question 17.
Read the following paragraph carefully and answer the questions that follow:
“No space for divided loyalty”
Govind Ballabh Pant argued that in order to become loyal citizens people had to stop focusing only on the community and the self.
For the success of democracy one must train himself in the art of self-discipline.
In Democracies one should care less for himself and more for others. There ‘cannot be any divided loyalty. All loyalties must exclusively be centered round the state. If in a democracy, you create rival loyalties, . or you create a system in which any individual or group, instead of suppressing his extravagance, cares nought for larger or other interests, then democracy is doomed.
(17.1) Why did Govind Ballabh Pant lay more stress on the art of self-discipline ? [2]
(17.2) What was considered important for the success of democracy ? [3]
(17.3) “In democracies one should careless for himself and more for other.” Give your views on this philosopy. [2]
(17.1) Govind Ballabh Pant laid more stress on self-discipline. Without democratic discipline we cannot sustain the lofty ideals and values of democracy.

  1. For the success of democracy one should have loyalty towards the state.
  2. There is no room for, internal differences and divided loyalties in a democratic system.
  3. All the citizens should be committed to national unity and integrity.


  1. The philosophy of democracy is based on the dictum of “One should careless for himself and more others.”
  2. We should take care of other people’s rights and there should be total commitment towards secular and democratic values.

Part – E

Question 18.
(18.1) On the given political outline map of India, locate and label the following with appropriate symbols : [ 2]
(a) Nageshwar
(b) The area where Krishna Deva Raya Ruled
CBSE Previous Year Question Papers Class 12 History 2015 Delhi 1

(18.2) On the same outline map of India three places related to the Indian National Movement have been marked as A, B and C. Identify them and write their correct names on the lines drawn near them. [3]
CBSE Previous Year Question Papers Class 12 History 2015 Delhi 2

CBSE Previous Year Question Papers Class 12 History 2015 Delhi  Set – II

Note : Except for the following questions, all the remaining questions have been asked in previous set.

Part – A

Question 1.
Why is James Princep’s contribution considered as the historic development in the Indian epigraphy ? [2]
James Princep, was an officer in the mint of the East India Company.
His contribution in the development of Indian epigraphy was that he was able to decipher Brahmi and Kharosti scripts used in the earliest inscriptions and coins.

Question 2.
Analyse how did the introduction of the railways by the British prove advantageous for the Indians in the late nineteenth century. [2]

  1. The introduction of the railways changed the scope and area of economic activities from traditional towns to new cities which were linked to railways.
  2. The country side from where raw materials and labour were drawn became linked to these port cities. Areas of social and economic mobility enhanced.

Part – B

Question 4.
“Jotedars inevitably weakened zamindars in Bengal, by the end of the 18th century.” Give arguments to support the statement. [4]
In an early nineteenth century, Jotedars were a class of rich peasants. They acquired vast areas of land and controlled local trade as well as money lending. Thus exercising immense power over the poorer cultivators of the region. A large part of their land was cultivated through share croppers who brought their own ploughs, labourers in the field and handed over half the produce to Jotedars after the harvest.

More effective than that of Zamindars :

Within the villages, the power of Jotedars was more effective than that of zamindars. The zamindars who often lived in urban areas whereas the Jotedars were located in the villages and exercised direct control over a considerable section of poor villagers. They forcefully resisted efforts by zamindars to increase the jama of the village, prevented zamindars officials from executing their duties, mobilised ryots, who were dependent on them, and deliberately delayed payments of revenue to zamindar. When the estates of the zamindars were auctioned for failure to make revenue payment, Jotedars were often the purchasers.

So, the rise of Jotedars inevitably weakened zamindari authority.

Question 5.
Explain the distinctive features of the residential buildings of the Mohenjodaro. [4]

  1. The lower town at Mohenjodaro gives instances of residential buildings. Several of these buildings were situated on a courtyard with rooms on all sides.
  2. It seems that the courtyard was the-centre of various activities e.g., weaving and cooking. However, there were no windows in the walls along the ground level. Moreover, the main entrance does not provide a direct view of the courtyard.
  3. Every residential building comprised of its own bathroom paved with bricks. Drains were connected through the wall to the street drains.
  4. Some buildings had remains of staircases to reach a second storey or the roof of the house. In several houses, wells have been found, usually in a room that could be approached from the outside. Probably, it could be used by passers-by.

Question 6.
“One important pillar of the Mughal administration was the nobility.” Justify. [4] Answer:
One of the most important pillar of the Mughal state was its corps of officers, also referred to by historians collectively as the nobility.

The nobility was recruited from diverse ethnic and religious groups, which ensured that no faction was large enough to challenge the authority of the state. This corps of the Mughals was described as a bouquet of flowers held together by loyalty to the emperor. Turani and Iranian nobles were the earliest in Akbar’s imperial service. Many had accompanied Humayun and others migrated later to the Mughal Court.
From 1560 onwards, two ruling groups of Indian origin entered the imperial service, the Rajputs and the Indian Muslims. The first to join was a Rajput chief, Raja Bahrmal Kachhwaha of Amber, to whose daughter Akbar got married.

Iranians joined high offices under Jahangir as his politically influential queen Nur Jahan was an Iranian. Aurangzeb appointed Rajputs to high positions and under him the Marathas accounted for a sizeable number within the body of officers.

All holders of the government offices held ranks or mansabs having designation of Zat, it was the indication of position in the imperial hierarchy and the salary of the Mansabdar, and the second one was of Sawar indicating the number of horsemen he was required to maintain in service.

The nobles participated in military campaigns and also served as officers of the empire in provinces.

Question 8.
Analyse the impact of partition of India on Punjab and Bengal. [4]
(i) Impact of partition of India on Punjab : Impact of partition was horrible. It destablized the foundation of mankind. People had to face harrowing experiences. The results of partition were most destructive and bloody in the Punjab. Alinost complete displacement of Hindus sbd Sikhs eastwards into India from west Punjab and of almost all Punjabi-speaking Muslims to Pakistan created untold stories of horror.

(ii) Impact of partition of India on Bengal : In Bengal the overall situation was equally serious and horrible. Here, the process of migration was more protracted with people moving across a porous border. However, in Bengal the exchange of population was not near total. Consequently, several Bengali Hindus remained in East Pakistan while several Bengali Muslims continued to remain in West Bengal. In East Pakistan Jinnah’s two-nation theory was rejected by the Bengali Muslims.

Question 9.
“The Amar-Nayaka system was the major political innovation of the Vijayanagar Empire.” Elaborate. [4]
Amar-Nayakas : Amara Nayaka system was a major political innovation of the Vijaynagar Empire. The Amar-Nayakas were military commanders who were given territories to govern by the raya. They collected taxes and other dues from peasants, crafts persons and traders in the area and retained part of the revenue for personal use and for maintaining a stipulated contingents of horses and elephants. The contingents provided the Vijaynagar Kings with an effective fighting force with which they brought the entire southern peninsula under their control. Some of the revenue was also used for the maintenance of temples and irrigation works.

CBSE Previous Year Question Papers Class 12 History 2015 Delhi  Set – III

Note : Except for the following questions, all the remaining questions have been asked in previous set.

Part – A

Question 1.
Why is the sixth century BCE often regarded as a major turning point in the early Indian history ? [2]

  1. The 6th century BCE generally regarded as an important turning point in early- history. It was an era associated with early states,
  2. This period also experienced the development of diverse systems of thought, including Buddhism and jainism.

Question 3.
Point out one supportive and one conservative view on the opportunities provided to the Indian women in the colonial cities. [2]

  1. Conservatives, were of this opinion that the education of women would turn the World upside down. They would endanger the basis of the whole social fabric.
  2. After sometime, women became more visible in public life. They began to join new professions in the city as domestic and factory workers, teachers and theatre and film actresses.

Part – B

Question 4.
Analyse the role of memories and oral narratives in constructing the history of the partition of India. [4]
Memories and Experiences : Millions of people viewed partition in terms of the suffering and challenges of the times. For them it was no mere constitutional divisions or just, the party politics of the Muslim League Congress and others. For them, it meant the unexpected alterations in life as it unfolded between 1946 and 1950 and beyond requiring psychological, emotional and social adjustments. Memories and experiences shape the reality of an event.

Oral Narration : Oral history allows historians to broaden, the boundaries of their discipline by rescuing from obligion, the lived experiences or the poor and the powerless. The oral history of partition ‘ has succeeded in exploring the experiences of those men and women whose existence has hitherto been ignored, taken for granted or mentioned only in passing in mainstream history.

Question 5.
“The arguments and evidences offered by the Fifth-Report cannot be accepted uncritically.” Give arguments. [4]

  1. The Fifth Report was the report on the administration and activities of the East India Company in India. From the time the company established its rule in Bengal in the mid 1760s its activities were closely watched and debated in England.
  2. There are many groups in England who were opposed to the monopoly that the East Indian Company had over trade with India and China, who wanted a revocation of the Royal Charter that gave the company this monopoly.
  3. Also the private traders wanted a share in India trade and the British Industrialists were keen to open up the Indian market for British manufacturers. Many political groups argued that the conquest of Bengal Was benefiting only the East India Company but not the British National as a whole.
  4. Information about company misrule and maladministration was hotly debated in Britain and incidents of the greed and corruption of company officials were widely publicised in the Press. The British Parliament passed a series of Acts in the late 18th century to regulate the control company rule in India. The Acts forced the company to produce regular reports on the administration of India and appointed committees to enquire into the affairs of the company. The Fifth Report was one such report produced by a Select Committee.

Question 6.
“Abul Fazl has described the ideal of Sulh-i-Kul of Akbar as the corner-stone of his enlightened rule.” Justify. [4]
Sulh-i-Kul as describe by Abul Fazl was absolute peace as the corner stone of enlightened rule. Mughal chronicles present the empire as comprising many different ethnic and religious communities—Hindus, Jainas, Zoroastrians and Muslims. As the source of all peace and stability the emperor stored above all religions and ethnic groups, mediated among them, and ensured that justice and peace prevailed.

In Sulh-i-Kul all religions and schools of thought had freedom of expression but on condition that they did not undermine the authority of state or fight among themselves.

The idea of Sulh-i-Kul was implemented through state policies in which nobilities comprising of Iranis, Turanis, Afgans, Rajputs, Deccanis all of whom were given positions and awards purely on the basis of their service and loyalty to the king.
Akbar abolished the tax of pilgrimage in 1563 and Jizya in 1564 as the two were based on religious discrimination for which instructions were sent to officers of the empire to follow the precept of Sulh- i-Kul in administation.

All Mughal emperors gave grants to support the building and maintenance of places of worship.

Question 7.
Critically examine the limitations of the inscriptional evidences in understanding political and economic history of India. [4]
Ephigraphists face limitations of Inscriptional evidence in the following way :
(i) Technical limitations : Sometimes the letters are very faintly engraved and thus, there is uncertainty of reconstructions, inscriptions may be damaged or letters missing. It is not always easy to be sure about the exact meaning of the words used in inscriptions, some of which may be specific to a particular place or time. This has lead the scholars constandy debating and discussing alternative ways of reading inscription. ,

(ii) Problem of deciphering : Although several thousand inscriptions have been discovered, not all have been deciphered, published and translated. Besides many more inscriptions must have existed, which have not survived the ravages of time. Therefore, what is available at present is probably only a fraction of what was inscribed.

(iii) Fundamental problem: Fundamehtal problem is not everything that we may consider politically or economically significant was necessarily recorded in inscriptions. For example, routine agricultural practices and the joys and sorrows of daily existence find no mention in inscriptions, which focus more often than not on grand, unique events. Besides the content of inscriptions almost invariably protects the perspective of the persons who commissioned them. Therefore, they need to be juxtaposed with other perspectives so as to arrive at a better understanding of the past.

Thus, epigraphy alone does not provide a full understanding of political and economic history for which historians often questioned both old and new evidence.

Question 8.
Explain the strategies used by the archaeologists to understand socio-economic differences among the Harappans. [4]
Archaeologists generally use the following strategies to find out the social and economic differences amongst people living within a particular culture in Harappan civilisation.
(i) Burials : At burials in Harappan sites the dead were laid in pits which were made in different ways like the hollowed out spaces were lined with bricks.

Some graves contained pottery and ornaments, indicating a belief that these could be used in the afterlife. Jewellery has been found in burials of both men and women.

An ornament consisting of three shell rings, a jasper bead and hundreds of micro-beads was found near the skull of a male was found in excavations at the cemetery in Harappa in the mid 1980’s. Dead were also found burned with copper mirros in some cases,

(ii) Luxuries: Objects of daily use made of ordinary materials like stone or clay which were querns, pottery, needles, flesh-rubbers were usually found distributed throughout settlements. Archaeologists also found out objects which were rare and made of costly, non-local materials or complicated technologies. Thus, little pots of faience were considered precious as they were difficult to make.

The distribution of rare artefacts of valuable materials were concentrated in large settlements like Mohenjodaro and Harappa and rarely found in the smaller settlements. For example, miniature pots of faience, used as perfume bottles, were found in Mohenjodaro and Harappa and there were none from small settlements like Kalibangan.

Thus, the findings of the above artifacts prove that there were social and economic differences in Harappan culture.

Question 9.
“The rulers of Vijayanagara innovated and developed new traditions in the Virupaksha temple.” Elaborate. [4]
The distincitve physical location of Vijayanagara Empire has helped to meet the requirement of water in the following way :

The striking feature about the location of Vijaynagar is the natural basin formed by river Tungabhadra which flows in north easternly direction. A number of streams flow down to the river from the granite hills that seem to form a girdle around the city. Embankments were built along these streams to create reservoirs of varying sizes. Elaborate arrangements had to be made to store rain water and conduct it to the city as Vijaynagar is one of the most arid zones of the peninsula. The most important tank was built in the early years of the 15th C was known as Kamalapuram tank, water from this tank was used for irrigating the fields as well as conducted through a channel to the ‘Royal Centre’. Another most prominent waterwork to be seen among the ruins is the Hiriya Canal. This canal drew water from a dam across the Tungabhadra and irrigated the cultivated valley that separated the “sacred centre from the urban core”. This was built by the kings of the Sangama dynasty.

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