NCERT Solutions for Class 8 History Chapter 9 Women, Caste and Reform (महिलाएँ, जाति एवं सुधार) to Study online with latest NCERT Books and Download NCERT Solutions for other subjects in PDF format also.
NCERT Solutions for Class 8 History Chapter 9
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Women, Caste and Reform: Question Answers
8 History Chapter 9 Women, Caste and Reform Solutions
Important Notes on Women, Caste and Reform
India 200 Years ago
Two hundred years ago things were very different. Most children were married off at an early age. Both Hindu and Muslim men could marry more than one wife. In some parts of the country, widows were praised if they chose death by burning themselves on the funeral pyre of their husbands. Women who died in this manner, whether willingly or otherwise, were called “sati”, meaning virtuous women. In many parts of the country people believed that if a woman was educated, she would become a widow.
Division of Castes
In most regions, people were divided along lines of caste. Brahmans and Kshatriyas considered themselves as “upper castes”. Others, such as traders and moneylenders (often referred to as Vaishyas) were placed after them. Then came peasants and artisans such as weavers and potters (referred to as Shudras). The upper castes also treated many of these groups at the bottom as “untouchable”. They were not allowed to enter temples, draw water from the wells used by the upper castes or bathe in ponds where upper castes bathed. They were seen as inferior human beings. Over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, many of these norms and perceptions slowly changed.
For the first time, books, newspapers, magazines, leaflets and pamphlets were printed. These were far cheaper and far more accessible than the manuscripts. Therefore ordinary people could read these and many of them could also write and express their ideas in their own languages. All kinds of issues – social, political, economic and religious – could now be debated and discussed by men (and sometimes by women as well) in the new cities. These debates were often initiated by Indian reformers and reform groups.
Raja Rammohun Roy (1772-1833), founded a reform association known as the Brahmo Sabha (later known as the Brahmo Samaj) in Calcutta. People such as Rammohun Roy are described as reformers because they felt that changes were necessary in society, and unjust practices needed to be done away with. They thought that the best way to ensure such changes was by persuading people to give up old practices and adopt a new way of life.