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Chapter 5 – Pastoralists in the Modern World Interview Questions Answers

Question 1 : Explain why nomadic tribes need to move from one place to another. What are the advantages to the environment of this continuous movement?

Answer 1 :

Nomadic tribes move from one location in order to maintain their sustenance and way of lie. As they are involved in animal husbandry, the availability of water is paramount to their existence along with fresh pastures for their animals. When the pasture is depleted they move to next area looking for new grazing grounds.

The advantages of the environment are as follows:

(I) The environment gets a chance to regrow and recover, thus maintaining the ecological balance of the area.

(II) It prevents overgrazing as this will lead to depletion of future grazing grounds.

(III) The manure of the animals helps in fertilising the soil, which will be instrumental in repeating the nomadic process of moving from one location to another a possibility.

Question 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:

Answer 2 :

Waste Land Rules
Uncultivated land was taken over by the colonial government and given to selected individuals. This rule was called Waste Land rules. It was brought into force during the mid-nineteenth century. Some of the individuals, who were given this land, by the government, were made headmen. This assured the colonial government their loyalty and support.
The wastelands that were taken over, were actually grazing tracts, used by the nomadic pastoralists. When this wasteland was brought under cultivation by the new owners, the pastoralists lost their grazing grounds and were put to a lot of hardship

Forest Acts
The colonial government passed the Indian Forest Acts in 1865. This Act was amended in the year 1878. Under this amendment the forests were divided into 3 categories, – reserved, protected and village forests.
The reserved forests were usually forests which produced commercially valuable timber. The Forest Act ensured that the total wealth of these forests could be enjoyed by the colonists alone, as no one was allowed access to these forests.
Under this Act nomads were not allowed to graze their cattle in these forests. They had to get permit to graze their cattle in a few of these forests. If they overstayed their permit period they were fined or punished. This left the nomads with no pasture for their herds.

Criminal Tribes Act
The colonial government in India passed the Criminal Tribes Act in the year 1871. The Act earmarked communities of craftsmen, traders and pastoralists as Criminal Tribes. These communities were forced to live only in notified village settlements, when this Act came into force. They needed a permit to move out of this specified village. The village police also kept a continuous watch over them. The moving nomads disturbed the colonists. They wanted the natives in fixed places with fixed rights so that they could be easily controlled.

The Criminal Tribes Act was a great insult to the honest hardworking nomads. Their entire way of life was affected .Grazing Tax
Pastoralists had to pay taxes for the animals they grazed on the pastures. This was called the Grazing Tax.

The colonial government wanted to increase its revenue. Tax was imposed on land, on canal water, on salt, on trade goods, on animals and even on grazing. In the mid- nineteenth century, grazing tax was introduced in most pastoral tracts of India.
The pastoralists had to show a pass and pay tax to enter a grazing tract. He had to pay tax according to the number of cattle heads he had .This taxation was a terrible burden on the poor pastoralists.

Question 3 : Give reasons to explain why the Maasai community lost their grazing lands.

Answer 3 :

In the late nineteenth century, in what would be knowns as the ‘scramble for Africa’, European imperial powers slicing up the region into different colonies with little to no regard about the local sentiments. In 1885, the land of the Maasai, Maasailand, was cut into half with an international boundary between British Kenya and German Tanzania. As a result, the best grazing lands were reserved for white settlers with Maasai being pushed into a small area in southern Kenya and northern Tanzania.

Large areas of grazing land were also turned into game reserves like the Maasai Mara and Samburu National Park in Kenya and Serengeti Park in Tanzania. Pastoralists were not allowed to enter these reserves; they could neither hunt animals nor graze their herds in these areas.

Question 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.

Answer 4 :

India and East Africa were under occupation by European colonial powers. There were many similarities in which both the regions were exploited by these powers

(a) Forest laws:

Various forest laws were also responsible for changing the lives of pastoralists both in India and Africa.
In India, the forest was classed as reserved and protected. No pastoralist was allowed access into the reserved forest.
One of the problems is the Maasai people have faced is the continuous loss of their grazing lands. The colonial government increase the local peasants to expand cultivation.

b) Closing of borders:

In Africa, Maasailand was cut into half with the International boundary between British Kenya and German Tanganyika. The best land was taken over by the White settlers, and the locals were pushed into a small area with restricted pastures.

In India, the division of country forced the Raikas to find out the new pastures in Haryana as due to political division they were no longer allowed to go to Sindh which became a province of Pakistani. The Sindh province has become a part of Pakistan, and the herders cannot go there



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