1. Ulatbansi is a language of poetry. Poems written in it follow a style in which everyday meanings are inverted. Ulatbansi is a distinct contribution of which Bhakti poet?
Explanation: Kabir’s poems have survived in several languages and dialects; and some are composed in the special language like Ulatbansi (upside-down sayings), written in a form in which everyday meanings are inverted. These hint at the difficulties of capturing the nature of the Ultimate Reality in words: expressions such as ‘the lotus which blooms without flower’ or the ‘fire raging in the ocean’ convey a sense of Kabir’s mystical experiences. Mirabai is the best-known woman poet within the bhakti tradition. Biographies have been reconstructed primarily from the bhajans attributed to her, which were transmitted orally for centuries. She defied her husband and did not submit to the traditional role of wife and mother, instead of recognising Krishna, the avatar of Vishnu, as her lover. Surdas is best known for his composition the Sur Sagar. Most of the poems in the composition, although attributed to him, seem to be composed by later poets in his name. Sursagar in its 16th-century form contain descriptions of Krishna and Radha as lovers. Tukaram is best known for his devotional poetry called Abhanga and community-oriented worship with spiritual songs known as kirtans. His poetry was devoted to Vitthala or Vithoba, an avatar of Hindu god Vishnu.
Source: Themes in Indian History – Part 2, Theme 6, Page 161.
2. Abdur Razzaq, an ambassador sent by the ruler of Persia to Vijayanagara talked about fortifications of Vijayanagara. Which of the following statements are correct regarding his account of fortification?
(1) He mentioned seven lines of forts.
(2) Forts encircled not only the city but also its agricultural hinterland and forests.
(3) Mortars or cementing agent was employed in the construction of the forts.
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 1 and 3 only
(c) 2 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
Explanation: Abdur Razzaq, an ambassador sent by the ruler of Persia to Calicut (present-day Kozhikode) in the fifteenth century, was greatly impressed by the fortifications, and mentioned seven lines of forts (Thus, statement 1 is correct). These encircled not only the city but also its agricultural hinterland and forests (Thus, statement 2 is correct). The outermost wall linked the hills surrounding the city. The massive masonry construction was slightly tapered. No mortar or cementing agent was employed anywhere in the construction (Thus, statement 3 is incorrect). The stone blocks were wedge-shaped, which held them in place, and the inner portion of the walls was of earth packed with rubble. Square or rectangular bastions projected outwards. What was most significant about this fortification is that it enclosed agricultural tracts. Abdur Razzaq noted that “between the first, second and the third walls there are cultivated fields, gardens and houses”.
Source: Themes in Indian History – Part 2, Theme 7, Page 177.
3. Which of the following types of revenue systems in Mughal State is/are correctly matched?
1. Kankut : Crops were reaped and stacked and divided by agreement in the presence of parties.
2. Batai : Crops were cut and estimated in 3 lots, the good, the middling, and the inferior to remove any doubt.
3. Khet-Batai : Fields were divided after they were sown
4. Lang-Batai : After harvest, the grains were formed in heaps and divided.
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 4 only
(c) 3 and 4 only
(d) 1, 2 and 4 only
Explanation: In Mughal State, land revenue was the major source of the income. Akbar had instituted a system of Dahsala/ Bandobast/ Arazi/ the Zabti system. Under which, the average produce of different crops and the average prices from the last ten years were calculated. One-third of the average was the share of the state that was mentioned in cash. Land revenue was fixed considering both, continuity and productivity of cultivation. Polaj (land continually cultivated), parauti (fallow lands for a year) paid full prices when under cultivation. After assessing land revenue in kind, the value was converted into cash using price list or Dastur-ul-Amal, prepared at a regional level for various food crops. Various other assessment system were followed under Akbar’s reign. Kankut – Crops were cut and estimated in 3 lots, the good, the middling, and the inferior to remove any doubt; Batai – Crops were reaped and stacked and divided by agreement in the presence of parties; Khet-Batai – Fields were divided after they were sown and Lang-Batai – After harvest, the grains were formed in heaps and divided. In the question, Kankut and Batai were interchanged and thus pairs 1 and 2 are wrong.
Source: Themes in Indian History – Part 2, Theme 8, Page 215.
4. In the context of the literary history of India, consider the following pairs:
Book : Author
1. Rajatarangini : Kalhana
2. Lilawati : Bhaskar-II
3. Kavirajamarga : Sri Krishna Deva Raya
Which of the pairs given above is/are correctly matched?
(a) 1 only
(b) 1 and 2 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
Explanation: Rajatarangini: It is a historical chronicle of early India, written in Sanskrit verse by the Kashmiri Brahman Kalhana in 1148, that is justifiably considered to be the best and most authentic work of its kind. It covers the entire span of history in the Kashmir region from the earliest times to the date of its composition. Hence, pair 1 is correctly matched. Lilawati: It is Indian mathematician Bhaskara II's treatise on mathematics, written in 1150. It is the first volume of his main work, the Siddhanta Shiromani, alongside the Bijaganita, the Grahaganita and the Goladhyaya. Hence, pair 2 is correctly matched. Kavirajamarga: It is the earliest available work on rhetoric, poetics and grammar in the Kannada language. It was inspired by or written in part by the famous Rashtrakuta King Amoghavarsha. Hence, pair 3 is NOT correctly matched.
Source: Class 11th NCERT, Medieval India by Satish Chandra, Chapter 4, Pages 23- 33.
5. Chola empire was known for their promotion to local self-government. With reference to Chola administration, consider the following statements:
(1) The affairs of the brahmana village were managed by an executive committee to which educated persons owning property were elected.
(2) The Mahasabhas could raise loans for the village and levy taxes but could not settle any new lands under their authority.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: (a) Explanation: One of the remarkable features of the Chola administration was their encouragement to local self-government in the villages all over their empire. We know about village government in the Chola empire from some inscriptions. There were two kinds of assemblies, called the ‘ur’ and the ‘sabha’ or ‘Mahasabha’. The ‘ur’ was a general assembly of the village. ‘Mahasabhas’ was the gathering of the adult men in the brahmana villages which were called ‘agraharas’. These villages enjoyed a large measure of autonomy. Statement 1 is correct- The affairs of the brahmana village were managed by an executive committee to which educated persons owning property were elected either by drawing lots or by rotation. These members had to retire every three years. There were other committees for helping in the assessment and collection of land revenue for the maintenance of law and order, justice, etc. One of the important committees was the tank committee which looked after the distribution of water to the fields. Statement 2 is NOT correct- The Mahasabha could settle new lands, and exercise ownership rights over them. It could also raise loans for the village and levy taxes. The self-government enjoyed by these Chola villages was a very fine system. To some extent, this system worked in other villages as well. However, the growth of local intermediaries tended to restrict their autonomy.
Source: Class 11th NCERT, Medieval India by Satish Chandra, Chapter 3, Page 18.