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Chapter 2: Nelson Mandela Long Walk Freedom
I must thank you for the affectionate and warm welcome that you have extended to me and for the love and regard that you have shown me by conferring this honour on me. Gifts are of many kinds those achieved by one’s own endeavour are good and deserved, but no gift should be conferred on one whose worthiness has not been tested.
By selecting me without assuring yourself of my fitness for the gift, you have laid me under heavy debt and, by your injunctions that I should continue to prove worthy of it throughout my life, you have imposed on me a very difficult obligation.
At present, I cannot say anything because I am bound by your love and affection; and, therefore, with your blessing and God’s grace, I pray that I may prove worthy of it. Should I fail, the blame for my failure will be shared by you as well. On this occasion, I wish to place before you a few thoughts which occur to my mind as incidental to our hard-won freedom.
We have now won our freedom. But just as I am doubtful, if I deserved the honour that you have done me, you have also to think whether you have done everything to deserve the freedom that you have attained after such a bitter and sustained struggle. There are people who think that having won freedom, there is nothing more to do about it.
Freedom has come to us through sacrifices. Those who made sacrifices tasted the fruit of their efforts and self-denials, but it is for those who are now enjoying the freedom to taste its fruit. After the last World War, there is an all-around deterioration in human standards. People have become self-centred. They have forgotten or ignored the wider interests of the country.
The essential and noteworthy features of our struggle were: sacrifice, truth, and non-violence. The weapons of the World War were: violence, brute force, political and military moves, and counter moves. As a result of the churning of the ocean, the world has emitted poison. That poison is spreading all over and there is none to swallow it.
The countries which were free have managed to digest it somewhat, but we, who have just attained our freedom, it is hard to do the same. Therefore, those who think that having attained freedom they have attained everything have really attained nothing! The freedom that we have won is yet to be consolidated. The foundations of freedom have to be well and truly laid! This one-year-old child has to be nursed and nourished, instructed and strengthened. It is for us to do it and we must do it.
In India today, there is no time for useless controversies and unnecessary debates and disputes. One can indulge in these pastimes when one has time and leisure. At present, we have to occupy ourselves with the all-absorbing task of making the foundation of our freedom strong and unassailable.
We have to reflect on our place in this broken and destructed world and what our duty and obligations are! If we fail to make the best use of our freedom to make it worthwhile and turn it to our advantage and advancements, future generations will heap curses on us.
They will say that a spiritualist, a great soul gave us this precious boon, but we did not know how to retain it and lost it. I should like to urge upon those who train citizens of tomorrow and to those citizens of tomorrow that we have yet to stand on our feet.
We must concentrate on one thing alone, viz., how to make our country strong and united. We can make it strong when our hearts are pure and when we fully appreciate our duty. Now that foreign rulers have gone, are we in a position to sustain the whole burden that has devolved on us? When we took over from them, the administrative fabric was in tatters. We have to mend and place it.
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NCERT Solutions Class 10 English Chapter 2 Nelson Mandela Long Walk Freedom
Where did the ceremonies take place? Can you name any public buildings in India that are made of sandstones?
The ceremonies took place on the campus of the Union Building of Pretoria and were attended by dignitaries and leaders of many nations. In India; Rashtrapati Bhavan and Red Fort are buildings made of red sandstone.
Can you say how 10th May is an ‘autumn day’ in South Africa?
As South Africa is in the Southern Hemisphere, it may fall in the autumn season. Thus 10th May is an ‘autumn day’.
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?
By ‘an extraordinary human disaster’ Mandela means to state the practice of apartheid in South Africa. During this, there was racial segregation based on colour and the blacks suffered a lot. They were not allowed to demand freedom or any right. Mandela himself did spend many years on the infamous ‘Robben Island’ as a prisoner where he was beaten mercilessly. He considered it as a great glorious human achievement that a black person became the President of a country where blacks were not even considered human beings and were treated badly.
NCERT Class 10 English Textbook Chapter 2 With Answer PDF Free Download