Tribals, Dikus and the Vision of a Golden Age Question & Answers Class 8 History

Class 8 Social Science Chapter 4 “Tribals, Dikus and the Vision of a Golden” Age Question & Answers: Answers to Intext questions as well solutions to chapter exercises are given here. Click here for other class 8 history chapters.

Intext Questions & Answers

The questions are given alongside inside the chapter text matter. In the chapter two Activities are given. We have provided solutions to both the activities below.

Activity (Page 42)

Look carefully at the tasks that Baiga men and women did. Do you see any pattern? What were the differences in the types of work that they were expected to perform?

Ans. When examining the tasks that Baiga men and women performed, we can identify certain patterns and differences in the types of work they were expected to do. Let’s analyze these patterns:


  1. Agricultural Work: Both Baiga men and women were involved in agricultural activities, including cultivation, harvesting, and tending to crops. This suggests that agriculture was a primary occupation for both genders.
  2. Forest-Based Activities: Both genders engaged in activities related to the forest, such as collecting forest produce, gathering fruits, and using forest resources for various purposes. This indicates the importance of the forest ecosystem in their livelihoods.
  3. Supplementary Roles: Both men and women contributed to various aspects of household maintenance, such as collecting water, gathering firewood, and taking care of domestic animals. These tasks were essential for daily life and survival.


  1. Jhum Cultivation: Baiga men were likely more involved in jhum cultivation, which involves cutting trees, clearing land, and preparing it for cultivation. This physically demanding task required strength and endurance.
  2. Hunting and Gathering: Men may have been more engaged in hunting animals for food, which required specialized skills and knowledge of the forest. They might have also participated in more extensive gathering trips.
  3. Household and Care Work: Baiga women were often responsible for household tasks like cooking, childcare, and maintaining the domestic sphere. This included tasks like cooking meals, caring for children, and ensuring the overall well-being of the family.
  4. Cultural Roles: Women might have played important roles in cultural practices, such as rituals, ceremonies, and passing down traditional knowledge to the younger generations.
  5. Economic Activities: Women could have been involved in activities like selling forest produce or handicrafts in local markets, contributing to the family’s income.

In summary, while Baiga men and women both participated in agricultural, forest-related, and household tasks, there were certain differences based on their respective roles and responsibilities. Men’s tasks often involved physically demanding activities like cultivation and hunting, while women focused on domestic chores and maintaining the household. These patterns reflect the division of labour within the Baiga community and the broader cultural and economic context of their society.

Activity (Page 47)

Find out whether the conditions of work in the mines have changed now. Check how many people die in mines every year, and what are the reasons for their death.

Ans. The conditions of work in mines have improved significantly in recent years. However, there are still many challenges that miners face, including:

  • Hazardous working conditions: Mines are often dark, damp, and dusty, which can pose a number of health risks to miners. In addition, there is always the risk of cave-ins, explosions, and other accidents.
  • Low pay: Miners often earn very low wages, even though their work is dangerous and demanding.
  • Lack of safety training: Many miners do not receive adequate safety training, which puts them at increased risk of accidents.
  • Child labour: In some countries, child labour is still used in mines, which exposes children to serious health and safety risks.

According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), an estimated 2,700 miners die each year in accidents and occupational diseases. The leading causes of death in mines are:

  • Explosions: Explosions are the most common cause of death in mines. They can be caused by a number of factors, including the ignition of methane gas, coal dust, or other combustible materials.
  • Caving in: Cave-ins are another major cause of death in mines. They can be caused by a number of factors, including poor mining practices, geological instability, or earthquakes.
  • Transport accidents: Transport accidents, such as those involving mine carts or trucks, are also a significant cause of death in mines.
  • Falls of ground: Falls of ground are another common cause of death in mines. They can be caused by a number of factors, such as poor roof support, geological instability, or earthquakes.
  • Asphyxia: Asphyxia, or suffocation, is a leading cause of death in mines where there is a lack of oxygen. This can be caused by a number of factors, such as a build-up of methane gas, coal dust, or other gases.

The ILO is working to improve safety conditions in mines around the world. They have developed a number of standards and guidelines to help countries improve mine safety. The ILO is also working to raise awareness of the dangers of mining and to promote the use of safety equipment.

Despite the challenges, there have been significant improvements in mine safety in recent years. The number of miners killed in accidents has declined steadily in recent decades. This is due to a number of factors, including:

  • Improved safety standards: Countries around the world have adopted stricter safety standards for mines.
  • Increased use of safety equipment: Miners are now more likely to wear safety helmets, goggles, and other protective gear.
  • Better training: Miners are now receiving more training on safety procedures.
  • More effective rescue services: Rescue services are now better equipped and trained to respond to accidents in mines.

There is still more work to be done to improve mine safety, but the progress that has been made is encouraging. With continued efforts, it is possible to make mines safer places to work.

Textbook Exercise Question & Answers

The questions and answers are based on exercise given at the end of this chapter at pages 48 and 49.

Let’s Recall

1. Fill in the blanks:

(a) The British described the tribal people as ____________.

(b) The method of sowing seeds in jhum cultivation is known as ____________.

(c) The tribal chiefs got _________ titles in central India under the British land settlements.

(d) Tribals went to work in the __________ of Assam and the ____________ in Bihar.


(a) The British described the tribal people as ‘wild’ and ‘savage’.
(b) The method of sowing seeds in jhum cultivation is known as broadcasting.
(c) The tribal chiefs got land titles in central India under the British land settlements.
(d) Tribals went to work in the tea plantations of Assam and the coal mines in Bihar.

2. State whether true or false:

(a) Jhum cultivators plough the land and sow seeds.
(b) Cocoons were bought from the Santhals and sold by the traders at five times the purchase price.
(c) Birsa urged his followers to purify themselves, give up drinking liquor and stop believing in
witchcraft and sorcery.
(d) The British wanted to preserve the tribal way of life.


(a) False
(b) True
(c) True
(d) False

Let’s Discuss

3. What problems did shifting cultivators face under British rule?

Ans. Shifting cultivators faced several challenges under British rule:

  • Forest Laws: British extended control over forests, limiting their traditional practices.
  • Settled Cultivation Pressure: British encouraged settled cultivation, which was not always feasible due to ecological conditions.
  • Exploitation: Increased contact with traders and moneylenders led to exploitation and unfair transactions.
  • Restrictions: New laws and taxes affected their livelihoods and practices negatively.
  • Forced Labor: Many were forced to work in mines, plantations, etc., far from their homes.

4. How did the powers of tribal chiefs change under colonial rule?

Ans. Changes in Powers of tribal chiefs under colonial rule:

  • Loss of Administrative Power: Tribal chiefs’ authority diminished, and their administrative power declined.
  • British Laws: They had to follow laws made by British officials.
  • Reduced Autonomy: While some retained land titles, they lost substantial autonomy and power.
  • Tribute Payment: Chiefs were compelled to pay tribute to the British and discipline tribal groups on their behalf.
  • Economic Role: They often rented out land and provided labor to the British, altering their traditional roles.

5. What accounts for the anger of the tribals against the dikus?

Ans. Reasons behind tribals’ anger against dikus:

  • Exploitation: Tribals faced exploitation by traders, moneylenders, and landlords.
  • Cultural Assault: Missionaries criticized their traditional practices, and British policies disrupted their way of life.
  • Land Loss: British land policies led to loss of traditional land rights, often taken over by dikus.
  • Economic Inequity: The economic disparities caused by traders and outsiders led to anger.

6. What was Birsa’s vision of a golden age? Why do you think such a vision appealed to the people of the region?

Ans. Birsa’s vision of a golden age was a time when Mundas lived an honest life, practiced cultivation, and tapped natural resources.

  • Appeal: The vision resonated with the people as it reflected their ancestral way of life, free from colonial oppression and exploitation.
  • Hope for Restoration: Birsa’s call to return to a time of self-sufficiency, community well-being, and traditional practices gave hope to the Mundas against British policies.
  • Identity and Autonomy: The vision highlighted their identity as original settlers, instilling a sense of pride and motivation to reclaim their kingdom and resist external influences.

Let’s Do

7. Find out from your parents, friends or teachers, the names of some heroes of other tribal revolts in the twentieth century. Write their story in your own words.

Ans. We are giving here stories about two heroes of tribal revolts in 20th century.

Rani Gaidinliu:

Rani Gaidinliu was a Naga tribal leader from Manipur, India, who played a significant role in resisting British colonial rule. She was born in 1915 in a Naga village. Inspired by her Zeliangrong tribe’s oral history and religious beliefs, she led a movement against the British authorities and their collaborators.

Her Story:

Rani Gaidinliu was only 13 years old when she began participating in the Heraka religious movement, which aimed to restore Naga cultural practices and resist British influences. The movement, founded by her cousin Haipou Jadonang, promoted social reforms, cultural revival, and Naga sovereignty.

In 1932, Jadonang was arrested and later executed by the British. Gaidinliu continued his legacy and led the movement with remarkable determination. She rallied her people against forced labor, taxes, and cultural suppression. In 1936, she was arrested by the British at the age of 16 and was imprisoned for several years.

After India gained independence in 1947, Gaidinliu continued to advocate for her people’s rights, including socio-economic development and the recognition of their distinct identity. She received the Padma Bhushan award, one of India’s highest civilian honors, for her contributions. Rani Gaidinliu passed away in 1993, leaving behind a legacy of courage and leadership.

Birsa Munda:

Birsa Munda was a tribal leader and freedom fighter from the Munda tribe in present-day Jharkhand, India. He emerged as a prominent figure in the late 19th century and early 20th century, leading a movement against British colonial rule and exploitation.

His Story:

Birsa Munda was born in the mid-1870s in a Munda tribal village. Influenced by his surroundings, he grew up with stories of tribal uprisings and a desire to protect his people’s way of life. He led a movement aimed at reforming tribal society and opposing oppressive practices.

Birsa’s vision included urging his followers to give up liquor, practice cleanliness, and challenge the influence of missionaries, moneylenders, and Hindu landlords. He emphasized a return to traditional practices and self-sufficiency. His movement aimed to establish a Munda Raj under his leadership, resisting external forces that were perceived as detrimental to their community.

Birsa’s leadership inspired widespread support, but he was eventually arrested in 1895 and convicted on charges of rioting. After his release, he continued to rally his followers, using traditional symbols and language to unite them against colonial rule. Despite his untimely death due to cholera in 1900, his movement left a lasting impact on tribal empowerment and resistance against injustice.

These are just a couple of examples, and there are many more tribal heroes and leaders who played vital roles in shaping the history and struggles of indigenous communities in India and around the world.

8. Choose any tribal group living in India today. Find out about their customs and way of life, and how their lives have changed in the last 50 years.

Ans. Let’s take a look at the Bhil tribe, one of the largest tribal communities in India.

Bhil Tribe: Customs, Way of Life, and Changes

Customs and Way of Life:
The Bhil tribe is mainly found in the states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, and Maharashtra. Their way of life has traditionally been closely connected to the natural environment, as they live in hilly and forested regions.

  1. Economy: Traditionally, the Bhil economy revolved around agriculture, hunting, and gathering forest produce.
  2. Housing: They often live in small hamlets or villages. Houses are simple, made from locally available materials like mud and bamboo.
  3. Clothing: Traditional clothing includes simple garments made from cotton and wool, designed for comfort and adaptability to the environment.
  4. Cuisine: Bhil cuisine is often simple and includes locally grown grains, vegetables, and forest produce. They also consume game meat.
  5. Art and Culture: The Bhils have a rich tradition of folk songs, dance, and art, often reflecting their connection to nature and daily life.

Changes Over the Last 50 Years:
Over the past few decades, the Bhil tribe has experienced various changes due to modernization, development, and socio-political shifts:

  1. Education: Access to education has improved, allowing many Bhil youth to gain literacy and pursue different careers.
  2. Land Displacement: Development projects, urbanization, and mining activities have led to land displacement and challenges to their traditional way of life.
  3. Healthcare: Access to healthcare has improved, reducing mortality rates and enhancing overall well-being.
  4. Employment: Some Bhils have moved away from traditional occupations, seeking employment in agriculture, labour, and other sectors.
  5. Cultural Challenges: The influence of mainstream culture, media, and urbanization has impacted traditional customs and practices.

It’s important to note that the changes within tribal communities can vary significantly based on geographical location, government policies, and cultural dynamics. The Bhil tribe, like many other tribal communities, continues to navigate the complexities of preserving their cultural heritage while adapting to changing circumstances.

Let’s Imagine

Imagine you are a jhum cultivator living in a forest village in the nineteenth century. You have
just been told that the land you were born on no longer belongs to you. In a meeting with British officials you try to explain the kinds of problems you face. What would you say?

Ans. What would I say is given in the form of a letter given below:

Dear Sir/Madam,

I hope this message finds you well. I am writing to express my deep concerns and frustrations about the recent developments concerning our land. I am a jhum cultivator, living in a forest village, and the land that my family and I have relied on for generations no longer belongs to us.

Our way of life, our livelihood, and our very identity are intricately tied to this land. For years, my ancestors have practiced jhum cultivation, a method that has sustained us and allowed us to live in harmony with the forest. We have cultivated small patches of land, cleared them with care, and allowed the soil to rejuvenate during fallow periods. This practice not only provides us with food but also ensures the health of the land we depend on.

Now, we find ourselves in a distressing situation. The British officials have informed us that the land we’ve considered our home is now deemed state property. We have been told that we can no longer practice our traditional cultivation methods. Our pleas for understanding and consideration have fallen on deaf ears, and it feels like our way of life is being torn away from us.

The new land policies have left us with uncertainty and fear. We are being asked to adapt to settled cultivation methods, which are unfamiliar to us and may not be suitable for our environment. The idea of plowing the land and sowing seeds goes against the wisdom that our ancestors have passed down through generations. We are concerned that these changes will disrupt the delicate balance of our ecosystem and lead to long-term consequences for our community and the forest.

Moreover, the restrictions on our movement within the forest and the loss of our land rights have made it difficult for us to gather essential forest produce, which has been a vital part of our sustenance and trade. Our access to resources is diminishing, and our ability to support our families is under threat.

I implore you to understand the depth of our connection to this land. Our lives are intertwined with its soil, its trees, and its creatures. We are not asking for charity but for the recognition of our rights, our traditions, and our way of life. We request your intervention to reconsider these land policies and find a solution that respects our heritage and preserves the delicate balance of our existence.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Yours sincerely,

Ajeet [Your Name]
Raisala Village [Your Village and Community]

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