NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English First Flight Chapter 2 Nelson Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

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NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English First Flight Chapter 2 Nelson Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom have been updated as per the latest NCERT curriculum. The new solution set includes solutions to all the questions in the latest edition of the NCERT textbooks. The updated NCERT solutions will help students prepare for their exams more effectively. The Chapter 2 Class 10 English NCERT Solutions make the concepts more simple and interesting by providing step by step solutions to the questions present in the textbook. These solutions are prepared by the subject experts and are available for free on our website at

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Chapter 2 Nelson Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom Class 10 English First Flight NCERT Solutions

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


This ceremony was held in the lovely sandstone amphitheatre built by the Union Buildings of Pretoria. In India, the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Jama Masjid and Red Fort are two public buildings that are made of red sandstone.

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


In South Africa, 10 May is an ‘autumn day’, since it marks the installation of the country’s first democratic, non-racial government in front of the largest gathering of international leaders in South Africa.

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?


By ‘an extraordinary human disaster’ Mandela means to state the practice of apartheid in South Africa. Blacks suffered greatly during this time because racial segregation was based on colour. They were forbidden from demanding freedom or any rights. Mandela himself spent many years as a prisoner on the infamous Robben Island, where he was beaten mercilessly. A black person becoming the president of a country where blacks were not even considered human beings and were badly treated was considered a great and glorious human achievement for him.

4. What does Mandela thank the international leaders for ?


In his message, Mandela thanks the international leaders for joining the native people of South Africa in taking possession. This victory represents justice, peace, and human dignity for all.

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


Mandela’s ideals were to liberate people from poverty, deprivation, and suffering as well as to create a society without discrimination based on gender or ethnicity.

1. What do the military generals do ? How has their attitude changed, and why ?


Military Generals perform their duties in accordance with military regulations and owe allegiance to their country. Their attitude has changed. They care more about personal gains than doing what is required by the rules of defence.

2. Why were two national anthems sung ?


There were two national anthems sung; one for whites and one for blacks. The anthem of the whites was the old republican anthem.

3. 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?


(i) During the first decade of the century, whites established a system of racial dominance against blacks, laying the groundwork for one of the harshest and most inhumane societies in history.

(ii) During the final decade of the twentieth century, the previous system was overturned and replaced by one that recognized all people’s rights and freedoms regardless of their color.

4. What does courage mean to Mandela ?


For Mandela, courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.

5. Which does he think is natural, to love or to hate ?


He thinks that love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite hate.

1. What ‘twin obligations’ does Mandela mention ?


The first obligation of every man is to his family, parents, wife, and children; the second obligation is to his people, his community, and his country.

2. 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’ ?


Mandela, as a boy, used to roam in the fields near his hut. He would swim and run through the village. He would also roast mealies at night and ride the bulls. His role as a student was to be free to go out at night, to read what he pleased, and to do what he liked. It was also to be according to his potential. There are ‘transitory freedoms’ and ‘honorable freedoms’. These are the freedoms of dignity and self-respect for the people.

3. Does Mandela think the oppressor is free ? Why/Why not?


In Mandela’s view, a person who takes away another man’s freedom is a prisoner of hatred, locked in prejudice and narrow mindedness.

Thinking about Text

1. Why did such a large number of international leaders attend the inauguration ? What did it signify the triumph of?


They had come to honour the South Africa’s first democratic and non-racial government. It was a common victory for justice, peace and human dignity.

2. What does Mandela mean when he says he is ‘simply the sum of all those African patriots’ who had gone before him?


Mandela means to say that without the sacrifices of all those who had gone before him, he could never have been what he is today. His becoming the first black President of South Africa could never have been possible without their sacrifices. That is why he calls himself simply the sum of all those African patriots’ who had gone before him.

3. 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 ?


Mandela is perfectly right in what he says. The deeper oppression, the higher the character. It proved to be true in the case of Mandela himself. He felt for both the oppressed as well as the oppressor, seeing the oppressor as both a cruel master and a helpless slave of hatred. We have our own numberless freedom fighters who can be compared to Mandela.

4. How did Mandela’s understanding of freedom change with age and experience ?


When Mandela was a child, freedom meant running through fields. As a student, it meant reading as he pleased and going wherever he pleased. As a young man, it meant living a lawful life and developing one’s potential. Then, he realized that all of these freedoms were transitory. To him, freedom now meant the freedom of people who looked like him.

5. How did Mandela’s ‘hunger for freedom’ change his life?


Mandela hunger for freedom ended all his fears. He became a bold person as a result. He became a law-abiding attorney who became a criminal. He became homeless and became a monk.

Thinking about Language

1. Make a list of such pairs of nouns and verbs in the text.




2. Read the paragraph below. Fill in the blanks with the noun forms of the verbs in brackets.

Martin Luther King’s ………. (contribute) to our history as an outstanding leader began when he came to the ………. (assist) of Rosa Parks, a seamstress who refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger. In those days American Blacks were confined to positions of second class citizenship by restrictive laws and customs. To break these laws would mean ………. (subjugate) and ………. (humiliate) by the police and the legal system. Beatings, (imprison) and sometimes death awaited those who defied the System. Martin Luther King’s tactics of protest involved non-violent ………. (resist) to racial injustice.


contribution, assistance, subjugation, humiliation, imprisonment, ressistance.

II. Here are some more examples of ‘the’ used with proper names. Try to say what these sentences mean. (You may consult a dictionary if you wish; look at the entry for ‘the’.)

  1. Mr Singh regularly invites the Amitabh Bachchans and the Shah Rukh Khans to his parties.
  2. Many people think that Madhuri Dixit is the Madhubala of our times.
  3. History is not only the story of the Alexanders, the Napoleons and the Hitlers, but of the ordinary people as well.


  1. This means that Mr Singh regularly invites famous personalities as of the calibre of Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan to his parties.
  2. This means that Madhuri Dixit is compared to a landmark in acting in the form of legendary actress Madhubala.
  3. This means that history is not only the story of the great fighters and leaders such as Alexander, Napoleon and Hitler, but also of ordinary people.

III. Idiomatic Expressions

Match the italicised phrases in column A with the phrase nearest in meaning in column B. (Hint: First look for the sentence in the text in which the phrase in column A occurs.)

I was not unmindful of the fact
when my comrades and I were pushed to our limits
to reassure me and keep me going
the basic and honourable freedoms of .….. earning my keep …..
(i) had not forgotten, was aware of the fact
(ii) was not careful about the fact
(iii) forgot or was not aware of the fact
(i) pushed by the guards to the wall
(ii) took more than our share of beatings
(iii) felt that we could not endure the suffering any longer
(i) make me go on walking
(ii) help me continue to live in hope in this very difficult situation
(iii) make me remain without complaining
(i) earning enough money to live on
(ii) keeping what I earned
(iii) getting a good salary


1 – (i)
2 – (iii)
3 – (iii)
4 – (i)

I. Looking at Contrasts

Nelson Mandela’s writing is marked by balance : many sentences have two parts in balance.

Use the following phrases to complete the sentences given below.

(i) they can be taught to love
(ii) I was born free.
(iii) but the triumph over it.
(iv) but he who conqures that fear
(v) to creat such heights of character

1. It requires such depths of oppression ……………
2. Courage was not the absence of fear ……………
3. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid …………
4. If people can learn to hate …………
5. I was not born with a hunger to be free ………


1. It requires such depths of oppression to create such heights of character.
2. Courage was not the absence of fear but the triumph over it.
3. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.
4. If people can learn to hate, they can be taught to love.
5. I was not born with a hunger to be free, I was born free.

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