THE HINDU EDITORIAL – August 30, 2018 is one of the must read section for the competitive exams like IBPS RRB PO, IBPS RRB Office Assistant 2018, RBI Grade “B” 2018 & NIACL Assistant 2018. These topics are widely expected to be asked in the reading comprehension , Cloze Test or Error Detection topics in the forthcoming exams. So gear up your Exam preparation and learn new words daily.

A) The crackdown on civil society

With the raids and arrests, activists are being penalised for their unwavering vigilance

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the modern democratic state, armed with technologies of surveillance and control, possesses the kind of power that has never ever been exercised by any other state in history. In a democracy , the individual transits from subject to citizen. Yet there is no one more vulnerable and more helpless than our rights-bearing citizen if the, otherwise, democratic state decides to terrorise, kill and drill fear and trepidation in the mind of the body politic. The other dominant institution of our times, the market, is completely amoral. It is supremely indifferent to human suffering. It has neither sympathy nor room for citizens exploited by the state, and by its own need for resources, labour, and profit.

A vital sphere

The only sphere that stands between the individual and the omnipresent and omnipotent state is civil society, In this figurative space, individuals come together in webs of associational life. Associations have the capacity to challenge the brute power of the state through petitions, protests, dharnas and ultimately judicial activism. Given unresponsive political parties, citizens can access centres of power and privilege only through a vibrant civil society.

Civil society is, of course, a plural sphere, and all manners of associations find space for themselves here, from football clubs to reading groups to film fan societies. Each democratic association is important, but we cannot deny that civil liberty and human rights , groups are an essential precondition for human well-being. Some Indian citizens were randomly and arbitrarily imprisoned during the Emergency (1975-77) and the fundamental rights of others were truncated. It is, therefore, not surprising that in the aftermath of the Emergency, the civil liberties movement made a dramatic appearance on to the scene of Indian politics. The movement which developed into, or acted in concert with, the human rights movement took on an extremely significant task, that of protecting the fundamental right to life and liberty granted by the Indian Constitution.

Every political revolution in the world has begun with the rights to life and liberty. These two rights lie at the core of other rights that have been developed and codified as critical for human beings. The two rights stretch from the right not to be tortured or killed, to the right not to be arrested and imprisoned by the lackeys of the state without due cause. The right to life is a basic right, but our lives do not mean anything if we are incarcerated for no rhyme or reason.

In the decades that followed, human rights groups have become the custodian of the Fundamental Rights chapter of the Indian Constitution. They have investigated cases of arbitrary imprisonment, custodial deaths, deadly encounters and coercion of any citizen who dares to speak up against the state or dominant groups. These organisations have carefully documented the causes and the triggers of communal and caste violence, and established an excellent archive on the abuse of power by governments. They have asked questions which few Indians have had the courage to ask. And above all, they have protected the rights of vulnerable sections of our own people, the Adivasis, the Dalits and Muslims.

Civil liberty and/or human rights activists are lawyers, academics, journalists and public minded citizens of India. What matters is their very human concern for the poor and the disadvantaged, the dispossessed and the vulnerable. What matters is that civil society activists protect the moral conscience of our society. Not all civil society groups do so, some are in the sole business of getting funds from the state or others. Not all sections of the media do so, they are often cowered down by their corporate bosses, and the lure of fame and lucre. Unhappily, the majority of Indians keep quiet when their own fellow citizens are tortured by the police, stripped of access to resources and livelihoods, lynched, exploited by corporate India, and neglected by the mainstream media. Human rights activists shoulder the fight for the rights of the oppressed.

The turf wars

Their role is crucial for democracy because today we are ruled by a government that openly defies ethics and morality, that casts itself in the mould of realism, and that is supremely indifferent to the plight of millions of its citizens. We are ruled by leaders who dismiss the need for civil society because the cadres and the front organisations of its ideological backbone, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, seek to dominate the space between the individual, the market and the state. The consequences are serious. Over 10 years ago, during UPA I, we were speaking of the right to food, to employment, to education, to information and to land. We theorised that India was moving towards a social democratic state vide civil society activism. Today there are few organisations that articulate the right not to be lynched, or who struggle for the right to life and liberty. Human rights activists are among these few organisations. They have courageously taken on the challenge posed by corporates, a ruthless state and its venal police, and the cadres of right-wing organisations that specialise in violence.

Activists have been penalised for their eternal vigilance, which, as Irish lawyer-politician John Curran said in 1790, is the price we pay for liberty. The government and right-wing organisations have pursued and terrorised human rights activists. On August 28, lawyers, poets, academics and activists known for their defence of the dispossessed were targeted by the Maharashtra police. The houses of Sudha Bharadwaj, Varavara Rao, Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira, Gautam Navlakha, Anand Teltumbde and Stan Swamy were raided, and some of them imprisoned.

The reasons for the harassment of these warriors in the cause of justice are unsubstantial and unconvincing. The police simply cannot establish that their speeches at the Elgar Parishad meeting in Pune in December 2017 incited the violence unleashed on a Dalit gathering at Bhima-Koregaon on January 1, 2018. It was earlier reported that the peaceful gathering was attacked by activists belonging to two Hindu right-wing organisations: Shiv Pratishthan led by Sambhaji Bhide, and Hindu Ekta Manch led by Milind Ekbote. Mr. Ekbote, committed to Maratha/Hindu supremacy, was arrested in March 2018. Soon he was cleared by the police and the Maharashtra government. Now a completely different set of agents has been brought in and charged with urban Maoism, a term that has neither a history nor a geography. It is simply silly.

Boomerang effect?

This is the latest blow inflicted on civil society by a party that wishes to see only its own organisations dominating the space of associations. The attempt might just rebound on the party. The well-known Italian theorist Antonio Gramsci, jailed by the Mussolini government in the 1920s, set out to answer a crucial question. Why had a revolution occurred in semi-feudal Tsarist Russia, and not in the Western capitalist world as predicted by Marx? He concluded that revolutions only happen when the government directly and unashamedly exercises brute power, as in Russia. They do not happen in countries which possess civil societies, for here projects of domination and resistance can be played out. Citizens just do not need to revolt. Is there a lesson our rulers need to learn from this piece of profound wisdom?

B) Power play: on troubles of the power sector

The government should address the troubles of the power sector, but IBC must hold

The Allahabad High Court on Monday dismissed a plea from private power producers seeking relief from an RBI diktat to banks to take cognisance of a stressed loan if repayments were missed even by a day. The RBI decision, of February 12, requires banks to complete insolvency resolution proceedings within 180 days of defaults. Monday also marked the deadline for several cases in which loans were declared bad due to this regulation. Across the banking system, about 70 firms with loans of around ₹3.8 lakh crore outstanding were expected to face insolvency proceedings. Thirty-four of the troubled accounts are from the power sector and constitute nearly 54% (or ₹2.02 lakh crore) of banks’ exposure in these cases, according to the credit rating agency ICRA. A Power Ministry report suggests these power producers have planned generation capacities of 39 gigawatts, and are in trouble. This is due to a variety of factors: fuel shortages due to cancellation of coal block allotments or lack of supply linkages; absence of power purchase agreements signed by State discoms; and cost overruns due to delayed clearances. The promoters argued in court that most of the hurdles faced by the power sector were due to external factors and so they should be spared the insolvency stick.

Several bankers and even the government have expressed reservations about the RBI directive. With regard to the power sector, in particular, the worry among bankers is that a credible resolution plan may be difficult to construct unless key structural issues such as fuel supply and State discoms’ financial woes are fixed. To be fair, the power sector has been facing some of these issues since UPA-II. The UPA government had set up a project management group in the Cabinet Secretariat to steer stalled big-ticket investment projects out of regulatory landmines. The NDA government did its bit too, including an overhaul of the process for coal block allotments and the UDAY scheme to rev up State discoms’ finances. But the utilisation rate of power plant capacities has been stagnant at around 60%, indicating that more needs to be done by policymakers. Nonetheless, it is heartening that the High Court refused to entertain any obfuscation of the RBI’s regulatory powers or of the sanctity of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code to deal with stressed assets. This should trigger a consolidation in the sector, possibly with deep haircuts for banks. Granting any relief would have led to pleas for exemption from other sectors too. The government should display greater urgency in tackling systemic issues in different sectors, but there should be no deviation from the IBC path it has embarked on to fix the banking stress, that is hurting the entire economy.


1) transits

Meaning : pass across or through (an area).

Tamil Meaning : இடப்பெயர்வு

Synonyms : transport , travel

Antonyms : hold

Example : “the new large ships will be too big to transit the Panama Canal”

2) vulnerable

Meaning : exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.

Tamil Meaning : பாதிக்கப்படக்கூடிய

Synonyms : ready , defenseless

Antonyms : protected

Example : “we were in a vulnerable position”

3) trepidation

Meaning : a feeling of fear or anxiety about something that may happen.

Tamil Meaning : நடுக்கம்

Synonyms : consternation , dismay

Antonyms : beauty , assurance

Example : “the men set off in fear and trepidation”

4) amoral

Meaning : lacking a moral sense; unconcerned with the rightness or wrongness of something.

Tamil Meaning : நீதிநெறியற்ற

Synonyms : carnal , depraved

Antonyms : chaste

Example : Guy was greedy, amoral and dishonest.

5) exploited

Meaning : make full use of and derive benefit from (a resource).

Tamil Meaning : சுரண்டப்பட்ட

Synonyms : oppressed , abused

Antonyms : wastefulness

Example : “500 companies sprang up to exploit this new technology”

6) omnipresent

Meaning : widely or constantly encountered; widespread.

Tamil Meaning : எங்கும் நிறைந்திருக்கிற

Synonyms : pervasive , infinite

Antonyms : limited

Example : “the omnipresent threat of natural disasters”

7) omnipotent

Meaning : (of a deity) having unlimited power.

Tamil Meaning : எல்லாம் வல்ல

Synonyms : divine , mighty

Antonyms : impotent

Example : “God is described as omnipotent and benevolent”

8) brute

Meaning : a savagely violent man or animal.

Tamil Meaning :  முரட்டு

Synonyms : beastly

Antonyms : gentle

Example : “he was a cold-blooded brute”

9) privilege

Meaning : a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group.

Tamil Meaning : சலுகை

Synonyms : authority

Antonyms : benefit

Example : “education is a right, not a privilege”

10) truncated

Meaning : shorten (something) by cutting off the top or the end.

Tamil Meaning : துண்டிக்கப்படாமல்

Synonyms : abridge , curtail

Antonyms : expand

Example : “a truncated cone shape”

11) lackeys

Meaning : a servant, especially a liveried footman or manservant.

Tamil Meaning : எடுபிடிகளாக

Synonyms : attendant , domestic

Antonyms : boss

Example : “lackeys were waiting to help them from the carriage”

12) incarcerate

Meaning : imprison or confine.

Tamil Meaning : சிறைபடுத்து

Synonyms : imprison , confine

Antonyms : free

Example : “many are incarcerated for property offences”

13) coercion

Meaning : the action or practice of persuading someone to do something by using force or threats.

Tamil Meaning : கட்டாயப்படுத்தல்

Synonyms :  intimidation , persuasion

Antonyms : fine touch

Example : The school bully used coercion to force the other kids to give him their lunch money.

14) conscience

Meaning : a person’s moral sense of right and wrong, viewed as acting as a guide to one’s behaviour.

Tamil Meaning : மனசாட்சி

Synonyms : shame

Antonyms : immorality

Example : “he had a guilty conscience about his desires”

15) lucre

Meaning : money, especially when regarded as sordid or distasteful or gained in a dishonourable way.

Tamil Meaning : ஆதாயம்

Synonyms : capital , cash

Antonyms : bills

Example : “officials getting their hands grubby with filthy lucre

16) stripped

Meaning : remove all coverings from.

Tamil Meaning : பறிக்கப்பட்டது

Synonyms : deprived

Antonyms : equipped

Example : “they stripped the bed”

17) oppressed

Meaning : subject to harsh and authoritarian treatment.

Tamil Meaning : ஒடுக்கப்பட்ட

Synonyms : abused , helpless

Antonyms : alleviated

Example : “oppressed racial minorities”

18) defies

Meaning : openly resist or refuse to obey.

Tamil Meaning : பொருந்தாத

Synonyms : confront

Antonyms : assist

Example : “a woman who defies convention”

19) plight

Meaning :  a dangerous, difficult, or otherwise unfortunate situation.

Tamil Meaning : அவல நிலை

Synonyms : predicament , trouble

Antonyms : advantage

Example : “we must direct our efforts towards relieving the plight of children living in poverty”

20) theorised

Meaning : form a theory or theories about something.

Tamil Meaning : தத்துவக் கோட்பாடு

Synonyms : speculate

Antonyms : calculate

Example : “he theorized that the atolls marked the sites of vanished volcanoes”

21) venal

Meaning : showing or motivated by susceptibility to bribery; corrupt.

Tamil Meaning : பணத்திற்கு விலைபோகும்

Synonyms : amoral , corrupt

Antonyms : honest

Example : “local customs officers are notoriously venal”

22) penalised

Meaning : subject to a penalty or punishment.

Tamil Meaning : தண்டிக்கப்பட

Synonyms : chastise , castigate

Antonyms : compliment

Example : “high-spending councils will be penalized”

23) incited

Meaning : encourage or stir up (violent or unlawful behaviour).

Tamil Meaning : தூண்டிவிட்டார்

Synonyms : exhort

Antonyms : calm

Example : “they conspired to incite riots”

24) unleashed

Meaning : release (a dog) from a leash.

Tamil Meaning :  கட்டவிழ்த்துவிட

Synonyms : discharge

Antonyms : hold

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

25) inflicted

Meaning : cause (something unpleasant or painful) to be suffered by someone or something.

Tamil Meaning : நாமே

Synonyms : expose

Antonyms : hold

Example : “they inflicted serious injuries on three other men”

26) rebound

Meaning : bounce back through the air after hitting something hard.

Tamil Meaning : மீண்டும் எழும்

Synonyms : overcome

Antonyms : destroy

Example : “his shot hammered into the post and rebounded across the goal”

27) feudal

Meaning : absurdly outdated or old-fashioned.

Tamil Meaning : பழமையான

Synonyms : antique

Antonyms : current

Example : “his view of patriotism was more than old-fashioned—it was positively feudal”

28) brute

Meaning : a savagely violent man or animal.

Tamil Meaning : முரட்டு

Synonyms : beastly

Antonyms : gentle

Example : “he was a cold-blooded brute”

29) revolt

Meaning : take violent action against an established government or ruler; rebel.

Tamil Meaning : கிளர்ச்சி

Synonyms : defection

Antonyms : obedience

Example : “the Iceni revolted and had to be suppressed”

30) profound

Meaning : (of a state, quality, or emotion) very great or intense.

Tamil Meaning : ஆழ்ந்த

Synonyms : deep , serious

Antonyms : open

Example : “profound feelings of disquiet”

31) stagnant

Meaning : (of a body of water or the atmosphere of a confined space) having no current or flow and often having an    unpleasant smell as a consequence.

Tamil Meaning : தேக்க

Synonyms : dormant , inactive

Antonyms : active

Example : “a stagnant ditch”

32) cognisance

Meaning : knowledge or awareness.

Tamil Meaning : அளவினை

Synonyms : awareness

Antonyms : faint

Example : “the Renaissance cognizance of Greece was limited”

33) insolvency

Meaning : the state of being insolvent.

Tamil Meaning : நொடித்துப்

Synonyms : breakdown , bankruptcy

Antonyms : accomplishment

Example : “the club was facing insolvency

34) exposure

Meaning : the state of having no protection from something harmful.

Tamil Meaning : வெளிப்பாடு

Synonyms : liability , publicity

Antonyms : certainty

Example : “the dangers posed by exposure to asbestos”

35) woes

Meaning : great sorrow or distress (often used hyperbolically).

Tamil Meaning : இன்னல்களை

Synonyms : catastrophe , calamity

Antonyms : advantage

Example : “the Everton tale of woe continued”

36) stalled

Meaning : (of a motor vehicle or its engine) stop running, typically because of an overload on the engine.

Tamil Meaning : முடங்கியுள்ளது

Synonyms : hamper , postpone

Antonyms : advance

Example : “her car stalled at the crossroads”

37) obfuscation

Meaning : the action of making something obscure, unclear, or unintelligible.

Tamil Meaning : குழப்பத்தின்

Synonyms : bafflement

Antonyms : benefit

Example : “when confronted with sharp questions they resort to obfuscation”

38) sanctity

Meaning : the state or quality of being holy, sacred, or saintly.

Tamil Meaning : புனித

Synonyms : divinity , inviolability

Antonyms : meanness

Example : “the site of the tomb was a place of sanctity for the ancient Egyptians”

39) plea

Meaning : a request made in an urgent and emotional manner.

Tamil Meaning : மனு

Synonyms : appeal

Antonyms : demand

Example : “he made a dramatic plea for disarmament”

40) embarked

Meaning : go on board a ship or aircraft.

Tamil Meaning : மேற்கொண்டார்

Synonyms : commence

Antonyms : cease

Example : “he embarked for India in 1817″


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