NCERT Class 10 English Solutions: Chapter 2 – Long Walk To Freedom Part 1

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Book by Nelson Mandela: Long walk to freedom.

Mandela's Long Walk to Freedom

Oral Comprehension Check

Question 1:

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

A. The ceremonies took place in the sandstone amphitheater formed by the surrounding Union Buildings in Pretoria.

The parliament House in New Delhi, the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi, the Supreme Court of India in New Delhi and Madras High Court in Chennai are some examples of Indian public buildings that are made of sandstone.

Parliament house in New Delhi

Sandstone Parliament House

Question 2:

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

A. 10th May is an ‘autumn day’ in South Africa when the large number of international leaders gathered in South Africa to install South Africa’s first democratic, non-racial government.

Question 3:

Important quote from Nelson Mandela

Quote from Nelson Mandela

Q. 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?

A. Mandela’s ‘extraordinary human disaster’ is the inhuman practice of apartheid i.e., the racial discrimination suffered by the blacks at the hands of whites in South Africa. The ‘glorious human achievement’ refers to the establishment of South Africa’s first democratic, non-racial government.

Question 4:

Q. What does Mandela thank the international leaders for?

A. Mandela felt fortunate to host the nations of the world because before independence South Africans were considered outlaws. He thanked the international leaders who came to witness the South African victory for justice, peace, and human dignity.

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

A. Mandela hoped high for the future of South Africa pledging to liberate all South Africans from the continuing bondage of poverty, deprivation, suffering, gender and other discrimination

Question 1:

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

A. South African defense and police generals saluted Mandela and pledged their loyalty. Earlier they would have arrested him. This change in attitude was brought by the new, non-racial government elected with Mandela as the president.

Question 2:

Q. Why were two national anthems sung?

A. On the day of the inauguration, two national anthems were sung, one by the whites, and the other by the blacks- symbolizing the equality of blacks and whites.

Map of independent South Africa

Map of South Africa

Question 3:

Q. 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 whites in South Africa united and propagated systematic racial domination against the dark-skinned people, thus creating the cruelest and most vicious societies in the world had ever.

(ii) In the last decade of the twentieth century, the previous system was overthrown in favor of one, which recognized the rights and freedoms of all peoples, regardless of the colour, race, region or occupation.

Question 4:

Q. What does courage mean to Mandela?

A. Mandela say men upon men standing up to torture without flouting showing strength and resilience. Mandela thus learnt that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.

Question 5:

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

A. According to Mandela, love is the natural human emotion.

Thinking About the Text

Question 1:

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

A. Mandela as president, abolished apartheid building diplomatic relations with many countries. The inauguration of a new, non-racial government saw the presence of many distinguished international leaders signifying the triumph of justice, peace and human dignity.

Question 2:

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

A. Mandela calls himself as ‘simply the sum of all African patriots,’ to remember and respect all the unimaginable sacrifices of all the men who fought for the freedom of the African people. He wished to acknowledge and appreciate their efforts and wished that they could see the fruits of their sacrifices.

Question 3:

Q. 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?

A. Yes “depths of oppression” create “heights of character”. Mandela was a living example. Decades of brutality and oppression created African patriots and leaders with unimaginable heights of character and influence. Mahatma Gandhi was another example, he was leader who is hardships in South Africa, and India created a great leader who brought freedom to India.

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