Nelson Mandela Long Walk To Freedom Questions & Answers

Hi Everyone!! This article will share Nelson Mandela Long Walk To Freedom Questions & Answers.

In my previous posts, I have shared Nelson Mandela Long Walk To Freedom MCQ and A Letter To God Important Questions & Answers so, make sure to check these posts as well.

Nelson Mandela Long Walk To Freedom Questions & Answers

Question 1: Where did the ceremonies take place? Can you name any public buildings in India that are made of sandstone?

Answer: The ceremonies took place in the lovely sandstone amphitheatre formed by the Union Buildings in Pretoria. It was attended by dignitaries from more than 140 countries around the world.

The Jama Masjid and Humayun’s Tomb in Delhi and the Amer Fort in Jaipur are some of the sandstone buildings in India.

Question 2: Can you say how 10 May is an ‘autumn day’ in South Africa?

Answer: Mandela called 10 May ‘that lovely autumn day’ as this day saw the fall of a system of governance which was based on race and creed. In autumn, just as the trees shed their old and worn-out leaves, so in South Africa, the oppressive policies that were practised shed. This made the room for a new and fresh democratic non-racial government.

Question 3: 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?

Answer: At the beginning of his speech, where Mandela mentions “an extraordinary disaster”, he talks about the effect of the long-drawn apartheid policy practised by the whites in South Africa. This policy had inflicted unthinkable, inhuman and harsh atrocities on the dark-skinned people in their own country which was against natural justice. No one has the right to suppress another solely on the basis of the difference in the colour of the skin. Everyone has been granted equal status by God.

In the end, Mandela talks about the “glorious human achievement”, which is the eventual victory of the ‘outlaws’. They finally won the first democratic elections in South Africa to form a government which was nonracial after making countless sacrifices. This achievement was glorious as it had been gained after undergoing hardships for many centuries.

Question 4: What does Mandela thank the international leaders for?

Answer: Mandela thanks the international leaders for having graced the occasion of the installation of the democratic, non-racial government of South Africa. This proved that the international community supported equality and recognised its victory over injustice and discrimination. These representatives had earlier severed diplomatic relations with the white regime in South Africa to express their disapproval of the policy of apartheid.

Question 5: What ideals does he set out for the future of South Africa?

Answer: Mandela pledges to liberate his countrymen from poverty, deprivation, suffering, gender and other discrimination. He foresees that his country will be free from hatred, and love will reign supreme.

Question 6: What do the military generals do? How has their attitude changed, and why?

Answer: The highest generals of the South African defence forces and the police saluted their first black president, Nelson Mandela and demonstrated their loyalty to the new government.

Their attitude underwent a change because as government servants they were the ones who had earlier carried out the duty of arresting all the ‘outlaws’. However, after the democratic elections, the situation changed as it resulted in the victory of the African National Congress and the power got shifted to the team led by Nelson Mandela. However, by pledging their loyalty to the newly elected democratic, nonracial government, these officers displayed integrity. The change in their attitude showed that they worked within the ambit of their constitutional responsibilities and served as the upholders of law.

Nelson Mandela Long Walk To Freedom Questions & Answers

Question 7: Why were two national anthems sung?

Answer: The two national anthems sung on the inauguration day were the ‘Nkosi Sikelel -iAfrika’ sung by the whites and the ‘Die Stem’ – the old anthem of the Republic – sung by the blacks. This is becausethe country belonged to both the whites and the blacks. So, the two groups sang their respective national anthems to pledge their loyalty to the nation. It symbolized the coming together of two groups that had remained segregated along racial lines till then.

Question 8: 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?

Answer: In the first decade of the twentieth century, before Mandela was born, in South Africa, the whites sorted out their differences and became united and set up the most vicious system of racial domination called the apartheid. As Mandela said, this system was “an extraordinary disaster” as it had inflicted unthinkable, inhuman and harsh atrocities on the dark-skinned people in their own country which was against natural justice.

However, in the last decade of the twentieth century, the apartheid system was replaced by the one that recognized the rights and freedom of all people, regardless of the colour of their skin. This new system was a symbolic victory for justice, peace and human dignity. It led to the installation of the first democratic, non-racial government of South Africa.

Question 9: What does courage mean to Mandela?

Answer: To him, courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.

Question 10: Which does he think is natural, to love or to hate?

Answer: Mandela believes that love comes naturally to human heart while hatred is acquired. Therefore, if people can learn to hate, they can also be taught to love. He forms this opinion out of his own experience as a prisoner when he saw a ‘glimmer of humanity’ in the eyes of white prison guards at crucial times.

Question 11: What “twin obligations” does Mandela mention?

Answer: Mandela believes that every man has twin obligations. The first one is towards his family, his parents, his wife and children, and the second one is towards his people, his community and his country. It was not possible for a man in South Africa to fulfill both these because by doing so he became a threat to the white rulers. They punished and isolated such a man under the oppressive apartheid laws.

Question 12: 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 honourable freedoms”?

Answer: As a village boy, freedom for Mandela meant running about the fields freely, swimming in the clear stream, roasting mealies under the stars and riding the broad backs of slow-moving bulls. As a young man, freedom for him meant staying late at night, reading what he liked and going wherever he chose to go.

However, later on, he realised that these were mere illusionary “transitory freedoms.” ‘Basic and honourable freedoms’ lied in achieving one’s potential and leading a life of dignity and self-respect. It included the right to earn one’s keep, the right to marry and have a family, and the right not to be obstructed in a lawful life. The ‘transitory freedoms’ were restricted to a phase in one’s life whereas the ‘basic and honourable freedoms’ were for the individual as well as those around him. These freedoms were not divisible and had to be won for all the brothers and sisters of the community.

Question 13: Does Mandela think the oppressor is free? Why/Why not?

Answer: No, Mandela thinks that the oppressor is as enslaved as the oppressed and they both are robbed of their humanity. The oppressed is robbed by the suppressive power of the oppressor while the oppressor is enslaved by the barriers of prejudice and narrow-mindedness and is burdened with the weight of hatred.

Nelson Mandela Long Walk To Freedom Questions & Answers

Question 14: Why did such a large number of international leaders attend the inauguration? What did it signify the triumph of?

Answer: A large number of international leaders attended the inauguration ceremony because it was hosted to install the first democratic, non-racial government in South Africa. These leaders had come to pay their respects to the long and arduous freedom struggle of South Africans. Mandela becoming the first black president of South Africa was an event of international significance as the fight against the racist policy of apartheid was supported by almost all the nations of the world. They had broken their diplomatic relations with the white rulers of South Africa to strongly express their disapproval. They had gathered in such great numbers on the soil of South Africa after a very long time.

Their presence at the time was a victory for the entire international community. It signified the triumph of the faith in equality and the right to liberty.

Question 15: What does Mandela mean when he says he is “simply the sum of all those African patriots” who had gone before him?

Answer: The struggle against the apartheid started much before Mandela was born. The African patriots before him had already started the struggle for equality and liberty. Mandela, would never have realised the real significance of being a free man, had they not raised their voice against oppression and racial discrimination. So, he carried forward the legacy which was left by these great African patriots. Whatever he did for his country, was the culmination of the total efforts made by all the freedom fighters put together. This made him the sum of all those who had kept the hunger for freedom thriving.

Question 16: 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?

Answer: I agree that the “depths of oppression” create “heights of character”. Talking about the unimaginable atrocities perpetrated by the whites against the black South Africans by Mandela awakened the spirit of revolt in them and they showed a rare strength of character in fighting against their oppressors. The apartheid regime led to an equally strong retaliation by patriots like Oliver Tambo, Walter Sisulu, Chief Luthuli, Yusuf Dadoo, Bram Fischer, Robert Sobukwe and later on Nelson Mandela.

The other examples are the sacrifices made by Mahatma Gandhi, Bhagat Singh, Sardar Patel, Chander Shekhar Azad, Pandit Nehru and Subhash Chander Bose in India’s struggle for freedom.

Question 17: How did Mandela’s understanding of freedom change with age and experience?

Answer: As a child, Mandela, was contented with the freedom that he enjoyed in his own village. As long as he obeyed his father and abided by the dictates of his tribe, he was free to do whatever he liked.

However, with the passage of time, his perception of freedom changed. Age and experience made him understand that real freedom stood for the right to live with dignity and self-respect. He realised that he was not free to achieve his potential, or earn his keep, or marry and have a family or free not to be obstructed in the name of law. He also understood that his fellow-beings too were as bound as he was. So, as a grown-up man, his understanding of freedom changed leading to a hunger for an honourable life for himself and for his brethren.

Question 18: How did Mandela’s ‘hunger for freedom’ change his life?

Answer: Mandela’s hunger for freedom changed his life diametrically. He realized that all his countrymen were bound by racism and this realisation led him on a way of life where he gave up his family and home to live like a monk. He changed from a law-abiding attorney to a ‘criminal’ who challenged and defied the oppressive laws. He was no longer a frightened young man, but a self-sacrificing bold one. He could not enjoy the little freedom that he had because he knew that his people were not free. He had finally realised that as long as his brothers were in chains, he too was a slave. He also understood that even the oppressor was a slave. He was bound by the chains of hatred and locked behind the bars of prejudice and narrowmindedness. Thus, Mandela’s hunger for freedom brought a complete change in his life and his way of thinking.

So, these were Nelson Mandela Long Walk To Freedom Questions & Answers.

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