NCERT Solutions for class 8 History Chapter-9

Jul 06, 2022, 16:45 IST

NCERT Solutions for class 8 History Chapter 9 - Women, Caste and Reform

Find below NCERT Solutions for class 8 History Chapter 9 - Women, Caste and Reform prepared by Acardemic team of Physics Wallah. Do follow our NCERT solutions for other subject like NCERT solutions for class 8 Maths and NCERT solutions for class 8 Science.

Women, Caste and Reform chap 9.


Imagine you are a teacher in the school set-up by Rokeya Hossain. There are 20 girls in your charge. Write an account of the discussions that might have taken place on any one day in the school. 

Ans. Suppose I am a woman and a teacher at the Calcutta Primary School. Being a teacher, I understand that it is my solemn responsibility to dispel the darkness in my students’ lives and hence decided to gather all views about the same.One of the girls described me the challenges she has faced all throughout her life as she was told to be a docile, submissive and obedient person even in times her rights were barred.Another Muslim girl explained how they were the target of conservative critics teasing them time and again urging them and their families to drop them for school. These pessimists had an inferior eye and negativity for the poor little girls.

However, some aspirational girls decided to cope up with the loss and faced the heartbreaking insult with a calm mind and soul to get better returns in future. They had told me that they readily wanted to adopt the western mind-set, keeping intact with the values, culture and heritage of India. Some also embraced my efforts on women reform leaving me overwhelmed. I was filled with ecstatic joy to hear that few bright students wanted to make it to the pinnacle by becoming doctors, nurses, teachers and intelligent home makers. I was impressed by the view that we could even write successful women’s stories.


Q1. What social ideas did the following people support?

i. Raja Ram Mohan Roy

ii. Dayanand Saraswati

iii. Veerasalingam Pantulu

iv. Jyotirao Phule

v. Pandita Ramabai

vi. Periyar

vii. Mumtaz Ali

viii. Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar

Ans. i. Social ideas supported by Raja Ram Mohan Roy:

a. Raja Ram Mohan Roy focused his attention towards removing the evil practice of Sati.

b. He preached in favour of widow remarriage.

c. He worked to secure a place of honour for women in the Hindu society. He demanded for them the right of inheritance to property.

d. To ensure a place of respect for women, he condemned the practice of polygamy.

e. He also supported the study of English literature.

ii. Social ideas supported by Dayanand Saraswati:

a. Dayanand supported widow remarriage.

b. He condemned Sati system.

c. He opposed the practice of child marriage.

d. He supported education of girls.

e. He founded Arya Samaj which worked for the uplift and emancipation of women.

iii. Social ideas supported by Veerasalingam Pantulu:

a. He supported widow remarriage and formed an association in the Telugu speaking areas of the Madras Presidency.

iv. Social ideas supported by Jyoti Rao Phule: 

a. Jyoti Rao Phule supported education for girls. He and his wife opened five schools for girls in and around Puna in 1848.

b. Jyoti Rao Phule argued that Brahmans were not superior, just because they were Aryans. He supported the idea that land belonged to indigenous people, the so called low castes.

v. Social ideas supported by Pandita Ramabai: 

a. Pandita Ramabai worked for the upliftment of women’s status in society.

b. She wrote a book about eh miserable lives of upper-caste Hindu women.

c. She founded a widow’s home at Puna to provide shelter to widows who had been treated badly by their husbands’ relatives. Here, women were trained so that they could support themselves economically.

vi. Social ideas supported by Periyar:

a. Periyar supported the idea that untouchables were the true upholders of an original Tamil and Dravidian culture which had been subjugated by Brahmans.

b. He was of the view that untouchable had to free themselves from all religions in order to achieve social inequality.

c. He did not support the authority of Brahmans over lower castes and the domination of men over women. Hence he was a critic of Hindi scriptures which supported these ideas.

vii. Social ideas supported by Mumtaz Ali:

a. Mumtaz Ali supported women’s education. She, along with other reformers reinterpreted verses from Koran to support for women’s education.

b. Women were encouraged to read about religion and domestic management in language they could understand.

viii. Social ideas supported by Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar:

a. He carried a crusade for widow’s remarriage. He also tried to legalize widow’s remarriage.

b. He raised his voice again child marriage.

c. He opposed polygamy.

d. He opened girl’s school which he ran at his own expense. Orthodox families criticized saying that after receiving western education, girls would not be able to perform their duties as mother and wives.

Q.2. State whether true or false:

a. When the British captured Bengal they framed many laws to regulate the rules regarding marriage, adoption, inheritance of property etc.

b. Social reformers had to discard the ancient texts in order to argue for reform in social practices.

c. Reformers got full support from all sections of the people of the country.

d. The Child Marriage Restraint Act was passed in 1829

Ans. (a) True, (b) True, (c) False, (d) False.


Q3. How did the knowledge of ancient texts help the reformers promote new laws?

Ans.The reformers worked for improving the status of women in the society using the knowledge of ancient texts. For example:

i. Raja Ram Mohan Roy studied Hindu religious books and through his writings in Sanskrit, Persian and other languages emphasized that widow-burning had no sanction in ancient text. He cited verses from ancient texts to show that existing evil practices were against early traditions.

ii. Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar used ancient text to suggest that widows could remarry. 

iii. Swami Dayanand quoted fro Vedas that many social evils of today had no religious sanctions.

iv. Mumtaz Ali reinterpreted verses from Koran to condemn the illiteracy among women and advocated for their education.

Q4. What were the different reasons people have for not sending girls to school?

Ans. The people did not want to send girls to school because: 

i. They feared that schools would take girls away from home, prevent them from doing their domestic duties.

ii. They believed that girls should stay away from public places. They feared that passing through public places would have corrupting influence on them.

Q5. Why were Christian missionaries attacked by many people in the country? Would some people have supported them too? If so, for what reasons?

Ans. i. Christian missionaries were attacked by many people in the country because they did not like the activities of missionaries. Many Hindu nationalists felt that Hindu women were adopting western ways of living and that this would corrupt Hindu culture and erode family values.

ii. Some people had supported them too for reasons such as: 

a) Christian missionaries began setting up schools for tribal groups and lower caste children. These children were equipped with some resources to make their way into a changing world.

b) Christian missionaries supported women’s freedom and social equality. They condemned Sati system.

Q6. In the British period, what new opportunities opened up for people who came from castes that were regarded as “low”?

Ans. The new opportunities opened up for people in lower castes: 

i. Raja Ram Mohan Roy through his writings was critical of caste-system.

ii. The Prarthana Samaj adhered to the tradition of Bhakti that believed in spiritual equality of all castes.

iii. Many reformers of this period violated casted taboos on food and touch.

iv. Christian missionaries began setting up schools for tribal groups and lower castes children.

v. The poor from villages and small towns, many of them from low castes, began moving to cities where there was demand for new labour.

Q7. How did Jyoti Rao the reformer justify their criticism of caste inequality in society?

Ans. a) Jyoti Rao opposed the idea that Brahmans were superiors, just because they were Aryans. He argued that Aryans were foreigners, who came from outside the subcontinent, and defeated and subjugated the true children of the country those who had lived here before coming of the Aryans.

b) He said that the “upper” castes had no right to their land and powers in fact, the land belonged to indigenous people, the so-called low-castes.

c) He proposed that Shudras and Ati Shudras should unite to challenge caste discrimination.

d) He wrote a book named Gulamgiri meaning slavery.

Q8. Why did Phule dedicate his Gulamgiri to the American movement to free slaves?

Ans. Phule dedicated his book ‘Gulamgiri’  to the American movement to free slaves because he wanted to establish a link between the conditions of the lower castes in India and the black slaves in America. As ten years before he wrote his book in 1873; the American Civil War had been fought leading to the end of slavery in America.

Q9. What did Ambedkar want achieve through the temple entry movement?

Ans.  Temple entry movement was started by Ambedkar in 1927 because Brahmin priests were outraged when the Dalits used water from the temple tank.Through three temple entry movements between 1927 and 1935, he wanted to make everyone see the power of caste prejudices within society.

Q10. Why were Jyoti Rao Phule and Ramaswamy Naicker critical of the national movement? Did their criticism help the national struggle in any way? 


i. Jyoti Rao Phule was critical of the anticolonial nationalism that was preached by upper-castes leaders. He wanted Indians to know that the unity between high and low in entire country was only way they could progress.

ii. Ramaswamy Naicker also became critical of the national movement when as member of the Congress he attended a feast organized by the nationalists. He found the seating arrangement followed caste distinctions. He founded the Self Respect Movement for untouchables.

iii. Their assertions helped national struggles as they continued beyond the colonial period and are still going over the years. Their ideas were respected at many places and people united for a stronger national movement. The forceful speeches, writings and movements of lower-caste leaders did lead to rethinking and some self-criticism among upper-caste nationalism leaders.  

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