Test your reading skills!

Test your reading skills!

Reading comprehension

Read the following passage carefully before answering the questions. This exercise aimed at enhancing your reading and comprehending skills.

HENDERSON BROOKS REPORT

A Defence Ministry Committee is reported to have recommended releasing into the public domain, the official reports on India’s wars against Pakistan 1947, 1965, 1971, 1962 border war against China, India’s intervention in Sri Lanka and others. Reproduced here is British author Neville Maxwell’s summary of what he believes the Henderson Brooks Report contains. Neville Maxwell is the author of India’s China War.

When the Army’s report written by Henderson brooks into its debacle in the China border war was completed in 1963, the Indian government had good reason to keep it Top Secret and give only the vaguest, and largely misleading, indications of its contents. At that time the government’s effort, ultimately successful, to convince the political public that the Chinese, with a sudden ‘unprovoked aggression’, had caught India unaware in a sort of Himalayan Pearl Harbour.

If the report’s cool and detailed analysis made public would have shown that to be self-exculpatory mendacity. But a series of studies, beginning in the late 1960s and continuing into the 1990s, had revealed to any serious enquirer the full story of how the Indian Army was ordered to challenge the Chinese military to a conflict it could only lose. So by now only bureaucratic inertia, combined with the natural fading of any public interest, can explain the continued non publication- the report includes no surprises and its publication would be of little significance but for the fact that so many in India still cling to the soothing fantasy of a 1962 Chinese ‘aggression’, would get a taste of bitter medicine.

It seems likely now that the report will never be released. Furthermore, if one day a stable, confident and relaxed government in New Delhi should, miraculously, appear and decide to clear out the cupboard and publish it, the text would be largely incomprehensible, the context, well known to the authors and therefore not spelled out, is now forgotten. The report would need an introduction and contextual details to understand the significance of the report.

Source: This article first appeared in the Economic & Political Weekly by Neville Maxwell April14-20, 2001.

https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/the-henderson-brooks-report/289845

On the basis of your understanding of the passage, answer the following multiple choice question of reading comprehension:

1 This article is most likely taken from

(a) Henderson Brooks report about 1962 border war against China

(b) An evening tabloid published in Mumbai

(c) Business Standard daily newspaper

(d) Write-up on “Henderson Brooks report” mentioning author’s views

Q.2 Henderson Brooks report is about

(a) Secrets of Indian Government                           (b) Public perceptions in India

(c) Army’s performance in China border war    (d) Indian bureaucratic inertia

Q.3 What do you understand by” so many in India still cling to the soothing fantasy of a 1962 Chinese ‘aggression”?

(a) Many Indians like fantasy even in a serious subject like war.

(b) Many Indians still believe in theory of sudden Chinese aggression

(c) Chinese Army was aggressive during border war in 1962

(d) Indian public is still angry about defeat against China

Q.4 Why does author feel that text of Henderson Brooks report would be largely incomprehensible?

(a) Authors have not provided contextual details of 1963

(b) It has been written using political and military terminology

(c) It is an old report written in 1963

(d) Public interest in the report is fading

Q.5 What can we surely infer from the sentence – “the full story of how the Indian Army was ordered to challenge the Chinese military to a conflict it could only lose”?

(a) The Chinese army was superior to Indian Army

(b) Indian army was not a strong military force in those days

(c) Due to sudden ‘unprovoked aggression’ of the Chinese army, the Indian army was not prepared for war and eventually lost it.

(d) We cannot infer any of the above conclusions surely from the passage.

Answer & Solution for reading comprehension passage

Q.1 (d) Reproduced here is British author Neville Maxwell’s summary of what he believes the Henderson Brooks Report contains.

Q.2 (c) When the Army’s report written by Henderson Brooks into its debacle in the China border war was completed in 1963.

Q.3 (b) At that time the government’s effort, ultimately successful, to convince the political public that the Chinese, with a sudden ‘unprovoked aggression’, had caught India unawares in a sort of Himalayan Pearl Harbour.

Q.4 (d) the text would be largely incomprehensible, the context, well known to the authors and therefore not spelled out, is now forgotten. The report would need an introduction and contextual details to understand the significance of the report.

Q.5 (d) we cannot infer any of the conclusions given in answer choices with surety.

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