NCERT Solutions for Class 12 History Chapter 10 - Rebels and the Raj 1857 Revolt and its Representations

77. Discuss the evidence that indicates planning and coordination on the part of the rebels

Ans. The evidence which indicates planning and coordination on the part of the rebels is as follows:

  1. Lines of communication: There was communication between the sepoys lines of various cantonments. For example, after the 7th Awadh Irregular Cavalry had refused to use new cartridges, they wrote to the 48th Native Infantry that, “they had acted for the faith and awaited the 48th’s orders.” 
  2. Sepoys or their emissaries moved from one station to another: Mutinies were organised is evident from the incident relating to protection given to captain Hearsey by his Indian subordinates during the mutiny. In this case, it was decided that the matter would be decided by a panchayat composed of native officers drawn from each regiment. It proves that the mutinies were well-organised. Charles Ball had also noted that panchayats were a nightly occurrence in the Kanpur sepoys lines.

78. Discuss the extent to which religious beliefs shaped the events of 1857.

Ans. The religious causes for the Revolt which hurt the religious sentiments of Indian people are as follows:

  1. Immediate cause: The soldiers were given cartridge greased with cow and pig fat. This angered the Muslims and the Hindus alike.
  2. Reforms by the Company: The Company introduced many religious and social reforms. Many Indians began to believe that it was an attempt on the part of the government to deviate them from their own religion. Some of the important reforms were-prevention of sati system, widow remarriage, etc.
  3. Activities of Christian Missionaries: During the Company rule, there was spread of education by the Christian Missionaries, but local people looked upon them with suspicion. Thus, the people plunged in rebellion against the foreign rule.

79. Why was the revolt particularly widespread in Awadh? What prompted the peasants, taluqdaars and zamindars to join the revolt?

Ans. The revolt was widespread in Awadh due to various reasons which are as follows:

  1. Awadh was annexed by the British on the plea that the region was being misgoverned. The British thought that the Nawab was not popular, but on the contrary, he was very popular. People considered it as, “the life has gone out of the body”. The removal led to an emotional upheaval among the people of Awadh.
  2. The annexation of Awadh led to unemployment among the musicians, dancers, poets, artisans, cooks, retainers, administrative officials and soon those who were attached with the Nawab and his household. It also led to loss of court culture.
  3. The peasants, the taluqdaars and the zamindars joined the revolt due to the following grievances:
    (a) Before the annexation, the taluqdaars were very powerful, but immediately after the annexation, they were disarmed and their forts destroyed. Not only under the first British revenue settlement, known as the Summary Settlement of 1856, wasit assumed that they had no permanent stakes in land. Wherever possible, they were removed. This led to discontentment among the taluqdars.
    (b) The British had hoped that by removing the taluqdars, the condition of the peasantswould improve but this did not happen. Revenue flows for the state increased butthe burden of demand on the peasants did not decline. So, the peasants were too not happy with the new situation. 

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