Dear Banking Aspirants,

THE HINDU EDITORIAL – November 10, 2018, is one of the must-read section for the competitive exams like  IBPS Clerk 2018, Indian Bank PO & LIC HFL 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) In whose name?: on BJP’s renaming spree

The BJP’s rechristening spree goes against India’s plural ethos

Yogi Adityanath, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, promises to keep map-makers busy. He has not only picked up the pace in changing names of places in his State, but his colleagues in the BJP seem to be going through the atlas to identify cities elsewhere that could be re-designated in a competitive spiral of Hindutva rigour. This summer, U.P.’s Mughalsarai Junction, among India’s busiest railway junctions, was renamed to honour Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, a leading ideologue of the Jan Sangh, the BJP’s predecessor party. Last month, the U.P. Cabinet approved the rechristening of Allahabad as Prayagraj. And this week, in the midst of commanding Deepavali bustle in Ayodhya, Mr. Adityanath determined that Faizabad district, in which Ayodhya town is located, would henceforth be called Ayodhya district. Presumably reluctant to be left out of this mission to strip historical centres of association with Muslim rulers, Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said the State government was willing to rename Ahmedabad as Karnavati. Such moves reflect a jaundiced view of history and the Sangh Parivar’s disregard for India’s plural identity. Stripping places of names that evoke a mixed cultural heritage and replacing them with names to project a Sangh iconography or Hindu revivalism sends out a deeply prejudiced message — that one community has a greater place in society.

Changing names of cities and roads has been an ongoing process in independent India. There were, in this, anti-colonial and grassroots considerations. Place names that asserted British imperial power were replaced with names and symbols that attest to the subcontinent’s composite identity and history through the ages. British inflexions were removed — so, Cawnpore became Kanpur. In an ongoing and sometimes disputed process, names of cities have been reworked to reflect their organic origins — Madras to Chennai, Bombay to Mumbai. What the BJP government in U.P. is doing is qualitatively different. It has stepped out of the previous secular, anti-colonial, grassroots-resonant frame and is unabashedly picking names with a Muslim connection and changing them in an ‘us versus them’ messaging. The State government has not paused to consider whether Allahabad draws its name from Ilahabas, as some contend, or whether the town was founded at a remove from the Prayag confluence. That Allahabad reflects India’s heritage since Mughal emperor Akbar’s time is deemed to make it target enough. The renaming of Faizabad, in turn, comes at a time when a section of the ruling dispensation is defiantly upping the ante on seeking a Ram temple at the Babri Masjid site in Ayodhya even as the issue is befo

re the Supreme Court. It reinforces the signs that the BJP is ploughing a very polarised terrain ahead of general elections. And in the larger culture war, this renaming frenzy leaves no doubt that India’s rich legacy of assimilation and its constitutional ethos are under assault.

B) The algebra of Opposition unity

The Opposition should see in the Karnataka byelection results a goad for united action

Karnataka has done it a second time in a year, this year. The coming together of the Congress and Janata Dal (Secular), post-poll in May 2018, and the inauguration of the H.D. Kumaraswamy-led coalition government was its first contribution to opposition consolidation. The Congress-JD(S) alliance winning four of the five by-elections in Karnataka earlier this week is its second.

Imparting urgency

Karnataka can be said to have imparted urgency, impetus and a sense of highly ‘doable’ purpose to the Opposition’s search for coordination. No one is accusing the Opposition any more of political opportunism. On the contrary, popular dismay over the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government’s politically-motivated demonetisation, its rushing through of the Goods and Services Tax, its failure to check the rise in the prices of essential commodities and fuel, growing unemployment and now the Rafale issue have made Opposition convergence seem natural — in fact, apposite.

The campaigns for the coming elections to the Assemblies in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Mizoram and Telangana have, as a result, acquired a new seriousness as a precursor to the 2019 national elections. The huge margins of the Congress-JD(S) victories in the Karnataka by-elections are making the coming elections seem well within victory-touch for the Opposition.

The Congress + JD(S) = Victory arithmetic was there for all to see, to do quick counts on. And the sums have clicked right in four of the five seats that have just held by-elections in the State. But the margins of victory show more than simple arithmetic. They show Congress + JD(S) = V+, victory with a huge margin. They suggest a move from the BJP’s previous vote-share to the ruling alliance in Karnataka. They suggest that fence-sitters jumped to the Congress-JD(S) side of it. And that the same pattern can be expected in the elections ahead.

Caution ahead

But here lies risk. One may call it danger. What can a political giant faced with the prospect of an electoral reverse be expected to do?

If that giant is a philosopher, albeit a political philosopher, it would say, “My time seems to be drawing to a close, I should fight to win again but also be prepared to accept possible defeat with fortitude.” But this one is not philosophically inclined. It is doing what its bio-chemistry tells it to do. Bring out of its arsenal a trusty, if rusty, old weapon: polarisation. Whence, the Ram Mandir idea’s revival, complete with a Korean side-entertainment, name-changes from Allahabad to Prayagraj, Faizabad to Ayodhya, huge patronage given to Sabarimala sanatanists. Terror outfits will, needless to say, sharpen the sword’s edge.

Will these weapons ‘deliver’? The Opposition cannot afford to assume they will not. In fact, it must work on the assumption that polarisation is a deadly weapon and can hit its mark. So, how is it to be countered?

First, by a dead-serious further consolidation of Opposition unity. This is Karnataka’s clear mandate, in fact, goad to the Opposition. It is vital and, I believe, not too late for the Congress to reach out to Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati for a concordat in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. She is more than a Dalit leader. She has shown, not without mistakes and wrong moves, that she is a tenacious leader. And she is today fighting a political force that has it in its power to cripple her impact. She deserves the Congress’s respectful accommodation. Likewise, to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. He too is more than the chief of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). His determined survival right under the Central government’s shadow is nothing short of a miracle — a miracle of democratic tenacity.

Similarly, with the Samajwadi Party’s Akhilesh Yadav in Uttar Pradesh, the Trinamool Congress’s Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal, the Biju Janata Dal’s Naveen Patnaik in Odisha, and the National Conference’s Omar Abdullah in Jammu and Kashmir. Those leaders are not pawns but high-voltage knights, bishops and castles on the chessboard today. Every non-BJP vote split is a BJP vote glued.

What of Nitish Kumar of the Janata Dal (United)? He is a fact of our nation’s nucleating politics that cannot be wished away. When he and the astute Sharad Yadav and the Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Lalu Prasad came together previously, a natural convergence between Jayaprakash Narayan’s ‘proteges’ took place. The Congress has been too severely and rudely shocked by the Bihar leader’s about-turn to easily forget it but if the Congress can stay with Nationalist Congress Party leader Sharad Pawar without straining its fortitude, it must remember that Nitish-babu also is essentially a social democrat of the Congress’s old ‘Young Turk’ DNA. No understanding is feasible between the Congress and him as of now. But I see a distinct possibility, in the not-too-distant future of Nitish-babu’s alliance with the BJP coming apart on the question of secularism. The Congress must reserve a rain-check for that future date. If an understanding can be reached between Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Telugu Desam Party president N. Chandrababu Naidu, then surely one can be reached between the Congress and leaders who are ideologically and programmatically on the same page.

Mr. Naidu’s pragmatic steps towards democratic consolidation are salutary. The overture made by him to the leader of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, M.K. Stalin, gives meaning to the old English expression, “taking time by the forelock”. This is something the Congress must look at with diligence.

In Kerala

I need to come specifically to Kerala, 2019. The Left Democratic Front/United Democratic Front (LDF/UDF) binary is sharp when it comes to Kerala’s Assembly elections. But in the Lok Sabha, it made little difference as far as countervailing the BJP-NDA was concerned. For, there the Congress MP from Kerala and the Left MP from Kerala were together. But now, post-Sabarimala, things have changed.

What was implausible pre-Sabarimala is not only not implausible now but distinctly likely — the BJP contesting all seats and giving a very tough fight in a good number of them. With the non-BJP vote divided — who knows — it could well fluke wins.

So, what is great news for BJP supporters but an ill portent for others must lead to a re-appraisal of their poll-strategies. The LDF and the UDF just cannot afford to split the non-BJP vote in Kerala now. They must go for a seat adjustment. The Congress must see the writing on the larger wall and, taking the initiative, extend a hand to the Left in Kerala, and the Left on its part must not hesitate to take it.

The Congress and the Left must, as a historical imperative now, be seen as integral to each other as the Indian National Congress and the Congress Socialist Party were. Sitaram Yechury and Prakash Karat, as the P. Sundarayya and E.M.S. Namboodiripad of our times, can reverse engineer the process.

‘Reunion of broken parts’

But electoral tactics apart, what is needed by the democratic Opposition now beyond alliance arithmetic is an ideational algebra, or ‘al jabr’ in Arabic, meaning “re-union of broken parts”. This algebra should give urgent attention to the ground-level needs of the people, especially farmers and agricultural labour. Immiserated by monopolist Mafiosi and techno-commercial market greed, they need to be redeemed by a political leadership that is truly a servant of the people.

If the NDA is using mythologies, the Opposition should point to real pathologies. It should tell voters how their socio-economic infirmities work. It should rescue them from the diversions, embellished with an international cast, that they are being offered. From all accounts, this is what it now seems to be working at.

The people of Karnataka have shown that if the Congress and other democratic parties knit together a pre-poll alliance and work for realistic pro-farmer and pro-labour poverty-alleviation, they can call the bluff of sectarian rhetoric and hollow hubris and can hit a Congress + allies = V+ result.

India’s south may well be turning a plain iron key on a door that seemed locked by golden screws and diamond hinges for at least 10 more years.

But, ultimately, what is as important as, if not more than, a change of the party in power or a change of leader is the inauguration of a new political spirit. India is tired of its politics. It needs not new politicians but a new politics. The Opposition must offer not a BJP-free but a fear-free and corruption-free alternative to their voters. Not a Bha-Ja-Pa mukt Bharat but a bhaya-mukt and Bhrasht-mukt Bharat.


1) rigour

Meaning : the quality of being extremely thorough and careful(n).

Tamil Meaning : கடுமை

Synonyms : accuracy , difficulty

Antonyms : calmness

Example : “his analysis is lacking in rigour”

2) christen

Meaning : use for the first time.(v)

Synonyms : asperse

Antonyms : ignore

Example : “he bought a new pair of boots and christened them with his first goal at the McAlpine Stadium”

3) bustle

Meaning : move in an energetic and busy manner(v).excited activity and movement.(n)

Tamil Meaning : சந்தடி செய்

Synonyms : tumult

Antonyms : calm

Example : “people clutching clipboards bustled about”

4) Presumably

Meaning : used to convey that what is asserted is very likely though not known for certain.(adv)

Tamil Meaning : ஊகிக்கப்படுகிறது

Synonyms : apparently, probably

Antonyms : improbably

Example : “it was not yet ten o’clock, so presumably the boys were still at the pub”

5) reluctant

Meaning : unwilling and hesitant; disinclined.(adj)

Tamil Meaning : தயக்கம்

Synonyms : afraid

Antonyms : bold

Example : “today, many ordinary people are still reluctant to talk about politics”

6) evoke

Meaning :  bring or recall (a feeling, memory, or image) to the conscious mind.

Tamil Meaning : வருவதற்காக

Synonyms : arouse

Antonyms : deaden

Example : “the sight evoked pleasant memories of his childhood”

7) revivalism

Meaning : an improvement in the condition, strength, or fortunes of someone or something.(n)

Tamil Meaning : மறுமலர்ச்சி

Synonyms : renewal

Antonyms : destruction

Example : “a revival in the fortunes of the party”

8) asserted

Meaning : state a fact or belief confidently and forcefully.(v)

Tamil Meaning : வலியுறுத்தும்

Synonyms : allege

Antonyms : abandon

Example : “the company asserts that the cuts will not affect development”

9) dispute

Meaning : a disagreement or argument.

Tamil Meaning : சர்ச்சை

Synonyms : brawl

Antonyms : accord

Example : “a territorial dispute between the two countries”

10) contend

Meaning : struggle to surmount (a difficulty)(v).

Tamil Meaning : போராட

Synonyms : argue

Antonyms : agree

Example : “she had to contend with his uncertain temper”

11) confluence

Meaning : the junction of two rivers, especially rivers of approximately equal width.

Tamil Meaning : சங்கமிக்கும்

Synonyms : assemblage

Antonyms : division

Example :”the confluence of the Rivers Ouse and Foss”

12) dispensation

Meaning : exemption from a rule or usual requirement.(n)

Tamil Meaning : பகிர்ந்தளிப்பதற்கு

Synonyms : disbursement

Antonyms : disfavor

Example : “although she was too young, she was given special dispensation to play before her birthday”

13) reinforces

Meaning : strengthen or support (an object or substance), especially with additional material.(v)

Tamil Meaning : வலுப்படுத்தும்

Synonyms : bolster

Antonyms : diminish

Example : “the helmet has been reinforced with a double layer of cork”

14) terrain

Meaning : a stretch of land, especially with regard to its physical features.(n)

Tamil Meaning : நிலப்பரப்பு

Synonyms :  contour

Antonyms : sky

Example : “they were delayed by rough terrain”

15) assimilation

Meaning : take in and understand fully (information or ideas).(v)

Tamil Meaning : தன்வயப்படுத்தியதை

Synonyms : grasp

Antonyms : exclude

Example : “Marie tried to assimilate the week’s events”

16) coalition

Meaning : a temporary alliance for combined action, especially of political parties forming a government.(n)

Tamil Meaning : கூட்டணி

Synonyms : alliance , faction

Antonyms : detachment

Example : “a coalition between Liberals and Conservatives”

17) imparted

Meaning : make (information) known(v).

Tamil Meaning : இயம்பி

Synonyms : communicate

Antonyms : withhold

Example : “the teachers imparted a great deal of knowledge to their pupils”

18) impetus

Meaning : the force or energy with which a body moves.(n)

Tamil Meaning : உத்வேகம்

Synonyms : impulse , momentum

Antonyms : block

Example : “hit the booster coil before the flywheel loses all its impetus”

19) contrary

Meaning : opposite in nature, direction, or meaning.(adj),the opposite.(n)

Tamil Meaning : மாறாக

Synonyms : adverse

Antonyms : agreeable

Example : “he ignored contrary advice and agreed on the deal”

20) dismay

Meaning : concern and distress caused by something unexpected.(n),cause (someone) to feel concern and distress.(v)

Tamil Meaning : கண்டனத்தை

Synonyms : alarm , anxiety

Antonyms : assurance

Example : “to his dismay, she left him”

21) convergence

Meaning : the process or state of converging.(n)

Tamil Meaning : கூடுகை

Synonyms : concurrence

Example : “the convergence of lines in the distance”

22) precursor

Meaning : a person or thing that comes before another of the same kind; a forerunner.(n)

Tamil Meaning : முன்னோடி

Synonyms : forerunner

Example : “a three-stringed precursor of the violin”

23) fence

Meaning : surround or protect with a fence.(v)

Tamil Meaning : வேலி

Synonyms : barricade

Antonyms : opening

Example : “our garden was not fully fenced”

24) fortitude

Meaning : courage in pain or adversity.(n)

Tamil Meaning : மனோபலம்

Synonyms :  boldness

Antonyms : apathy

Example : “she endured her illness with great fortitude”

25) inclined

Meaning : be favourably disposed towards or willing to do something.(v)

Synonyms : prone

Antonyms : unwilling

Example : “he was inclined to accept the offer”

26) arsenal

Meaning : a collection of weapons and military equipment.(n)

Tamil Meaning : ஆயுதக்கிடங்கை

Synonyms : depository

Antonyms : debt

Example : “Britain’s nuclear arsenal”

27) patronage

Meaning :  the support given by a patron.(n)

Tamil Meaning : ஆதரவு

Synonyms : auspices

Antonyms : blockage

Example : “the arts could no longer depend on private patronage”

28) outfits

Meaning : a set of clothes worn together, especially for a particular occasion or purpose.(n)

Tamil Meaning : கைதுசெய்ய

Synonyms : apparatus

Example : “her wedding outfit”

29) embellish

Meaning : make (something) more attractive by the addition of decorative details or features.(v)

Tamil Meaning : அழகுபடுத்து

Synonyms : bedeck

Antonyms :  harm

Example : “blue silk embellished with golden embroidery”

30) concord

Meaning : an agreement or treaty, especially one between the Vatican and a secular government relating to matters of mutual interest.(n)

Synonyms : compact

Antonyms : disagreement

Example : “Napoleon I’s concordat with the papacy”

31) tenacious

Meaning : tending to keep a firm hold of something; clinging or adhering closely.(adj)

Tamil Meaning : உறுதியான

Synonyms : cohesive

Antonyms : afraid

Example : “a tenacious grip”

32) cripple

Meaning : cause (someone) to become unable to walk or move properly.(v)

Tamil Meaning : முடக்க

Synonyms : debilitate

Antonyms : assist

Example : “a young student was crippled for life”

33) tenacity

Meaning : the quality or fact of being able to grip something firmly; grip.(n)

Tamil Meaning : விடாப்பிடியான

Synonyms : courage

Antonyms : fear

Example : “the sheer tenacity of the limpet”

34) pawns

Meaning : a person used by others for their own purposes.(n)

Synonyms : bond

Antonyms : break

Example : “he was a pawn in the game of power politics

35) feasible

Meaning : possible and practical to do easily or conveniently(adj)

Tamil Meaning : சாத்தியமான

Synonyms : achievable

Antonyms : impossible

Example : “the Dutch have demonstrated that it is perfectly feasible to live below sea level”

36) salutary.

Meaning : (especially with reference to something unwelcome or unpleasant) producing good effects; beneficial.(adj)

Synonyms : healthful

Example : “it failed to draw salutary lessons from Britain’s loss of its colonies”

37) overture

Meaning : an orchestral piece at the beginning of an opera, play, etc.(n)

Tamil Meaning : பிரஸ்தாபம்

Synonyms : invitation

Antonyms : conclusion

Example : “the overture to Mozart’s ‘Don Giovanni’”

38) diligence.

Meaning : careful and persistent work or effort.

Tamil Meaning : விடாமுயற்சி

Synonyms : alertness

Antonyms : inactivity

Example : “few party members challenge his diligence as an MP”

39) implausible

Meaning : (of an argument or statement) not seeming reasonable or probable; failing to convince.(adj)

Tamil Meaning : இயலக்கூடாததாக

Synonyms : dubious

Antonyms :  believable

Example : “this is a blatantly implausible claim”

40) portent

Meaning : a sign or warning that a momentous or calamitous event is likely to happen.(n)

Tamil Meaning : அத்தாட்சி

Synonyms : harbinger

Antonyms : doom

Example : “many birds are regarded as being portents of death”


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