THE HINDU EDITORIAL : JULY 12, 2018
THE HINDU EDITORIAL : JULY 12, 2018
THE HINDU EDITORIAL – July 12, 2018 is one of the must read for the competitive exams like SBI PO Mains , SBI CLERK Mains Exam, BOB PO Manipal Online Exam. These topics are widely expected to be asked in the reading comprehension , Cloze Test or in Error Detection topics in the forthcoming exams. So gear up for your Exam preparation and learn new words daily.
Caught in a cleft stick: on Nitish Kumar’s move to rejoin the NDA
As anticipated, Nitish Kumar has decided to continue his troubled alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), at least for now. The Bihar Chief Minister had no option but to lump it, and as a Hindi newspaper picturesquely put it, it was a case of “aage kuan, peeche khai?” (fall into the well or fall off the cliff)
Mr. Kumar has indeed been in a state of perpetual quandary ever since he embraced Prime Minister Narendra Modi in July last year. The Bihar Chief Minister, who up until then had held Mr. Modi in contempt and bitter enmity, said the Prime Minister and his party were preferable to the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD). He savaged the RJD, at the time his partner and a constituent of the Bihar Mahagathbandhan, as “corrupt and criminally-inclined”.
Yet, in this one year, the BJP has done all it could to deeply embarrass Mr. Kumar. Today, it seems unstoppably on a mission to wreck the one thing closest to his heart: his often reiterated vision of a secular, multi-faith India. On the other hand, the RJD, lately helmed by Tejashwi Yadav, the party’s rising star and an angrier version of the now-jailed father, Lalu Prasad Yadav, has unambiguously rejected all suggestion that he reconcile with Mr. Kumar and facilitate his return to the Mahagathbandhan.
In many ways, the Assembly seat of Jokihat, falling in Bihar’s Araria Parliamentary constituency, sums up all that is going wrong for the Chief Minister. His party, the Janata Dal (United), or JD(U), recently lost two State Assembly by-elections, one of which was Jokihat, a seat it had held through four Assembly elections, two in 2005, one each in 2010 and 2015. Jokihat has a Muslim population of over 70%, and the JD(U)’s successive victories seemed to affirm Mr. Kumar’s claim that he practised inclusive politics regardless of where he was situated, within the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) or in opposition to it.
The ‘MY’ factor
Mr. Kumar’s short point: His philosophy and convictions overrode who he was in alliance with, and his voters, Muslim or Hindu, had an innate understanding of his ability to navigate ideological contradictions without losing his moral compass. Significantly, of the JD(U)’s four victories in Jokihat, three had come by defeating the RJD whose voter base is formed by the iconic MY (Muslim-Yadav) acronym. By way of comparison, Mr. Yadav is that rare politician who, even in the face of extreme adversity, has not cohabited with the BJP, which explains the ‘M’ part of his MY constituency. Mr. Kumar in contrast had spent 17 years with the BJP before dumping it in 2013, outraged that Narendra Modi had been assigned to lead the NDA. If between 2005 and 2010, the JD(U) thrice won Muslim-majority Jokihat as an ally of the BJP ( in 2015 it won as part of the MGB), what changed in 2018 that it lost the same seat? The only change from 2005 to 2018 is Mr. Kumar’s return to the NDA, but now with Mr. Modi as Prime Minister. Expectedly, the Modi factor turned Jokihat-2018 into an acid test for the JD(U), a fact reflected in the heavy deployment of State ministers for the campaign. The Chief Minister’s own pitch was around his years of service to the Muslim community. None of this mattered in the end, and with Yadav Junior harping on the JD(U)’s betrayal, the RJD candidate, Shahnawaz Alam, won the seat by over 40,000 votes. It didn’t help that the JD(U)’s candidate had serious cases against him.
Ties with the BJP
Mr. Kumar’s previous aversion to Mr. Modi was premised on a perceived difference between him and the earlier generation of BJP leaders such as Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Lal Krishna Advani. This despite their shared belief in Hindutva and the fact that each had witnessed serious sectarian violence under his command of the party. As BJP president in 1990, Mr. Advani had led the Ram rath yatra which has been correctly judged to be the forerunner of the poisonous politics that has today enveloped and polarised India.
Mr. Vajpayee was the Prime Minister and Mr. Modi the Chief Minister at the time of the 2002 anti-Muslim pogrom in Gujarat. Mr. Vajpayee initially held Mr. Modi responsible for the violence and publicly advised him to follow Raj Dharma (righteous justice). But in a U-turn thereafter, he implied that the pogrom was retribution for the Godhra train carnage. “Kisne lagayee aag?” (who lit the fire?) he asked at the BJP’s national executive meet in Goa on April 12, 2002, echoing Mr. Modi’s own citing of Newton’s law of action and reaction.
Nonetheless, in the larger public perception, and especially in the eyes of the BJP’s regional allies in the NDA, Mr. Vajpayee was a middle-roader, a gentle, compassionate leader wedded to the tenets of Raj Dharma. In 2005, Mr. Advani attempted to mitigate his Ram temple legacy by visiting Pakistan and praising Mohammad Ali Jinnah, a transformation which immediately made him acceptable to the liberal constituents of the NDA.
With Mr. Modi’s advent, the cosy arrangement between the BJP and its allies broke. Mr. Kumar apprehended a danger to his proposition that he could be secular even while in an alliance with the Hindutva BJP. Addressing the State Assembly after breaking with the BJP in 2013, he insinuated that Mr. Modi was antithetical to the ‘idea of India’ which was his own guiding philosophy. Mr. Kumar had almost till the end pushed for the more acceptable Mr. Advani to be made the NDA’s prime ministerial candidate.
In July 2017, Mr. Kumar swallowed his pride and returned to the NDA on Mr. Modi’s terms. The RJD’s alleged corruption was one reason for the switch. But the other, by his own admission, was Mr. Modi’s emergence as the only national leader of consequence. However, events since then have severely tested the Chief Minister’s belief that he had made the right choice and the alliance would not hurt his secular image or dilute his commitment to minorities and the most deprived castes, including Dalits. In his recent address to the JD(U)’s national executive, Mr. Kumar spelt out the bottom line. His stand on the three evils, corruption, crime and communalism, remained non-negotiable.
On the ground
The question, though, is: How would he reconcile his own ideals with the starkly different scene emerging under Mr. Modi? The nation-wide spate of gau rakshak-related lynchings, the rabid speeches and actions of Central ministers and the violence on Dalits, not to mention the BJP’s shrill insistence on building the Ram temple, have all combined to bring the fringe to the mainstream. The economic scene has turned dismal with surveys recording a slight but perceptible dip in Mr. Modi’s popularity. In Bihar, the sympathy factor is with Mr. Lalu Prasad Yadav, jailed and sentenced cumulatively to several years in different corruption cases. His son’s fiery speeches have firmed up the RJD’s MY base even as there are indications of the Mahagathbandhan gaining from a MahaDalit consolidation via alliances with Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustani Awam Morcha and Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party. This is not what Mr. Kumar bargained for.
P.S.: Before he rejoined the NDA, Mr. Kumar was the favourite to lead the Opposition in 2019. Today he has to be thankful merely to save his place in Bihar.
Meaning: Guess or be aware of (what will happen) and take action in order to be prepared.
Example: “They failed to anticipate a full-scale invasion”
Synonyms: Forestall, Intercept
Meaning: (Especially of a place) attractive in appearance, especially in an old-fashioned way.
Example: “The picturesque narrow streets of the old city”
Meaning: A steep rock face, especially at the edge of the sea.
Example: “A coast path along the top of rugged cliffs”
Synonyms: Precipice, Rock face
Meaning: Occurring repeatedly; so frequent as to seem endless and uninterrupted.
Example: “Their perpetual money worries”
Synonyms: Incessant, Endless
Meaning: Accept (a belief, theory, or change) willingly and enthusiastically.
Example: “Besides traditional methods, artists are embracing new technology”
Synonyms: Welcome, Accept
Meaning: Be favourably disposed towards or willing to do something.
Example: “He was inclined to accept the offer”
Synonyms: Disposed, Minded
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
Meaning: Spoil completely.
Example: “An eye injury wrecked his chances of a professional career”
Synonyms: Ruin, Spoil
Meaning: Say something again or a number of times, typically for emphasis or clarity.
Example: “She reiterated that the government would remain steadfast in its support”
Synonyms: Repeat, Restate
Meaning: Officially controlling an organization or company.
Example: “With Steve Lewis at the helm, we are certain of success”
Meaning: In a manner that is not open to more than one interpretation.
Example: “She answered questions clearly and unambiguously”
Meaning: Make or show to be compatible.
Example: “The agreement had to be reconciled with the city’s new international relations policy”
Synonyms: Harmonize, Square
Meaning: Be more important than.
Example: “This commitment should override all other considerations”
Synonyms: Outweigh, Supersede
Meaning: Inborn; natural.
Example: “Her innate capacity for organization”
Synonyms: Inborn, Natural
Example: “Animals that can cohabit with humans thrive”
Meaning: Arouse fierce anger, shock, or indignation in (someone).
Example: “The public were outraged at the brutality involved”
Synonyms: Enrage, Incense
17) Harping on
Meaning: To talk or complain about something many times.
Example: “He’s always harping on about lack of discipline”
Meaning: The action of betraying one’s country, a group, or a person; treachery.
Example: “The betrayal by the French of their own refugees”
Synonyms: Disloyalty, Perfidy
Antonyms: Loyalty, Faithfulness
Meaning: A strong dislike or disinclination.
Example: “They made plain their aversion to the use of force”
Synonyms: Hatred, Loathing
Antonyms: Liking, Desire
Meaning: Base an argument, theory, or undertaking on.
Example: “The reforms were premised on our findings”
Meaning: Caused by or feeling very strong support for the religious or political group that you are a member of, in a way that can cause problems with other groups.
Example: “He called on terrorists on both sides of the sectarian divide to end the cycle of violence”
Meaning: A sign or warning of something to come.
Example: “Overcast mornings are the sure forerunners of steady rain”
Synonyms: Herald, Usher
Meaning: An organized massacre of a particular ethnic group, in particular that of Jews in Russia or eastern Europe.
Example: “The Nazis began a pogrom against Jewish people in Germany”
Synonyms: Massacre, Carnage
Meaning: Punishment inflicted on someone as vengeance for a wrong or criminal act.
Example: “Employees asked not to be named, saying they feared retribution”
Synonyms: Punishment, Penalty
Meaning: The killing of a large number of people.
Example: “The bombing was timed to cause as much carnage as possible”
Synonyms: Massacre, Slaughter
Meaning: In spite of that; nevertheless.
Example: “The rally, which the government had declared illegal, was nonetheless attended by some 6,000”
Meaning: A principle or belief, especially one of the main principles of a religion or philosophy.
Example: “The tenets of classical liberalism”
Synonyms: Principle, Belief
Meaning: Lessen the gravity of (an offence or mistake).
Example: “He would have faced a prison sentence but for mitigating circumstances”
Meaning: Something left or handed down by a predecessor.
Example: “The legacy of centuries of neglect”
Synonyms: Consequence, Effect
Meaning: Used to describe a situation that is convenient for those involved but may not be honest or legal.
Example: “He has some cosy arrangement/deal with his supplier, which means he’s able to sell his goods more cheaply”
Meaning: To catch and put a person under police control; to arrest.
Example: “Last night police apprehended the suspect”
Meaning: Suggest or hint (something bad) in an indirect and unpleasant way.
Example: “He was insinuating that she slept her way to the top”
Synonyms: Imply, Suggest
Meaning: Directly opposed or contrasted; mutually incompatible.
Example: “People whose religious beliefs are antithetical to mine”
Synonyms: Contrary to, Unlike
Antonyms: Same, Identical
Meaning: Prevent (a person or place) from having or using something.
Example: “The city was deprived of its water supplies”
Synonyms: Dispossess, Strip
Meaning: Very obviously and clearly.
Example: “Her later sensual works contrast starkly with the harsh earlier paintings”
Meaning: (especially of a complaint or demand) loud and forceful.
Example: “A concession to their shrill demands”
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, Unorthodox
Antonyms: Mainstream, Middle
Meaning: Pitifully or disgracefully bad.
Example: “He shuddered as he watched his team’s dismal performance”
Synonyms: Bad, Poor
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