Word Meaning, Summary, Important Questions Of Chapter 2 Nelson Mandela | Class 10
Hindi Meaning Of Difficult Words | Chapter 2 Nelson Mandela
|(of a day) began
|start off, set in, develop
|dread, terror, fear
|Second in command
|subordinate, junior, auxiliary
|the fact or process of being set free from legal, social, or political restrictions
|freeing, liberation, release
|a small, narrow river
|brook, flood, ford
|bear, tolerate, swallow
|an open - air theatre
|palaestra, stadium, circus
|a policy or system of segregation on grounds of race
|bigotry, discrimination, illiberality.
|an impressive display
|arrangement, disposition, marshalling
|(of people) gather together in one place for a common purpose
|compiled, assembled, anthologized
|adorn, spruce, formalize
|to be surrounded by
|beleaguer, blockade, surround
|the state of being a slave
|servility, enslavement, domination
|the state or time of being a boy
|adolescence, childhood, juniority.
|a pattern in the shape of a V
|badge, button, clasp,
|courteous and polite
|decent, recherche, nice
|a colleague or a fellow member of an organisation
|partner, fellow, companion
|provide, endow, bestow
|reduce; impose a restriction on
|diminish, mitigate, deduct
|refuse to obey
|disobey, go against, flout
|the damaging lack of material benefits considered to be basic necessities in a society
|decay, wastage, dilapidation
|hated, had a very low opinion of
|detest, pish, nauseate
|a person considered to be important because of high rank or office.
|grandee, VIP, notable
|the state or quality of being worthy of respect.
|prestige, dignity, standing
|being treated differently or unfavourably
|differentiation, partiality, partisanship
|established, installed, founded
|afraid or anxious
|fearful, scared, apprehensive
|shine faintly with a wavering light
|shine, glint, shimmer
|having, worthy of, or bringing fame or admiration.
|illustrious, famous, renowned
|renown, kudos, reputation
|very serious or gloomy
|ruthless, brutal, merciless
|a false idea or belief
|delusion, Fallacy, chimera
|natural tendencies of behaviour
|propensity, movement, aptitude
|unable to be divided or separated
|Inseparable, Impartible, Indecomposable
|अनिवार्य रूप से
|naturally, automatically, necessarily
|the words of a song
|a maize plant
|अफ्रीका देश का जुआर
|a member of a religious community of men typically living under vows of poverty
|friar, hermit, anchorite
|a duty or a commitment
|devoir, debt, arrearages
|On our own soil
|in our own country
|हमारी अपनी धरती पर
|prolonged cruel or unjust treatment or exercise of authority.
|harassment, persecution, tyranny
|cancel, rescind, revoke
|have a strong emotional effect
|uneasy, addled, restless
|giving a sense of happy satisfaction or enjoyment; satisfying
|सुखद रूप से
|soundly, rejoicingly, readily
|committed (a person or organization) by a solemn promise.
|mortgage, guarantee, pawn
|right, authority, power
|reality, sooth, precision
|a strong dislike without any good reason
|detriment, harm, disadvantage
|very great or intense
|deeply, abyssal, cimmerian
|Pushed to our limits
|pushed to the last point in our ability to bear pain
|हमारी सीमा पर धकेल दिया
|when people of one race have power over another race
|say or do something to remove the doubts
|persuade, indoctrinate, tell
|the action or process of resisting authority, convention or control
|revolt, uprising, insurgency
|rule, sovereignty, monarchy
|the ability to deal with any kind of hardship and recover from its effects
|flexibility, pliability, elasticity
|a type of stone that is formed of grains of sand
|limestone, granite, quartzite
|the action of keeping something secret
|confidentiality, secrecy, furtiveness
|beautiful in a dramatic and an eye-catching way
|magnificent, spectacular, superb
|the state or condition of being superior to all others in authority, power, or status
|primacy, preponderance, ascendency
|given under oath; determined to stay in the role specified
|be a symbol of
|emblematize, stand for, personify
|footpath, track, path
|built on sand, deciduous, evanescent
|great victory or achievement
|win, conquest, success
|soldiers or armed forces
|the army, the military, soldiery
|candle light, nightfall, half-light
|difficult or impossible to imagine
|implausible, unbelievable, undreamt-of
|not planned or meant
|accidental, inadvertent, unexpected.
|not conscious or aware
|unheeding of, neglectful of, unconscious of
|having or showing high moral standards
|righteous, sacred, pious
|have an intense feeling or longing for something
|sulk, mope, yearn, sadden
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About The Poet | Chapter 2 Nelson Mandela
Long Walk To Freedom’ is the autobiography of Nelson Mandela, South African anti-apartheid activist, national icon and the first South African black president, elected in the first democratic election in the country. After spending twenty seven years in a prison cell, Nelson Mandela triumphantly became South Africa’s first ever black-president from 1994 to 1999.
Short Summary Of Chapter 2 Nelson Mandela In English
It was a clear and bright morning of 10th May 1994. Many world leaders gathered there. They wanted to pay respect to a new democratic non-racial government. Thus, there was a large gathering of world leaders in the ceremony. It was the end of white supremacy in South Africa. The oath ceremony took place in Union Buildings in Pretoria. First of all Mr. de Klerk was sworn-in as second deputy president. Then Thabo Mbeki was sworn in as the first deputy president. Then Mandela’s turn came and he was sworn-in as the President. He eagerly took an oath for the welfare of the people. The most important sentence told by him was “Let freedom reign. God Bless Africa”.
Immediately the jets started demonstrations over the buildings. It was a pattern of generals and police officers to show their loyalty to the nation. The military generals having medals on chests saluted Mandela. He thought that these were the generals who might have arrested him once. Then two national anthems were sung. The blacks sang ‘Die-Stem’ and the whites sang ‘ Nkosi Sikelel-i Afrika’.
Mandela remembered that this day came after the sacrifices of thousands of people. The policy of apartheid gave a deep wound to South Africa. Those people who had lost their lives for the country taught him the real meaning of courage. No one is born to hate others. People must learn to love because if they can learn to hate, they can learn to love also. Love is the natural quality that develops in our hearts. He remembered the great freedom fighters also, who came on the scene before him.
In his opinion, courage was not the absence of fear but the victory over it. This was the idea that took him towards victory. After this he told that man has twin obligations-first is to his family, parents and relatives, second is to the country and community. It was difficult for him to fulfil the duty towards country due to the apartheid policy. Therefore, he decided to use courage against it.
Finally, Mandela described that a man who takes away other’s freedom gets hatred. No one is free if he is taking freedom of others. The mind of the oppressor is full of hatred. Therefore, we should not rob the freedom of others.
The title is thoroughly justified as it brings out the long seemingly endless road in jail that Mandela had to travel for the cause so dear to him- justice. He spent most of his time fighting for an equal society not just for his black countrymen but because it is the right of every human being in this world. Falsely accused for 27 years, Mandela a political prisoner tells his saga, of how the African National Congress struggled and succeeded to get him out of a prison cell. He had people’s unstinted support as they backed his ideas and methods. This popularity led Mandela to become the president of South Africa after walking for so long.
The autobiography explores the theme of injustice and how it ruins character, not only of the individual but also of an entire race and nation. It upholds the ideal of equality, love and goodwill among all other irrational considerations that divide people through discrimination. In his speech, Mandela hails the day of the inauguration as the end of a terrible human disaster’, that tried to naturalize apartheid and created one of the most unjust societies of all times. He looks forward to create a peaceful society where all can live in peace and love which he believes comes naturally to human.
The autobiography conveys a strong message of justice and equality. It also conveys simultaneously that courage, persistence and fortitude and an indomitable will to pursue the truth can never fail. Mandela conveys with unshakeable conviction that love and not hate comes naturally to humans and any system that goes against this natural tendency creates a class of oppressor and the oppressed and breeds injustice, cruelty and eventually great sorrow.
Mandela believed that humans are equal and one’s skin color should not decide one’s status in society. He observed very early in his life the irrationality and cruelty of apartheid – a system that degraded both the oppressor and the oppressed. Nelson distinguished himself through his ability to resist the temptation to adjust to the system that was evidently wrong. Even though the government officials tried to portray him as a violent revolutionary. he, on numerous occasions, stood up against violence even at the cost of his life. Mandela will always be remembered as the greatest fighter, against oppression and exploitation.
- Nelson Mandela
Mandela was a great leader who was endowed with great abilities of the head and the heart. He was a great visionary and a man of deep conviction. Pained by the rampant injustice perpetrated by the whites, he dreamed of the impossible-equality for his people.
During childhood the meaning of freedom for Mandela was quite simple. He considered it to be free to run in the fields, to swim in the clear stream, free to roast mealies and ride the board backs of slow moving bulls. When he grew up his thoughts on freedom became more profound as he observed that his entire community was discriminated against. He soon realized that his boyhood freedom was an illusion. He came to believe that freedom had to be for all and not only for him. Thus his thoughts and convictions grew and he came to believe that freedom was indivisible and a natural right of all human beings. These experiences led to his joining the African National Congress. Mandela strongly asserts that the oppressor and the oppressed both need to be liberated from hatred and injustice as both are robbed of their humanity. Both of them are really the victims of hatred. Everyone is obliged to discharge their duties whether personal or social. but without freedom a man cannot do so. The person who disallows this freedom of any man is really an oppressor and a prisoner of hatred. His hatred robs him of humanity. But this is the same with a person who is oppressed by other. He too is the victim of his hatred. So the greatest lesson for man to learn is to neither oppress, nor be oppressed as both are sins against humanity. Thus he had profound ideas about equality and justice and devoted his life to realize them.
- Dawned- begin, realize;
- Confer-(here) give emancipation/freedom from restriction;
- Deprivation- state of not having one’s rightful benefits;
- Discrimination-being treated differently or unfavorably
- Spectacular array- an impressive display:
- Despised-had a very low opinion of;
- Bedecked- decorated;
- Wrought-done, achieved;
- Profound-deep and strong;
- Inclinations- natural tendencies of behavior
- Illusion-something that appears to be real but is not;
- Transitory-not permanent
- Curtailed- reduced.
TYPE I: REFERENCE TO CONTEXT (VERY SHORT ANSWER QUESTIONS)
TYPE I: REFERENCE TO CONTEXT (VERY SHORT ANSWER QUESTIONS)
Read the extracts and answer the following question
- Tenth May dawned bright and clear. For the past fe days I had been pleasantly besieged by dignitaries are world leaders who were coming to pay their respect before the inauguration.
(i) Who is the speaker?
(ii) How was 10th May important to the speaker?
(iii) Why had the dignitaries come?
(iv) What does the speaker refer to as ‘inauguration
(i) The speaker is Nelson Mandela.
(ii) He mentions tenth May as it was the day of the inauguration.
(iii) The dignitaries had come to pay their respect before the inauguration.
(iv) The ‘inauguration’ was the day when a democratic government would come into power after a long regime of apartheid.
- Today, all of us do, by our presence here… confer glory and hope to newborn liberty. Out of the experience an extraordinary human disaster that lasted too long must be born a society of which all humanity will b proud.
(i) Which special day is mentioned here?
(ii) Why does the speaker mention liberty?
(iii) What is referred to as a disaster?
(iv) What is the speaker’s mood?
(i) It was the day of the inauguration.
(ii) Liberty refers to freedom from the regime of apartheid
(iii) Apartheid is referred to as a disaster
(iv) The speaker is hopeful and exuberant
- We thank all of our distinguished international guests for having come to take possession with the people of our country of what is, after all, a common victory for justice, for peace, for human dignity.
(i) Who is the speaker here?
(ii) On which occasion is the speaker speaking”
(iii) What is the common victory that the speaker refers to?
(iv) Why does the speaker refer to a common victory?
(i) The speaker is Nelson Mandela here.
(ii) He is speaking on the occasion of the inauguration of a democratic regime.
(iii) The end of apartheid is the common victory that he refers to
(iv) He refers to it as common victory because peace. justice and human dignity are eternal values for all men and women.
- Never, never, and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another.
(i) Why does the speaker repeat the word “never”?
(ii) What pledge does the speaker take?
(iii) Which ‘beautiful land does the speaker refer to?
(iv) Who is the speaker addressing?
(i) The speaker uses repetition to emphasize his pledge.
(ii) He takes the pledge that he shall never allow a regime of oppression
(iii) The speaker refers to South Africa.
(iv) He is speaking to an audience of dignitaries
- A few moments later we all lifted our eyes awe as a spectacular array of South African jets, helicopters and troop carriers roared in perfect formation over the Union Buildings.
(i) Who is referred to as “we”?
(ii) What is the occasion?
(iii) What are the awe inspiring sights mentioned here?
(iv) What are the feelings of the speaker?
(i) Nelson Mandela and all dignitaries present are referred to as we
(ii) The occasion is the inauguration ceremony.
(iii) The spectacular array of helicopters and jet airplanes flying in perfect formation over the Union Building is the awe inspiring sight.
(iv) The speaker feels awed and exuberant at the sight of the airplanes.
- The day was symbolized for me by the playing of our two national anthems, and the vision of whites singing Nkosi Sikelel-iAfrika and blacks singing ‘Die Stem, the old anthem of the Republic.
(i) Which day is referred to here?
(ii) Why were there two national Anthems in the country?
(iii) What did the singing of two national anthems symbolize
(iv) Which country is being talked about here?
(i) The day refers to the day of the inauguration.
(ii) One anthem belonged to the blacks and another to the whites residing in the country.
(iii) The singing of the two national anthems symbolized that the equality and democracy had come into existence in the country.
(iv) The country referred to here is South Africa
- The structure they created formed the basis of one of the harshest, most inhumane, societies the world has ever known.
(i) Who are referred to as “they”?
(ii) Which society is referred to here?
(iii) in what way was it a harsh society?
(iv) Who is the speaker?
(i) The people referred to as they are the whites.
(ii) The society referred to here is the society of South Africa
(iii) It was a harsh society as il oppressed the blacks severely.
(iv) The speaker is Nelson Mandela.
- I felt that day, as I have on so many other days, that I was simply the sum of all those African patriots who had gone before me.
(i) What is the reference to ‘that day”?
(ii) What does the speaker mean by African patriots”?
(iii) How does the speaker see himself in relation to the patriots?
(iv) What are his feelings and attitude towards the patriots?
(i) ‘That day’ refers to the day of inauguration.
(ii) ‘African patriots’ mean the freedom fighters.
(iii) The speaker sees himself as being the sum of the patriots who had fought for freedom before him.
(iv) He expresses a lot of respect and admiration for the patriots that had gone before him.
- The policy of apartheid created a deep and lasting wound in my country and my people. All of us will spend many years, if not generations, recovering from that profound hurt.
(i) What is apartheid?
(ii) Who does the speaker refer to as ‘my people’?
(iii) Who had hurt the speaker’s people?
(iv) How had the lasting wound’ been created?
(i) Apartheid is discrimination against blacks by the whites.
(ii) The speaker refers to the blacks as ‘ my people’.
(iii) The whites had hurt the blacks.
(iv) The lasting wound had been created by the whites by denying the blacks fundamental rights and equal opportunities to live and grow freely.
- Even in the grimmest times in prison, when my comrades and I were pushed to our limits, I would see a glimmer of humanity in one of the guards, – perhaps just for a second, but it was enough to reassure me and keep me going. Man’s goodness is a flame that can be hidden but never extinguished.”
(i) Who is the speaker in the above lines?
(ii) What did the speaker notice in a guard?
(iii) What does the speaker say about man?
(iv) What kind of experiences did the speaker have in prison?
(i) The speaker is Nelson Mandela.
(ii) The speaker noticed some glimpse of humanity in one of the guards.
(iii) The speaker says that man’s goodness is a flam which can never be extinguished.
(iv) The speaker had grimmest of experiences. He was pushed to his limits.
TYPE II: SHORT ANSWER QUESTIONS (30-40 WORDS EACH)
Answer the following questions:
- Where did the ceremonies take place? Can you name any public buildings in India that are mad of sandstone?
Ans. The ceremonies took place in the campus of the Union Building of Pretoria. Rashtrapati Bhavan and Red Fort in India are some of the buildings made from sandstone.
- Can you say how 10 May is an ‘autumn day’ in South Africa?
Ans. The paragraph mentions that it was a lovely autumn day. Moreover, as South Africa is in the souther hemisphere so it is autumn season there.
- At the beginning of his speech, Mandela mentions” extraordinary human disaster”. What does he meant this? What is the “glorious … human achievement he speaks of at the end?
Ans. The extraordinary human disaster was the practice of apartheid in South Africa for a long time. During apartheid regime there was racial segregation based on the skin color of the people. Black people do not have proper constitutional rights. They were considered as inferior. The end of apartheid regime and the beginning of a more tolerant society was the glorious human achievement.
- What does Mandela thank the international leaders for?
Ans. During apartheid era many countries had severed diplomatic ties with South Africa. On that day dignitaries of most of the countries were present to attend the swearing in ceremony. This was a gesture of international recognition to a newly born free nation. Nelson Mandela was thanking them for this recognition.
- What ideals does he set out for the future of South Africa?
Ans. Mandela upheld the ideals of poverty alleviation and removal of suffering of people. He also set the ideal for a society where there would be no discrimination based on gender or racial origins.
- What do the military generals do? How has their attitude changed, and why?
Ans. The military generals salute Nelson Mandela. 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 South Africa but also brought a change of mindsets for many. As Nelson Mandela believed that like hate, love can also be taught and a human being is naturally oriented towards love rather than hate.
- Why were two national anthems sung?
Ans. The rendition of national anthem from old republic as well as new republic was sign of the pledge of those who were laying the foundation of a new nation. As it was pledge to build a society devoid of any type of discrimination so the old republic song was also sung to show solidarity with white people and to show that it will be a truly multicultural and equal society.
- 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, after the Anglo-Boer war it was the birth of an oppressive regime which created a system to deprive the black people of even basic human rights. In the final decade, of the twentieth century, the system developed a strong pattern of even ignoring the sacrifices made by so many great leaders of South Africa. It was as if black never existed for the apartheid regime.
- What does courage mean to Mandela?
Ans. 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.
- Which does Mandela think is natural, to love or to bate?
Ans. Mandela thinks that for human beings it is natural to love rather than to hate. He believed that if men could be taught to hate then men could be taught to love equally well.
- Why did such a large number of international leaders attend the inauguration? What did it signify the triumph of?
Ans. The presence of large number of international leaders was a gesture of solidarity from international community to the idea of the end of apartheid. It signified the triumph of good over evil, the triumph of the idea of a tolerant society without any discrimination.
- What does Mandela mean when he says he is simply the sum of all those African patriots” who had gone before him?
Ans. As Mandela was carrying forward the baton of the freedom struggle, he was also carrying the legacy of leaders of earlier years. In a baton race the new runner simply carries forward the work done by his predecessors. This is what Nelson Mandela was doing. That is what he was trying to convey,
- 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. I agree with the statement that depths of oppression create heights of character Nelson Mandela illustrates this by giving examples of the great heroes of South Africa who sacrificed their lives in the long freedom struggle before him.
India is full of such examples. During our freedom struggle there were a great many leaders of great characters. Probably the oppression of British rule created so many men of such commendable characters Nelson Mandela seems to be one of the greatest leaders who devoted his entire life to the cause of justice for his race.
- How did Mandela’s a’s understanding of freedom change with age and experience?
Ans. During young age freedom for Mandela meant a freedom on a personal level. The freedom to raise a family, and the freedom to earn a livelihood. After gaining experience the freedom meant a lot more to Nelson Mandela. He wanted freedom for everybody. freedom from fear and prejudice. Age and experience made his perspective wider.
- How did Mandela’s hunger for freedom change his life?
Ans. Slowly Nelson Mandela’s hunger for freedom turned from that on a personal level to a broader mass level This changed the fearful man to a fearless rebel. He sacrificed the comforts of a settled family life to fight for a greater cause.
The presence of large number of international leaders was a gesture of solidarity from international community to the idea of the end of apartheid. It signified the triumph of good over evil, the triumph of the idea of a tolerant society without any discrimination.
- What promise does Mandela make in the beginning of opening of his oath-taking speech?
Ans. In the opening of his speech, Mandela thanks all the international leaders and guests as he calls it an occasion of joy and victory for justice. He promises that the country shall not again experience the oppression of one man by another.
- What did freedom mean to Mandela when he was a child?
Ans. During childhood the meaning of freedom for Mandela was quite limited. He considered it to be free to run in the fields, to swim in the clear stream. free to roast mealies and ride the board backs of slow moving bulls.
- What did Mandela realize about his brothers and sisters?
Ans. Mandela realized that his brothers and sisters were not free in their own country due to their color. The freedom of everyone in his society was curtailed. He joined the African National Congress and fought for the freedom of his entire race.
- Why was Nelson Mandela changed into a bold man?
Ans. Nelson Mandela was changed into a bold man due to his desire of the freedom for his country and his countrymen. He wanted to live a life with dignity as he could not enjoy the limited freedom.
- Why did inauguration ceremony take place in the amphitheater formed by the Union Building in Pretoria?
Ans. It was the first democratic, non-racial government taking oath in South Africa. The ceremony was attended by dignitaries from more than 140 countries around the world and thousands of the people of South Africa of all the races to make the day memorable. So, it took place in the amphitheater formed by the Union Building in Pretoria.
TYPE III: LONG ANSWER QUESTIONS (100-120 WORDS EACH)
Answer the following questions:
- What does Nelson Mandela think of apartheid?
Ans. Nelson Mandela refers to the apartheid policy of the white race against the black people as “an extraordinary human disaster”. White people snatched freedom from the colored people of South Africa to whom the country belonged. The black people were subjected to oppression for long. They were not even allowed to discharge their obligations to their own families, community and their country. White people had no compassion for them and oppressed their own people and put them in prison. If they had some freedom, it was curtailed. The black people lived the life of a slave. They were subjected to untold miseries and suffered oppression of the worst kind. Mandela devoted his lifetime for the upliftment of his people.
- What did Mandela think about the freedom fighters who preceded him?
Ans. Mandela always said that the political freedom that they had achieved was the result of the sacrifices made by thousands of the black people before him who fought for freedom. He said that their debt could not be repaid. He thought himself as the sum of all of those African patriots. He regretted that he could not thank them. He cursed the policy of apartheid that wounded the people of his country, which would take centuries to heal.
He also said that the oppression and brutality of the white people produced great freedom fighters like Oliver Tambo, Walter Sisulu, Luthuli, Dadoo, Fischer, Sobukwe and many more. They were the men of courage, wisdom and large heartedness. They really suffered a lot for the political freedom of the country.
- What does Mandela mean to say by saying that the oppressor and the oppressed alike are robbed of the humanity?
Ans. Mandela is right in saying that the oppressor and the oppressed alike are robbed of their humanity. Both of them are actually the victim of hatred. Everyone is obliged to discharge their duties, whether personal or social but without freedom a man cannot do so The person who snatches this freedom of a man is really an oppressor and a prisoner of hatred. He lacks humanity. But this is the same with a person who is oppressed by other. Both of them suffer because of their rigid attitudes.
- Describe the obligations which the author is talking about and also describe his feelings for them.
Ans. In the chapter the author has talked about two obligations for every man. The first obligation is towards his family, parents, his wife and children The second is towards his community and his country. Being a social person one has to fulfil these obligations.
But being a black colored person in South Africa. a man was not free to perform his obligations and got punished if he tried to do so.
Being a child, the author never thought of such obligations but after he did so, he fought for the
people and the country to be free and enjoy their freedom of performing their duties, personal and social, freely.
- Describe the value of freedom for the growth of civilization.
Ans. Everybody wants to live free as freedom is natural and fundamental right of all living beings. The value of freedom is better known to that human being who has not tasted it till he gets it. A person who is chained with the limits and not allowed to perform his duties freely, values freedom more than anyone else. For instance, the value of freedom is known better to Mandela who remained behind the bars most of his life. Think about a bird or animal which is caged as birds have the habit of living with full freedom but in the cage birds are not free and their conditions are very pitiable. Similarly, life becomes a hell if we are deprived of freedom. There is no growth of civilization in bondage as it grows only when one has freedom. Similarly, humanism grows in the atmosphere of freedom and respect.
- What was life like for Mandela when he was small?
Ans. During childhood his life was carefree. The meaning of freedom for Mandela was quite simple. He considered it to be free to run in the fields, to swim in the clear stream, free to roast mealies and ride the board backs of slow moving bulls. When he grew up his thoughts on freedom became more profound as he observed that his entire community was discriminated against. He soon realized that his boyhood freedom was an illusion. He came to believe that freedom had to be for all and not only for him. Thus his thoughts and convictions grew and he came to believe that freedom was indivisible and a natural right of all human beings. These experiences led to his joining the African National Congress,
- Mandela said ‘People must learn to hate and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love”. Discuss.
Ans. Nelson Mandela refers to the apartheid policy of the white race against the black people as “an extraordinary human disaster” White people snatched freedom from the colored people of South Africa to whom the country really belonged. The blacks were subjected to oppression for long. They were not even allowed to discharge their obligations to their own families, community and their country. White people had no compassion for them and oppressed their own people and put them in prison. If they asserted their freedom, it was curtailed. The black people lived like slaves. Thus Mandela came to believe that since a system like the apartheid could be based on hate, there could definitely be a system which could be based on love and respect for each other. This conviction was the basis of his long struggle against apartheid.
- Mandela says, ‘I knew that the oppressor must be liberated just as surely as the oppressed. What made him say so?
Ans. Mandela is right in saying that the oppressor and the oppressed alike are chained and surely need to be liberated from these mental chains. He believed that both are robbed of their humanity. Both of them are actually the victim of hatred. None gains by behaving like an oppressor or the oppressed. Everyone is obliged to discharge their duties, whether personal or social but without freedom a man cannot do so. The person who snatches this freedom of a man is really an oppressor and a prisoner of hatred. He lacks humanity. But this is the same with a person who is oppressed by the other. The oppressed is shackled by fear. Both of them suffer because of their rigid and unwholesome attitudes and emotions.
- I was born free in every way that I could know. Discuss Mandela’s character in the light of this statement.
Ans. Mandela was a great leader who was endowed with great abilities of the head and the heart. He was a great visionary and a man of deep conviction. Pained by the rampant injustice perpetrated by the whites, he dreamed of the impossible equality for his people. During childhood the meaning of freedom for Mandela was quite simple. He considered it to be free to run in the fields, to swim in the clear stream, free to roast mealies and ride the board backs of slow moving bulls. When he grew up his thoughts on freedom became more profound as he observed that his entire community was discriminated against. He soon realized that his boyhood freedom was an illusion. He came to believe that freedom had to be for all and not only for him. Thus his thoughts. and convictions grew and he came to believe that freedom was indivisible and a natural right of all human beings. Mandela was analytical, sensitive and endowed with great qualities of the head and the heart.
- What is the message of this extract from Mandela’s autobiography?
Ans. The autobiography conveys a strong message of justice and equality. It also conveys simultaneously that courage, persistence and fortitude and an indomitable will to pursue the truth can never fail.
Mandela conveys with unshakeable conviction that love and not hate comes naturally to humans and any system that goes against this natural tendency creates a class of oppressor and the oppressed and breeds injustice, cruelty and eventually great sorrow.
Mandela believed that humans are equal and one’s skin colored should not decide one’s status in society. He observed very early in his life the irrationality and cruelty of apartheid – a system that degraded both the oppressor and the oppressed. Nelson distinguished himself through his ability to resist the temptation to adjust to the system that was evidently wrong. Even though the government officials tried to portray him as a violent revolutionary, he on numerous occasions stood up against violence even at the cost of his life. Mandela will always be remembered as the greatest fighter, against oppression and exploitation.
QUESTIONS FOR PRACTICE
- What “twin obligations” does Mandela mention?
- What did Mandela believe about courage?
- Could everyone fulfil the obligations personal or social in South Africa during apartheid?
- 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 honorable freedoms”?
- Describe the effects of the policy of apartheid on the people of South Africa.,]