Ans. Some forests were classified as reserved forests for they produced timber which the British wanted.
Ans. Missionaries, moneylenders, Hindu landlords, and the British government were the outsiders being referred to as dikus.
Ans. British arrested Birsa in 1895, convicted him on charges of rioting and jailed him for two years.
Ans. Forest Department established forest villages in many regions to ensure a regular supply of cheap labour.
Ans. People said he had miraculous powers – he could cure all diseases and multiply grain.
Ans. They were pastoralists who moved with their herds of cattle or sheep according to the seasons.
Ans. The revolt of Songram Sangma in 1906 in Assam, and the forest satyagraha of the 1930s in the Central Provinces.
Ans. Birsa was born in the mid-1870s. The son of a poor father, he grew up around the forests of Bohonda, grazing sheep, playing the flute, and dancing in the local akhara.
Ans. British allow them to cultivate land on the condition that those who lived in the villages would have to provide labour to the Forest Department and look after the forests.
Ans. Baigas of central India – were reluctant to do work for others. The Baigas saw themselves as people of the forest, who could only live on the produce of the forest. It was below the dignity of a Baiga to become a labourer.
Ans. Problems Birsa set out to resolve were:
i. Their familiar ways of life seemed to be disappearing.
ii. Their livelihoods were under threat.
iii. Their religion appeared to be in danger.
Ans. British wanted tribal groups to settle down and become peasant cultivators because settled peasants were easier to control and administer than people who were always on the move.
Ans. The Van Gujjars of the Punjab hills, the Labadis of Andhra Pradesh, the Gaddis of Kulu, the Bakarwals of Kashmir and Santhals of Hazaribagh, in present-day Jharkhand.
Ans. British officials saw settled tribal groups like the Gonds and Santhals as more civilised than hunter gatherers or shifting cultivators. Those who lived in the forests were considered to be wild and savage: they needed to be settled and civilised.
Ans. The following facts account for their anger against the dilkus.
i. The land policies of the British were destroying their traditional land system.
ii. Hindu landlords and moneylenders were taking over their land.
iii. Missionaries were criticising their traditional culture.
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