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Long Walk to Freedom
By– Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Short Answer Type Important Questions
Answer the following questions in 30-40 words:
1. What unintended effect was produced by decades of oppression?
Ans. The decades of oppression made him a strong person. He set out the goal to liberate the people of South Africa from continuing bondage of poverty, deprivation, suffering and other discrimination. He decided to have freedom and justice for all.
2. What pained Nelson Mandela on becoming the President of South Africa?
Ans. Nelson Mandela was sad for not able to thank those African patriots who had fought for independence and sacrificed their lives for it. This pained him that they were not able to see what their sacrifices had brought.
3. When did Mandela’s hunger for self-turn into a hunger for freedom for all his people?
Ans. Mandela gradually realized that freedom was curtailed for those people who looked like he did, but not for the whites. Consequently, he joined the African National Congress, and that was when his “hunger for freedom” became a “greater hunger.”
4. Why is 10th May 1994 important for South Africa?
Ans. 10th May 1994 is important for South Africa because first democratic non-racial government elections were held on this day in the country. Nelson Mandela became the first black president of the country.
5. What ideals does Mandela set out for the future of South Africa in his speech?
Ans. The ideal Mandela set out for the future of South Africa in his speech was to liberate the people of South Africa from continuing bondage of poverty, deprivation, suffering, gender and other discriminations.
6. What did Nelson Mandela pledge when he was sworn in as President?
Ans. Nelson Mandela pledged to uphold the Constitution of his country and devote him to liberate his people from the bondage of poverty, deprivation, suffering, gender and other discriminations. There would be freedom and justice for all.
7. What did Nelson Mandela remember on the day of the Inaugural Ceremony?
Ans. He remembered the history — the birth Apartheid, its effect on his people and long fight for freedom. He remembered the freedom fighters that suffered and sacrificed for freedom. He also remembered what freedom meant to him at different stages of life and his hunger for freedom.
8. Why was the 10th of May, 1994 a red letter day in the history of South Africa?
Ans. 10th of May, 1994 was a red-letter day in the history of South Africa. It was the day when the hated regime of apartheid came to an end. A new democratically elected non-racial government under Nelson Mandela was to be sworn in. Many international leaders and dignities came to pay their respect to the new government.
9. Where did the ceremonies take place? What had it been for decades?
Ans. The ceremonies of the inauguration of the new government took place at the lovely sandstone amphitheatre in the Union Buildings in Pretoria. The same place had remained the seat of white supremacy for decades.
10. How was that site a rainbow gathering of different colours and nations?
Ans. The end of the apartheid regime was a common victory for peace, justice and human dignity. Leaders and dignitaries of all nations irrespective of their colour, race and religion had gathered there to celebrate that victory. So, the site presented a rainbow gathering of different colours and nations.
11. Who were the persons sworn in on the 10th of May? What did Mandela pledge to obey?
Ans. Mr. de Klerk was first sworn in as second Deputy President. Then Thabo Mbeki was sworn in as first Deputy President. Then, in the end, Mr Nelson Mandela was sworn in as the President of the Republic of South Africa. He pledged to obey and uphold the constitution and devote himself to the well being of the Republic and its people.
12. What was born out of the experience of an extraordinary human disaster? Why should humanity be proud of it?
Ans. The apartheid regime was an extraordinary human disaster for the blacks of South Africa. The end of the apartheid laid down the foundation of a non-racial democratic regime in South Africa. This government based on human equality and dignity would be an ideal one of which all humanity would be proud.
13. Who was given the rare privilege to be host to the nations of the world on their own soil?
Ans. Those who were outlaws not so long ago were given the rare privilege. They had the privilege of hosting and welcoming nations of the world on their soul. The blacks were no more outlaws now but enjoyed equality and human dignity.
14. After achieving political emancipation what does Mandela want to do in South Africa?
Ans. South Africa and the blacks have achieved their political emancipation. Mandela pledges to liberate all his people from the bondage of poverty, want, suffering, gender and other discriminations. South Africa will never ever experience the oppression of one by another. He wishes the reign of freedom will never die in South Africa.
15. What did the display of jets and military salute symbolise?
Ans. There was a spectacular show of South African jets and troop carriers over the Union Buildings. The highest generals of the military and police saluted President Mandela. It was a clear demonstration of the military’s loyalty to democracy, to a free and fairly elected government.
16. Why did the same generals salute Mandela who would have arrested him not so many years ago?
Ans. In the apartheid regime, Nelson Mandela was a rebel and was in prison for many years. After the end of the apartheid, he was the head of the non-racial democratically elected government of South Africa. The same generals who would have put him in prison not so long ago were obliged to salute the president of the new Republic of South Africa.
17. What did the playing of two national anthems symbolise?
Ans. On the historic day of the inauguration ceremony of the Republic of South Africa, two national anthems were played. The whites song `Nkosi Sikelel-i-Africa’ and the black sang ‘Die Stem’. Neither group knew the lyrics of the anthem they once despised. They would soon know the words by heart.
18. Why was Mandela overwhelmed with a sense of history and what bad thing happened in the first decade of the 10th century?
Ans. Mandela is overwhelmed with a sense of history and remembers when the hated apartheid policy was introduced in South Africa. After the Boer war, the white people of South Africa patched up their differences. They set up a system of racial domination against the black people of their own race.
19. Why was the apartheid regime in South Africa was one of the harshest and most inhuman systems in the world?
Ans. The apartheid regime was based on the racial discrimination and exploitation of blacks in South Africa. The basic or fundamental rights were only for the whites and the blacks were deprived of these freedoms. Oppression, torture and exploitation of the blacks were common features of the apartheid regime.
20. Why does Nelson Mandela call himself simply the sum of those African patriots who had gone before him?
Ans. Nelson Mandela gratefully acknowledges the sacrifices of thousands of his people who fought against the apartheid regime. Their suffering and courage can never be cemented or repaid. Mandela humbly believes that he was simply the sum of all those African patriots who had gone before him.
21. How did the policy of apartheid create a deep and lasting wound in South African blacks?
Ans. No doubt, the policy of apartheid created a deep and lasting wound in South Africa and the blacks. It would take many years to recover from that profound hurt. The racial discrimination unleashed a reign of terror, oppression and brutality on the blacks of South Africa.
22. How did the policy of apartheid and deep oppression produce patriots of extraordinary, courage, wisdom and generosity?
Ans. The policy of apartheid unleashed a reign of terror and oppression on the black people but they could not break their resolution and determination. The deep oppression produced patriot of extraordinary courage, wisdom and generosity. It produced thousands of Tambos, Sisulus, Sadoos, Fischer’s and Sobukwes of their time.
Q23. What is the greatest wealth of a country according to Nelson Mandela?
Ans. South Africa is rich in the minerals and gems. But minerals and gems are not the greatest wealth of a nation. Mandela thinks that the greatest and real wealth of a nation is its people. They are finer and truer than the purest diamonds.
24. How does Mandela define courage and from where did he learn the meaning of courage?
Ans. Nelson Mandela learnt the meaning of courage from great patriots and comrades in the struggle. They risked their lives and stood up to attacks and tortures of the apartheid regime. He learned that courage was not the absence of fear but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who doesn’t feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.
25. How can people be taught to love? Which comes naturally to human heart — love or hate?
Ans. No one is born hating another person because of his colour or race. People are taught to hate. And if they learn to hate, they can be taught to love. Love comes more naturally to the human heart than hatred.
26. What are the twin obligations every man has in life?
Ans. Mandela thinks that every man has twin obligations in life. The first is his obligation to his family, to his parents, to his wife and children. The second duty is his duty to his people, his community and his country. Each man has to fulfil these two obligations according to his position and abilities.
27. Why was it impossible for a man of Mandela’s birth and colour to fulfil the twin obligations?
Ans. In South Africa, no black could fulfil the twin obligations. If a black who tried to live as a human being was punished and isolated. A person who tried to fulfil his duty to his people was separated from his family and was forced to live in secrecy and rebellion.
28. Was Mandela born with a hunger to be free? What did freedom mean to him in childhood?
Ans. Nelson Mandela was not born with a hunger to be free. In childhood, freedom has a very limited concept. He felt that he was free to run in the fields, free to swim in the stream near his village and ride the broad backs of slow-moving bulls. As long as he obeyed his father and the customs of his life, he was a free man.
29. What were the transitory freedoms that Nelson Mandela yearned for as a young man? Why did he feel that his boyhood freedom was an illusion?
Ans. Nelson Mandela felt that his boyhood freedom was an illusion. His freedom had already been taken from him. Then he began to hunger for it. At first, he wished the transitory freedoms of staying out. Later on, he yearned for basic needs of earning, marrying and having a family.
30. When and how did Mandela’s hunger for his own freedom become the greater hunger for the freedom of his people?
Ans. Mandela realised that not only was he not free, but his people were not free. When he joined the African National Congress, then his hunger for his own freedom became the greater hunger for the freedom of his people.
31. What, according to Mandela, is ‘true freedom’?
Ans. When Mandela was a boy, freedom for him meant to run freely in the fields and to swim in the streams. As a young man, he wanted basic and honourable freedoms, e.g. to earn his living, too many and to have a family. According to Mandela, true freedom means freedom not to be obstructed in leading a lawful life.
32. What animated Mandela’s life and transformed a frightened young lawyer into a bold criminal?
Ans. It was the desire for the freedom of his people to live their lives with dignity and self-respect that animated his life. It transformed a frightened young man into a bold one. It drove a law-abiding attorney to be a criminal. It turned a family loving husband to live like a monk.
33. Freedom is “indivisible”, said Mandela. How were the chains on anyone were the chains on all of his people?
Ans. Mandela thought that he is not more virtuous than the others. He thought that “freedom is indivisible”. The chains on any one of his people were chains on all of them. The chains on all of his people were the chains on him.
34. Why did Nelson Mandela feel that both the oppressor and the oppressed are robbed of their humanity and hence, both of them must be liberated?
Ans. Nelson Mandela rightly believes that both the oppressor and the oppressed are robbed of their humanity. A man who takes away another’s freedom is a prisoner of hatred. He is locked behind the bars of prejudice and hate. A person can never be free if his freedom is taken away. Hence, the oppressed and the oppressor alike are robbed of their humanity.