Daily Editorial Updates with Vocabulary : Why India’s opposition is nearly irrelevant

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Daily Editorial Updates with Vocabulary

Why India’s opposition is nearly irrelevant

TWO years ago voters in Delhi, the Indian capital, whistled a warning to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It was less than a year since he had led his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to power in a sweeping general-election triumph. Yet suddenly, at the very seat of the national government, a puny upstart party running a shoestring anti-corruption campaign had nabbed no fewer than 67 of the 70 seats in the city’s main legislature. The BJP had captured a paltry three. Could it be that Mr Modi’s vaunted (boasted) electoral juggernaut .was not invincible after all? This was certainly what the critics of the Hindu-nationalist BJP hoped. Yet in test after test since then, from obscure by-elections to the campaign for the state assembly in Uttar Pradesh, with a population of 220m, the party has surged relentlessly ahead. In addition to the national government, the BJP and its allies now control 17 out of India’s 31 state legislatures, together representing more than 60% of the country’s people. At a recent party rally in the eastern state of Odisha, Amit Shah, the BJP’s grizzled master strategist, actually evoked the Jagannath Temple, a local landmark that inspired the word juggernaut, as he vowed the party would capture every state “from panchayat [village council] to parliament”.

Not surprisingly, it is now among the opposition that alarms are sounding. The latest bell, again in Delhi, rang on April 26th as results emerged of voting at another level of local government, the city’s three municipal “corporations”. The BJP won more than two-thirds of seats. The feisty. upstart of 2015, the Aam Aadmi or “common man” party (AAP), was left sputtering  that someone must have tampered with the voting machines. That is unlikely. The Election Commission of India, which is responsible for the gadgets, enjoys a reputation for probity rare among the country’s public institutions. This is not to say that the BJP does not play rough in the contact sport that is Indian politics. On the contrary, Mr Modi’s party is tenacious and aggressive. Delhi’s AAP government, for instance, has found itself hamstrung  by varied forms of obstruction from the BJP-led central government, not to mention by scores of spurious lawsuits and repeated police raids and investigations. Many AAP supporters seem to have understood the message: like it or not, the underdog is not a party that can “get stuff done”.

Totting up the recent losses of India’s opposition, however, it is clear that they themselves must also bear much of the blame. At every turn they have been not just outmuscled, but outwitted by the BJP. Worse, all too often India’s opposition parties have scored own-goals, whether by way of corruption scandals, messy defections, internal squabbles or simply the failure to recognise that unless they join forces, the BJP will indeed run them over. “We’d been working on the assumption that Modi will be a shoo in in 2019,” says a foreign diplomat, “Now we’re wondering if he won’t be in 2024.”

Aside from the AAP, the party with the most egg on its face is Congress, the oldest and long the grandest of parties in India. For decades following independence in 1947 Congress, like the BJP today, dominated politics at every level. It remains the only party aside from the BJP with a nationwide presence; the two parties’ multiple rivals are all regional or local political forces. But after years of slow slippage , Congress’s grasp seems in many parts of the country to have relaxed entirely. It currently controls just six state legislatures, only two of them in sizeable states. In recent elections it has frequently trailed a distant third or worse. With astonishing regularity Indian newspapers report stories of Congress grandees abandoning the party, all too often to join the BJP.

Over the past year alone Congress has lost control of six states, four of them—Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Goa and Manipur—because local party leaders switched sides. In the last two, they abandoned Congress even though it had just won state elections: the rival BJP simply moved faster to form a government, luring defectors with promises of cabinet posts even as Congress’s leadership in Delhi dithered over how to dole out offices. In the mountainous state of Arunachal Pradesh last year, 43 Congress deputies defected en masse(together) to join a new, BJP-allied party. In Assam, rebellious younger Congress leaders helped swing voters to the BJP, which they joined after complaints about the ageing local Congress boss fell on deaf ears.

Many have blamed Congress’s woes on the lingering hold of the Gandhi dynasty. Its current figurehead, Rahul Gandhi (pictured, third from the right, with his mother, Sonia), is the son, grandson and great-grandson of previous prime ministers. Yet semi-feudal family politics afflicts many of India’s parties. A nasty spat  in the reigning Yadav family weakened the previous ruling party in Uttar Pradesh, paving the way for the BJP’s crushing victory in the state assembly elections. The ruling party in the southern state of Tamil Nadu is currently embroiled in succession issues; the leadership of its main local rival is also a family affair.

A related opposition handicap is its emphasis on personality over principle. In some cases this has left parties floundering for relevance once their exalted. leader dies. It has also opened some to the charge that they are mere vote-getting machines that do not stand for anything. The Trinamool Congress of West Bengal, a state ruled with an iron fist by the party’s founder, Mamata Banerjee, is based on an insubstantial mix of populism and Bengali pride. In the southern states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, power has for decades alternated between two parties with very similar ideologies. On all these scales the BJP stands out as different. True, it has built a cult . of personality around Mr Modi. Along with other top leaders in the party who spent long apprenticeships as “volunteers” with Hindu nationalist groups before entering politics, however, the prime minister remains a celibate bachelor; there will not be a Modi dynasty. Like it or not, too, his party does stand for something: the BJP believes that for India to be strong it must abandon the elitist secular socialism of the Congress years and embrace a less inclusive, more “authentic” Hindu identity.

But above all, India’s ruling party enjoys unmatched discipline and organising power. A disappointed Aam Aadmi supporter in the prosperous Delhi district of Vasant Vihar says they didn’t put up a single flag or poster. By contrast neat, polite BJP workers went door-to-door, ringing his bell three times.

Magical Vocabulary from ” The Economist”

  1. Puny(adjective):Small and weak. (कमजोर/दुर्बल)

Synonyms: Feeble, Frail, Paltry, Diminutive, Infirm,

Example: The audience thought the puny girl would not sing loudly, but she surprised everyone when her strong voice filled the auditorium.

  1. Vaunt(verb):Boast about or praise (something), especially excessively. (शेखी या डींग मारना)

Synonyms: Boast, Brag, Exult, Flaunt.

Example: China likes to vaunt its military strength, intimidating her neighbors.

  1. Tamper(verb):Interfere with (something) in order to cause damage or make unauthorized alterations. (कपट प्रबंध करना/छेड़खानी करना/हस्तक्षेपकरना)

Synonyms: Interfere, Meddle, Intervene, Intercede.

Example: The government should never tamper with religious affairs, as people are very sensitive towards their religion.

  1. Hamstring(verb): Severely restrict the efficiency or effectiveness of. (रुद्ध करना/प्रतिरोध करना)

        Synonyms: Handicap, Constrain, Restrict, Cripple, Shackle, Fetter, Encumber.

       Example: It is hard for many poor countries to develop their economies because they are facing such hamstrung debt.

  1. Spurious(adjective):Not being what it purports to be; false or fake. (जाली/झूठा)

Synonyms: Bogus, Fake, Not Genuine, Specious, False, Factitious, Counterfeit, Fraudulent

Example: To win elections, politicians often make spurious promises to voters. \

  1. Probity(noun):The quality of having strong moral principles; (ईमानदारी)

Synonyms: Integrity, Honesty, Uprightness, Decency, Morality, Rectitude.

Example: The person who returned the stolen necklace to the police showed a great deal of probity.

  1. Woe(noun):Great sorrow or distress (दुःख/विलाप/विषाद)

Synonyms: Misery, Sorrow, Distress, Wretchedness, Sadness, Unhappiness.

Example: When the mother learned her child was dead, her woe knew no bounds.

  1. Lingering(adjective):Lasting for a long time or slow to end.  (दीर्घकालिक)

Synonyms: Abiding, Continuing, Long-Lasting, Prolonged.

Example: Corruption is lingering issue to the Indian Politics.

  1. Nasty(adjective): Very bad or unpleasant. (अप्रिय/खराब)

Synonyms: Unpleasant, Disgusting, Deplorable, Awful.

Example: This nasty weather certainly has spoiled our weekend.

  1. Exalted(adjective):(Of a person or their rank or status) at a high or powerful level. (उच्च/उत्कृष्ट)

Synonyms: High-Ranking, Elevated, Prominent, Dignified, Eminent, Prestigious, August, Illustrious, Distinguished.

Example: A CEO is an exalted person of any organization.

Courtesy And Copyright :-   The Economist

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THE HINDU Editorial with Vocabulary Weekly Pdf             The Hindu Editorial with Vocabulary – April – 2nd Week Pdf

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