Tracing Changes Through a Thousand Years
Text Book Page No. 2
Look at the areas in the interior of the subcontinent on Map 2 of the textbook. Are they as detailed as those on the coast? Follow the course of the River Ganga and see how it is shown. Why do you think there is a difference in the level of detail and accuracy between the coastal and inland areas in this map?
- No the areas in the interior of the subcontinent on Map 2 are not as detailed as those on the coast.
- The European sailors and merchants who used this map did not go to the inland places of the subcontinent as much as they interacted with the coastal areas.
- Therefore, the level of detail and accuracy of coastal areas is better than the inland areas, on the map.
Text Book Page No. 3
Can you think of any other words whose meanings change in different contexts?
The other word whose meanings change in different contexts is as under :
(a) Initially it was used to address people or groups of people.
(b) Later on it was used to denote land.
Text Book Page No. 4
When was paper more expensive and easily available—in the thirteenth or the fourteenth century?
Paper was more expensive during the thirteenth century and easily available in the fourteenth century.
Text Book Page No. 8
Of the technological, economic, social, and cultural changes described in this section, which do you think were most significant in the town or village in which you live?
Students, do it themselves.
[Hint – Technological changes did not have much impact on village or town life. But social cultural and economic changes had a greater impact on our village life.]
Text Book Page No. 10
Why do you think rulers made such claims?
Rulers wanted to show off, be popular and mighty by claiming to have control over distant territories.
Make a list of languages mentioned by Amir Khusrau. Prepare another list of the names of languages spoken today in the regions he mentioned. Underline names that are similar and circle those that are different. Did you notice that the names by which languages are known to have changed over time?
|Region||Languages at the time of Amir Khusrau||Present-day languages|
|Sindh||Sindhi||(Punjabi + Urdu)|
|Lahore||Lahori||(Punjabi + Urdu)|
|Eastern – Uttar Pradesh||Awadhi||Lakhnuavi|
Yes, there are significant changes in the spoken languages in different regions over time.
What was the duration of the rule of the Khalji and Mughal dynasties?
- Khalji dynansty ruled from 1290 to 1320.
- Mughal dynasty ruled from 1526 to 1857.
Text Book Page No. 11
Find out whether and for how long your state was part of these pan-regional empires.
Students, do it themselves.
Do you remember what Amir Khusrau had to say regarding Sanskrit, knowledge, and Brahmanas?
Amir Khusrau said that Sanskrit did not belong to any region. It was an old language and common people did not know it. Only the Brahmanas spoke it.
Text Book Page No. 14
You are a historian. Choose one of the themes mentioned in this chapter, such as economic, social, or political history, and discuss why you think it would be interesting to find out the history of that theme.
The political themes would be interesting to explore in the historical context. Some of the reasons why to explore it are as under :
(1) Political theme in history introduces us to our past rulers, their families, administrations, wars, and battles.
(2) It also leads us to know about the various ruling practices such as rule by a group of people (republic) or monarchy, etc.
(3) It imparts the knowledge about relations with neighboring countries etc.
Exercise Questions and Answers
Who was considered a “foreigner” in the past?
(1) In the medieval period, a “foreigner” was a stranger who was not.,.* part of that society or culture. For example, a forest-dweller was a foreigner to a city-dweller.
(2) But two peasants living in the same village were not foreigners to each other, even though they may have had different religious or caste backgrounds.
State whether true or false :
(a) We do not find inscriptions for the period after 700.
(b) The Marathas asserted their political importance during this period.
(c) Forest-dwellers were sometimes pushed out of their lands with the spread of agricultural settlements.
(d) Sultan Ghiyasuddin Balban controlled Assam, Manipur, and Kashmir.
Fill in the blanks:
(a) Archives are places where _____ are kept.
Documents, manuscripts, old official records, and transactions.
(b) _____ was a fourteenth-century chronicler.
(c)_____ ,_____ , _____ ,_____ and _____ were some of the new crops introduced into the subcontinent during this period.
List some of the technological changes associated with this period.
The new technologies that made their appearance during this period were-
- The Persian wheel in irrigation
- The spinning wheel in weaving
- The firearms in Combat
What Were some of the major religious developments during this period?
Some of the major religious developments during this period were as under :
- In Hinduism, new deities were worshipped and temples were constructed by royalty.
- The Brahmanas, the priests dominated the other social classes.
- The new dynamic relationship got developed among Brahmanas and their partons—new rulers searching for prestige.
- The idea of Bhakti emerged.
- Muslim religion and the teachings of the Quran were introduced in the subcontinent.
In what ways has the meaning of the term “Hindustan” changed over the centuries?
Over time, the meaning of the term “Hindustan” has changed as under ;
(1) In the present time, the term “Hindustan” is understood by. “India”, the modern nation-state.
(2) But the 13th-century writer Minhaj-i- Siraj, used the term “Hindustan” to denote the areas of Punjab, Haryana, and the lands between Ganga and Yamuna. Therefore, the term was used in the political context.
(3) In the 16th century, Babur used the term “Hindustan” to describe the geography, the fauna (animals), and the culture of the inhabitants of the subcontinent.
(4) At some other place in history, great poet Amir Khusrau used the word “Hind” in a similar context as Babur did.
How were the affairs of jatis regulated?
The ways in which the affairs of jatis were regulated were as follows :
- Jatis framed their own rules and regulations to manage the conduct of their members.
- Jati Panchayat or the assembly of elders enforced these regulations.
- Jatis also followed the rules of their villages.
What does the term pan-regional empire mean?
- During the medieval period, there was enormous diversity among the distinctive regions of the subcontinent.
- Each region had its own geographical dimensions, own language, and cultural characteristics.
- These regions were associated with specific ruling dynasties.
- There was a considerable conflict between these states.
- Therefore, the empires that ruled or controlled such diverse regions, were called the pan-regional empires. For example, dynasties like the Cholas, Khaljis, Tughluq, and Mughals were able to build the pan-regional empire.
What are the difficulties historians face in using manuscripts?
Historians face many problems in using manuscripts. Some of them are as under:
- Manuscripts are badly written which is hardly ununderstandable.
- Sometimes, due to a lack of under-standability of handwriting, historians are forced to guess what is written.
- As scribes copied manuscripts, they also introduced small changes that grew over the centuries.
- Historians have to depend upon the copied version as the original manuscripts are rarely found.
How do historians divide the past into periods? Do they face any problems in doing so?
(1) Historians divide the past into periods on the basis of economic and social factors to characterize the major elements of different moments of the past.
(2) Historians face many problems while dividing the past into periods as there was a good amount of technological development in the “medieval” period, which can be called as ‘modem’ in the contemporary context. But still, the period is called “medieval” and not “modern”. On the other hand, the modern past is followed by the “medieval” past.
Compare either Map 1 or Map 2 with the present-day map of the sub¬continent, listing as many similarities and differences you can find.
The similarities between Map 2 and the present-day map of the subcontinent are as under :
- The coastline is almost as curved as it is in the present-day map.
- The names of coastal areas are almost similar.
- The location (latitude and longitude) of most of the places shown on the map are almost correct.
The differences in Map 2 and the present-day map of the subcontinent are as under :
- The present-day map is colored, which shows watercolor with sky blue color.
- The present-day map also shows the coastal boundary of the subcontinent.
- The present-day map is more accurate and much detailed.
Find out where records are kept in your village or city. Who writes these records? Is there an archive? Who manages it? What kinds of documents are stored there? Who are the people who use it?
Students, do it themselves.
- Most records are kept by government-owned libraries, archives, museums, etc.
- The scribes appointed by the state or the central government writes these records. For example, Gazetteer of India.
- State or Central government manages it.
- The documents related to the everyday functioning of assemblies, parliament, important acts, visitors, wars elections’, etc. are stored there.
- Historians, political analysts, journalists, researchers, anthropologists, etc. use these records. important acts, visitors, wars elections’, etc. are stored there.
- Historians, political analysts, journalists, researchers, anthropologists, etc. use these records.]