THE HINDU EDITORIAL : JANUARY 7, 2019

Dear Banking Aspirants,

THE HINDU EDITORIAL – January 7, 2018, is one of the must-read section for the competitive exams like  IBPS Clerk 2018 Mains Exam, Canara Bank PO – PGDBF 2018 and IBPS SO 2018. These topics are widely expected to be asked in the reading comprehension, Cloze Test or Error Detection in the forthcoming exams. So gear up your Exam preparation and learn new words daily.


A) Bring in the experts: on Jayalalithaa’s death

Jayalalithaa’s death does not deserve to be clouded by murky conspiracy theories

The philosopher Karl Popper argued that conspiracy theories are often premised on the notion that events are manipulated by sinister groups, shaped by a distrust of the notion of randomness and a yearning to explain phenomena in terms of an underlying or intentional order. From the birth of history, the death of famous people has provided a breeding ground for conspiracy theories. Clearly, the unfortunate and untimely passing away of Jayalalithaa has become a playing ground for such ‘theorists’. Astonishingly, more than a year after she died, two Tamil Nadu Ministers have called for a probe into her death by a special investigation team. Meanwhile, the Commission of Inquiry headed by Justice (retired) A. Arumughaswamy, constituted in September 2017 to probe her illness and death, is well into a third extension of its tenure. If it sometimes appears as if the Commission is shooting blindfolded in a dark room with blanks, that is because it is unclear if its principal focus is the issue of the “circumstances and situation leading to her hospitalisation”, “subsequent treatment” and “unfortunate demise” or a larger conspiracy into her death. Both issues could be related, in theory. But if the main task is to determine whether the former Chief Minister received adequate medical attention before she was admitted in hospital and during her 75-day stay there, then this can only be settled by independent medical experts.

The corporate hospital she was treated in has filed a petition before the Commission seeking the constitution of a medical board comprising experts in a range of specialities to examine the case records and the interventions made by its doctors. This is an eminently sensible suggestion, given the complex and debilitating matrix of conditions that Jayalalithaa suffered from. Only a complete understanding of her overall medical condition can result in a fair conclusion about the treatment she got. The importance of doing this is all the greater, given reports of critical errors in the recording of depositions of doctors before the Commission. One of them has gone as far as to say his application to correct errors has failed. The conspiracy angle has been given a new and perplexing lease of life with the Commission’s counsel accusing the hospital and the State’s Health Secretary of “conspiracy” and “collusion” in providing “inappropriate treatment”. It would be improper to suggest that the Arumughaswamy panel is conducting the probe in anything but a fair manner, but it is essential that it also gives the impression that it is doing just that. After all, there is no getting away from the fact that the setting up of an inquiry commission had a clear political motive — it was a condition that needed to be satisfied to unite the warring AIADMK factions. Chasing elusive conspiracies will not enhance the Commission’s image; taking the help of competent experts will.


B) Removing fear: on literary freedom

The private member’s Bill aimed at protecting literary freedom from threats is welcome

Literary freedom is taken for granted in democracies, but forces that threaten or undermine it are always at work. Each age has to fight the battle afresh. In recent times, several attempts to get books withdrawn, pulped or sanitised of offending content have achieved full or partial success in India. Wendy Doniger’s The Hindus: An Alternative History was withdrawn from circulation, and A.K. Ramanujan’s essay ‘Three Hundred Ramayanas’ was dropped from a Delhi University syllabus. Tamil writer Perumal Murugan’s Madhorubagan (One Part Woman) was withdrawn by the author under mob pressure but resurrected by a Madras High Court verdict. Public order, national unity and social or religious harmony are the principles commonly invoked against the practice of literary freedom. Threats to free expression, especially artistic freedom, in our times mainly come from those claiming to espouse the interests of a particular religion or social group. It is in this context that Shashi Tharoor, Congress MP and writer, has introduced a private member’s Bill in the Lok Sabha seeking to protect freedom of literature. Its objective — that “authors must be guaranteed the freedom to express their work without fear of punitive action by the State or by sections of society” — commends itself to any society that upholds liberal values. It seeks the omission of three IPC sections, including 295A, in effect a non-denominational blasphemy law, as it targets deliberate or malicious acts to outrage religious feelings.

Section 295A is a grossly misused section, often invoked in trivial ways to hound individuals, harass writers and curtail free expression. It deserves to be scrapped. Sections that relate to the sale of obscene books and uttering words that hurt religious feelings are also sought to be omitted. However, it is unclear why Section 153A, which punishes those who promote enmity between groups on grounds of religion, race or language, and Section 153B, which criminalises words and imputations prejudicial to national integration, do not draw Mr. Tharoor’s attention. In the process of proscribing a book, he proposes a tweak in the form of a 15-day prohibition. Thereafter, the onus should be on the State government to approach the High Court to seek a permanent ban. It favours the scrapping of the provision in the Customs Act to ban the import of books, but makes a public order exception. It wants to limit the bar on obscenity in the Information Technology Act to child pornography. Private Bills rarely become law, but they are useful in highlighting gaps in the body of law. Seen in this light, Mr. Tharoor’s initiative is most welcome as a step towards removing or diluting penal provisions that inhibit literary freedom.


VOCABULARY

1) conspiracy

Meaning : a secret plan by a group to do something unlawful or harmful(n).

Tamil Meaning : சதி

Synonyms : sedition

Antonyms : honesty

Example : “a conspiracy to destroy the government”

2) premised

Meaning : base an argument, theory, or undertaking on(v).

Synonyms : assume

Antonyms : complete

Example : “the reforms were premised on our findings”

3) notion

Meaning : a conception of or belief about something(n).

Tamil Meaning : கருத்து

Synonyms : concept

Antonyms : concrete

Example : “children have different notions about the roles of their parents”

4) manipulated

Meaning : handle or control (a tool, mechanism, information, etc.) in a skilful manner(v).

Synonyms : employ

Antonyms : destroy

Example : “he manipulated the dials of the set”

5) probe

Meaning : a thorough investigation into a crime or other matter(n).

Tamil Meaning : ஆய்வு

Synonyms : exploration

Antonyms : absurd

Example : “a probe into city hall corruption”

6) tenure

Meaning : the holding of an office(n).

Tamil Meaning : பதவி

Synonyms : occupation

Antonyms : release

Example : “his tenure of the premiership would be threatened”

7) determine

Meaning : cause (something) to occur in a particular way or to have a particular nature(v).

Tamil Meaning : தீர்மானிக்க

Synonyms : complete

Antonyms : bear

Example : “it will be her mental attitude that determines her future”

8) interventions

Meaning : the action or process of intervening(n).

Tamil Meaning : தலையீடுகள்

Synonyms : interference

Example : “a high degree of state intervention in the economy”

9) eminently

Meaning : to a notable degree; very(adv).

Tamil Meaning : கூடியவை

Synonyms : extremely

Antonyms : unimportantly

Example : “an eminently readable textbook”

10) debilitating

Meaning : (of a disease or condition) making someone very weak and infirm(adj).

Tamil Meaning : பலவீனமாக்கும்

Synonyms : attenuate

Antonyms : assist

Example : “debilitating back pain”

11) perplexing

Meaning : completely baffling; very puzzling(adj).

Tamil Meaning : குழப்பமான

Synonyms : confusing

Antonyms : easy

Example : “a perplexing problem”

12) accusing

Meaning : (of an expression, gesture, or tone of voice) indicating a belief in someone’s guilt or culpability(adj).

Synonyms : arraign

Antonyms : applaud

Example : “she stared at him with accusing eyes”

13) lease

Meaning : grant (property) on lease; let(v).

Synonyms : hire

Antonyms : sell

Example : “she leased the site to a local company”

14) impression

Meaning : an idea, feeling, or opinion about something or someone, especially one formed without conscious thought or on the basis of little evidence(n).

Tamil Meaning : உணர்வை

Synonyms : impact

Antonyms : beginning

Example : “his first impressions of Manchester were very positive”

15) factions

Meaning : a small organized dissenting group within a larger one, especially in politics.

Tamil Meaning : பிரிவுகள்

Synonyms : sect

Antonyms : individual

Example : “the left-wing faction of the party”

16) elusive

Meaning : difficult to find, catch, or achieve.

Tamil Meaning : மழுப்பலாக

Synonyms : ambiguous

Antonyms : stable

Example : “success will become ever more elusive”

17) enhance

Meaning : intensify, increase, or further improve the quality, value, or extent of(v).

Tamil Meaning : அதிகரிக்க

Synonyms : appreciate

Antonyms : decrease

Example : “his refusal does nothing to enhance his reputation”

18) competent

Meaning : having the necessary ability, knowledge, or skill to do something successfully(adj).

Tamil Meaning : தகுதிவாய்ந்த

Synonyms : adequate

Antonyms : impotent

Example : “a highly competent surgeon”

19) undermine

Meaning : erode the base or foundation of (a rock formation)(v).

Synonyms : undercut

Antonyms : assist

Example : “the flow of water had undermined pillars supporting the roof”

20) pulped

Meaning : crush into a soft, wet, shapeless mass(v).

Synonyms : trash

Antonyms : nice

Example : “bales of waste paper were chopped, shredded, and pulped”

21) sanitised

Meaning : make clean and hygienic(v).

Tamil Meaning : சுத்தப்படுத்த

Synonyms : disinfect

Antonyms : dirty

Example : “new chemicals for sanitizing a pool”

22) offending

Meaning : commit an illegal act(v).

Synonyms : aggrieve

Antonyms : aid

Example : “a small hard core of young criminals who offend again and again”

23) resurrected

Meaning : restore (a dead person) to life(v).

Synonyms : recover

Antonyms : destroy

Example : “he queried whether Jesus was indeed resurrected”

24) verdict

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

Synonyms : conclusion

Antonyms : accusation

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

25) invoked

Meaning : cite or appeal to (someone or something) as an authority for an action or in support of an argument(v).

Synonyms : conjure

Antonyms : give

Example : “the antiquated defence of insanity is rarely invoked in England”

26) claiming

Meaning : state or assert that something is the case, typically without providing evidence or proof(v).

Tamil Meaning : கூறி

Synonyms : assert

Antonyms : abandon

Example : “the Prime Minister claimed that he was concerned about Third World debt”

27) espouse

Meaning : adopt or support (a cause, belief, or way of life)(v).

Synonyms : adopt

Antonyms : desert

Example : “the left has espoused the causes of sexual and racial equality”

28) punitive

Meaning : inflicting or intended as punishment(adj).

Tamil Meaning : தண்டனை

Synonyms : penal

Antonyms : rewarding

Example : “he called for punitive measures against the Eastern bloc”

29) liberal

Meaning : willing to respect or accept behaviour or opinions different from one’s own; open to new ideas(adj).

Synonyms : lenient

Antonyms : intolerant

Example : “liberal views towards divorce”

30) malicious

Meaning : characterized by malice; intending or intended to do harm(adj).

Synonyms : malevolent

Antonyms : aiding

Example : “he was found guilty of malicious damage”

31) seeks

Meaning : attempt to find (something)(v).

Tamil Meaning : முற்படுகிறது

Synonyms : explore

Antonyms : ignore

Example : “they came here to seek shelter from biting winter winds”

32) invoked

Meaning : cite or appeal to (someone or something) as an authority for an action or in support of an argument.

Synonyms : conjure

Antonyms : give

Example : “the antiquated defence of insanity is rarely invoked in England”

33) trivial

Meaning : of little value or importance.(adj)

Synonyms : frivolous

Antonyms : essential

Example : “huge fines were imposed for trivial offences”

34) hound

Meaning : harass, persecute, or pursue relentlessly.

Synonyms : beagle

Example : “she was hounded by the Italian press”

35) deserves

Meaning : do something or have or show qualities worthy of (a reaction which rewards or punishes as appropriate)(v).

Tamil Meaning : உரியதாகும்

Synonyms : earn

Antonyms : forfeit

Example : “the referee deserves a pat on the back”

36) scrapped

Meaning : abolish or cancel (a plan, policy, or law)(v).

Synonyms : discard

Antonyms : accept

Example : “he supports the idea that road tax should be scrapped”

37) uttering

Meaning : make (a sound) with one’s voice(v).

Tamil Meaning : சுமத்தப்பட்டார்

Synonyms : assert

Antonyms : conceal

Example : “he uttered an exasperated snort”

38) obscene

Meaning : (of the portrayal or description of sexual matters) offensive or disgusting by accepted standards of morality and decency(adj).

Synonyms : horrible

Antonyms : decent

Example : “obscene jokes”

39) enmity

Meaning : a state or feeling of active opposition or hostility(n).

Tamil Meaning : பகை

Synonyms : antipathy

Antonyms : approval

Example : “decades of enmity between the two countries”

40) imputations

Synonyms : accusation

Antonyms : credit

Example : Une imputation de vol sans fondement.



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