Pastoralists in the Modern World : NCERT Exercise Questions

Q.1     Explain why nomadic tribes need to move from one place to another. What are the advantages to the environment of this continuous movement?
Sol.     The nomadic tribes need to move from one place to another in search of new pastures. When the grass in a particular part is exhausted and the season becomes unconducive, the nomadic tribes move to some other area. The seasonal movement of nomadic tribes is beneficial for the environment. It allows natural re-growth of grass in the pastureland.

Q.2     Discuss why the colonial government in India brought in the following laws. In each case, explain how the law changed the lives of pastoralists:
           (a) Waste Land rules
Sol.     This law was brought to take control of the land which was not under cultivation. The surplus land could be used to increase the area under cultivation and also to increase land revenue. This Rule shrunk the pastureland which was earlier available.

           (b) Forest Acts
Sol.     These Acts were introduced to gain control of those forests which had commercially important trees. Moreover, these acts were also utilised to collect some revenue from the pastoralists. The movement of pastoralists was severely restricted because of new Forest Acts. Instead of planning their movement according to the season, the pastoralists now had to move according to the new rules.

           (c) Criminal Tribes Act
Sol.     This Act was introduced to force the nomadic tribes to a settled life. It was difficult to collect taxes from the nomadic people because they did not have permanent address. This Act tarnished the image of nomadic tribes. This disturbed their relationship with peasants and other mainstream communities. It also badly affected their earnings.

           (d) Grazing Tax
Sol.     Grazing Tax was introduced in order to widen the tax net. This tax put a new burden on the pastoralists.

Q.3     Give reasons to explain why the Maasai community lost their grazing lands.
Sol.      The Maasailand was divided into British and German territories in 1885. The new international boundary restricted the movement of the Maasai community. Moreover, declaration of a vast tract of pastureland into game reserves also reduced the pastureland for Maasai.

Q.4     There are many similarities in the way in which the modern world forced changes in the lives of pastoral communities in India and East Africa. Write about any two examples of changes which were similar for Indian pastoralists and the Maasai herders.
Sol.      Their traditional pasturelands were taken from them in the name of declaring certain areas as reserve forests. Second, they were forced out of many pastures in the name of expansion of cultivation.


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