Summary of Glimpses of the Past
Chapter 3 of the Class 8 English Main Coursebook – Honeydew, consists of a prose – Glimpses of the Past, which describes events that took place in India and how our brave countrymen fought gallantly in the struggle for Independence against the British Raj. Students can read the prose summary of CBSE Class 8 English Prose Notes – Glimpses of the Past in CBSE English Notes Class 8 format here. We hope this short summary will help students to get a detailed understanding of the chapter and refer to it while revising the subject before the exam.
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CBSE Class 8 English Glimpses of the Past Summary
This chapter begins with some events that took place in 1757 when the British had a strong foothold in India. They had in their possession superior quality arms and ammunition and were also financially sound. On the contrary, the Princes of the Indian states were short-sighted and lacked unity. They were unnecessarily fighting with each other. Some even sought the help of the British to resolve their conflict with other kingdoms. In the meantime, the East India Company took complete advantage of this fact. The British strictly followed the policy of ‘Divide and Rule’ and they also understated the Princes of many Indian states. Although some people were in favour of the British, there were many who were against them. Tipu Sultan of Mysore was a far-sighted ruler who fought the British and died in 1799 while fighting the Anglo-Mysore IV War.
As we progress in the chapter, we learn about evil practices such as untouchability, Sati, child marriage, etc. that were preached by the religious and orthodox leaders. The Indians had lost their self-esteem and the British scorned them. They imposed heavy taxes on the local farmers and forced them to abandon their fields. They also chopped the thumbs of the skilled artists and workers. The British manufactured goods in England and the import duty was tax-free. Thus, the British’s main motive was to maximise profit and optimise their wealth through implementation of unfair practices.
Starting from 1772 to 1833, Raja Ram Mohan Roy, a learned man from Bengal began reforming the Indian society. He established the Brahmo Samaj and propagated the idea that all religions have similar teachings and principles, hence they were no different from each other. He was greatly interested in science and modern knowledge and started newspapers which were stopped by the British in 1823. He was also against evil practices such as Sati, child marriage, polygamy and the caste division system in our country. He played a pivotal role in abolishing the practice of Sati in the society.
The British continued to suppress the Indians as they passed the Regulation III Act in the year 1818. Under this Act, an Indian could be jailed without trial in a court of law. This was the oppression phase of Indians. The British exported British goods worth millions of rupees in 1829. This ruined the Indian industries to a great extent and the British began to prosper. Furthermore, the British exploited the Indians in numerous ways. In 1835, Lord Macaulay recommended teaching of the English language to the natives. The English education produced clerks and the British gave petty jobs under them to the Indians. Incidentally, the education policy also produced a new generation of intellectuals who could understand the social vices of the British rule and they educated their fellow mates accordingly.
By 1856, the British had conquered almost the entire country and their suppression of the local residents was at a peak. This led to multiple revolts. In 1855, the Santhals rose to rebellion and massacred the British rulers and their supporters. In 1857, the Sepoy Mutiny began and Mangal Pandey played a key role in it as he had attacked the adjutant of his regiment and was soon executed. The sepoys marched towards Delhi and shouted slogans favouring Bahadur Shah Zafar. Soon, the landlords also joined them in their revolutionary movement. People started circulating chapatis along with a message that the native ruler needed their help. Similarly, lotus flowers were also circulated among the Indian soldiers to convey the message.
The fight for freedom continued as several rulers such as Begum Hazrat Mahal of Lucknow, Maulvi Ahmedulla of Faizabad, Azimulla Khan, Tatya Tope, Peshwa Nana Saheb of the Maratha dynasty and Kunwar Singh of Bihar also joined this war of freedom. This was indeed the beginning of the Indian struggle for independence.
Conclusion of Glimpses of the Past
The chapter – Glimpses of the Past teaches a lesson to students that if we stand together for a good cause, we can achieve success just like our brave freedom fighters did. They had an organised approach in India’s struggle for independence as they sacrificed their lives so that we can lead a life of freedom from the British rule. Presenting the CBSE Class 8 English Honeydew Prose Summary of Glimpses of the Past that must have helped students to have a comprehensive understanding of the chapter.
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