18 Short Questions and Answers on Forest Society and Colonialism
1. List at least six items around you which come from forests.
(i) Paper in books, (ii) wood for desks and tables, (iii) dyes that colour your clothes, (iv) honey, coffee, tea, (v) oil in chocolates, (vi) tanin.
2. Define the term forests.
A forest is an area with high density of trees.
3. Define deforestation.
Disappearance of forests is referred to as deforestation.
4. (a) Who was Dietrich Brandis? What were his achievements? (b) What was the prime aim of Brandis’s System of Scientific Forestry?
(a) Dietrich Brandis was the first Inspector General of Forests of India.
His greatest achievement was he set up the Indian Forest Service in 1864 and helped formulate the 1865 Indian Forest Act.
(b) The prime aim of Brandis’s System of Scientific Forestry was to restrict felling of trees and grazing, so that forests could be preserved for timber production.
5. Where is Bastar located?
Bastar is located in the southern most part of Chhattisgarh. It borders states of Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Maharashtra.
6. Give any two local terms for swidden agriculture.
Dhya, Penda, Jhum, Kumri (any 2).
7. How did forest laws change lives of forest dwellers?
Forest laws deprived forest dwellers of their customary rights of food, fodder and hunt example: to hunt for deer, partridges and a variety of small animals.
8. Under what names is shifting cultivation or swidden agriculture practiced in the following areas:
(i) South East Asia (ii) Central America (iii) Africa (iv) Sri Lanka (v) India.
The local names of shifting cultivation in the following areas are:
(i) South East Asia – Lading
(ii) Central America – Milpa
(iii) Africa – Chitmene or Lavy
(iv) Sri Lanka – Chena
(v) India – Dhya, Penda, Jhum, Kumri.
9. Write a short note on Surontiko Samin.
Surontiko Samin was a villager who lived in Randublatung village, a teak forest in Indonesia. He started a movement questioning state ownership of forests. Under him the movement gained momentum and by 1907, 3,000 families were following his ideas. Some protested by lying down on their lands when the Dutch surveyors came. Others refused to pay taxes, fines or perform any labour.
10. What were siadi creepers used for?
They were used to make ropes.
11. Which three states does Bastar in Chhattisgarh border?
Bastar borders Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Maharashtra.
12. Name any four communities that live in Bastar.
Some of the communities that live in Bastar are: Maria and Muri Gonds, Dhurwas, Bhatras and Halbas.
13. What was the chief cause of worry for the people of Bastar during the colonial rule?
People of Bastar were most worried because the colonial government (British) proposed to reserve 2/3rd of the forests in 1905 and stop shifting cultivation, hunting and collection of forest produce.
14. What were forest villages’?
Forest villages were those villages which were allowed to stay on in the reserved forests. In return the people had to work free for the forest department. They had to help in cutting, transporting trees and protecting forests from fire.
15. Why are forests useful to us?
Forests are useful to us because they:
(i) Provide bamboo and wood for fuel, charcoal, grass for fodder and fruits for consumption.
(ii) They also provide herbs and roots for medicinal purposes, paper, and commodities like gum, honey, coffee and tanin.
16. Who started the Bastar rebellion?
The Bastar rebellion first, started in the Kanger forest area and soon spread to other parts of the state.
17. What was meant by the Blandongdiensten System?
Under the Blandongdiensten system the Dutch in Indonesia
(i) Imposed rents on land cultivated in the forests.
(ii) Those villages which were exempted had to in return work collectively to provide free labour and buffaloes for cutting and transporting timber.
18. Why are Mahua trees precious?
Mahua trees are precious because they are an essential part of village livelihood. The flowers of the tree can be consumed or used to make alcohol. The seeds are used to extract oil for cooking purposes and lighting lamps.