Forest Society and Colonialism
Q69. Why is it necessary to increase area under forests? Give reasons?
Ans. It is necessary to increase area under forests because of the following reasons:
- In forest areas, people use forest products roots, leaves, fruits, and tubers for many things.
- Fruits and tubers are nutritious to eat, especially during the monsoons before the harvest has come in.
- Herbs are used for medicine, wood for agricultural implements like yokes and ploughs, bamboo makes excellent fences and is also used to make baskets and umbrellas.
- A dried scooped-out gourd can be used as a portable water bottle.
- Forest leaves are stitched together to make disposable plates and cups.
- Oil for cooking and to light lamps can be pressed from the fruit of the mahua tree.
Q70. Describe the main causes of revolt of Bastar.
Explain the main causes of revolt of Bastar.
What were the main causes of the revolt of Bastar?
Why did the people of Bastar start a revolt against the British?
Ans. The main causes of the revolt of Bastar were:
- In 1905, the colonial government proposed to reserve two-thirds of the forest, and stop shifting cultivation, hunting and collection of forest produce.
- Even though some villages were allowed to stay on in the reserved forests but on the condition that they worked free for the forest department in cutting and transporting trees, and protecting the forest from fires.
- People of other villages were displaced without any notice or compensation. For long, villagers had been suffering from increased land rents and frequent demands for free labour and goods by colonial officials.
- Then came the terrible famines, in 1899-1900 and again in 1907-1908.
Q71. Name two communities that live in Bastar. What were some of their beliefs regarding nature?
What were the beliefs of people of Bastar?
Ans. A number of different communities live in Bastar such as Maria and Muria Gonds, Dhurwas, Bhatras and Halbas.
Their beliefs regarding nature were as follows:
- The people of Bastar believe that each village was given its land by the Earth, and in return, they look after the earth by making some offerings at each agricultural festival.
- In addition to the Earth, they show respect to the spirits of the river, the forest and the mountain.
- Since each village knows where its boundaries lie, the local people look after all the natural resources within that boundary.
- If people from a village want to take some wood from the forests of another village, they pay a small fee called devsari, dand or man in exchange.
- Some villages also protect their forests by engaging watchmen and each household contributes some grain to pay them.
Q72. Why were forests affected by wars?
How were forests affected by wars?
How were the forest in India and Java affected by the First and Second World War?
‘The First World War and the Second World War had a major impact on forests.’ Explain
‘The First World War and the Second World War had a major impact on forests.’ Discuss
What impact did the First and Second World Wars have on the forests across the world?
Ans. The First World War and the Second World War had a major impact on forests.
- In India, working plans were abandoned at this time, and the forest department cut trees freely to meet British war needs.
- In Java, just before the Japanese occupied the region, the Dutch followed a scorched earth policy, destroying sawmills, and burning huge piles of giant teak logs so that they would not fall into Japanese hands.
- The Japanese then exploited the forests recklessly for their own war industries, forcing forest villagers to cut down forests. Many villagers used this opportunity to expand cultivation in the forest. After the war, it was difficult for the Indonesian forest service to get this land back.
- As in India, people’s need for agricultural land has brought them into conflict with the forest department’s desire to control the land and exclude people from it.