CLAT 2021 English Language Previous Year Questions (Practice Questions Set 4)

Practice Papers


Following the transition to democracy, with the inauguration of Nelson Mandela as president in I994, South Africa was faced with the task of dealing with its past, as well as undertaking some action to deal with structural social injustice. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), heralded as the most ambitious and organised attempt to deal with crimes of a past regime through a concept of truth, came into force on 19th July I995 in South Africa. Emerging as a political strategy to acknowledge past suffering whilst promoting a future based on the concerns of social justice, the rule of law and reconciliation, the Commission has struggled to fulfil its objectives.

Although the TRC incorporated these broader concerns into the mandate of its three sub-committees, they were disregarded in practice. These sub-committees, which reflected concerns for ‘human rights violations’, ‘amnesty’ and ‘reparation and rehabilitation’, were not ‘coupled with some form of social transformation’. The public transition from apartheid, established through a negotiated settlement rather than a revolutionary process, framed the Commission’s powers. Shaped by the historical context of this particular transition, the TRC was careful not to ‘rock the structural boat’. Rather than pursuing truth and justice, as an integrated feature of social transformation, the Commissioners and, to a greater extent, the government of South Africa, maintained an agenda that avoided a challenge to the status quo.

A focus on restorative justice was taken by the Commission with an emphasis placed on mechanisms to restore victims and survivors, through reparations policy, state-led acknowledgement of suffering, and a condemnation, together with the transformation, of the system that implemented such widespread forms of abuse. The priority of changing the apartheid conditions of gross inequality and oppression provided a backdrop to the approval of the TRC by those who had suffered. More difficult to accept was the provision of amnesty to those who had undertaken violations of human rights. The process placed amnesty of violations as a carrot to perpetrators in exchange for a full story, with the stick of prosecutions for those who did not come forward. 

See also  Types of Questions in CLAT Reading Comprehension Section


1. ‘The status quo’ as used in the passage means 

(A) Previously popular opinions.

(B) Already existing conditions.

(C) Strategies of government. 

(D) Following a set agenda. 


2. Which of the following best describes the tone of the author?

(A) Optimistic

(B) Threatening 

(C) Compassionate 

(D) Critical


3. Which of the following is not the broader concern of 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 rule of law. 

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


4. 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 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.


5. What does ‘amnesty’ mean in the context of the passage?

(A) Severe punishment

(B) Bring legal action

(C) Arrest warrants 

(D) Official pardon


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