Oral Comprehension Check
1. Where did the
ceremonies take place? Can you name any public buildings in India that are made
Ans. The ceremonies took place in the Union
building in Pretoria.
Rashtrapati Bhawan and Red Fort are also made
up of sandstone.
2. Can you say how 10
May is an ‘autumn day’ in South Africa?
10th May, the inauguration of the largest gathering of the international
leaders took place and it began the journey of a new democratic and non-racial
government. By this way, 10th May is an ‘autumn day’.
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. He meant by “an extraordinary human
disaster” that the Whites have always discriminated the Blacks and this was
like a disaster. Racial discrimination always deprived them of their rights.
4. What does Mandela
thank the international leaders for?
Ans. Mandela thanked the international
leaders for taking possession with the people of the country and for witnessing
their victory and supporting their fight against racial discrimination.
5. What ideals does he
set out for the future of South Africa?
He pledged to liberate all his people from the continuing bondage of
poverty, deprivation, suffering, gender and other discrimination.
1. What do the military
generals do? How has their attitude changed, and why?
military generals had bedecked their chests with ribbons, saluted Mandela and
pledged their loyalty.
Earlier, the military generals used to arrest
them but then they took the pledge and saluted them.
2. Why were two national
national anthems were sung, the Whites sang ‘Nkosi Sikelel -iAfrica’ and the
Blacks sang ‘Die Stem’ to show the equality between the Blacks and the Whites.
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?
(i) In the first decade of the twentieth century, the white-skinned
peoples of South Africa patched up differences and erected a system of racial
domination against the black-skinned peoples.
(ii) In the final decade of the twentieth
century, the system of discrimination has been overturned and replaced by a
system in which the peoples have equal rights irrespective of their colour.
4. What does courage
mean to Mandela?
According to Mandela, courage was not the absence of fear but the
triumph over it. He considers that a brave man to be the one who conquers fear.
5. Which does he think
is natural, to love or to hate?
Ans. He thinks that no one is born hating
another person on the basis of caste, colour or creed, but they gradually learn
to hate. If they can learn to hate, then they can also be taught to love as
love comes naturally to the human heart than the opposite.
1. What “twin
obligations” does Mandela mention?
Ans. Mandela mentioned about “twin obligations”, one obligation towards
the family members and the other towards the people of his community.
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”?
But the concept changed when he grew up to be a student. He wanted
freedom only for himself so that he can stay out at night and read whatever he
wished and go wherever he chose.
But as he grew older, his childish thoughts went away and he started to
earn a living and got married and engaged himself in family life. By this way,
he contrasted these “transitory freedoms” with “the basic and honourable
3. Does Mandela think
the oppressor is free? Why/why not?
No, the oppressor who takes away another person’s freedom can’t be free. This
is because he considers that the oppressed and the oppressor are robbed of
Thinking about the Text
1. Why did such a large
number of international leaders attend the inauguration? What did it signify
the triumph of?
large number of international leaders attended the inauguration in order to pay
their respect and to implement South Africa’s first democratic and non-racial
According to him, courage was not the absence
of fear, but the triumph over it.
2. What does Mandela
mean when he says he is “simply the sum of all those African patriots” who had
gone before him?
Ans. Mandela meant by “simply the sum of all
those African patriots” that their victory was only possible by the
co-operation of all the African patriots. If they would not have co-operated,
they would not be able to make a democratic government.
3. Would you agree that
the “depths of oppression” create “heights of character”?
Ans. Yes, I agree that the “depths of
oppression” create “heights of character”. The apartheid system created a deep and
lasting wound in the country. Mandela
provided various examples like Oliver Tambos, Walter Sisulus, Chief Luthulis,
Yusuf Dadoos, and many more, to show their sacrifice towards the country. If
they would not have been there it was very difficult to bring about democracy
in South Africa.
4. How did Mandela’s
understanding of freedom change with age and experience?
Ans. When he was a young boy, freedom to him
was like an illusion. When he grew up and became a student, he wanted freedom only for himself and freedom meant to stay out at night, read whatever pleased
him and go wherever he chose. Later, as a young man, he started earning a
living and got married and started his family life. But as time passed, he got
to understand the real meaning of freedom. He joined the African National
Congress and started the freedom struggle movement. By this way, Mandela’s
understanding of freedom changed with age and experience.
5. How did Mandela’s
‘hunger for freedom’ change his life?
Mandela’s hunger for freedom started in his childhood but in a different
form. His real ‘hunger of freedom’ arrived when he joined the African National
Congress. This hunger was greater as it was not only his hunger rather it was
the hunger of his people. It was this ‘hunger’ which transformed a frightened
young man into a bold man. By this way, the ‘hunger for freedom’ changed his