In this article, we have provided CBSE Class 12 NCERT Solutions for Chapter 2 from the English Vista Textbook. The NCERT solutions have been provided by the subject expert after a detailed analysis of the marking scheme and model answer sheet issued by CBSE. The Tiger King is a story about Maharaja of Pratibandapuram and his quest for killing one hundred tigers to conquer his death. Class 12th students can study the answers provided here to score well in school as well as Class 12th board exams.
Ques: Who is the Tiger King? Why does he get that name?
Answer: Ilani Jung Bahadur, king of Pratibandapuram is regarded as the King of the Tigers. Ten days after his birth, a renowned astrologer prophesied that his "death comes from the Tiger." After he became Pratibandapuram's king and heard of his death prediction, he went on a tiger killing spree. Within ten years he killed about seventy tigers. He was so stuck in achieving his target of killing a hundred tigers, in order to disprove the prophecy that all other matters took a back seat. That was how he became known as the King of Tigers.
Ques: What is the general attitude of human beings towards wild animals?
Answer: People usually fear wild animals because of their ferociousness and their propensity to hurt people. Yet some people torture them for the sadistic gratification they gain from their 'feats' by caging or stalking them or killing them to raise money from their hides, etc. And there are people who recognize the importance of maintaining the ecological balance, preserving nature's beauty, and believing in the right of every creature to its life. We raise awareness of the importance of biodiversity, and the need to save them from extinction.
Ques: What did the royal infant grow up to be?
Answer: The royal baby grew up as the Pratibandapuram king fascinated with the thought of killing a hundred tigers. He decided to do this to disprove the prophecy that said the hundredth tiger's death would be his. This made him kill all Pratibandapuram tigers. He also married for this ambition's sake. He came to be known as the King of Tigers.
Ques: What will the Maharaja do to find the required number of tigers to kill?
Answer: The Maharaja asked his dewan to find a suitable girl for him to marry, in order to get the necessary number of tigers to kill. A matrimonial alliance appropriate girl would be one who would not only come from a royal family but also belong to a state with a strong tiger population. As Pratibandapuram had no more tigers left, a province belonging to his father-in-law would certainly give him the opportunity to kill more tigers and achieve his target of killing a hundred tigers.
Ques: How will the Maharaja prepare himself for the hundredth tiger which was supposed to decide his fate?
Answer: The Maharaja decided to be extremely vigilant when dealing with the hundredth tiger which was supposed to be the reason why he died. On seeing the hundredth, he followed and took a good aim at the tiger. He was overwhelmed with joy as it dropped in a crumpled heap, and he left the place quickly.
Ques: What will now happen to the astrologer? Do you think the prophecy was indisputably disproved?
Answer: Before the King of Pratibandapuram gets a chance to kill one hundred tigers the astrologer dies. The main explanation for the King's presence appears to be to disprove his prophecy. Everything else takes a back seat for the king, except killing a hundred tigers.
The prophecy can not be disproved unquestionably as the king was eventually killed by a tiger, but neither by an actual nor by the hundredth. Looking at the frail, aged, and almost dead tiger which was the hundredth tiger, no one would have thought it would escape the bullet of the king by fainting at the shock of the bullet whizzing by. It was the “tiny little wooden tiger” from the toy shop that caused the death of Tiger King.
Ques: The story is a satire on the conceit of those in power. How does the author employ the literary device of dramatic irony in the story?
Answer: The tale is a satire on the will of the rich. From the outset, the king is considered to be an extremely conceited person. He spoke the words, as a ten-day-old child, "Let tigers beware! "He contests his death too by questioning the astrologer's forecast. Furthermore, killing 70 tigers within 10 years and taking the whole species closer to extinction, marrying for the convenience of killing more tigers, using its authority to punish or tax people according to its whims and fancies; flaunting his power and riches by sending about fifty rings to the lady of the British officer, or paying a bill of three lakh rupees, possessing a temper that would make others lose their jobs or even their lives, etc., was all part of that conceit. He does nothing in the capacity of a monarch, for the sake of his people. In the story, all this was illustrated with humor, irony, and exaggeration.
Death is a phenomenon ultimately related to life itself. To challenge death based on astrologers' prediction is as good as a waste of time. The hundredth tiger survived being shot by the king's rifle, even after the daunting task of killing ninety-nine tigers. Unconscious of this, he dies merely because of "a little wooden tiger" and not because of any vicious living creatures like tigers. Therefore, when the readers remember what the king never does, the tragic irony emerges strongly at the end of the novel.
Ques: What is the author’s indirect comment on subjecting innocent animals to the willfulness of human beings?
Answer: In this story, the author uses irony to talk about the indiscriminate killing of tigers. At Pratibandapuram state the entire population of tigers had become extinct, and that of the native state of his wife by the time the king himself died. What's subtly pointed out is that these killings are the product of pure whims and fancies. Reaching the imminent position of death, they have no rational reason. Moreover, the silence on the tiger 's death itself reveals a clear co-relationship between the king's life and that of the ninety-nine tigers killed by him.
Besides, there has never been a second thought when killing the tigers. There's also an overt hint of killings in the British officer's appeal for a shot with a dead tiger to protect the empty dignity of humans. It is as if the life of these animals is at stake for more than one cause, and not for their own fault. The irony illustrated by the author in the killings also makes the readers question if these animals deserve more protection than humans.
Ques: How would you describe the behaviour of the Maharaja’s minions towards him? Do you find them truly sincere towards him or are they driven by fear when they obey him? Do we find a similarity in today’s political order?
Answer: Maharaja's subordinates were servile against him mainly because of his anger and obstinacy that could result either in losing their employment for no apparent fault of theirs or facing unjustified retribution. Nobody dared to take the risk of explaining to the king the repercussions of the killings or giving him some suggestions or guidance on the way. No one attempted to challenge any of his actions – whether it was to annihilate tigers or to marry for the purpose of taking more opportunities for tiger-hunting. No one challenged his lack of duty against his people or state. They actually did not wish to intervene, and were happy to obey, lest the repercussions should be met. They merely had to adhere to his whims and fancies and for that very reason, they existed pure. The basic logic was that they did not deserve to be in the work if they could not do an acceptable job. Even his dewan was told to resign from his post when he attempted to point out the impracticality of doubling people's collected taxes. So much so that the shopkeeper could not communicate the original price of an object, the hunters could not tell him that the hundredth tiger was alive, and even his dewan had to arrange stealthily for a tiger to be brought from Chennai.
Yeah, there are plenty of parallels between the story of the Maharaja and the new political order. People are dissatisfied because those in government appear to be oblivious to their interests and that of the state and the environment. Selfish interests and fears direct decision-taking, and pure desires and fancies will change the law and order situation. Furthermore, those who want to bring in a meaningful change may not be able to do so because they risk losing their jobs or facing other drastic consequences. Public-taxes are still frequently misappropriated. Reforms either do not materialise or do so at an extremely slow pace. Yet, the best part is that the real situation is not as bleak as in the story. There are people working for the benefit and welfare of their community and society, and positive changes do happen.