Comprehension Exercise – 32 (Reading Skills for CBSE Class 10)

Comprehension Exercise – 32

Creative Writing – 90

Comprehension Exercises for school students (CBSE, ICSE, BSE)

Text sourced from Washington Post

The protesters of Hong Kong and Moscow aren’t backing down. In two world cities, a defiant brand of people power is standing tall against authoritarian rule. For the fifth consecutive weekend, protesters massed in Moscow, clamoring for opposition candidates to be allowed on the ballot for municipal elections next month — as well as for the release of hundreds of demonstrators, activists and opposition politicians detained by authorities in the previous weeks. For the tenth consecutive weekend, protesters took to the streets in Hong Kong, dodging tear gas fired by security forces. Earlier this summer, Hong Kong’s protest movement succeeded in stalling a controversial extradition bill that the demonstrators feared would place Asia’s financial hub further under the thumb of China’s single-party state. But their fervor didn’t dim. They are defending political freedoms they think are under threat and demanding broader democratic reforms. They also want the resignation of the city’s leader, Carrie Lam — seen by critics as a pro-Beijing cipher — as well as the release of dissidents seized during the unrest.

In both cases, the protesters have faced a stiff and, at times, brutal response from the proxies of the regimes they are protesting. Each week this past month, videos filtered out on social media of Russian police battering unarmed and peaceful demonstrators with truncheons — no matter the scenes being ignored on Russian state television. On Sunday in various parts of Hong Kong, riot police violently charged protesters and fired rounds of tear gas in subway stations and other densely packed areas of the city; there were reports of at least nine injuries, including one man in serious condition. It’s not just the riot police who have been heavy-handed with the protesters — in one notable instance, a mob of pro-Beijing vigilantes, allegedly linked to organized crime, attacked a pocket of pro-democracy protesters while the police did little to intervene. Hong Kong officials have branded the protesters as violent rioters disturbing the peace.

But the crackdowns have only helped mobilize greater dissent. Saturday in Moscow saw the biggest anti-government turnout yet this summer, with an estimated crowd of close to 50,000 people. Though the protests remain largely centered in the Russian capital — and drawn from the same urban, middle-class base that fueled huge demonstrations in 2012 — they come at a time of mounting economic woes.


Short questions of one mark each

1. Which are the two cities affected by public protests?
2. For how many days the Moscow protests have continued?
3. For how many days, the Hong Kong protests have continued?
4. How the news of the Moscow protests coming out to world attention?
5. What has been the response of the Moscow protesters to the police action?
6. Do the Hong Kong police engage non-police men to break the protests? What do these people do?
7. What was the size of the biggest protests in Moscow in terms of participants’ numbers?
8. How the authorities in Hong Kong branded the protesters?

Four mark questions

1. Why are people in Moscow protesting?
2. Why are the people of Hong Kong protesting? Had their earlier protests succeeded?
3. How the authorities in Moscow dealt with the protests so far?


One Mark Short Questions

1. Moscow and Hong Kong are the two cities roiled by public protests.

2. The Moscow agitation has run to its fifth weak end, i.e. 35 days.

3. The Moscow protests have gone on for ten weeks.

4. Videos of bludgeoning the demonstrators with all their ferocity have stealthily been uploaded in social media for the whole world to see the iron-fisted approach of the Russian authorities to smother the demonstrations.

5. Powerless before the might of the state, the demonstrations have doggedly continued their week end protests.

6. Hong Kong police deploys their comrades in plain clothes and a few pro-China civilians with criminal records to infiltrate the agitators and create confusion among them, so that their unified strength gets diminished. The agitators, undeterred by such tactics of the police, have decided to continue their demonstrations. The police effort to create confusion in their ranks has galvanized them to stand up for their democratic demands.

7. Nearly 50,000 people took part in the Moscow demonstrations.

8. The Hong Kong authorities have branded the agitators as violent rioters out to disturb peace.

Four mark questions

1. For the authorities in Moscow, dissent of any sort is considered acts against the state. So, every demand for allowing opposition to rear its head alarms the authorities. Activists, civil society groups, and political opponents are all painted with the same brush, i.e. as un-patriotic persons and thrown inside jails after mock trials. Even for election to municipal corporations, opposition candidates are barred. Whoever raises their voice against such stifling restrictions finds themselves in the wrong side of law, and faces the wrath of the police. The Moscow protests are fuelled by such discontent among freedom-loving citizens.

2. Ms. Carrie Lam is the Beijing-appointed administrator of Hong Kong. Understandably, the clamor for more democracy and less Chinese control of Beijing is anathema to her. The people of Hong Kong, on the other hand, crave for more democracy. Their demand prods Ms. Lam to unleash maximum police force to subdue the protesters.
An earlier protest of the people had forced Beijing to keep on hold controversial extradition bill that intended to arm Beijing with the power to extradite any one from Hong Kong.

3. The authorities in Moscow have shown no mercy towards the dissenters who stage street protests against any state policy. Armed with heave batons, they pounce upon the protesters and rough them up before imprisoning them.

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