Figure of Speech

Figures of speech are the most common type of questions which are asked in CBSE or for that matter any board examination. Since, poetry has so many things to learn about, it’s not at all easy to mug up all the instances where we are asked these in the poems.

To make life simpler, I bring to you this small guide with the most commonly used figures of speech. I assure you that 99% of what you see below is the only thing you need to know to answer these 1 markers!

Here is a list of what all you need to know about:

  • Simile
  • Metaphor
  • Personification
  • Apostrophe
  • Oxymoron
  • Irony

So let’s begin by explaining each one of them.

1. Simile

Simile is nothing but comparison between two very different objects. Though, you’ll need to have at least one point in common between them.

Eg:… her face ashen like that of a corpse

2. Metaphor

It is almost similar to a simile but here we take it for granted that both the objects are same. In short, we can call it an implied simile.

eg: Life is a dream.

Let’s take up an example to clear the difference between a metaphor and a simile.

Sachin played like a warrior (simile)

Sachin was a warrior in the game (Metaphor)

3. Personification

Here a motionless object (like a table) is spoken as if it has life.

Eg:…..trees sprinting

A roadside stand that too pathetically pled…..

4. Apostrophe

Hey you little teddy bear, does she love me? Don’t take my wrong, this is what Apostrophe actually is. It’s when an author or poet directs a speech towards an abstract object or an imaginary person.

Eg: Well hello jet plane!

5. Oxymoron

In this figure of speech, two contradictory terms are combined together. It’s derived from a Greek word which literally means “Sharp dull”.

Eg: Greedy good-doers, beneficient beasts of prey

6. Irony

This one is the most commonly used of all in our day-to-day conversations. Irony is a form where the literal meaning is completely opposite to what is conveyed by the author or the poet.

Eg: Will go on prancing, proud and unafraid

This is taken from Aunt Jennifer’s tigers and it brings forth a sense of irony because the tigers are much stronger than the woman who created them.

I’ve tried getting examples from NCERT textbooks so that you can relate them while you’re going through the poems.


The Address

The Address

-Marga Minco

Question Bank:

Short Answer Type Questions:

  1. How did narrator come to know atlast she was right that it was Dorling’s house?

    Ans: The narrator came to know this because from the moment Mrs Dorling opened her door, the narrator saw that she was wearing her mother’s old cardigan . When she came to check on the house later , Mrs Dorlings daughter opened the door and from the hallway to the sitting room everything that once belonged to her mother was kept either as a decor piece or was used , even their slightly burned tablecloth was used. That is how she came to know that she was at the right place.

  2. ‘Have you come back?’ said the woman.’I thought that no one had come back.’ Does this statement give some clue about the story? If yes, what is it?

    Ans: Yes, these words by Mrs Dorling to the narrator shows that she least expected such a visit. She had presumed that all of them were dead. This lead to the conclusion that the story is set against the tragic circumstances of a War in which families lost their lives and belongings. The statement tells us that the narrator and her family at one time lived in that area and secondly, the clue that the war has brought about a lot of destruction and it seems that Mrs. Dorling was not expecting anyone to return to her house to claim the belongings.

  3. Why did the narrator of the story want to forget the address?

    Ans: The narrator was disappointed and disillusioned when she was allowed to enter Mrs. Dorling’s house during her second visit. She realised the futility of feeling attached to her mother’s belongings that were kept so distastefully. She just left without taking anything back and felt like forgetting the address because she would only remember the past.

  4. Why did the narrator go to Number 46, Marconi Street?

    Ans: This was the address of Mrs. Dorling, the woman who had carried the valuable items from the narrator’s mother to her home giving assurance to keep them in her safe custody during war time. Before dying narrator’s mother gave this address to the narrator. So the narrator went there to claim the belongings of her mother.

  1. Of all the things I had to forget, that would be the easiest.” What does the speaker mean by ‘that’? What is its significance in the story?

    Ans: The word “That” here stands for ‘the address’ of Mrs. Dorling i.e., Number 46 Marconi Street. The story moves around the address which is also the title of the story. It is significant because, the address was very important for the narrator in the beginning of the story although, at the end she resolves to forget it as she wants to break off with the painful past and move on with the present into the future.

  1. Why did the narrator of the story “The Address” feel that she had rung the wrong bell? How was she then assured that she was at the right place?

    Ans: When the narrator rung the door bell, a woman appeared half-hidden by the door. She refused to recognize the narrator even though she was told that the narrator was Mrs. S’s daughter. This made the narrator think that she had rung the wrong bell.

    But the woman remarked ‘Have you come back? I thought that no one had come back.’ indicated her recognizing the narrator. Also when the narrator saw the lady wearing her mother’s knitted green cardigan, the narrator got assured that the lady was Mrs. Dorling and she was at the right place.

  1. I was in a room I knew and did not know.” Why does the narrator say that she was in a room which she knew and yet she did not know?

    Answer: The second time the narrator went to Mrs. Dorling’s house she was taken inside the house by Mrs. Dorling’s daughter. When the door of the living room was opened to her, she went inside and she was immediately horrified by whatever she saw inside the room. The room was full of all their belongings which had been taken away by Mrs. Dorling at the beginning of the war. She felt she ‘knew’ the room because it was full of all her belongings and as the room was not theirs but was a different room and the things were kept in a different manner she felt she ‘did not’ know the room. .

  2. Why does the narrator come back without claiming her belongings?

    Answer: The narrator came back without claiming her belongings. She says that the objects which are linked in our memory immediately lose their value when those objects are seen after some time in strange surroundings. All her belongings, the silver cutlery, the clothes etc. had lost their charm when they were seen in Mrs. Dorling’s house. She knew that if taken back they would again seem strange in her new small rented room.

  3. What change did the narrator notice in her rooms when she was home for a few days?

    Ans: She noticed that various things were missing. – Mother was surprised that she noticed so quickly – told that Mrs. Dorling would keep things safely.

Long Answer Type Questions:

  1. The story is divided into pre-war and post-war times. What hardships do you think the girl underwent during these times?

    Ans: The story, “The Address” is divided into pre-war and post-war times. There are clear indications of the hardships which the narrator, a young girl, had to undergo during these times. The girl came from a rich family. The family had a lot of valuable belongings. Then the war broke out. Mrs. Dorling renewed her contact and started visiting their house. She took away all their possessions on the ground that she wanted to save all their nice things in case they had to leave the place. After the war was over. Things became almost normal. Now the girl was living all alone in a rented house. She wanted to meet Mrs. Dorling and ask for the valuables. When she went to meet Mrs. Dorling she found that Mrs. Dorling was using her mother’s things recklessly. Suddenly, she lost interest in the things that had belonged to a connection that no longer existed. She decided to leave it all behind and resolved to move on.

  2. Comment on the significance of the title of the story ‘The Address’. OR Justify the title of the short story “The Address”.

    Ans: Marga Minco very aptly titled the story ‘The Address’. The narrator and her mother were victims of war. They had to flee from their house leaving all their nice belongings with Mrs. Dorling after getting an assurance from her for the safe custody of those things during the war. The narrator’s mother had told the address of Mrs. Dorling 46, Marconi Street to her daughter before she died during the war. When the war was over the narrator came back and went to Mrs. Dorling’s address in search of those ‘nice things’ with which the fond memories of her mother were associated. But when the narrator reached there, she found all those things were lying in a very tasteless manner. Mrs. Dorling even pretends not to recognize her nor did she show any intention of returning those articles which she was using shamelessly.

    Sadly then the narrator feels this address has no meaning at all as the precious memories of the true owner were no longer cherished at their new address. The narrator in the end resolves to forget 46, Marconi Street forever. Hence, the title The Address is quite appropriate and bears a definite meaning for the story.

  3. Who is Mrs. Dorling? Do you justify her behaviour in the story?

    Ans: Mrs. Dorling is an acquaintance of Mrs. S, the narrator’s mother.

    In the story Mrs. Dorling exploits Mrs. S’s fears and insecurity during the war. She insists Mrs. S and took away all her valuable things after giving assurance that she would keep them safe until the war was over. In fact, Mrs. Dorling had no intentions of returning the valuables as she was sure that Mrs. S and her family would not survive the war. So when the narrator, Mrs. S’s daughter, went to Mrs. Dorling’s house to claim those articles to which her mother’s precious memories were associated, she even pretended not to recognize her. In stead of returning those articles to the narrator, she shamelessly used them which actually belonged to the narrator’s mother and also behaved rudely to the narrator. So, in the context of the above Mrs. Dorling’s behaviour can not be justified.

  4. ‘The Address’ is a story of human predicament that follows war. Comment

    Ans: The war creates many difficult and traumatic situations for human beings. Civilian life faces tremendous upheaval due to war. The human predicament that follows is amply illustrated through the experience of the narrator. The war had caused many physical difficulties as well as emotional sufferings to her. She had lost her dear mother. She went to 46, Marconi Street to see her mother’s valuable possessions. Mrs. Dorling was a true opportunist who had used the narrator’s mother’s belongings on the pretext of storing them for safekeeping. She refuses to recognize the narrator and does not even let her in. The narrator gets another chance to visit the house. The presence of her mother’s possessions in a strange atmosphere hurted her. Now these valuables had lost all their importance for her as they had been separated from her mother. She could get no solace or comfort from them. She resolved to forget the address. She wanted to leave the memories of her mother and the war behind. She decided to move on.

The Summer of Beautiful White Horse (Snapshot)

The Summer of the Beautiful White Horse

-William Saroyan

Question Bank:

Short Answer Questions:-

1. Why was it difficult for Aram to believe the sight of his cousin Mourad with the beautiful white horse?

Ans: When Aram looked through the window, he saw his cousin Mourad with a beautiful white horse and it was a sight which was very difficult for him to believe for two reasons:

First, the whole of the Garoghlonian family to which the two boys belonged were extremely poor and therefore it was not possible for Mourad to buy that horse. Secondly, in that case, it would mean that Mourad had stolen that horse. But that was also not possible, because the Garoghlonian family was also very much famous for their honesty and therefore Mourad could not steal that horse either.

2. Where had Mourad been hiding the horse?

Answer: Mourad had been hiding the horse in the barn of a deserted vineyard which was owned by a farmer named Fetvajian.

3. What did the farmer John Byro tell the two boys when one day they accidentally met him with his horse in their custody?

Answer: The farmer examined the horse when one morning he found it with the two boys and he told them that he could swear that the horse was his very horse which had been stolen from him many weeks before if he did not know about their parents. He added that the fame of their

family for honesty was very well known to him and therefore he liked to say that the horse could be the twin of his stolen horse.

4. What did John Byro tell Aram’s mother and Uncle Khosrove when he got his horse back?

Answer: After John Byro got his horse back mysteriously one day, he came to Aram’s house and told Aram’s mother and Uncle Khosrove that he did not know what to think about the whole matter. It was because the horse was stronger that ever and was better tempered too and therefore he thanked God.

5. What were the two things for which the Garoghlonian family was famous?

Answer: The Garoghlonian family was famous for the following two things:

1. Their poverty

2. Their honesty

6. What points were put forward by Aram in defense of Mourad’s act of stealing the horse?

Answer: Aram argued to himself that stealing a horse for a ride was not the same thing as stealing something else, such as money. And then he went a little ahead by saying that if one was so much crazy about horses the way Mourad and he himself were, it was not stealing at all. It would

not become stealing until they offered to sell the horse and he was sure that last thing they would never be doing.

7. Which excuses were given by Aram to himself for taking a ride on the horse despite knowing fully the truth about the theft of the horse by Mourad?

Ans: Aram dismissed stealing a horse as much grave a crime as stealing money. Secondly, he believed that if it was something like a horse for which both he and his cousin were crazy then it couldn’t be stealing.

Additionally, it was not going to become stealing until they offered to sell the horse.

8. Why was Aram unwilling to return the horse so soon?

Ans: Aram was crazy for horse and he wanted to learn horse riding at all costs. The horse would not let him to ride over it and hence he was unwilling to return the horse at least till he would learn to ride it.

  1. Did the boys return the horse because they were conscience-stricken or because they were afraid?

    Ans: The most beautiful essence of this story is the fact that the boys were very innocent and meant no harm to anyone. They were just dreamy and wished to ride a horse. It pricked their conscience when they saw the clean heart of the farmer, John Byro, who didn’t suspect them even for once for stealing the horse. They were not afraid but were guilt-stricken when they met a pure-hearted soul like John, who couldn’t even think of people of their clan stealing, even after he said it was confirmed that the horse resembled his, just like twins. The children might have also been afraid of ruining the prestige and honour of their families.

  2. When he met Mourad and Aram on the road, John Byro inspected the white horse. Why did he not take this horse from Mourad and Aram? Do you think he knew that it was his horse? Explain.

    Ans: John Byro knew that it was his horse because as he inspected the horse’s teeth, it matched the teeth of the lost horse. But, he did not accuse the boys because he did not want to humiliate them and the tribe. Another thing is that he knew how ‘honesty’ matters for the family.

  3. This was that part that wouldn’t permit me to believe what saw”. What part does the narrator mean?

    Ans: Aram refers to their poverty. They lived in extreme poverty and it was difficult to understand how they got food to satisfy their hunger. He frankly admits that every branch of the family was living in the most amazing and comical poverty in the world.

  4. How did Aram define stealing when he had to decide whether or not to ride the horse?

    Ans: It seemed to him that stealing a horse for a ride was not the same thing as stealing something else such as money. Since he and Mourad were quite crazy about horses it wasn’t stealing. He convinced himself with the thought that it would become stealing only when they offered to sell it.

  1. What were the peculiarities in uncle?

    Ans: Uncle Khosrove’s crazy streak was famous. He was a big man with a powerful head of black hair and very large moustache. He was quite furious in temper, very irritable and impatient. He would stop anyone from talking by roaring his pet phrase. “It is no harm; pay no attention to it”.

  2. What do you think induced the voice to return the horse to its owner?

    Ans: The boys were impressed by John Byro’s attitude towards their parents and families. He knew their parents very well and so believed whatever the boys said. Secondly the fame of their family for honesty was well-known to him. The boys returned the horse to him for the sake of family’s pride and dignity. Their conscience did not allow them to keep the horse any longer. They were afraid to lose a family reputation which was known for honesty and integrity.

  3. Do you think John Byro recognized his horse? Why did he not accuse the boys of stealing the horse?

    Ans: Yes, John Byro did recognize his horse. He examined his teeth and knew for sure that the horse was his own. He did not accuse the boys and indirectly told them that it was wrong to steal. He talked about the family’s reputation for honesty and said that he would never suspect them of stealing.

  4. Why did John Byro visit Aram‟s house in his surrey after getting his horse back?

    Ans: John Byro visited Aram‟s house in his surrey to show that the stolen horse had been returned. He just wanted to tell them the horse was stronger and better tempered now.

  1. Describe Mourad’s parting from the beautiful white horse?

    Ans: Mourad looked at the horse for some time as he had grown fond of him. When he had gone to return it, in John Byro‟s vineyard, he had tried to put his arms around his neck, pressed his nose into the horse‟s nose and patted him. The horse was stronger now and better behaved after being with Mourad for some days.

  2. Describe the incident which confirms that narrator’s Uncle Khosrove indeed was crazy?

    Ans: One day Uncle Khosrove was having the moustache trimmed at barber’s shop. His son Aram came running to him to tell him that their house was on fire. Khosrove roared at him saying “It is no harm; pay no attention to it.” The barber repeated what the boy had said. Khosrove roared again, “Enough, it is no harm I say.”

  3. Describe narrator’s experience when he rode white horse alone?

    Ans: The narrator had a frightful experience when he rode the horse alone. He leapt to the back of the horse but he did not move, As advised by Mourad, he kicked into the muscles of the horse. It reared and snorted. Then it began to run. It ran down the road to a vineyard and begin to leap over the vines. As it leapt over the seventh vine the narrator fell. The horse continued running.

  4. Give a brief account of Mourad’s joy ride?

    Ans: Mourad kicked his heels into the horse and shouted, “Vazire, run!” The horse stood on its hind legs, snorted and ran forward at full speed. Mourad raced the horse across the field of dry grass to an irrigation ditch. He crossed the ditch on the horse. When he returned five minutes later he was dripping wet.

  5. How did Mourad tend the young robin with a hurt wing? What aspect of his character is revealed in this incident?

    Ans: Mourad repaired the hurt wing of the young robin and threw the bird into the air. After a few unsuccessful attempts, the robin flew away. This incidents shows that Mourad was a great lover of birds and animals. He was a kind hearted boy.

Long Answer Questions:-

1. Why did the two boys ultimately return the horse all of a sudden although they had planned to keep it at least for six months?

Answer: Although the two boys had planned to keep the horse for at least six months, they returned it all of a sudden the morning after they accidentally met the farmer John Byro from whom Mourad had stolen the horse. The farmer examined the horse and told them that he could swear

that the horse was his very horse which had been stolen from him many weeks before if he did not know about their parents. He added that the fame of their family for honesty was very well known to him and therefore he liked to say that the horse could be the twin of his stolen horse. What John Byro told them served as an eye opener for the two boys especially Mourad and they became conscious how precious and strong their family’s fame for honesty was and therefore they did not

want to tarnish that name and prestige and immediately returned the horse.

2. Mourad was the natural descendant of the crazy streak of uncle Khosrove. Explain the statement giving instances from the story, ‘The Summer of the Beautiful White Horse’?

Ans: Uncle Khosrove was considered in the Garoghlanian tribe as one of the craziest persons. It was also believed that the tribe that Mourad was the natural descendant of the crazy streak in their tribe. Uncle Khosrove’s craziness was out of the world. He had the largest moustache in the surrounding. His talk was not less than roaring, which was but natural for him. Once when his son came running to tell him about his house on fire, he simply said, ‘It is no harm; pay no attention to it’. The barber who reminded him that it was his own house also got rebukes. Khosrove also

asked John Byro not to worry about the horse or the loss of money or even for his paining legs and answered in the same way.

Mourad was considered the natural descendant of this man though not a biological descendant mainly because of the crazy acts he was involved in. The act of stealing a horse because he was crazy about it is an example to prove the same. Like the punch line of uncle khosrove i.e. ‘It is no

harm; pay no attention to it’ Mourad used to say that he had a way with the things, animals and even people. Thus Mourad said that he had a way with the horse, with the dogs and with the farmers too.

3. Discuss the charactersketch of Mourad?

Ans: Mourad, the central character in the story „The Summer of the Beautiful White Horse is depicted as a young boy, who enjoyed being alive and having fun. He had a crazy streak in him which he had inherited from his family. He belonged to a tribe that was poor, had no money and lived in an acute form of poverty. As a young lad he upheld the family customs and traditions. He believed in all the values that his tribe and family had tried to inculcate in him. He could not resist the temptation to ride a horse and stole a horse from John Byro, hid it and then went for horse riding early in the morning at 4:00 am along with his nine year old cousin Aram. He justified his act by saying that it wasn’t stealing because they had no intention of selling it for money.

Mourad was crazy and fun loving. While riding the horse, he sang loudly and joyfully. He was confident about his riding abilities and said that he had a way with a horse. It was only when John Byro touched his conscience when he declared that if he had not trusted the honesty of their tribe, he would have sworn that the horse belonged to him. Mourad realised his mistake. His conscience pricked him and he returned the horse. The fun loving boy had had his fun and then his honesty urged him to uphold his family values and traditions.

Value based question:

  1. Listening to the conscience helps one to do the right. Give your own view in context to the chapter, “Summer of the Beautiful White Horse’.

    Ans: Listening to the conscience undoubtedly helps one to do the right things, as we have seen in the chapter. Mourad stole the horse of John Byro just for the sake of riding it, he believed t that he did not have the intention of keeping it. After many days John Byro discovers his horse but keeping in view the reputation of the family he agreed that the horse was not his. It was the twin of his horse. This evokes the conscience of Mourad and he with his cousin Aram went and kept the horse from where it was taken. The voice of the conscience never motivates anyone to do wrong, therefore before doing anything if we listen to our conscience we will never do the wrong.

Chapter-5 …Indigo (Flamingo)


Key Points:

  • Raj Kumar Shukla, a representative of the Champaran peasants, meets Gandhi ji in Lucknow seeking his help.

  • He requests Gandhi ji to come with him to Champaran to help and fight for the poor peasants who had been cheated by the rich landlords there.
  • After an initial refusal, Gandhi agrees to go with Mr. Shukla.
  • Via Kolkata, Patna and Muzzafarpur, Gandhi ji and Shukla reach Motihari and finally Champaran.
  • Here Gandhi ji is received by the peasants but the Indian advocates discourage Gandhi ji from taking up the case.
  • Against the tastes of the advocates, Gandhi ji (himself an advocate) takes up the case and resolves to fight against the landlords.
  • The British authorities and police Commissioner discourage and bully Gandhi ji but he stays strong.
  • For stirring men and women into violence, Gandhi ji is arrested and tried in the Motihari Court.
  • Thousands of peasants surround the court to support Gandhi ji and the authorities are held spellbound at Gandhi ji’s knowledge in law and his boldness.
  • The court dissolves all charges against Gandhi ji and this opens a new door of action.
  • Gandhi ji and his followers gather evidences against the landlords and the Lieutenant General agrees to compensate the peasants.
  • Thinking Gandhi ji would not agree to a settlement as low as 25%, the landlords agree to compensate with the return of 25% of the amount the peasants had paid earlier.
  • Gandhi ji agrees with the agreement against all disapproval and the three hundred old share cropping crisis comes to an end.


  1. Why is Rajkumar Shukla described as being ‘resolute’? (IMP)

    Ans-Rajkumar Shukla is being described as being ‘resolute’ because he was fully determined to take Gandhi to Bihar. Being an illiterate and poor share-cropper from Champaran, he had come to apprise and complain Gandhi about the injustice of the landlord system in Bihar. He met Gandhi in the Lucknow session of the Congress. He was too committed to accompany Gandhi everywhere. Gandhi was very much impressed by his tenacity and fixed time for Calcutta. Months passed in waiting. Shukla was sitting at the haunches at the fixed place in Calcutta, till Gandhi was free. Finally both boarded a train to Patna.

  2. Why do you think the servants thought Gandhi to be another peasant?

    Ans- From Calcutta both, Gandhi and Rajkumar Shukla reached the city of Patna. He led Gandhi to a house of a lawyer, Rajendra Prasad. He was out of town. His servant knew Shukla as a poor sharecropper from Champaran who troubled Prasad to take up the case of indigo. Gandhi went there with Shukla for the first time. So they took him to be another peasant. The servant allowed both of them to stay on the ground.

  3. List the places that Gandhi visited between his first meeting with Shukla and his arrival at Champaran? (IMP)

    Ans- Shukla called on Gandhi at Lucknow. Then Gandhi had an appointment in Kanpur and was committed to go to the other parts of India. When Gandhi returned to his ashram in Sevagram at Ahmedabad, Shukla followed him. Then, Gandhi went to Calcutta. Shukla was sitting on his hunches at the appointed date. When Gandhi was free, both boarded a train to the city of Patna in Bihar. Then Gandhi went to Muzzafarpur enroute to Champaran. From there he went to Motihari and the nearby village. Finally he returned to Champaran.

  4. What did the peasants pay the British landlords as rent? What did the British now want instead and why? What would be the impact of synthetic indigo on the prices of natural indigo? (V.V. IMP)

    Ans- The peasants planted indigo on 15 percent of their holdings. The entire indigo harvest was to be paid as rent to the British landlords. In the meanwhile, the British landlords learnt that Germany had developed synthetic indigo. So they obtained agreement from the sharecroppers to pay them the compensation for the 15 percent arrangement. It was because the price of indigo would fall with the arrival of synthetic indigo. It will diminish or block the demand of the indigo.

  5. Why did Gandhi agree to a settlement of a 25 percent refund to the farmers? (M.IMP)

    Ans-The official inquiry commission agreed, in principle to make refunds of the money illegally extorted from the sharecroppers. The landlords feared that Gandhi would demand the refund of the full money. But to their amazement, he demanded only 50 percent. He remained firm on his stand. Then the representatives of the big planters offered to pay 25 percent to which Gandhi agreed breaking the deadlock.

    Gandhi explained that the amount of the refund was less important. More important to him was that the landlords were confronted to surrender part of the money and with it the part of indigo-their prestige. The peasants realised their rights and it boosted their courage.

  6. How did the episode change the plight of the peasants? (V.IMP)

    Ans-Till the agreement the British planters were behaving like lords above law. They were deceitfully and illegally extorting money from the planters. With the settlement they were obliged to surrender part of the money and part of the indigo prestige. By now the peasants gained courage and confidence. They knew their rights. By and by the British planters left their estates and the share cropping disappeared.

  7. Why do you think Gandhi considered the Champaran episode to be a turning point in his life? (M.IMP)

    Ans-The Champaran episode proved to be a turning point in the life of Gandhi. It was Rajkumar Shukla who apprised Gandhi about the injustice done to sharecroppers by the landlords in Bihar. He took Gandhi to Champaran and there he took the whole stock of the situation. He knew the atrocities of the landlord and the sharecroppers were to plant 15 percent of their holding with indigo and surrender the entire harvest to them as rent. They behaved as landlords beyond law. In a way it was a long term contract. Gandhi took up the case of the poor peasants and he fought against the cruel injustice of the landlord. In the meantime, Germany had developed synthetic indigo. Thus the price of the natural indigo would fall in the market sharply. The landlords had obtained agreements from the sharecroppers to pay compensation. Some signed while others engaged lawyers. At that time Gandhi was in Champaran collecting facts about it. It was reported to him that a peasant had been maltreated.

    Immediately Gandhi proceeded to investigate the facts but an official notice ordered him to quit Champaran immediately. Gandhi received it but wrote to disobey. In the morning Motihari became black with peasants. They demonstrated and the government baffled. The officials became powerless without his cooperation. He helped them to regulate the crowd. He told the court that it was a conflict of duties on one hand and on the other hand he had come to serve the peasants on humanitarian and national grounds. As a result of this, an official commission was set up that declared to refund the money to the share-croppers. As per agreement 25 percent of the money was paid to the share-croppers. This movement encouraged Indian peasants to know their rights. He made the Britishers realise that the Indians are self reliant and the foreigners cannot order them on their land. The Champaran episode gave Gandhi self confidence, direction and an impetus to launch freedom movement throughout India. Thus the Champaran episode was a turning point in his life as well in India.

  8. How was Gandhi able to influence lawyers? Give instances.(M.IMP)

    Ans-On his way to Champaran Gandhi ji stopped at Muzzafarpur to obtain more information about the atrocities done to the share-croppers. There the lawyers called on Gandhi to brief him since they represented the peasant groups in the courts. They charged high fees for these cases. Gandhi ji scolded them for this and advocated that it was useless to go to the law courts where the peasants were much fear-stricken.

    When Gandhi ji received summons to appear in the court, he telegraphed Rajendra Prasad to come with some influential people from Bihar. Thousands of peasants gathered round the court house. Many prominent lawyers arrived and they conferred with him. Gandhi ji asked him if he was sentenced to prison, what would they do? The senior lawyers replied that they had come to advice and help him. In case Gandhi ji was sent to jail there would be none to advice them. Side by side they thought Gandhi ji was a total stranger and yet he was ready for the prison for the peasants. They thought that it would be a shameful abandonment for them. Then they all collected around Gandhi ji and requested that they would follow him to jail. Gandhi ji said that the battle of Champaran is won. This is how Gandhi ji influenced the lawyers.

  9. What was the attitude of the average Indian in smaller localities towards advocates of home ‘rule’? (V.IMP)

    Ans-In the year 1917 the movement of freedom struggle was on its footing. The advocates of home rule were going throughout the country to encourage the common man to participate in it.

    The peasants were living miserable lives due to the atrocities of the landlords. Rajkumar Shukla brought Gandhi ji to Champaran and he himself investigated the cases of misdeeds. He felt that the peasants were terror stricken and exploited. The average Indian was indifferent to show sympathy to the advocates of the home rule. In order to collect more information and true picture about the sharecroppers, Gandhi sent a telegram to prof. J.B.Kriplani. He came there at the station with a large body of students. For two days Gandhi stayed at the house of prof. Malkani. Gandhi praised the courage shown by these people. In those days it was quite an extraordinary thing and courageous act to give shelter to a man like Gandhi. The average Indians were afraid of mixing with such courageous people who were the advocates of ‘home rule.’ They preferred to remain aloof from such things.

  10. How do we know that ordinary people too contribute to the freedom movement? (V.IMP)

    Ans-For the success of any movement, cooperation and participation of all and sundry is a must. They make the movement not only a success but also lead to a pinnacle. When Gandhi ji arrived at Muzzafarpur, the multitude of peasants blackened Motihari. They knew that the mahatma who wanted to help them was in trouble with the authorities. It was the first kind of spontaneous demonstration of Indians against the Britishers. Seeing the situation beyond control, they sought his help to regulate the unprecedented crowd. The government was baffled. It had such an impact on the government that the civil disobedience won for the first time in 1917 in modern India.

    Side by side the government had to appoint an official enquiry commission to find out the atrocities committed over the peasants. As a result the owners had to refund the money. This opened the eyes of all. People from every nook and corner of India participated in the freedom movement. Women too gave up their homely comforts and worked with their leader. There were mass movements like freedom struggle, salt movement, Quit India movement, civil disobedience, satyagraha and the boycott of foreign goods etc. Ordinary people were there at the back and call of their leader. Consequently India became free on 15th August 1947.

  11. ‘‘Freedom from fear is more important than legal justice for the poor.’’ Do you think that the poor of India are free from fear after independence?

    Ans-Yes it is said that freedom from fear is more important than legal justice for the poor. It is because of fear that everyone develops an apprehension of something going enormously wrong and dangerous or even fatal. The fear of any kind, harasses the people and mars his capabilities, energies, powers, happiness and even the peace of mind.

    In this lesson,one can note that the poor peasants were much afraid of the landlords. Even the lawyers were charging high fees for the cases. Gandhi chided them for charging high fees even for the sharecroppers. He advised that it was useless to go to the courts because the peasants were crushed and they were fear stricken. In his campaign for the sharecroppers Gandhi was forced to leave Champaran immediately. The peasants came to know and they blackened the town of Motihari. The officials battled and sought Gandhi ji’s cooperation. An official enquiry commission was set up. It ordered the landlords to refund the amounts to the peasants. Consequently they learnt courage and realised their rights. It shows that freedom from fear is more important than legal justice.

    After independence one can see that the poor are not free except some cases of schedule castes, backward castes and scheduled tribes. There are other poor people in India. They hardly keep their body and soul together. They pass their nights on the open footpaths and go without food. Small children and workers are exploited by the industrialists. They work in horrible conditions devoid of any security and safety. They are beaten and thrown in dingy cells. In reality the present India is ruled by the rich, crooked politicians and dons of the underworld.

    Examination Based Questions:

  12. Mention the facts that compelled Gandhi to decide to urge the departure of the Britishers from India?


Why did Gandhi go to Lucknow in December 1916? Who met him there and why?

Ans- The author visited the ashram of Gandhi in Sevagram in 1942. The latter explained to him that in 1917 it came to his mind to urge the departure of the Britishers. In Dec 1916, Gandhi had gone to attend the national convention of the Indian national congress in Lucknow. There came Rajkumar Shukla a poor sharecropper from Champaran to complain Gandhi about the injustice of the landlords in Bihar. At his vehement insistence, Gandhi went there and saw the poor peasants in pitiable and terrified conditions. This episode made home in Gandhi and he decided that the British must quit India.

  1. What did the poor peasant do to take Gandhi to Champaran?


    Why did Rajkumar Shukla go to meet Gandhi?


Why did Gandhi accompany Shukla in a train to Patna?


How did Shukla succeed in persuading Gandhi ji to visit Champaran?

Ans-Rajkumar Shukla apprised Gandhi in Lucknow convention about the atrocities done to the poor peasants in Champaran by the English indigo planters. He urged Gandhi to accompany but Gandhi had so many other engagements for the other parts of India. Being a resolute man, Shukla followed Gandhi everywhere. Then Gandhi asked him to see him in Calcutta. Months passed, Shukla was sitting on his haunches at the appointed spot in Calcutta till he was free. His determination impressed him very much. Consequently, both boarded a train to Patna in Bihar.

  1. How did the servants of Prasad conduct with Gandhi?


    What happened when Rajkumar Shukla took Gandhi at the house of Rajendra Prasad in Patna? (IMP)

    Ans- Shukla used to see Rajendra Prasad about the cases of the share-croppers. So they knew him very well. Now Shukla was accompanying Gandhi. They took him to be another peasant. So they allowed both to stay on the ground. They even forbade Gandhi to draw water from the well lest some drops from his bucket should pollute the entire source.

  2. Why did Shukla beg Gandhi to fix a date?


    Why did Rajkumar Shukla want to take Gandhi to Champaran?

    Ans-Rajkumar Shukla went to see Gandhi in the annual convention of the Indian national congress. There he told Gandhi about the cruelties done over the peasants. He urged him that he had come to take him to Champaran so that he might see everything himself and keep the troubled peasants. Gandhi told him that he had to go to kanpur and other parts of India. Then Gandhi returned to his ashram near Ahmedabad. Shukla followed him everywhere. After weeks at ashram, he begged to fix a date at Champaran.

  3. Instead of going to Champaran, Gandhi went to Muzzafarpur. Give a valid reason.


    Why did Gandhi decide to go to Muzzafarpur and where did he stay there?

    Ans- Shukla had already poured information about the troubles of the poor peasants. But Gandhi wanted to obtain more information about conditions than Shukla was able of imparting. So he sent a telegram to prof. J.B. Kripalani. He came at the station with his students. Gandhi stayed for two days at the house of prof. Malkani. Muzzafarpur lawyers too called on Gandhi to brief him.

  4. Why was it troublesome to harbour Gandhi at the home of a government servant those days? (M.IMP)

    Ans-People of smaller localities and government servants were afraid to give shelter to people like Gandhi, Patel, Tilak and Maulana Azad. They were fighting for home rule and the British police was after them. Those who harboured them were tortured. So people were afraid and the government people had the fear of losing job also.

  5. Why did Gandhi conclude that the lawyers should stop going to the court? (IMP)


    Why Gandhi had to chide the lawyers of Muzzafarpur?


Write down Gandhi’s advice to the lawyers of Muzzafarpur.

Ans-During his stay at Muzzafarpur, the lawyers briefed Gandhi about the cases of poor peasants. They told about the cases and the size of fee. Gandhi chided them for collecting big fees from the share-croppers. He advised them to stop going to the law courts. He pointed out that the peasants were poor and fear-stricken. It was urgent to make them free from fear.

  1. Write down the long term agreement between the landlords and the peasants?

    Ans-Most of the arable land was owned by the Englishmen and the Indian peasants grew Indigo by planting 15 percent of their land. They had to surrender the entire harvest to the landlords as rent. It was a long term contract to overpower the peasants. It was irksome in nature as well.

  2. How did the development of German synthetic indigo became a source of great trouble in Champaran? (V.V.IMP)

    Ans-The British planters learnt of the synthetic indigo prepared in Germany. It was cheaper than the natural indigo. It would reflect upon their income and sale. Being unprofitable, the landlords wanted to free the peasants from the 15 percent agreement. For this they demanded compensation.

    Some signed willingly. Those who opposed, engaged lawyers and the planters hired thugs. The illegal and deceitful collection of money started the trouble. Some demanded their paid money back.

  3. Why was Gandhi asked to leave the Champaran headquarters immediately? (IMP)


    How did the Britishers and the other officials treat Gandhi during his investigations? (IMP)

    Ans-During investigations, Gandhi tried to collect facts from the secretary of the British Landlord’s association. He treated him an outsider and refused to give him any information. Secondly, the British official commissioner instead of giving any information, bullied Gandhi and advised him to leave Tirhut, the Champaran headquarter at once. But a police messenger took Gandhi back and issued him a court notice.

  4. How did the peasants react on hearing that Gandhi was in trouble with the authorities? (IMP)


    How did the mahatma helped the authorities?

    Ans- When the Champaran peasants heard that a mahatma who wanted to help them,was in trouble with the authorities; by next morning the town of Motihari was black with the peasants. They demonstrated around the court house. The government baffled and the officials felt powerless without the cooperation of Gandhi. Gandhi helped them to regulate the crowd. Gandhi gave a concrete proof about the might of the British.

  5. Why did Gandhi give a statement pleading himself guilty?

    Ans-The crowd at the Motihari court house compelled the prosecution to postpone the trial. The magistrate did so but Gandhi protested against the delay. He read statement pleading himself guilty and asked the penalty due. He was not willing to get a bad example of law breaker. He worked according to the voice of his conscience. He told that he had come to render the humanitarian and national service.

  6. Why was Gandhi allowed to remain at liberty by the magistrate?


    Write down the proceedings at Motihari court.

    Ans-The government was baffled and the officials became helpless at the demonstration of the peasants outside the courthouse. The judge was requested to postpone the trial. The pressure of the people of mounting on the government. In order to aggravate the situation, the judge did not deliver his judgement for several days. Rather he allowed Gandhi to remain free.

  7. What was the result of Gandhi’s conference with the influential people? (V.IMP)


    When did Gandhi say ‘‘The battle of Champaran is won.’’? (V.V.IMP)


How was Gandhi able to influence the lawyers?

Ans-Initially all the lawyers concluded if Gandhi was sent to jail, they would have none to help and advise for which they came. In that case they would go back home. But Gandhi asked what would happen to the injustice done to the sharecroppers. Then they realised if stranger Gandhi was ready to go to jail against the injustice to the peasants, they could not bear going away. They told Gandhi they were all prepared to court arrest if he was sent to jail. Gandhi said ‘‘The battle of Champaran is won.’’

  1. How did Civil disobedience triumph the first time in modern India? (V.V.IMP)

    Ans-In Motihari court trial, the magistrate said he would not deliver the judgement for several days. Gandhi was allowed to remain free. But several days later the written communication from the magistrate informed Gandhi that the lieutenant governor of the province had ordered the case to be dropped. Thus the civil disobedience had triumphed, the first time in modern India.

  2. What was the findings of the official commission of enquiry? (M.IMP)

    Ans-The official commission of enquiry found a crushing mountain of evidence against the big planters. It proved their atrocities and found that they had collected illegal and deceitful rent money from the sharecropper peasants. The settlement was unanimously adopted to refund the money collected.

  3. What did Gandhi do to do away with the cultural and social backwardness in the Champaran village? (V.IMP)

    Ans-To do away with the social and cultural backwardness, Gandhi appealed for teachers. The two new, young disciples Mahadev Desai and Narhari Parikh with their wives volunteered for the work; several more from Bombay, Poona and other distant places joined. Devdas and his mother Kasturbai Person also joined. She taught the rules of cleanliness and community sanitation.

  4. What was done to improve the miserable health condition? (M.IMP)

    Ans-A doctor volunteered his services for six months. There were three medicines available castor oil, quinine and sulphur ointment. Person with coated tongue were given a dose of castor oil. Those with malaria fever got quinine plus castor oil. Others with skin eruptions got ointment plus castor oil. Mrs. Gandhi taught women individuals general cleanliness.

  5. How did Gandhi say Champaran didn’t begin as an act of disobedience?


    What was the Gandhi’s typical pattern of working?

    Ans- Gandhi told disobedience grew out of the efforts to relieve from distress the large number of poor peasants. His politics was mixed with the day today practical problems of the millions of people. His loyalty was not to separation but to living human beings.

  6. Who was Charles Freer Andrews? Why did Gandhi oppose his help in the Champaran battle for peasants? (M.IMP)


    How did Gandhi convince the lawyers about Charles Freer Andrews?

    Ans- In early Champaran action, Charles Freer Andrews, the English pacifist became a devoted follower of Gandhi. Before going to a tour to duty to Fizi island he came to bid Gandhi farewell. Gandhi’s lawyer friend wanted him to stay and help them. Gandhi strongly opposed them. If they get an Englishman on their side, it would show the weakness of their heart. They must rely on themselves to win the battle.

  7. How did we know that ordinary people also contributed to the freedom movement?

    Ans-The success of the battle of Champaran, paved the path of the Indians to participate in the freedom movement. Women gave up their homely comforts and worked with their leader. There were mass movements like freedom struggle, salt movement, Quit India movement and satyagraha. There came ordinary people at the back and call of Gandhi.


  8. How did Champaran episode prove to be a turning point in Gandhi ji’s life? Explain with reference to the text ‘Indigo.’
    Ans-One Rajkumar Shukla from Champaran, on the annual meeting of Indian national congress apprised Gandhi about the appaling conditions of the share-croppers there. Gandhi ji reached there and came to know that the large estates were owned by the Englishmen and the Indians worked as their tenant farmers and they had to pay 15% of their land. After the investigations by Gandhi and the lawyers into the grievances of the farmers, it was decided by the Britishers that 25% of the money would be refunded. The farmers learnt that they had their rights and they became courageous. Within a few years the landlords relinquished their claims over the estates and the farmers became the owners.

    Gandhi saw their social, economic and cultural backwardness of the area. He appointed volunteers to teach the villagers. Kasturba Gandhi taught the rules of personal cleanliness and community sanitation. He got a doctor to volunteer his services for six months to improve the conditions of the people. They realised the value of self reliance. The lawyers helped the peasants in their cases. Women gave Gandhi whole hearted support and the countrymen, embarked in the national freedom movement. It became a turning point in the life of Gandhi ji.

  9. Describe Gandhi ji’s important journey to the Champaran district of Bihar.

    Ans-As per fixed schedule, Gandhi ji and Rajkumar Shukla booked seats in a train for Patna from Calcutta. At Patna, both went to the house of Rajendra Prasad who was out of town at that time. Since the servants of Prasad did not recognise Gandhi, they thought him as another farmer. So they were allowed to stay on the ground. Even the water was not allowed to be drawn lest it should get polluted.

    In order to get collect and more information, Gandhi moved to Muzzafarpur from Champaran. Prof. J. B. Kriplani of the arts college along with his innumerable students received Gandhi at the railway station. For two days he stayed at the house of Prof. Malkani who was a government servant. The lawyers from Muzzafarpur briefed Gandhi ji about the loses and the atrocities of the share-croppers. The peasants too started crowding there. The secretary of the British landowners refused to divulge any information. The official commissioner of Tirbut division noticed Gandhi ji and ordered him to leave Champaran at once. Instead of leaving, Gandhi ji went to Motihari along with the lawyers. There he made his headquarters and started with his investigations.

  10. How did Gandhi ji make the peasants of Champaran free from the fear of Britishers?(IMP)

    Ans-During the stay at Muzzafarpur Gandhi ji found the sharecroppers crushed and fear stricken since fear and oppression are our two greatest enemies. The sharecropping agreement was irksome to them even some many of the peasants had signed willingly. There were others who had signed lawyers. But the britishers were very cunning. They had taken the help of ‘thugs’ and were subjecting the peasants to torture in every possible way. Fear was rampant in the minds of common men. In smaller localities the Indians were afraid to show sympathy for the advocates of Home rule. When the peasants knew about Gandhi ji, they reached Muzzafarpur. Gandhi ji was ordered to appear in the Motihari court on the following morning.

    People knew that Gandhi ji was in trouble with the authorities. So they reached Motihari in the morning and surrounded the court. The government was baffled and the officials had to seek the help of Gandhi ji to regulate the crowd. Gandhi ji provided ample proofs that their powers could now be challenged by the Indians. It was the starting of the peasants liberation from fear of the British. It showed miraculous results. The British landlords had to refund their part of money along with their indigo prestige. The Britishers left their estates and the peasants became owners of their land.

  11. ‘‘The battle of Champaran is won’’ Gandhi ji exclaimed. Elucidate. (M.IMP)


    Describe the trial of Gandhi in the Motihari court during his stay at Champaran.

    Ans-After his arrival at Motihari, Gandhi ji used a house as the headquarters so that he can have complete investigation for the share-croppers. At that time there came a report about maltreating of a peasant. Next morning Gandhi ji went to see him but he was overtaken by the police superintendent’s messenger with an order to return back. When he reached home Gandhi ji was asked to reach Champaran at once. Gandhi ji signed the order but wrote to disobey the order.

    Next day Gandhi ji appeared in the court. That night Gandhi ji telegraphed Rajendra Prasad to come with some influential friends. When the peasants knew that Gandhi ji was in trouble with the authorities, the court ground of Motihari became black. With peasants. The officials felt powerless and sought his help. The trial was postponed but Gandhi ji protested the delay. In between he was left at liberty. Now Gandhi ji asked the prominent lawyers what they would do in case he was sent to jail. They said that they would follow Gandhi ji and give the court arrest. Gandhi ji exclaimed:’’The battle of Champaran is won.’’

  12. What were the steps taken by Gandhi ji to solve the problems of social and cultural backwardness in the villages of Champaran? (EXPECTED)

    Ans-Whenever Gandhi ji had conflict of duties, he preferred to render the greater humanitarian and national service. He showed loyalty to the human beings and obeyed the voice of his conscience. He told to mould the Indians tomake India free and self reliant. While his movement in Champaran, Gandhi ji saw cultural and social backwardness there. He was troubled to see the miserable conditions of the villagers. Consequently he made an appeal to the teachers to teach the masses. Two young pupils volunteered for this noble cause. Several more teachers came and schools were opened in six villages.

    In addition to this, Kasturba Gandhi taught cleanliness and community sanitation. To bring improvement in their health, services of a doctor were taken. Kasturba even talked the women to get rid of the filthy state of clothes. But Gandhi ji kept a watch on the ashram about financial accounts. The champaran episode of Gandhi ji to alleviate the distress of the people. He taught them to be self reliant.

  13. Why was the official enquiry commission appointed? What did the findings of the commission reveal? What was its impact on the British planters? (V.V.IMP)


    What were the findings and the results of the official enquiry commission? (M.IMP)


Sir Edward Gait, the lieutenant governor appointed an official commission of enquiry into the indigo sharecroppers’ situation. What changes did it cause in their situation? Describe. (V.V.IMP)

Ans-Sir Edward Gait, the lieutenant appointed a commission of enquiry to give details about the indigo sharecroppers situation. It consisted of (a) landlords (b) government officials and (c) Gandhi as the sole representative of the peasants. The official enquiry collected very crushing proofs against the big planters. They all agreed in principle to make refunds to the peasants. ‘But how much should we pay?’ They asked Gandhi. He asked only 50 percent. Thinking probably that he would not change his stand, they offered to refund to the extend of 25 percent. To his surprise Mr. Gandhi took him at his word breaking the deadlock.

He explained to the peasants that the amount of the rent was less important. More important was that the landlords had been obliged to surrender part of the money and with it part of indigo- their prestige. Till today the big planters behaved like the big planters lords. Now the peasants saw that they had rights and defenders and courage. Within few years the British planters abandoned their estates. The peasants became the owners of the land.

  1. Why did the British planters hire thugs? What did it lead to ultimately? How did Gandhi help the poor peasants of Champaran from exploitation from the landlord? (V.V.IMP)


    Why was the sharecropping arrangement irksome? What was its fate? (V.IMP)

    Ans- Most of the cultivating land of Champaran district was divided into large estates owned by the Englishmen. It was worked by the Indian tenants peasants, for which they paid rent. Indigo was the chief commercial crop. The English planters compelled all peasants to grow indigo in three twentieths or 15 percent of their land holdings. The entire indigo harvest was to be surrendered as rent to the British landowners. The landlords came to know that Germany had developed synthetic indigo. There upon they obtained agreement from the sharecroppers to pay them the compensation. This sharecropping arrangement was irksome to the peasants. Some signed it willingly while others who opposed engaged lawyers. The landowners hired thugs who forcefully collected the compensation amount.

    It was at this point Gandhi ji reached Champaran. Gandhi’s civil disobedience and peasants spontaneous demonstration compelled the lieutenant governor to appoint a commission of enquiry into the sharecroppers’ situation. The official enquiry concluded that the landlords had to refund the part of the money to the peasants. After a few years they abandoned their states. The indigo sharecropping disappeared completely.

  2. What were the steps taken by Gandhi to solve the problem of social and cultural backwardness in the Champaran villages? (V.IMP)


    Why was Gandhi never contented with large political or economic solutions while he was in Champaran district? (M.IMP)

    Ans-Whenever Gandhi ji had ‘conflict of duties’ he always preferred the greater ‘humanitarian and national service.’ In obedience to the higher law of human being, he obeyed the voice of his conscience.

    In everything Gandhi ji tried to mould a new free Indian who could stand on his own feet and thus make India free. He saw the cultural and social backwardness in the Champaran villages. In order to educate them, he made an appeal to the teachers. His two new young pupils Mahadev Desai and Narhari Parikh and their wives offered to work. Several more teachers came from Bombay, Poona and other distant parts of India. His youngest son Devdas and Mrs. Gandhi also came from the ashram.

    Primary schools were started in six villages to teach children. Kasturba taught the ashram rules on personal cleanliness and community sanitation. In order to improve the miserable health conditions, Gandhi got a doctor. He volunteered his services for six months.

    Kasturba talked to the women to get rid of their filthy state of clothes. During his long stay at Champaran Gandhi kept a long distance watch on the ashram’s financial accounts and the general keep-up. He taught people self-reliance and freedom from the fear of the British. Thus, he paved a path for the freedom of India.

The Ailing Planet: The Green Movement Role

The Ailing Planet:The Green Movements Role

Question Bank:

Short Answer Type questions:

1. Locate the lines in the text that support the title ‘The Ailing Planet’.

Ans: The following lines in the text support the title ‘The Ailing Planet’:

  • Are we to leave our successors a scorched Planet of advancing deserts, impoverished landscapes and ailing environment.

  • A three years study using satellites and aerial photography conducted by the United Nations warns that the environment has deteriorated so badly that it is critical in many of the 88 countries investigated.

2. What is the significance of the notice of ‘The World’s most dangerous animal’ at a cage in the zoo at Lusaka, Zambia?

Ans: The notice signifies that there is depletion of resources and deterioration of environment. Man is responsible for this and his own survival is threatened.

3. Why does the author agree that the growth of world population is one of the strongest factors distorting the future of human society?

Ans: The population of India was estimated to be 920 million in 1994. Overpopulation upsets all plans of development and puts a severe strain on the earth’s principal biological systems. This leads to poverty and unemployment and development is hampered.

4. What do you think The causes for endless anguish to common man are:

Ans: The endless anguish is caused to common man, when laws are constituted but are never enforced or respected in our country. Evils like casteism, untouchability, and bonded labour still exist and need to be abolished by strict laws.

5. What are the unusually alarming statistics about the population that the author talks about?

Ans: The author says that the population explosion has distorted the future of human society. Mankind took a million years to reach the first billion. The second billion was added in just another 100 years and the twentieth century has added 3.7 billion more.

The present population is over 5.7 billion. Every four days the population increases by one million.

6. Explain the importance of Green Revolution.

Ans: The Green Revolution is important as the signs of the earth which are connected with life shows the earth as a patient. We have moral obligations. We must become good stewards of the planet and act as responsible trustees of the legacy for future generations.

7. Explain the Concept of sustainable development:

Ans: Sustainable development is that progress which is made to meet the needs of the present and takes care not to endanger the future. This means we must not deprive the world of its resources and protect our endangered species.

8. What do you think is the role of industry in the new era of responsibility?

Ans: Industry is the main source of environmental pollution. In the new era of responsibility, the industrialists must become conscious of their responsibility towards environment. They should remain environmental friendly even when they exist as leading manufacturers.

9. Justify the title of the essay.

Ans: The author has depicted the planet earth as someone who is suffering from a disease. The green movement takes a holistic view of the situation and seeks to maintain and conserve the environment and maintain it.

10. What is the holistic and ecological view of the world that has emerged in recent times?

Ans: The view about the world in the recent times is that it is an organism which has become ailing and needs looking after. It also has metabolic needs and vital processes which have to be nurtured and preserved. We have to save the earth for our successors.

11. Explain the statement ‘forests precede mankind; deserts follow’.

Ans: Forests have helped to nurture mankind from times immemorial but man has destroyed these forests ruthlessly and deserts have taken their place. Man is destroying himself by destroying forests.

12. What is the role of industries in the preservation of environment?

Ans: Industries and industrialists have to exercise control in use of natural resources. The top officials need to become the guardians of our environment if we have to think about our future generations.

13. What are the four principal biological systems that the author refers to?

Ans: The author refers to fisheries, forests, grasslands and croplands as they form the foundation of the global economic system. They provide raw materials for industry.

14. How are the earth’s principal biological systems being depleted?

Ans: Earth’s principal biological systems are being depleted by excessive use. Over fishing is quite common. Forests are being destroyed to obtain firewood for cooking.

Grasslands are turning into deserts and produce from croplands is decreasing.

15. What does more children mean to the poor section of people of India?
Ans: Poverty is directly caused by illiteracy and lack of education. The illiterate and uninformed poor people of India believe that more children is more income. In fact more children means more responsibility and more poverty and an unhealthy family and individual.

16. Why is tropical forest called the powerhouse of evolution?
Ans: It is in the heart of the tropical forests where newer plants and animals evolve to more adaptable forms.

17. How is population responsible for the environment degradation?
Ans: With rising population, space that nature assigned for forests and animals. More population means less forests and animals. Unfortunately man’s first choice is nature and it is sadly vulnerable and an easy prey. When cities and megacities occupy the major portion of the earth, the ecological balance is said to be lost.

18. What does more children mean to the poor section of people of India?
Ans: Poverty is directly caused by illiteracy and lack of education. The illiterate and uninformed poor people of India believe that more children is more income. In fact more children means more responsibility and more poverty and an unhealthy family and individual.

19. Is Indian constitution capable of safeguarding its forests?
Ans: So far, with all the measures adopted, the government has not been able to safeguard its forests effectively. India’s constitution is ostentatiously rich and effective but when it comes to enforcement, it miserably fails or it is not entirely successful.

20. Explain: “What goes under the pot cost more than what goes inside it”?

Ans: Today the situation of earth has become so severe that the cost of the firewood which we burn under the pot costs more than rice and other staple food.

Long Answer type Questions:

21. How has the growth of world population affected the environment? Support your answer with suitable arguments?

Ans: The author Nani Palkhivala enumerates some alarming statistics to suggest how the growth of world population has tremendously affected the environment. The population which took a million years to reach the first billion took just another hundred years to reach the second billion. Another century passed it and reached the alarming figure of 3.7 million. Presently it is over 6 million and there is a huge demand on resources, natural or man made. The resources worldwide are under a lot of stress and pressure. The four principal biological systems i.e. fisheries, forests, grasslands and croplands which form the foundation of the global economic system and provide raw materials to the industry are facing a lot of stress. The human demands on these systems are increasing at a rapid speed. Hence, sustainability and productivity are both hampered. When this happens, fisheries collapse, forests disappear, grasslands become wastelands and croplands deteriorate. The need of the hour is to become sensitive towards the needs of the environment to get affected; we will leave behind nothing but an ailing planet for our future generations.

22. We have not inherited this earth from our forefathers; we have borrowed it from our children. Discuss.

Ans: Earth’s resources are limited and will not last for ever. In the twentieth century, there has been a revolutionary change in human perception. We cannot take the planet for granted. We are mere custodians. We have to take a holistic view of the very basis of our existence. The earth is a living organism of which we are parts. It has its own metabolic needs to stay alive and must be respected and preserved for the future generation. What is required is sustainable development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the destiny of future generation. There are four biological systems, namely fisheries, forests, grasslands and croplands. They form the foundation of the global economic system. They supply us food and raw materials for industry. In larger areas of the world, these systems are reaching unsustainable levels. Their productivity is being damaged. The growth of world population is another factor distorting the future of our children. Development is not possible if population increases. In this era of responsibility towards our future generation, population must be controlled. Industries must become environmental friendly. Now many industrialists, politicians and writers have realized their responsibility in preserving the non renewable natural resources for the future generation.

23. Margaret Thatcher says, “No generation has a freehold on this earth. All we have is a life tenancy – with full repairing lease.” How is this statement significant today?
Ans: Everyone says, “it is my land” and “that is your land.” People fight for other territories and encroach the neighbour’s land. It is here what British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher’s observation gains importance. We are not supposed to occupy the earth considering that the planet belongs to us and that we can exploit the planet any way we like. We, on the contrary, have to extract the resources so careful that the generation that comes after us will have a better land and sea, a less dense forest, cleaner water and clearer sky.

Hornbill (Father To Son)

Father to Son

By Elizabeth Jennings

I do not understand this child
Though we have lived together now
In the same house for years. I know
Nothing of him, so try to build
Up a relationship from how
He was when small. Yet have I killed
The seed I spent or sown it where
The land is his and none of mine?

We speak like strangers, there’s no sign
Of understanding in the air.
This child is built to my design
Yet what he loves I cannot share.
Silence surrounds us. I would have
Him prodigal, returning to
His father’s house, the home he knew,
Rather than see him make and move
His world. I would forgive him too,
Shaping from sorrow anew love.

Father and son, we both must live
On the same globe and the same land.
He speaks: I cannot understand
Myself, why anger grows from grief.
We each put out an empty hand,
Longing for something to forgive.


The father complains that he does not understand his own child. Though they have

lived together for so many years under the same roof. The father tries to build up a relationship with his son from the early years, in a manner when his son began to recognize people around, to crawl and to walk in a desperate attempt. The father wonders whether he has destroyed the seed of his off-spring or sown it where the land belongs to his heir and none is his. Both father and son continue to speak like strangers now and there seem no signs of understanding in the air between the two. In traditional belief, the son is created and born to the likings and designs of his father, yet in this case, the father cannot share what his son loves. Most of the time silence surrounds them. The father’s greatest wish is for his son to be ‘The Prodigal’ son who will very soon return to his father’s house; the home which he always knew. This is definitely the better alternative rather than to see his son move out into the world blindly on his own, by himself and fall into trouble. The father is ready to forgive him at any cost as long as he is able to reshape him up from the long bounded sorrow to a new love. Both father and son all over the world must learn to live on the same globe and on the same land. The father finally admits that there are times that he cannot understand himself or why his anger grows from grief? However they have learnt to put out each other’s empty hand and with each other’s heart that is longing for something to forgive.

Reference to Poem:

Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:

1. I do not understand this child
Though we have lived together now
In the same house for years. I know
Nothing of him, so try to build
Up a relationship from how
He was when small.

Q. Who have lived in the same house? How long?

Ans. The father and the son have lived in the same house for years.

Q. Why does the father say that he knows nothing of him?

Ans. They live like strangers in the same house. Complete silence surrounds them when they are each other’s presence. That’s why he says that he knows nothing of his son.

Q. What kind of relationship does he want to build up?

Ans. He wants to build up the same kind of relationship as he used to have when his son was a little child.

2. Yet have I killed
The seed I spent or sown it where
The land is his and none of mine?
We speak like strangers, there’s no sign
Of understanding in the air.

Q. What does the word ‘seed’ signify?

Ans. The word ‘seed’ here refers to all the hard work the father had to do to bring up the child.

Q. What ‘land’ does the speaker speak of?

Ans. The child’s mind is the land into which the father had tried to sow the seeds of his thoughts.

Q. Why do they speak like strangers?

Ans. They speak like strangers because they have different ways of life and thoughts.

3. This child is built to my design
Yet what he loves I cannot share.
Silence surrounds us.

I would have him prodigal, returning to
His father’s house, the home he knew,
Rather than see him make and move
His world. I would forgive him too,
Shaping from sorrow a new love.

Q. What kind of child had he desired to design?

Ans. He had desired to design a child who shared his likes and dislikes.

Q. Why does the speaker say ‘this child’ not ‘my child’?

Ans. Because the child has nothing common with him.

Q. Explain: ‘Silence surrounds us’.

Ans. There is no communication at all between the father and the son. There is complete silence even when they are near each other.

Q. What does the father want his son to do?

Ans. He wants his son to come back to his father’s home.

Q. What is the father prepared to accept?

Ans. He is prepared to accept his son with all his profligacy.

Q. What does the father not want his son to do?

Ans. The father doesn’t want his son to make a new world of his own and move into it.

Q. What would the father do to shape a new love from sorrow?

Ans. He would forgive his son for whatever sorrow he has given him.

4. Father and son, we both must live
On the same globe and the same land.
He speaks: I cannot understand
Myself, why anger grows from grief.
We each put out an empty hand,

Q. How does the poet feel when his relationship with his son comes under strain?

Ans. The poet is keen to save the blood ties with his son. He wants the son to return to his old house.

Q. What could be the cause for their distancing from each other?

Ans. The cause of the growing gap between the dad and his son is lack of understanding. Both need each other, yet they turn apart because of ego-problem.

Q. What do both father and son long for?

Ans. They long for an excuse to forgive each other.

Q. What do the words ‘an empty hand’ signify?

Ans. The words ‘an empty hand’ signify that neither father nor the son has gained anything from their state of estrangement. Both of them are empty handed.

Q. What can’t the father understand?

Ans. The father can’t understand why he becomes angry in his grief.

Q. Does the poem have a consistent rhyme scheme?

Ans. Yes, the rhyme scheme in each stanza is abbaba.

Short Answer type questions:

1. Does the poem talk of an exclusively personal experience or is it fairly universal?

Ans: The poem does talk of an exclusively personal experience. However, we can also call it fairly universal because a conflict like this is quite common in many households. It is also known as generation gap. There is always a difference between the view points of father and son. They have a physical bond, but, mentally they drift apart. Both, the father and the son want to come closer but lack in understanding to initiate the move.

2. How is the father’s helplessness brought out in the poem?

Ans: The helplessness of the father is highlighted through the depiction of the emotional struggle that he undergoes. He is aware of the problem and is willing to resolve it, but is unable to do so. He regrets the lack of a strong emotional bond and proper communication with his son who is also physically distanced from him.

  1. Why doesn’t the father know anything of his son? Or – Give reasons for the failure of the father son relationship.
    The father has failed to understand his son because he could not grow with his son. When the son grew differently, the narrow-minded father felt uneasy and indifferent. He didn’t make any attempt to understand the changed world where his son grew up.
  2. What sort of a relation is the father trying to build with his son? What will be drawback of this relation?Ans: The father, having failed to know the height of his son’s emotional growth, is trying to understand him as a child rather than attempting to understand what his son is at the moment. This sort of a relationship that the father is trying to build with his son will do more harms than any good because the father will always think that his son is a little child and will not understand his actual person.
  3. Where did the father fail? How could have he escaped the failure?
    The father failed to understand his son. Instead of growing with his son, he attempted to build a relation with him understanding him as a little child whom he used to know and used to love.
  4. What is the mood of the father? Why?
    The father’s mood is one of helplessness because he is sad about the gap between his son and himself.
  1. Do you think the poem would have appeared the same if written by the son? How?
    No, if the poem were written by the son, it would not have been the same. If the son were as temperamental as his father, he would have said that his father understands him as a little child.
  2. Why does the father think that he has killed the seed that he spent?
    The father had always wanted his son built as per his design but the son went astray and became what he wanted. The sun made a design for himself and lived a life that he designed. For the father, the son was his seed that he expected to grow and take branches under his shade but now he finds that his expectations from his son have all gone waste.
  3. Why does the father feel that his son is a plant that owns the land it grows?
    Even strangers become familiar after sometime but here the father and son are strangers even after their association for years, under the same roof. Why?
  1. The child is built to my design. Explain. From where did the building go different?
    The father in the poem had a great expectation from his son but the son didn’t grow up to his expectations and designs. This deviation started when the son found his father’s design for him inappropriate and designed his own life in his way.
  1. The father in this poem seems to be highly egoistic. Explain.
    The father of the son appears to be self centered because of a few reasons. He, in the first place, has a design for his son because he believes that the son would not be able to design his own life.
  1. How does this stanza present the abnormal yet extreme love and care of a father?
    No father in his senses would wish his son go away from him, ruin himself, struggle and get lost. The father in the poem, surprisingly, wishes that his son go away from him because he believes that one day his son would return as the prodigal son in the Bible.
  2. Why is the father ready to see his son go prodigal?
    It is out of his extreme attachment with his son that the father wishes his son go away from him, like the prodigal son in the Bible. Just like the Biblical son had to go through a lot of struggles to finally realize his father’s love for him, the father in the poem also wants his son go from him for some time only to return to his love.
  3. What is the significance of the Biblical reference, ‘the parable of the Prodigal Son’, in the poem?
    The prodigal son went away from his father and later realized his father’s love and care. Similarly yet differently, the father in the poem wants his son return to him after having wandered like the prodigal son. All that the father wants is his son’s realization and recognition, even at the cost of his temporary ruin.
  4. What is the present state of the son according to the father?According to the father, his son has made a world of his own. He is the master of this world. He depends upon his father no more.
  5. Why can’t father understand what his son speaks?The father cannot understand what his son speaks because of the gap of generations. The emotions of the son are unknown to the father.


Value Based Question for self practise:

Do you really feel that generation gap is destroying the love and affection which once was the root of parents-child relationship? Explain. What should be done to remove this rust from the pure and divine amalgamation of parents and children?



The Browning Version

By: Terence Rattigan

  1. Where did Millie send Taplow? What was her purpose?

    Ans: Millie sends Taplow to get a prescription filled from a chemist’s shop. She wanted to make him free from the boredom of waiting from her husband Crocker Harris.

  2. Why did Taplow have to stay back at school?

    Ans: Taplow have to stay back at school as a punishment given by Mr. Crocker Harris. He had to do extra work for missing a day at school.

  3. What impression of Frank do you get as a teacher?

    Ans: Frank is a new science teacher. He is friendly with his students. He does not discourage Taplow from talking about Crocker Harris. But does not allow him to be disrespectful. He envies Crocker Harris for the effect he has on the students. Mr. Crocker Harris is a source of inspiration for him.

  4. Why is Taplow bitter?

    Ans: Taplow is bitter because he has been asked to stay back after school on the last day. He would rather be playing golf.

  5. Where did Millie send Taplow? What was her purpose?

    Ans: Millie sent Taplow to a chemist to bring medicine according to the prescription. Thus he could do jobs for him and she can take blame if he came before Taplow returned.

  6. What is ‘remove’? How do students get it?

    Ans: Remove is a certificate of passing a form in the school. As a rule, the form results should only be announced by the headmaster on the last day of school However, it seems that most teachers leak it to their students before that date.

  7. What leads Mr. Frank to comment, I’m sure you’re exaggerating?

    Ans: Taplow says that Mr. Crocker Harris seems to hate people to like him. Yes inspite of everything, Taplow does rather like him. He can’t help him. He thinks that sometimes Mrs. Harris notices it and that seems to shrivel him up even more. This observation of Taplow seems farfetched. So Mr. Frank remarks that he is exaggerating.

  8. Comment on the attitude shown by Taplow towards Crocker-Harris.

    Ans: Crocker Harris is Taplow’s teacher. According to Taplow and me also; Mr. Crocker Harris is a strict disciplinarian. He was a hard working teacher and fully devoted to his duty as he called Taplow even on the last day of school to make up for his missed class. No student in his entire career has a courage to ‘cut’ Mr. Crocker Harris. He is neither partial nor biased; he will give Taplow whatever he deserves. He tries to maintain an appropriate distance from his students. He never responds the feelings shown by his students and remains shrivel. He is a man of principals and keeps the rules of the school. His students like him even after his strict behaviour. His colleagues, even Frank, envy him for the effect he has on the students. He is strict but not a sadist that he seems to be.

  9. What do you gather about the Crocker Harris from the play?

    Ans: Cocker Harris is Taplow’s teacher. According to Taplow and me also; Mr. Crocker Harris is a strict disciplinarian. He was a hardworking teacher and fully devoted to his duty as he called Taplow even on his last day at school to make up for his missed class. No students in his entire carrier has the courage to ‘cut’ Mr. Crocker Harris. He is neither partial nor bias. He will give Taplow whatever he deserves. He tries to maintain an appropriate distance from his students. He never responds the feeling shown by his students and always remained shrivel. He is a man of principals and always keeps the rules of the school. His students like him even after his strict behaviour. His colleagues, even Frank envy him for the effect he has on his students. He is strict but not sadist as he seems to be.

  10. Comment on the significance of the title ‘The Browning Version”.

Ans:As this is a story exploring questions about personal choice as it relates to identity, personality and profession, the notion of an “original” and “alternate” version of a translation created by the Browning, the protagonist, is highly significant.

This Browning Version demonstrates the idea that Browning was once a very different person. Circumstances changed him, and perhaps dictated his life as much as his personality. This is, of course, a fact of the story which emerges in opposition to the impression that Browning’s character makes on everyone.

His students believe that he acts as he does because it is part of his natural character, but the story leads us to the realization that this is not true. He acts the way he does because of the history of his character, not the nature of his personality.

Seen in this context, the Browning Version becomes symbolic of the central question of the play – Is it too late for Browning to recover the lost version of himself or is there still time to assert his natural character?

11. Compare and contrast the character of Crocker Harris with that of Frank.

Ans: Frank Hunter is self-confident, successful, personable, friendly, yet with enough arrogance about him to engage in an extra-marital affair with the wife of his colleague, Dr. Crocker-Harris. Students find it easy to talk with Hunter and to confide in him, as John Taplow confides in him while waiting for Crocker-Harris. Hunter knows just the right thing to do socially to make other people feel at ease and receptive, as is illustrated by his impromptu instruction on golf swing while Taplow waits for Crocker-Harris.

In contrast, Andrew Crocker-Harris is ill at ease with himself and others and is viewed by himself and others as a failure in his teaching career mostly because, as Taplow puts it, he is unable to pass on his love of Classical literature to his students. While students admire Hunter, they ridicule and tease Crocker-Harris calling him, among other things, “Himmler of the lower fifth.”

The most interesting characteristic about Hunter is that, while his attentions to Millie Crocker-Harris were strictly for physical pleasure, he is finally able to see the nobility within the disappointed Crocker-Harris, who even had his pension voted away from him. This insight is expressed in Hunter’s advocacy of the genuine nature of Taplow’s gift and of his confession to Crocker-Harris of his affair with Millie.

The most interesting characteristic about Crocker-Harris is that, while he has every reason for bitterness, resentment and anger, he remains humble and accepts, with grace and dignity, the sincerity of Taplow’s gift and Hunter’s proposed visit.

12. Does Frank seem to encourage Taplow’s comments on Crocker-Harris?

Ans: Frank encourages Taplow to comment on Mr. Crocker Harris by cleverly askingTaplow several questions. He appreciated Taplow’s imitation of Mr. Crocker Harrisand also asks him to repeat it.