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NCERT Solutions: How, When and Where
- State whether true or false:
(a) James Mill divided Indian history into three periods – Hindu, Muslim, Christian.
(b) Official documents help us understand what the people of the country think.
(c) The British thought surveys were important for effective administration.
Ans: (a) False (b) False (c) True
2. What is the problem with the periodisation of Indian history that James Mill offers?
Ans. James Mill divided Indian history into three periods— Hindu, Muslim and British. This periodisation has its own problem.
- It is difficult to refer to any period of history as ‘Hindu’ or ‘Muslim’ because a variety of faiths existed simultaneously in these periods.
- It is also not justified to characterise an age through the religion of the rulers of the time.
- What it suggests is that the lives and practices of others do not really matter. It is worth mentioning that even rulers in ancient India did not all share the same faith.
3. Why did the British preserve official documents?
Ans. The British believed that by preserving official documents it would be easier for them or any other to know about the decisions taken in the past. One can study the notes and reports that were prepared in the past. Their copies may be prepared and used in present time if needed so.
4. How will the information historians get from old newspapers be different from that found in police reports?
Ans. Old newspapers and police reports offer different types of information to historians. Newspapers provide a wider context and public opinions on events, while police reports focus on specific incidents and contain investigative information. Newspapers may report on events not investigated by police, but their reporting can be biased, while police reports strive to be objective. Historians can use both sources to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the past.
5. Can you think of examples of surveys in your world today? Think about how toy companies get information about what young people enjoy playing with or how the government finds out about the number of young people in school. What can a historian derive from such surveys?
Ans. There are many examples of surveys in the world today. Some common ones include:
- Political surveys: These are surveys conducted by political organizations, polling firms, and research institutions to gather data on public opinion on various political issues.
- Market research surveys: These are surveys conducted by companies to gather information on consumer preferences, behaviour, and attitudes towards products and services.
- Employee engagement surveys: These are surveys conducted by companies to gather feedback from employees on various aspects of their job, such as work environment, management, and company culture.
- Social and demographic surveys: These are surveys conducted by governments and research institutions to gather information on population trends, such as age, gender, income, education, and employment.
- Health surveys: These are surveys conducted by healthcare organizations and research institutions to gather information on health-related issues, such as disease prevalence, risk factors, and treatment effectiveness.
Historians can derive valuable insights from surveys, as they provide a snapshot of public opinion and social trends at a particular point in time. Surveys can help historians understand how attitudes and beliefs have evolved over time, as well as shed light on social and economic changes.
For example, surveys of children’s toy preferences can help historians understand changing attitudes towards gender roles and cultural values.
Surveys of school enrollment can help historians track changes in education policy and access to education over time.