Chapter 2 Nelson Mandela Long Walk to Freedom

By | March 21, 2019
Chapter 2 Nelson Mandela Long Walk to Freedom | Question and Answers | NCERT| Class 10 | English | First Flight

Page 18-19

Question 1. Where did the ceremonies take place? Can you name any public buildings in India that are made of sandstone?

Answer 1 The ceremonies took place in the campus of the Union Building of Pretoria. In India,  Rashtrapati Bhavan , Red Fort , Parliament House are buildings made of sandstone.

Question 2. Can you say how 10 May is an ‘autumn day’ in South Africa?

Answer 2 As South Africa is in the Southern Hemisphere which may falls in the autumn season. Thus 10th May is an ‘autumn day’.

Question 3. At the beginning of his speech, Mandela mentions “an extraordinary human disaster”. What does he mean by this? What is the “glorious … human achievement” he speaks of at the end?

Answer 3 By ‘an extraordinary human disaster’ Mandela means to state the practice of apartheid in South Africa. The coloured people have suffered a lot due to discrimination by the white people.They were not allowed to demand freedom or any right. He considered it as great glorious human achievement that a black person became the President of a country where the blacks were not even considered human beings and were treated badly.

Question 4. What does Mandela thank the international leaders for?

Answer 4 Mandela felt very privileged to to welcome the international leaders at the ceremony because not too long ago, the South Africans were considered outlaws.He thus thanks all of them for having come to witness  him as President.Since the event could be considered as a common victory for justice, peace and human dignity.

Question 5 What ideals does Nelson Mandela set for the future of South Africa?

Answer 5 Mandela set the ideas of liberating people from bondage of poverty, deprivation and suffering. He also set the ideal for a society where there would be no discrimination based on gender or racial origins.

Page 21

Question 1. What do the military generals do? How has their attitude changed, and why?

Answer 1 The highest military generals of South African defence force saluted Mandela and pledged their loyalty which was of great significance.Their attitude towards blacks had taken great change. Instead of arresting them , they saluted him.The change in their attitude was because of struggle and sacrifices put in by many heroes of South Africa. This struggle not only ensured the freedom of a nation struggling with apartheid, but brought a change in mindsets of many. 

Question 2. Why were two national anthems sung?

Answer 2 Two national anthems were sung ,one by the Whites and the other by the Blacks symbolising the equality of the Blacks and the Whites.

Question 3. How does Mandela describe the systems of government in his country

(i) in the first decade, and

(ii) in the final decade, of the twentieth century?

Answer 3 (1) In the first decade of the century, the whites patched up their differences and erected a system of racial domination against the blacks, thus creating the basis of one of the harshest and most inhumane societies the world had ever known.
(ii) In the final decade of the 20th century, the previous system had been overturned and replaced by one which recognised rights and freedom of all people regardless of colour of their skin.

Question 4. What does courage mean to Mandela?

Answer 4 For Mandela courage does not mean the absence of fear but a victory over fear. According to him brave men need not be fearless but should be able to conquer fear.

Question 5. Which does he think is natural, to love or to hate?

Answer 5 For Mandela, love comes more naturally to the human heart than hate.

Page 24

Question 1. What “twin obligations” does Mandela mention?

Answer 1 Mandela mentions that every man has twin obligations. The first is to his family, parents, wife and children and the second obligation is to his people, his community and his country.

Question 2. What did being free mean to Mandela as a boy, and as a student? How does he contrast these “transitory freedoms” with “the basic and honourable freedoms”?

Answer 2 Like any other kid, for Mandela freedom meant to make merry and enjoy the blissful life. Once one becomes an adult, antics of childhood looks like transitory because most of the childish activities are wasteful from an adult’s perspective. Once you are adult, you have to earn a livelihood to bring the bacon home. Its only then when you get an honourable existence in the family and in the society.

Question 3. Does Mandela think the oppressor is free? Why/Why not?

Answer 3 Mandela does not think that the oppressor is free because according to him an oppressor is a victim of hatred who is behind the bars of prejudice and narrow-mindedness. He realises that both the oppressor and the oppressed are robbed of their humanity and peace.

Thinking about the text (Page 24)

Question 1. Why did such a large number of international leaders attend the inauguration? What did it signify the triumph of?

Answer 1 The presence of large number of international leaders was a gesture of solidarity from international community to the idea of end of apartheid.It was the significance of the victory of good over evil and triumph of a tolerant society without any discrimination.

Question 2. What does Mandela mean when he says he is “simply the sum of all those African patriots” who had gone before him?

Answer 2 Mandela wants to pay his tribute to all the people who have sacrificed their lives for the sake of freedom.He is grateful to those who had gone before him because those heroes of past had paved the path of co-operation and unity for him. Therefore, he got the support of his people to be able to come to power to bring equality for his own people.

Question 3. Would you agree that the “depths of oppression” create “heights of character”? How does Mandela illustrate this? Can you add your own examples to this argument?

Answer 3 I agree with the statement that depths of oppression create heights of character. Nelson Mandela illustrates this by giving examples of great heroes of South Africa like Oliver Tambo, Walter Sisulu and others who were inspired to sacrifice their lives in the long freedom struggle. During our freedom struggle there was a galaxy of leaders of great characters. The oppression of British rule created and encouraged people of noble characters.If we compare them with the quality of political leaders India is having today, then Nelson Mandela seems to be absolutely right.

Question 4. How did Mandela’s understanding of freedom change with age and experience?

Answer 4 With age and experience, Mandela understood the real meaning of freedom. As a young boy, he thought that he was born free and believed that as long as he obeyed his father and abided by the customs of his tribe, he was free in every possible manner. As he grew older, freedom to raise a family and freedom to earn livelihood started dominating his thoughts. He slowly understood that it was not just his freedom that was being curtailed, but the freedom of all blacks. It was the freedom from fear and prejudice. Age and experience widened his perspective of freedom.

Question 5. How did Mandela’s ‘hunger for freedom’ change his life?

Answer 5 Mandela realised in his youth that it was not just his freedom that was being curtailed, but the freedom of all blacks.The hunger for his own freedom became the hunger for the freedom of his people.He sacrificed the comforts of a settled family life to fight for a greater cause. He joined the African National Congress and this changed him from a frightened young man into a bold one who fought against racial prejudice.

Thinking about Language ( Page 24-25)

Question I. There are nouns in the text (formation, government) which are formed from the corresponding verbs (form, govern) by suffixing -(at)ion or ment. There may be a change in the spelling of some verb – noun pairs: such as rebel, rebellion; constitute, constitution.

Noun Verb
rebellion rebel
constitution constitute

Answer 1 

Noun Verb
rebellion rebel
constitution constitute
Formation Form
Government Govern
Transformation Transform
Imagination Imagine
Demonstration Demonstrate

Question 2. Read the paragraph below. Fill in the blanks with the noun forms of the verbs in brackets.

Martin Luther King’s___________ (contribute) to our history as an outstanding leader began when he came to the_________ (assist) of Rosa Parks, a seamstress who refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger. In those days American Blacks were confined to positions of second class citizenship by restrictive laws and customs. To break these laws would mean__________ (subjugate) and_________ (humiliate) by the police and the legal system. Beatings,___________ (imprison) and sometimes death awaited those who defied the System. Martin Luther King’s tactics of protest involved non-violent_________(resist) to racial injustice.

Answer 2 Martin Luther King’s Contribution (contribute) to our history as an outstanding leader began when he came to the assistance (assist) of Rosa Parks, a seamstress who refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger. In those days American Blacks were confined to positions of second class citizenship by restrictive laws and customs. To break these laws would mean subjugation (subjugate) and humiliation (humiliate) by the police and the legal system. Beatings, imprisonment (imprison) and sometimes death awaited those who defied the System. Martin Luther King’s tactics of protest involved non-violent resistance (resist) to racial injustice.

Question II. Here are some more examples of ‘the’ used with proper names. Try to say what these sentences mean. (You may consult a dictionary if you wish. Look at the entry for ‘the’.)

1. Mr Singh regularly invites the Amitabh Bachchans and the Shah Rukh Khans to his parties.

2. Many people think that Madhuri Dixit is the Madhubala of our times.

3. History is not only the story of the Alexanders, the Napoleons and the Hitlers, but of ordinary people as well.

Answer II

1) This means that Mr Singh regularly invites famous personalities such as  Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan to his parties.

2) This means that Madhuri Dixit is compared to a landmark in acting in the form of legendary actress Madhubala.

3) This means that history is not only the story of the great fighters and leaders such as Alexander, Napoleon and Hitler, but also of ordinary people.

Question III. Idiomatic Expressions
Match the italicised phrases in Column A with the phrase nearest in meaning in Column B. (Hint: First look for the sentence in the text in which the phrase in Column A occurs.)

1. I was not unmindful of the fact (i) had not forgotten; was aware of the fact
(ii) was not careful about the fact
(iii) forgot or was not aware of the fact
2. when my comrades and I were pushed to
our limits
(i) pushed by the guards to the wall
(ii) took more than our share of beatings
(iii) felt that we could not endure the
suffering any longer
3. to reassure me and keep me going (i) make me go on walking
(ii) help me continue to live in hope in this
very difficult situation
(iii) make me remain without complaining
4. the basic and honourable freedoms
of…earning my keep,…
(i) earning enough money to live on
(ii) keeping what I earned
(iii) getting a good salary

Answer III

1. I was not unmindful of the fact (i) had not forgotten; was aware of the fact not endure the
2. When my comrades and I were pushed to our limits (iii) felt that we could not endure the suffering any longer
3. To reassure me and keep me going (ii) help me continue to live in hope in this live in hope in this very difficult situation
4. The basic and honourable freedoms of… earning my keep… (i) earning enough money to live on


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *