CLAT 2021 English Language, Practice Set D – Previous Year Questions

After the shift to democracy in 1994 and Nelson Mandela’s inauguration as president, South Africa grappled with addressing its tumultuous past and confronting social injustices. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), initiated in 1995, was a groundbreaking effort to reckon with the crimes of the previous regime, focusing on truth as a means of healing. While the TRC aimed to acknowledge past suffering and pave the way for a future centered on social justice, the execution of its objectives faced significant challenges.

The TRC’s three sub-committees, addressing ‘human rights violations,’ ‘amnesty,’ and ‘reparation and rehabilitation,’ were intended to encompass broader societal concerns. However, in practice, these concerns were often sidelined. The Commission’s powers were shaped by the delicate nature of South Africa’s transition from apartheid, emphasizing a negotiated settlement over a revolutionary approach. This cautious approach aimed to avoid destabilizing the existing social structure, rather than pushing for a comprehensive transformation.

The TRC leaned towards restorative justice, emphasizing mechanisms to aid victims and survivors through reparations policies, state-led acknowledgment of suffering, and condemning the oppressive system. Prioritizing the overhaul of apartheid’s conditions, marked by severe inequality, resonated positively with those who had endured the hardships. However, the decision to grant amnesty to human rights violators proved more contentious. The process dangled amnesty as an incentive for perpetrators to come forward with their full stories, coupled with the threat of prosecution for those who chose not to cooperate.

  1. Questions: In the passage, ‘The status quo’ refers to:

(A) The government’s established strategies.

(B) Previously popular opinions.

(C) Following a set agenda.

(D) Already existing conditions.

Correct Option: D

  1. Questions: The tone of the author in the passage can be best described as:

(A) Optimistic

(B) Threatening

(C) Compassionate

(D) Critical

Correct Option: D

  1. Questions: Which of the following is not a broader concern of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC)?

(A) To deal with crimes of a past regime through a concept of truth.

(B) To acknowledge past suffering.

(C) To emerge as a political strategy for reconciliation of the rule of law.

(D) To promote a future based on the concerns of social justice.

Correct Option: C

  1. Questions: Which of the following statements is least likely to be inferred from the passage?

(A) The TRC ignored some of the broad concerns.

(B) The sub-committees of the TRC lacked an agenda of social transformation.

(C) The TRC made earnest efforts to protect human rights.

(D) The TRC lacked the desire and strength to challenge the prevailing conditions.

Correct Option: C

  1. Questions: In the context of the passage, what does ‘amnesty’ mean?

(A) Severe punishment

(B) Bring legal action

(C) Arrest warrants

(D) Official pardon

Correct Option: D

Read Also: CLAT 2021 English Language, Practice Set E – Previous Year Questions

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