THE HINDU EDITORIAL – September 15, 2018 is one of the must read section for the competitive exams like IBPS RRB PO, IBPS RRB Office Assistant 2018, RBI Grade “B” 2018 & NIACL Assistant 2018. These topics are widely expected to be asked in the reading comprehension , Cloze Test or Error Detection topics in the forthcoming exams. So gear up your Exam preparation and learn new words daily.

A) Beyond recompense: on the ISRO spy case

Act against police officers who framed scientists in the ISRO spy case

The ‘ISRO espionage case’ marked a disgraceful chapter in the history of police investigation in the country. The presence of a Maldivian woman in India became the pretext for a police witch-hunt against scientists belonging to the Indian Space Research Organisation in 1994. Three scientists were arrested on the grave charge of sharing official secrets related to space technology and launch missions with foreign agents. The order, mercifully, lasted only for a short time, as the investigation shifted from the Kerala Police to the Central Bureau of Investigation after a few weeks. The CBI recommended closure of the case, citing complete lack of evidence and pointing to grave lapses in the police probe, which also used questionable methods and proceeded on nothing but suspicion. Ever since the proceedings were dropped, one of those arrested, S. Nambi Narayanan, has been battling for the restoration of his honour and dignity. The attitude of the Kerala government has been obstinately ungracious. It opposed the CBI’s closure report and made a peevish attempt to revive the investigation by its own police. It has been unsympathetic to the demand for action against its errant police officers, arguing petulantly that there is no court direction to take disciplinary action against them. The latest Supreme Court order, forming a committee headed by a retired Supreme Court judge to consider ways to take action against the officers, addresses this glaring inadequacy in the process of restorative justice for those maliciously arrested. The prosecution of these officers is long overdue.

The court has reaffirmed the principle that compensation is a remedy for the violation of human rights. But the so-called espionage case remains a study in the crude and archaic methods used by the police. For a country where it is not uncommon for those arrested for heinous offences to be exonerated after long years in prison, it is possible to argue that the compensation principle may open the floodgates for innumerable claims. The only way to avoid such a situation is to have a proper oversight mechanism to ensure that all investigation into crimes and complaints remains lawful. While granting ₹50 lakh to Mr. Narayanan, the court has taken note of his wrongful imprisonment, malicious prosecution and humiliation. While his honour and dignity were restored long back, the delay in a consequential inquiry into the conduct of the police officers concerned is disconcerting. Justice is not only about relief and recompense, and should extend to action against those at fault too. Much of the blame must fall on the Kerala government, which did not muster the courage to proceed against its police personnel.

B) India’s shrinking democratic space

The BJP’s dystopic national vision jeopardises the future of our republic

With less than a year to go before we head into general elections in the summer of 2019, it is becoming evident that this will be no ordinary electoral contest between the BJP and the rest because what is at stake is the future of our democratic republic.

It seems that a pivotal moment in our political life is approaching, with the BJP and its allied organisations embarking on a strategic course that is far more ambitious and combative than in 2014, seeking as it does to alter the fundamental postulates of the democratic framework of the Indian nation.

As Indians, we are justly proud of the structure of our governance and our Constitution which has ensured that India is both a democracy and a republic. This powerful and well-articulated constitutional link between democracy and republic has entrenched all citizens as equal stakeholders in this nation state.

The Constitution, which came into force in 1950, had ensured that Indian citizens were given a set of inviolable freedoms, including equality before the law and freedom of expression.

An inheritance in peril

It is this democratic inheritance which is now in peril, with the BJP signalling a willingness to depart from the traditional moorings of governance. The ruling party and its Hindu nationalist affiliates are becoming increasingly vocal in the public sphere in their questioning of the foundational principles of our democratic framework, airing afresh pre-Independence Hindu nationalist doctrines that question the basis of India’s composite nationhood.

Meanwhile, the trend of the Modi administration’s policy responses and actions in recent months suggests a stronger tilt towards implementing the original agenda of Hindu nationalism, by making policy moves that seek to unsettle the governing consensus on nationhood and citizenship.

The edgier tone of the policy statements emanating from the party’s top leadership, particularly its president, Amit Shah, indicate that the BJP is preparing for a more combative political strategy. In the recent meeting of the BJP National Executive, Mr. Shah asserted the party’s determination to not only win 2019 but rule “for the next 50 years”.

The purpose of the BJP’s recent political moves on the Citizenship Act, on the controversial concept of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and on the special status of Jammu and Kashmir is to challenge the prevailing governing consensus on key issues such as citizenship and the relationship of various States to the Union. All these moves would add up to a fundamental rewriting of the rules of engagement between the Indian nation and all other players, be it citizens, constituent States, or communities.

Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the government is taking decisive steps on fulfilling several of its core Hindu nationalist doctrinal commitments. Its policy articulations on citizenship, on the status of J&K, and its strident public campaign against intellectuals and civil society activists, branding them as “urban Naxals”, are all signposts of a new political culture that is sought to be forcibly entrenched in our public space.

Yet, neither the Congress nor other opposition parties acknowledge emphatically that what is really unfolding in the political arena is a fundamental contest between the original pluralist vision of Indian democracy and the monocultural and exclusivist view of the Hindu nationalists. These parties do not seem to have grasped the deeper pattern of interconnected trends unfolding behind the policy steps taken by the Modi administration with the encouragement of the ruling party.

When the Modi-led National Democratic Alliance government assumed power in 2014, its initial approach to historically sensitive issues such as Kashmir and minority groups was cautious. It also appeared eager to prove its governing capability and demonstrate a willingness to adhere to the Constitution. Mr. Modi was quick to show his disapproval of the mob violence and the cow vigilantism of right-wing groups that erupted brazenly after its assumption of power.

The gloves are off

But now the BJP appears determined to take its gloves off, eager to wade into controversial issues such as the status of J&K and the Citizenship Act. By explicitly placing these issues that relate to citizenship and community rights at the top of the party’s national political agenda, it is clearly readying for elections.

Government officials and party spokespersons are becoming explicitly combative on the concept of special rights for Kashmir. They are unapologetic on the controversy in Assam over the agony of genuine citizens who find their names missing in the new NRC. Undeterred by the strong public criticism, party and government leaders continue to affirm enthusiastically their commitment to the government’s proposed Citizenship (Amendment) Bill of 2016.

This proposal, which blatantly omits Muslims from the list of communities in the South Asian neighbourhood who are invited to take Indian citizenship, has been widely condemned as unconstitutional because of its exclusivist intent, violating Article 14 mandating equality before the law.

In recent months, the situation in the Kashmir Valley is at its inflamed worst, with the political process having collapsed as Governor’s Rule has been imposed. After the breakdown of the alliance with the PDP in June, the BJP has reverted to its traditionally hard-line position on the status of J&K, questioning the special provisions designed to protect its conditional accession to the Union.

Article 370 of the Indian Constitution as also Article 35A were historical commitments to the State of Jammu and Kashmir based on the conditional terms of the Instrument of Accession in October 1947. Given that J&K’s adherence to the Indian Union remains vulnerable to external challenge, it is evidently bad strategy to embark on a confrontational course in respect of the special provisions designed to protect its status in the Union.

Therefore, inexplicable are the loud musings from senior officials in the Modi government such as the National Security Adviser, Ajit Doval, reportedly calling the idea of a separate Constitution for J&K an “aberration”. Also provocative was a BJP-sponsored challenge in the Supreme Court to the validity of Article 35A. Such a stand-off, while it possibly thwarts the prospect of a revival of a peace process in the State, benefits the BJP politically, as the hard-line stance is bound to appeal to its hard-core Hindu nationalist supporters.

Likewise, the pronouncements of Mr. Shah at the recent BJP National Executive meeting on Assam, the issue of illegal migrants, the NRC controversy and the Citizenship Amendment Bill underlined the party’s determination to press ahead with its polarising strategy. The political resolution adopted at the meeting echoed Mr. Shah’s assertions.

The resolution called the publication of the NRC “a monumental work in securing the cultural, economic and demographic interests of the state as well as the national security interests of India”. Further, militating against the global trend of humanitarian sympathy for the plight of the Rohingya, the resolution says the BJP National Executive “compliments the Modi government for its determination in weeding out the infiltrators, whether Bangladeshi or Rohingya”.

Alarming too is the BJP National Executive’s welcome of the proposal in the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill of 2016 to grant citizenship in a shortened time frame to Hindu minorities from the South Asian neighbourhood. In effect, what emerges from the BJP’s recent conclave is an insular and rejectionist perspective sharply at odds with India’s hitherto strong humanitarian traditions.

Unabated repression

Meanwhile, in the public sphere, the repression of critical voices and dissent continues unabated. There is a vitriolic narrative being fed into the public discourse, aided by an incendiary social media campaign, against journalists and activists, painting them as “urban Naxals”, peddling unsubstantiated allegations of links between these critics of the government and the Maoist insurgency. This McCarthyist campaign is intended to discredit the public resistance steadily building up against the government’s efforts to curtail democratic freedoms.

If not for the Supreme Court, which is proving to be the last bastion in the defence of basic rights, India’s democratic governing framework would be under greater challenge. Political scientist Robert Paxton defined fascism in his seminal study in 2004, The Anatomy of Fascism, as “a form of political behaviour marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation or victimhood” and in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants “abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion”.

This could well be a description of the BJP’s mobilisation strategies and its political perspective. It is time for those of us invested in keeping India’s democratic imagination vibrant and expansive to resist such an exclusivist political vision.


1) espionage

Meaning : the practice of spying or of using spies, typically by governments to obtain political and military information.

Tamil Meaning : உளவு

Synonyms : intelligence

Example : “the camouflage and secrecy of espionage”

2) cite

Meaning : refer to (a passage, book, or author) as evidence for or justification of an argument or statement, especially in a scholarly work.

Tamil Meaning : மேற்கோள்

Synonyms : allege , mention

Antonyms : conceal

Example : “authors who are highly regarded by their peers tend to be cited”

3) lapses

Meaning : a brief or temporary failure of concentration, memory, or judgement.

Tamil Meaning : தவறை

Synonyms : blunder

Antonyms : accuracy

Example : “a lapse of concentration in the second set cost her the match”

4) peevish

Meaning : having or showing an irritable disposition.

Tamil Meaning : வெடுவெடுப்பான

Synonyms : acrimonious

Antonyms : accepting

Example : “a thin peevish voice”

5) revive

Meaning : restore to life or consciousness.

Tamil Meaning : புதுப்பிக்க

Synonyms : arouse recover

Antonyms : break

Example : “both men collapsed, but were revived”

6) errant

Meaning : erring or straying from the accepted course or standards.

Tamil Meaning : தவறு செய்கிற

Synonyms : aberrant , stray

Antonyms : normal

Example : “an errant husband coming back from a night on the tiles”

7) petulant

Meaning : (of a person or their manner) childishly sulky or bad-tempered.

Tamil Meaning : வெடுவெடுப்பான

Synonyms : fractious , sullen

Antonyms : agreeable

Example : “he was moody and petulant”

8) maliciously

Meaning : in a manner characterized by malice or ill will; with intent to do harm.

Tamil Meaning : தவறாக

Synonyms : acerbically bitingly

Antonyms : benevolent

Example : “proof that the defendant acted maliciously”

9) archaic

Meaning : very old or old-fashioned.

Tamil Meaning : தொன்மையான

Synonyms : ancient , obsolete

Antonyms : contemporary

Example : “prisons are run on archaic methods”

10) heinous

Meaning : (of a person or wrongful act, especially a crime) utterly odious or wicked.

Tamil Meaning : கொடிய

Synonyms : abhorrent , flagrant

Antonyms : friendly

Example : “a battery of heinous crimes”

11) exonerated

Meaning : (of an official body) absolve (someone) from blame for a fault or wrongdoing.

Tamil Meaning : மன்னித்து

Synonyms : absolve , acquit

Antonyms : blame

Example : “an inquiry exonerated those involved”

12) disconcerting

Meaning : disturb the composure of; unsettle.

Tamil Meaning : கெடு

Synonyms : baffle , disturb

Antonyms : assist

Example : “the abrupt change of subject disconcerted her”

13) muster

Meaning : assemble (troops), especially for inspection or in preparation for battle.

Tamil Meaning : திரட்டுவார்

Synonyms : aggregation , collection

Antonyms : division

Example : “17,000 men had been mustered on Haldon Hill”

14) pivotal

Meaning : of crucial importance in relation to the development or success of something else.

Tamil Meaning : முக்கிய

Synonyms : climactic

Antonyms :inessential

Example : “Japan’s pivotal role in the world economy”

15) embark

Meaning : go on board a ship or aircraft.

Tamil Meaning : மேற்கொள்ளவேண்டும்

Synonyms : enter , launch

Antonyms : end

Example : “he embarked for India in 1817″

16) ambitious

Meaning : having or showing a strong desire and determination to succeed.

Tamil Meaning : மூர்க்கமான

Synonyms : aggressive

Antonyms : lethargic

Example : “a ruthlessly ambitious woman”

17) combative

Meaning : ready or eager to fight or argue.

Tamil Meaning : போர்க்கோலம்

Synonyms : antagonistic , bellicose

Antonyms : kind

Example : “he made some enemies with his combative style”

18) postulates

Meaning : suggest or assume the existence, fact, or truth of (something) as a basis for reasoning, discussion, or belief.

Tamil Meaning : அனுமானங்களை

Synonyms : hypothesize , presuppose

Antonyms : calculate

Example : “his theory postulated a rotatory movement for hurricanes”

19) entrench

Meaning : establish (an attitude, habit, or belief) so firmly that change is very difficult or unlikely.

Tamil Meaning : மேலும் ஆழமாக்கும்

Synonyms : embed , fortify

Antonyms : dissuade

Example : “ageism is entrenched in our society”

20) inviolable

Meaning : never to be broken, infringed, or dishonoured.

Tamil Meaning : மீறக்கூடாத

Synonyms : sacrosanct

Antonyms : partial

Example : “an inviolable rule of chastity”

21) peril

Meaning : serious and immediate danger.

Tamil Meaning : ஆபத்தில் சிக்க

Synonyms : hazard , insecurity

Antonyms : certainty

Example : “you could well place us both in peril”

22) moorings

Meaning : a place where a boat or ship is moored.

Tamil Meaning : பிடிப்பு

Synonyms : anchorage , berth

Antonyms : loose

Example : “they tied up at Water Gypsy’s permanent moorings”

23) affiliates

Meaning : officially attach or connect (a subsidiary group or a person) to an organization.

Tamil Meaning : துணை

Synonyms : branch , partner

Antonyms : separate

Example : “they are national associations affiliated to larger organizations”

24) doctrines

Meaning : a belief or set of beliefs held and taught by a Church, political party, or other group.

Tamil Meaning : கோட்பாடுகள்

Synonyms : creed , concept

Antonyms : ambiguity

Example : “the doctrine of predestination”

25) tilt

Meaning : move or cause to move into a sloping position.

Tamil Meaning : சாய்

Synonyms : angle

Antonyms : ascent

Example : “the floor tilted slightly”

26) edgier

Meaning : tense, nervous, or irritable.

Tamil Meaning : விளிம்புநிலையிலான

Synonyms : excited , restless

Antonyms : calm

Example : “he became edgy and defensive”

27) emanate

Meaning : (of a feeling, quality, or sensation) issue or spread out from (a source).

Tamil Meaning : வெளி

Synonyms : derive , arise

Antonyms : conceal

Example :”warmth emanated from the fireplace”

28) asserted

Meaning : state a fact or belief confidently and forcefully.

Tamil Meaning : வலியுறுத்தும்

Synonyms : allege

Antonyms : abandon

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

29) prevailing

Meaning : prove more powerful or superior.

Tamil Meaning : மேம்படு

Synonyms : abound , overcome

Antonyms : forfeit

Example : “it is hard for logic to prevail over emotion”

30) strident

Meaning : (of a sound) loud and harsh; grating.

Tamil Meaning : கடுமையானதாக

Synonyms : blatant , jarring

Antonyms : silent

Example : “his voice had become increasingly strident”

31) adhere

Meaning : stick fast to (a surface or substance).

Tamil Meaning : கடைபிடிக்கின்றன

Synonyms : comply , obey

Antonyms : overlook

Example : “paint won’t adhere well to a greasy surface”

32) brazenly

Meaning : in a bold and shameless way.

Tamil Meaning : வெட்கமில்லாமல்

Synonyms : candidly

Antonyms : forthrightly

Example : “they are brazenly defying the law”

33) agony

Meaning : extreme physical or mental suffering.

Tamil Meaning :துயர்

Synonyms : anguish , misery

Antonyms : contentment

Example : “he crashed to the ground in agony”

34) blatantly

Meaning : (of bad behaviour) done openly and unashamedly.

Tamil Meaning : அப்பட்டமான

Synonyms : glaring

Antonyms : hidden

Example : “blatant lies”

35) condemned

Meaning : express complete disapproval of; censure.

Tamil Meaning : கண்டனம்

Synonyms : castigate , decry

Antonyms : compliment

Example : “most leaders roundly condemned the attack”

36) confrontational

Meaning : tending to deal with situations in an aggressive way; hostile or argumentative.

Tamil Meaning : மோதலை

Synonyms : crisis , fight

Antonyms : agreement

Example : “he distanced himself from the confrontational approach adopted by his predecessor”

37) provocative

Meaning : causing anger or another strong reaction, especially deliberately.

Tamil Meaning : ஆத்திரமூட்டும்

Synonyms : challenging exciting

Antonyms : pleasing

Example : “a provocative article”

38) stance

Meaning : the way in which someone stands, especially when deliberately adopted (as in cricket, golf, and other sports); a person’s posture.

Tamil Meaning : நிலைப்பாடு

Synonyms : attitude , stand

Antonyms : truancy

Example : “she altered her stance, resting all her weight on one leg”

39) militating

Meaning : (of a fact or circumstance) be a powerful or conclusive factor in preventing.

Tamil Meaning : நிற்கின்றன

Synonyms : count

Antonyms : ignore

Example : “these fundamental differences will militate against the two communities coming together”

40) thwarts

Meaning : prevent (someone) from accomplishing something.

Tamil Meaning : நாசம் செய்யும்

Synonyms : circumvent , curb

Antonyms : abet

Example : “he never did anything to thwart his father”


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