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Tenses for Beginners: A Study of The Basics

Chapter 2 | Nelson Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom | SEBA HSLC Class 10 | Important Questions-Answers

First Flight

Important Questions and Answers:

A. Part I

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

Ans: The ceremonies took place in the lovely sandstone amphitheatre formed by the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

The Supreme Court of India, Parliament House, Rashtrapati Bhawan, the Red Fort, Qutub Minar, the Swaminarayan Temple of New Delhi, Maharaja's Palace at Jaisalmer etc are some of the public buildings in India that are made of sandstone.

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

Ans: South Africa is located in the Southern Hemisphere. In the southern hemisphere, autumn falls in the months of March to May. So 10 May is called an autumn day in South Africa.

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?

Ans: The extraordinary human disaster is the policy of apartheid. Apartheid means discrimination on grounds of race. The black people were deprived of all their rights and ruled over by the white people.

The glorious human achievement is the end of apartheid. People were now free from discrimination of all kinds.

4. What does Mandela thank the international leaders for?

Ans: Many countries had earlier broken off diplomatic ties with South Africa for its policy of apartheid. But they all came to recognise the political emancipation of the race and celebrate their victory over racial discrimination when South Africa emerged as a newly formed nation under the leadership of Nelson Mandela. So he thanks the international leaders.

5. What ideals does he set out for the future of South Africa?

Ans: The ideals Nelson Mandela set out for the future of South Africa were to liberate all their people from the continuing bondage of poverty, deprivation, suffering, gender and other discrimination.

Mandela expressed a strong hope that South Africa would never ever experience the oppression of one race by another.



B. Part II

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

Ans: As the military generals march, they salute Mandela. This proved their loyalty to the newly formed democracy.

Their outlook has changed totally with the abolition of apartheid. Previously the same military generals would have arrested Mandela for his anti apartheid stand. But now they salute him as the leader of a freely and fairly elected government.

This change in their outlook was brought about by the change of policy - the abolition of apartheid system of governance.

2. Why were two national anthems sung?

Ans: The singing of two national anthems, one by the whites and another by the blacks showed their mutual acceptance of each other and victory over racial discrimination in the post apartheid South Africa.

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?

Ans: In the first decade of the twentieth century, the government in South Africa was based on the system of apartheid - a system of racial domination against the dark-skinned peoples of their own land.

But in the second decade of the twentieth century, the system was reformed. A free and fair democracy was established. The rights and freedoms of all peoples were recognised.

4. What does courage mean to Mandela?

Ans: To Mandela, courage means the ability to conquer fear. It is not the absence of fear but the ability to conquer one's fear.

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

Ans: According to Mandela, love comes more naturally to the human heart than hatred. Hatred is cultivated over time due to social circumstances.



C. Part III

1. What "twin obligations" does Mandela mention?

Ans: Mandela mentions that man has twin obligations, that is, two duties in his life. First, he has to perform his duties towards his family - parents, wife and children. Secondly he has to perform his duties towards his community and country.

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"?

Ans: As a boy, Mandela thought that freedom meant the ability to run, swim, roast or ride without any restrictions.

As a student, he thought that freedom meant the ability to stay out at night, read whatever he liked and go wherever he chose.

As a young man, he realises that these freedoms were all transitory. The basic and honourable freedoms were to achieve his potential as a man. These included his freedoms to earn, marry, have a family and lead a lawful life.

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

Ans: Mandela thinks the oppressor too is not free. He is a prisoner of hatred and is locked behind the bars of prejudice and narrow-mindedness.



D. Textual Questions

Thinking about the Text

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

Ans: Many countries had earlier broken off ties with South Africa for its policy of apartheid. But after a long struggle by the people, this system of apartheid came to an end. Nelson Mandela who led the anti apartheid movement was elected the first president of the country. A new government was going to be formed. So the international leaders came to pay respects to Mandela and celebrate the end of aparthei.

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

Ans: Thousands of African people fought,  suffered and sacrificed their lives in the struggle against racial discrimination for years. Nelson Mandela was not the only fighter. He was a successor to those fighters who preceded him. He was inspired by them.

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?

Ans: Yes, I agree with Mandela. He illustrated this through the examples of many patriots. People suffered for years. But their sufferings only made them bold. They did not even hesitate to give up their lives for the sake of their country. Such heights of character were possible only due to the continued oppression upon them.

In India also, we find innumerable characters who fought for the freedom of our country. Had the British never ruled over us, we would have never seen such heroes in our history.

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

Ans: As a boy, Mandela thought that freedom meant the ability to run, swim, roast or ride without any restrictions.

As a student, he thought that freedom meant the ability to stay out at night, read whatever he liked and go wherever he chose.

As a young man, he realises that these freedoms were all transitory. The basic and honourable freedoms were to achieve his potential as a man. These included his freedoms to earn, marry, have a family and lead a lawful life.

5. How did Mandela's 'hunger for freedom' change his life?

Ans: Mandela's hunger for freedom made him join the African National Congress and fight for the freedom of his country. It changed him into a courageous personality. He had to live away from his family like a monk. He was regarded as a criminal by the then government. He had to suffer a lot. Still he continued his fight and ultimately made South Africa free.



E. Additional Important Questions-Answers:

1. Why did the leaders gather in South in Africa on 10th May, 1994?

Ans: They gathered in South Africa to pay respects to Mandela and celebrate the end of apartheid and victory over racial discrimination.

2. Who was Nelson Mandela? How many years did he spend in prison?

Ans: Nelson Mandela was the first black president of the post apartheid South Africa. He spent a lifetime fighting against apartheid.

He spent thirty years in prison.

3. What did Mandela think of the patriots of Africa and of himself?

Ans: Mandela thought that the new born discrimination free South African nation was the result of unimaginable sacrifices of thousands of patriots of Africa.

He was simply the sum of all those patriots who had gone before him.

4. Who was sworn in as first deputy president of South Africa?

Ans: Thabo Mbeki was sworn in as first deputy president of South Africa.

5. What is apartheid?

Ans: Apartheid was a system of governance based on racial domination. The White people dominated over the black people and deprived them of their rights to live as human beings.

6. Who formed the structure of one of the harshest and most inhumane societies?

Ans: The white skinned people formed the structure of one of the harshest and most inhuman societies.

7. Which party did the author join?

Ans: African National Congress.

8. Name the two national anthems sung on that historic day?

Ans: Nkosi Sikelel -iAfrika was sung by the white people.

Die Stem was sung by the black people.

9. Where did the ceremonies take place? Why were the ceremonies so important?

Ans: The ceremonies took place in the lovely sandstone amphitheatre formed by the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

Many countries had earlier broken off ties with South Africa for its policy of apartheid. But after a long struggle by the people, this system of apartheid came to an end. Nelson Mandela who led the anti apartheid movement was elected the first president of the country. A new government was going to be formed. So the international leaders came to pay respects to Mandela and celebrate the end of apartheid.

10. What did Mandela yearn for as a young man in Johannesburg?

Ans: As a young man in Johannesburg, Mandela yearned for the basic and honourable freedoms of achieving his potential, of earning his livelihood, of marrying and having a family without being obstructed in a lawful life.

11. When did Nelson Mandela die?

Ans: He died on 5 December, 2013.

12. How many seats were won by Nelson Mandela's party in the first democratic elections of South Africa?

Ans: They won 252 of the 400 seats.

13. How did the policy of apartheid affect his country?

Ans: Racial discrimination was widespread in the country. The white skinned people dominated over the black skinned people. The blacks were deprived of all their rights. The international community boycotted the country.

14. How does Mandela look at his own people?

Ans: They could not live a life of dignity and self-respect. They were deprived of their rights as human beings. If they attempted to live as human beings, they were punished and isolated from their own families.

15. What problem was faced by Mandela in placing his people above his family?

Ans: He was prevented from fulfilling his responsibilities as a son, a brother, a father and a husband.

16. What is the full name of Mr. Mandela?

Ans: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

17. Who wrote the autobiography, "Long walk to Freedom"?

Ans: Nelson Mandela wrote "Long Walk to Freedom".

18. How many obligations does every man have according to the author?

Ans: According to the author, every man has two obligations.

19. What is it that gave Mandela a glimmer of hope when he was in prison?

Ans: The humanity in one of the guards gave him a glimmer of hope.

20. Who accompanied Nelson Mandela on the day of the inauguration? Who were sworn in before him?

Ans: Nelson Mandela was accompanied by his daughter Zenani.

Mr. de Klerk was first sworn in as second deputy president. Then Thabo Mbeki was sworn in as first deputy president.

21. When and where did the inauguration ceremony of Nelson Mandela take place?

Ans: The ceremony took place on 10 May, 1994.

It took place in the lovely sandstone amphitheatre formed by the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

22. How old was the author at the time of inauguration?

Ans: Nelson Mandela was seventy-five years old at the time of inauguration.

23. Why was Nelson Mandela changed into a bold man?

Ans: As a young man, Nelson Mandela discovered that he and his country men did not have the freedom to live lawful lives with dignity and self-respect. Their freedom was unlawfully curtailed. This developed in him the intense hunger for freedom. This hunger for freedom changed him into a bold man.

24. What was freedom according to Nelson Mandela?

Ans: See Q. 2, Part III Above.

25. Discuss Nelson Mandela as a hero of the South African freedom movement.

Ans: Nelson Mandela fought against the white government in South Africa. It was due to the long struggle of the South African people and, particularly, Nelson Mandela that the people could defeat the apartheid system of governance. They got freedom from the white domination. A free and fair government was formed on the basis of equality for all. In all this struggle, Mandela played the pivotal role and emerged as the hero of the South African Freedom Movement.



F. HSLC Examination Questions:

Very Short Type Questions:

State whether the following are true or false.

(i) Nelson Mandela spent twenty years in prison. HSLC 2015

Ans: False.

(ii) On the day of the inauguration, two national anthems were sung. HSLC 2016

Ans: True.

(iii) On the day of inauguration, Mandela was accompanied by his daughter Zenani. HSLC 2016

Ans: True.

(iv) Thabo Mbeki was sworn in as the second deputy president. HSLC 2016

Ans: False.

(v) The policy of apartheid created lasting peace in Mandela's country. HSLC 2017

Ans: False.

(vi) On the day of inauguration, Mandela was overwhelmed with a sense of history. HSLC 2017

Ans: True.

(vii) On the podium, Mr. de Clerk was first sworn in as first Deputy President. HSLC 2019

Ans: False.

(viii) Then Thabo Mbeki was sworn in as second Deputy President. HSLC 2019

Ans: False.

(ix) On the day of inauguration, Mandela was overwhelmed with a sense of freedom. HSLC 2020

Ans: False.

(x) On the day of inauguration, Mandela was overwhelmed with a history. HSLC 2020

Ans: True.


2. (a) Choose the meaning of the underlined word in the following sentence from among the alternatives given in the brackets:

I saw that it was not just my freedom that was curtailed, but the freedom of everyone ... (enhanced/reduced/withheld) HSLC 2019

Ans: Reduced.

(b) All of us will spend many years, if not generations, recovering from that profound hurt. (light and vain/abnormal/deep and strong) HSLC 2020

Ans: Deep and strong.


3. Choose the correct answer from the alternatives given and complete the sentence.

(a) In life, every man has twin obligations

(i) three obligations

(ii) twin obligations

(iii) many obligations

HSLC 2019


(b) Mandela's country is rich in minerals and gems

(i) In forests and lakes

(ii) in minerals and gems

(iii) in agriculture


4. Short Type Questions

1. What did courage mean to Mandela? HSLC 2015, 2017

Ans: See Q. No. 4, Part II

2. According to Mandela, between love and hate, which comes more naturally to human heart? HSLC 2016

Ans: See Q. No. 5, Part II Above.

3. What missions would Mandela like to achieve for the future of South Africa and her people on securing political emancipation? HSLC 2018

Ans: See Q. No. 5, Part I

4. "The oppressed and the oppressor alike are robbed of their humanity." What makes Mandela say this? HSLC 2018

Ans: The oppressed is not free as his freedom is taken away. He cannot cultivate human values in a bound state. The oppressor too is not free. He is a prisoner of hatred and is locked behind the bars of prejudice and narrow-mindedness. So Mandela says that the oppressed and the oppressor are alike robbed of their humanity.

5. What did Mandela say about the wealth of his country? HSLC 2019

Ans: Mandela says that his country is rich in the minerals and gems but the people of this country are the greatest wealth. The people of the country are a greater wealth than its minerals and gems.

6. When did Mandela begin to hunger for freedom? HSLC 2020

Ans: As a young man, he realises that the basic and honourable freedoms of life were to achieve one's potential as a man. These included one's freedoms to earn, marry, have a family and lead a lawful life. But he soon discovered that neither he nor his countrymen were free to live their lives of dignity and self-respect. Their freedom was curtailed. It was at this time, in his young age, that he began to hunger for freedom.

7. Read the following extract carefully and answer the questions that follow. HSLC 2017

In life every man has twin obligations - obligation to his family, to his parents, to his wife and children; and he has an obligation to his people, his community, his country. In a civil and human society, each man is able to fulfil those obligations according to his own inclinations and abilities. But in a country like South Africa, it was almost imossible for a man of my birth and colour to fulfil those obligations. In South Africa, a man of colour who attempted to live as a human being was punished and isolated. In South Africa, a man who tried to fulfil his duty to his people was inevitably ripped from his family and his home and was forced to live a life apart, a twilight existence of secrecy and rebellion. I did not in the beginning choose to place my people above my family, but in attempting to serve my people, I found that I was prevented from fulfilling my obligations as a son, a brother, a father and a husband.

(i) What was done to a man of colour in South Africa who attempted to live as a human being?

Ans: He was punished and isolated. He was also ripped from his family and forced to live a life apart.

(ii) What are the twin obligations that every man has in life?

And: He has his responsibilities towards his family and parents. He also has responsibilities towards his community and country.

(iii) What did the speaker find when he attempted to serve his people.

Ans: He was prevented from performing his duties as a son, a brother, a father and a husband.

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