THE HINDU EDITORIAL – September 24, 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) The plane truth: on Rafale deal row

As things stand, only greater transparency will clear the air on the Rafale deal

The Rafale deal has been the subject of heated claims and counter-claims on two broad issues — that the contract to purchase 36 French multi-role fighter aircraft was grossly overvalued and that it was tainted by crony capitalism. Ammunition for the second charge came from an unexpected quarter with former French President François Hollande stating in an interview that it was India that suggested the Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Defence Ltd. as the offset partner for the deal. This squarely contradicts what the Modi government has been saying all along. While the Centre has insisted that the choice of offset partners is entirely that of the manufacturer, or of Dassault Aviation, Mr. Hollande’s remarks were widely perceived as bolstering the Congress allegation that the Rafale deal was structured to favour one industrialist. In the storm that ensued, the clarificatory statements issued — by the Centre, the French Foreign Ministry and Dassault — did little to clearly address what Mr. Hollande had said. The Defence Ministry’s statement merely reiterated that governments have no role in offset contracts, which are purely commercial. The French government said pretty much the same thing, and Dassault’s statement reaffirmed that it had chosen to tie up with Reliance Defence. But all this merely begs the question: did the Centre suggest a partnership with Reliance Defence as Mr. Hollande said? Also, if so, what form did it take? A firm nudge in that direction? A quiet whisper in someone’s ear? Who suggested to who? And when? It remains to be seen whether Mr. Hollande will now choose to complete his half-finished remarks to the French investigative website.

No questions have been raised about the capabilities of the Rafale jet, and the corruption allegations have persisted in the absence — unlike in the case of some other defence deals such as Bofors — of a financial trail. But a fair part of the reason for the concerns about the deal relate to process. If it was the temptation to make a headline-grabbing announcement that led Prime Minister Modi to unexpectedly announce the decision to purchase 36 Rafale aircraft, during his France visit in April 2015, it was a bad mistake. It is true that the deal was signed only in September 2016, after clearance from the Cabinet Committee on Security, but Mr. Modi’s 2015 declaration of a new deal clearly caught even many of his senior officials unawares, who were labouring under the belief that negotiations for the purchase of 126 Rafale aircraft, initiated by the UPA government, were still on. As things stand, greater transparency is the only way to clear the air. Private briefings to Opposition leaders and the disclosure of all information that doesn’t jeopardise national security or impact the aircrafts’ operational capability are good starting points. The decision to reject the formation of a Joint Parliamentary Committee to examine the deal should be reconsidered. If the political war over Rafale continues, it is defence modernisation that will become the real victim.

B) A pan-India Dalit assertion

The story of the Bhim Army of western U.P. is a lens to understand the Dalit challenge to the Hindu Right

In a move that took many by surprise, the Uttar Pradesh government recently released Chandrasekhar Azad, the founder of the Bhim Army Bharat Ekta Mission, from jail. It was unexpected for many reasons. For starters, he had been arrested last year following clashes between Dalits and Thakurs in Saharanpur in western U.P. In November 2017, when the Allahabad High Court granted him bail, it observed that the charges against him seemed “politically motivated”.

Why now?

Notwithstanding the bail order, the U.P. government had invoked the National Security Act (NSA) to arrest him again. It kept him in jail — without trial and without any charge sheet being filed — for more than 15 months. He was not due for release until November 2. So why did the Yogi Adityanath government suddenly change its mind and release him two months early?

The official explanation is that the decision was taken in response to a request from Mr. Azad’s mother. But that doesn’t explain why her request remained unheeded for so many months.

It is likely that the real reasons involve a combination of two factors. First, the petition filed in the Supreme Court challenging his detention. Dalit groups have claimed that the petition was up for hearing soon, and that the government wanted to avoid a reprimand from the apex court, as it would have given the Opposition a fresh opening to paint the BJP as ‘anti-Dalit’.

The other reason is that the Dalits in U.P. have been getting increasingly restive over Mr. Azad’s continued incarceration. The campaign for his release was becoming a tool for uniting Dalits across the country. A national-level mobilisation of Dalits for the release of an Ambedkarite leader jailed by a BJP government would not only bust the claims of the Bharatiya Janata Party-Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh of upholding B.R. Ambedkar’s legacy but also put Dalit leaders within the Sangh Parivar under immense pressure, as it indeed already has. Besides, Dalit unity and political awareness were precisely what Mr. Azad had been working towards, and continuing to keep him in jail made no sense if the very fact of his detention was catalysing the achievement of these objectives.

In other words, to borrow a metaphor from chess, the Bhim Army chief’s early release was what one might call a ‘forced move’. It not only represents a moral victory for the Dalit community but is also part of a larger pattern of Dalit assertion that is gathering steam across the country. It is a phenomenon that the ruling dispensation views as a threat, but it is a threat to which it has no coherent response. Its inability to come up with one is not accidental. It is unable to do so because this threat is a manifestation of the contradiction at the heart of their political project, the creation of a Hindu Rashtra.

Different from before

The singular contradiction that is steadily unravelling the Hindutva project even as it seems to be making progress is the same element that is fuelling Dalit assertion in India today: caste society. Ironically, it was the demon of caste that necessitated the ideology of Hindutva in the first place. It is an ideology that seeks to bury this demon by propping up another in its place: the demon of hatred towards the Other. While the default Other of Hindutva is the Muslim, the communal demon is broad-minded enough to consider other minorities as well on a need-to-hate basis.

Rendering the fault lines of caste invisible in a fog of communal paranoia has only one objective: the creation of a nation of Hindus. This brings us to the second contradiction in the Hindutva project: a nation, by definition, is a community of (notional) equals. But a community whose nationhood is predicated solely on the religious and cultural identity of being Hindu can never be a community of equals, for as Ambedkar elucidates with breathtaking clarity in Annihilation of Caste, Hindu religious belief and cultural practice are marked by the graded inequality of caste at their very core.

This is the kernel of Ambedkarite insight that the Bhim Army has been planting in young Dalit minds through its hundreds of tuition centres in western U.P. Much like its founder, who used to be a member of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the Bhim Army’s ranks are filled with people who have dallied with the Hindu Right. Their disillusionment with the Sangh Parivar was almost always triggered by the refusal of their saffron brothers to back them in inter-caste clashes. This proved to be a moment of truth that set in sharp relief the moral and other kinds of support that they had received when their antagonists happened to be a religious minority instead of upper-caste Hindus. In other words, their experience in the Parivar had primed them into ideal subjects ready to imbibe what the Bhim Army had to say.

The Bhim Army, emblematic of the current phase of Dalit assertion, is different from earlier mobilisations in one important respect — its recognition that social unity is more important than political unity. So much so that loyalty to the Dalit community precedes every other affiliation, including that to political parties.

If the current wave of Dalit assertion, which seems to have taken to heart Ambedkar’s slogan of “Educate, Agitate, Organise”, were to succeed in its project of invoking Dalit pride as a common factor to knit the thousands of Dalit-Bahujan sub-castes across the country into a singular political community, it could mark the beginning of the end for the Hindu Right, whose ‘foot-soldiers’, in many cases of targeted communal violence, have historically been Dalits. The very condition of possibility for a Hindu Rashtra requires that Scheduled Caste communities remain invested in the social identity proffered by their respective sub-castes while continuing to identify politically as Hindus. Activists or outfits focussed on educating Dalits and propagating an Ambedkarite self-respect are naturally inimical to this project.

It is, therefore, not surprising that the ruling dispensation is panicking at the spread of a Dalit political consciousness. And panic is not the best frame of mind in which to initiate counter-measures. So, first came a judicial manoeuvre to dilute the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act — a move that backfired. It backfired so badly that the Union Cabinet scrambled to quickly pass an amendment nullifying the Supreme Court judgment.

Next was the arrest of five social activists for their alleged involvement with the Bhima-Koregaon event on January 1, 2018, an annual programme whose very objective is to celebrate Dalit pride. The term used by the police to describe the detainees, “urban naxals”, is already gaining currency among Dalits as the state’s vindictive label for people who fight for Dalit empowerment.

Clues in nomenclature

And most recently, the Central government, citing a High Court order, issued an advisory asking the media to stop using the word ‘Dalit’ altogether and stick to the term ‘Scheduled Caste’. While it remains unclear why a self-proclaimed ‘pro-Dalit’ regime would want to eliminate the very term from usage, the move has managed to further alienate Dalits from the BJP.

Interestingly, the first thing Mr. Azad said after being released is that he would work hard to ensure the BJP’s defeat in the 2019 Lok Sabha election. He also squelched any speculation that he might serve as a counter-weight to Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati, by swearing loyalty to her. What remains to be seen is whether this rare convergence of Dalit political assertion and social unity acquires a fully pan-Indian character, and how it plays out in the electoral arena.


1) tainted

Meaning : contaminate or pollute (something).

Tamil Meaning : சுவடு

Synonyms : blemish

Antonyms : advantage

Example : “the air was tainted by fumes from the cars”

2) crony

Meaning : a close friend or companion.

Tamil Meaning : தோழனே

Synonyms : accomplice associate

Antonyms : opponent

Example : “he went gambling with his cronies”

3) perceived

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

Tamil Meaning : உணரப்பட்ட

Synonyms : feel , grasp

Antonyms : disregard

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

4) bolstering

Meaning : support or strengthen.

Tamil Meaning : உயர்த்திப்பிடிக்கின்றன

Synonyms : buttress , cushion

Antonyms : decrease

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

5) ensued

Meaning : happen or occur afterwards or as a result.

Tamil Meaning : பின்தொடரும்

Synonyms : arise , befall

Antonyms : cease

Example : “the difficulties which ensued from their commitment to Cuba”

6) reiterated

Meaning : say something again or a number of times, typically for emphasis or clarity.

Tamil Meaning : வலியுறுத்தி

Synonyms : renew , repeat

Antonyms : take back

Example : “she reiterated that the government would remain steadfast in its support”

7) nudge

Meaning : prod (someone) gently with one’s elbow in order to attract attention.

Tamil Meaning : தூண்டல்

Synonyms : jab , punch

Antonyms : dissuade

Example : “people were nudging each other and pointing at me”

8) unawares

Meaning : without being aware of a situation.

Tamil Meaning : எதிர்பார்த்திராதபோது

Synonyms : short

Antonyms : consciously

Example : “the photographer had caught her unawares

9) invoked

Meaning : cite or appeal to (someone or something) as an authority for an action or in support of an argument.

Tamil Meaning : செயலாக்க

Synonyms : conjure , appeal to

Antonyms : answer

Example : “the antiquated defence of insanity is rarely invoked in England”

10) trial

Meaning : a formal examination of evidence by a judge, typically before a jury, in order to decide guilt in a case of criminal or civil proceedings.

Tamil Meaning : விசாரணை

Synonyms : exploratory

Antonyms : definite

Example : “the newspaper accounts of the trial”

11) unheeded

Meaning : heard or noticed but disregarded.

Tamil Meaning : கவனிக்கப்படாத

Synonyms : discarded , ignored

Antonyms : considered

Example : “my protest went unheeded”

12) detention

Meaning : the action of detaining someone or the state of being detained in official custody.

Tamil Meaning : காவல்

Synonyms : custody , delay

Antonyms : aid

Example : “the fifteen people arrested were still in police detention”

13) reprimand

Meaning : a formal expression of disapproval.

Tamil Meaning : கண்டனத்தை

Synonyms : admonition , censure

Antonyms : rebuke

Example : “the golfer received a reprimand for a breach of rules”

14) restive

Meaning : (of a person) unable to remain still, silent, or submissive, especially because of boredom or dissatisfaction.

Tamil Meaning : மூர்க்கமான

Synonyms : agitated , tense

Antonyms : obedient

Example : “the crowd had been waiting for hours and many were becoming restive”

15) incarceration

Meaning : the state of being confined in prison; imprisonment.

Tamil Meaning : சிறைவைப்பு

Synonyms : captivity

Antonyms : freedom

Example : “the public would not be served by her incarceration”

16) legacy

Meaning : an amount of money or property left to someone in a will.

Tamil Meaning : மரபு

Synonyms : estate , tradition

Antonyms : disclaimer

Example : “my grandmother died and unexpectedly left me a small legacy”

17) immense

Meaning : extremely large or great, especially in scale or degree.

Tamil Meaning : மகத்தான

Synonyms : colossal , extensive

Antonyms : finite

Example : “the cost of restoration has been immense”

18) indeed

Meaning : used to emphasize a statement or response confirming something already suggested.

Tamil Meaning : உண்மை

Synonyms : certainly , easily

Antonyms : doubtfully

Example : “it was not expected to last long, and indeed it took less than three weeks”

19) precisely

Meaning : in exact terms; without vagueness.

Tamil Meaning : துல்லியமாக

Synonyms : absolutely , correctly

Antonyms : imprecisely

Example : “the guidelines are precisely defined”

20) assertion

Meaning : a confident and forceful statement of fact or belief.

Tamil Meaning : வலியுறுத்தல்

Synonyms : allegation , contention

Antonyms : desertion

Example : “his assertion that his father had deserted the family”

21) dispensation

Meaning : a political, religious, or social system prevailing at a particular time.

Tamil Meaning : பகிர்ந்தளிப்பதற்கு

Synonyms : disbursement

Antonyms : disfavor

Example : “scholarship is conveyed to a wider audience than under the old dispensation”

22) coherent

Meaning : (of an argument, theory, or policy) logical and consistent.

Tamil Meaning : ஒத்திசைவான

Synonyms : consistent , intelligible

Antonyms : disorderly

Example : “they failed to develop a coherent economic strategy”

23) manifestation

Meaning : an event, action, or object that clearly shows or embodies something abstract or theoretical.

Tamil Meaning : வெளிப்பாடாக

Synonyms : expression , indication

Antonyms : hiding

Example : “the first obvious manifestations of global warming”

24) contradiction

Meaning : a combination of statements, ideas, or features which are opposed to one another.

Tamil Meaning : முரண்பாடு

Synonyms : difference, disagreement

Antonyms : accord

Example : “the proposed new system suffers from a set of internal contradictions”

25) hatred

Meaning : intense dislike; hate.

Tamil Meaning : வெறுப்பு

Synonyms : acrimony , enmity

Antonyms : approval

Example : “racial hatred”

26) demon

Meaning : an evil spirit or devil, especially one thought to possess a person or act as a tormentor in hell.

Tamil Meaning : பேய்

Synonyms : beast

Antonyms : angel

Example : “he was possessed by an evil demon”

27) Rendering

Meaning : a performance of a piece of music or drama.

Tamil Meaning : ஒழுங்கமைவு

Synonyms : reading , translation

Antonyms : complication

Example : “a lively rendering of ‘Ilkley Moor’”

28) paranoia

Meaning : unjustified suspicion and mistrust of other people.

Tamil Meaning : சித்த

Synonyms : insanity delusions

Antonyms : suspicion

Example : “mild paranoia afflicts all prime ministers”

29) elucidates

Meaning : make (something) clear; explain.

Tamil Meaning : விளங்க

Synonyms : decode exemplify

Antonyms : cloud

Example : “work such as theirs will help to elucidate this matter”

30) dallied

Meaning : have a casual romantic or sexual liaison with.

Tamil Meaning : பொழுதுபோக்கினார்

Synonyms : drag , putter

Antonyms : complete

Example : “he should stop dallying with film stars”

31) imbibe

Meaning : absorb or assimilate (ideas or knowledge).

Tamil Meaning : மனதிற்கொண்டு

Synonyms : ingest , quaff

Antonyms : abstain

Example : “if one does not imbibe the culture one cannot succeed”

32) precedes

Meaning : come before (something) in time.

Tamil Meaning : முந்தியுள்ளது

Synonyms : predate

Antonyms : follow

Example : “a gun battle had preceded the explosions”

33) affiliation

Meaning : come before (something) in time.

Tamil Meaning : தொடர்பு

Synonyms : connection , partnership

Antonyms : detachment

Example : “a gun battle had preceded the explosions”

34) invoking

Meaning : cite or appeal to (someone or something) as an authority for an action or in support of an argument.

Tamil Meaning : தன்மீது உண்டாகட்டும்

Synonyms : appeal to , conjure

Antonyms : answer

Example : “the antiquated defence of insanity is rarely invoked in England”

35) proffered

Meaning : hold out or put forward (something) to someone for acceptance.

Tamil Meaning : இஷ்டம்

Synonyms : propound

Antonyms : conceal

Example : “she proffered a glass of wine”

36) inimical

Meaning : tending to obstruct or harm.

Tamil Meaning : பகையானவராக

Synonyms : adverse , destructive

Antonyms : assisting

Example : “the policy was inimical to Britain’s real interests”

37) dispensation

Meaning : exemption from a rule or usual requirement.

Tamil Meaning : பகிர்ந்தளிப்பதற்கு

Synonyms : disbursement

Antonyms : disfavor

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

38) panicking

Meaning : feel or cause to feel panic.

Tamil Meaning : பயத்துடன்

Synonyms : overreact , scare

Antonyms : calm

Example : “the crowd panicked and stampeded for the exit”

39) scrambled

Meaning : make one’s way quickly or awkwardly up a steep gradient or over rough ground by using one’s hands as well as one’s feet.

Tamil Meaning : துருவல்

Synonyms : clamber , crawl

Antonyms : retreat

Example : “we scrambled over the damp boulders”

40) detainees

Meaning : a person held in custody, especially for political reasons.

Tamil Meaning : கைதிகளின்

Synonyms : captive , convict

Example : “all political detainees were freed in August”


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