Glimpses of the Past: Solutions Summary and Meanings Class 8 NCERT English

‘Glimpses of the Past’ Class 8: It is a pictorial glimpses of the history of our country from 1757 to 1857. These pictures and ‘speech bubbles’ clarify understanding of how the events unfolded that led to the event known as the First War of Independence in 1857. Get here question answers, summary and meanings of the lesson ‘Glimpses of the Past’.

Word Meanings: Glimpses of the Past

Here’s the table with the Hindi meanings in a new column:

Recallremember from the pastस्मरण करना, याद करना
Martyrsone who gives away or sacrifices his life for a cause, especially for the motherlandशहीद, बलिदानी
territorygeographical areaक्षेत्र, इलाका
upstartarrogant, filled with false prideअहंकारी, कम समय में धनवान या नवाब बनना
constantregular and steadyनिरंतर, लगातार
subdueoppressदबाना, अधीन करना
linkedconnected, joinedजुड़ा हुआ, से मिला हुआ
crossesgoes beyondपार करता है
unworthyincapableअयोग्य, अक्षम
arrearsdebtऋण, बकाया
famineslack of foodअकाल, भुखमरी
despisehateनफ़रत करना
superstitionsblind faithअंधविश्वास
essencegistसार, सारी बातों का निचोड़
acceptrecogniseस्वीकार करना
oweshasऋणी होता है, बकायेदार
drewgotप्राप्त हुआ, पाया
madeearned much wealthबनाया (धन कमाया)
weaverscloth makersबुनकर
pettysmallतुच्छ, निम्न कोटि का
grievancescomplaintsशिकायतें, परेशानियाँ
desperaterecklessनिराशा, हताश
mansionbig houseहवेली
abolishfinishसमाप्त करना
circulatedpassed onप्रसारित हुआ,
marchedwent in a bodyचले गए
sorebitterतीखा या कडुआ
import dutythe tax levied on goods by the government on imported goodsआयात शुल्क
extendingenlarging and expandingविस्तार करना
short-sightedlacking in foresightअदूरदर्शी
dethronedremoved from powerराजगद्दी से हटाया गया
preachedlecturedउपदेश दिया गया
scornedhatedघृणा करना
abandondesertछोड़ देना
inevitablyas a consequenceअनिवार्य रूप से
starvationdeath due to hungerभुखमरी
cripplemake invalidअयोग्य या पंगु बना देना
artisanscraftspersonकारीगर, शिल्पकार
culturecivilisationसभ्यता ओर संस्कृति
ruiningdestroyingनष्ट करना, तबाह करना
suspiciousdoubtfulसंदेहास्पद, संदिग्ध
triala case in the courtमुकदमा
exportingsending abroadविदेश भेजना
bleachingdiscolouringसफेद करना
incidentallyby the wayसंयोगवश, उपरांत, वस्तुतः
conveyexpressसंप्रेषित करना
sparksignited particlesबिजली की किरणें
brewingdevelopingविकसित हो रहा है
pittancea very small amountबहुत कम धन, अत्यंत मामूली राशि
stripped offdeprived ofवंचित कर दिया गया
spreadextendedफैलाया गया
pounced uponswooped downतूफ़ानी रूप से


The period of the East India Company’s Conquests and British Rule, from 1757 to 1849, saw the expansion of the Company’s power in India. The Indian princes’ rivalries and short-sightedness provided an opportunity for English merchants and the Company to succeed in their ventures. Some saw the Company’s rule as a blessing, as it restored peace and order, but others viewed it as a shameful submission to outsiders. Tipu Sultan of Mysore fought against the British and lost his life in the process.

India at this time was steeped in religious orthodoxies and superstitions, including practices such as untouchability, child marriages, and low social status for women. The British, on the other hand, were forward-thinking and industrious, and they looked down on these practices as well as the Indians’ perceived dishonesty. Their laws weakened Indian industries and strengthened their rule. English goods were imported duty-free to sell in Indian markets, while Indian farmers faced heavy taxes on their produce. This burden on the farmers led to famine and the deaths of thousands of Indians.

Ram Mohan Roy was a learned man from Bengal who valued Indian traditions but understood the need for social reform. He believed that all religions had the same essence, and respect and tolerance were key to a united society. He was also attracted to modern forms of knowledge and believed that anything that could be explained through reason should be accepted as truth. He travelled to England and ultimately accepted British rule, but only if they fulfilled their responsibilities to their Indian subjects. He started newspapers in India, but they were shut down by suspicious British authorities in 1823.

From 1765 to 1835, the British imposed oppressive policies on the Indians, including Regulation III, which allowed Indians to be jailed without trial. They heavily exported their goods to Indian markets and profited from private businesses established in India, ruining Indian industries while prospering themselves. By 1856, the British had established their rule over nearly all of India, and deep-seated dissatisfaction had spread among Indians. They replaced Persian and Sanskrit with English, creating a new class of intellectuals who invested faith in English policies and education, even though the British cared little for Indians. The Indians lost jobs and positions, leading to more discontent.

By 1855-57, the discontent had turned into rebellion. Peasants were ruined by taxes, and new land rules left the Santhals in Bengal desperate. They massacred Europeans and their supporters. Indian soldiers realized they were being paid less and treated worse than their English counterparts, and they spread the message of revolt to their brethren in the villages. Finally, the rebellion broke out, and the sepoys marched to Delhi, joined by landlords, and they praised Bahadur Shah, their emperor, shouting “Death to the foreigner.” The War of Independence began, and people rose in rebellion in various parts of North India. Former rulers and popular leaders joined the cause, and various patriots fought against the British.

Textbook Exercise Answers

Comprehension Check – Page 45

1. Look at picture 1 and recall the opening lines of the original song in Hindi. Who is the singer? Who else do you see in this picture

Ans.  Lata Mangeshkar sings the opening lines, “Ae mere watan ke logon, zara aankh mein bhar lo paani, jo shaheed hue hain unki zara yaad karo kurbaani.” The picture shows Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of Independent India, along with Lal Bahadur Shastri and Indira Gandhi among the audience.

2. In picture 2 what do you understand by the Company’s” superior weapon”?

Ans. The term “superior weapons” used by the Company could refer to the British’s strategic game of the mind to establish and propagate their authority in India. Furthermore, their advanced firearms and artillery are also labelled as the Company’s “superior weapons.”

3. Who is an artisan? Why do you think the artisans suffered

Ans.  Skilled craftsmen, known as artisans, traditionally handcrafted goods. However, the British colonization of India had a detrimental impact on these artisans. The British imported their machine-manufactured goods on a large scale, overwhelming the Indian market. Despite the artisans’ superior craftsmanship, they were unable to compete with the quantity of machine-made goods flooding the market.

4. Which picture, according to you, reveals the first sparks of the fire of revolt 

Ans.  Picture ‘4’ reveals the first spark of revolt when the Europeans were massacred by the ‘Santhals’ of Bengal in 1855. It showed the deep discontentment among people against the British government. 

Working with the Text (Page 45)

Answer the following questions.

1. Do you think the Indian princes were short-sighted in their approach to the events of 1757?

2. How did the East India Company subdue the Indian princes?

3. Quote the words used by Ram Mohan Roy to say that every religion teaches the same principles.

4. In what ways did the British officers exploit Indians?

5. Name these people.

(i) The ruler who fought pitched battles against the British and died fighting.

(ii) The person who wanted to reform society.

(iii) The person who recommended the introduction of English education in India.

(iv) Two popular leaders who led the revolt (Choices may vary.)

6. Mention the following.

(i) Two examples of social practices prevailing then.

(ii) Two oppressive policies of the British.

(iii) Two ways in which common people suffered.

(iv) Four reasons for the discontent that led to the 1857 War of Independence.

Answers: 1 to 5

  1. The Indian princes were lacking in foresight during the events of 1757 as they did not comprehend the repercussions of seeking foreign aid to resolve their internal affairs.
  2. The Indian rulers engaged in infighting and relied on the British for assistance, which ultimately resulted in them becoming subservient to British control.
  3. Ram Mohan Roy stated that while different religions may have varying teachings, the fundamental essence remains the same, much like how cows of different colours produce the same milk.
  4. British officials exploited the Indian population through various means, including passing Regulation III, imposing heavy taxes on farmers, reforming land laws, importing goods without paying duties, and causing harm to the Indian artisanal industry.


(i) Tipu Sultan

(ii) Ram Mohan Roy

(iii) Lord Macaulay

(iv) Tatya Tope and Peshwa Nana Saheb


(i) Untouchability and Child marriage

(ii) Regulation III and import of British goods without import duty.

(iii) the farmers were heavily taxed and many Indians lost their jobs.

(iv) (a) Taxes that ruined the farmers.

(b) Changes in the laws related to land.

(c) Disparity in the perks privileges and wages of British soldiers and the Indian soldiers.

(d) The grease used on the bullets was made from the fat of cows and pigs.

Working with Language – Page 45

In comics, what the character speak is put in bubbles. This is direct narration. When we report what the characters speak, we use the method of indirect narration.

Study these examples.

First farmer: Why are your men taking away the entire crop?

Second farmer: Your men have taken away everything.

Officer: You are still in arrears. If you don’t pay tax next week, I’ll send you to jail.

  • The first farmer asked the officer why his men were taking away the entire crop.
  • The second farmer said that their men had taken away everything.
  • The officer replied that they were still in arrears and warned them that if
  • they did not pay tax the following week, he (the officer) would send them (the farmers) to jail.

1. Change the following sentences into indirect speech.

Ans. (i) The first man said that they must (have to) educate their brothers. The second man added that they had to try to improve their material condition. The third man suggested that they must convey their grievance to the British Parliament.

Ans. (ii)  The first soldier said that the white soldier got huge pay, mansions and servants. The second soldier remarked that they only got pittance and slow promotions. The third soldier asked who the British were to abolish their customs.

Speaking and Writing – Page 46

1. Playact the role of farmers who have grievances against the policies of the government. Rewrite their ‘speech bubbles’ in dialogue form first.


First Farmer: These foreigners are worst than our Indian princes.

Second Farmer: Yes, you are absolutely right. They have taken away our entire crop.

Third Farmer: As if this wasn’t enough, they have levied heavy taxes on us and arrears too.

First Farmer: The rain gods don’t seem to be very happy either. The famine would ruin our entire family.

Second Farmer: Despite, so much suffering, we are further threatened that we would be put into jail.

Third Farmer: Someone was talking about some Regulation III, which says that Indians could be jailed without any trial.

Second Farmer: We are damn forever. Death be to the foreigner.

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