Chapter 2 – The Tiger King Questions and Answers: NCERT Solutions for Class 12 English (Vistas)

Class 12 English (Vistas) NCERT book solutions for Chapter 2 - The Tiger King Questions and Answers.


Q1. Who is the Tiger King? Why does he get that name?

Ans. The Maharaja of Pratibandapuram was called the Tiger King. At the time of his birth the astrologers declared that the prince would have to die one day. The ten-day-old prince asked the astrologers to reveal the manner of his death. The wise men were baffled at this miracle. The chief astrologer said that his death would come from a tiger. The young prince growled and uttered terrifying words: ‘Let tigers beware!’ He decided to kill one hundred tigers. He, thus, got the name ‘Tiger King’.

Q2. What did the royal infant grow up to be?

Ans. Crown prince Jung Jung Bahadur grew taller and stronger day-by-day. He was brought up by an English nanny and tutored in English by an Englishman. He got the control of his state when he came of age at twenty. He decided to kill tigers. For him it was an act of self-defence, as the astrologers had predicted his death by a tiger

Q3. What will the Maharaja do to find the required number of tigers to kill?

Ans. Within ten years the Maharaja was able to kill seventy tigers. Then the tiger population became extinct in the forests of Pratibandapuram. One day the Maharaja sent for the dewan and asked him if he was aware of the fact that thirty tigers still remained to be shot down by his gun. The dewan shuddered with fear. The Maharaja told him that he had decided to get married. He asked the dewan to draw up statistics of tiger populations in different native states. Then he was to investigate if there was a girl he could marry in the royal family of a state with a large tiger population. This plan was put into practice. The dewan found the right girl from a state which possessed a large number of tigers. The Maharaja killed five or six tigers each time he visited his father-in-law. Thus, he was able to find the required number of tigers to kill. He shot ninety-nine tigers.

Q4. How will the Maharaja prepare himself for the hundredth tiger which was supposed to decide his fate?

Ans. Maharaja’s anxiety reached the highest level of excitement when only one tiger remained to be killed. He thought of the hundredth tiger during the day and dreamt of it at night. But tiger farms ran dry even in his father-in-law’s kingdom. It became impossible to locate tigers anywhere. If he could kill just that one single beast, the Maharaja would have no fear left. As the late chief astrologer had said that Maharaja should beware of the hundredth tiger. The Maharaja was sunk in gloom. Then came a happy news. In his own state sheep began to disappear frequently from a hillside village. Surely, a tiger was at work. The villagers ran to inform the Maharaja. The Maharaja announced a three-year exemption from all taxes for that village. He set out on the hunt at once. But the tiger was not easily found. The Maharaja continued camping in the forest and waiting for the tiger.

Q5. What will now happen to the astrologer? Do you think the prophecy was indisputably disproved?

Ans. In order to save his skin, the dewan got an old tiger brought from the People’s Park in Madras. It was kept hidden in his house. One midnight with the help of his aged wife, he dragged the tiger to the car and shoved it into the seat. He himself drove the car straight to the forest where the Maharaja was hunting. The dewan hauled the beast out of the car and pushed it down to the ground. Next day, the same old tiger wandered into the Maharaja’s presence. The Maharaja was overjoyed. He took careful aim at the beast. The tiger fell down in a crumpled heap. The Maharaja was extremely happy that he had killed the hundredth tiger.
The hunters found that the old tiger was not dead. It had only fainted on hearing the sound of the bullet. They did not want the Maharaja to know this fact and lose their jobs. iSo one of them shot at it and killed it. The dead tiger was taken in procession through the town and buried there. A tomb was erected over it.
The prophecy was not disproved as the king met his death with the infection caused by the sliver of a wooden tiger. The astrologer was already dead. He could not be punished or rewarded.


Q1.Who is the hero of the story ‘The Tiger King’ ? How may he be identified?

Ans. The Maharaja of Pratibandapuram is the hero of this story. He may be identified as His Highness Jamedar-General, Khiledar-Major, Sata Vyaghra Samhari, Maharajadhiraja Visva Bhuvana Samrat, Sir Jilani Jung Jung Bahadur, M.A.D., A.C.T.C., or C.R.C.K. This name is often shortened to the Tiger King.

Q2.What does the author consider imperative right at the start?

Ans. Author considers it imperative to disclose a matter of vital importance about the Tiger King. He was a man of indomitable courage. Eveiyone who reads of him will have a natural desire to meet him face-to-face. But there is no chance of its fulfilment as the Tiger King is dead.

Q3. Which matter about the Tiger King is of extraordinary interest?

Ans. The manner of the death of the Tiger King is of extraordinary interest. The most fantastic aspect of his demise was that as soon as he was bom, astrologers had foretold that one day the Tiger King would actually have to die.

Q4. What was the great miracle that took place? What was its result?

Ans. The astrologers said the child bom under that particular star would one day have to meet its death. At that very moment a great miracle took place. An astonishing phrase emerged from the lips of the ten-day-old Jilani Jung Jung Bahadur, “O wise prophets!” Everyone stood motionless with astonishment and stupidity.

Q5. What did the infant born just ten days ago tell the wise astrologers?

Ans. The infant said that all those who are bom will one day have to die. So he did not need their predictions to know that. He further said that there would be some sense in it if they could tell him the manner of his death.

Q6. Why did the Maharaja order the dewan to double the land tax? [All India 2014]

Ans. Maharaja went out on an expedition to find the hundredth tiger. The tiger could not be found. That is why in anger he ordered the dewan to double the land tax.

Q7. How did the chief astrologer react to the infant prince’s observation ?

Ans. The chief astrologer was surprised. He placed his finger on his nose in wonder. It was incredible that the ten-day-old infant raised intelligent questions. He said that the prince was bom in the hour of the Bull. The Bull and the Tiger are enemies. Therefore, death comes from the Tiger.

Q8. How did the crown prince Jung Jung Bahadur grow up?

Ans. The infant had an uneventful childhood. He grew up just like other royal princes of Indian states during the British rule. The prince grew taller and stronger day by day. The boy drank the milk of an English cow. He was brought up by an English nanny and tutored in English by an Englishman. He saw nothing but English films.

Q9. How does the author satirise the upbringing and education of crown princes of Indian states?

Ans. The author makes us laugh by pointing out the excessive love of the Indian kings and queens for English education and English way of fife. They seemed so enamoured of everything English that the crown princes drank the milk of English cows, were brought up by English nannies and tutored in English by Englishmen. They saw only English films. Thus, they were Indians only in flesh and blood, but aped Englishmen in culture and manners.

Q10. Why did the Maharaja ban tiger hunting in the state? [Delhi 2014]

Ans. Maharaja banned the tiger hunting in the state. Because he wanted to prove the predictions of state astrologer wrong that he would be killed by the hundredth tiger. That is why he put a ban on the hunting of tigers on all the tiger-rich forest of Pratibandapuram.

Q11. Why, do you think, did the Maharaja send for the State astrologer?

Ans. The Maharaja was excited beyond measure when he killed his first tiger. He felt proud of his feat. He wanted to show the dead beast to the State astrologer. So, he sent for him and wanted to know what he said then.

Q12. Sum up in your own words the interview between the Maharaja and the State astrologer.

Ans. On the orders of the Maharaja, the State astrologer said that his majesty might kill ninety- nine tigers in exactly the same manner. But he must be careful with the hundredth tiger. The Maharaja observed that the hundredth tiger might also be killed. What will happen then? The astrologer said that then he would tear up all his books on astrology and set fire to them. Moreover, he would cut off his tuft, crop his hair short and become an insurance agent.

Q13.Point out the irony in the statement: “From that day onwards it was celebration time for all the tigers inhabiting Pratibandapuram.”

Ans. The state banned tiger hunting by anyone except the Maharaja. An official statement was issued. If anyone dared to harm a tiger even by flinging a stone at him, all his wealth and property would be confiscated. The tigers could rejoice that they would not be killed by the riff-raff. The irony is that they were set to die at the hands of the Maharaja. The bullets of his gun awaited them.

Q14.Hew did the Maharaja devote himself to realise his ambition? How far did he succeed?

Ans. The Maharaja pursued his ambition with single minded devotion. He vowed that he would attend to all other matters only after killing the hundred tigers. He bravely faced many dangers to his life from tigers in achieving his mission. Sometimes he had to fight a tiger with his bare hands. But each time the Maharaja proved victorious by killing the beast.

Q15.Why, do you think, was the Maharaja in danger of losing his throne ?

Ans. The Maharaja had annoyed a high-ranking British officer by refusing him permission to hunt tigers in Pratibandapuram. The Maharaja did not relent even when the request was toned down that the durai himself did not have to kill the tiger. The Maharaja could do the actual killing. The durai wanted only a photograph of himself holding the gun and standing over the tiger’s carcass. The Maharaja stood in danger of losing his throne because he prevented a British officer from fulfilling his desire.

Q16.What traits of the Maharaja and the British officer are exposed and satirised through the episode of refusal of permission for tiger hunt by the British officer?

Ans.It reveals that the Maharaja was wilful, obstinate and adamant. He had a false sense of honour. If he had permitted one British officers, others would also turn up. He is quite unreasonable and shows lack of understanding. Thus, he lacks practical approach. He would sacrifice diamonds to preserve his throne.
The British officer seems publicity conscious. He is more interested in the photographs with the dead-tiger than in the tiger-hunt. The costly gift of diamonds mollifies his hurt ego.

Q17. Would it be proper to call the Maharaja ‘penny-wise, pound foolish’? Give reasons for your answer.

Ans. The Maharaja insists on restricting tiger-killing in his state to himself. He is unwilling to compromise in this regard. He would not let any other person be even photographed with a dead tiger in his state. He has to send a gift of fifty diamond rings to the British officer’s good lady to placate the injured feelings of the man and to retain his kingdom. It illustrates that he was penny-wise, pound foolish.

Q18. What sort of hunts did the Maharaja offer to organise for the high-ranking British officer ? What trait of the persons in high position does it reveal ?

Ans. The Maharaja offered to organise any other hunt in place of the tiger hunt for the high- ranking British officer. He might go on a boar-hunt. A mouse-hunt might be conducted. They were ready even for a’ mosquito-hunt. This shows the vanity and love of idle pursuits and frivolous pastimes by the persons in high position.

Q19.Comment on the ‘rings episode’ in the story ‘The Tiger King’.

Ans. The Maharaja of Pratibandapuram ordered a famous British company of jewellers in Calcutta to send samples of expensive diamond rings of different designs. Some fifty rings arrived. The Maharaja sent the whole lot to the British officer’s good lady. He expected her to choose one or two rings and send the rest back. But she simply sent a letter of thanks.
The episode reveals human weaknesses such as vanity, pride, greed, cunningness, flattery and appeasement.

Q20……. an unforeseen hurdle brought his mission to a standstill”. What was the mission and how did it stop? What do you find amusing in the reasons justifying the ‘hurdle’?

Ans.The Maharaja’s mission was to shoot one hundred tigers. He had killed seventy tigers within ten years. Then the tiger population became extinct in the forests of Pratibandapuram. The possible reasons for the absence of tigers are quite amusing and even ludicrous. Either the tigers practised birth control or they committed suicide. They might have run away from the state. Perhaps they desired to be shot by the British hands alone.

Q21.How did the dewan behave when the Maharaja summoned him and brandished his gun?

Ans. The dewan shuddered at the sight of the gun. He cried out, “Your Majesty! I am not a tiger!” The Maharaja enquired which idiot would call him a tiger. The dewan then declared that he was not a gun. The Maharaja became a bit polite. Addressing him as ‘Dewan Saheb’ he assured him that he was neither tiger nor gun. He was summoned there for a different purpose.

Q22. How did the dewan react to the Maharaja’s declaration. “I have decided to get married”?

Ans. The reaction of the dewan is quite funny and amusing. He thinks that the Maharaja wants to marry him. He says that he has already two wives. The Maharaja clarifies that he does not want to marry him. He wants a tiger. The dewan interrupts him saying that his ancestors were married to the sword. He might marry the gun if he liked. He added that a Tiger King was more than enough for that state. It did not need a Tiger Queen as well.

Q23. How did the Maharaja make his intentions clear to the dewan ? What, do you think, is his first priority in marriage ?

Ans. The Maharaja said that he was not thinking of marrying either a tiger or a gun. He wanted to marry a girl from the ranks of human beings. He asked the dewan to collect statistics of tiger population in the different native states. Then he should find out if there was a girl he could marry in the royal family of the state with a large tiger population. Evidently, his first priority is the tiger,

Q24.How did the Maharaja succeed in raising his tiger tally to ninety-nine?

Ans. The Maharaja married a girl from a state which possessed a large number of tigers. Each time he visited his father-in-law, he killed five or six tigers. In this manner he raised the tally of tigers killed by him from seventy to ninety-nine.

Q25.Why was the Maharaja so anxious to kill the hundredth tiger?

Ans. The Maharaja had killed ninety-nine tigers. If he could kill just one more tiger, he would have no fear left. Then he could give up tiger hunting altogether. He thought of the tiger during the day and dreamt of it at night. Moreover, he had to be extremely careful with that last tiger. The late chifef astrologer had already warned him.

Q26.“It seemed easier to find tiger’s milk than a live tiger” Why? What does the contradiction imply?

Ans. As the Maharaja reached near the coveted figure of hundred, his difficulties also multiplied. He had already killed ninety-nine tigers, but then the tiger farms ran dry even in his father-in-law’s kingdom. It became impossible to locate tigers anywhere. The hundredth tiger seemed difficult to find. One can’t get tiger’s milk without finding the tigress. Yet it is thought easier than finding a live tiger. The contradiction implies the difficulty in locating a tiger.

Q27.Why was the Maharaja sunk in gloom? Was he able to overpower it? How /How not?

Ans. Only one tiger remained to be killed by the Maharaja, but it seemed impossible to locate a tiger. So, the Maharaja was sunk in gloom. Then he got the happy news. In his own state sheep began to disappear frequently from a hillside village. It was found out that this was not the work of Khader Mian Saheb or Virasami Naicker. Both of them could swallow sheep whole. It was then deduced that it was the work of a tiger. The villagers ran to inform the Maharaja about the availability of a tiger.

Q28.What aspects of the Maharaja’s nature and conduct does the wait for the hundredth tiger reveal?

Ans. The wait for the hundredth tiger reveals the royal rage, obstinacy and firm determination of the Maharaja. He refused to leave the forest until the tiger was found. Many officers lost their jobs because of his anger. Even the dewan was asked to resign his post. This shows that the Maharaja was insensitive towards his employees.

Q29.How, do you think, did the dewan try to help the Maharaja achieve his mission?

Ans. The aged dewan was very wise. He brought an old tiger from the People’s Park in Madras. He kept it hidden in his house. Judging the impatience of the Maharaja to shoot the tiger, he decided to release it near the Maharaja’s camp. So, at midnight he dragged the tiger to the car with the help of his aged wife and shoved it into the seat. He drove the car himself straight to the forest and hauled the beast out of the car and pushed it down to the ground near the Maharaja’s camp.

Q30.How does the tiger behave towards the dewan, the Maharaja and the hunters? What does his behaviour show?

Ans. The tiger behaves like a pet animal with the dewan. The dewan and his aged wife drag the tiger to the car and shove it into the seat. In the forest, the tiger launches its satyagraha and refuses to get out of the car. The Dewan tries hard to haul it out of the car and push it down to the ground.
It stands before the Maharaja as if in humble supplication. It falls down in a crumpled heap as the Maharaja fires the gun. It faints from the shock of the bullet whizzing past. It looks back at the hunters rolling its eyes in bafflement. This shows that it is a very old and weak tiger.

Q31.“The bullet had missed it.” “This time he killed it without missing his mark.” Whose bullet had missed the tiger? How was the beast killed ultimately? Bring out the irony of the situation.

Ans. The Maharaja’s bullet missed the tiger though he had taken careful aim at the beast. The shock of the sound of the bullet made it faint. One hunter took aim from a distance of one foot and shot the tiger dead.
It is ridiculous that the Tiger King who had killed ninety-nine tigers should miss his aim. It is funny that the hunter takes aim from a hand-shaking distance. The whole situation is ironic.

Q32. How does the hundredth tiger take its final revenge upon the Tiger King?

Ans. The Tiger King could not kill the hundredth tiger. It had merely fainted from shock of the sound of the bullet. It is the wooden tiger from the toyshop that becomes the cause of Maharaja’s death. One of the slivers on its body pierces the Maharaja’s right hand. Infection flares up and the prick develops into a suppurating sore. The Maharaja dies during the operation.