NCERT Class 9 Social Science Exemplar Chapter-4 Forest Society and Colonialism Questions and Answers Part 1

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Question 1: Discuss how the changes in forest management in the colonial period affected the following groups of people:

  • Shifting cultivators

  • Nomadic and pastoralist communities

  • Firms trading in timber/forest produce

  • Plantation owners

  • Kings/British officials engaged in shikar

Answer: Shifting cultivators

New forest laws banned shifting cultivation. For shifting cultivators, it was devastating because there was a problem for their survival. Many of them were forced to migrate to take up some other occupations. Many others were forced to work in the tea plantations.

Nomadic and pastoralist communities

Grazing of animals was banned under the new forest laws. It made the life of pastoralist communities difficult. Herds of animals were their only source of livelihood. The nomadic communities were declared as criminal communities. This made their life miserable because they could no longer move freely.

Firms trading in timber/forest produce

Because of huge demand of timber, it was boon for the timber merchants. They must have seen good growth in their incomes.

Plantation owners

Land was given at cheaper rates to the plantation owners. Labour was also made available to them at very low wages. Moreover, new policies were made which prevented the workers from going back to their home villages. It was a win-win situation for the plantation owner.

Kings/British officials engaged in shikar

Killing of ferocious animals; like tiger or wolves was monetarily rewarded. Moreover, hunting was viewed as a sign of bravely and valour. The Kings and British officials must have enjoyed the new found honour in the society.

Question 2: What are the similarities between colonial management of the forests in Bastar and in Java?

Answer: There were certain similarities in the colonial management of forests in Bastar and Java. In both the cases, the traditional rights of forest dwellers were taken away and they were forced to work for their colonial masters. Large scale deforestation took place and felled trees were replaced with monoculture plantations.

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