Unseen Passage: Animals

I came in contact with animals far more in prison than outside. I had always been fond of dogs and had kept some but I could never look after them properly as other matters claimed my attention. In prison, I was grateful for their company. Indians do not, as a rule, approve of the animals as household pets. It is remarkable that inspite of their general philosophy of non-violence to animals, they are often singularly careless and unkind towards them. Even the cow, the favoured animal, though looked up to and almost worshipped by many Hindus, becomes often the cause of riots, fit is not treated kindly. Worship and kindliness do not always go together.

Different countries have adopted different animals as a symbol of their ambition or character — the eagle of the United States of America and of Germany, the lion and bulldog of England, the fighting cock of France, the bear of old Russia. How far do these patron animals mould national character? Most of them are aggressive, fighting animals, beasts of prey. It is not surprising that the people who grow up with these examples before them should mould themselves consciously after them and strike up aggressive attitudes, and roar and prey on others. Nor is it surprising that the Hindu should be mild and non-violent, for his patron animal is the cow. (Jawahar Lal Nehru)

Complete the following on the basis of your reading of the passage:

  1. The author could not take care of his pets because ___________.
  2. An example to show that worship and kindliness do not always go together is ___________.
  3. People from countries who have adopted fighting animals as their national symbol develop violence in their attitude because ___________.
  4. Since, the patron animal of the Hindus is the cow, it is not surprising that ___________.
  5. Find out words from the passage which have the same meaning as:
    1. Ready to attack
    2. Strong desire to achieve


  1. Other matters claimed his attention.
  2. The cow which is worshipped by many Hindus is not treated kindly.
  3. They grow up with these examples before them.
  4. The Hindu should be mild and non-violent.
  5. (1) Aggressive (2) Ambition.

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