Indian Civilization and Culture

 

BSEB Class 12 English Rainbow Book Chapter 1 Indian Civilization and Culture Summary, Explanation, Question Answers 

 
Indian Civilization and Culture – BSEB Class 12 English Rainbow Book Chapter 1 Indian Civilization and Culture Summary and detailed explanation of the story along with meanings of difficult words. Also, the summary is followed by an explanation of the lesson. All the exercises and Question Answers given at the back of the lesson have also been solved.


 

 

BSEB Class 12 English Rainbow book Chapter 1 – Indian Civilization And Culture

By Mahatma Gandhi

 

Indian Civilization and Culture Introduction

Gandhiji

In the extract “Indian Civilization and Culture”, Gandhiji elaborates how Indian civilization is far more superior than Western Civilization as it has withstood the passage of time with its strong roots. Indian civilization has witnessed many civilizations grow and end because they worship materialism. Indian civilization, on the other hand, believes in morality and spirituality. 

 
 

Indian Civilization and Culture Summary

The lesson revolves around how Indian civilization has withstood the passage of time. Despite our people being called ignorant and uncivilized, India stood still on the seeds of morality sown by our ancestors. The true meaning of civilization is “good conduct” which makes our nation capable of teaching others instead of learning from the West which is obsessed with material possessions and physical comfort. Their idea of happiness lies in fulfilling their innumerable wants whereas our ancestors believed that happiness is a mental condition. Being rich doesn’t guarantee happiness and being poor doesn’t mean sadness which is why, our ancestors refrained us from indulging ourselves in the worldly pleasures. From what they have taught us, we have learned to treat all professions equally. It is not that we did not have the means to invent machinery but our forefathers knew that real health lies in the usage of our own hands and feet. They were against large cities because of all the evil that resides in them. They knew that the sword of ethics is more powerful than the sword of any king or ruler. 
Gandhi further mentions how perfection can never be attained but Indian civilization tends to uplift moral beings as it believes in God whereas Western culture encourages immorality because it is Godless. The author thanks modern civilization for making him sure what he wants for India is not to fall on the journey of materialism. The trait that makes modern civilization different is that it leads humans to have innumerable wants that never end whereas ancient civilization teaches us to have control over our wants and in managing them so that they do not get excessive. The reason why modern civilization leads to never-ending human wants is because its people are always aspiring to live in the future and wanting to be in the state of being divine. He further says that European developments might suit their people undoubtedly but if India went on the same lines, it would mean destruction. We can integrate some of the good aspects of European civilization that we are capable of inhibiting but it does not mean that Europeans need not get rid of the ill-aspects that have gotten in it during advancement. In the end, he mentions that focusing on physical comfort upto a certain level is crucial but excess of it becomes an obstruction which is why having innumerable wants and running after satisfying them is misleading or rather, a trap. One must seek physical and intellectual fulfillment upto a certain limit because after that, it leads to physical and intellectual destruction. Hence, humans shall only indulge in these worldly pleasures to an extent where it does not disturb its actual motive which is, service of humanity.
 
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Video Explanation of Indian Civilization and Culture

 


 
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Indian Civilization and Culture Lesson Explanation

  1. I believe that the civilization India has evolved is not to be beaten in the world. Nothing can equal the seeds sown by our ancestors. Rome went, Greece shared the  same fate, the might of the Pharaohs was broken, Japan has become westernized; of  China nothing can be said, but India is still, somehow or other, sound at the foundation.  The people of Europe learn their lessons from the writings of the men of Greece or Rome which exist no longer in their former glory. In trying to learn from them, the Europeans imagine that they will avoid the mistakes of Greece and Rome. Such is their pitiable condition.

Civilization- the stage of human social and cultural development and organization that is considered most advanced

Evolved – caused to develop

Beaten- having been defeated

Fate- destiny

Pharaohs- rulers of ancient Egypt

Westernized- be in the process of adopting or being influenced by the systems of the West

Glory- magnificence, beauty

Pitiable condition- a sad or weak state that makes you feel pity for someone

Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi is of the opinion that the developments that took place in India over the period of time cannot be taken to have been defeated by the rest of the countries. He justifies his statement by explaining the importance of “seeds sown” or in other words, the teachings and morals of our ancestors that built the foundation of our civilization. He mentions that the nations like Rome, Greece, Japan and the rulers of ancient Egypt have all forgotten their age-old practices in the journey towards modernisation. Even though one can not surely say the same for China but India still continues to practice the old traditions. 

The people of Europe are known to practice the teachings of Greece and Rome which cannot be seen in the behaviour of anyone. However, while following them, Europeans are hopeful of avoiding the mistake of Greece and Rome which according to the author is pitiful.

 

  1. In the midst of all this, India remains immovable and that is her glory. It is a charge against India that her people are so uncivilized, ignorant and stolid, that it is not possible to induce them to adopt any changes. It is a charge really against our merit. What we have tested and found true on the anvil of experience, we dare not change. Many thrust their advice upon India, and she remains steady. This is her beauty; it is the sheet anchor of our hope.

In the midst- in the middle of

Immovable- unwavering; firm

Uncivilized- (of a place or people) not socially, culturally, or morally advanced

Stolid- slow-witted

Induce- succeed in leading someone to do something (convince)

Anvil- a metal block on which a blacksmith shapes metal objects with hammer

Thrust- push suddenly in a specific direction

Sheet anchor- security

While other nations were moving far away from their ancient teachings, India remained stuck to its ancestral teachings while maintaining the beauty of it. It is believed that Indian citizens are backward, unaware and lack intelligence which is why they are unable to take on change. Gandhi mentions that this belief is against our favor but with what has been seen with experience, we must not risk forgetting our morals and values in the name of civilization. 

Even though many force their opinions on India to convince it to modernize, we still stand firm and that is what Gandhi describes as “beauty” as it provides security and hope to succeed.

 

  1. Civilization is that mode of conduct which points out to man the path of duty. Performance of duty and observance of morality are convertible terms. To observe morality is to attain mastery over our minds and our passions. So doing, we know ourselves. The Gujarati equivalent for civilization means “good conduct”.

Mode of conduct- a manner or way of doing, acting or existing

Morality- the standard of society used to decide what is right or wrong behavior 

Convertible- that can be converted; exchangeable

Equivalent- equal in value, amount, function, meaning, etc.

Civilization is the guide that tells people what they are supposed to do. Gandhi calls performing one’s duty and upholding one’s morals to be the same thing. This is because one needs to have full control over their mind and desires in order to act with morality and in order to attain it, one becomes fully aware of oneself. This has been compared to the Gujarati meaning for civilization which is, good conduct. 

 

  1. If this definition be correct, then India, as so many writers have shown, has nothing to learn from anybody else, and this is as it should be.

He says that if civilization equals good conduct then, as already said by many other writers, India does not require change and even above that, it does not need to learn from the rest of the world.

 

  1. We notice that the mind is a restless bird, the more it gets the more it wants, and still remains unsatisfied. The more we indulge in our passions, the more unbridled they become. Our ancestors, therefore, set a limit to our indulgences. They saw that happiness was largely a mental condition.

Indulge- allow someone to enjoy something desired

Unbridled- Unrestrained; uncontrolled 

He compares the human mind to a “restless bird” because it never gets satisfied no matter how much it gets. The more one allows oneself to dive into luxury, the more one craves for it which is why our ancestors suggested everything in moderation and control. This is because happiness is seen as a mental condition that can never be attained by uncontrollably fulfilling one’s desires.

 

  1. A man is not necessarily happy because he is rich, or unhappy because he is poor. The rich are often seen to be unhappy, the poor to be happy. Millions will always remain poor. Observing all this, our ancestors dissuaded us from luxuries and pleasures. We have managed with the same kind of plough as existed thousands of years ago. We have retained the same kind of cottages that we had in former times and our indigenous education remains the same as before. We have had no system of life-corroding competition. Each followed his own occupation or trade and charged a regular wage. It was not that we did not know how to invent machinery, but our forefathers knew that, if we set our hearts after such things. we would become slaves and lose our moral fibre. They, therefore, after due deliberation decided that we should only do what we could with our hands and feet. They saw that our real happiness and health consisted in a proper use of our hands and feet.

Dissuaded- advised against, persuaded against

Plough- a farm tool that breaks earth and soil; furrow

Former times- preceding in time; prior or earlier

Indigenous- native; home-grown

Life-corroding- destroying life gradually

Moral fibre- character

Deliberation- reflection, consideration and discussion

It is not always true that happiness comes from being rich or sadness comes from being poor. However, it is the opposite, even though most of the population continues to live in poverty. This is the reason why our forefathers stopped us from involving ourselves in too much luxury. This is how the ancient farming styles like ploughing, the type of cottages and education system have stayed intact for thousands of years. Furthermore, this has helped in avoiding the culture of cut-throat competition because everyone followed their own business and concerned themselves with their own income. 

Our ancestors were well aware of the fact that modernisation of technology would only make us slaves while compromising our moral values, otherwise even they had the knowledge and means to develop machinery. They always insisted on using our own hands and feet to accomplish everything instead of depending upon machinery and technology. It is because they were this far-sighted that they could see that real well-being of our body and mind can only be attained if we make use of our own hands and feet.

 

  1. They further reasoned that large cities were a snare and a useless encumbrance and that people would not be happy in them, that there would be gangs of thieves and robbers, prostitution and vice flourishing in them and that poor men would be robbed by rich men. They were, therefore, satisfied with small villages.

Reasoned- based on logic or good sense

Snare- trap

Encumbrance- burden

Prostitution- the practice or occupation of engaging in sexual activity with someone for payment

Vice- evil; wickedness

Flourishing- thriving, growing in a healthy manner

Our forefathers knew that big cities with westernization are a trap and would burden the people unnecessarily. People would be so involved in worldly pleasures that they would forget what real happiness is. Big cities are filled with gangs, thieves and robbers. Practices of engaging in sexual activity with someone for payment is very common in large cities and it is an acceptable trend for rich to steal from the poor. All the evil and wickedness made our ancestors more satisfied with the small villages in India.

 

  1. They saw that kings and their swords were inferior to the sword of ethics, and they, therefore, held the sovereigns of the earth to be inferior to the Rishis and the Fakirs. A nation, with a constitution like this, is fitter to teach others than to learn from others. This nation had courts, lawyers and doctors, but they were all within bounds. Everybody knew that these professions were not particularly superior. Moreover, these Vakils and Vaids did not rob people; they were considered people’s dependents, not their masters. Justice was tolerably fair. The ordinary rule was to avoid courts. There were no touts to lure people into them. This evil too was noticeable only in and around capitals. The common people lived independently and followed their agricultural occupation. They enjoyed true Home Rule. 

Ethics- moral principles that govern a person’s behavior or the conducting of an activity

Sovereigns- (here) a person who has supreme power or authority

Inferior- lower in rank, status or quality

Rishis- a Hindu sage or saint

Fakirs- a Hindu holy man

Superior- higher in rank, status or quality

Tolerably- moderately good or agreeable

Touts- persons employed in soliciting customers

Lure- entice, tempt

Home Rule- a political arrangement in which a part of a country governs itself independently of the central government of the country

Our ancestors were wise to know that morals and values possess the greatest power, more so than any king’s swords which is why they favored saints above the crowned rulers. Hence, they believed that instead of following the modernization trend from outside countries, India could rather teach the rest of the world. India is fitter than other nations because it is self-sufficient in terms of courts, lawyers and doctors and that all professions are regarded highly and equally. Unlike other nations, in India, lawyers and doctors do not befool people to steal from them – they are highly reliable and do not act superior. Here, we value fair play and focus on solving matters outside courts instead of having tricksters lure them into court. Even if there were any ill-practices, they only happened in and around the capital cities. Apart from that, the rest of the population lived freely while undertaking agricultural activities and enjoying being their own rulers.

 

  1. The Indian civilization, as described by me, has been so described by its votaries. In no part of the world, and under no civilization, have all men attained perfection. The tendency of Indian civilizations is to elevate the moral being, that of the western civilization is to propagate immorality. The latter is godless; the former is based on a belief in God. So understanding and so believing, it behoves every lover of India to cling to the old Indian civilization even as a child clings to the mother’s breast.

Votaries- devotees

Attained- succeed in achieving something one has worked for

Tendency- proneness to a particular kind of thought or action

Elevate- raise; exalt 

Propagate- spread ideas, beliefs etc more widely

Immorality- evil, sinful or wrong behavior

Latter- denoting the second or second mentioned of two people or things

Behoves- be right or necessary

Cling- adhere; stick

Gandhi mentions that his definition of Indian civilization matches with those of the devotees. He throws light upon the fact that humans are imperfect in every part of the world despite which civilization they belong to. India, however, has a culture of uplifting men by making them aware about their morals and values whereas the West tends to encourage wrongful activities. In the West, they do not believe in the presence of divine power whereas Indian civilization is based on its belief in God – a belief so strong that it is compassionate and real. The believers have been compared to a child clinging to the mother’s breast because every believer wants to stay just as close to  the ancient Indian civilization.

 

  1. I am no hater of the West. I am thankful to the West for many a thing I have learnt from Western literature. But I am thankful to modern civilization for teaching me that if I want India to rise to its fullest height, I must tell my countrymen frankly that, after years and years of experience of modern civilization, I have learnt one lesson from it and that is that we must shun it at all costs.

Frankly- in an open, honest or direct manner

Shun- keep away from

Gandhi clarifies that he does not hate the systems or beliefs of the West. Instead, he is grateful to a lot of things he had learnt from Western literature. Above all, he is most thankful to modernization for teaching him that if he truly wants India to reach its highest potential, the only advice that he can give Indians is to stay away from Western practices at all costs. He mentioned that he is saying this after years of experience in the West.

 

  1. What is that modern civilization? It is the worship of the material, it is the worship of the brute in us — it is unadulterated materialism, and modern civilization is nothing if it does not think at every step of the triumph of material civilization.

Brute- one who lacks intelligence, sensitivity or compassion

Unadulterated- complete 

Materialism- a tendency to consider material possessions and physical comfort as more important than spiritual values

Triumph- achieve a victory; be successful 

Gandhi asks the readers the actual meaning of the modern civilization that he is asking us to stay away from. He elaborates that it is the obsession with material things that makes us dumb and lack intelligence, sensitivity and passion. He again emphasizes that it is truly the practice of worshiping all material possessions and physical comfort but it is of no use if it does not make man think at every point of his life.

 

  1. It is perhaps unnecessary, if not useless, to weigh the merits of the two civilizations. It is likely that the West has evolved a civilization suited to its climate and surroundings, and similarly, we have a civilization suited to our conditions, and both are good in their own respective spheres.

Gandhi mentions that comparing the two civilizations is not totally meaningless but it is not needed at all because Western civilization has developed out of the needs and wants of the people of the West, suiting their climate and surroundings. Similarly, Indian civilization seems rightful for its people, surroundings and atmosphere.

 

  1. The distinguishing characteristic of modern civilization is an indefinite multiplicity of human wants. The characteristic of ancient civilization is an imperative restriction upon, and a strict regulating of, these wants. The modern or western insatiableness arises really from want of living faith in a future state and therefore also in Divinity. The restraint of ancient or Eastern civilization arises from a belief, often in spite of ourselves, in a future state and the existence of a Divine Power.

Distinguishing- characteristic of one thing or person that tells the difference between them

Indefinite- lasting for an unknown length of time

Multiplicity- a large number of variety

Imperative- of vital importance; crucial

Restriction- an act of limiting someone’s actions or movement

insatiableness (n): state of not being satisfied

Divinity- the quality or nature of God’s being; the state of being divine

The trait that makes modern civilization different is that it leads humans to have innumerable wants that never end whereas ancient civilization teaches us to have control over our wants and in managing them so that they do not get excessive. The reason why modern civilization leads to never-ending human wants is because its people are always aspiring to live in the future and wanting to be in the state of being divine. On the other hand, ancient civilization comes from the belief of being futuristic but also in the presence of God.

 

  1. Some of the immediate and brilliant results of modern inventions are too maddening to resist. But I have no manner of doubt that the victory of man lies in that resistance. We are in danger of bartering away the permanent good for a momentary pleasure.

Maddening- extremely annoying

Resist- withstand the action or effect of

Bartering- exchanging goods, property etc

Momentary- lasting for a very short time, brief

Gandhi mentions how the fast and unbelievable results of the modern inventions are difficult to refrain from but he tells the readers that he is a strong believer of how self-control is better than the feeling of having it all. This is because giving in to your wants only gives us happiness that lasts a very short time but it takes away long-term happiness.

 

  1. Just as in the West they have made wonderful discoveries in things material, similarly Hinduism has made still more marvellous discoveries in things of religion, of the spirit, of the soul.

Hinduism- A religion of India that emphasizes freedom from the material world through purification of desires and elimination of personal identity

Marvelous- extremely good or pleasing; splendid

Undoubtedly, the West has made some amazing modern inventions when it comes to worldly things and physical comfort. However, Hinduism on the other hand, has made more terrific findings in matters of religion concerning the mind, body and the soul.

 

  1. But we have no eye for these great and fine discoveries. We are dazzled by the material progress that Western science has made. I am not enamoured of that progress. In fact, it almost seems as though God in His wisdom has prevented India from progressing along those lines, so that it might fulfil its special mission of resisting the onrush of materialism.

Dazzled- amaze or overwhelm someone with a particular impressive quality 

Enamoured- be in love with, delighted with

Progressing- develop towards an improved or more advanced condition

Onrush- surge, flow

Gandhi tells the readers that he is not fond of modern inventions despite their amazing discoveries. Even though some of the findings of modern science are impressive, he is not delighted with it. He feels that it is the blessings of the Divine Power that India so strongly believes in, which is stopping India from going in that direction. According to him, it is God who wants India to resist seeking comfort in material things.

 

  1. After all, there is something in Hinduism that has kept it alive up till now. It has witnessed the fall of Babylonian, Syrian, Persian and Egyptian civilizations. Cast a look around you. Where is Rome and where is Greece? Can you find today anywhere the Italy of Gibbon, or rather the ancient Rome, for Rome was Italy?

Witnessed- to see an event happen

Babylonian- an inhabitant of Babylon or Babylonia

Syrian- a native or inhabitant of Syria

Persian- a native or inhabitant of ancient or modern Persia (or Iran)

Cast a look – look quickly in the prescribed direction

Gibbon- the English historian of the eighteenth century who authored the famous book The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

The writer highlights that if Hinduism has sustained all odds over the period of time, there must be something special about it. Other civilizations like that of Babylonians, Syrians, Persians and Egyptians, have all ended but our ancient civilization stands firm. He asks the readers to observe other nations and think where Rome and Greece went. There is no trace of the Italy of Gibbon or ancient Rome even though Rome was Italy.

 

  1. Go to Greece. Where is the world-famous Attic civilization? Then coming to India, let one go through the most ancient records and then look around you and you would be constrained to say, “yes, I see here ancient India still living”.

Attic- of, relating to, or having the characteristics of Athens or its ancient civilization 

Constrained- severely restrict in scope, extent or activity

He then compares India with Greece in terms of keeping their ancient teachings alive. Greece has no trace of its well-known attic civilization in the modern times whereas one can clearly find ancient India if they go through our ancient records – they would know that it is still alive in today’s India.

 

  1. True, there were dungheaps, too, here and there, but there are rich treasures buried under them. And the reason why it has survived is that the end which Hinduism set before it was not development along material but spiritual lines.

Dungheaps- a heap of dung or refuse, especially in a farmyard

Buried- covered up 

It is true that one can find hills of dung and garbage in India but there is no denial of the fact that if one digs deeper, there are also treasures that can be found. Gandhi points out that the reason why Hinduism has lasted while others have collapsed is because its end-goal was never obsessing over material things in the name of development but on becoming spiritual beings. 

 

  1. Our civilization, our culture, our Swaraj depend not upon multiplying our wants —self—indulgence, but upon restricting wants – self denial.

Swaraj- self- government or independence for India

Self-indulgence- the act of allowing yourself to have or do anything you enjoy excessively

Self-denial- the denial of one’s own interests and needs; self-sacrifice

Our entire way of life, independence and advancement revolves not in fulfilling our wants and burying oneself in material pleasures but in having self-control over our wants so that we do not overindulge in them.

 

  1. European civilization is, no doubt, suited for the Europeans but it will mean ruin for India if we endeavour to copy it. This is not to say that we may not adopt and assimilate whatever may be good and capable of assimilation by us, as it does not also mean that even the Europeans will not have to part with whatever evil might have crept into it.

Ruin- destruction

Endeavour- an attempt to achieve a goal

Assimilation- integration

Crept- move slowly and carefully in order to avoid being heard or noticed

He says that European developments might suit their people undoubtedly but if India went on the same lines, it would mean destruction. We can integrate some of the good aspects of European civilization that we are capable of inhibiting but it does not mean that Europeans need not get rid of the ill-aspects that have gotten in it during advancement.

 

  1. The incessant search for material comforts and their multiplication is such an evil and I make bold to say that the Europeans themselves will have to remodel their outlook, if they are not to perish under the weight of the comforts to which they are becoming slaves. It may be that my reading is wrong, but I know that for India to run after the Golden Fleece is to court certain death. Let us engrave on our hearts the motto of a Western philosopher: “Plain living and high thinking”. Today it is certain that the millions cannot have high living and we the few, who profess to do the thinking for the masses, run the risk, in a vain search after high living, of missing high thinking.

Incessant- continuing without pause or interruption

Remodel- change the structure or form of something

Perish- lose it’s normal qualities; rot or decay

Golden Fleece- an object very difficult to attain. The Golden Fleece of Greek mythology was well protected by snakes and flames, and to secure it Jason had to employ the magic of Media.

Profess- claim

Gandhi calls the never-ending desire to fulfill one’s temporary wants and its continuous increase an ‘evil’ that even the Europeans would want to get rid of sooner or later if they realise that it is eating their roots up and making them act as slaves. He accepts that he may be wrong in saying that for European civilization but he is sure that if India went on the same lines, it would mean destruction. He compares attaining European civilization to running after the “Golden Fleece” because the Golden Fleece is something very hard to attain and comes with high chances of being unsuccessful.

He wants his readers to follow the motto of a Western philosopher – “Plain living and high thinking” wholeheartedly because not everyone can afford a lavish lifestyle (high living). The few people who claim to think about the welfare of the entire nation are also at risk of seeking to look after high living unsuccessfully while missing out on high thinking.

 

  1. Civilization, in the real sense of the term, consists not in the multiplication, but in the deliberate and voluntary restriction of wants. This alone increases and promotes contentment, real happiness and capacity for service.

Deliberate- done consciously and intentionally

Contentment- a state of happiness and satisfaction

Gandhi emphasizes how actual civilization rests in voluntary self-control and not in multiplicity of human wants. Having control over one’s desires is what brings true satisfaction and long lasting happiness along with increased human productivity.

 

  1. A certain degree of physical harmony and comfort is necessary but above a certain level it becomes a hindrance instead of help. Therefore, the ideal of creating an unlimited number of wants and satisfying them seems to be a delusion and a snare. The satisfaction of one’s physical needs, even the intellectual needs of one’s narrow self, must meet at a certain point a dead stop, before it degenerates into physical and intellectual voluptuousness. A man must arrange his physical and cultural circumstances so that they do not hinder him in his service of humanity on which all his energies should be concentrated. 

Harmony- agreement of ideas, feelings or actions

Hindrance- something or somebody that obstructs

Delusion- misleading; misconception 

Degenerates- decline or deteriorate physically, mentally, or morally

Voluptuousness- relating to or characterized by luxury or sensual pleasure

Focusing on physical comfort upto a certain level is important but excess of it becomes an obstruction instead of being useful which is why having innumerable wants and running after satisfying them is misleading or rather, a trap. One must seek physical and intellectual fulfillment upto a certain limit because after that, it leads to physical and intellectual destruction. Hence, humans shall only indulge in these worldly pleasures to an extent where it does not disturb its actual motive which is, service of humanity.
 
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Indian Civilization and Culture Question and Answers

A. Answer the following questions orally:

  1. What do you know about Gandhiji?

Answer-

Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi, popularly known as Bapu or the Father of the Nation, was more a spiritual leader than a politician. He is known as the father of our nation. He led the nationalist movement against the British rule of India. He is globally known for his doctrine of nonviolent protest (Satyagraha) to achieve political and social progress.

 

  1. What did Gandhi do for the farmers in Bihar?

Answer-

Gandhi came to Champaran in 1917. Here the farmers were forced to yield indigo on 15% of the land and had to surrender their entire yield as rent. Gandhi stood for the interest of the poor farmers but the administration ordered him to leave Champaran. He disobeyed their order and as a result, he was asked to appear in the court. When he appeared in court, the farmers surrounded the entire court in unison and demonstrated fearlessly. The officials failed to control the crowd and Gandhi was saved from being sentenced. The government conducted an inquiry into the case where Gandhi presented evidence of exploitation of the farmers. In the end, the decision was in the favor of the farmers. This was the first triumph of Civil Disobedience in modern India.

 

  1. What do you understand by civilization and culture?

Answer-

Civilization is that mode of conduct which points out to man the path of duty. The Gujarati equivalent for civilization means “good conduct”

The culture in its simplest form refers to the ideas, customs, and social behavior of a particular people or society

Culture exists so that it could be embodied in civilization. The process of civilization brings a place and people to a phase where they can be developed socially and culturally to realize a more advanced stage of human existence.

Hence, culture is what we are and civilization is what we have.

 

  1. What do our holy scriptures tell us about universal human values? 

Answer-

Our holy scriptures tell us the real meaning of life and existence. They explain to us how real accomplishment lies in spirituality and not materiality. They teach us self-control that makes us self-reliant.

 

B.2. Answer the following questions briefly

  1. What, according to the author, is modern civilization?

Answer-

According to the author, modern civilization is Godless. It is the worship of the material and the brute in us. It is unadulterated materialism, and modern civilization is nothing if it does not think at every step of the triumph of material civilization. The distinguishing characteristic of modern civilization is an indefinite multiplicity of human wants.

 

  1. What did the author convey to the countrymen about dealing with modern civilization?

Answer-

 The author conveyed how thankful he is to modern civilization for teaching him that if he wants India to rise to its fullest height, he must tell his countrymen frankly that, after years and years of experience of modern civilization, he has learnt one lesson from it and that it must be shunned at all costs.

 

  1. What is the distinguished characteristic of modern civilization?

Answer-

The distinguishing characteristic of modern civilization is an indefinite multiplicity of human wants. The characteristic of ancient civilization, on the other hand, is an imperative restriction upon, and a strict regulating of, these wants. The modern or western insatiableness arises really from the want of living faith in a future state and therefore also in Divinity.  The incessant search for material comforts and their multiplication is purely an evil.

 

  1. The author perceived danger from modern inventions. How?

Answer-

As per the author, some of the immediate and brilliant results of modern inventions are too maddening to resist. But he has no manner of doubt that the victory of man lies in that resistance and not in over-indulgence. He feels that we are in danger of bartering away the permanent good for a momentary pleasure arising out of the modern inventions.

 

  1. What does the author prefer to materialism?

Answer-

The author prefers spirituality over materialism. He feels there is no development above taking oneself on the spiritual path.

 

  1. What does our civilization depend upon?

Answer-

Our civilization, our culture, our Swaraj depends not upon multiplying our wants with self—indulgence, but upon restricting wants with self denial.

 

  1. What is civilization in the real sense of the term? 

Answer-

Civilization, in the real sense of the term, consists not in the multiplication, but in the deliberate and voluntary restriction of wants. This alone increases and promotes contentment, real happiness and capacity for service.

 

B.1. 1.Complete the following sentences on the basis of what you have studied :

a) India’s glory is that it …………………………

b) The charge against India is that…………………………………….

c) We dare not change what…………………

d) Our ancestors set a limit to our indulgences because………………..

e) Our forefathers did not invent machinery because…………………

Solution-

  1. a) India’s glory is that it is immovable.
  2. b) The charge against India is that her people are uncivilized, ignorant and stolid.
  3. c) We dare not change what we have tested and found hue on the anvil of experience.
  4. d) Our ancestors set a limit to our indulgences because the more we indulge in our passions, the more unbridled they become.
  5. e) Our forefathers did not invent machinery because if we invented machinery, we would become slaves and lose our moral fibre.

 

B.1. 2. Answer the following questions briefly :

1) How is Indian civilization different from European civilization?

Answer-

The people of Europe learnt their lessons from the writings of the men of Greece or Rome. In trying to learn from them, the Europeans imagined that they would avoid the mistakes of Greece and Rome. Such is their pitiable condition. On the other hand, Indian civilization is based on the strong foundation of seeds sown by its ancestors. Based on the Gujarati equivalent for civilization, which means “good conduct”, India has nothing to learn from anybody else. This is because our ancestors have tested and found this true on the anvil of experience.

 

2) Why does Gandhi say that ‘mind is a restless bird’? What makes the mind restless?

Answer-

Gandhi calls the mind “a restless bird” because the more it gets the more it wants, and still remains unsatisfied. By saying this, he further meant that the more we indulge in our passions, the more unbridled they become.

 

3) Why did our ancestors dissuade us from luxuries and pleasures? Did they do the right thing?

Answer-

Our ancestors saw that the more we indulge in our passions, the more unbridled they become. Therefore, they set a limit to our indulgences as they saw that happiness was largely a mental condition. Hence, they dissuaded us from luxuries and pleasures.

Yes, they were right in doing so because being rich does not guarantee happiness. In fact, the poor are seen to be happier.

 

4) Why, according to Gandhi, have we stuck with the same kind of plough as existed thousands of years ago? Should we do the same thing even today?

Answer-

According to Gandhi, we used the same kind of plough as existed thousands of years ago because our ancestors saw that our real happiness and health consisted in proper use of our hands and feet. It was not that we did not know how to invent machinery, but our forefathers knew that, if we set our hearts after such things. we would become slaves and lose our moral fibre. They, therefore, after due deliberation decided that we should only do what we could with our hands and feet. 

In my opinion, usage of plough widely even today would not guarantee agricultural produce enough to cater the entire population of our country. Hence, we should not do the same thing today.

 

5) How did our ancestors view large cities? Why were they satisfied with small villages?

Answer-

Our ancestors viewed large cities as a snare and a useless encumbrance. They knew that people would not be happy in them as there would be gangs of thieves and robbers, prostitution and vice, where rich rob the poor. Hence, they were satisfied with small villages.

 

6) How did our ancestors enjoy true ‘Home Rule’? 

Answer-

India is self-sufficient in terms of courts, lawyers and doctors. Here, all professions are regarded highly and equally. Unlike other nations, in India, lawyers and doctors do not befool people to steal from them – they are highly reliable and do not act superior. Here, we value fair play and focus on solving matters outside courts instead of having tricksters lure them into court. Even if there were any ill-practices, they only happened in and around the capital cities. Apart from that, the rest of the population lived freely while undertaking agricultural activities and enjoying Home Rule.

 

C. 1. Long Answer Questions

  1. ‘I BELIEVE that the civilization India has evolved is not to be beaten in the world.’ What does Gandhi mean by this statement? Do you subscribe to his views?

Answer- 

Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi said, “I believe that the civilization India has evolved is not to be beaten in the world”. By saying this, he meant that nothing can equal the seeds sown by our ancestors. He is proud of the sound foundation of Indian Civilization which has successfully withstood the passage of time. The western civilization which has the tendency to privilege materiality cannot match the Indian civilization that elevates the moral being.

India remains immovable and that is her glory. It is a charge against India that her people are so uncivilized, ignorant and stolid, that it is not possible to induce them to adopt any changes. It is a charge really against our merit. What we have tested and found true on the anvil of experience, we dare not change. Many thrust their advice upon India, and she remains steady. This is her beauty; it is the sheet anchor of our hope. 

However, Indian civilization is also flexible and we can integrate some of the good aspects of European civilization that we are capable of inhibiting for the benefit of our civilization. 

 

  1. ‘We notice that the mind is a restless bird, the more it gets the more it wants, and still remains unsatisfied.’ Pick out other metaphors used in the lesson. How do these metaphors help Gandhiji in persuading the readers?

Answer-

Gandhi has used the power of metaphors in his writing beautifully, to convince the readers. It has not only made the readers understand his idea better but also persuaded them to keep our ancestral morals alive. 

He feels that the Western civilization revolves around continuously chasing materialism and physical comfort. Hence, he has compared the mind to “a restless bird” that is never satisfied no matter how much it gets. Thus, he wants the reader to have voluntary resistance and self-control to refrain them from overindulgence in the worldly pleasures. 

 

Another example of a metaphor well-used is when he states that “what we have tested and found true on the anvil of experience, we dare not change”.  Here, he compares the foundation of Indian civilization to be as strong as the block of metal being hammered by the blacksmith. It is a charge against India that her people are so uncivilized, ignorant and stolid, that it is not possible to induce them to adopt any changes. It is a charge really against our merit. Many thrust their advice upon India, and she remains steady.

 

He has also called India’s ability to stand firm “the sheet anchor of our hope” . Just like a large ship remains steady with its sheet anchor amidst a sea storm, India also remains immovable and that is her glory.

 

He further reasoned that large cities were a “snare”. Just like a snare is a trap for catching birds or mammals, big cities are a useless encumbrance that would not let people be happy in them as there would be gangs of thieves and robbers, prostitution and vice flourishing in them and that poor men would be robbed by rich men. 

 

  1. ‘A man is not necessarily happy because he is rich, or unhappy because he is poor. The rich are often seen to be unhappy, the poor to be happy.’ What, according to Gandhi, holds key to real happiness? How does Gandhi define ‘happiness’?

Answer-

“A man is not necessarily happy because he is rich, or unhappy because he is poor. The rich are often seen to be unhappy, the poor to be happy.”

Millions will always remain poor. Observing all this, our ancestors dissuaded us from luxuries and pleasures. We have managed with the same kind of plough as existed thousands of years ago. We have retained the same kind of cottages that we had in former times and our indigenous education remains the same as before. We have had no system of life-corroding competition. Each followed his own occupation or trade and charged a regular wage. It was not that we did not know how to invent machinery, but our forefathers knew that, if we set our hearts after such things. we would become slaves and lose our moral fibre. They, therefore, after due deliberation decided that we should only do what we could with our hands and feet. They saw that our real happiness and health consisted in a proper use of our hands and feet.

 

  1. Why did our ancestors feel satisfied with small villages? Did they do the right thing? Will it be wise today to follow our ancestors in this connection? Give your own view.

Answer-

Our ancestors felt that large cities are a snare and a useless encumbrance and that people would not be happy in them, that there would be gangs of thieves and robbers, prostitution and vice flourishing in them and that poor men would be robbed by rich men. They were, therefore, satisfied with small villages.

They were right in doing so but even if we want to follow the ancient civilization, India today is moving towards capitalism and development which is forcing people to move out of small villages and migrate to big cities in order to earn a living. The Western philosophy of “Plain living and high thinking” is hard to live by. Today it is certain that millions cannot have a high living. With the rapidly increasing population and the competition, traditional occupations are not feasible, making it difficult to follow the ways that our ancestors used to swear by.

 

  1. Discuss the negative features of western civilization.

Answer-

The western civilization propagates immorality. It is godless. It is the worship of the material and the brute in us — it is unadulterated materialism. Large cities are a snare and a useless encumbrance and that people can not be happy in them, as there are gangs of thieves and robbers, prostitution and vice flourishing in them and that poor men are robbed by rich men. Western civilization promotes incessant search for material comforts and their multiplication which is such an evil as it is putting the nations under the weight of the comforts to which they are becoming slaves.  

 

The ideal of creating an unlimited number of wants and satisfying them seems to be a delusion and a snare. The satisfaction of one’s physical needs, even the intellectual needs of one’s narrow self, must meet at a certain point a dead stop, before it degenerates into physical and intellectual voluptuousness. A man must arrange his physical and cultural circumstances so that they do not hinder him in his service of humanity on which all his energies should be concentrated. 

 

  1. What is the essential difference between the Indian civilization and the Western civilization? How is our civilization superior to the Western civilization?

Answer-

The essential difference between Indian and Western civilization is the indefinite multiplicity of human wants in the West. The characteristic of ancient civilization is an imperative restriction upon, and a strict regulating of, these wants. The modern or western insatiableness arises really from the want of living faith in a future state and therefore also in Divinity. The restraint of ancient or Eastern civilization arises from a belief, often in spite of ourselves, in a future state and the existence of a Divine Power.

Indian civilization has nothing to learn, but to teach a lot to the modern civilization. It is based on the belief in God which is understanding and so believing that it behoves every lover of India to cling to the old Indian civilization even as a child clings to the mother’s breast. Our civilization does not depend upon multiplying our wants with self—indulgence, but upon restricting wants with self denial. The sound foundation of Indian Civilization has successfully withstood the passage of time. The western civilization which has the tendency to privilege materiality which cannot match the Indian civilization that elevates the moral being.

 

  1. A certain degree of physical harmony and comfort is necessary but above a certain level it becomes a hindrance instead of help.’ Elaborate. 

Answer-

It is true that a certain degree of physical harmony and comfort is necessary but above a certain level it becomes a hindrance instead of help. Therefore, the ideal of creating an unlimited number of wants and satisfying them seems to be a delusion and a snare. The satisfaction of one’s physical needs, even the intellectual needs of one’s narrow self, must meet at a certain point a dead stop, before it degenerates into physical and intellectual voluptuousness. Hence, humans shall only indulge in these worldly pleasures to an extent where it does not disturbs its actual motive which is, service of humanity.

 

C. 2. GROUP DISCUSSION

Discuss the following in groups or pairs:

  1. Truth and non-violence have been the biggest weapons of mankind.

Answer-

Truth and non-violence are known as the twin pillars of Gandhian thought. He believed that truth is the ultimate reality which is God and non-violence as the peak of selflessness. To him, non-violence is not a negative aspect but the highest form of pure love. 

During the freedom struggle, Gandhi introduced the spirit of Satyagraha to the world. Satyagraha means devotion to truth, remaining firm on the truth and resisting untruth actively but non-violently. According to Gandhi, a satyagrahi must believe in truth and nonviolence as one’s creed and therefore have faith in the inherent goodness of human nature. Besides, a satyagrahi must live a chaste life and be ready and willing for the sake of one’s cause to give up his life and his possessions, he would assert.

He believed that truth and non-violence are the two sides of the same coin and considers ahimsa as the means,and truth as the end. He was a great supporter of peace and believed that these two elements together are the only means towards world peace. 

Truth is the biggest weapon because it takes a lot of guts to face reality. Bitter truth is always better than a sweet lie.

Non-violence is also a powerful and just weapon as it cuts without wounding. This also makes it a weapon of the strong.

 

  1. High thinking can not go alongside high living. 

Answer-

High thinking is the ability to reason properly. It is the ability to be able to see clearly the true meaning of life and everything that it constitutes. High living on the other hand, refers to a lavish lifestyle filled with luxuries and indulgences. It is based on fulfilling one’s material wants without refrain. 

Someone capable of high thinking finds high living meaningless as he is able to detach himself from the material possessions. It comes with time, peace and spirituality whereas modern lifestyle is obsessed with materiality which leads to anxiety and the unnecessary urge to always seek for more.

High thinking does not entirely refrain from high living but instead, it teaches when to stop. It is more dependent on self -control and self-reliance. Since high thinking and high living hardly go hand in hand, the Western philosopher has rightly suggested everyone to follow – “Simple living, high thinking”.

 

C. 3. COMPOSITION

Write a paragraph in about 100 words on each of the following:

a. The real dignity of man lies not in what he has but in what he is.

Answer-

The worship of materialism is temporary but that of spirituality is permanent as the former is only focused on fulfilling wants whereas the latter is concerned with the peaceful integration of mind, body and soul. 

What a man has is his possessions that can be bought with money. Wants are never-ending and with a restless bird-like mind that humans have, it is difficult to get out of the loop of always longing for more. 

What a man is, is the qualities that stay with him. It signifies his morals and values that form the basis of his very being. Hence, this is where the real dignity of man lies and not in the possession of worldly objects.

 

b. The crown and glory of life is character. 

 

D.WORD STUDY

D.1. Dictionary Use

Ex. 1. Correct the spelling of the following words: 

 

disuaded ocupationvotriesimoralityunadultereted
matarialismbeleifmadningengrevharmoney

 

Answer-

Disuaded – Dissuaded

ocupation – Occupation

Votries – Votaries

Imorality – Immorality

unadultereted – Unadulterated

matarialism – Materialism

Beleif – Belief

Madning – Maddening

engrev – Engrave

Harmoney – Harmony

 

Ex. 2. Look up a dictionary and write two meanings of the following words — the one in which it is used in the lesson and the other which is more common 

 

reasonthinkingwantsruincopy

 

Answer-

Reason

As per lesson- a cause, explanation, or justification for an action or event

As per common usage- a statement given to explain a belief or an act; a motive or cause

 

Thinking

As per lesson- the process of considering or reasoning about something

As per common usage- to reflect on a matter

 

Wants

As per lesson- have a desire to possess or do (something); wish for

As per common usage- a desire for something

 

Ruin

As per lesson- the physical destruction or disintegration of something or the state of disintegrating or being destroyed.

As per common usage- reduce (a building or place) to a state of decay, collapse

 

Copy

As per lesson- imitate the style or behavior of

As per common usage- a thing to be made similar or identical to another

 

D.2. Word-formation

Read carefully the following sentence taken from the lesson:

Each followed his own occupation...

In the above sentence the word ‘occupation’, which is an abstract noun, is derived from the verb ‘occupy’. Now, derive abstract nouns from the verbs given below and use them (abstract nouns) in sentences of your own:

 

convertperformdefine pleaseeducateobserve

 

Answer-

Convert – Conversion – The process of conversion of water to ice requires water to be frozen.

Perform – Performance – The annual day is lined up with splendid performances by students.

Define – Definition – The Gujarati definition of civilization is good conduct.

Please – Pleasure – One must not give up long-term goals for momentary pleasures.

Educate – Education – In rural India, girls still have lesser access to education as compared to boys.

Observe – Observation – The patient is critical and has been kept under the observation of doctors.

 

D.3. Word-meaning

Ex 1. Find from the lesson words the meanings of which have been given in Column A. The last part of each word is given in Column B: 

 

AB
someone related who lived long time ago…………. tor
of one’s homeland …………nous
being a burden to …………ance
to spread ideas, beliefs, etc…………..ate
slow-witted…………..lid
advise against  ………….ade
exchange goods, property etc…………..ter 

 

Answer-

 

AB
someone related who lived long time agoancestor
of one’s homeland indigenous
Being a burden tohindrance
To spread ideas, beliefs, etcpropagate
slow-wittedstolid
Advice againstdissuade
Exchange goods, property, etcbarter

 

Ex. 2. Fill in the blanks with suitable words (gerunds) from the given list:

 

livingthinkingwritingbarteringmaddening

  

(i) Pragya’s ……………….  is not very legible.

(ii) The police could not control the……………..crowd.

(iii) We are in danger of…………….away the permanent good for a momentary pleasure. 

(iv) Gandhi always believed in simple…………………

(v) Amandeep’s……………was quite logical. 

 

Answer-

(i) Pragya’s writing is not very legible.

(ii) The police could not control the maddening crowd.

(iii) We are in danger of bartering away the permanent good for a momentary pleasure. 

(iv) Gandhi always believed in simple living.

(v) Amandeep’s thinking was quite logical.

 

D. 4. Phrases

Ex.1. Read the lesson carefully and find out the sentences in which the following phrases have been used. Then use these phrases in sentences of your own: 

 

satisfy withbe suited to believe incling toin vain

 

Answer-

Satisfy with – It is important to keep ourselves satisfied with what we have while we work hard for our dreams.

Be suited to – Western civilization is best suited to people of the West.  

Believe in – A person who believes in God is considered spiritual.

Cling to – It is not advisable to cling to one’s mistakes

In vain – Losing a competition doesn’t signify that all the efforts went in vain.

 

E. GRAMMAR

Read the following sentence from the lesson carefully:

We are dazzled by the material progress that western science has made. 

In the above sentence ‘dazzled’ and ‘made’ are past participles of the verbs ‘dazzle’ and ‘make’ respectively.

Ex. 1. Complete the sentences given below by using the appropriate forms of the verbs given in brackets:

  1. Indian Civilization has…………..it alive till now. (keep)
  2. I see here ancient India still…………..(live)
  3. We have……………..many things from western literature. (borrow)
  4. We have been……………..west since long. (copy)
  5. Arya did………………so. (speak)
  6. Nehru had………………….so many letters to his daughter from jail. (write) 

 

Answer-

  1. Indian Civilization has kept it alive till now. (keep)
  2. I see here ancient India still alive. (live)
  3. We have borrowed many things from western literature. (borrow)
  4. We have been copying west since long. (copy)
  5. Arya did say so. (speak)
  6. Nehru had written so many letters to his daughter from jail. (write) 

 

Ex.2. Study the following sentence from the lesson

We notice that the mind is a restless bird, the more it gets the more it wants….

Mark the use of double comparative in the above sentence. Look at the examples given in the table: 

 

The + comparative (1st)The + comparative (2nd)
The harder you work,the better you achieve
The more she earns The more she wants 

 

Form ten sentences of your own choice on this pattern

Answer-

  1. The more you study, the more you learn.
  2. The more, the merrier.
  3. The more practice you do, the better you become.
  4. The less you worry about others, the less they will bother you.
  5. The less I worry, the more relaxed I feel.
  6. The older we get, the wiser we become.
  7. The faster you drive, the quicker you will get there.
  8. There are more and more people coming to this vacation spot.
  9. The hotter the weather, the more water we should drink.
  10. The more you practice, the more you learn.

 
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