THE HINDU EDITORIAL – September 26, 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) Voters’ choice: on Maldives presidential polls

The Maldives turns the page on pre-election cynicism with a dramatic result

The interim results of Sunday’s presidential election in the Maldives have given the joint opposition candidate, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih a resounding victory in the direct contest with the incumbent, Abdulla Yameen. The final results will be published by the election commission by September 30 and the current government will, according to procedure, hand over charge on November 17. But it is immediately clear that Maldivian voters have ushered in change, with 58% of the voters choosing Mr. Solih. Regardless of political affiliation, Maldivians have much to celebrate with the successful completion of the election. To begin with, the turnout of 89.2% has disproved pre-election cynicism about the integrity of the electoral process. Early on, the opposition had suffered a setback when former President Mohammed Nasheed, who was seen as the frontrunner, was disqualified from contesting because of a “terrorism conviction”. Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom was behind bars on the charge of attempting a coup in February this year. Just ahead of the elections too, there had also been many misgivings over the conduct of the election commission, the courts and security forces, with these worries heightened when the headquarters of the main opposition party, the Maldivian Democratic Party, to which Mr. Solih belongs, were raided. Counting procedures were changed at the last minute, which led to some confusion during Sunday’s polling, and many foreign journalists, including from India, were denied visas. Fortunately, the outcome has belied the worst fears about the election, and after meeting with Mr. Solih, President Yameen conceded defeat and vowed to ensure a smooth transition.

For New Delhi, the results are especially heartening as they present a chance to reset ties with Male, which have been on a downward spiral for several years. This was perceived to be a result of Mr. Yameen’s close understanding with China, to which the Maldives is now heavily indebted. Mr. Yameen responded to India’s criticism of the emergency he declared this year by clamping down on visas to Indian job holders, hundreds of whom await some movement in the matter after the new government takes over. India can also now renew talks over the fate of Indian Coast Guard and Air Force personnel stationed in the Maldives, whose visas have been pending since June. India was quick to welcome the provisional results and to congratulate, among others, the Maldivian Democratic Party, and the Jumhooree Party — to which the Vice-President-elect Faisal Naseem belongs. Going forward, New Delhi must stay clear of partisan positioning on the internal politics of the Maldives. The larger agenda must be to partner the Maldives in its stability and development rather than engaging in a tug of war with China.

B) A nationalism that’s anti-national

What the RSS needs is an exposure to Indian culture and a deeper understanding of Hinduism itself

The recent outreach by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) at Vigyan Bhavan in Delhi seems to have succeeded in its principal objective: an image makeover for a niche audience. Thanks to an obsequious media and a commentariat ever willing to suspend disbelief, the event has yielded the soft, liberal gloss the RSS needed and desired. Sadly, the critics limited themselves to questions that the RSS anticipated, indeed wanted: Does the RSS exercise influence on this government? Is the RSS anti-Muslim?

It is time we asked a harder and deeper question: Is the RSS anti-national?

Theory and practice

On the face of it, this is an odd question. Nationalism, Indian-ness and Hindutva are very much the calling card of the RSS. This is not put on. I have known the RSS from inside and outside. Having met hundreds of swayamsevaks and many pracharaks, I know that an average RSS volunteer carries this nationalist self-image. I can also attest that just like the communists or old-time socialists, an average RSS worker tends to be more honest and idealist than a run-of-the-mill political leader. I am aware that on more than one occasion, the RSS has done exemplary rescue and relief work during national disasters. If anything, its critics accuse it of being ultra-nationalist. Thus, to question its nationalist credentials might appear outrageous.

Yet this question needs to be debated in all seriousness and all fairness. Given the salience of the RSS in our national public life today, this is a pressing question. We worry, rightly so, about the impact of Islamic fundamentalist groups and Maoist insurgents on our nation. We debate, as we should, the challenge posed by separatism in Kashmir and Nagaland to our nationhood. But we no longer debate with any seriousness the challenge posed by the RSS and its associates to the project of nation-building the Indian nation. The question is about the theory and practice of the RSS as an organisation and its relation to the Indian nation, its past, present and future.

The nation and the past

Let’s begin with some indisputable facts about its past. Right from its inception in 1925, the RSS was not in any way active during the national movement. In fact, its associates such as the Hindu Mahasabha actively opposed the national movement. It is also a well-documented fact that V.D. Savarkar, whose ideology inspired the RSS’s founders and who remains its icon, was released from Cellular Jail in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands after he wrote four mercy petitions to the Viceroy pledging loyalty to the British empire. After his release, he lived off a stipend from the British government and obeyed faithfully the conditions it had imposed on him. Syama Prasad Mookerjee, another Hindu Mahasabha leader, actively collaborated with the British during the Quit India movement while the RSS kept aloof from this biggest anti-colonial uprising. The two-nation theory was propagated by Hindu nationalists, much before the Muslim League. And it is no secret that Nathuram Godse was once an RSS member and was very much a part of its extended family when he murdered Mahatma Gandhi. Bluntly put, the RSS made zero, if not negative, contribution to the national struggle. But that is not sufficient to dub it anti-national today.

The role of the RSS after Independence is more relevant here. How did the RSS contribute to the project of nation-building? Sadly, the answer is again in the negative. The RSS was among the few organisations in independent India that refused to honour some of the key symbols of the Indian republic: the national flag, the national anthem and, of course, the Constitution of India. It speaks volumes that the head of the RSS has to clarify, nearly seven decades after the promulgation of the Constitution, that his organisation believes in it, something explicitly contradicted by his predecessor. Notwithstanding its recent claims to the contrary, the RSS does not quite subscribe to any of the key tenets of the Constitution: socialism, secularism, federalism and, indeed, democracy.

In practice, far from being a part of the solution, the RSS was always a part of the problem that India faced in its difficult journey of nation-building. The legacy of Partition and the challenge of bringing together immense diversities posed an unprecedented challenge to the nascent Indian nation. During this delicate phase, the RSS was at best an irresponsible denominational pressure group for the Hinduisation of the Indian state, opposing any and every concession to minorities and advocating a hawkish foreign policy. At worst the RSS became a fulcrum of organised subversion of the constitutional order, as in the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992. If constitutional patriotism is the heart of national political life, the RSS has repeatedly stood in opposition to the nation.

More than anything else, it is the theory and practice of its nationalism that shows the RSS to be a European import, out of sync with Indian nationalism. The RSS subscribes to the now outdated European model of nation-state which assumed that the cultural boundaries of a nation must match the political boundaries of a state. In Europe it meant a uniform race, religion, language and culture as the defining features of a nation. In India it meant Hindu-Hindi-Hindustan, the slogan coined by Savarkar. India’s home-grown nationalism challenged this European model and its futile and bloody quest for matching cultural and political boundaries. Instead, Indian nationalism was about creating political unity in conditions of deep diversity of culture, religion and language.

Paradox of its workings

Today, as a rapidly diversifying world seeks to learn from the Indian model, the RSS clings on to an alien, borrowed and fractious understanding of nationalism. Worse, its model of separatism of the majority is clearly the biggest obstacle for Indian nationalism. Isn’t it odd that an organisation that claims to work for national integration has, or has had, little time and energy for an amicable resolution of some of the issues that challenge our national unity? These include intractable regional disputes (the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu and Punjab-Haryana water disputes), intra-regional tensions (demand for Telangana or Vidarbha), language issues (Punjabi-Hindi, Kannada-Marathi) or differences with racial and ethnic dimensions (violence against migrants from the Northeast in Bengaluru, Hindi speakers in Mumbai).

The RSS version of nationalism comes into play only when there is a religious angle to any issue. It is not that they care for Hinduism either. The RSS ideologues have little knowledge of or interest in Hindu traditions. In fact, the version of Hinduism that it seeks to impose is itself a parody of orthodox Islam and orthodox Christianity and against the basic spirit of Hinduism, let alone the spirit of humanism that informs all religions. Unfortunately, the principal focus of the RSS has been to foment Hindu-Muslim differences, division and hatred. Since Hindu-Muslim violence poses the biggest single threat to national unity today, those who work for the exacerbation of Hindu-Muslim tension must be seen as anti-national, and guilty of treason.

The secessionists challenge the territorial integrity of India. The left-wing extremists challenge the writ of the Indian state. The challenge posed by the RSS is much deeper: it challenges the very idea of India, the swadharma of the Republic of India. If this is not anti-national, what is anti-national?

I am not for a ban on the RSS. Its theory and practice represent a cultural-political malady that needs a deeper cure rather than a ban. It originates in an inferiority complex of a modern Hindu, made worse by a westernised, deracinated form of our secularism. This might sound odd, but what the RSS needs is exposure to Indian culture and its multiple traditions, greater appreciation of culturally more confident Indians such as Tagore and Gandhi and a deeper understanding of Hinduism itself. If it introspects rather than hold an outreach at Vigyan Bhavan, I am sure its Sarsanghchalak would recommend to the RSS what Gandhiji suggested to the Congress party: dissolve itself.


1) resounding

Meaning : unmistakable; emphatic.

Tamil Meaning :

Synonyms : forceful , thundering

Antonyms : incomplete

Example : “the evening was a resounding success”

2) incumbent

Meaning : necessary for (someone) as a duty or responsibility.

Tamil Meaning : பதவியில்

Synonyms : binding

Antonyms : unnecessary

Example : “the government realized that it was incumbent on them to act”

3) ushered

Meaning : show or guide (someone) somewhere.

Tamil Meaning : அறிமுகப்படுத்தியது

Synonyms : lead

Antonyms : stop

Example : “a waiter ushered me to a table”

4) turnout

Meaning : the number of people attending or taking part in an event, especially the number of people voting in an election.

Tamil Meaning : மாறிவிடும்

Synonyms : perks , attendance

Antonyms : origin

Example : “we reckon that thirty-five per cent is a good turnout for local elections”

5) cynicism

Meaning : an inclination to believe that people are motivated purely by self-interest; scepticism.

Tamil Meaning : வெறுப்பு மனப்பான்மை

Synonyms : doubt , distrust

Antonyms : delight

Example : “public cynicism about politics”

6) integrity

Meaning : the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.

Tamil Meaning : நேர்மை

Synonyms : honesty , inner beauty

Antonyms : dishonesty

Example : “a gentleman of complete integrity”

7) frontrunner

Meaning : the contestant that is leading in a race or other competition.

Tamil Meaning : முன்னணி

Synonyms : champ , conqueror

Antonyms : underdog

Example : “the front runner for the presidential nomination”

8) contesting

Meaning : engage in competition to attain (a position of power).

Tamil Meaning : போட்டியிடும்

Synonyms : struggling , battling

Antonyms : acceding

Example : “she declared her intention to contest the presidency”

9) 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 : confidence , certitude

Antonyms : doubt

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

10) foment

Meaning : instigate or stir up (an undesirable or violent sentiment or course of action).

Tamil Meaning : சிறிதான

Synonyms : provoke , incite

Antonyms : tranquilize

Example : “they accused him of fomenting political unrest”

11) conceded

Meaning : admit or agree that something is true after first denying or resisting it.

Tamil Meaning : ஒப்பு

Synonyms : approved , allowed

Antonyms : confronted

Example : “I had to concede that I’d overreacted”

12) vowed

Meaning : solemnly promise to do a specified thing.

Tamil Meaning : சபதம்

Synonyms : pledged , promised

Antonyms : disavowed

Example : “the rebels vowed to continue fighting”

13) perceived

Meaning : become aware or conscious of (something);

Tamil Meaning : உணரப்பட்ட

Synonyms : sensed, detected

Antonyms : missed

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

14) indebted

Meaning : owing gratitude for a service or favour.

Tamil Meaning : கடன்

Synonyms : grateful

Antonyms : thankless

Example : “I am indebted to her for her help in indexing my book”

15) clamping

Meaning : fasten (something) in place with a clamp.

Tamil Meaning : பற்றுதல்

Synonyms : grip , fixing

Antonyms : loosening

Example : “the sander is clamped on to the edge of a workbench”

16) introspects

Meaning : examine one’s own thoughts or feelings.

Tamil Meaning : ஆய்வு

Synonyms : meditates , muses

Example : “what they don’t do is introspect much about the reasons for their plight”

17) await

Meaning : wait for (an event).

Tamil Meaning : காத்திரு

Synonyms : hope , expect

Antonyms : doubt

Example : “we await the proposals with impatience”

18) tug

Meaning : pull (something) hard or suddenly.

Tamil Meaning : இழுபறி

Synonyms : pull

Antonyms : push

Example : “she tugged off her boots”

19) outreach

Meaning : the extent or length of reaching out.

Tamil Meaning : எல்லை

Synonyms : exceed

Antonyms : back

Example : “the loving outreach of God to the world”

20) obsequious

Meaning : obedient or attentive to an excessive or servile degree.

Tamil Meaning : பணிவான

Synonyms : servile sycophantic

Antonyms : disobedient

Example : “they were served by obsequious waiters”

21) commentariat

Meaning : members of the news media considered as a class.

Tamil Meaning : வர்ணனையாளர் தொகுப்பின்

Synonyms : media

Example : “the US commentariat exuded recriminations when American air attacks were called off”

22) indeed

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

Tamil Meaning : உண்மை

Synonyms : really

Antonyms : conversely

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

23) exemplary

Meaning : serving as a desirable model; very good.

Tamil Meaning : பின்பற்றத்தக்க

Synonyms : admirable , praiseworthy

Antonyms : sinful

Example : “exemplary behaviour”

24) outrageous

Meaning : shockingly bad or excessive.

Tamil Meaning : மூர்க்கத்தனமான

Synonyms : atrocious

Antonyms : good

Example : “an outrageous act of bribery”

25) writ

Meaning : a form of written command in the name of a court or other legal authority to act, or abstain from acting, in a particular way.

Tamil Meaning : நீதிப்பேராணை

Synonyms : mandate , edict

Antonyms : reprieve

Example : “the two reinstated officers issued a writ for libel against the applicants”

26) stipend

Meaning : a fixed regular sum paid as a salary or as expenses to a clergyman, teacher, or public official.

Tamil Meaning : உதவித் தொகையை

Synonyms : allowance

Antonyms : expense

Example : A stipend, ranging from 5000 francs a year to 250 francs, was attached to each grade of the institution.

27) propagated

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

Tamil Meaning : பரப்புகின்ற

Synonyms : disseminated , distributed

Antonyms : eradicated

Example : “try propagating your own houseplants from cuttings”

28) dub

Meaning : give an unofficial name or nickname to.

Synonyms : entitle

Antonyms : handyman

Example : “the media dubbed anorexia ‘the slimming disease’”

29) promulgation

Meaning : promote or make widely known (an idea or cause).

Tamil Meaning : வெளியீடை

Synonyms : announcement

Antonyms : concealment

Example : “these objectives have to be promulgated within the organization”

30) tenets

Meaning : a principle or belief, especially one of the main principles of a religion or philosophy.

Tamil Meaning : கருத்துகளிலிருந்து

Synonyms : philosophy , doctrines

Example : “the tenets of classical liberalism”

31) immense

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

Tamil Meaning : மகத்தான

Synonyms : enormous , huge

Antonyms : tiny

Example : “the cost of restoration has been immense”

32) unprecedented

Meaning : never done or known before.

Tamil Meaning : முன்னெப்போதும் இல்லாத

Synonyms : unusual , unparalleled

Antonyms : traditional

Example : “the government took the unprecedented step of releasing confidential correspondence”

33) delicate

Meaning : easily broken or damaged; fragile.

Tamil Meaning : மென்மையானது

Synonyms : fragile , sensitive

Antonyms : strong

Example : “delicate china”

34) concession

Meaning : a thing that is granted, especially in response to demands.

Tamil Meaning : சலுகை

Synonyms : allowance , grant

Antonyms : denial

Example : “the government was unwilling to make any further concessions”

35) hawkish

Meaning : resembling a hawk in nature or appearance.

Tamil Meaning : கழுகுப்பார்வை

Synonyms : warlike , militant

Antonyms : pacifist

Example : “his hawkish nose”

36) fulcrum

Meaning : a thing that plays a central or essential role in an activity, event, or situation.

Tamil Meaning : ஆதார

Synonyms : pivot , bearing

Antonyms : annex

Example : “research is the fulcrum of the academic community”

37) subversion

Meaning : the undermining of the power and authority of an established system or institution.

Tamil Meaning : கவிழ்ப்பு

Synonyms : sabotage

Antonyms : allegiance

Example : “the ruthless subversion of democracy”

38) futile

Meaning : incapable of producing any useful result; pointless.

Tamil Meaning : வீண்

Synonyms : useless , ineffective

Antonyms : useful

Example : “a futile attempt to keep fans from mounting the stage”

39) fractious

Meaning : (typically of children) irritable and quarrelsome.

Tamil Meaning : முரண்டு பிடிக்கும்

Synonyms : peevish

Antonyms : obedient

Example : “they fight and squabble like fractious children”

40) amicable

Meaning : characterized by friendliness and absence of discord.

Tamil Meaning : நட்பு

Synonyms : friendly

Antonyms : hostile

Example : “an amicable settlement of the dispute”


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