Dear Banking Aspirants,

THE HINDU EDITORIAL – October 31, 2018, is one of the must-read section for the competitive exams like IBPS PO, 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) Zia, cornered: on BNP facing setback in Bangladesh

The BNP suffers yet another setback as Bangladesh’s elections approach

Former Bangladesh Prime Minister Khaleda Zia’s conviction in yet another case of corruption imperils her Bangladesh Nationalist Party’s already meagre prospects in the coming parliamentary elections. She has been sentenced to seven years of rigorous imprisonment. With her son and acting chairman of the BNP, Tarique Rahman, in exile, and convicted in absentia and sentenced to life imprisonment for his alleged role in a grenade attack on an Awami League rally, the party’s leadership has been effectively crippled. It is no wonder that the BNP has formed an alliance, the Jatiya Oikya Front, with other minor parties, under the leadership of secular icon and civil society leader Kamal Hossain to bolster its fortunes in what looks like a lopsided battle against the entrenched Awami League. The Awami League and the BNP have rarely engaged each other as healthy political rivals. There has been no love lost between the leaders of the two parties, Ms. Zia and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina: they have tended to view each other with a sense of vengeance. Yet it would be misleading to claim that the punitive actions ordered against the BNP’s leaders by the judiciary are entirely due to any pressure from the ruling party. The BNP’s last term in government, from 2001 to 2006, was marked by corruption, support for fundamentalism and repressive measures against the Opposition.

The BNP is now caught in a bind. It had boycotted the parliamentary election in 2014 to give the process a veneer of illegitimacy, leaving the Awami League as the only major political force in contention. But the BNP’s decision backfired. Bangladesh under Awami rule has recorded steady economic growth and has had creditable successes in welfare delivery and public health measures, seen tangibly in the lowered infant mortality and fertility rates and in sanitation. There have been some misgivings too, as Prime Minister Hasina has increasingly tended to be authoritarian and impatient with critics. While the judiciary has found the BNP’s leadership to be guilty of corruption and misdemeanours, the crackdown on the BNP rank and file, with thousands of activists targeted by the police, is a sign of the government’s overreach. A new digital security law, most ominously, has been passed with stringent punishment to anyone secretly recording state officials and spreading “negative propaganda” about the Liberation War, among other things. This manoeuvre is clearly intended to have a chilling effect on the Bangladeshi media. A healthy democracy must allow for differences of opinion. The government must not pursue this quasi-authoritarian bent at a time when its leading opposition has been emasculated. This would only help delegitimise the formal aspects of democracy, such as elections, among the government’s critics and the electorate.

B) The unifier of modern India

Remembering Sardar Patel’s stupendous role in integrating the princely States into independent India

“By common endeavour we can raise the country to a new greatness, while a lack of unity will expose us to fresh calamities.” These pragmatic but profound remarks defined the vision and the sterling character of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the principal unifier of modern India.

Force behind unification

Sardar Patel’s foresight and tactful navigation of the most turbulent period in post-Independence, and the resolve he demonstrated in integrating the more than 500 disparate princely States into the Dominion of India is an unparalleled accomplishment in modern history.

Hailing Patel’s feat, Lord Mountbatten, the last Viceroy of India, had said: “By far the most important achievement of the present government is the unification of the States into the Dominion of India. Had you failed in this, the results would have been disastrous… Nothing has added to the prestige of the present government more than the brilliant policy you have followed with the States.”

Patel was a statesman with a strong sense of realpolitik, a realist to the core and an earthy politician whose sole aim was to build a strong and united India.

What makes the merger of the princely States truly incredible is the fact that the princely rulers had the option at that time to either accede to India or Pakistan or remain independent. Yet, Patel’s sagacity, foresight, patriotism, tact, persuasive powers and abiding commitment to fair play enabled him to untangle a highly complex political and social problem of an unprecedented scale, without triggering any kind of revolt or civil unrest.

However, he was also compelled to use coercion by launching ‘Operation Polo’ to liberate and integrate Hyderabad after the Nizam of Hyderabad entertained false hopes of either joining Pakistan or remaining independent. In a swift operation lasting five days, Hyderabad State was liberated in September 1948.

Writing about Patel’s decisiveness in the Christian Science Monitor, W. Gordon Graham observed: “Hyderabad, a State covering 80,000 square miles in the heart of peninsular India, was at that time in the grip of an unscrupulous minority which aimed at secession from India. Had the bid succeeded, India might not have survived as a political unit. This situation needed a man of iron who would not balk at coercive action, and in the Sardar, India had at that vital moment just the man.”

Indeed at the most critical time when the country’s political unity was in jeopardy, India found the man of the moment in Sardar Patel, who displayed amazing patience, tact and a steely determination in dealing with an intransigent ruler, who refused to see the writing on the wall and even wanted to take the issue to the United Nations. Displaying statesmanship of the highest order, Sardar Patel prevented the attempts to not only Balkanise India but internationalise the issue as well. The complicated case of Junagarh, Gujarat, was also handled with dexterity by Patel. I feel that the problem of Jammu and Kashmir would have been resolved long back had Sardar Patel been given a free hand to handle it at that time.

A builder of India

Patel himself termed the entire exercise as a “bloodless revolution” when he wanted the Constituent Assembly to consider privy purse settlements for the surrender by the rulers of all their ruling powers and the dissolution of the States as separate units.

Patel was an ardent follower of Mahatma Gandhi and never swerved in his loyalty to his mentor, although there were occasions when he differed with him. Similarly, he did not see eye-to-eye with Jawaharlal Nehru on certain issues, including the handling of Jammu and Kashmir. But he did not allow these differences or personal ego to come in the way of protecting the larger interests of the country — which were at the core of his heart. He worked shoulder-to-shoulder with Nehru in building a modern India.

Patel was a multifaceted personality. He was a dynamic political leader, an organiser par excellence, a competent administrator and a skilful negotiator.

After coming under the influence of Mahatma Gandhi, he became his loyal follower and successfully organised peasants against the imposition of taxes by the British at Kheda and Bardoli, Gujarat, and in the process he earned the title of ‘Sardar’ for his leadership qualities. The manner in which he marshalled the peasants and the unflinching stand taken by him eventually forced the authorities to roll back the taxes.

Architect of the steel frame

The Iron Man of India was the chief architect of India’s steel frame — the civil services. Thus, the All India Services were seen as an important cementing force in promoting the unity and integrity of the nation.

It will be relevant to recall his famous address to the civil service probationers in 1947 when Patel told them that the service will have to adopt its true role of national service without being trammelled upon by traditions and habits of the past. He said: “Officers must be guided by a real spirit of service in their day-to-day administration, for in no other manner can they fit in the scheme of things. Your predecessors were brought up in the traditions in which they felt out of touch and kept themselves aloof from the common run of the people. It will be your bounden duty to treat the common men in India as your own or to put it correctly, to feel yourself to be one of them.” It is in the fitness of things that the National Police Academy located on the outskirts of Hyderabad, Telangana, is named after him, as a tribute to the statesman.

Another aspect of the Sardar that needs to be highlighted is his graciousness and magnanimity in readily abiding by Mahatma Gandhi’s advice to withdraw his candidacy for the post of Congress President in favour of Pandit Nehru in 1946, although a majority of State Congress committees supported his candidature. It was apparent that the Congress President would become the first Prime Minister of India. It once again proved his noble intention of placing the country’s interests above self.

His love for the motherland was best described by Maulana Azad when he said: “He made his choice out of two courses that come before a man, namely would he live for his country or for himself? Sardar chose his country.”

A tribute

I am glad that the 182-metre-tall ‘Statue of Unity’ is being unveiled today at the Narmada dam site in Gujarat, in a real tribute and recognition of Patel’s stupendous role in integrating various princely States and ensuring India’s unity.

As we pay our tributes to the great statesman on his birth anniversary today, on October 31, let us try to emulate his qualities and work towards realising his dream of providing ‘Suraaj’ in a new and prosperous India.


1) conviction

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 : certitude

Antonyms : uncertainty

Example : “she had a previous conviction for a similar offence”

2) imperils

Meaning : put at risk of being harmed, injured, or destroyed.

Tamil Meaning : ஆபத்திற்குள்ளாக்கி

Synonyms : endangers

Antonyms : protects

Example : “they advised against tax increases for fear of imperilling the recovery”

3) meagre

Meaning : (of something provided or available) lacking in quantity or quality.(adj)

Tamil Meaning : வெறும்

Synonyms : scanty

Antonyms : ample

Example : “they were forced to supplement their meagre earnings”

4) rigorous

Meaning : extremely thorough and careful.(adj)

Tamil Meaning : கடுமையான

Synonyms : strict

Antonyms : lenient

Example : “the rigorous testing of consumer products”

5) grenade

Meaning : a small bomb thrown by hand or launched mechanically.

Synonyms : munition

Example : They threw in a grenade last time.

6) crippled

Meaning : (of a person) unable to walk or move properly; disabled.

Tamil Meaning : முடக்க

Synonyms : disabled

Antonyms : fit

Example : “a crippled old man”

7) lopsided

Meaning : with one side lower or smaller than the other.

Tamil Meaning : தலைப்பட்சமானது

Synonyms : unequal

Antonyms : balanced

Example : “a lopsided grin”

8) entrenched

Meaning : (of an attitude, habit, or belief) firmly established and difficult or unlikely to change; ingrained.

Tamil Meaning : மேலும் ஆழமாக்கும்

Synonyms : confirmed

Antonyms : vulnerable

Example : “an entrenched resistance to change”

9) rivals

Meaning : a person or thing competing with another for the same objective or for superiority in the same field of activity.

Tamil Meaning : போட்டியாளர்கள்

Synonyms : opponents

Antonyms : partners

Example : “he has no serious rival for the job”

10) outskirts

Meaning : the outer parts of a town or city.

Tamil Meaning : புறநகரில்

Synonyms : edge

Antonyms : core

Example : “he built a new factory on the outskirts of Birmingham”

11) claim

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

Tamil Meaning : கூற்றை

Synonyms : assert

Antonyms : deny

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

12) punitive

Meaning : inflicting or intended as punishment.

Tamil Meaning : தண்டனை

Synonyms : harsh

Antonyms : reward

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

13) bind

Meaning : tie or fasten (something) tightly together.(n)

Synonyms : tie

Antonyms : intervene

Example : “logs bound together with ropes”

14) boycotted

Meaning : withdraw from commercial or social relations with (a country, organization, or person) as a punishment or protest.

Tamil Meaning : புறக்கணித்தனர்

Synonyms : banned

Antonyms : frequented

Example : “we will boycott all banks which take part in the loans scheme”

15) contention

Meaning : an assertion, especially one maintained in argument.

Tamil Meaning : கருத்து

Synonyms : conflict

Antonyms : affection

Example : “Freud’s contention that all dreams were wish fulfilment”

16) tangibly

Meaning : perceptible by touch.(adj)

Tamil Meaning : உறுதியான

Synonyms : palpable

Antonyms : abstract

Example : “the atmosphere of neglect and abandonment was almost tangible

17) stringent

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

Tamil Meaning : கடுமையான

Synonyms : harsh

Antonyms : flexible

Example : “stringent guidelines on air pollution”

18) ominously

Meaning : giving the worrying impression that something bad is going to happen; threateningly inauspicious.

Tamil Meaning : அச்சுறுத்தும்

Synonyms : menacing

Antonyms : hopeful

Example : “there were ominous dark clouds gathering overhead”

19) manoeuvre

Meaning : a movement or series of moves requiring skill and care.

Tamil Meaning : மாற்றம்

Synonyms : artifice

Antonyms : tautness

Example : “snowboarders performed daring manoeuvres on precipitous slopes”

20) bent

Meaning : sharply curved or having an angle.

Tamil Meaning : வளைந்த

Synonyms : disposition

Antonyms : straight

Example : “a piece of bent wire”

21) pursue

Meaning : follow or chase (someone or something).

Tamil Meaning : தொடர

Synonyms : follow

Antonyms : ignore

Example : “the officer pursued the van”

22) emasculated

Meaning : deprive (a man) of his male role or identity.(v)

Tamil Meaning : கோழையாக

Synonyms : castrate

Antonyms : fortify

Example : “he feels emasculated, because he cannot control his sons’ behaviour”

23) endeavour

Meaning : try hard to do or achieve something.

Tamil Meaning : முயற்சி

Synonyms : attempt

Antonyms : surrender

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

24) pragmatic

Meaning : dealing with things sensibly and realistically in a way that is based on practical rather than theoretical considerations.

Tamil Meaning : நடைமுறைக்கேற்ற

Synonyms : practical

Antonyms : idealistic

Example : “a pragmatic approach to politics”

25) profound

Meaning : (of a state, quality, or emotion) very great or intense.(adj)

Tamil Meaning : ஆழ்ந்த

Synonyms : deep

Antonyms : slight

Example : “profound feelings of disquiet”

26) tactful

Meaning : having or showing skill and sensitivity in dealing with others or with difficult issues.

Tamil Meaning : சாதுரியமான

Synonyms : discreet

Antonyms : careless

Example : “they need a tactful word of advice”

27) turbulent

Meaning : characterized by conflict, disorder, or confusion; not stable or calm.

Tamil Meaning : கொந்தளிப்பான

Synonyms : violent

Antonyms : peaceful

Example : “the country’s turbulent history”

28) disparate

Meaning : essentially different in kind; not able to be compared.

Tamil Meaning : முற்றிலும் வேறான

Synonyms : diverse

Antonyms : analogous

Example : “they inhabit disparate worlds of thought”

29) Viceroy

Meaning :

Tamil Meaning :

Synonyms :

Antonyms :

Example :

30) unification

Meaning : the process of being united or made into a whole.

Tamil Meaning : ஒருங்கிணைப்பு

Synonyms : fusion

Antonyms : division

Example : “the costs of German unification”

31) incredible

Meaning : impossible to believe.

Tamil Meaning : நம்பமுடியாத

Synonyms : extraordinary

Antonyms : credible

Example : “an almost incredible tale of triumph and tragedy”

32) accede

Meaning : agree to a demand, request, or treaty.

Tamil Meaning : இணைவதற்கு

Synonyms : acquiesce

Antonyms : demur

Example : “the authorities did not accede to the strikers’ demands”

33) persuasive

Meaning : good at persuading someone to do or believe something through reasoning or the use of temptation.

Tamil Meaning : வசப்படுத்தும்

Synonyms : deny

Antonyms : demur

Example : “an informative and persuasive speech”

34) abiding

Meaning : (of a feeling or memory) lasting a long time; enduring.

Tamil Meaning : நிலைத்திருப்பவனாகவும்

Synonyms : enduring , constant

Antonyms : temporary

Example : “he had an abiding respect for her”

35) untangle

Meaning : free from a tangled or twisted state.

Tamil Meaning : சிக்கலில்

Synonyms : unravel

Antonyms : ravel

Example : “fishermen untangled their nets”

36) revolt

Meaning : take violent action against an established government or ruler; rebel.

Tamil Meaning : கிளர்ச்சி

Synonyms : rebellion

Antonyms : calm

Example : “the Iceni revolted and had to be suppressed”

37) coercion

Meaning : the action or practice of persuading someone to do something by using force or threats.

Tamil Meaning : கட்டாயப்படுத்தல்

Synonyms : violence

Antonyms : democracy

Example : She searched his gaze and responded with irritation, “If coercion is willing, then yes.”

38) unveiled

Meaning : remove a veil or covering from, in particular uncover (a new monument or work of art) as part of a public ceremony.

Tamil Meaning : வெளியிட்டது

Synonyms : uncovered

Antonyms : unseen

Example : “the Princess unveiled a plaque”

39) emulate

Meaning : match or surpass (a person or achievement), typically by imitation.(v)

Tamil Meaning : பின்பற்ற

Synonyms : imitate

Antonyms : neglect

Example : “most rulers wished to emulate Alexander the Great”

40) swerved

Meaning : change or cause to change direction abruptly.(v)

Synonyms : curved

Antonyms : Straight

Example : “a lorry swerved across her path”


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