a) A fresh deadline: on framing Cauvery scheme

The Centre cannot continue to evade its legal obligation to create a mechanism to implement the Supreme Court’s final verdict in the Cauvery dispute. This was the broad message conveyed by the court on Monday when it admonished the government for failing to frame a scheme within the six-week time limit given earlier. For the Centre, it was embarrassing to be asked to demonstrate its bona fides by submitting a draft scheme for the court’s consideration by May 3. The court’s frustration was evident, as the Bench headed by the Chief Justice of India was surprised and disappointed that the Centre had not put a scheme in place or sought an early clarification. It is obvious that a decree on the sharing of water requires a mechanism to give effect to it. It is an evasion of responsibility on the Centre’s part to set off a round of litigation just to determine the nature of such a mechanism. At the same time, it is easy to understand the reluctance of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government at the Centre. It clearly fears that framing a scheme may adversely affect its prospects in Karnataka, which goes to the polls next month. In the conflict between duty and electoral considerations, the BJP has chosen the latter.

It is a matter of satisfaction that the apex court has indicated that it will pass a binding order soon. The Centre should redeem itself by complying with the latest order. Meanwhile, the ambiguity over whether ‘scheme’ refers to or differs from the ‘Cauvery Management Board’ envisaged in the Cauvery Tribunal’s order has caused great disquiet in Tamil Nadu. This raises the question whether the court should have allowed an element of ambiguity in its judgment by referring to a ‘scheme’, while not expressly modifying the portion of the Tribunal’s order that talks of a ‘Cauvery Management Board’ and a ‘Cauvery Water Regulation Committee’. This is why even the court’s appeal for peace has not assuaged sentiments in Tamil Nadu, where tempers are soaring in some quarters. Unfortunately, a fringe has taken centre stage, focussing almost their entire protest on the Indian Premier League tournament. As a political tactic, threatening a hugely popular cricket tournament is bound to attract national attention. If this is what some of the protestors wanted, then they have succeeded in their objective, even if this has come at the cost of some disruption. However, targeting the IPL is irrational. If the premise is that fun and entertainment are inappropriate in this time of crisis, why pick on one tournament alone? Moreover, IPL matches have nothing to do with the Cauvery dispute; more importantly, they have nothing to with either the Centre or the State. Choosing a soft target may bring high visibility, but it makes no sense to mix a serious inter-State dispute with sport and entertainment — certainly not in a disruptive and violent manner.

b) Fifteen years after: on Iraq wars

Fifteen years ago, on April 9, a few weeks into the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, a 39-foot statue of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad’s al-Fardous Square was brought down under the watch of American troops. It was an iconic moment that highlighted more than just the end of the Ba’ath party’s decades-long reign. Within a month, U.S. President George W. Bush had declared “mission accomplished” in Iraq. But one and a half decades later, the country is still fighting the ghosts of the destructive war. The war, which began on March 20, 2003, had no legitimate basis, being founded on misleading intelligence information, if not downright lies. The U.S. did not have a UN mandate to use force against Iraq. Repeated attempts by the Bush administration to get Security Council approval failed. But the U.S. went ahead with forming an international coalition that included the U.K., and attacking Iraq, citing mainly two reasons — that the Saddam administration possessed weapons of mass destruction and that it had ties with al-Qaeda. Both claims turned out to be false. The occupying troops failed to find any weapon of mass destruction in Iraq, while al-Qaeda in Iraq was actually founded after the invasion. The post-war management of Iraq was disastrous. The U.S. first disbanded the Iraqi military, leaving tens of thousands of soldiers jobless overnight, which posed a security threat. There was no coherent strategy to stabilise post-Saddam Iraq or to address the sectarian power struggle to fill the vacuum.

It is difficult to see what the U.S. and its allies achieved from a war that killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and displaced millions. More importantly, by destroying the state apparatus in Iraq, Washington threw a multi-ethnic, multi-religious country into utter chaos. It was in this chaos that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi found the fertile ground to build his terrorist empire which, after his death and under the leadership of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, transformed itself into the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. In effect, the war got rid of a ruthless dictator, but left the country in a worse and much more dangerous situation — in fact, in disarray and perpetual violence. Iraq now has a functional government, but with deepening sectarian and ethnic fault lines. Despite the humanitarian and political tragedy that is still unfolding, none of the architects of the war has been taken to task. No action has been taken even based on the U.K.’s Chilcot report, which took apart the arguments used to justify the war. The Iraq war will remain a reminder of not only one of the greatest humanitarian catastrophes of the century but also of a grave failure of the international system.


1) Evade

Meaning: Escape or avoid (someone or something), especially by guile or trickery.

Example: “Friends helped him to evade capture for a time”

Synonyms: Elude, Avoid.

2) Verdict

Meaning: A decision on an issue of fact in a civil or criminal case or an inquest.

Example: “The jury returned a verdict of not guilty”

Synonyms: Judgement, Adjudication.

3) Admonish

Meaning: Advise or urge (someone) earnestly.

Example: “She admonished him to drink no more than one glass of wine”

Synonyms: Advise, Recommend.

4) Embarrass

Meaning: Cause (someone) to feel awkward, self-conscious, or ashamed.

Example: “She wouldn’t embarrass either of them by making a scene”

Synonyms: Shame, Humiliate.

5) Frustration

Meaning: The feeling of being upset or annoyed as a result of being unable to change or achieve something.

Example: “Tears of frustration rolled down her cheeks”

Synonyms: Exasperation, Annoyance.

6) Obvious

Meaning: Easily perceived or understood; clear, self-evident, or apparent.

Example: “Unemployment has been the most obvious cost of the recession”

Synonyms: Clear, Plain.

7) Decree

Meaning: An official order that has the force of law.

Example: “The decree guaranteed freedom of assembly”

Synonyms: Order, Edict.

8) Evasion

Meaning: The action of evading something.

Example: “Their adroit evasion of almost all questions”

Synonyms: Avoidance.

Antonyms: Confrontation.

9) Set off

Meaning: Begin a journey.

Example: “They set off together in the small car”

Synonyms: Set out, Start out.

10) Litigation

Meaning: The process of taking legal action.

Example: “The company wishes to avoid litigation”

Synonyms: Legal action, Lawsuit.

11) Reluctance

Meaning: Unwillingness or disinclination to do something.

Example: “She sensed his reluctance to continue”

Synonyms: Unwillingness, Disinclination.

12) Conflict

Meaning: A serious disagreement or argument, typically a protracted one.

Example: “The eternal conflict between the sexes”

Synonyms: Dispute, Quarrel.

13) Redeem

Meaning: Compensate for the faults or bad aspects of.

Example: “A disappointing debate redeemed only by an outstanding speech”

Synonyms: Rescue, Justify.

14) Comply

Meaning: Act in accordance with a wish or command.

Example: “We are unable to comply with your request”

Synonyms: Observe, Obey.

Antonyms: Ignore, Disobey.

15) Ambiguity

Meaning: The quality of being open to more than one interpretation; inexactness.

Example: “We can detect no ambiguity in this section of the Act”

Synonyms: Ambivalence, Equivocation.

Antonyms: Unambiguousness, Transparency

16) Envisage

Meaning: Contemplate or conceive of as a possibility or a desirable future event.

Example: “The Rome Treaty envisaged free movement across frontiers”

Synonyms: Foresee, Predict.

17) Disquiet

Meaning: A feeling of worry or unease.

Example: “Public disquiet about animal testing”

Synonyms: Unease.

18) Assuage

Meaning: Satisfy (an appetite or desire).

Example: “An opportunity occurred to assuage her desire for knowledge”

Synonyms: Satisfy, Fulfil.

19) Temper

Meaning: A person’s state of mind seen in terms of their being angry or calm.

Example: “He rushed out in a very bad temper”

Synonyms: Character, Personality.

20) Soar

Meaning: Fly or rise high in the air.

Example: “The bird spread its wings and soared into the air”

Synonyms: Climb, Rise.

21) Fringe

Meaning: The outer, marginal, or extreme part of an area, group, or sphere of activity.

Example: “His uncles were on the fringes of crooked activity”

Synonyms: Unconventional.

Antonyms: Mainstream, Middle.

22) Tactic

Meaning: An action or strategy carefully planned to achieve a specific end.

Example: “The minority attempted to control the Council by a delaying tactic”

Synonyms: Strategy, Scheme.

23) Threatening

Meaning: Having a hostile or deliberately frightening quality or manner.

Example: “Her mother had received a threatening letter”

Synonyms: Menacing, Intimidating.

24) Disruption

Meaning: Disturbance or problems which interrupt an event, activity, or process.

Example: “The scheme was planned to minimize disruption”

Synonyms: Disturbance, Disordering.

25) Irrational

Meaning: Not logical or reasonable.

Example: “Irrational feelings of hostility”

Synonyms: Unreasonable, Illogical.

Antonyms: Rational, Logical.

26) Reign

Meaning: (Of a quality or condition) be the dominant feature of a situation or place.

Example: “Confusion reigned”

Synonyms: Prevail, Exist.

27) Legitimate

Meaning: Conforming to the law or to rules.

Example: “His claims to legitimate authority”

Synonyms: Legal, Lawful.

28) Misleading

Meaning: Giving the wrong idea or impression.

Example: “Your article contains a number of misleading statements”

Synonyms: Deceptive, Confusing.

29) Possess

Meaning: Have as belonging to one; own.

Example: “I do not possess a television set”

Synonyms: Own, Have.

30) Turn out

Meaning: Prove to be the case.

Example: “The job turned out to be beyond his rather limited abilities”

Synonyms: Transpire.

31) Disastrous

Meaning: Causing great damage.

Example: “A disastrous fire swept through the museum”

Synonyms: Catastrophic, Calamitous.

32) Disband

Meaning: (With reference to an organized group) break up or cause to break up.

Example: “The unit was scheduled to disband”

Synonyms: Break up, Disperse.

33) Pose

Meaning: Present or constitute (a problem or danger).

Example: “The sheer number of visitors is posing a threat to the area”

Synonyms: Constitute, Present.

34) Chaos

Meaning: Complete disorder and confusion.

Example: “Snow caused chaos in the region”

Synonyms: Disorder, Disarray.

35) Ruthless

Meaning: Having or showing no pity or compassion for others.

Example: “A ruthless manipulator”

Synonyms: Merciless, Pitiless.

36) Disarray

Meaning: A state of disorganization or untidiness.

Example: “Her grey hair was in disarray”

Synonyms: Disorder, Confusion.

37) Perpetual

Meaning: Never ending or changing.

Example: “Deep caves in perpetual darkness”

Synonyms: Everlasting, Never-ending.

Antonyms: Transitory, Temporary.

38) Unfold

Meaning: (Of events or information) gradually develop or be revealed.

Example: “There was a fascinating scene unfolding before me”

Synonyms: Develop, Evolve.

39) Catastrophe

Meaning: An event causing great and usually sudden damage or suffering; a disaster.

Example: “An environmental catastrophe”

Synonyms: Disaster, Calamity.

40) Grave

Meaning: Giving cause for alarm; serious.

Example: “A matter of grave concern”

Synonyms: Serious, Important.

Antonyms: Trivial.

Want to learn more , Check the Previous Day of THE HINDU EDITORIAL which was published in our Bankersdaily and learn new words to enhance your Vocabulary.


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