NCERT Solutions for Class 12 History Chapter 9 - Colonialism and The Countryside Exploring Official Archives

160. How did the Paharias respond to the coming the of outsiders?

Ans. The Paharias were those people who were the original residents of the hills of Rajmahal. The British people started interacting with them and later the Santhals began to settle down there. The response of the Paharias to the new settlers was as follows:

  1. The Paharias resisted the settlement of the Santhals initially, but they had to accommodate them with the passage of time.
  2. The Paharias shifted to deeper areas into the hills.
  3. They were confined to increasingly barren and rocky areas of the hills in due course of time.
  4. The Paharias performed shifting cultivation. Now, shifting cultivation became more and more difficult as proper and stable settlements came into existence.
  5. As forest began to be cleared, the Paharias could not depend on it for their livelihood. Thus, the lifestyle of the Paharias underwent a huge change due to coming of the outsiders

161. Why were Jotedars a powerful figure in many areas of rural Bengal? 

Ans. Jotedars were rich peasants of Bengal who owned big plots of land. Sometimes they owned thousands of acres of land and controlled local trade and commerce including the money-lending business. Thus, they were regarded more powerful than the zamindars. Some of the reasons which ensured their high status are:

  1. The Jotedars controlled trade and commerce including money-lending business at the local level.
  2. In order to weaken the zamindars, the Jotedars would mobilise ryots not to pay or delay payment towards land revenue.
  3. The Jotedars opposed the moves of the zamindars to increase the Jama of a village.
  4. The Jotedars lived in villages only. Hence, they were in a better position to interact with and influence the peasants.
  5. The Jotedars were rich and owned big areas of land under cultivation. Many time they would buy the estates of the zamindars which were auctioned due to non-payment of land revenue.

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