NCERT Solutions for Class 11 for English Chapter Rangas Marriage Masti Venkatesha Iyengar
Ranga's Marriage - Masti Venkatesha Iyengar
Reading with insight
Q1: Comment on the influence of English - the language and the way of life - on Indian life as reflected in the story. What is the narrator's attitude to English?
British not only brought the industrialisation alone but carried their culture, religion and language also with them when they came to India. There were many other dynasties like the Mughal, The Delhi Sultanate, etc. ruling India for centuries before the British. However, the British rule has left with us an impact which seems to last for ever. One of the biggest influences of the British reign is the English language. Even after having political freedom from British, it seems that our minds are ruled by them with their language. We look down upon who do not know the English language. It is good that we learn English as it is an international language but we should not consider it as a status symbol. This particular attitude of Indians who consider knowing English as a status symbol is reflected in the story. The narrator of the story, Shyama, highlights in the story, the false notions of the people that learning English would change a person completely. He confirms that there is no change he can observe in the expression of Ranga. Ranga seems to be following the very traditional way of greeting, saying ‘namaskar’ and other common gestures like bowing down and touching the feet of elders. From these comments of the narrator, we can conclude that he has a positive attitude towards learning English. He must be emphasising his point of view that learning a foreign language has nothing to do with one’s culture or tradition as Ranga continues to follow the traditional way of greeting in spite of learning English.
Q2 : Astrologers' perceptions are based more on hearsay and conjecture than what they learn from the study of the stars. Comment with reference to the story.
Answer People of India still believe in astrology even in these modern times. Astrologers work on the principle that position of stars and planets influence human affairs. In fact, nobody can make calculations of the stars and planets but astrologers pretend to do so. Most of these predictions are based upon the information supplied earlier by someone. Simple minded people are taken in by such claims and end up paying a hefty sum to the astrologers. Very few astrologers might possess the real knowledge while most of them are dupes who are out to make money. In the story the narrator sets up the local astrologer to give such predictions that would help his plan of getting Ranga married to Ratna. He meets the astrologer beforehand and tutors him in all that he wants him to say.
People like Ranga, who though they have lived in the town and are educated, yet they believe in such superstitions and base their decisions on the conjectures done by such astrologers. The narrator pokes fun at all such gullible people. He makes the reader see the ridiculousness of the situation and hence learn the value of rationalism in life.
Q3 : Indian society has moved a long way from the way the marriage is arranged in the story. Discuss.
The students should prepare the answer on their own. A model answer is given for their reference. The story 'Ranga's Marriage', reflects the traditional system of arranged marriages. These days, the scenario has changed completely. Youngsters do not want to stay dependent on their parents or elders for choosing their life partners. In the story, 'Ranga's Marriage’, we find that the initiative for the wedding of Ranga and Ratna was taken by the narrator. Now, the boys and girls themselves take the lead and decide themselves who they want to marry. However, there are cases the parents and the society do not support such marriages but the Indian law approves it. Also, marriages at a very young age have been discouraged as people are aware of the fact that certain sense of maturity is required for the marriage.
Q4 : What kind of a person do you think the narrator is?
The students should prepare the answer on their own. A model answer is given for their reference.
The narrator seems to be having the traditional outlook but he is not against learning a foreign language. He thinks that learning English language doesn’t affect the tradition and culture of a person unlike the rest of the people in the society think. This is evident by the emphasis on Ranga wearing the sacred thread and doing 'namaskars' to the elders. He appreciates people who do not forget his or her roots even after learning a foreign language. However, it is clear that he does not believe in the English culture. He wonders how a distinction has been drawn between those who speak English and those who do not. It is the narrator who is determined to get Ranga married to Ratna though she is not a good match for him. This proves that he is a man who supports the tradition in the society and believes in its culture. At the same time we find him making critical comments on the astrologer saying all the predictions are based more on guesswork and hearsay. In fact, the narrator pokes fun at the superstitious people and asserts the value of rationalism in life.