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UPSC IAS Prelims Exam: Medieval History NCERT Questions : Socio-Cultural Life under the Mughals

Jun 7, 2016 15:26 IST

    Old edition of NCERT Books are still high in demand in terms of UPSC IAS Exam Preparation because it has extensive coverage of the topics given in the UPSC IAS Exam syllabus. The IAS aspirants find it difficult to get an old edition NCERT book from market due to its unavailability in the market.

    Here, we have provided Multiple Choice Questions of Medieval Indian History which have been created from the old edition of NCERT book, go and check your level of your Preparation of IAS Prelims Exam.

    1.    Consider the following statements regarding the feature of economic and social institution during the Mughal period:
    I.    A striking feature of the economic and social situations during the time was the glaring disparity between the highly ostentatious life-style of the ruling classes) on the one hand, and acute poverty and want or the people— the peasants, ‘the artisans and the labourers, on the other.
    II.    Scanty clothing was conventional in south India and the clothing was necessary for some part of the year in north India.
    III.    Babur was struck by the scanty clothes worn by the common people and he observed that “peasants and people of low standing go about naked."

    Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct?
    a.    Only I
    b.    I and II
    c.    II and III
    d.    All of the above

    Answer: b

    Explanation:

    A striking feature of the economic and social situations during the time was the glaring disparity between the highly ostentatious life-style of the ruling classes) on the one hand, and acute poverty and want or the people— the peasants, ‘the artisans and the labourers, on the other.

    Scanty clothing was conventional in south India. The climate had a great deal to do with this. However, clothing is necessary for some part of the year in north India. Babur was struck by the scanty clothes worn by the common people. He observed that “peasants and people of low standing go about naked." He then goes on to describe the longota or decency clout worn by men, and the sari worn by women.

    2.    Consider the following statements regarding the housing and furniture of common people during Mughal period:
    I.    The mud houses in which the villagers lived were not different from those at present.
    II.    They had hardly any furniture except cots and bamboo mats, and earthen utensils which were made by the village potter.

    Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct?
    a.    Only I
    b.    I and II
    c.    Both I and II
    d.    Neither I nor II

    Answer: b

    Explanation:

    As far as housing and furniture was concerned, little need be said. The mud houses in which the villagers lived were not different from those at present. They had hardly any furniture except cots and bamboo mats, and earthen utensils which were made by the village potter. Copper and bell-metal plates and utensils were expensive and were generally not used by the poor.

    3.    Consider the following statements regarding the food habits among the common people during the Mughal period:
    I.    Regarding rood, rice, millets and pulses (what Pelsaert and De Laet call “khicheri”) formed the staple diet with fish in Bengal and on the coasts, and meat in the south of the peninsula.
    II.    In north India, chapati made of wheat or coarse grains, with pulses and green vegetables were common.
    III.    The common people, it is said, ate their main meal in the evening, and chewed pulse or other parched grain in the day.

    Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct?
    a.    Only I
    b.    I and II
    c.    II and III
    d.    All of the above

    Answer: d

    Explanation:

    Regarding rood, rice, millets and pulses (what Pelsaert and De Laet call “khicheri”) formed the staple diet with fish in Bengal and on the coasts, and meat in the south of the peninsula. In north India, chapati made of wheat or coarse grains, with pulses and green vegetables were common.

    The common people, it is said, ate their main meal in the evening, and chewed pulse or other parched grain in the day. Ghee and oil were much cheaper relative to food grains then and seem to have been a staple part of the poor man's food. But salt and sugar were more expensive.

    4.    Consider the following statements regarding the socio-economic condition of common people during the Mughal Period:
    I.    People had less clothes to wear and shoes were costly, on balance they ate better with more grazing land, they could keep more cattle that more milk and milk products must have been available.
    II.    During famines, it was costly to move grain by land, and there are many references to devastating famines in which parents sold their children, and there are even reports of men eating their own kind.
    III.    During Famines, the state organised relief kitchens and sometime nobles and rich people also helped, these were never sufficient.

    Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct?
    a.    Only I
    b.    I and II
    c.    II and III
    d.    All of the above

    Answer: d

    Explanation:
    The people during the Mughal period  had less clothes to wear and shoes were costly, on balance they ate better with more grazing land, they could keep more cattle that more milk and milk products must have been available. But the position was reversed in times of famine. It was costly to move grain by land, and there are many references to devastating famines in which parents sold their children, and there are even reports of men eating their own kind. Though the state organised relief kitchens and sometime nobles and rich people also helped, these were never sufficient.

    5.    Consider the following statements regarding the income and wages of peasants during the Mughal period:
    I.    The village artisans were paid for their services by means of commodities which were fixed by custom.
    II.    The peasant who did not have his own ploughs and bullocks often tilled the land of the zamindars or the upper castes, and could eke out a bare existence.

    Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct?
    a.    Only I
    b.    I and II
    c.    Both I and II
    d.    Neither I nor II

    Answer: b

    Explanation:

    The village artisans were paid for their services by means of commodities which were fixed by custom. It is difficult to compute the average size of the holding of the peasant. The information available shows that there was a great deal of inequality in the villages. The peasant who did not have his own ploughs and bullocks often tilled the land of the zamindars or the upper castes, and could eke out a bare existence. Peasants of this type were called pahis.

    The sixteenth century Hindi poet, Tulsidas has said that this type of cultivation was a source of misery. Whenever there was a famine-and famines were frequent—it was this class of peasants and the village artisans who suffered the most. The peasants who owned the land they tilled are called khudkasht. They paid land revenue at customary rates. Some of them had many ploughs and bullocks which they let out to their poorer brethren.

    It has been estimated that the population in India at the beginning of the seventeenth century was about 125 million. Hence, there was an abundance or cultivable land available and it may be surmised that peasant proprietors were more numerous than the pahis and the village artisans.

    6.    The peasants who owned the land called_________.
    a.    Khudkasht
    b.    Pahis
    c.    Mansabdar
    d.    Sarraf

    Answer: a

    Explanation:

    The peasants who owned the land they tilled are called khudkasht. They paid land revenue at customary rates. Some of them had many ploughs and bullocks which they let out to their poorer brethren.
    The peasant who did not have his own ploughs and bullocks often tilled the land of the zamindars or the upper castes, and could eke out a bare existence. Peasants of this type were called pahis.

    7.    Consider the following statements regarding the land affairs of peasants during Medieval period in India:
    I.    In medieval times, a peasant was dispossessed from his land as long as he paid the land revenue and he could also sell his land.
    II.    His children inherited his land as a matter of right after his death.
    III.    The life of the peasants were hard, they had enough to eat and to meet his simple requirements.
    Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct?
    a.    Only I
    b.    I and II
    c.    II and III
    d.    All of the above

    Answer: c

    Explanation:

    With more surplus land available for cultivation, the average size of the holding may also have been larger. In medieval times, a peasant was not dispossessed from his land as long as he paid the land revenue. He could also sell his land. His children inherited his land as a matter of right after his death.

    Although the state dues were heavy, sometimes amounting to half of his produce, there is no reason to believe that the average peasant was left only with enough to keep body and soul together. Although the life of the peasant was hard, he had enough to eat and to meet his simple requirements. The pattern of his life was fixed partly by the seasons and partly by custom and tradition in which fairs, pilgrim ages, ceremonies, etc., had their due place.


    8.    Who among the following sections of the society was considered as the ruling class in Medieval India?
    a.    Mansabdars
    b.    Zamindars
    c.    Qazi
    d.    Sufis

    Answer: b

    Explanation:

    The nobility, along with the landed gentry, the zamindars, formed what may be called the ruling class in medieval India. Socially and economically, the Mughal nobility formed a privileged class. Theoretically, the doors of the Mughal nobility were open to everyone. In practice, persons belonging to aristocratic families, whatever they were, Indians or foreigners had a decided advantage. To begin with the bulk of the Mughal nobles were drawn from the homeland of the Mughals, Turan, and from its neighbouring areas Tajikistan, Khorasan, Iran, etc.

    9.    Consider the following statements regarding the approach of Mughal Emperors towards nobles:
    I.    Babur was a Turk; one of the Mughal rulers never followed a narrow, racialist policy and tried to win the leading Afghan nobles to his side, but they proved to be restless and untrustworthy and soon directed.
    II.    The tussle between the Mughals and the Afghans continued in Bihar and Bengal even under Akbar.
    III.    From the time of Jahangir, Afghans also began to be recruited in the nobility and the Indian Muslims who were called Shaikhzadas or Hindustanis were also given service.

    Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct?
    a.    Only I
    b.    I and II
    c.    II and III
    d.    All of the above

    Answer: d

    Explanation:

    Although Babur was a Turk, the Mughal rulers never followed a narrow, racialist policy. Babur tried to win the leading Afghan nobles to his side, but they proved to be restless and untrustworthy and soon directed.

    The tussle between the Mughals and the Afghans continued in Bihar and Bengal even under Akbar. But from the time of Jahangir, Afghans also began to be recruited in the nobility. Indian Muslims who were called Shaikhzadas or Hindustanis were also given service.

    10.    Consider the following statements regarding the appointment of Hindu into the nobility by Akbar during his reign:
    I.    From the time of Akbar, Hindus also began to be recruited into the nobility on a regular basis and the largest section among them was that of the Rajputs.
    II.    According to a modern calculation, the proportion of Hindus in the nobility under Akbar in 1594 was about 16 percent only.
    III.    The Rajputs who were recruited to the nobility were either hereditary rajas or belonged to aristocratic families related to or allied to the raja.

    Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct?
    a.    Only I
    b.    I and II
    c.    II and III
    d.    All of the above

    Answer: d

    Explanation:

    From the time of Akbar, Hindus also began to be recruited into the nobility on a regular basis. The largest section among them was that of the Rajputs. Among the Rajputs also, the Kachhwahas predominated.

    According to a modern calculation, the proportion of Hindus in the nobility under Akbar in 1594 was about 16 percent only. But these figures do not give an adequate idea of the position and influence of the Hindus. Both Raja Man Singh and Raja Birbal were the personal friends and boon companions of Akbar, while in the sphere of revenue administration, Raja Todar Mal had a place of great influence and honour.

    The Rajputs who were recruited to the nobility were either hereditary rajas or belonged to aristocratic families related to or allied to the raja. Thus their incorporation into the nobility strengthened its aristocratic character. Despite this, the nobility did provide an avenue or promotion and distinction to many persons of humble origin.`

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