NCERT Solutions for Class 11 English Poetry Chapter 12 Ajamil and the Tigers

NCERT Solutions Class 11 English Ajamil and the Tigers – Free PDF Download

NCERT Solutions for Class 11 English Woven Words Poetry Chapter 12 is a part of Arjun Kolatkar’s collection of poems Jejuri and explores the relationship between leaders and their subjects. The NCERT Solutions contain elaborate and comprehensive answers to questions based on different ideas and themes which are explored in the poem. The faculty at BYJU’S curates the solutions complying with the CBSE syllabus to help students score well in the Class 11 exams.

Chapter 12 of NCERT Solutions for Class 11 English Woven Words Poetry helps students write well-structured answers and score high marks in the annual exams. English is a scoring subject for those who acquire good grammatical and linguistic skills. Each and every chapter in NCERT Class 11 English Solutions is focused on understanding the different poetic devices and ideas which might otherwise come across as difficult to grasp for some students.

NCERT Solutions for Class 11 English Poetry Chapter 12 Ajamil and the Tigers

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Page No. 142

Understanding The Poem

1. The poem has a literal level and a figurative level. Why has the poet chosen ‘tigers’ and ‘sheep’ to convey his message? 


The poem tells a small story in which the shepherd makes a pact with the king of tigers to keep peace between both communities. If we try to evaluate it, it is more than a jungle story. It expresses the difference between the proletariat and the proprietor. It is the struggle for class between the oppressed and the oppressor. The politician is the shepherd, the ruler, as explained in the poem, while the sheep are the subjects. The warrior is the sheepdog, the army,  to protect the sheep. In order to maintain sovereignty, the shepherd gives up a few sheep to maintain a cordial relationship with the tigers and signs the pact. It shows how the rulers sacrifice a few people for a good regime.

2. What facet of political life does the behaviour of Ajamil illustrate? 


This poem is a political satire representing the corrupt politicians and the subjects they oppress. The sheep represent the common man, while the sheepdog represents the army. It shows how the sheep, sheepdog and the commoners are destroyed by the rulers like Ajamil and how their thoughts and feelings are ignored. Arun Kolatkar has retold Ajamil’s story, trusted to be a good shepherd, as he had heard in Jejuri. When the sheepdog captures the tigers, Ajamil leaves them loose, on being notified by the dog. He did not hear the sheepdog and did not make eye contact with it to show his prominence. He offered the tigers the gala feast and provided them with gifts like sheep wool, skin and meat. The warriors are not paid heed to and the subjects are given up by Ajamil as he wants to keep up his supremacy.

3. Why have the words, ‘pretended’ and ‘seemed’ been used in the lines: 

pretended to believe every single word 

of what the tiger king said. 

And seemed to be taken in by all the lies. 

How does the sense of these lines connect with the line ‘Ajamil wasn’t a fool’? 


The shepherd, Ajamil, was not a fool. The king of the tigers asked him to free the tigers; the sheepdog tried to convince the shepherd that the tigers had arrived to offer him a friendly hand. Though Ajamil agreed to him, set them free and even provided them with a feast with gifts like sheep wool, skin and meat. He made a pact with the tigers’ king that they would be friends after that. Ajamil was a shrewd politician who did not want to mess with the tigers and wanted to maintain a cordial relationship with them. Though he was aware that the sheep would be attacked today or tomorrow by the tigers, he pretended to believe all that the tigers’ king told him and acknowledged the friendship offered to him. The shepherd seemed to be taken in by the lies but was aware that the tigers would come back to hunt. He felt that sacrificing a few sheep each time was better than losing all of them in a battle where he would lose his reign completely. It is disheartening to know his lack of confidence in the sheepdog. He played safe to avoid the risk that his kingdom would face.

4. Why did Ajamil refuse to meet the sheepdog’s eyes? 


When Ajamil accepted the friendship offered by the king of the tigers, the sheepdog understood the intentions hidden behind it and asked him not to agree to it. The sheepdog was a straightforward one who never lied and gave panic signs to warn the shepherd. However, Ajamil refused to make eye contact with the dog and signed the pact with the king of tigers. As Ajamil was a safe player, he offered dinner to the tigers. He was a politician who was mature enough and would do anything to keep up his supremacy. He displayed a lack of confidence in the sheepdog and went on to sign the pact when he could have challenged the fierce battle. He tried to solve it by sacrificing a few sheep and not messing with the tigers. This incident explains how the ruler, who is one of the essential pillars of democracy, is at the mercy of the legislature. In the end, it was the shrewd politics that saved his regime.

5. ‘He is free to play a flute all day as well fed tigers and fat sheep drink from the same pond with a full stomach for a common bond.’ 

What do the phrases ‘play the flute all day’ and ‘a common bond’ refer to? 


The story demonstrates how politicians give up on their kingdom at the cost of their subjects for selfish ends. Ajamil, a good shepherd on the outside, was a shrewd politician from the inside whose every move was a calculated one. He made a pact with the king of tigers which was not possible to maintain forever. When the hunting instinct takes over the tigers, it is evident that they will attack the sheep again. Ajamil was ready to lose a few sheep rather than challenge a fierce battle and lose all the sheep at once. Like an intelligent shepherd, he was prepared to sacrifice a few sheep to protect all and go on to relax and play his flute the entire day. He did well for both the animals; he saved the sheep and fed the tigers also. In the jungle, “the survival of the fittest” is believed in, and the other fact is that no matter how weak or strong an animal is, they all consume water from the same pond. Therefore, all of them survive together, and for the common good, Ajamil does what he can.

6. The poem is a satire against the present political class. How effectively does it convey the anger and anguish of the common man trapped in the system? 


The clash between the proletariat and the proprietor is inevitable and natural. The oppressed and the oppressor will always remain a class apart from each other. A commoner is jammed between the political groups which are present in our society. The crowd struggles; however it is a war against the powerful who give up their subjects to attain power and play politics. It is similar to how it occurred in the poem, how the shepherd and the tigers destroyed the commoners, the sheep. Though the army, the sheepdog, tried to stop this, the proletariat was sacrificed in the name of the “common good”. They cannot raise their voice against the powerful and have to obey the laws which are laid down by the authorities.

Frequently Asked Questions on NCERT Solutions for Class 11 English Poetry Chapter 12


Explain the main theme of the NCERT Solutions for Class 11 English Poetry Chapter 12.

This poem is a political satire with a deeper meaning than what one sees on the surface. It is a story of a shepherd who signs a pact with the king of tigers to maintain peace in the jungle. The pact comes into force with the loss of a few sheep, which represent the followers of the shepherd. The NCERT Solutions for Class 11 English Poetry Chapter 12 vividly portrays how the leaders sacrifice their subjects to maintain their reign. The protest of the protector, the sheepdog, was also vetoed by the influence of their leader, the shepherd.


List out the advantages of using the NCERT Solutions for Class 11 English Poetry Chapter 12 from BYJU’S.

The advantages of using the NCERT Solutions for Class 11 English Poetry Chapter 12 from BYJU’S are –
1. The solutions are developed by scholars who dedicate themselves to helping students with precise answers.
2. Compact study materials with impactful and adequate answers can be accessed online by the students.
3. The faculty design the solutions with a straightforward and simple approach so that students can learn the chapter in lesser duration.


Why should I refer to the NCERT Solutions for Class 11 English Poetry Chapter 12 from BYJU’S?

The expert teachers at BYJU’S design the NCERT Solutions for Class 11 English Poetry Chapter 12 as per the latest syllabus of the CBSE board. The solutions contain explanations in a simple and comprehensive manner to enable the students to get well acquainted with the chapter. Regular practice is the key to scoring well in the annual exams. For this purpose, the solutions are made available in PDF format, which can be accessed by the students when they find it difficult to answer the questions from the NCERT textbook.


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