English Language & Literature TERM II
Factual Passage (Solved)
Class 10 Session 2021-2022
Read the passages given below and answer the questions that follow them:
LOOKING TO MAKE A FRESH START
Yesterday, the nation heard its first Independence Day speech by a prime minister born after Independence. Expectations were sky high. And Narendra Modi did deliver, while posting some surprises along the way.
For years the norm has been ho-hum speeches and abstract statistics, while doling out favours to different sectors, communities and states. Modi turned that formula on its head, taking it out for a John F Kennedy spin — Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. Do ‘jan bhagidhari’ instead of always asking ‘mujhe kya milega’.
He also broke with the formulaic fetishising of diversity. He spoke to a shared national character by speaking to shared shame — like rapes. A good speech is judged by its style and substance, but above all by its impact. The PM’s words on reducing rapes drew huge applause at Red Fort but they derive their true power from the possibility of how they will be heard in the millions of households where they were beamed.
No sooner do girls enter puberty that parents become super vigilant, keeping a constant check on where they are going, who they are meeting. From the grand heights of Red Fort, the PM spoke the plainest commonsense — It would be better all round if parents quizzed their sons more and daughters less. After all every rapist and almost every extremist is someone’s son.
He laid out an ambitious goal of a toilet in every school within a year, saying it was at this level that giving dignity to the poor started. Speaking extempore, he’s shown an ability to meld small details — the difficulty that poor women face in relieving themselves — with a larger vision and agenda for implementation: a manufacturing revolution, financial inclusion and digital makeover.
While Modi may have passed the oratorical test big questions remain: of implementation. For example, take his invitation to the world to ‘Make in India’ everything from paper to plastic, satellite to submarines. This won’t be heeded until India makes big improvements in infrastructure, the land acquisition logjam, labour laws et al.
He indicated a greater role for states by reading the obituary of the Planning Commission. Federalist direction was echoed in urging every MP to develop model villages by the next elections. Since there are more MPs from BJP than other parties, it’s an example of how this PM treads development and electoral tracks simultaneously.
Modi was very conscious of addressing all Indians as directly as possible. But he sent a message across the border too — If our ancestors threw the coloniser out together, can’t we just get along now? Instead of fighting each other, let’s fight poverty together. This year, India’s Independence Day speech is sure to get some attention in the neighbourhood too.
Question.1. How did the nation hear the first Independence Day speech of Narendra Modi?
Question.5. Why did the PM ask the parents to quiz their sons more than their daughters?