Class 12 History Previous Year Question Paper
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CBSE Class 12 History Previous Year Question Papers With Solutions
History Class 12 Previous Year Question Paper – 2020
“Buddhism grew rapidly both during the lifetime of the Buddha and after his death.” Justify the statement with suitable arguments. 
“Among the best preserved monuments of the 600 BCE to 600 CE is the Stupa at Sanchi.” Justify the statement with suitable arguments in the context of its sculptural features and conservation policy taken up in the nineteenth century.
Gautam Buddha founded Buddhism in the 6th century BCE. The religion became popular during the lifetime of Buddha and continue to spread beyond India after his death. The reason for the popularity and propagation of Buddhism was its message and its simplicity.
People did not find its teachings difficult to understand. Local language was used by the Sangh to spread it. In fact, Gautam Buddha used to speak in the Prakrit language rather than in Sanskrit. Buddha was against any rituals so he did away with them. People found it easy to follow this philosophy. Asoka and later on other kings accepted Buddhism as their religion, because it was a powerful creed at that time.
Buddha did not believe in caste system and treated everyone equally which meant the people of the lower caste were happy. Buddhism attached importance to conduct and values rather than claims of superiority based on birth. They emphasised on ‘meta’ (fellow felling) and ‘karuna’ (compassion) ‘ especially for those who were youger and weaker than oneself. These ideas drew men and women to the fold of Buddhism. A body of followers of Buddha was founded in an organization known as ‘Sangha.’ Followers came from many social groups which included kings, wealthy men gahapatis and humbler folk.
The teachings of Buddha were written in Tripitakas, or the Three Baskets. Buddhist Sangha was quick to spread the message of Buddha to different parts of India and abroad. Buddhism was opposed to customs and rituals as was done in Brahmanism.
Stupas were sacred places where the relics of the Buddha such as his bodily remains or objects used by him were buried.
According to a Buddhist text known as the Ashokavadana. Ashoka distributed portions of the Buddha’s relics to every important town and ordered the construction of stupas over them. By the second century BCE a number of Stupas, like Sanchi and others had been built.
Art historians have carefully studied the sculpture at Sanchi and identified it as a scene from the Vessantara Jataka.
The empty seat was meant to indicate the meditation of the Buddha, and the stupa was meant to represent the Mahaparinirbana. Another frequently used symbol was the wheel. This stood for the first sermon of the Buddha, delivered at Sarnath. The tree symbolises an event in the life of the Buddha. According to popular belief, Shalabhanjika was a woman whose touch caused trees to flower and bear fruit. It is likely that this was regarded as an auspicious symbol and integrated into the decoration of the stupa. Animals were after used as symbols of human attributes. Elephants (signify strength and wisdom), horses, monkeys and battle scenes are also, engraved at the stupa.
While some historians identify the figure as Maya, the mother of the Buddha, others identify her with a
popular goddess, Gajalakshmi—literally, the goddess of good fortune—who is associated with elephants. Serpent found on several pillars seems to be derived
from other popular traditions.
Conservation policy taken up in the nineteenth century:
The rulers of Bhopal in the 19th century, Shahjehan Begum and her successor Sultan Jehan Begum, provided money for the preservation of the ancient site. John Marshall dedicated his important volumes on Sanchi to Sultan Jehan. She funded the museum and publication of the volumes on Sanchi written by John Marshall.
French sought ruler Shahjehan Begum’s permission to take away the eastern gateway of Sanchi Stupa but both French and the English were satisfied with carefully prepared plaster cast copies and the original remained at the site.
Describe Bernier’s description of land ownership in India and also describe its influence on Western theorists from 18th century onwards. 
Describe the experiences of Al-Biruni in the Indian Subcontinent.
According to Bernier, there was no private property during Mughal India. He was a firm believer in the virtues of private property, and saw crown ownership of land as being harmful for both the state and its people. He thought that in the Mughal Empire, the emperor owned all the land and distributed it among his nobles, and that this had disastrous consequences for the economy and society. Owing to crown ownership the land holders could not pass the property to their children. They were averse to long term investment in the sustenance and expansion of production. This had led to uniform ruination of agriculture.
Bernier’s descriptions influenced Western theorists from the 18th century onwards. The French philosopher Montesquieu, for instance, used this account to develop the idea of oriental despotism, according to which rulers in Asia (the Orient or the East) enjoyed absolute authority over their subjects, who were kept in conditions of subjugation and poverty, arguing that all land belonged to the king and that private property was non-existent.
According to the above view, everybody, except the emperor and his nobles, barely managed to survive. This idea was further developed as the concept of Asiatic Mode of Production by Karl Marx in the 19 century. He argued that in India and other Asian countries before colonialism surplus was appropriated by the state. As in the case of the question of landownership, Bernier was drawing an oversimplified picture. There were all kinds of towns : manufacturing towns, trading towns, port towns, sacred centres, pilgrimage towns, etc.
Al-Biruni spent years in the company of Brahmana priests and scholars, learning Sanskrit, and studying religious and philosophical texts. While his itinerary is not clear, it is likely that he travelled widely in Punjab and parts of Northern India.
He also discussed several ‘barriers’ that he felt obstructed understanding. The first amongst these was language, Sanskrit was different from Arabic and Persia. Ideas and concepts could not be translated from one language into another.
The second barrier he identified was the difference in religious beliefs and practices. The self-absorption and consequent insularity of the local population according to him, constituted the third barrier.
He tried to explain the caste system by looking for parallels in other societies for example in Ancient Persia. He attempted to suggest that social divisions were not unique to India. He noted that in ancient Persia four social categories were recognized. He remarked that everything which falls into a state a impurity strives and succeeds in regaining original condition of purity. The sun cleanses the air, and the salt in the sea prevents the water from becoming polluted. Al-Biruni’s description of the caste-system was deeply influence by the Brahamanical point of view, which in real life was not quite as rigid. He wrote about the system of Varna.
According to him there were four castes. The highest caste was Bahamanas who according to the books of Hindus were created from the head of Brahma and the Brahman is the only another name for the force called nature. The next caste was Kshatriyas who were created from the shoulders and hands of Brahma. The third caste was Vaishya, who were created from the thigh of Brahma. The fourth caste was Shudra, were created from the feet of Brahma.
Explain the events that led to the communal politics and Partition of India. 
Explain the strengths and limitations of oral testimonies in the understanding of Partition of India.
The differences between the communal political parties were creating a divide that later on became difficult to bridge. Not only this, the British government began playing one party against the other to weaken the national movement and prolong their stay in India.
(i) Right from the beginning, the British followed the policy of divide and rule. Before the coming of the British, the Hindus and the Muslims lived happily in India. There was unity, mutual cooperation and brotherhood among them.
(ii) To weaken the National Movement, the government actively encouraged the Muslim League to follow their communal demands. In fact, they got some Muslim leaders to form the League in 1905, after the Partition of Bengal. Also the League’s proposal for a coalition government in the united provinces was rejected by the Congress after the provincial election of 1937.
(iii) The role of the political leaders was also responsible for the partition of India. Prominent among them was Jinnah, who lead the Muslim League and passed the Lahore Resolution Remanding a measure of autonomy for the Muslim majority areas that gave birth to a new nation called Pakistan.
(iv) During the 1920s and early 1930s tension grew around a number of issues. Muslims were angered by ‘music-before-mosque’, by the cow protection movement formation of the Hindu Mahasabha in 1915 and by the efforts of the Arya Samaj to bring back to the Hindu fold (shuddhi) those who had recently converted to Islam.
(v) Hindus were angered by the rapid spread of tabfigh (propaganda) and tanzim (organisation) after 1923.
(vi) Post War Developments : During 1945 the British agreed to create an entirely Indian Central Executive Council except for the Viceroy and the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, as a preliminary step towards full independence. Discussions about the transfer of power broke down due to Jinnah’s unrelenting demand that the League had an absolute right to choose all the Muslim members of the Executive Council and that there should be a kind of communal veto in the Council.
(vii) Failure of the Cabinet : Mission (March 1946) was short lived as the Muslim League wanted the grouping to be compulsory, with sections B and C developing into strong entities with the right to secede from the Union in the future.
(viii) Direct Action Day : After withdrawing its support to the Cabinet Mission plan, the Muslim League decided on ‘Direct Action’ for winning its demand for Pakistan. It announced on 16 August 1946 as Direct Action Day. On this day, riots broke out in Calcutta, lasting several days and leaving several thousand people dead. By March 1947 violence spread to many parts of Northern India.
(ix) Withdrawal of law and order from 1946 to 1947: There was a complete breakdown of authority in the city of Amritsar. British officials did not know how to handle this situation : they were unwilling to take decisions, and hesitant to intervene. When panic-stricken people appealed for help, British Officials asked them to contact Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabh Bhai Patel or M. A. Jinnah. Nobody knew who could exercise authority and power. The top leadership of the Indian parties, barring Mahatma Gandhi, were involved in negotiations regarding independence while many Indian civil servants in the affected provinces feared for the own lives and property. The British were busy preparing to quit India.
(x) Compounded Problems : Problems compounded because Indian soldiers and policemen came to act as Hindus, Muslims or Sihks. As communal tension mounted, the professional commitment of those in uniform could not be relied upon. In many places not only did policemen help their co-religionists but they also attacked members of other communities.
The strengths of oral testimonies in the understanding of Partition of India :
- Oral history helps us grasp experiences and memories in detail.
- It enables historians to write richly textured, vivid accounts of what happened to people during events such as Partition which would be impossible to extract this kind of information from government documents.
- It also allows historians to broaden the boundaries of their discipline about the lived experiences of the poor and the powerless. For example, about Latif’s father, the women of Thoa Khala.
- Moving beyond the actions of the well-off and the well-known, the oral history of Partition has succeeded in exploring the experiences of those men and women that were ignored, taken for granted, or mentioned only in passing in mainstream history.
- Oral narratives memoirs, diaries, family histories first hand written accounts help to understand the trials and tribulation of ordinary people during the paritition of the country. Memories and experiences shape the reality of an event.
Oral testimonies tell us about the day to day experiences of those affected by the government decision to divide the country.
The limitations of oral testimonies is the understanding of Partition of India :
- Many historians believed that oral data seem to lack concreteness and the chronology they yield may have be imprecise. Historians argue that the uniqueness of personal experience makes generalisation difficult: a large picture cannot be built from such micro-evidence, and one witness is no witness.
- They also think that oral accounts are concerned with tangential issues, and that the small individual experiences which remain in memory are irrelevant to the unfolding of larger processes of history.
- If history has to accord presence to the ordinary and powerless, then the oral history of Partition is not concerned with tangential matters.
- The experiences it relates are central to the story, so much so that oral sources should be used to check other sources and vice versa.
“John Marshall’s stint as Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India marked a major change in Indian Archaeology.” Explain the statement. 
John Marshall, the Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India, from 1902 – 1928 has marked a major change in Indian Arphaeology as he was the first professional archaeologist to work in India, and brought his experience of working in Greece and Crete to the field. He was very much interested in spectacular finds and equally keen to look for patterns of everyday life. He even announced in 1924 the discovery of a new civilization in the Indus Valley, to the world.
State the role played by women in agrarian society during 16th and 17th centuries. 
Women worked with men shoulder to shoulder in the fields. Men tilled and ploughed, while women sowed, weeded, threshed and winnowed the harvest. Artisanal tasks such as spinning yarn, shifting and kneading clay for pottery, and embroidery were among the many aspects of production dependent on female labour.
Why did Jaipal Singh plead for the protection of tribes in the Constituent Assembly ? Explain any two reasons. 
Explain the ideals expressed in ‘Objectives Resolution’ introduced by Jawaharlal Nehru.
Jaipal Singh plead for the protection of tribes in the Constitutional Assembly because:
(i) Tribes had been dispossessed of the land they had settled, deprived of their forests and pastures, and forced to move in search of new homes.
(ii) Perceiving them as primitive and backward, the rest of society had spurned them.
Through these points Jaipal Singh wanted the society to mix with the tribes and was not asking for separate electorates, but he felt that reservation of seats in the legislature was essential to allow tribals to represent themselves.
On 13th December 1946, Jawaharlal Nehru introduced the ‘Objectives Resolution’ in the Constituent Assembly. It proclaimed India to be an ‘Independent Sovereign Republic’, and guaranteed its citizens justice, equality and freedom, and assured that adequate safeguards shall be provided for minorities, backward and tribal areas, and Depressed and Other Backward Classes.
Read the following extract carefully and answer the questions that follow :
Prabhavati Gupta and the village of Danguna
This is what Prabhavati Gupta states in her inscription:
Prabhavati Gupta …. commands the gramakutumbinas (householders/peasants living in the village),
Brahmanas and others living in the village of Danguna…
“Be it known to you that on the twelfth (lunar day) of the bright (fortnight) of Karttika, we have, in y order to increase our religious merit donated this village with the pouring out of water, to the Acharya
[ (teacher) Chanalasvamin…. You should obey all (his) commands ….
We confer on (him) the following exemptions typical r of an agrahara…. (this village is) not to be entered
by soldiers and policeman; (it is) exempt from (the obligation to provide) grass, (animal) hides as seats, and charcoal (to touring royal officers); exempt from (the royal prerogative of) purchasing fermenting liquor and digging (salt); exempt from (the right to) mines and khadira trees; exempt from (the obligation to supply) flowers and milk; (it is donated) together with (the right to) hidden treasures and deposits (and) together with major and minor taxes ”
This charger has been written in the thirteenth (regnal) year. (It has been) engraved by Chakradasa.
(13.1) How did Prabhavati Gupta show her authority through the inscription ? 
(13.2) How did the inscription give us an idea about the rural population ? 
(13.3) Examine the importance of the charter issued by Prabhavati Gupta. 
(13.1) Her authority is reflected in the language used in the inscription.
(13.2) The inscription gives us information about the rural.population as the inscription addresses the ‘householders/peasants living in the village, the Brahmanas and others living in the village of Danguna.’
(13.3) Charter was a command or order for all living in village and they had to obey the commands. It provides insight into the relationship between cultivators and the state. It also gives an idea about rural population who were expected to provide a range of produce to the king and his representatives.
Read the following extract carefully and answer the questions that follow:
Nobles at Court
The Jesuit Priest Father Antonio Monserrate, resident at the court of Akbar, noticed :
In order to prevent the great nobles becoming insolent through the unchallenged enjoyment of power, the King summons them to court and gives them imperious commands, as though they were his slaves. The obedience to these commands ill suits their exalted rank and dignity.
(14.1) Examine the relationship between Akbar and his nobles. 
(14.2) How do you think that the nobility was an important pillar of the Mughal State ? 
(14.3) Explain the observation of the Jesuit Priest Father Antonio Monserrate regarding this relationship. 
(14.1) The king would summon the nobles to the court and give them imperial commands as though they were his slaves. This was to prevent the great nobles from becoming insolent through unchallenged enjoyment of power. The king granted titles to men of merit; awards were also given.
(14.2) The nobility was an important pillar of the Mughal state as they were recruited from diverse ethnic and religious groups to aid in effective administration. The nobles participated in military campaigns with their armies and also served as officers of the empire in the provinces.
(14.3) The Jesuit Priest Father Antonio Monserrate observe that the members of the Jesuit mission interpreted the emperor’s open interest in the doctrines of Christianity as a sign of his acceptance of their faith. This could be understood in relation to the intolerant religious atmosphere that existed in Europe at the time. High respect shown by Akbar towards the members of the Jesuit mission impresed them deeply.
Read the following extract carefully and answer the questions that follow :
Buchanan on the Santhals
Buchanan wrote :
They are very clever in clearing new lands, but live meanly. Their huts have no fence, and the walls are made of small sticks placed upright, close together and plastered within with clay. They are small and slovenly, and too flat-roofed, with very little arch.
(15.1) Examine the role of Buchanan as an agent of the East India Company ? 
(15.2) Analyse the economic activities of Santhals. 
(15.3) How did Buchanan describe the living conditions of Santhals ? 
Read the following extract carefully and answer the questions that follow :
How debts mounted
In a petition to the Deccan Riots Commission a ryot explained how the system of loans worked :
A sowkar lends his debtor ₹ 100 on bond at ₹ 3-2 annas per cent per mensem. The latter agrees to pay the amount within eight days from the passing of the bond. Three years after the stipulated time for repaying the amount, the sowkar takes from his debtor another bond for the principal and interest together at the same rate of interest, and allows him 125 days’ time to liquidate the debt. After the lapse of 3 years and 15 days a third bond is passed by the debtor …. (this process is repeated) at end of 12 years …. his interest on ₹ 1,000 amounts to ₹ 2,028-10 annas-3 paise.
(15.1) For what purpose did ryots get loans from money lenders ? 
(15.2) How did the ryot explain the system of loans ? 
(15.3) How do you think that the way of borrowing money by the ryots brought misery to them ? 
Buchanan on that Santhals :
(15.1) Buchanan was employed by the East India Company. He marched everywhere with a large army of people—draughtsmen, surveyors, palanquin bearers, coolies, etc. As an agent of the East India
Company, Buchanan had to report on the activity of the Santhals.
(15.2) (i) The Santhals cultivated a range of commercial crops for the market.
(ii) The dealt with traders and moneylenders as well.
(15.3) According to Buchanan, the Santhals had very little needs. They lived in simple huts made-up of small sticks and plastered with mud. The design of the huts was simple with flat roofs and no arches. The huts were built small and dishevelled. They had no fence.
How debts mounted
(15.1) They needed loans even to buy their everyday needs and meet their production expenditure. Cultivators required loans for extending their average, moving into new areas, and transforming pasture land into cultivated fields. But to expand cultivation peasants needed more ploughts and cattle. They needed money to buy seeds and land. For this they had to turn to the moneylenders for loans.
(15.2) The sowkar (sahukar) lends his debtor Rs. 100 on bond at Rs. 3-2 annas per cent per mensem. The latter agrees to pay the amount within eight days from the passing of the bond. Three years after the stipulated time for repaying the amount, the sowkar takes from his debtor another bond for the principal and interest together at the same rate of interest, and allows him a period of 125 days to liquidate the debt. After the lapse of 3 years and 15 days, a third bond is passed by the debtor. This process is repeated at the end of 12 years and his interest on Rs. 1000 amounts to Rs. 2028—10 annas-3 paise.
(15.3) Over time, the ryots and peasants came to associate the misery of their lives with the new regime of bonds and deeds. They were made to sign and put thumb impressions on documents, but they did not know what they were actually signing. They had no idea of the clauses that moneylenders inserted in the bonds. They feared the written word. But they had no choice because to survive they needed loans, and moneylenders were unwilling to give loans without legal bonds.
(16.1) On the given political outline map of India, locate and label the following appropriately : [1 × 2 = 2]
(a) Dandi—a centre of national movement.
Masulipatnam-a city under British control in 1857.
(b) Panipat-a territory under Mughals.
(16.2) On the same political outline map of India, three places have been marked as A, B and C which are related to matured Harappan. [1 × 3 = 3]
“The most unique feature of the Harappan civilization was the development of domestic architecture.” Substantiate the statement. 
The Lower Town at Mohenjondaro provides examples of residential buildings. Many were centred on a courtyard, with rooms on all sides. The courtyard was probably the centre for activities such as cooking and weaving, particularly during hot and dry weather. There were no windows in the walls along the ground level. Besides, the main entrance did not give a direct view of the interior or the courtyard. Every house had its own bathroom paved with bricks, with drains connected through the wall to the street drains. Some houses still have remains of staircases to reach a second storey or the roof. Many houses had wells, often in a room that could be reached from the outside and perhaps used by passers-by.
Examine any two evidences found by the archaeologist B.B. Lai after excavation at a village named Hastinapur in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh. [2 × 2 = 4]
In 1951-52, the archaeologist B.B. Lai excavated at a village named Hastinapura in Meerut (Uttar Pradesh). While the similarity in names could be coincidental, the location of the sites in the Upper Ganga Doab, where the Kuru kingdom was situated, suggests that it may have been the capital of the Kurus. Lai found evidence of five occupational levels, of which the second and third are of interest to us.
Lal noted about the houses in the second phase that within the limited area excavated, no definite plans of houses were obtained, but walls of mud and mud-bricks were duly encountered. The discovery of mud-plaster with prominent reed-marks suggested that some of the houses had reed walls plastered over the mud. For the third phase, Lai noted that houses of this period were built of mud-bricks as well as burnt bricks. Soaked jars and brick drains were used for draining out refuse water, while terracotta ring-wells may have been used both as wells and drainage pits.
Describe the main teachings of Baba Guru Nanak. 
Teaching of Baba Gurtu Nanak :
Baba Guru Nanak firmly repudiated the external practices of the religions he saw around him. He rejected sacrifices, ritual bath, image worship, austerities and the scriptures of both Hindu and Muslims. He organise his followers into a community. He set up rules for congregational worship (sangat)’ involving collective recitation. For Baba Nanak, the absolute or Rab had no gender form. He proposed a simple way to connect to the Divine by remembering and repeating the Divine’s Name through hymns called shabad.
Analyse the rituals associated with Mahanavami Dibba at the Royal Centre in Vijayanagara. 
Analyse the main features of Amara-Nayaka System which was introduced in Vijanayagara Empire.
Rituals associated with the structure probably coincided with Mahanavami of the ten-day Hindu festival during the autumn season. The Vijayanagara kings displayed their prestige, power and suzerainty on this occasion. The ceremonies performed on the occasion included image worship, worship of the state horse, and the sacrifice of buffaloes and other animals.
Dances, wrestling matches, and processions of caparisoned horses, elephants and chariots and soldiers, as well as ritual presentations before the king and his guests by the chief nayakas and subordinate kings marked the occasion. These ceremonies were imbued with deep symbolic meanings. On the last day of the festival the king inspected his army and the armies of the nayakas in a grand ceremony in an open field. On this occasion the kings accepted rich gifts from the nayakas.
The Amara-Nayaka System was a major political innovation of the Vijayanagara Empire. It is likely that many features of this system were derived from the Iqta system of the Delhi Sultanate. The Amara-Nayakas were military commanders who were given territories to govern by the Raya.
They collected taxes and other dues from peasants, craftspersons and traders in the area. They retained a part of the revenue for personal use and for maintaining a stipulated contingent of horses and elephants. These contingents provided the Vijayanagara kings with an effective fighting force with which they brought the entire southern peninsula under their control. Some of the revenue was also used for the maintenance of temples and irrigation works. They sent tribute to the king annually and personally appeared in the royal court with gifts to express their loyalty.
Why was the Colonial Government keen on carrying out regular surveys and mapping various parts of the country ? Explain. 
Why did Taluqdars and Sepoys of Awadh join )the Revolt of 1857 ? Explain.
Colonial rule was based on the production of enormous amounts of data. The British kept detailed records of their trading activities in order to regulate their commercial affairs. To keep track of life in the growing cities, they carried out regular surveys, gathered statistical data, and published various official reports. From the early years, the colonial government was keen on mapping.
Good maps were necessary to understand the landscape and know the topography. This knowledge would allow better control over the region. When towns began to grow, maps were prepared not only to plan the development of these towns but also to develop commerce and consolidate power. The town maps give information regarding the location of hills, rivers and vegetation, all important for planning structures for defence purposes. They also show the location of the ghats, density and quality of houses and alignment of roads, used to gauge commercial possibilities and plan strategies of taxation.
The annexation by the British not only displaced the Nawab but also dispossessed the taluqdars of Awadh. The countryside of Awadh was dotted with the estates and forts of taluqdars who for many generations had controlled land and power in the countryside. Before the coming of the British, taluqdars maintained armed retainers, built forts, and enjoyed a degree of autonomy, as long as they accepted the suzerainty of the Nawab and paid the revenue of their taluq. Some of the bigger taluqdars had as many as 12,000 foot-soldiers and even the smaller ones had about 200. The British were unwilling to tolerate the power of the taluqdars.
Immediately after the annexation, the taluqdars were disarmed and their forts were destroyed.
The sepoys had complained for decades over low levels of pay and the difficulty of getting a leave. In the 1840s, when the sepoys who had a friendly relationships with the British officers then began to change. The officers developed a sense of superiority and started treating the sepoys as their racial inferiors, riding roughshod over their sensibilities. Abuse and physical violence became common and thus the distance between sepoys and officers grew. Trust was replaced by suspicion. The episode of the greased cartridges was a classic example of this.
“The India in which Gandhiji came back to in 1915 was rather different than the one he had left in 1893.” Substantiate the statement. 
In January 1915, Gandhiji returned to his homeland after two decades of residence abroad. Those years were spent for the most piart in South Africa, where he went as a lawyer, and in time became a leader of the Indian community in that territory. The India that Mahatma Gandhi came back to in 1915 was rather different from the one that he had left in 1893. Although still a colony of the British, it was far more active in a political sense. The Indian National Congress then had branches in most major cities and towns.
Through the Swadeshi movement of 1905-07, it had broadened its appeal among the middle classes. That movement had thrown up some towering leaders — Bal Gangadhar Tilak of Maharashtra, Bipin Chandra Pal of Bengal, and Lala Rajpat Rai of Punjab. The trio was famous as Lai, Bal and Pal. Where these leaders advocated militant opposition to colonial rule, there was a group of ‘Moderates’ who preferred a more gradual and persuasive approach. Among these moderates was Gandhiji’s acknowledged political mentor, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, as well as Mohammad Ali Jinnah, who like Gandhiji, was a lawyer of the Gujarati extraction trained in London.
History Class 12 Previous Year Question Paper – 2019
Trace out the growth of Buddhism. Explain the main teachings of Buddha.
Trace out how stupas were built. Explain why the stupa at Sanchi survived, but not at Amravati. [4 + 4 = 8]
- Buddhism grew rapidly both during the lifetime of the Buddha and after his death.
- It appealed to many people dissatisfied with existing religious practices and confused by the rapid social changes taking place around them.
- The importance attached to conduct and values rather than claims of superiority based on birth, the emphasis placed on metta (fellow feeling) and karuna (compassion), especially for those who were younger and weaker than oneself, were ideas that drew men and women to Buddhist teachings.
- Buddhism grew due to Buddhist text—Tipitaka (the Vinaya Pitaka, Sutta Pitaka, Abhidhamma Pitaka), the Dipavamsa and Mahavamsa, Ashokavadana, Jatakas and Buddhist hagiography.
- Buddhist Sanghas, Bhikkhus and Bhikkhunis spread the message.
- The world is transient (anicca) arid changing constantly.
- It is soulless (anatta) as there is nothing permanent or eternal.
- In the transient world, sorrow is intrinsic to human existence. It is by following the path of moderation between severe penance and self-indulgence that human beings can rise above these wordly troubles.
- Buddha emphasised individual agency and righteous action as the means to escape from the cycle of re-birth and attain self-realisation.
- Extinguish ego and desire to end the cycle of suffering.
Stupas were regarded as sacred as it contained relics of the Buddha such as his bodily remains or objects used by him were buried there. According to a Buddhist text, the Ashoka Vadana, Ashoka distributed portions of the Buddha’s relics to every important town and ordered the construction of stupas over them. By the second century BCE, Bharhut, Sanchi and Sarnath, had been built.
Inscriptions found on the railings and pillars of the stupas record donations made for buildings and decoration made on them. Some donations were made by kings such as the satavahanas others were made by guilds such as that of ivory workers who financed a part of one of the gateways at Sanchi.
The Amaravati could not survive because :
Perhaps Amaravati was discovered before the scholars understood the value of the findings and realised how critical it was to preserve such things where they had been found instead they thought of removing them from the site.
The stupas at Amaravati were changed and some of the slabs from the Amaravati stupas had been taken to different places, for example, they were taken to Kolkata, Chennai and London and were used in other structures. Local rajas also took remains of Amravati Stupa to build their temples.
The Sanchi Stupa survives because :
It escaped from the eyes of railway contractors, builders and those looking for finds to carry away to the museums of Europe. The rulers of Bhopal, Shahjehan Begum and her successor Sultan Jehan Begum provided money for its preservation. H. H. Cole was against the looting of original works of ancient art. Nineteenth-century Europeans were very interested in the Stupa at Sanchi. That’s why, it survived the test of time.
Explain why the nobility were recruited from different races and religious groups by the Mughal rulers in India.
Explain the role played by women of the imperial household in the Mughal Empire. 
- The nobility was recruited from diverse ethnic and religious groups which ensured that no faction was large enough to challenge the authority of the state.
- The officers of the Mughals were described as a bouquet of flowers held together by loyalty to the emperor. The emperor was very respectful among the religious saints and scholars.
- Turani and Iranian nobles were the earliest in Akbar’s imperial service. Akbar was a great and intelligent king and wanted skillful people to join him in his state.
- Two ruling groups of Indian origin entered the imperial service-the Rajputs and the Indian Muslims.
- The nobles participated in military campaigns and also served as officers of the empire in their respective provinces.
- The mansaobdars had two numerical designations : Zat which was an indicator of position in the imperial hierarchy and sawar.
- Members of Hindu castes inclined towards education and accountancy were also promoted, a famous example being Akbar’s finance minister, Raja Todar Mai, who belonged to the Khatri caste.
- After Noor Jahan, Mughal queens and princesses began to control significant financial resources.
- Shanjahan’s daughters Jahanara and Roshanara enjoyed an annual income often equal to that of high imperial Mansabdars.
- Control over the resources enabled important women of the Mughal household to commission buildings and gardens.
- The throbbing centre of Shahjahanabad, was the bazaar of Chandni Chowk which was designed by Jahanara.
- Gulbadan Begum, the daughter of Babar and Humayun’s sister wrote Humayun Nama, depicting the glimpse of the domestic world of Mughals.
- Gulbadan described in great detail, the conflicts and tension among the princes and kings.
- The general practice of Mughal household consisted of the emperor’s wives, concubines, his near and distant relatives, and female servants and slaves. Elderly women of the family played an important role in resolving conflicts.
- The begams, married after receiving huge amounts of cash and valuables as dower (mahr), naturally received a higher status and greater attention from their husbands than did aghas.
- The concubines occupied the lowest position in the hierarchy. They all received monthly allowances in cash, supplemented with gifts according to their status.
Describe the basis on which archaeologists identified the centres of craft production in the Harappan culture. 
The basis on which archaeologists identify the centers of craft production are :
- Raw materials such as stone nodules, whole shells, copper ore, etc.
- Rejects and waste material: It istone of the best indicators of craftwork. For instance, if shell or stone is cut to make objects, then pieces of these materials will be discarded as waste at the place of production.
- Finished products : Sometimes, larger waste pieces were used up to make, smaller objects which suggest that apart from small, specialised centres, craft production Was also undertaken in large cities such as Mohenjodaro and Harappa.
Explain the sources of revenue of Village Panchayats during the Mughal rule in India. 
Sources of revenue of Village Panchayats during the Mughal rule in India were :
- Contribution made by individuals to a common financial pool.
- Agricultural Taxes.
Examine the impact of ‘Limitation Laws’, passed by the British in 1859. 
In 1859, the Britishers passed the Law of Limitation, stating that the loan bonds signed between the money lenders and the ryots would have validity for three years only.
Effects of the law were :
- The money lenders manipulated and forced the ryots to sign a new bond every three years.
- Moneylenders refused to give receipts when loans were repaid, entered fictitious figures in bonds, acquired the peasants’ harvest at low prices, moneylenders ultimately took over peasants’ property. ’
“There are indications of complex decisions being taken and implemented in the Harappan society.” In the light of this statement, explain whether there may have been rulers to rule over the Harappan society. 
There are indications of complex decisions being taken and implemented in Harappan society.
Evidences are :
- A large building found at Mohenjodaro was labelled as a palace by archaeologists but no spectacular finds were associated with it.
- Some archaeologists are of the opinion that Harappan society had no rulers, and that everybody enjoyed equal status.
- Others feel there was no single ruler but several, that Mohenjodaro had a separate ruler, Harappa another, and so forth.
- According to some scholars, the last theory seems the most plausible, as it is unlikely that entire communities could have collectively made and implemented such complex decisions.
- There was extraordinary uniformity of Harappan artefacts.
- The bricks, though obviously not produced in any single centre, were of a uniform ratio throughout the region, from Jammu to Gujarat.
- Labour was mobilised for making bricks and for the construction of massive walls and platforms. A planned urban centre with well laid out drainage system.
Describe the economic and social conditions of the people living in rural areas from c. 600 BCE to 600 CE.
There was a differentiation amongst the people of rural are as :
Economic conditions :
- Acccording to Jataka and Panchatantra, the relationship between a king and his subjects, could often be strained – kings frequently tried to fill their coffers by demanding high taxes. The peasants particularly found the demands oppressive. Escaping into the forests remained an option.
- Different strategies such as
- shift to plough agriculture,
- iron plough share for the growth in agricultural productivity,
- the use of irrigation, through wells and tanks and less commonly, canals were adopted for increasing production.
- Land grants provide some insight into the relationship between cultivators and the state.
Social condition :
- There was a growing differentiation amongst people engaged in agriculture—landless agricultural labourers, small peasants, as well as large landholders.
- The large landholders, as well as the village headman emerged as powerful figures and often exercised control over other cultivators.
- There was gendered assess to property.
- A variety of occupations followed by the people belonging to different castes/varnas.
“Ibn Battuta found cities in the Indian subcontinent full of exciting opportunities.”
Explain the statement with reference to the city of Delhi. 
Ibn Battuta found cities in the Indian subcontinent full of exciting opportunities, especially the city of Delhi:
- Delhi covers a wide area and has a dense population.
- There is a rampart round the city that is without parallel. The breadth of its wall is eleven cubics and inside it, there are houses for the night sentry and gatekeepers.
- Inside the ramparts, there are storehouses for storing edibles, magazines, ammunition, ballistas and siege machines.
- There are twenty eight gates in the city which are called darwaza in which, Budaun Darwaza is the biggest.
- In Gul Darwaza there is an orchard. It has fine cemetery in which graves have domes over them and those that do not have a dome, have an arch for sure.
“Sufism evolved as a reaction to the growing materialism of the Caliphate as a religious and political institution.” Elucidate. 
- The sufis laid emphasis on seeking salvation through intense devotion and love for God.
- They sought an interpretation of the Qur’an on the basis of their personal experience and were critical of the definitions and scholastic methods of interpreting the Qur’an adopted by theologians.
- By the eleventh century Sufism evolved into a well-developed movement with a body of literature on Quranic studies and sufi practices.
- The sufisilsila was a kind of chain or link between master and disciple for seeking spiritual power and blessings.
- Special rituals of initiation were developed like wearing patched cloths, shaving their head, open kitchen run on charity.
Examine the participation of the Taluqdars of Awadh in the Revolt of 1857. 
- The Taluqdars of Awadh, for many generations had conrolled the lands and power in the countryside and had maintained armed retainers, built forts and enjoyed a degree of autonomy as long as they accepted the suzerainty of the Nawabs and paid the revenues of their Taluqas but the British were unwilling to tolerate the power of the Taluqdars. After the annexation, the Taluqdars were disarmed and their forts were destroyed.
- The British land revenue policy also hit the position of Taluqdars. In southern Awadh, the Taluqdars lost more than half of their total villages they previously held.
- British revenue flows for the state increased and the burden of demand on the peasants did not decline, the increase in the revenue demand increased from 30 to 70 percent. Thus, neither the Taluqdars nor the peasants had any reason to be happy with the annexation of Awadh.
- In areas like Awadh, where resistance during 1857 was intense and long lasting, taluqdars and their peasants had carried out the fighting.
Explain why some hill stations were developed during the colonial period in India. 
- The cold climate of the Indian hills was seen as an advantage. Particularly, since the British associated the hot weather with epidemics.
- Hill stations were established mainly for the army, to. protect them from diseases like cholera and malaria. They also became strategic places for billeting troops guarding frontiers and launching campaigns against enemy rulers.
- These hill stations were also developed as Sanatoriums i.e., places where soldiers could be sent for rest.
- These places were suitable for British rulers due to the cold climate where new rulers and viceroy could go for rest in the summer.
“The communal politics that started during the early decades of the 20th century was largely responsible for the partition of the country.” Examine the statement.
“Partition of India had made nationalists fervently opposed to the idea of separate electorates.” Examine the statement. 
- Separate electorates for Muslims were created by the colonial government in 1909 and expanded in 1919. It crucially shaped the nature of communal politics. Separate electorates meant that Muslims could now elect their own representatives in designated constituencies.
- Working politicians used their own slogans and gathered in masses by distributing favours to their own religious groups.
- There was active opposition and hostility between the communities.
- Cow protection movement by Arya Samaj brought back the people to the Hindu fold those who had recendy converted to Islam.
- The provincial elections of 1937 and the Cripps Mission of 1942.
- Hindus were angered by the rapid spread of Tabligh and Tanzim after 1923. Communal riots deepened the differences between the communities, creating disturbing memories of violence.
- The Nationalists were haunted by the continued civil war and riots during partition days.
- B. Pocker Bahadur made a strong plea for separate electorate for Muslims in the constituent assembly.
- The idea of separate electorate provoked anger and dismay amongst most nationalists in the constituent assembly.
- It was seen as a measure introduced by British to divide Indians.
- This was the demand, which turned one community against other.
- It divided the people on communal levels. It strained relation and cause blood.
- It was against the principle of democracy,
- It was suicidal for the nation according to G. B. Pant.
- Separate electorate could lead to divide loyalties and difficult to forge a strong nation and a strong state.
- Isolating the minorities would deprive them of any effective say within the government.
Read the following extract carefully and answer the questions that follow :
“Proper” Social Roles
Here is a story from the Adi Parvan of the Mahabharata:
Once Drona, a Brahmana who taught archery to the Kuru princes, was approached by Ekalavya, a forest-dwelling nishada (a hunting community). When Drona, who knew the dharma, refused to have him as his pupil, Ekalavya returned to the forest, prepared an image of Drona out of clay, and treating it as his teacher, began to practise on his own. In due course, he acquired great skill in archery. One day, the Kuru princes went hunting and their dbg, wandering in the woods, came upon Ekalavya. When the dog smelt the dark nishada wrapped in black deer skin, his body caked with dirt, it began to bark. Annoyed, Ekalavya shot seven arrows into its mouth. When the dog returned to the Pandavas, they were amazed at this superb display of archery. They tracked down Ekalavya, who introduced himself as a pupil of Drona.
Drona had once told his favourite student Arjuna, that he would unrivalled amongst his pupils. Arjuna now reminded Drona about this. Drona approached Ekalavya, who immediately acknowledged and honoured him as his teacher. When Drona demanded his right thumb as his fee, Ekalavya unhesitatingly cut it off and offered it. But thereafter, when he shot with his remaining fingers, he was no longer as fast as he had been before. Thus, Drona kept his word : no one was better than Arjuna.
(14.1) Why did Drona refuse to have Ekalavya as his pupil ? 
(14.2) How had Drona kept his word given to Arjuna ? 
(14.3) Do you think Drona’s behaviour with Ekalavya was justified ? If so, give reason. 
(14.1) Drona, was a Brahmana who knew dharma. He taught archery to the Kuru princes. Once he was approached by Ekalavya, a forest dwelling Nishada (a hunting community’) to teach him archery but Drona refused to have Ekalavya as his pupil as he was a person of low origin.
(14.2) Drona gave his world to Arjuna would be unrivalled amongst the pupils. To prove this Drona demanded Eklavya’s right thumb as his fee, Ekalavya unhesitatingly cut it off and offered it to the guru, so he was no longer as fast as he had been before.
(14.3) Drona’s behaviour with Ekalavya was justified because he promised to Arjuna to be the best in archery but when he saw Ekalavya he was amazed at the superior display of archery by him. Ekalavya was a better archerer than Arjuna thus, to keep his promise to Arjuna, Drona demanded the thumb of his right hand as fee from Ekalavya.
Read the following extract carefully and answer the questions that follow :
Born in 1754, Colin Mackenzie became famous as an engineer, surveyor and cartographer; In 1815 he was appointed the first Surveyor General of India, a post he held till his death in 1821. He embarked on collecting local histories and surveying historic sites in order to better understand India’s past and make governance of the colony easier. He says that “it struggled long under the miseries of bad management…. before the South came under the benign influence of the British government.” By studying Vijaynagar, Mackenzie believed that the East India Company could gain “much useful information on many of these institutions, laws and customs whose influence still prevails among the various Tribes of Natives forming the general mass of the population to this day.”
(15.1) Who was Colin Mackenzie ? 
(15.2) How did Mackenzie try to rediscover the Vijaynagar Empire ? 
(15.3) How was the study of the Vijaynagar Empire useful to the East India Company ? 
(15.1) Colin Mackenzie was a famous engineer, surveyor and cartographer of the EIC. He surveyed historic sites in order to better understand India’s past and make governance of the colony easier. In 1815, he was appointed the first Surveyor General of India.
(15.2) He embarked on collecting local histories and surveying historic sites in order to better understand India’s past which included Vijaynagar in South of India.
(15.3) By .studying Vijay nagar, Mackenzie believed that the East India Company could gain useful information on many of the institution laws and customs whose influence still prevails among the various Tribes of Natives forming the general mass of population of this day.
Read the following extract carefully and answer the questions that follow :
“Tomorrow we shall break the salt tax law”
On 5 April, 1930 Mahatma Gandhi spoke at Dandi :
When I left Sabarmati with my companions for this seaside hamlet of Dandi, I was not certain in my mind that we would be allowed to reach this place.
Even while I was at Sabarmati there was a rumour that I might be arrested. I had thought that the Government might perhaps let my party come as far as Dandi, but not me certainly. If someone says that this betrays imperfect faith on my part, I shall not deny the charge. That I have reached here is in no small measure due to the power of peace and non-violence : that power is universally felt. The Government may, if it wishes, congratulate itself on acting as it has done, for it could have arrested every one of us. In saying that it did not have the courage to arrest this army of peace, we praise it. It felt ashamed to arrest such an army. He is a civilised man who feels ashamed to do anything which his neighbours would disapprove. The Government deserves to be congratulated on not arresting us, even if it desisted only from fear of world opinion.
Tomorrow we shall break the salt tax law. Whether the Government will tolerate that is a different question. It may not tolerate it, but it deserves congratulations on the patience and forbearance it has displayed in regard to this party……
What if I and all the eminent leaders in Gujarat and in the rest of the country are arrested ? This movement is based on the faith that when a whole nation is roused and on the march no leader is necessary.
(16.1) What were the apprehensions of Mahatma Gandhi when he started his Dandi March ? 
(16.2) Why did Gandhiji say that the Government deserve to be congratulated ? 
(16.3) Why was the ‘Salt March’ very significant ? 
(16.1) He was not certain that he would be allowed to reach Dandi. Gandhiji suspected he might be arrested, as he said, “Government might perhaps let my party come as far as Dandi but not me certainly”.
(16.2) According to Gandhi, the Government deserved to be congratulated on not arresting them, even if it desisted only becasue of the fear of world opinion.
- The salt march was significant because it brought Gandhi into limelight and attracted the world’s attention.
- Women participation was very high.
- It forced the British to think that their British Raj will not continue further.
- Gandhi mobilized a wider discontent against British rule.
(16.1) On the given political outline map of India, locate and label the following appropriately :
(a) Amritsar—an important centre of National Movement.
(b) Agra—a territory under Babur.
(17.2) On the same political outline map of India, three places which are major Buddhist sites have been marked as A, B and C. Identify them and write their correct names on the lines drawn near them.
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