The Hindu Editorial : March 9, 2019

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THE HINDU EDITORIAL – March 9, 2018, is one of the must-read section for the competitive exams like  NIACL AO Prelims Exam, IBPS SO Mains Exam. 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) Strange turn: on SC’s order regarding Ayodhya dispute

The Supreme Court’s attempt at mediation in the Ayodhya dispute is incongruous

Mediation, especially when it is at the instance of a court, is a welcome option for those embroiled in protracted civil disputes. A compromise could indeed be preferable to an order that may leave one side aggrieved. However, it is questionable whether this principle can be applied to all disputes and in all situations. The Supreme Court’s order appointing three mediators to find a solution to the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute is quite strange and incongruous, given that all such previous attempts have ended in failure. Further, the case is ripe for final hearing, and not all parties favoured mediation. The dispute over the site at Ayodhya, where a 16th century mosque stood until it was torn down by Hindutva fanatics in December 1992, has remained intractable since 1949. After the demolition of the Babri Masjid, the President referred to the Supreme Court the question whether there was a temple to Lord Ram before the mosque was built at the site. The court, in a landmark decision in 1994, declined to go into that question. More important, it revived the title suits and, thereby, restored due process and the rule of law. The present attempt by the Supreme Court to give mediation a chance within a narrow window of eight weeks goes against the spirit of the 1994 decision. After all, it was that verdict that made possible the 2010 judgment of the Allahabad High Court, which favoured a three-way split of the site among Ram Lalla, the Sunni Wakf Board and the Nirmohi Akhara, which is under appeal.

A welcome feature of the court-mandated mediation attempt is that it will not consume much time; the same eight weeks are needed for preparation for the final hearing. The confidentiality rule will be helpful as none would want the atmosphere to be vitiated by premature disclosures when the country is in election mode. However, the inclusion of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar as one of the mediators is controversial. In the past, he has made remarks to the effect that Muslims ought to give up their claim and that the failure to find a negotiated settlement will result in “civil war”. It is true that the prolonged problem has had an adverse impact on the body politic and some “healing” is required. But the injury to the country’s secular fabric was caused by fanatical Hindutva groups that launched a revanchist campaign on the plea that some temples had been turned into mosques by invaders. The only way to heal this festering wound on the body politic is to render complete justice not only in the civil case, but also for the criminal act of the demolition. No one must be left with the impression that the exercise is aimed at privileging the faith-based argument that the mosque stood at the exact spot where Lord Ram was born over the legal question on who holds the title to the land.

B) Road through Rome?

Italy’s proposed endorsement of the BRI highlights the dilemmas within the EU

Italy’s plan to endorse the Belt and Road Initiative, the first such move by a G7 member, will boost China’s global ambitions. In turn, this highlights the difficulties facing the EU and the U.S. in formulating a concerted response to counter China’s growing might. On its inception in 2013, the BRI envisaged linking about 65 countries along a modern Silk Road, the transformation of China into a high-income economy and the renminbi’s elevation into a global currency. Today, it has expanded to over 80 countries, mostly least developed and developing economies, as Beijing seeks to bolster its Made in China 2025 industrial policy. The lure of the BRI is attributed largely to the informal nature of the deals Beijing negotiates with partner-states, with attractive loan terms and sans political strings. Their opaque nature has spurred criticism that recipients risk being pushed into a debt trap. But the glitches facing some of the BRI infrastructure projects have merely led to calls for renegotiation rather than their roll-back. The BRI has moved forward, along with Beijing’s other venture, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Many Central and Eastern European countries, EU members and aspirants alike, are part of the “16+1” group, which includes China, collaborating in infrastructure ventures.

However, Italy, an EU founder-member, will be the first major developed economy to participate in the BRI. Rome’s ruling eurosceptic and anti-establishment coalition has been enthusiastic in signing on. Its timing is seen to have something to do with the difficulties the government has faced in balancing its growth targets with the EU’s stringent fiscal norms. These tensions surfaced in recent negotiations with Brussels that led to a revised Italian budget. Italy is counting on its BRI endorsement to boost investment in it, given recent reductions in Chinese outflows into the EU. Rome is expected to sign an MoU to participate in the mammoth endeavour during a visit this month of President Xi Jinping. Italy’s move comes at a moment of increasing concern in European capitals, especially Paris and Berlin, to counter Chinese mergers and acquisitions of European firms to protect the bloc’s strategic economic sectors. The Trump administration has, in keeping with its America First policy, invoked national security provisions rarely deployed in international trade and targeted Beijing with punitive import tariffs, ostensibly to protect domestic industries. China’s phenomenal economic expansion since joining the WTO in 2001 has almost altered the global landscape. But attempts to block Chinese businesses may prove short-sighted. Instead, Western democracies should strive to live up to their repeated pledges, since the 2007-08 global financial crisis, to eschew protectionism and promote rules-based open and free global competition.


1) instance

Meaning : an example or single occurrence of something(n).

Synonyms : occurrence

Antonyms : hide

Example : “a serious instance of corruption”

2) embroiled

Meaning : involve (someone) deeply in an argument, conflict, or difficult situation(v).

Tamil Meaning : சிக்கியது

Synonyms : enmesh

Antonyms : exclude

Example : “the organization is currently embroiled in running battles with pressure groups”

3) disputes

Meaning : a disagreement or argument(n).

Tamil Meaning : மோதல்

Synonyms : bickering

Antonyms : agreement

Example : “a territorial dispute between the two countries”

4) indeed

Meaning : used to emphasize a statement or response confirming something already suggested(adv).

Tamil Meaning : உண்மையில்

Synonyms : absolutely

Antonyms : dubiously

Example : “it was not expected to last long, and indeed it took less than three weeks”

5) aggrieved

Meaning : feeling resentment at having been unfairly treated(adj).

Synonyms : disturbed

Antonyms : comforted

Example : “they were aggrieved at the outcome”

6) incongruous

Meaning : not in harmony or keeping with the surroundings or other aspects of something(adj).

Tamil Meaning : பொருத்தமற்

Synonyms : incoherent

Antonyms : compatible

Example : “the duffel coat looked incongruous with the black dress she wore underneath”

7) ripe

Meaning : having arrived at the fitting stage or time for a particular action or purpose(adj).

Synonyms : overdue

Antonyms : unprepared

Example : “land ripe for development”

8) torn

Meaning : pull (something) apart or to pieces with force(v).

Synonyms : damaged

Antonyms : working

Example : “I tore up the letter”

9) revived

Meaning : restore to life or consciousness(v).

Tamil Meaning : புத்துயிர்

Synonyms : refreshed

Antonyms : drained

Example : “both men collapsed, but were revived”

10) vitiated

Meaning : spoil or impair the quality or efficiency of(v).

Synonyms : annihilate

Antonyms : allow

Example : “development programmes have been vitiated by the rise in population”

11) controversial

Meaning : giving rise or likely to give rise to controversy or public disagreement(adj).

Tamil Meaning : சர்ச்சைக்குரிய

Synonyms : disputed

Antonyms : definite

Example : “years of wrangling over a controversial bypass”

12) ought

Meaning : used to indicate duty or correctness, typically when criticizing someone’s actions.

Synonyms : prerequisite

Antonyms : lacked

Example : “they ought to respect the law”

13) claim

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

Tamil Meaning : கூற்றை

Synonyms : assertion

Antonyms : denial

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

14) prolonged

Meaning : continuing for a long time or longer than usual; lengthy(adj).

Synonyms : protracted

Antonyms : brief

Example : “the region suffered a prolonged drought”

15) plea

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

Synonyms : appeal

Antonyms : demand

Example : “he made a dramatic plea for disarmament”

16) festering

Meaning : (of a wound or sore) forming pus; septic(adj).

Synonyms : blister

Antonyms : grow

Example : “a festering abscess”

17) render

Meaning : provide or give (a service, help, etc.).

Tamil Meaning : வழங்க

Synonyms : distribute

Antonyms : conceal

Example : “money serves as a reward for services rendered

18) endorse

Meaning : declare one’s public approval or support of(v).

Synonyms : approve

Antonyms : attack

Example : “the report was endorsed by the college”

19) concerted

Meaning : jointly arranged or carried out; coordinated(adj).

Synonyms : combined

Antonyms : disorganized

Example : “a concerted attempt to preserve religious unity”

20) envisaged

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

Tamil Meaning : சிந்தித்தவர்

Synonyms : anticipate

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

21) negotiates

Meaning : obtain or bring about by discussion(v).

Synonyms : confer

Antonyms : confuse

Example : “he negotiated a new contract with the sellers”

22) spurred

Meaning : (of a rider or their boots) having a spiked device on the heels for urging a horse forward.

Synonyms : propel

Antonyms : calm

Example : “two young men appeared booted and spurred

23) glitches

Meaning : a sudden, usually temporary malfunction or fault of equipment.

Synonyms : defect

Antonyms : advantage

Example : “a draft version was lost in a computer glitch”

24) merely

Meaning : just; only(adv).

Synonyms : purely

Antonyms : indefinitely

Example : “Gary, a silent boy, merely nodded”

25) Punitive

Meaning : inflicting or intended as punishment.

Synonyms : punishing

Antonyms : beneficial

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

26) stringent

Meaning : (of regulations, requirements, or conditions) strict, precise, and exacting(adj).

Synonyms : exacting

Antonyms : flexible

Example : “stringent guidelines on air pollution”

27) endeavour

Meaning : try hard to do or achieve something(v).

Tamil Meaning : முயற்சி

Synonyms : attempt

Antonyms : surrender

Example : “he is endeavouring to help the Third World”

28) concern

Meaning : make (someone) anxious or worried.

Synonyms : interest

Antonyms : pastime

Example : “the roof of the barn concerns me because eventually it will fall in”

29) invoked

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

Tamil Meaning : செயல்படுத்தப்படுகின்றது

Synonyms : adjure

Antonyms : give

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

30) deployed

Meaning : move (troops or equipment) into position for military action(v).

Synonyms : expand

Antonyms : conclude

Example : “forces were deployed at strategic locations”


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