CBSE Class 10 English Nelson Mandela Long Walk to Freedom Assignment

Nelson Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

INTRODUCTION—
The chapter is an extract from Mandela’s autobiography ‘Long Walk to Freedom’. It provides us a glimpse of the early life of Nelson Mandela, his education, thirty years in prison and the pains he had suffered in his young age. It also recounts his fight for the freedom of his own people who were tortured by the whites.

SUMMARY—
The oath taking ceremony of Nelson Mandela, the first black President of South Africa, and his colleagues took place on 10th May. It was a historic occasion. Dignitaries and representatives of 140 countries came to attend it. The ceremony took place in the lovely sandstone amphitheatre, formed by the Union Buildings in Pretoria. First, Mr. De Klerk the 2nd Deputy President, then Thabo Mbeki the 1st Deputy President were sworn in. Nelson Mandela took oath as the President. He pledged to obey and uphold the constitution and devote himself to the well-being of the republic and its people.

Then President Mandela addressed the guests. He welcomed and thanked them for having come to take possession with the people of his country for a common victory of justice, peace and human dignity. After getting political freedom, his government pledged to liberate people from the bondage of poverty, deprivation, suffering, gender and other discriminations. He wished the sun of freedom to shine on his country forever.

After the ceremony, the display of military force was carried out. Finally, the jets left off smoke trail of different colours, e.g., black, red, green, blue, and golden colour of the new South African flag. In the end,two National Anthems were sung by the whites and the blacks.

Later on that day, Mandela reformed history. In the first decade of the 20th Century, a few years after Anglo-Boer War before his birth, the white skinned patched up their differences and erected a system of racial domination against the dark skinned people of South Africa. It was the birth of Apartheid, the harshest in human creation. Now, in the last decade of the 20th century, the system has been overturned forever recognizing the rights of all people irrespective of the colour of their skin or religion. He remembered the suffering and courage of thousands of patriots who participated in the long struggles but were not there to witness the fruit of their achievement.

It was a reign of oppression and cruelty that created a deep wound in African people. But deep oppression produced the Oliver Tambos, the Walter Sisulus, the Yusuf Dadoos. The Chief Luthulis, the Bram Fischers, the Robert Sobukwes, etc.—men of unparallel courage, wisdom and generosity. Mandela thinks South Africa’s real wealth is her people who are finer, truer than the purest diamonds. His comrades taught him what courage meant.

It is not the absence of fear but victory over it. No one is born to hate another on the basis of colour of skin or religion. If they can learn to hate, then why not learn to love which comes naturally. He believes in the goodness of man that never dies.
Every man has twin obligations, one towards his family and the other towards his people and his country.
In the reign of Apartheid, if one tried to fulfill his duty towards his people, he was ripped off his family and home.

Mandela said he was born free. He had the freedom to run in the fields, swim in the stream and ride on a bull. Boyhood freedom was an illusion. As a student he wanted transitory freedom—freedom to stay out at night, to read books of his choice. As a young man, he yearned for basic honourable freedoms of achieving his potential, of earning, of marrying and having a family. When he became a young man and joined the African National Congress Party, he first wanted freedom only for himself and then for all his people and his country. Both need to be liberated. The oppressor is a prisoner of hatred, prejudice and narrow mindedness. The oppressor and the oppressed, both are robbed of their humanity.


Extract Based Questions 

Read the extract given below carefully and answer the questions that follow :  

1.No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin or his background or his religion.People must learn to hate and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite. 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. 


Question. What comes more naturally to human heart than any other emotion?

a. hate
b. anxiety
c. love
d. anger
Answer : C

Question. According to Mandela, Man’s ___________ is a flame that can be hidden but never extinguished.
a. goodness
b. kindness
c. smartness
d. understanding
Answer : A

Question. Trace a word from the passage that means “Severe”.
a. comrades
b. humanity
c. grimmest
d. extinguished
Answer : C

Question. In the passage man’s goodness is compared to what?
a. hate
b. grimmest
c. humanity
d. flame
Answer : D

 

2.Tenth May dawned bright and clear. For the past few days, I had been pleasantly besieged by dignitaries and world leaders who were coming to pay their respects before the inauguration. The inauguration would be the largest gathering ever of international leaders on South African soil. The ceremonies took place in the lovely sandstone amphitheatre formed by the Union Buildings in Pretoria. For decades this had been the seat of white supremacy, and now it was the site of a rainbow gathering of different colours and nations for the installation of South Africa’s first democratic, non-racial government.

Question. Which ceremonies is referred in the paragraph?
a. Prize distribution
b. Installation
c. Inauguration
d. Republic Day
Answer : C

Question. When was the installation day of South Africa’s first democratic, non-racial government?
a. 10th June
b. 10th August
c. 10th April
d. 10th May
Answer : D

Question. Where did the ceremonies take place ?
a. Open ground
b. President house
c. Lovely Sandstone amphitheatre
d. Stadium
Answer : C

Question. Which word in the passage means the same as ‘Placement of person in office with ceremony’ ?
a. installation
b. inauguration
c. gathering
d. None
Answer : A


Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:
I was not unmindful of the fact that not so many years before they would not have saluted but arrested me. Finally a chevron of Impala jets left a smoke trail of the black, red, green, blue and gold of the new South African flag.

(a) ‘I’ in the given line refers to:
(i) Nelson Mandela
(ii) Oliver Tambo
(iii) Walter Sisulu
(iv) Chief Luthuli
Answer : A

(b) Choose the option that lists the set of statements that are TRUE according to the given extract.
1. The narrator was mindful of what he was saying.
2. The narrator spoke about unrelated things.
3. The narrator believed that he could have been arrested.
4. The narrator got a salute from the people.
5. A jet never left a smoke trail behind.
6. The colours were of the Nigerian flag.
7. The colours were of the South African flag.
(i) 2, 7, 4
(ii) 5, 6, 7
(iii) 3, 4, 5
(iv) 1, 3, 7
Answer : D

(c) Pick the option that correctly classifies fact/s (F) and opinion/s (O) of the students below.

CBSE Class 10 English Nelson Mandela Long Walk to Freedom
(i) F – 1, 4 and M – 2, 3
(ii) F – 1 and M – 3
(iii) F – 2, 4 and M – 1, 3
(iv) F – 1 and M – 2
Answer : C

(d) The fact that ‘I’ was not unmindful to ‘their’ arresting him instead of saluting him shows that:
(i) the behaviour of Whites was bad
(ii) the behaviour of Whites was good
(iii) Whites respected the Blacks
(iv) The Whites were nice
Answer : A

(e) Where are the above lines taken from?
(i) Freedom Struggle
(ii) Nelson Mandela
(iii) Democracy
(iv) A Letter to God
Answer : B

 

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. But the decades of oppression and brutality had another, unintended effect and that was that it produced the Oliver Tambos, the Walter Sisulus, the Chief Luthulis, etc., men of such extraordinary courage, wisdom and generosity that their like may never be known again.

(a) What is the policy of Apartheid?
(i) The racial discrimination by whites against blacks in South Africa
(ii) The gender discrimination in South Africa
(iii) The religious discrimination in South Africa
(iv) None of these
Answer : A

(b) The blacks were _______________.
(i) given full rights
(ii) deprived of their rights
(iii) content
(iv) racists
Answer : B

(c ) Nelson Mandela defined the meaning of ‘courage’ as____________.
(i) the absence of fear 
(ii) the triumph over it
(iii) the absence of doubts
(iv) none of these
Answer : B

(d) Synonym of the word ‘profound’ is:
(i) mild
(ii) weak
(iii) loose
(iv) strong
Answer : D

(e) Antonym of the word ‘wisdom’ is:
(i) knowledge
(ii) learning
(iii) understanding
(iv) stupidity
Answer : A

Question. It was only when I began to learn that my boyhood freedom was an illusion, when I discovered as a young man that my freedom had already been taken from me, that I began to hunger for it. At first, as a student, I wanted freedom only for myself, the transitory freedoms of being able to stay out at night, read what I pleased and go where I chose. 
(a) Which freedoms does Mandela talk about at first? Why was his childhood freedom an illusion?
(b) Give the meaning of transitory. 
Answer : (a) Mandela speaks very eloquently about the freedoms he had as a child. The freedom to run in the fields, eat what he wanted and to swim in the streams. He felt the racial divide in the bigger cities. He was bound by laws where he could not make friends, marry or earn a keep according to his wishes. Thus, he realized that his childhood freedom was an illusion.
(b) Transitory means temporary, or for a short while.

Question. I was not unmindful of the fact that not so many years before they would not have saluted but arrested me.
Finally, a chevron of Impala jets left a smoke trail of the black, red, green, blue and gold of the new South African flag.
(a) Who are “they” as mentioned by Mandela? Why would “they” have arrested instead of saluting him a few years ago?
(b) Give reasons why the Impala jets were flying overhead.
Answer : (a) ‘They’ were the highest generals of the South African army. They would have arrested him during the apartheid struggle but things had changed in South Africa after the years of revolution to make black lives matter.
(b) The Impala jets were a part of the display of the military might of the South African democracy.

Question. The structure they created formed the basis of one of the harshest, most inhumane, societies the world has ever known. Now, in the last decade of the twentieth century, and my own eighth decade as a man, that system had been overturned forever and replaced (a) Which structure is Mandela talking about?
(b) Who created this structure and what were its consequences? What has this structure been replaced with?
Answer : (a) The South African white-skinned people created a structure within the country that led to extreme racial discrimination against the blacks in South Africa. In Mandela’s own words, they  created “the harshest, most inhumane, societies the world has ever known”. 
(b) The structure had been created by the whiteskinned South African people. They treated the black people in the worst means and subjected them to extreme prejudices. The discriminatory structure was replaced with a democracy where people enjoyed equal rights.

Question. 10th May dawned bright and clear. For the past few days I had been pleasantly besieged by dignitaries and world leaders who were coming to pay their respects before the inauguration. The inauguration would be the largest gathering ever of international leaders on South African soil.
(a) Who is ‘I’? Why were international leaders coming to the on South African soil that day?
(b) Give the meaning of the word: Besieged.
Answer : (a) ‘I’ is referred to Nelson Mandela. The world leaders were coming had come to the South African soil for the installation of the country’s first democratic and non-racial government.
(b) Besieged: means surrounded by people, or by armed forces aiming to capture it.


Short Answer Type Questions :

Question. What pained Nelson Mandela on becoming the President of South Africa ?
Answer : Mandela was pained by his inability to thank his comrades who were unable to see what their sacrifices had brought. He remembered the suffering and courage of thousand of patriots, who fought for the same cause.

Question. Why is 10th May, 1994 important for South Africa ?
Answer : 10th May, 1994 is important for South Africa as the inaugural oath taking ceremony of Nelson Mandela and his colleagues took place on that day. Nelson Mandela became the first black President of South Africa after three centuries of white rule.

Question. What did ‘being free’ mean to Mandela as a boy and as a student ?
Answer : As a boy ‘being free’, meant to Nelson Mandela to wander free in fields, to swim freely, and to run through the village. As a student-to stay out at night, to read what he pleased and to go wherever he chose was ‘being free’.

Question. How does Nelson Mandela define the meaning of ‘courage’ and ‘the brave man’ ?
Answer : According to Nelson Mandela, courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. In the same way,the brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.

Question. What does the author say of the country in the beginning of his oath-taking speech? What promise does he make?
Answer : The author thanks all the international guests. They have come to take possession of the country. It is the common victory for justice. It is also meant for peace and human dignity. At last they have got political freedom. He promises that the country shall not again experience the oppression of one by another.

Question. Who all took oath of office along with Nelson Mandela?
Answer : Along with Nelson Mandela taking oath as the first Black President of South Africa, Mr. de Klerk was sworn in as second Deputy President and Thabo Mbeki was sworn in as first Deputy President.

Question. What problem did he face in the beginning in placing his people above his family?
Answer : The author faced many problems. It was because he was fighting for the people of the country. In the beginning he tried to serve his people but he found that he was prevented from fulfilling his obligations. His obligations as a son, brother, husband and father prevented him from fulfilling his obligations to his country.

Question. How was the author overwhelmed with a sense of history on the day of the inauguration?
Answer : The author thought of history on the day of inauguration. As he went into the past, he thought of the bitter Anglo-Boer war. Before his own birth the white-skinned people of South Africa had patched up their differences. They had created a system of racial domination. It was over the black people. This was the most inhumane and harshest society. He was against it. 

Question. Which event symbolised the day for Nelson Mandela?
Answer : The day was symbolised for Mandela by playing the two national anthems where the whites were singing ‘Nkosi Sikelel—iAfrika’ and blacks were singing ‘Die Stem’, the old anthem of the Republic.

Question. What did he yearn for as a young man in Johannesburg?
Answer : The author wanted to do everything that a sensible man wants to do. While in Johannesburg; he yearned for the basic rights like honourable and dignified life, freedom to his potential and to earn his livelihood. These rights were also of marrying and having a family. This was the freedom of not being checked in a lawful life.

Question. When did the author see ‘a ray of humanity’ and where? What is this ‘ray of humanity’?
Answer : Nelson Mandela was able to see the ray of humanity in the eyes of the guards under whom Mandela and his comrades were put into the prison. The humanity and the goodness which he had for them gave a reason for mandela to fight back for the discrimination and to get justice. Mandela was of the opinion that hatred is something which people learns from this world. Therefore instead of hatred, the people should be taught to love.

Question. What did the display of air power at the ceremony demonstrate?
Answer : The spectacular array of South African jets, helicopters and troop carriers not only displayed pinpoint precision and military force but also demonstrated the military’s loyalty to democracy to a new government that had been freely and fairly elected.

Question. Which twin obligations does every man have in life?
Answer : The author talks of twin obligations of every South African. He says that every man in South Africa had twin obligations in life. One is his obligation to his family, to his parents, to his wife and children. This is his obligation at personal level. Second, he had obligation to his people, his community and his country. This is for his country.

Question. What future of the country of South Africa does Nelson Mandela see in his oath-taking speech?
Answer : In his address, Nelson Mandela sees a bright future of the country. He promises that under his Presidentship, the country shall never experience the oppression of one by another. It shall progress further. Freedom shall rule and all people shall be free to do what they like.

Question. What does the author say about the oppressor and the oppressed?
Answer : The author believed that the oppressor must be set free as the oppressed. A man who takes away another man’s freedom is a prisoner of hatred. He is locked in prejudice and narrow-mindedness. He is not truly free if he is taking someone else’s freedom. The oppressor and the oppressed are both robbed of humanity.

Question. When did the author hunger for freedom? What are his views about freedom, the oppressor and the oppressed?
Answer : When the author was deprived of freedom, he felt hungry for it. He saw that his brothers and sisters were not free. He joined the African National Congress. His hunger for freedom became greater for the freedom of his people. It was his desire for his people to live lives with dignity and self-respect. But he realised that freedom is indivisible. The chains for his own people were chains for him also. The author says that both the oppressor and the oppressed deserve freedom. The oppressor is a prisoner of hatred. He is locked behind the bars of hatred and narrow-mindedness. The oppressed has no freedom.

 

Long Answer Type Questions :

Question. How did Nelson Mandela describe the scene of the inauguration ?
Answer : The oath taking ceremony of Nelson Mandela was a historic occasion. Dignitaries and representatives of 140 countries came to attend it. The ceremony took place in the lovely sandstone amphitheatre. He had gone there with his daughter Zenani. First, Mr. De Klark the 2nd Deputy President, then after Thabo Mbeki the 1st Deputy President were sworn in. Nelson Mandela took the oath as the President. He pledged to obey and uphold constitution and devaote himself to the well-being of the republic and its people. After the ceremony, the display of military force was carried out. Finally, the jets left off smoke trails of different colours e.g. black, red, green, blue and golden which were the colours of the New South African flag. In the end, two National Anthems were sung by the whites and the blacks. It was a jubliant moment for him.

Question. Do you think there is a discrimination based on caste and colour of skin in our country? If yes, suggest ways to eradicate it.
Answer : Yes, there is a discrimination in our country based not only on caste and colour of the skin but also on gender. Caste system is an age-old practice put in place in the ancient society demarcating the people on the basis of the work they did. Since ages, people of low-caste have been treated without dignity and compassion. Often, the treatment meted out to lowcaste humans was worse than the treatment of animals. Though in modern times, this has decreased considerably. People still harbour feelings of caste supremacy. Gender discrimination is also prevalent and so is the difference in treatment based on your skin colour. All these can be eradicated by education. Higher rates of literacy will ensure no discrimination in our society. There will be dignity of labours and all people will be treated equally as our constitution has prescribed.

Question. What does the author think of the black people who fought for the country’s political independence?
Answer : The author says that the country’s political freedom is due to the great sacrifices of thousands of its own people. These can’t be repaid. He considered the condition of the country a sum of all those African patriots. He regrets that he won’t be able to thank them. He states that the policy of apartheid greatly wounded the people. Recovering from that was not possible. It would take centuries to heal. But decades of oppression and brutality produced great freedom fighters. They were like Oliver Tambo, Walter Sisulus, Luthulis, Dadoos, Fischer, Sobukwe, etc. They were men of courage and wisdom. They reality underwent great sufferings for the political independence of the country.

Question. The oppressed and the oppressor alike are robbed of their humanity. Discuss in the context of the essay ‘Long Road to Freedom.’
Answer : Nelson Mandela in his essay writes that according to him, like the oppressed, the oppressor too is not free. He says that oppressed don’t have basic rights; there is no dignity of life, only subjugation, cruelty and slavery. However, even the oppressor is not free. He says that the oppressor is also a slave of his hatred. When a person does something he himself does not want to do but is pressurised due to his beliefs, he is a slave to those beliefs. He is not free. A man who takes away another man’s freedom is a prisoner of hatred; he is locked behind the bars of prejudice and narrow-mindedness. He says that one is not truly free if one takes away someone else’s freedom, just as surely as one is not free when one’s freedom is taken away.

Question. What does Nelson Mandela say about courage, love and hate?
Answer : Nelson Mandela says that he learned the meaning of courage from his comrades. He found his comrades uring the freedom struggle. They risked their lives for an idea. They showed strength and elasticity. He meant courage not as the absence of fear but the victory over it. According to him, the brave man is one who conquers fear. He says that no man is born with hatred for another man due to his skin colour or religion. Love comes more naturally to the human heart than hatred. He saw humanity in the guards when these freedom fighters were being tortured in prison. Both the oppressor and the oppressed are the prisoners of hatred. They take away each other’s freedom.

Question. Read the extracts given below and comment on the difference in the nature of freedom each desired and experienced.
(a) It was only when I began to learn that my boyhood freedom was an illusion, when I discovered as a young man that my freedom had already been taken from me, that I began to hunger for it. [Long Walk to Freedom]
Answer : The journey of experiencing freedom is both similar and dissimilar for both Nelson Mandela and Amanda. Mandela talks of experiencing simple joys
of his childhood when he enjoyed doing things he liked within the framework of obedience to his parents. But, he was not restricted and criticized at every point like Amanda, whose mother breathed down her neck every moment.

Question. Man is a social animal. He has some obligations to society. What twin obligations does Mandela mention? How can one fulfil these obligations?
Answer :Man is a social animal and has some social obligations to society. Nelson Mandela understood the importance of being social. Mandela talked about twin obligations of a man—obligation to his family, to his parents, to his wife and children. This is the first and the most important obligation that every man has to fulfil in his life. Another obligation is to his people, to his community and to his nation. He emphasises that in a civil society, each one of us should fulfil these obligations. It is the responsibility of the government to provide a conducive atmosphere where a person can fulfil these obligations. But in a country like South Africa, it was not possible to fulfil these obligations because of discrimination. It was an era of oppression and torture for the black Africans in their own country. They were not even allowed the basic freedom of living a dignified life.

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