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BHIC-103: History of India –II

BHIC-103: History of India –II

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2021-22

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Assignment Code: BHIC-103 / ASST / TMA / 2021 - 22

Course Code: BHIC-103

Assignment Name: History Of India -II

Year: 2021 – 2022 (July 2021 and January 2022 Sessions)

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


Note: There are three Sections in the Assignment. You have to answer all questions in the Sections.


Assignment – I


Answer the following in about 500 words each.


Q1. Evaluate the contribution of ancient India scientific (Philosphers) in various of India’s science and Technology. 20

Ans) Many natural and pure sciences flourished and saw amazing growth and development in ancient India, not just in the fields of art and architecture, literature, philosophy, and so on. Based on his book Science and Technology in Ancient India, the details concerning them are presented here.


Baudhayana (c.500 CE): The sutras of Baudhayana cover a wide range of topics, including philosophical conversations about dharma, rituals, and so on, as well as scientific discussions about mathematics and so on. He discusses the size of Vedic brick fire altars in particular. From a mathematical standpoint, the construction principles are noteworthy. They shed light on a number of important mathematical equations, including the value of pi to a high degree of precision and a variant of Pythagoras' Theorem.


Aryabhata I (c.476-550 CE): He was the first among ancient India's outstanding astronomers and mathematicians. In 499 CE, he wrote the Aryabhatiya/Aryabhatiyam and the Arya-siddhanta (a lost literary piece on astronomical computations). He is also said to have built an observatory at Taregana/Sun Taregna's Temple. He wrote various books on astronomy and mathematics, some of which have been destroyed due to their inability to be restored. His greatest work, Aryabhatiya, a book on mathematics and astronomy, was widely referenced and quoted in future mathematical literature throughout India, and it has persisted to this day. Algebra, arithmetic, plane and spherical trigonometry are all covered in the mathematics portions. They also include a valuable table of sines and explain complex mathematical formulae on continuous and quadratic equations, sums-of-power series, and other topics.


Brahmagupta: In the history of Indian mathematics, his contribution is singular. Today's mathematicians marvel at the uniqueness of his groundbreaking interpretations of Geometry and Number Theory. His theorems led to the calculation of a triangle's circumradius and the diagonal lengths of a cyclic quadrilateral, as well as the building of a rational cyclic quadrilateral and integer solutions to a single second-degree problem.


Bhaskaracharya: Because of brilliant astronomers like Aryabhata, Lallacharya, Varahamihira, Brahmagupta, Bhaskaracharya, and others, the period between c.500 and 1200 CE was the best for Indian astronomy. Bhaskaracharya's Siddhanta Shiromani is considered the pinnacle of all astronomical treatises created in those 700 years or more. It incorporates the essence of ancient Indian mathematics and astronomy.


Varahamihira (505–587 CE): He was a member of the Aryabhata, Dhanvantari, Sushruta, Charaka, and Bhaskaracharya group of Indian scientists. Varahamihira was a Ujjayini inhabitant. He enjoyed learning wherever it was found and was well-versed in Greek astrological books, which he references in his writings. Pancha Siddhantika, Vivahapatala, Laghujataka, and Yatra are some of his other works. Varahamihira was the first to claim in his Panchasiddhantika, written around 575 CE, that the ayanamsa/ayanabhaga (equinox precession) lasted 50.32 seconds. It's a mathematical astronomy book.


Nagarjuna: He was a chemist and an alchemist at the same time. In this book, he discusses numerous liquid mixtures. It also looks at how alchemy and metallurgy were practised in India at the period. Methods for extracting and purifying metals such as gold, silver, copper, and tin from their ores are also being developed.


Q2. Briefly discuss the regional Political powers that emerged in the post-Gupta period. 20

Ans) Political powers that arose in various parts of India after the Gupta dynasty were more stable than Harsha's massive state structure. They had their origins in the regions in which they arose, and in many cases, they signified the birth of a region's or sub-political region's identity. This time was regarded as a Dark Age by colonial historians in comparison to the Gupta period's 'Golden Age,' because it was marked by ‘small', 'unimportant' kingdoms and 'political disarray,' owing to the absence of big nations. A significant amount of research has been done on the early mediaeval period, as historians refer to it. The emergence of regions and the reign of great regional monarchs occurred during this time.


The rise and fall of dynasties, as well as the ongoing battles between polities, indicate to the creation of local states and the expansion of state societies throughout regions. As a result, the decline of the Guptas did not result in a period of political fragmentation; rather, it resulted in a continual structural change within regional polities. Chieftaincies became early kingdoms, then regional kingdoms, as a result of this process. During this time, a new regional power balance may be seen forming. This time has been labelled feudal by some scholars, while others see it as dynamic and productive. The evidence of royal land gifts to brahmanas and officers is important to the feudalism school. This resulted in land holdings and communities where the recipients had the right to collect money but were exempt from paying taxes. The peasant was immediately under the control of the landed intermediary. There was a reduction in urban life as well as interregional trade. Due to a scarcity of coinage, authorities were required to be compensated by land revenue rather than currency. With the increase in land grants, the number of feudatories grew. "Pre-state polities were turned into states, and the creation of a centre of authority included the colonisation of a territory by settling subordinate branch lineages of the main dynasty in new areas," Romila Thapar explains. This is referred regarded as the extension of monarchy into pre-state communities and the operation of an 'integrative polity.'


The gana sanghas and the forest clans were defeated politically by the monarchy. Prior to the post-Gupta period, rulers of non-kshatriya ancestry were not concerned with achieving kshatriya status, but this became common to monarchy. The brahmana played a significant part in the formation of a kshatriya. The brahmana legitimised the king's right to reign, even if the ruler came from humble beginnings. The brahmanas were rewarded for their efforts with land grants. New colonies were to serve as the king's nucleus of support.


As a result of the practise of land grants, new, affluent, and powerful landholding groups emerged as mediators between the sovereign and the actual tiller of the soil, either as owners or enjoyers of soil. The establishment of landed intermediaries is regarded as a defining feature of the Indian feudal economy. The feudatories had no choice but to recognise the ruler's suzerainty over the area. If the king requested it, he had to give his daughter's hand in marriage. In his charters and inscriptions, he had to mention the king. On few cases, his presence in court was required. When the feudatory was powerful enough, he might sometimes give lands without the consent of his suzerain. This was known as sub-infeudation, and it resulted in the establishment of a power hierarchy.



Assignment – II


Answer the following questions in about 250 words each.


Q3. Who were the Shunga? Throw light on the territorial control and administrative of the shunga .10

Ans) The Shunga dynasty was a Brahmin dynasty that arose roughly 50 years after Ashoka's death, in 184 BCE. According to the Puranas, the Sunga dynasty ruled India for 112 years. The throne was thereafter ascended by Pushyamitra Shunga. The kingdom's nucleus was Magadha.


Territorial Control of the Sungas

The Sunga dynasty, based in Pataliputra, appears to have ruled across the middle Ganga plain, upper Ganga valley, and eastern Malwa. It also comprised Jalandhara and Sakala in Punjab, according to the Divyavadana and Taranatha accounts. Some of the more remote regions, it appears, were not directly under their control and owed them only political allegiance.


Administrative Structure

The Sunga kingdom was almost certainly not organised in the same way throughout the whole 112-year era. It changed over time, depending on the ruler's authority and ability at the centre, as well as the empire's size. Pushyamitra may have had a central administration at Pataliputra. His empire was divided into provinces, and he was aided by a council of ministers and administrators. Governors of royal blood were appointed to oversee the provinces. It was aided by a council. Certain tribal regions with self-government were also incorporated. Evidence supports the idea that princes of royal blood were appointed as governors or commanders-in-chief. Agnimitra, Pushyamitra's son, was a governor. Dhanadeva's inscription at Ayodhya proves that one of his predecessors was the governor of Kosala and that he was related to Pushyamitra via blood. Vasumitra, Pushyamitra's grandson, was the Sunga army's Commander-in-Chief.


Q4. Explain the revival of trade and urbanisation in Early Medieval India.10

Ans) Urban centres experienced a gradual recovery of trade and urbanisation beginning in the tenth century CE. This renaissance grew to be a pan-Indian phenomenon. It is commonly referred to as the Indian subcontinent's "third urbanisation." The early mediaeval period's socioeconomic history was inextricably linked to the agrarian economy. Local agricultural organisations have developed increased political clout and independence. These agricultural and commerce guilds operated independently, with the authority to set tolls, commissions, town shares, direct temple construction, and convey agricultural surplus and commercial commodities.


Agricultural production rose, not only of cereals and pulses, but also of cash crops. The local and regional demand was not the main source of demand. In place of the former phase's closed village economy, expanding commerce networks arose. Craft production was increased and tailored to meet the demands of regional and interregional markets. Textile manufacture is particularly noteworthy in this regard. Bengal was recognised for its quality cotton, Gujarat for its coloured cotton, and Karnataka and Tamil Nadu for its silk. According to an inscription from Karnataka, the oil industry was also a profitable venture during this time. Both oil mills and numerous varieties of oil seeds are mentioned. Sugarcane output was abundant, and jaggery manufacture was thriving, indicating that the agro-based industry was developing.


With expertise in the fabrication of metal things with iron, copper, brass, silver, and gold, metal craft achieved new heights. The reintroduction of metallic currency boosted trade significantly. The revival of "partial monetization" aided economic progress, as did the concurrent creation of the credit instrument hundika, which allowed debits and credits to be exchanged without the use of cash.


Q5. What do you understand by `Bhakti Movement` ? Describe the different forms and features of Bhakti Movement.10

Ans) The Bhakti movement was a mediaeval Hindu religious movement that advocated the concept that everyone may obtain moksha. The Bhakti movement began in Tamil Nadu in the seventh century and extended across India. While the southern devotional movement favoured Shiva, Vishnu, and his avatars, the northern devotional movement focused on Rama and Krishna, both of whom are thought to be Vishnu incarnations.


Forms of Bhakti Movement

Bhakti isn't something that can be generalised. The beliefs held by each bhakti group were distinct. Each tradition's literature has a common thread, yet each has its own style and tone of expression. The bhakti movement's leaders come from a variety of backgrounds and genders. Its leaders included a number of non-brahmanas. They weren't the same as renunciants. While their links to their family did not terminate, they were cut off from everything else. In this way, they despised the family and, on occasion, women from the standpoint of conjugality. Miracles were a component of their hagiographies, even though they were not associated with the practise of magic.


The Main features of the Bhakti Movement

1. That God is one single entity, with different names.

2. Bhakti, intense love and devotion, the sole thanks to salvation.

3. Repetition of the True Name.

4. Self-Surrender.

5. Condemnation of rituals, ceremonies and blind faith.

6. Rejection of idol worship by many saints

7. Open- mindedness about deciding religious matters.

8.No distinction of different castes, higher or low

9. Advocation of a Guru for guidance was done by some people.

10. Preaching through local or regional languages and travelling from place to place for spreading the religious message.



Assignment – III


Answer the following questions in about 100 words each.


Q6. Social system of Satvahana. 6

Ans) There were four classes in Satavahana society. This classification was made on the basis of economic activity and social standing. High officials and feudatory chiefs reigned over provinces and districts of the first class. Petty officers like Amatyas Mahamatras and affluent traders made up the second class. Vaidyas or physicians, writers, peasants, goldsmiths, perfumers, and other middle-class persons made up the third class.


The lowest vocations, such as carpenters, blacksmiths, fishers, and gardeners, made up the fourth and final classes. The society was divided into four sections. The family was the smallest unit, with the eldest living member commanding the most respect. He was known as the 'Grihapati,' and he was revered by the rest of the family.


Q7. Samundrgupta. 6

Ans) Samudragupta (r. 335/350 - 370/380 CE) was the Gupta Dynasty's first notable ruler. After ascending to the throne, he decided to expand his empire to include the many kingdoms and republics that existed outside its borders. For his conquests, he was dubbed the "Napoleon of India," yet he was also a man of many abilities who created the groundwork for the empire. His military conquests and policies are credited with the rise of the Gupta Empire and the beginning of its prosperity.


To confirm his imperial authority, Samudragupta performed the Ashvamedha sacrifice, and according to his coinage, he was undefeated. His gold coins and inscriptions indicate that he was a talented poet and musician. Chandragupta II followed his father's expansionist policies.


Q8. Crafts and Craftmen. 6

Ans) Archaeology, epigraphy, and texts like the Amarakosha all point to the presence of several crafts during the Gupta and post-Gupta periods. Pottery was the most important craft, as evidenced by numerous findings from Rajghat, Ahichchhatra, and Bhita. Iron smelting was another vital skill.


Goldsmiths, garland-makers, potters, bricklayers, washermen, weavers, tailors, painters, shell-cutters, carpenters, and other craftsmen are also mentioned by Amarakosha. As the names of locations like Lohanagara imply, guilds and specialised villages existed in terms of organisation. Expert craftsmen such as leatherworkers, carpenters, washermen, florists, and blacksmiths are mentioned in a record from Bangladesh dated 930 CE. Iron smelting and textiles remained important industries, as they had been in the previous centuries.


Q9. Agricultural system in Tamilakam. 6

Ans) Agriculture was done with ploughs. The bullocks' necks were tied with a cross-bar. Various operations were carried out with spades, hoes, and sickles. Excavations have uncovered furnaces and iron slag at a variety of locations. Buffaloes were yoked to the plough, and animals were used in the threshing and pounding stages of the agricultural process. Through sluices and harnessed streams, both tank irrigation and irrigation from tiny dams were possible. Near Kaveripattinam in Tamilakam, the remains of an old reservoir were uncovered.


Weeding plants, clearing fields, planting seeds, guarding crops, husking, winnowing, and pounding grain were all significant agricultural tasks undertaken by people. Both menpulam and vanpulam exhibit this trait. We are familiar with these activities because of the folk songs that are associated with them. Despite the fact that both men and women participated in manufacturing, there was a gendered division of labour.


Q10. Dravid and Sanskrit. 6

Ans) There is no definitive information about the Dravidian family's origins. Dravidian languages, according to some experts, are indigenous to India. A theory positing a movement of Dravidian speakers from the northwest to the south and east of the Indian Peninsula, originating possibly as far away as Central Asia, has gained traction in recent years. Tamil has the largest geographical range of the Dravidian languages, as well as the richest and most ancient literature, which is only rivalled in India by Sanskrit.


Sanskrit is a classical South Asian language that belongs to the Indo-Aryan branch of Indo-European languages. It emerged in South Asia in the late Bronze Age, after its ancestor languages had spread there from the northwest. Sanskrit is the sacred language of Hinduism, as well as the language of classical Hindu philosophy and Buddhist and Jain historical literature.

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