a) All gore: jallikattu in Tamil Nadu

With animal rights activists at the head of the campaign against jallikattu, more attention seems to have been paid to cruelty to the bulls than the inherently dangerous nature of the bull-taming event, that puts both spectators and participants at risk. Two onlookers have died in the space of two days in the jallikattu events in Palamedu and Avaarangadu in Tamil Nadu as the barricades separating the spectators from the arena were inadequate. Two others were killed in the manjuvirattu (a variant of jallikattu) at Siravayal when the bulls were unleashed outside the earmarked arena, a violation of due procedure. Clearly, the safety arrangements monitored by the district administration at these annual events in the Pongal season failed to prevent death and injury. With some of the events inducting more than 400 bulls and almost twice as many tamers, jallikattu has become a disorderly spectacle, making a mockery of even well-laid-out plans. The Animal Welfare Board of India, which was earlier in the forefront of documenting instances of mismanagement in the organising of jallikattu events, seems to have shifted its stance with a change of office-bearers. Other than spotting some “small mistakes” and “human errors”, the AWBI team’s convener, S.K. Mittal, found little amiss in the Palamedu event. The concern, instead, was on preserving “native breeds” of bulls. After last year’s protests against the Supreme Court ban on jallikattu, when thousands of people gathered in public places in Tamil Nadu demanding a revival of the sport, the authorities have been wary of condemning bull-taming during Pongal. They now speak the language of custom and tradition, one that is similar to that of the jallikattu enthusiasts. When the Supreme Court banned jallikattu on the basis of submissions made by the AWBI, which recorded instances of cruelty to animals in regulated events, it did so on the ground that regulations were not working. Following public protests and political pressure, and on the strength of hurriedly drafted legislation, jallikattu is now back on the Pongal calendar. But nothing much has changed on the ground. Of course, participants and bulls are screened before being allowed into the arena. But the bulls do not heed the barricades that are meant to fence off spectators from the arena. Also, there is the risk of hyper-excited miscreants releasing the bulls outside the arena: this is what happened in Siravayal. District authorities have so far failed to find better ways to regulate the events, but more than the size of an event, the scale is the challenge. In short, there are too many events in too many places within a period of a few days, making regulation next to impossible. It is one thing to have well-regulated jallikattu. But we are far from staging it in a manner that leaves nothing to chance and that is insured against damage wreaked by a rampaging bull.

b) Face the inevitable: the spike in bond yields

The sharp rise in bond yields has hit banks with losses on treasury operations dominated by sovereign bond holdings. Rating agency ICRA believes the fall in bond prices on expectation of the Central government breaching its fiscal deficit target has led to banks suffering a loss on paper of over ₹15,500 crore in the quarter that ended in December. The yield on Indian 10-year benchmark government bonds has risen steeply, from about 6.5% at the end of August to 7.56% on January 16. Even the yield on newly issued 10-year bonds that would mature in 2028 has inched up 27 basis points since January 5. Bankers have pleaded that the Reserve Bank of India allow them to stagger the reporting of these losses over several quarters. In seeking leeway, they have pointed to the huge burden imposed on their balance sheets by non-performing assets clogging the banking system. After all, India’s banks, flush with cash since demonetisation, are the largest (and captive) holders of government bonds, thanks to a regime that requires them to maintain a high proportion of assets in them. That deposits have grown while credit offtake has not, makes matters worse. But seeking regulatory forbearance is not the solution. This argument may not find much traction with the banking regulator, going by Deputy Governor Viral Acharya’s remarks on Monday. Any kind of accounting chicanery that makes the books look rosy will come at the cost of the accuracy with which banks reflect their financial health. Banks, which are supposed to be good at assessing not just creditors’ credibility but also the broader trends in the economy and the financial markets, cannot feign surprise at a rise and fall in bond yields. As Mr. Acharya has pointed out, banks understand the impact of interest rate movements and the risks of bond investments, and they perhaps choose to ignore this thanks to a “heads I win, tails the regulator dispenses” mindset. Just as banks need to be held accountable for their lending decisions and their advances, treasury operations and bond investments also need accountability and risk management systems. After all, there are trained professionals handling their large bond market operations who know of the principles of asset allocation and the hedging of risks. Banks should simply step up their game and address the reasons for their investment losses instead of resorting to measures aimed at hiding their problems. Any temporary measure, such as the request to stagger the recognition of bond losses, will only worsen it. Moreover, irrespective of the accounting standards banks are asked to follow, the markets can easily call this bluff and bid down their share prices.


1) Cruelty

Meaning: Cruel behaviour or attitudes.

Example: “He has treated her with extreme cruelty”

Synonyms: Brutality, Savagery

Antonyms: Compassion, Mercy

2) Onlookers

Meaning: A non-participating observer; a spectator.

Example: “A crowd of fascinated onlookers”

Synonyms: Eyewitness, Witness

Antonyms: Participant

3) Barricades

Meaning: An improvised barrier erected across a street or other thoroughfare to prevent or delay the movement of opposing forces.

Example: “The police action led to riots, with hundreds of demonstrators building barricades and burning vehicles”

Synonyms: Barrier, Obstacle

4) Unleashed

Meaning: Release (a dog) from a leash.

Example: “They dig up badger setts and unleash terriers into them”

Synonyms: Let loose, Release

Antonyms: Restrain

5) Earmarked

Meaning: Designate (funds or resources) for a particular purpose.

Example: “The cash had been earmarked for a big expansion of the programme”

Synonyms: Appropriate, Reserve

6) Inducting

Meaning: Admit (someone) formally to a post or organization.

Example: “Arrangements for inducting new members to an organization”

Synonyms: Admit to, Allow into

Antonyms: Bar from

7) Tame

Meaning: Without the savageness or fear of humans normal in wild animals; gentle, fearless, or without shyness, as if domesticated.

Example: That lion acts as tame as a house cat.

8) Mockery

Meaning: Teasing and contemptuous language or behaviour directed at a particular person or thing.

Example: “Stung by her mockery, Frankie hung his head”

Synonyms: Ridicule, Derision

9) Laid-out

Meaning: To arrange in a pattern or design; to plan something by showing how its parts fit together.

Example: The designer laid out the book with pictures on every page.

10) Forefront

Meaning: The leading or most important position or place.

Example: “The issue has moved to the forefront of the political agenda”

Synonyms: Vanguard, Van

Antonyms: Rear, Background

11) Stance

Meaning: The attitude of a person or organization towards something; a standpoint.

Example: “The party is changing its stance on Europe”

Synonyms: Attitude, Stand

12) Convener

Meaning: A person whose job it is to call people together for meetings of a committee.

Example: “Convener of the Recreation Committee”

13) Amiss

Meaning: Not quite right; inappropriate or out of place.

Example: “There was something amiss about his calculations”

Synonyms: Wrong, Awry

Antonyms: Right, In order

14) Concern

Meaning: Anxiety; worry.

Example: “Carole gazed at her with concern”

Synonyms: Anxiety, Worry

Antonyms: Serenity, Peace of mind

15) Wary

Meaning: Feeling or showing caution about possible dangers or problems.

Example: “Dogs which have been mistreated often remain very wary of strangers”

Synonyms: Cautious, Careful

Antonyms: Unwary, Inattentive

16) Condemning

Meaning: Express complete disapproval of; censure.

Example: “Most leaders roundly condemned the attack”

Synonyms: Censure, Criticize

Antonyms: Praise, Commend

17) Enthusiasts

Meaning: A person who is very interested in a particular activity or subject.

Example: “A sports car enthusiast”

Synonyms: Fanatic, Devotee

18) Hurriedly

Meaning: In a quick or hasty manner.

Example: “He hurriedly packed his things and left”

19) Fence off

Meaning: To separate an area with a fence in order to stop people or animals from entering it.

Example:  The hill had been fenced off to prevent animals from grazing on it.

20) Miscreants

Meaning: A person who has done something wrong or unlawful.

Example: “The police are straining every nerve to bring the miscreants to justice”

Synonyms: Criminal, Culprit

21) Wreaked

Meaning: Cause (a large amount of damage or harm).

Example: “Torrential rainstorms wreaked havoc yesterday”

Synonyms: Inflict, Create

22) Rampaging

Meaning: (Especially of a large group of people) move through a place in a violent and uncontrollable manner.

Example: “Several thousand demonstrators rampaged through the city”

Synonyms: Rush wildly/madly, Riot

23) Steeply

Meaning: At a steep angle; sharply.

Example: “The walls of the gorge rise steeply on both sides”

24) Pleaded

Meaning: Make an emotional appeal.

Example: “She pleaded with them not to gag the boy”

Synonyms: Beg, Entreat

25) Stagger

Meaning: Astonish or deeply shock.

Example: “I was staggered to find it was six o’clock”

Synonyms: Astonish, Amaze

26) Clogging

Meaning: Block or become blocked with an accumulation of thick, wet matter.

Example: “The gutters were clogged up with leaves”

Synonyms: Block, Obstruct

Antonyms: Unblock

27) Regime

Meaning: A system or ordered way of doing things.

Example: “Detention centres with a very tough physical regime”

Synonyms: System, Arrangement

28) Offtake

Meaning: The removal of oil from a reservoir or supply.

29) Forbearance

Meaning: Patient self-control; restraint and tolerance.

Example: “His unfailing courtesy and forbearance under great provocation”

Synonyms: Tolerance, Toleration

30) Traction

Meaning: The grip of a tyre on a road or a wheel on a rail.

Example: “His car hit a patch of ice and lost traction”

Synonyms: Grip, Friction

31) Chicanery

Meaning: The use of deception or subterfuge to achieve one’s purpose.

Example: “Storylines packed with political chicanery”

Synonyms: Trickery, Deception

32) Rosy

Meaning: Promising or suggesting good fortune or happiness; hopeful.

Example: “The strategy has produced results beyond the most rosy forecasts”

Synonyms: Promising, Optimistic

Antonyms: Bleak, Dismal, Depressing

33) Feign

Meaning: Pretend to be affected by (a feeling, state, or injury).

Example: “She feigned nervousness”

Synonyms: Simulate, Fake

Antonyms: Sincere

34) Perhaps

Meaning: Used to express uncertainty or possibility.

Example: “Perhaps I should have been frank with him”

35) Dispenses

Meaning: Distribute or provide (a service or information) to a number of people.

Example: “Orderlies went round dispensing drinks”

Synonyms: Distribute, Pass round

Antonyms: Collect

36) Hedging

Meaning: Limit or qualify (something) by conditions or exceptions.

Example: “They hedged their story about with provisos”

Synonyms: Confine, Restrict

37) Resorting

Meaning: Turn to and adopt (a course of action, especially an extreme or undesirable one) so as to resolve a difficult situation.

Example: “The duke was prepared to resort to force if negotiation failed”

Synonyms: Use, Utilize

38) Hiding

Meaning: Prevent (an emotion or fact) from being apparent or known; keep secret.

Example: “Herbert could hardly hide his dislike”

Synonyms: Keep secret, Conceal

Antonyms: Disclose

39) Bluff

Meaning: An attempt to deceive someone into believing that one can or is going to do something.

Example: “The offer was denounced as a bluff”

Synonyms: Deception, Subterfuge

40) Bid down

Meaning: To decrease the value of something, usually a security, by offering to pay lower and lower prices for it.

Example: Only buy that stock if you are able to bid it down first.

Other Important THE HINDU EDITORIALS for the month of December , 2017 :


Other Important THE HINDU EDITORIALS for the month of January , 2018 :