The Hindu Editorial : March 22,2019
The Hindu Editorial : March 22,2019
Daily Current Affairs (March 22, 2019) like many other sections is inevitable and this also helps to score in the Banking awareness, Static GK and Financial Awareness sections. Remember, Banking Awareness and Static Awareness Questions are asked from the General Awareness section. This will also help you to ride your preparations for the forthcoming exams.
A) Travesty of justice: On Samjhauta case acquittals
The Samjhauta blast case raises doubts about India’s resolve to prosecute terror cases
The acquittal of Swami Aseemanand and three others brought to trial for the killing of 68 people on board the Delhi-Lahore Samjhauta Express near Panipat in February 2007 is bound to be seen as a travesty of justice. Any acquittal in a heinous crime will raise questions about the credibility of the investigation or the effectiveness of the prosecution; but there are some cases in which the outcome may also spark cynical responses ranging from attribution of political motive to suspicion of institutional bias. The train blast case, in which both Indian and Pakistani citizens died, may evoke all such responses. It casts a shadow on India’s ability and resolve to probe and prosecute major acts of terrorism. It is the third case in which Aseemanand has been acquitted. He was earlier cleared of involvement in the Ajmer Dargah blast, which killed three persons in October 2007, and the Mecca Masjid blast that left nine dead in Hyderabad in May 2007. Aseemanand, a.k.a. Naba Kumar Sarkar, was a key figure, according to the prosecution, behind a Hindu right-wing group that wanted to avenge incidents such as the Akshardham temple massacre of 2002. The contours of ‘saffron terror’ were revealed by Aseemanand in 2010 when he gave a lengthy statement before a magistrate, detailing the planning and execution of some key terrorist attacks between 2006 and 2008. This confession failed to convince the trial courts, mainly because of his subsequent retraction. That he was in police custody at the time also cast a doubt whether it was voluntary.
There appears little doubt that the blast was aimed at destroying attempts to build friendly ties between India and Pakistan, and it is possible that extremists of any hue may have been behind it. However, the change of regime at the Centre in 2014 seemed to have weakened the National Investigation Agency’s resolve. Details of the verdict are not yet available, but it is clear that the prosecution case collapsed after key witnesses turned hostile. The trial proceedings opened in February 2014, but by early 2015 witnesses began turning hostile. Among these were one who removed a mobile phone from the body of Sunil Joshi, a prime accused in the case who was murdered in December 2007, and another who bought mobile phones and electric detonators. On the flip side, the fact that some early suspects were Muslims and that the U.S. and the UN had linked Lashkar-e-Toiba operatives such as Arif Qasmani to the blasts could have been important factors. The larger concern for the criminal justice system is whether such acquittals indicate innocence, or the prosecution’s lack of freedom and resolve to obtain a conviction.
B) Back on track: On India-Maldives ties
India and the Maldives must continue to build a shared strategic vision
India and the Maldives appeared to return to the old days of strategic bonhomie when External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met her counterpart Abdulla Shahid in Male during a brief visit this week. It is the first full-fledged bilateral visit at the political level from India to the Maldives after the new government assumed office in the wake of the historic election last September. President Ibrahim Solih assumed charge after a multi-party, pro-democracy coalition led by his Maldivian Democratic Party was swept to power. Mr. Solih’s inauguration, which was marked by the attendance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was assumed to be a potential inflection point in the trajectory of bilateral ties with India. The previous five years witnessed Male’s disconcerting drift, under the aegis of the Abdulla Yameen government, into what many Maldivians felt was the stifling embrace of China. Chinese financing for infrastructure and construction projects poured in even as the functioning of the political Opposition and the judiciary was harshly curtailed. All of this flux appeared to have been washed away on September 23, 2018 when the Maldivian electorate voted resoundingly for the coalition that backed Mr. Solih for President.
Yet it would be unwise for New Delhi to take the Indian Ocean nation for granted. There is indeed an opportunity for reset on numerous policies, and some of that has already happened. In December, when Mr. Solih visited India, a $1.4 billion financial assistance package for the Maldives was announced. While the proximity of the Indian general election may have precluded any major policy announcements from New Delhi, the two countries have agreed to exempt holders of diplomatic and official passports from visa requirements, inked an MoU on Indian grant-in-aid for “high-impact community development projects”, and other agreements on energy efficiency and renewable energy, areas critical to the agenda of Mr. Solih. At a broader level, the archipelago and the larger Indian Ocean region could expect more collaborative approaches on regional maritime security issues, including counterterrorism and trans-national crimes. However, Male is still grappling with the legacy of the Yameen administration’s headlong plunge into the orbit of Beijing. The massive debts the Maldives incurred, by some estimates to the tune of $3 billion, linked to infrastructure investments need to be unwound. Second, the multiparty alliance must hold firm despite immense political pressures that arise from varying visions for governance. Some tensions already seem to be bubbling to the top: on February 25, Mohamed Nasheed, former President and important coalition-builder in the MDP, tweeted about the country’s Supreme Court “meddling in elections — again”. For genuine peace and bilateral harmony to take root in the region, building a shared vision for the future of the Maldives is the immediate task at hand.
Meaning : a judgement or verdict that a person is not guilty of the crime with which they have been charged.
Synonyms : clearance
Antonyms : conviction
Example : “the trial resulted in an acquittal”
Meaning : a false, absurd, or distorted representation of something.
Synonyms : distortion
Antonyms : seriousness
Example : “the absurdly lenient sentence is a travesty of justice”
Meaning : (of a person or wrongful act, especially a crime) utterly odious or wicked.
Tamil Meaning : கொடிய
Synonyms : abhorrent
Antonyms : delightful
Example : “a battery of heinous crimes”
Meaning : bring or recall (a feeling, memory, or image) to the conscious mind.
Tamil Meaning : வருவதற்காக
Synonyms : conjure
Antonyms : deaden
Example : “the sight evoked pleasant memories of his childhood”
Meaning : settle or find a solution to (a problem or contentious matter)(v).
Synonyms : firmness
Antonyms : weakness
Example : “the firm aims to resolve problems within 30 days”
Meaning : a thorough investigation into a crime or other matter.
Synonyms : exploration
Example : “a probe into city hall corruption”
Meaning : free (someone) from a criminal charge by a verdict of not guilty.
Synonyms : discharge
Antonyms : accuse
Example : “she was acquitted on all counts”
Meaning : inflict harm in return for (an injury or wrong done to oneself or another).
Synonyms : vindicate
Antonyms : comfort
Example : “he vowed in silent fervour to avenge their murders”
Meaning : make (previously unknown or secret information) known to others.
Tamil Meaning : வெளிப்படுத்தினார்
Synonyms : affirm
Antonyms : conceal
Example : “Brenda was forced to reveal Robbie’s whereabouts”
Meaning : a formal statement admitting that one is guilty of a crime.
Synonyms : assertion
Antonyms : denial
Example : “he signed a confession to both the murders”
Meaning : the action of drawing something back or back in.
Synonyms : disclaimer
Antonyms : confirmation
Example : “prey are grasped between the jaws upon tongue retraction”
Meaning : showing or feeling opposition or dislike; unfriendly.
Tamil Meaning : விரோதமாக
Synonyms : contrary
Antonyms : helpful
Example : “a hostile audience”
Meaning : a formal declaration by the verdict of a jury or the decision of a judge in a court of law that someone is guilty of a criminal offence.
Tamil Meaning : தண்டனை
Synonyms : feeling
Antonyms : distrust
Example : “she had a previous conviction for a similar offence”
Meaning : clean (an area) by brushing away dirt or litter.
Synonyms : brush
Antonyms : dirty
Example : “I’ve swept the floor”
Meaning : hold (someone) closely in one’s arms, especially as a sign of affection.
Synonyms : grasp
Antonyms : free
Example : “Aunt Sophie embraced her warmly”
Meaning : reduce in extent or quantity; impose a restriction on.
Synonyms : decrease
Antonyms : develop
Example : “civil liberties were further curtailed”
Meaning : prevent from happening; make impossible.
Tamil Meaning : விலக்கி
Synonyms : cease
Antonyms : assist
Example : “the secret nature of his work precluded official recognition”
Meaning : of or concerning diplomacy.
Tamil Meaning : தூதரக
Synonyms : gracious
Antonyms : rude
Example : “diplomatic relations with Britain were broken”
Meaning : jump or dive quickly and energetically.
Tamil Meaning : வீழ்ச்சி
Synonyms : submersion
Antonyms : ascent
Example : “our little daughters whooped as they plunged into the sea”
Meaning : roughly calculate or judge the value, number, quantity, or extent of.
Synonyms : appraisal
Antonyms : ignorance
Example : “the aim is to estimate the effects of macroeconomic policy on the economy”
THE HINDU EDITORIAL : MARCH 22, 2019
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