2. The Company’s conquests (1757-1849) With its superior weapons, the British Indian princes were short-sighted. East India Company was extending its power in 18th century India. That upstart Rajah Bah! Call the English merchants. They will help me to defeat him. INDIA 1765 Indian Princes British Territory The people had no peace due to such constant fights. A far-seeing ruler like theThe rivalries helped the East India Company brave Tipu of Mysoreand it could easily subdue Indian princes fought the British till heone by one. died fighting! Thank God, there is peace in the country now! No more wars and no looting by thugs ! It is God who sent the British! How did Indians react to these conquests? The white man has Our destiny killed or dethroned is linked our kings.with them! Some kings were not good, but after all, they were of this land. Now we have become slaves of foreigners! Glimpses of the Past 3. British Rule (1765-1836) Religious leaders preached ideas like untouchability and child marriage. Anyone who crosses the seas loses his religion. All the misery in the world is due to women. The truth was that Indians had lost self-respect. Being merchants, the British wanted quick profits, theirThe British scorned them. heavy taxes forced farmers to abandon their fields. You are still inBut your men are arrears. If you don’ttaking all my crop! pay next week. I will send you to jail. The natives are unworthy of trust, incapable of honesty– True, your honour, but I am honest. Still, the British invented other methods which gave them more profits. Inevitably famines followed. Between 1822 and 1836 fifteen lakh Indians died of starvation. The British policies ruined the expert artisans and their business. The goods manufactured in England should not have any import duty when brought into India. A good idea! The East India Company’s laws began to cripple Indian industries. 38 Honeydew 4. Ram Mohan Roy (1772-1833) Ram Mohan Roy, a learned man from Bengal, understood what was wrong with the country. Let us not despise ourselves, our ancient culture is great. And we are capable of greater achievements. We must first reform our society. Superstitions have been ruining us. He told his wife Uma– Cows are of different colours, but the colour of their milk is the same. Different teachers have different opinions but the essence of every religion is the same. He was attracted by science and modern knowledge. Knowledge should be practical and scientific. He started newspapers but the suspicious British stopped them in 1823. He crossed the seas and went to England to see what made the British powerful. There he told them– We accept you as rulers, and you must accept us as subjects. But you must remember the responsibility a ruler owes to his subjects. Glimpses of the Past 39 5. Oppression (1765-1835) But the British continued to oppress Indians. In All the time British officers in India 1818, they had passed Regulation III. Under it, an drew big salaries and also made Indian could be jailed without trial in a court. fortunes in private business. By 1829, Britain was exporting British goods worth seven crore rupees to India. 40 Honeydew The British prospered on the Company’s loot Governor-General Bentinck reported while Indian industries back home – began to die. “The bones of cotton weavers are bleaching the plains of India.” 6. Dissatisfaction (1835-56) Education in India was in Persian and Sanskrit. In 1835, a Englishman named Macaulay suggested a change. We should teach the natives through the English language. I agree. English education produced clerks to whom the British gave petty jobs under them. Incidentally, it also produced a new generation of intellectuals. We must educate our brothers. And try to improve their material For that we must convey our grievances to the British conditions. Parliament. By 1856, the British had conquered the whole of India. States British area They cared little about the needs of Indians. Our kings have become puppets, and we have lost And our old jobs. lands. They are converting our brothers! You only talk! Do something to drive then out! Glimpses of the Past 41 7. The Sparks (1855-57) Taxes continued to ruin the peasants. In Bengal, the Santhals who had lost their lands under new land rules, became desperate. In 1855, they rose in rebellion and massacred Europeans and their supporters alike. Discontent was brewing in the East India Company’s army too. The white soldier gets huge pay, mansions to live in, servants. While we get a pittance and slow promotions ! The Angrez asks us to cross the sea which is against our religion. Who is the topiwala to abolish our age-old customs? We must drive out the Angrez. Sepoy Mangal Pande attacked the adjutant of his regiment and was executed. Few Englishmen had cared Oh, proud Brahmin soldiers, do you know that the grease on the bullet you have to bite is made from the fat of cows and pigs? Honeydew to understand Indian customs or the people’s mind. The whiteWhat ? man has deceived us too! Thousands of other sepoys revolted. They were stripped of their uniforms, humiliated and put in irons. Soon, chapaties were sent from village Similarly lotus to village to tell the people that their flowers emperor would want their services. circulated among Indian soldiers. Death to the foreigner ! Yes, all my village men will be ready. The masses gave all help and shelter to the patriots. 8. Revolt (1857) The sepoys marched to Delhi.Then there was a violent outbreak at Meerut. Long live our Emperor Bahadur Shah ! The rebellion spread wider. Many landlords had lost their lands because of the British policies, and they were sore. The white man’s Yes, we will rule must end! help you. Glimpses of the Past 43 9. The Fight for Freedom (1857) Many former rulers like Begum Hazrat Popular leaders like Maulvi Ahmedulla of Faizabad told Mahal of Lucknow were bitter. the people – Rise, brothers, rise ! The white man has The Angrez is ruiningtaken away my our land ! kingdom ! They joined the upsurge against the The people rose everywhere, in Bareilly, Kanpur and foreigner. Allahabad. Azimulla Khan We should have Peshwa Nana Eighty-year old Kunwar Singh of Bihar received told Tatya Tope Saheb as our leader in this a bullet in his wrist. war of independence Mother Ganga ! This is my last offering to you ! The patriots pounced upon the British and fought pitched battles all over North India. from Our Freedom Movement S.D. SAWANT Honeydew Comprehension Check 1. Look at picture 1 and recall the opening lines of the original song in Hindi. Who is the singer? Who else do you see in this picture? 2. In picture 2 what do you understand by the Company’s “superior weapons”? 3. Who is an artisan? Why do you think the artisans suffered? (picture 3) 4. Which picture, according to you, reveals the first sparks of the fire of revolt? Answer the following questions. 1. Do you think the Indian princes were short-sighted in their approach to the events of 1757? 2. How did the East India Company subdue the Indian princes? 3. Quote the words used by Ram Mohan Roy to say that every religion teaches the same principles. 4. In what ways did the British officers exploit Indians? 5. Name these people. (i) The ruler who fought pitched battles against the British and died fighting. (ii) The person who wanted to reform the society. (iii) The person who recommended the introduction of English education in India. (iv) Two popular leaders who led the revolt (Choices may vary.) 6. Mention the following. (i) Two examples of social practices prevailing then. (ii) Two oppressive policies of the British. (iii) Two ways in which common people suffered. (iv) Four reasons for the discontent that led to the 1857 War of Independence. In comics what the characters speak is put in bubbles. This is direct narration. When we report what the characters speak, we use the method of indirect narration. Glimpses of the Past Study these examples. First farmer: Why are your men taking away the entire crop? Second farmer: Your men have taken away everything. Officer: You are still in arrears. If you don’t pay tax next week, I’ll send you to jail. • The first farmer asked the officer why his men were taking away the entire crop. • The second farmer said that their men had taken away everything. • The officer replied that they were still in arrears and warned them that if they did not pay tax the following week, he (the officer) would send them (the farmers) to jail. 1. Change the following sentences into indirect speech. (i) First man: We must educate our brothers. Second man: And try to improve their material conditions. Third man: For that we must convey our grievances to the British Parliament. The first man said that ______________________________________________ The second man added that _______________________________________ The third man suggested that ________________________________________ (ii) First soldier: The white soldier gets huge pay, mansions and servants. Second soldier: We get a pittance and slow promotions. Third soldier: Who are the British to abolish our customs? The first soldier said that ___________________________________________ The second soldier remarked that __________________________________ The third soldier asked __________________________________________ 1. Playact the role of farmers who have grievances against the policies of the government. Rewrite their ‘speech bubbles’ in dialogue form first. Honeydew 2. Look at the pictures. Fox accidentally falls into a well “How do I get out of here?” “Hello! Is this water sweet?” Glimpses of the Past Be careful how you take the advice of people you don’t know.” (i) Ask one another questions about the pictures. • Where is the fox? • How did it happen? • What is the fox thinking? • Who is the visitor? • What does she want to know? • What is the fox’s reply? • What happens next? • Where is the goat? • Where is the fox now? • What is the goat thinking? (ii) Write the story in your own words. Give it a title. Honeydew The Wind boasted, “Using my strength I can make that man take off the cloak.” The Sun agreed. The Wind blew hard. The man felt so cold that he clasped his cloak round his body as tightly as possible. Now it was the turn of the Sun which shone very hot indeed. The man felt so hot that he at once removed the cloak from his body. Seeing the man taking off the cloak, the Wind conceded defeat. Glimpses of the Past Do you have a pet cat? Have you ever noticed anything mysterious about it? It is not easy to say whether every cat is a mystery, but Macavity is one, for sure. What is it that makes him a perfect mystery cat? Read the poem and find out. Macavity’s a Mystery Cat: he’s called the Hidden Paw — For he’s the master criminal who can defy the Law. He’s the bafflement of Scotland Yard, the Flying Squad’s despair: For when they reach the scene of crime — Macavity’s not there! Macavity, Macavity, there’s no one like Macavity, He’s broken every human law, he breaks the law of gravity. His powers of levitation would make a fakir stare, And when you reach the scene of crime — Macavity’s not there! You may seek him in the basement, you may look up in the air — But I tell you once and once again, Macavity’s not there! Macavity’s a ginger cat, he’s very tall and thin; You would know him if you saw him, for his eyes are sunken in. His brow is deeply lined with thought, his head is highly domed; His coat is dusty from neglect, his whiskers are uncombed. He sways his head from side to side, with movements like a snake; And when you think he’s half asleep, he’s always wide awake. Macavity, Macavity, there’s no one like Macavity, For he’s a fiend in feline shape, a monster of depravity. You may meet him in a by-street, you may see him in the square — But when a crime’s discovered, then Macavity’s not there! T.S. ELIOT defy: disobey or resist openly Scotland Yard: the headquarters of the London police force Flying Squad: a group of police or soldiers ready to move into action quickly levitation: floating in the air without support fiend: devil feline: of, or relating to, a cat depravity: moral corruption 1. Read the first stanza and think. (i) Is Macavity a cat really? (ii) If not, who can Macavity be? 2. Complete the following sentences. (i) A master criminal is one who ___________________ (ii) The Scotland Yard is baffled because ___________________ (iii) ___________________ because Macavity moves much faster than them. 3. “A cat, I am sure, could walk on a cloud without coming through”. (Jules Verne) Which law is Macavity breaking in the light of the comment above? Macavity : The Mystery Cat 4. Read stanza 3, and then, describe Macavity in two or three sentences of your own. 5. Say ‘False’ or ‘True’ for each of the following statements. (i) Macavity is not an ordinary cat.

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