1. Which all spheres of the Indian society were targeted by the British in gaining  control over the Indians?

Ans. The British, being merchants, first and foremost targeted the economic base of the Indians. They ruined the cottage and small-scale industries, thereby hitting the backbone of the country.

They also targeted the social and religious practices of the Indians leading to stabilisation of the moral fabric of the Indian existence. Politically, they had already turned the Indian kings and princes into puppets to play with. Also, the changes in existing laws were introduced with an aim to reduce Indians into nothingness before the legal bodies.

2. What happened with the introduction of English education?

Ans. The English education not only replaced the traditional forms of education, especially the modes/languages in which education was imparted, but also created a new class of intellectuals. These intellectuals served as middle men between the native Indians and the British. Since the English education was not introduced uniformly, this new class invested a lot of faith in English mannerisms and looked down upon their brethern.

3.On the basis of your reading of the text, write a character sketch of Ram Mohan Roy.

Ans. Ram Mohan Roy was a very learned man from Bengal. He was unbiased and objective in his perspectives about his society. He realised both merits and demerits of his society. He could foresee that various social evils and superstitions were ruining Indian society. He, therefore, tried to bring about a reform in his society. He started his newspaper for such causes. He was also a great appreciator of the Western thinking for it laid emphasis on practical and scientific forms of knowledge. He did a lot of work for women.

4. What are the superstitions that were being spread by the religious leaders of the time?

Ans. The religious leaders of the time talked about ideas like untouchability and child marriage, ideas that were orthodox and regressive in nature. They also preached against women; ” All the misery in the world is due to women.” This led to women enjoying a lower social status.

The religious leaders of the time also encouraged people to believe that travelling to distant lands would make them lose their religion. Many other such regressive ideas were being spread by the religious leaders of the time.

Value Based Questions

1. Do you think that a society should always resist change or reform in order to preserve its traditional values ?

Ans. No. The society should not always resist the changes or reforms that occur because with the changing times certain traditional ideas and values may become obsolete and therefore, meaningless. Also, certain rituals suppress the existence of certain sections of the society. If there is no reforms, these sections would always remain oppressed and subjugated. For instance, the women, lower caste and lower class people.