Dear Banking Aspirants,

THE HINDU EDITORIAL – November 13, 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) Dangerous tactics: on recent Maoist attacks

Recent attacks suggest that Maoists are focussing on greater militarisation

There has been an uptick in attacks by Maoists, indicating that their ability to strike remains strong. Last week, in two attacks in Chhattisgarh, five persons were killed in a blast in Dantewada district, and one BSF sub-inspector was killed in Kanker district. Maoists have also owned up responsibility for the killing of TDP MLA Kidari Sarveswara Rao and his predecessor Siveri Soma in Araku valley in Andhra Pradesh in September. These attacks, however, come amid a series of military setbacks to the Maoists in the Andhra Pradesh-Odisha border regions. Clearly, the government’s strategy of using military force while earmarking funds for infrastructure and welfare programmes in the districts most affected by left-wing extremism has weakened the Maoists. Paramilitary and police actions have resulted in the death of senior leaders, including Cherukuri Rajkumar (‘Azad’) and Mallojula Koteswara Rao (‘Kishenji’). Welfare measures, even if they have been implemented haphazardly, have enabled outreach into tribal areas where the state was hitherto absent. These actions have forced the Maoists to retreat further into the forest areas of central and south-central India to use them as bases to launch attacks, seeking to invite state repression on tribal people and to get recruits. The change of guard in the CPI (Maoist) leadership also suggests that it has moved towards further militarisation to secure its guerrilla forces’ influence. General secretary Nambala Kesava Rao (‘Basavraj’), who has replaced Muppala Lakshmana Rao (‘Ganapathy’), is alleged to have led attacks on security forces and killings.

The CPI (Maoist) has sought to project itself as a revolutionary political movement led by peasants and tribals, seeking to rebuild after the failures of the earlier Naxalite movement. After the merger of the People’s War Group and the Maoist Communist Centre of India into the CPI (Maoist) in 2004, the outlawed party managed to consolidate its presence across a “Red Corridor” spanning central and north-central India, marked by rural deprivation. Rather than focussing on socio-economic struggles to uplift peasants and tribals in this region, the Maoists relied on waging a military battle against the state with the intention of capturing power through violent means. This was largely due to a gross and mindless misreading of the nature of the Indian state and its democratic institutions. These actions have resulted in the militarisation of these areas, repression of tribal people both by state actions such as the creation of the Salwa Judum — disbanded by judicial order — and Maoist authoritarianism. The change in leadership of the CPI (Maoist) and its recent actions suggest there is no end in sight to this insurgency in the near term — a sad reality for tribals caught in the crossfire.

B) The usurpation of free speech

Furore over a BBC programme captures the worldwide success of the far right in capturing space on diverse platforms

Last month, ‘Newsnight’, a weekday BBC current affairs programme, faced much criticism online over a segment due to be aired that evening on 35-year-old Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon, better known to the world as Tommy Robinson, co-founder of the English Defence League and a cause célèbre of the far right globally. Alongside the provision of yet another platform to him, it was the way the story was promoted that troubled observers the most. Ahead of the programme, ‘Newsnight’ ran images of Mr. Robinson staring determinedly into the camera, his mouth covered with duct tape. “Is Tommy Robinson a man raising concerns that others ignore, or a far-right figure exploiting the victims of sexual abuse for his own ends?” asked the programme on its social media promotional.

This image of Mr. Robinson muzzled was the very one that he and his supporters had been seeking to project, despite the fact that as Miqdaad Versi, a spokesperson for the Muslim Council of Britain, noted on Twitter that in the last three months he has been mentioned on broadcast over 100 times. Far from him being shunned by the media, he has been interviewed on prominent news shows in recent years, as well as being an invitee at the Oxford Union. “Is Tommy Robinson being ignored and silenced by the media asks the media who won’t stop reporting on him,” tweeted Amna Saleem, a Scottish-Pakistani writer rather fittingly. The preposterousness of the suggestion that he is being silenced is also evidenced by his social media profile: clips of him speaking, often looking furtively into the camera as if to emphasise the supposed silencing, attract millions of viewers.

Image management

The notion that the far right is being muzzled despite the inordinate media attention it has garnered — from print, television, radio and digital — is one that it has managed to project with great success, feeding into the wider image the far right has attempted to propagate of it being an anti-establishment, revolutionary force. It also appears to be something that many of its proponents ardently believe. “We are being gagged,” a supporter of Mr. Robinson, wearing a t-shirt with the logo “#Free Speech #Free Tommy”, told the Canadian media website The Rebel Media outside a court recently. Hundreds of his supporters gathered outside the Old Bailey last month for a hearing over allegations of contempt of court that Mr. Robinson is facing over his filming of suspects in a criminal trial involving “grooming gangs”. While his supporters have insisted he is a “martyr” to the British cause, and the only one to speak out, others have rightly pointed out that he has simply exploited the case of grooming gangs to further his toxic, Islamophobic world view, exacerbating the situation and taking the attention away from the victims and the debate on real practicable ways in which grooming gangs could be prevented from harming more people in the future.

He is far from the only figure on the right in Britain to present himself as a “brave soldier” of free speech, and the “oppressed” — as among the only ones willing to take on the “dangerous liberals” supposedly trying to clamp down on free speech and impose their world view to the determinant of the marginalised majority. Katie Hopkins, an ultra-right campaigner, proclaimed herself the “Jesus of the outspoken”. In May, a “Day for Freedom” protest took place on London’s Parliament Square that attracted leading figures on the right. In April, Mark Meechan, a right-wing comedian, sought to portray a fine of £800 by a court in the U.K. for teaching a dog to do a Nazi salute for a YouTube video in terms of the curtailment of free speech.

In academia

The same contention has also been propagated by sections of the right more broadly. In an article last year, Niall Ferguson, the right-wing British historian of empire, insisted that the “biggest threat to free speech” came from the left. Last year, when academics and students protested against Oxford University’s support for the “ethics and empire” project that sought to create a list of the rights and wrongs of the empire, publications such as the Daily Mail accused them of bullying and attempting to silence Nigel Biggar, the professor behind the initiative. Last year, the Daily Telegraph ran an incendiary story accusing a young black student of “forcing” the University of Cambridge to replace white authors with black authors and only retracted the factually incorrect story after huge public outrage and a torrent of abuse directed at the student herself.

It has also manifested itself in other ways. Last year Britain’s Universities Minister gave priority to a requirement that universities be required to guarantee free speech or face fines and potential de-registration in a consultation that was set to take place, pointing to “examples of censorship”. This again appeared to be an acknowledgement of an argument propagated by those on the right that “snowflake” students — too easy to take offence — were somehow stifling voices on the right through no-platforming initiatives that sought to protest the space given to them to voice offensive perspectives. There have been a handful of cases where students have pushed for particularly controversial speakers not to be allowed to speak on campus, yet the right managed to put the issue at the top of the government’s agenda, despite the many challenges facing Britain’s university sector.

The mainstreaming of this perspective has been toxic and debilitating on public life in the U.K. and beyond. A fear of being perceived to be closed to the perspectives of the right — which has been labelled “balance” — has led to a willingness by media outlets to offer voices even on issues where scientific consensus leaves little doubt. Earlier this year, the BBC faced much criticism over the space it provided to climate change deniers, until a briefing note sent to the staff in September pointed to the danger of a “false balance”. “You do not need a ‘denier’ to balance the debate,” the organisation was forced to clarify to its staff in a reference to man-made climate change.

Meanwhile, the far right has continued to rise steadily, spurred on by burgeoning acceptance of the issues raised by them that would once have been unthinkable, including by the media. There are over 100 live terror investigations related to the far-right as of October, while it emerged that MI5 is to take the lead in dealing with right-wing terrorism amid rising concern about its reach. Last week at least five men were arrested in connection with a video that showed the burning of an effigy of London’s Grenfell Tower. The blaze at the tower, home to largely ethnic minority residents, in June 2017 killed 72 people.

Beyond Britain

The usurpation of the free speech debate by the far right is, of course, not confined to Britain. It has become an essential part of the playbook of the movement across the world, while Mr. Robinson himself is held up by right-wing figures across the world as a poster-boy. The unwillingness of the media in Britain and beyond to call out those efforts for what they are will only continue to bolster that effort. The ability of the media to confront the far right, without unconsciously or otherwise adopting its rules of engagement, and its positioning of debates, is likely to be one of its biggest challenges going forward.


1) earmarking

Meaning : designate (funds or resources) for a particular purpose.

Synonyms : brand

Antonyms : use

Example : “the cash had been earmarked for a big expansion of the programme”

2) repression

Meaning : the action of subduing someone or something by force.(n)

Tamil Meaning : அடக்குமுறை

Synonyms : restraint

Antonyms : liberty

Example : “students sparked off events that ended in brutal repression”

3) peasants

Meaning : a poor smallholder or agricultural labourer of low social status (chiefly in historical use or with reference to subsistence farming in poorer countries).

Tamil Meaning : விவசாயி

Synonyms : rustics

Antonyms : great wealth

Example : “peasant farmers”

4) outlawed

Meaning : ban or make illegal.(v)

Tamil Meaning : தடை

Synonyms : expired

Antonyms : allowed

Example : “secondary picketing has been outlawed”

5) deprivation

Meaning : the damaging lack of material benefits considered to be basic necessities in a society.(n)

Tamil Meaning : இழப்பு

Synonyms : privation

Antonyms : indulgence

Example : “low wages mean that 3.75 million people suffer serious deprivation”

6) relied

Meaning : depend on with full trust or confidence.(v)

Tamil Meaning : நம்பியிருந்தன

Synonyms : believed

Antonyms : distrusted

Example : “I know I can rely on your discretion”

7) repression

Meaning : the action of subduing someone or something by force.(n)

Tamil Meaning : அடக்குமுறை

Synonyms : restraint

Antonyms : liberty

Example : “students sparked off events that ended in brutal repression”

8) exploiting

Meaning : make full use of and derive benefit from (a resource).(v)

Tamil Meaning : பயன்படுத்தி

Synonyms : acting

Antonyms : wasting

Example : “500 companies sprang up to exploit this new technology”

9) duct

Meaning : a tube or passageway in a building or machine for air, liquid, cables, etc.(n)

Synonyms : conduit

Antonyms : amble

Example : “leading the air through ducts in the floor”

10) despite

Meaning : contemptuous treatment or behaviour; outrage.(n)

Tamil Meaning : போதிலும்

Synonyms : in spite of

Antonyms : exalt

Example : “the despite done by him to the holy relics”

11) shunned

Meaning : persistently avoid, ignore, or reject (someone or something) through antipathy or caution.(v)

Tamil Meaning : தவிர்த்தேன்

Synonyms : rejected

Antonyms : desired

Example : “he shunned fashionable society”

12) prominent

Meaning : important; famous.(adj)

Tamil Meaning : முக்கிய

Synonyms : eminent

Antonyms : invisible

Example : “she was a prominent member of the city council”

13) notion

Meaning : a conception of or belief about something.(n)

Tamil Meaning : கருத்து

Synonyms : opinion

Antonyms : need

Example : “children have different notions about the roles of their parents”

14) muzzled

Meaning : prevent (a person or group) from expressing their opinions freely.

Tamil Meaning : முற்றுப்புள்ளி

Synonyms : gagged

Antonyms : said

Example : “opposition leaders accused him of muzzling the news media”

15) blaze

Meaning : a very large or fiercely burning fire(n).

Synonyms : flame

Antonyms : extinguish

Example : “twenty firemen fought the blaze”

16) garnered

Meaning : gather or collect (something, especially information or approval).(v)

Tamil Meaning : பெற்றது

Synonyms : amassed

Antonyms : dispelled

Example : “the police struggled to garner sufficient evidence”

17) propagate

Meaning : breed specimens of (a plant or animal) by natural processes from the parent stock.(V)

Synonyms : spread

Antonyms : hide

Example : “try propagating your own houseplants from cuttings

18) proponents

Meaning : a person who advocates a theory, proposal, or course of action.(n)

Tamil Meaning : ஆதரவாளர்கள்

Synonyms : advocates

Example : “a strong proponent of the free market and liberal trade policies”

19) ardently

Meaning : very enthusiastically or passionately.

Tamil Meaning : ஊக்கத்துடன்

Synonyms : passionately

Antonyms : grimly

Example : “both men ardently supported the war”

20) contempt

Meaning : the feeling that a person or a thing is worthless or beneath consideration.(n)

Tamil Meaning : அவமதிப்பு

Synonyms : disdain

Antonyms : respect

Example : “Pam stared at the girl with total contempt”

21) allegations

Meaning : the feeling that a person or a thing is worthless or beneath consideration.(n)

Tamil Meaning : அவமதிப்பு

Synonyms : scorn

Antonyms : respect

Example : “Pam stared at the girl with total contempt”

22) grooming

Meaning : brush and clean the coat of (a horse, dog, or other animal).(V)

Tamil Meaning : சீர்ப்படுத்தும்

Synonyms : training

Antonyms : brides

Example : “the horses were groomed and taken to shows”

23) exacerbating

Meaning : make (a problem, bad situation, or negative feeling) worse.(n)

Tamil Meaning : அதிகப்படுத்தும்

Synonyms : exasperating

Antonyms : moderating

Example : “the exorbitant cost of land in urban areas only exacerbated the problem”

24) clamp

Meaning : a brace, band, or clasp for strengthening or holding things together.(n)

Synonyms : clasp

Antonyms : loosen

Example : “I have fixed the motor to the table with two clamps”

25) proclaimed

Meaning : announce officially or publicly.(v)

Tamil Meaning : அறிவிக்க

Synonyms : announce

Antonyms : conceal

Example : “the government’s chief scientific adviser proclaimed that the epidemic was under control”

26) portray

Meaning : depict (someone or something) in a work of art or literature.(v)

Tamil Meaning : சித்தரிக்க

Synonyms : depict

Antonyms : avoid

Example : “the ineffectual Oxbridge dons portrayed by Evelyn Waugh”

27) curtailment

Meaning : the action or fact of reducing or restricting something.

Tamil Meaning : துண்டித்தல்

Synonyms : reduction

Antonyms : extension

Example : “the curtailment of human rights”

28) ethnic

Meaning : relating to a population subgroup (within a larger or dominant national or cultural group) with a common national or cultural tradition.(adj)

Tamil Meaning : இன

Synonyms : cultural

Antonyms : nonracial

Example : “ethnic and cultural rights and traditions”

29) contention

Meaning : heated disagreement.

Tamil Meaning : கருத்து

Synonyms : conflict

Antonyms : affection

Example : “the captured territory was the main area of contention between the two countries”

30) propagated

Meaning : breed specimens of (a plant or animal) by natural processes from the parent stock.(v)

Tamil Meaning : பரப்புகின்ற

Synonyms : distributed

Antonyms : eradicated

Example : “try propagating your own houseplants from cuttings”

31) outrage

Meaning : an extremely strong reaction of anger, shock, or indignation.

Tamil Meaning : கோபத்தை

Synonyms : fury

Antonyms : delight

Example : “her voice trembled with outrage”

32) incendiary

Meaning : (of a device or attack) designed to cause fires.(adj)

Tamil Meaning : தீமூட்டும்

Synonyms : arsonist

Antonyms : conciliatory

Example : “incendiary bombs”

33) manifested

Meaning : show (a quality or feeling) by one’s acts or appearance; demonstrate.

Tamil Meaning : வெளிப்படுத்தப்பட்டுள்ளது

Synonyms : exhibited

Antonyms : secreted

Example : “Lizzy manifested signs of severe depression”

34) stifling

Meaning : making one feel constrained or oppressed.(Adj)

Tamil Meaning : மூச்சுத் திணற

Synonyms : sultry

Antonyms : breezy

Example : “the stifling formality of her family life”

35) debilitating

Meaning : tending to weaken something.(adj)

Tamil Meaning : பலவீனமாக்கும்

Synonyms : exhausting

Antonyms : restorative

Example : “the debilitating effects of underinvestment”

36) spurred

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

Tamil Meaning : தூண்டியது

Synonyms : instigated

Antonyms : checked

Example : “two young men appeared booted and spurred

37) perceived

Meaning : become aware or conscious of (something); come to realize or understand(V).

Tamil Meaning : உணரப்பட்ட

Synonyms : sensed

Antonyms : missed

Example : “his mouth fell open as he perceived the truth”

38) confined

Meaning : (of a space) restricted in area or volume; cramped.(Adj)

Tamil Meaning :நின்றுவிடுகின்றன

Synonyms : limited

Antonyms : free

Example : “her fear of confined spaces”

39) bolster

Meaning : support or strengthen.(v)

Tamil Meaning : உயர்த்திப்பிடிக்கின்றன

Synonyms : support

Antonyms : undermine

Example : “the fall in interest rates is starting to bolster confidence”

40) confront

Meaning : come face to face with (someone) with hostile or argumentative intent.(v)

Tamil Meaning : எதிர்கொள்ள

Synonyms : defy

Antonyms : avoid

Example : “300 policemen confronted an equal number of union supporters”


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