Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Class XII - Vistas - The Tiger King by Kalki - NCERT Solution

Class XII - Vistas - The Tiger King by Kalki - NCERT Solution

Introduction of the Story - The Tiger King

The story is a satire on the wealthy and influential kings of the past. To disprove the predictions of a fortune teller, the king of Pratibandapuram recklessly slaughters ninety-nine tigers. However, the hundredth tiger, which ultimately causes the king's death, escapes unharmed. Ironically, the prophecy comes true, despite the king's attempts to disprove it. Additionally, the king is killed by a lifeless wooden tiger, adding to the satire of the story.

Summary of the Story - The Tiger King

"The Tiger King" tells the story of King Jung Jung Bahadur of Pratibandapuram, a valiant warrior who was destined to die at the hands of a tiger according to the prophecy made by the chief astrologer when he was born. Being born in the hour of the bull, the tiger was predicted to be his enemy. To ward off the danger, the brave prince declared himself as the "Tiger King" and warned all tigers to be cautious of him.

When he ascended to the throne at the age of twenty, the king believed that killing a cow in self-defense was lawful and hence embarked on a tiger-killing spree. Despite being warned about the danger from the hundredth tiger, he continued to hunt them relentlessly. With no more tigers left in his kingdom, he married into a state with a high tiger population to fulfill his urge to hunt.

As he neared his goal of killing the hundredth tiger, his minister planted an old tiger in the forest for him to hunt. However, the tiger escaped the bullet miraculously, and the royal hunters killed it in secret to prevent the king's wrath.

Thinking he had cheated death, the king celebrated his son's third birthday and gifted him a poorly crafted wooden toy tiger, which he had bought at a high price due to the emergency rule. As the king and his son were playing with the toy, one of the sharp, protruding wooden pieces pierced the king's right hand, causing an infection that spread through his arm and eventually led to his death during surgery.

Ironically, it was the hundredth tiger, in the form of the wooden toy, that took revenge and killed the king.

Read and Find Out

Question 1. Who is the Tiger King? Why does he get that name?


The ruler of Pratibandapuram was known as the Tiger King, as he had gained fame for hunting down 99 tigers. Interestingly, it was foretold by royal astrologers at the time of his birth that he would ultimately meet his demise at the hands of a tiger.

Question 2. What did the royal infant grow up to be?

As he matured, the royal child became the ruler of Pratibandapuram and became fixated on a single goal: to hunt down one hundred tigers. He was driven by a desire to challenge a prophecy which claimed that his life would end at the hands of the hundredth tiger. To achieve his ambition, he ordered the extermination of all the tigers in Pratibandapuram and even married for this purpose. As a result of his relentless pursuit, he became famously known as the Tiger King.

Question 3. What will the Maharaja do to find the required number of tigers to kill?


The Maharaja will request his dewan to find a suitable bride for him to marry in order to obtain the necessary number of tigers to hunt. The ideal bride for a matrimonial alliance would come from a royal family and belong to a state with a significant tiger population. Since Pratibandapuram has no more tigers, the province of his father-in-law would provide him with an opportunity to hunt more tigers and achieve his goal of killing one hundred tigers.

Question 4. How will the Maharaja prepare himself for the hundredth tiger which was supposed to decide his fate?


The Maharaja will approach the hunting of the hundredth tiger with extreme caution, as it is said to be the cause of his death. When he encounters the hundredth tiger, he will take careful aim and shoot it. After the tiger falls to the ground, he will feel a sense of joy and quickly leave the area.

Question 5. What will now happen to the astrologer? Do you think the prophecy was indisputably disproved?


The astrologer passed away before the King of Pratibandapuram could fulfill his goal of killing one hundred tigers, which had become the sole purpose of his existence. Despite this, the prophecy could not be definitively disproven, as the king was ultimately killed by a tiger, although not by a real one or the hundredth one. The hundredth tiger, weak and almost lifeless, surprised everyone by fainting at the sound of the bullet whizzing past and thus escaping the king's bullet. Ironically, it was a "tiny little wooden tiger" from a toy shop that led to the demise of the Tiger King. While the king was obsessed with killing one hundred tigers, all other aspects of his life took a back seat.

Reading with Insight(Q&A)

Q1. 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?


The story "The Tiger King" is a great example of something called dramatic irony. This is when the audience knows something important that a character in the story does not. In the story, the Tiger King kills many tigers and thinks he is very powerful. However, an astrologer tells him to be careful when he tries to kill the hundredth tiger. The Tiger King ignores this warning and keeps hunting. Finally, he thinks he has killed the hundredth tiger, but it turns out to be very old and weak, and only faints. Everyone else can see this, but the Tiger King cannot. Then, in a very ironic twist, the Tiger King dies because of a little wooden tiger. This shows that the astrologer's prediction was right after all.

Q2. What is the author’s indirect comment on subjecting innocent animals to the willfulness of human beings?


The author of this story uses satire to show how people have been cruel to animals, just to satisfy their own desires. In the story, the maharaja kills tigers without thinking about the consequences. He does this to prove the astrologer wrong and to show that he is powerful. He thinks that killing tigers will make him superior to the animals, but he does not realize that his actions are causing the extinction of tigers in some places. The maharaja kills one hundred tigers to prove his point, without considering the pain and suffering that these animals go through. This story highlights the cruel treatment of animals and the selfish nature of some human beings.

Q3. 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?


The Maharaja had minions who were obedient and flattering. They were afraid of him and followed his orders to keep him happy. They didn't want to disobey him because it could lead to them losing their jobs or even their lives. The astrologer was scared of predicting the king's death, but he spoke up when the king asked him to do so. The Dewan, who should have advised the king not to kill tigers, didn't go against his wishes and even helped him marry a princess from a kingdom with many tigers. He gave the king an old tiger instead of advising him not to kill. The hunters were also afraid of losing their jobs, so they didn't tell the king that the hundredth tiger had survived. They killed it themselves. The shopkeeper sold the king a cheap wooden toy tiger but charged a higher price because of the emergency rules. The king's minions were motivated by fear, not loyalty or sincerity towards their ruler. This situation is similar to the current political scenario where people in power often don't deserve their positions and others pander to them for their own selfish gains rather than for the benefit of the country.

Q4. Can you relate instances of game-hunting among the rich and the powerful in the present times that illustrate the callousness of human beings towards wildlife?

There have been recent incidents of hunting where even the wealthy have displayed a disregard for wildlife. One such example is the Black Buck poaching case involving Bollywood celebrity Salman Khan, who has a fondness for game hunting. He illegally killed three Chinkaras in two separate incidents, despite the fact that Black Buck is an endangered species. Though he was charged with the offense, he was ultimately acquitted. Another example is that of Nawab Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, a renowned cricketer, who was also involved in killing a rare species of antelope.

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