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BHIC-134: History of India from c. 1707 to 1950

BHIC-134: History of India from c. 1707 to 1950

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

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Assignment Code: BHIC-134/ASST/TMA/2022-23

Course Code: BHIC-134

Assignment Name: History of India: 1707-1950

Year: 2022-2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


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




Answer the following in about 500 words each. 20x2


Q1) Was there a political revolution in Bengal between 1757-1765? Discuss.

Ans) The political history described above from 1757 to 1765 demonstrates how the British steadily reduced the Nawab's power and secured total control over Bengal. Many historians refer to what occurred in Bengal during this time as a "political revolution." There is disagreement among historians over the causes of this revolution. It is unjustified for some historians to try and tie the revolt to the Nawabs' individual failings. The change in Bengal's power structure cannot be attributed to Siraj's haughtiness, Mir Jafar's betrayal, or Mir Kasim's personal limits. There were more important concerns at stake in the struggle between the British and the Nawabs.


The bone of disagreement between the Nawabs and the East India Company was the exploitation of trading privileges for their personal business by Company employees. The Mughal emperor Farukshiyar granted a firman, or imperial grant, in 1717 that limited duty-free concession to the Company's imports and exports and excluded the private trade of Company personnel. The Nawabs treasury suffered significant losses as a result of the Company officials' abuse of this trading privilege for private trade. Siraj-ud-daula and Mir Kasim both complained to the Company about this abuse of the trading privilege, but nothing changed.


If the Company were as to blame for the fight with the Nawabs as individual Englishmen were, then so was the Company. The Nawabs were under pressure from the Company to grant them more trading rights. The British planned to expel the French and Dutch businesses from Bengal in order to establish their monopolistic control over trade in that region. Against the Nawab's wishes, the English Company started to build up its military power and fortified Calcutta. The Nawab's rule was directly contested by this. Following Plassey, the Company put more pressure on the Nawab to provide higher subsidies and required some Zamindaris to pay for the Company's troops' expenditures. More concerning was the Company's intervention in the Nawab's court politics and selection of high-ranking officials.


It is clear that the Company and its representatives significantly influenced the events in Bengal between 1757 and 1765. The contribution of some local merchants, officials, and zamindars to the creation of British political dominance in Bengal, however, was no less important. The biggest banking family in Bengal, the Jagat Seths, as well as affluent merchants like Umihand, were not pleased with Siraj-ud-ascension. daula's The Seth family served as the Nawab's treasurer and exercised symbolic authority over the Nawab's government.


Along with the Seths and other merchants, the Nawab's court was dominated by the landed and military nobility. This faction started to worry that they could lose the special advantages that the previous Nawabs had granted them. They had reason to be concerned when Siraj-ud-daula reorganised civilian and military administration by displacing incumbents in key positions. The old officials became estranged from the Nawab as a result of the Nawab's backing of a new elite group led by Mohanlal, Mir Madan, and Khawaja Abdul Hadi Khan. The ruling clique plotted to have Siraj-ud-daula removed in exchange for their own man because they felt alienated and thought they would get a better deal that way.


This group contained allies for the British, who were looking for a partner to further their own objectives. While their Indian allies desired to create their own political power in Bengal, the British intended to increase their trade privileges and resource extraction from Bengal. Their shared goal was to have a man of their choosing take the current Nawab's position. Because of this, the conspiracy made it simpler for the British to take control of the Bengal Nawab.


Q2) Discuss the differences between the Moderates and Extremists in the Indian National Congress.

Ans) The Indian National Congress's moderates and extremists differ in the following ways:


The Moderates

Early on, the Congress's schedule was very limited. It called for moderate constitutional changes, financial assistance, administrative restructuring, and the protection of civil rights. The demands that were more pressing were:

  1. The structure of provincial councils

  2. Simultaneity of I.C.S. testing in India and England

  3. The Indian Council's dissolution or reformation.

  4. The division of the executive and judicial branches.

  5. The Arms Act's repeal.

  6. The Army's assignment of Indians to commissioned positions.

  7. The decrease in military spending.

  8. Bringing Permanent Settlement to other regions of India.


The Congress voiced its opinions on all significant government actions and voiced opposition to unpopular ones. Year after year, these requests were made, but the government hardly ever responded. Almost no changes were made to the Congress programme throughout the first 20 years. The term "Moderate phase" refers to this stage of the Congress. The leaders were cautious in their demands during this time. They didn't want to irritate the authorities and run the danger of having their activities repressed. The enlargement and reform of the Legislative Councils, the inclusion of elected representatives of the people in the Councils, as an increase in the Councils' authority, were their key demands from 1885 until 1892.


The Indian Councils Act of 1892 was compelled by the British government to be passed, but the Congress leaders were unsatisfied with its features. In 1905, the Congress demanded that Indians be granted Swaraj, or self-rule, within the boundaries of the British Empire, after the example of other independent colonies like Australia and Canada. G.K. Gokhale originally mentioned this desire in 1905, and Dadabhai Naoroji made it clear in 1906. In actuality, the fight to end press censorship evolved into a key component of the nationalist movement for freedom. These demands make obvious the progressive nature of their substance and how directly they relate to the wants and aspirations of the Indian middle class.


Extremists in Action

Any meddling by a foreign authority in the domestic and private affairs of the populace offended Tilak. He fought with the reformers in 1891 over the Age of Consent Bill. In 1893, he inaugurated the Ganapati celebration. The National Social Conference was given a challenge by Tilak in 1895 when he forbade it from holding its meeting in the Congress pavilion in Poona. The Moderate Wing had a strong hold on the National Social Conference. The Poona Sarvajanik Sabha was taken over by the Extremists from the Moderates in the same year. When the Deccan Sabha was established on November 4, 1896, the separation between the Extremists and the Moderates in Maharashtra was complete, but not throughout the rest of India. The first Shivaji festival was held on April 15, 1896.


The Congress here and its British Committee in London are both beggar institutions, he could only write in 1902 Lajpat Rai was likewise uninterested in the Congress programme due to the soft and erratic strategy it pursued. He did not attend any Congress meetings between 1893 and 1900. He believed that the Congress leaders during this time were more concerned with glory and grandeur than with the welfare of the nation. The Japanese victory over Russia inspired elation across Asia. The Ethiopians had defeated the Italian army earlier in 1896. These triumphs burst the European supremacy bubble and gave the Indians confidence.




Answer the following questions in about 250 words each. 10x3


Q1) What were the main ideas of the Utilitarians? Discuss.

Ans) Utilitarianism is one of the best known and most influential moral theories. Like other forms of consequentialism, its core idea is that whether actions are morally right or wrong depends on their effects. More specifically, the only effects of actions that are relevant are the good and bad results that they produce. A key point in this article concerns the distinction between individual actions and types of actions. Act utilitarians focus on the effects of individual actions while rule utilitarians focus on the effects of types of actions.


Utilitarians believe that the purpose of morality is to make life better by increasing the amount of good things in the world and decreasing the amount of bad things. They reject moral codes or systems that consist of commands or taboos that are based on customs, traditions, or orders given by leaders or supernatural beings. Instead, utilitarians think that what makes a morality be true or justifiable is its positive contribution to human beings. The most important classical utilitarians are Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill. Bentham and Mill were both important theorists and social reformers. Their theory has had a major impact both on philosophical work in moral theory and on approaches to economic, political, and social policy. Although utilitarianism has always had many critics,  there are many 21st century thinkers that support it.


The task of determining whether utilitarianism is the correct moral theory is complicated because there are different versions of the theory, and its supporters disagree about which version is correct. This article focuses on perhaps the most important dividing line among utilitarians, the clash between act utilitarianism and rule utilitarianism. After a brief overall explanation of utilitarianism, the article explains both act utilitarianism and rule utilitarianism, the main differences between them, and some of the key arguments for and against each view.


Q2) Comment on the economic impact of the British rule.

Ans) Practically every aspect of Indian society was impacted by colonial policy, including the artisan, farmer, worker, and merchant classes.



One of the first effects of colonialism in India that was seen and documented was the destruction of indigenous Indian industries. The differential between the cost prices in India and the sale prices in England of Indian industrial products like cotton and silk textiles was the source of profit for the East Indian Company during that early period of mercantile capitalism. If the Indian cost price, at which the English East India Company purchased goods from Indian artisans, could be reduced, this price differential, or the profit rates of the English East India Company, might be enhanced.


Famines in Colonial India

From the middle of the 19th century, India was devastated by numerous famines. According to government estimates, there were at least 1 crore and 52 lakh fatalities in these famines, and 39.7 crore people were afflicted overall. Periods of sustenance crises are indicated by these enormous numbers. Droughts and crop failures were obviously the direct cause of this, but the usual rate of agricultural production was what led to the crisis in the first place. The fast increase in population beginning in the 1920s and the lack of government investments in irrigation and other forms of development were also to blame. The per capita availability of food-grains in India is an important indicator of the normal situation with regard to food supply.


Commercialization of Agriculture

The production of food grains did not increase, but certain so-called "cash crops" rose. Non-food grain crop output grew overall and per acre, mostly as a result of rising prices and increased demand on the external and internal markets. We should pay particular attention to the Cotton Boom of the early 1860s because it was the most pronounced increase of this kind.


Impact of Commercialization on Rural Society

The development of usury and merchant capital in rural life as well as the widening of levels of distinction among the peasantry were made possible by the commercialization of agriculture. The village bania became more and more dependent on the common cultivator for credit advances. The peasant required credit for the marketing of his harvest, and as commercialization advanced, so did the necessity for loans for subsistence during times of famine. The money lender-cum-trader also played a significant role in delivering funds for the payment of land revenue.


Q3) What was the role of the Constituent Assembly in shaping the Indian Constitution?

Ans) On December 9, 1946, the Constituent Assembly had its first meeting. Only 207 of the 296 members were able to attend since the Muslim League members were not present because they had boycotted the Constituent Assembly, J.B. Kriplani asked Dr. Sachchidanand to lead the meeting as the House's interim chairman. On December 10, 1946, the members adopted a motion calling for the election of a permanent member. On December 11, 1946, Dr Rajendra Prasad was chosen to serve as the permanent Chairman of the Constituent Assembly. Jawaharlal Nehru introduced a resolution on the goals and objectives on December 13th, 1946.


To ensure smooth operation, the Constituent Assembly split its duties among many committees. Several of the significant committees included:

  1. Jawaharlal Nehru served as the chairman of the Union Power Committee, which had nine members.

  2. There were 54 members of the Committee on Fundamental Rights and Minorities, and Sardar Ballabhbhai Patel served as its chairman.

  3. Steering Committee, comprised of Bhagwan Das, Gopalaswami Iyangar, and Dr. K.M. Munshi (chairman).

  4. 25 people made up the provincial constitution committee, which was presided over by Sardar Patel.

  5. There were 15 members of the Committee on Union Constitution, and Jawaharlal Nehru served as its chairman.


On August 29, 1947, the Assembly formed a Drafting Committee under the leadership of Dr B.R. Ambedkar after examining the reports of various committees. Sir B.N. Rau, a consultant to the Constituent Assembly, created the draught. To review the document, a committee of seven people was formed. The draught was piloted in the Assembly by Dr B.R. Ambedkar, who served as both the Law Minister and the chairman of the Drafting Committee. In addition to offering an alternative to the recommendations made in the committee reports, Dr Ambedkar presented the "Draft Constitution of India," which also included additional resolutions.


In February 1948, the "Draft Constitution" was made public. The Constituent Assembly debated it clause by clause over the course of numerous sessions, finishing it on October 17, 1949. On November 14, the Constituent Assembly reconvened in order to continue discussing the text or to grant it a third reading. After gaining the President of the Constituent Assembly's signature, it was finally signed on November 26th, 1949. However, it was January 26, 1950, that was chosen as the Constitution's start date.




Answer the following questions in about 100 words each. 6x5


Q1) Ryotwari Settlement

Ans) Gujarat is where Ryotwari in the Bombay Presidency first appeared. The hereditary officials known as desais, and the village headmen were used by the British to first collect land revenue. However, this did not bring in as much money as the British desired, so in 1813–1814 they started taking money directly from the peasants. Under the direction of Elphinstone, a follower of Munro, they also adopted the ryotwari system on the Madras pattern after they captured the Peshwa domain in 1818. The Madras ryotwari abuses soon spread to the Bombay Presidency as well, especially once the Collectors started attempting to boost revenue as quickly as they could.


Q2) State formation in Mysore in the 18th century

Ans) To the south of Hyderabad was the kingdom of Mysore. From the Wodeyars to Tipu Sultan, the rulers of Mysore faced the expansionist danger posed by the Marathas as well as that posed by Hyderabad and Carnatic in the 18th century, while the English took use of the situation to their advantage. Tipu Sultan is one of the most well-known figures from the eighteenth century. He is nearly a folk hero who represents opposition to British aggrandisement and who is also the target of defamation in British tales of their ascent to power. The Wodeyar family turned Mysore from a viceroyalty of the Vijaynagar Empire into a sovereign nation. To make Mysore a significant military force in the southern part of India, Haidar Ali and his son Tipu Sultan were left in charge.


Q3) The Orientalists in India

Ans) The terms "Orientalism" and "Orientalist" first acquired a distinctly political connotation when they were applied to English academics, officials, and politicians who opposed "Anglicist" changes to British colonial policy in India in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. These individuals believed that India should be governed in accordance with British laws and institutions. The Orientalists, on the other hand, maintained that local customs and laws should take precedence; some of these Orientalists studied traditional or ancient Indian legal systems in an effort to codify them for use by a colonial bureaucracy.


Q4) Communalism

Ans) Communalism is the idea that people who share a religion also have similar social, political, cultural, and economic identities and interests. In other words, it is the idea that religion is the foundation of society and a fundamental source of social division, and that it governs all of a person's other interests. A communalist would pick just one of these diverse identities religious identity and exaggerate it. As a result, the basis of a person's religious identity may be used to define social relationships, political actions, and economic battles. In a nutshell, the beginning of communalism is the super-imposition of the religious category over all others.


Q5) Transfer of Power

Ans) The idea of a peaceful transition or transfer of power, in which the current leadership of a government peacefully transfers authority of the government over to a newly elected leadership, is crucial to democratic regimes. This could happen following elections or while leaving a different type of political government, such the post-communist era following the fall of the Soviet Union. By the end of 1944, the British began to understand that the Indian situation should not be allowed to continue as it had before the Quit India Movement, once the war's tide had shifted in their favour. They understood that a long-term military occupation of India would be difficult. Therefore, it was necessary to start a conversation with the Congressmen who were detained.

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