TEXT QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:
1. Where did the ceremonies take place. Can you name any public buildings in India that are made of sandstone ?
Ans: The swearing in ceremonies took place at the sandstone amphitheatre situated on the campus of the Union Building of Pretoria. Public buildings in India, that are made of sandstone are – The Rashtrapati Bhavan, The Supreme Court of India and The Parliament House in Delhi.
2. Can you say 10th May is an “Autumn Day” in South Africa ?
Ans: In South Africa, 10th May was an autumn day, literally as well as symbolically. The old and rotten leaves fall off and after that new leaves with fresh colours are born. Symbolically, the old and rotten system of apartheid was coming to an end. A new republic based on equality of men, colours and races was taking birth on the 10th of May during the autumn.
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 at the end ?
Ans: By “an extraordinary human disaster, Mandela meant the continuing bondage of poverty, deprivation, suffering, justice and other discrimination the people underwent.
Mandela speaks of ‘glorious…..human achievement’ by which he means the political emancipation, liberation of people from bondage, poverty and oppression. The achievement of peace and common victory for justice.
4. What does Mandela thank the international leaders for ?
Ans: Mandela thanked the leaders for having come to witness his swearing as the President. He thanked the people for sharing common victory for justice, peace and for human dignity.
5. What ideals does he set out for the future of South Africa ?
Ans: (i) Nelson Mandela sets out many ideals for the future of south Africa. First of all, the hated regime of ‘apartheid’ based on racial discrimination which will come to an end forever.
(ii) The blacks of any people will not suffer exploitation and oppression by the white people.
(iii) The new republic will be based on justice, peace and human dignity. There will be equal opportunities for all irrespective of their race, colour or sex.
6. What do the military generals do. How has their attitude changed, and why ?
Ans: The highest generals of South African defence force saluted Mandela and pledged their loyalty. Their attitude changed, instead of arresting a black they saluted him because they accepted the new government that had been freely and fairly elected.
7. Why were two national anthems sung ?
Ans: Two national anthems were sung one by the whites and the other by the blacks to symbolize the equality of blacks and whites. Singing two national items symbolised their unity. It was necessary to show respect to both the communities.
8. 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: (i) In the first decade of the twentieth century the white – skinned people erected a system of racial domination against the dark-skinned people of their own land. It created the basics of one of the hardest untold suffering and most inhumane societies in the world.
(ii) In the last decade of the twentieth century that system had replaced by one that recognised the rights and freedoms of all people. Now they enjoyed justice, peace, equality and human dignity irrespective of their race or colour.
9. What does courage mean to Mandela ?
Ans: To Mandela courage was not the absence of fear but victory over fear. He said brave men must not feel afraid; he should be able to conquer it. It is our mental strength that helps us in becoming really brave.
10. What does he think is natural, to love or hate ?
Ans: For Mandela, love comes naturally to the human heart than hate. Its natural to love than to hate.
11. What “twin obligations” does Mandela mention ?
Ans: Mandela mentions that every man has twin obligations in life. The first obligation is to his family, to his wife and children. The second one is the obligation to his people, his community and his country.
12. What did being free mean to Mandela as a boy, and as a student ? How does he contrast these “transitory freedom” with “the basic and honourable freedoms” ?
Ans: To Mandela being free as a boy means to enjoy running in the fields near his mother’s hut, free to swim in the clear stream, free to roast mellies and ride the broad backs of slow-moving bulls. As a student, he wanted freedom only for himself, the transitory freedoms of being able to stay out at night, read what pleased him and go where he wanted.
Mandela contrasted these transitory freedoms to the “basic and honourable freedom” as once an adult one needs to achieve one’s potential , earn a livelihood, marry and have a family and lead their lives with dignity and self respect.
13. Does Mandela think the oppressor is free ? Why or why not.
Ans: Mandela does not feel that the oppressor is free because according to him an oppressor is a prisoner of hatred, who is locked behind the bars of prejudice and narrow-mindeness. He feels one is not free if one is taking away someone else’s freedom, in the same way he is not free if his freedom is taken by someone. The oppressed and the oppressor are robbed of their humanity.
Complete the following sentences:
1. According to Nelson Mandela man’s goodness is a flame that cannot be extinguished but it could be hidden.
2. For Nelson Mandela, courage is not absence of fear but the triumph over it.
3. No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background or his religion.
4. I am not truly free if I am taking away someone else’s freedom.