The Tiger King Vistas English class 12 NCERT Summary and Question answers

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The Tiger King (Kalki)


The Tiger King is a story about the transience of power and the foolish ways in which those in power often conduct themselves. The main character, the Maharaja of Pratibandapuram, Maharaja Sir Jilani Jung JungBhadur was called ―Tiger King.When he was just 10 day old, he asked question about his death to the astrologers and was told that he would be killed by a tiger. He uttered ―Let tigers beware!.

No other miracle took place, the child grew like any other Royal child drinking white cow‘s milk. He was taught by an English tutor and looked after by an English nanny also he watched English films.

When he was 20, he was crowned king and came to know about the prediction about his death. So, then onwards he started killing a tiger and put a ban on the tiger hunt in his state. According to the astrologers he needs to be careful with the 100th tiger even if he successfully kills 99 tigers.

He had numberless forests in his State with many tigers in them. One day, he went on a tiger hunt. He was thrilled beyond measure when he killed his first tiger.

He sent for the State astrologer and said, “What do you say now ?” The astrologer said hesitatingly, “Your majesty may kill ninety-nine tigers in the same manner, but you must be very careful with the hundredth.” Now the king vowed that he would attend to all other matters only after killing a hundred tigers.One time a high ranking British officer visits his state and wants to go for a tiger hunt. However, the maharaja declined his wish. And in order to secure the state from the wrath of the British officer. The maharaja sent 50 diamond rings to the officer’s wife whose worth was Rs 3 lakh.

Within ten years the maharaja successful slays 70 tigers. But after that, there were no tigers left in Pratibandapuram. Hence, to complete his target of killing a hundred tigers he marries a girl from the royal state that has more tigers so that he can complete his target. Whenever he visits his in-laws, he makes sure that he kills 5-6 tiger each time.

But at last it seemed impossible to find the hundredth tiger.

The king was very angry. The dewan had to arrange for a tiger from some People’s Park. It was an old and sickly tiger and with great difficulty and labour put him in the forest. Then the Dewan went to Maharaja and told him about the tiger. So, maharaja went on a hunt and shot the tiger and felt victorious and happy. There were great celebrations when this tiger was killed. But then again, he didn’t know that his bullet miss and the tiger was alive and he only collapsed out of fear. No one has the guts, to tell the truth to the king so they killed the tiger and brought it in a grand procession.

A few days later, the king decided to celebrate his son’s third birthday. He got for him a wooden tiger as a present. Both the father and the son played all day with that little toy. All over it, there were tiny slivers of wood. One of these pierced the Maharaja’s right hand.

He pulled it out and continued to play with the prince. Next day, infection developed in the king’s right hand. In four days, it spread all over the arm. Three famous surgeons decided to operate on the king. When they came out after the operation, they said, “The operation was successful. The Maharaja is dead.” Thus the hundredth tiger took its final revenge upon the Tiger King

Theme of the story

The Tiger King is a powerful, eccentric and inhumane ruler who is driven by a fear of death. He manipulates and misuses the state machinery in his pursuit of killing tigers. He is whimsical and goes to extremes, doubling taxes and increasing punishments when he is angry and giving out processions and tax exemptions when he is happy. He is surrounded by a group of people who are only interested in taking advantage of their proximity to him for their own gain.

One of the key characters in the story is the Dewan, a senior courtier who holds no real authority but is a practical and experienced figure who tries to save himself and his kingdom. Despite being sensible, he is never given any respect by the king and his efforts to locate the hundredth tiger are comical.

Overall, The Tiger King serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of those in power becoming too focused on their own interests and neglecting the welfare of their people. The story is a commentary on how rulers can be consumed by their own power and how it can lead to their downfall.

The Tiger King Imp Questions and Answers

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 author employs the literary device of dramatic irony in the story by having the characters in positions of power, such as the Maharaja who intends to defy his fate ,believe they are wise and all-knowing, while the reader can see the absurdity of their actions and decisions. This creates a contrast between the characters’ perception of themselves and the reality of their situation, highlighting the theme of the story, which is the conceit of those in power. The Maharaja is an autocratic dictator who uses his entire might to fulfil his eccentric mission to kill a hundred tigers. The irony is that despite the killing of a hundred tigers, the cause of his death is nothing else but a tiger made of wood.

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

The author’s indirect comment on subjecting innocent animals to the willfulness of human beings is that it is a cruel and inhumane act. The story shows how the Maharaja, who is in a position of power, uses his authority to make a decision that killed hundred tigers just to prove the astrologers wrong. Just to prove himself mightier than the tigers, the Maharaja ruthlessly killed a hundred innocent tigers. This is a commentary on how those in power can make decisions that harm others without thinking about the ethical implications of their actions.

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 behavior of the Maharaja’s minions towards him can be described as sycophantic and subservient. They were scared of him but had no respect for him. They all obeyed him because they didn’t want to lose their jobs. They obey his every command, even when it goes against their own moral and ethical beliefs. Even the Dewan had no courage to give the right advice to the king rather he made efforts to please the king by bringing an old tiger from a circus from Madras. Moreover, when the Maharaja missed his target, his hunters didn’t tell him for fear of losing their jobs and killed it themselves. So it was only fear and not sincerity towards the king that the minions displayed. 
This is similar to the political order of today, where there are those in power who demand loyalty and obedience from their followers, even when their actions are morally and ethically questionable.

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