THE HINDU EDITORIAL like many other sections will be the imperative one to crack the forthcoming exams like SBI PO 2018, SBI Clerk 2018 and DENA BANK PO Exam 2018. Learn new vocabulary words routinely.

a) Thoothukudi firing: Entirely preventable

The protest against the copper smelter plant of Sterlite Copper in Thoothukudi has witnessed its deadliest turn so far, with the death of 12 people in police firing. It was clear the movement would put up a show of strength on May 22, the 100th day of this phase of protests — in fact, the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court had predicted that it was “likely to trigger a law and order situation” and declared that the “protesters do not have any intention of conducting a peaceful protest”. Yet, the Tamil Nadu government failed to gauge the intensity of what was coming. It is a tragic irony that such an angry and violent demonstration could have been staged at a time when the plant is not operational and after the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board refused to renew its consent to operate. It raises questions about the government’s failure to drive this point home forcefully and casts a doubt about the real intent of some of the protesters, possibly a small section comprising hardline groups. The immediate task is to compensate the public for its losses and end the alienation of the affected communities through talks. But the commission of inquiry headed by retired judge Aruna Jagadeesan must examine why 12 lives were brutally snuffed out, more specifically, the chilling accusation that snipers were deployed by the police force to pick out protesters in a premeditated manner. Any police response must be commensurate with the gravity of the situation; there is no place for heavy-handedness and a disproportionate use of force. The inquiry must establish who gave the orders to fire and on what basis. Also, why the police failed to intervene well before the protest developed an angry head of steam. Sterlite stakes claim to be India’s largest copper producer and is a major presence in Tamil Nadu’s industrial mix. But it has had mixed fortunes over the two decades of its production, including periods when it was under administrative orders of closure, a 100-crore fine imposed for pollution by the injunction Supreme Court in 2013, and consistent opposition from fishermen. Now, there is a fresh and the Madras High Court has restrained it from a proposed capacity expansion plan. This, together with the decision to not renew consent for operation, gives a moment for pause for all sides. An urgent process, such as an all-party meeting, is needed to heal the wounds, and infuse confidence in the community. A credible environmental audit should be undertaken, without compromising on the ‘polluter pays’ principle. The TNPCB, which usually scores poorly on transparency, should commission credible experts to assess the quality of air and water in Thoothukudi. Only such verifiable measures will build public confidence and make orderly industrialisation viable.

b) Writer Philip Roth: Everyman

Philip Roth, who has died at 85, was a titan of post-War literature — by some assessments, the greatest of his generation. Across more than 30 books, he chronicled the best and worst of America, looking things in the eye and telling it like it was, writing about flawed beings, their dreams and nightmares, sexual and other predicaments. Themes of betrayal, love and loss, alienation, the struggle between political correctness and the desire to let go of all inhibitions were common to his oeuvre. Together with Saul Bellow and John Updike, Roth was considered the unflinching observer of 20th century America. Steeped in acerbic humour, which increasingly turned black, several of his best novels, including the American trilogy (American Pastoral, I Married a Communist and The Human Stain) were written in a stunning late-career resurgence. The Pulitzer Prize-winning Pastoral (1997) told the story of Seymour Irving Levov, a good, family man living the American dream, or so it seemed. These were the post-Second World War years, and by placing Seymour in this era, Roth critiqued the culture and politics of the time, leading up to the Vietnam war, with the sequels bringing the narrative arc up to the Clinton presidency. Nine of his novels featured his fictional alter-ego, Nathan Zuckerman (The Ghost Writer, Zuckerman Unbound, Exit Ghost), exploring almost every facet of his identity, from being Jewish to being a writer and a man. His “maleness” offended many readers, with his 1969 book Portnoy’s Complaint, about the young, middle-class, sex-obsessed Alexander Portnoy leaving critics happy and elders enraged. In 2012, Roth announced his retirement from writing. He said Nemesis (2010), about a polio epidemic in Newark, New Jersey, where he was born, and which was the setting of many of his books, was his last. He said he had reread his favourite writers, Dostoevsky, Conrad, Hemingway, Bellow, and his own books, and thought he had had enough. Writing on “behaviour in extreme situations” was Roth’s forte, tackling characters with “sheer playfulness and deadly seriousness”, recording “life, in all its shameless impurity”. His books can be classed under neat labels by the protagonist — Zuckerman, Roth (The Facts, Patrimony, to name two), Kepesh (The Breast, The Dying Animal) — and the four novels under ‘Nemeses’ which includes Everyman, a searing tale of life and death. Asked which were his favourite books, Roth mentioned two, Sabbath’s Theater (1995), the story of Mickey Sabbath, who is 64 going on 17, antagonistic and libidinous, which several critics hated, and Pastoral. In the Trump era, or in a divisive world for that matter, it is impossible to read his reimagining of history in The Plot Against America — what if F.D. Roosevelt had lost in 1940 and white supremacist Charles Lindbergh had won? — and not be touched by its eerie foreboding.


1) Witnessed

Meaning: See (an event, typically a crime or accident) happen.

Example: “Staff who witnessed the murder”

Synonyms: See, Observe.

2) Put up

Meaning: Stay temporarily in accommodation other than one’s own home.

Example: “We put up at a hotel in the city centre”

3) Trigger

Meaning: Cause (a device) to function.

Example: “Burglars fled empty-handed after triggering the alarm”

Synonyms: Activate, Set off.

4) Gauge

Meaning: Judge or assess (a situation, mood, etc.).

Example: “She was unable to gauge his mood”

Synonyms: Assess, Evaluate.

5) Tragic

Meaning: Causing or characterized by extreme distress or sorrow.

Example: “The shooting was a tragic accident”

Synonyms: Disastrous, Calamitous.

6)  Irony

Meaning: A state of affairs or an event that seems deliberately contrary to what one expects and is often wryly amusing as a result.

Example: “The irony is that I thought he could help me”

Synonyms: Paradox, Paradoxical nature.

7) Consent

Meaning: Permission for something to happen or agreement to do something.

Example: “No change may be made without the consent of all the partners”

Synonyms: Agreement, Assent.

8) Cast

Meaning: Cause (uncertainty or disparagement) to be associated with something.

Example: “Journalists cast doubt on the government’s version of events”

9) Intent

Meaning: Intention or purpose.

Example: “With alarm she realized his intent”

Synonyms: Aim, Purpose.

10) Alienation

Meaning: The state or experience of being alienated.

Example: “A sense of alienation from our environment”

Synonyms: Isolation, Detachment.

11) Brutally

Meaning: In a savagely violent way.

Example: “He was imprisoned and brutally tortured”

12) Snuff out

Meaning: To end something:

Example: “There is concern that overfishing could snuff out some species”

13) Accusation

Meaning: A charge or claim that someone has done something illegal or wrong.

Example: “Accusations of bribery”

Synonyms: Allegation, Charge.

14) Sniper

Meaning: A person who shoots from a hiding place, especially accurately and at long range.

Example: “He was killed by a sniper’s bullet in the Great War”

15) Deploy

Meaning: Bring into effective action.

Example: “Small states can often deploy resources more freely”

Synonyms: Use, Utilize.

16) Premeditate

Meaning: Think out or plan (an action, especially a crime) beforehand.

Example: “Premeditated murder”

Synonyms: Planned, Intentional.

17) Commensurate

Meaning: Corresponding in size or degree; in proportion.

Example: “Salary will be commensurate with age and experience”

Synonyms: Equivalent, Equal.

18) Intervene

Meaning: Take part in something so as to prevent or alter a result or course of events.

Example: “He acted outside his authority when he intervened in the dispute”

Synonyms: Intercede, Involve oneself.

19) Fortunes

Meaning: Chance or luck as an arbitrary force affecting human affairs.

Example: “Some malicious act of fortune keeps them separate”

Synonyms: Chance, Accident.

20) Impose

Meaning: Force (an unwelcome decision or ruling) on someone.

Example: “The decision was theirs and was not imposed on them by others”

Synonyms: Fist, Force.

21) Injunction

Meaning: An authoritative warning or order.

Example:The court has issued an injunction to prevent the airline from increasing its prices”

Synonyms: Order, Ruling.

22) Restrained

Meaning: Characterized by reserve or moderation; unemotional or dispassionate.

Example: “His restrained, gentlemanly voice”

Synonyms: Self-controlled, Controlled.

23) Heal

Meaning: Cause (a wound, injury, or person) to become sound or healthy again.

Example: “His concern is to heal sick people”

Synonyms: Make better, Make well.

24) Infuse

Meaning: Fill; Pervade.

Example: “Her work is infused with an anger born of pain and oppression”

25) Credible

Meaning: Able to be believed; convincing.

Example: “Few people found his story credible”

Synonyms: Acceptable, Trustworthy.

26) Viable

Meaning: Capable of working successfully; feasible.

Example: “The proposed investment was economically viable”

Synonyms: Workable, Feasible

27) Chronicle

Meaning: Record (a series of events) in a factual and detailed way.

Example: “His work chronicles 20th-century migration”

Synonyms: Record, Put on record.

28) Oeuvre

Meaning: The body of work of a painter, composer, or author.

Example: “The complete oeuvre of Mozart”

29) Unflinching

Meaning: Not showing fear or hesitation in the face of danger or difficulty.

Example: “He has shown unflinching determination throughout the campaign”

Synonyms: Resolute, Determined.

30) Steep in

Meaning: If something or someone is steeped in something, they are completely surrounded by or involved in it, or know a lot about it.


Example: “The college is steeped in history/tradition”

31) Acerbic

Meaning: (Especially of a comment or style of speaking) sharp and forthright.

Example: “His acerbic wit”

Synonyms: Sharp, Sarcastic.

32) Critique

Meaning: Evaluate (a theory or practice) in a detailed and analytical way.

Example: “The authors critique the methods and practices used in the research”

33) Sequel

Meaning: A published, broadcast, or recorded work that continues the story or develops the theme of an earlier one.

Example: “The sequel to Home Alone”

Synonyms: Follow-up, Continuation.

34) Offended

Meaning: Resentful or annoyed, typically as a result of a perceived insult.

Example: “He sounded rather offended”

Synonyms: Upset, Hurt

35) Enraged

Meaning: Very angry; furious.

Example: “An enraged mob screamed abuse”

36) Protagonist

Meaning: The leading character or one of the major characters in a play, film, novel, etc.

Example: “The novel’s main protagonist is an American intelligence officer”

37) Pastoral

Meaning: A work of literature portraying an idealized version of country life.

Example: “The story, though a pastoral, has an actual connection with the life of agricultural labour”

38) Libidinous

Meaning: Showing excessive sexual drive; lustful.

Example: “Libidinous teenagers”

Synonyms: Lustful, Lecherous.

39) Supremacist

Meaning: An advocate of the supremacy of a particular group, especially one determined by race or sex.

Example: “A white supremacist”

40) Eerie

Meaning: Strange and frightening.

Example: “An eerie green glow in the sky”

Synonyms: Uncanny, Sinister.

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