English – Reading Comprehension – There is nothing spectacularly new in the situation

XAT 2020 Exam Paper – English – Reading Comprehension – There is nothing spectacularly new in the situation

There is nothing spectacularly new in the situation. Most old-societies-turned-young-nation-states learn to live in a world dominated by the psychology and culture of exile. For some, the twentieth century has been a century of refugees. Others like Hannah Arendt have identified refugees as virtually a new species of human being who have come to symbolize the distinctive violence of our time.
Refugees as contemporary symbols, however, proclaim something more than a pathology of a global nation-state system. They also represent a state of mind, a form of psychological displacement that has become endemic to modernizing societies. One does not even have to cross national frontiers to become a refugee; one can choose to be seduced by the ‘pull’ of self-induced displacement rather than be ‘pushed’ by an oppressive or violent system at home. It is this changed status of territoriality in human life that explains why, in immigrant societies like the United States, the metaphor of exile is now jaded. Some have already begun to argue that human beings need not have a ‘home’ as it has been traditionally understood in large parts of the world, that the idea itself is a red herring. While the idea of exile begins to appear trite in intellectual circles, an increasingly large proportion of the world is getting reconciled to living with the labile sense of self. Exile no longer seems a pathology or an affliction. Displacement and the psychology of exile are in; cultural continuities and settled communities are out; there is a touch of ennui about them.
Question 1
Which of the following options is CLOSEST to the meaning of the phrase “labile sense of self”?

  1. History does not confine the self.
  2. Humans are not meant to be shunted around.
  3. The self adapts to a new geography.
  4. Geography does not imprison the self.
  5. The self does not belong to a particular geography.

Answer: C

Question 2
Based on the passage, which of the following will the author DISAGREE the MOST with?

  1. One does not have to cross frontiers to become a refugee
  2. Intellectuals find the notion of exile irrelevant.
  3. Refugees symbolize exploitation and abuse of our times.
  4. Being a refugee is a state of mind.
  5. A feeling of alienation in modernizing societies is a common phenomenon.

Answer: C

Question 3
Project Affected Families (PAF) are those that are physically displaced due to construction of a large project (dam, factory etc.) in an area where the PAF traditionally resided.
With insights from the passage, what would a project proponent, dealing with PAF, reading the following options agree the MOST with?

  1. PAF as a concept is irrelevant since human displacement is a historical phenomenon.
  2. Industry and government should care equally about profits and people.
  3. Don’t worry about PAF, they will eventually resettle and rehabilitate
  4. Emotional estrangement of PAF is not an area of concern.
  5. PAF do not have a labile sense of self.

Answer: D

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