The Statesman Editorial with Vocabulary

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The Statesman Editorial with Vocabulary

Women’s Victory

The kingdom of Saudi Arabia has announced a momentous decision, though it might be early days to predict that liberal winds have started blowing under a new generation in the palace. Women have been granted the right to drive; the watershed concession effectively overturns what has been called a “cornerstone of Saudi conservatism”.

The traditional bar on driving by women had become a cause celebre  among social activists who have been shrilling  for reforms in the fundamentalist kingdom. Thus far, the palace in Riyadh had tiptoed on such changes, pre-eminently the inclusion of women in the ‘Shura’ (governing council).., with a curtain demarcating  the genders. While their voice can be heard, they are not to be seen. Tuesday’s decision on allowing women to drive is without question a critical forward movement, enunciated in a royal decree signed by King Salman.

The liberal narrative after an era of theocratic conservatism has been simultaneously buttresses with the royal imprimatur that drivers’ licences must be issued to women who wanted them.

It is pretty obvious that the palace has deferred to the demands of the reformists with the added provision that women in Saudi Arabia will no longer require permission from a legal guardian to get a licence.

Nor for that matter will they need a guardian in the car when they drive. To put it , the decree signifies a victory for women, a “great step in the right direction”, as the US has described it.

The decision follows the entry of women ~ for the first time ~ into a stadium last week. It is open to question whether Saudi Arabia also intends to relax the guardianship laws, or take any other steps to expand women’s rights.

To allow women at the steering wheel is the most significant change yet to a rigidly conservative social order, one that has strictly demarcated gender roles, and severely limits the role of women in public life.

A critical chapter has now been added to women’s studies. The world must now expect the kingdom to adopt a decidedly humane approach in the matter of crime and punishment. Tuesday’s decision was not wholly unexpected; it was widely anticipated amidst a transformation of many aspects of Saudi society. Indeed, the emerging trend has been described by a senior minister as “cultural revolution disguised as economic reform”.

Apart from social reforms, live concert performances have been organised in Riyadh in recent months, if restricted to men only. In parallel, the powers of the religious police have been curtailed. Hitherto, its primary function was to serve as an adjunct  to the palace administration, specifically in the pursuit of the theocratic agenda.

With the gradual dilution of that agenda, the religious police will hopefully be less brutal under a seemingly enlightened royalty.

Magical Vocabulary from “The Statesman Editorial”

  1. Cause celebre (noun) प्रसिध्द मुक़दमा / विवाद :  A controversial issue that attracts a great deal of public attention.

Synonyms: Controversy, Bone of Contention.

Antonyms: Concurrence, Harmony, Peace.

Example: The Cause celebre around “GoRakshak” continues to be a trending topic in India.

  1. Tiptoe (verb) छिपकर जाना : Carefully avoid discussing or dealing with (a difficult or sensitive subject.

Synonyms: Avoid, Sidestep, Give a wide berth to, Shun.

Antonyms: Face, Encounter, Meet.

Example: The actors were all in a circle, warming up as we quietly tiptoed into the room.

  1. Preeminently (adverb) सर्वप्रधान रूप से : Above all; in particular.

Synonyms: Primarily, principally, above all, chiefly, mostly, mainly, in particular.

Antonyms: Secondarily, Trivially.

Example: Dr. Batra is always winning awards because he is the preeminent medical researcher in the country.

  1. Demarcate (verb) सीमा निर्धारण करना / अलग करना : Set the boundaries or limits of/separate or distinguish from.

Synonyms: Separate, divide, mark (out/off), delimit, delineate, bound delimit.

Antonyms: Attach, Combine, Connect, Couple.

Example: Over time, the lines that demarcate different approaches have become more visible.

  1. Enunciate (verb) प्रतिपादन करना / उच्चारित करना : Express (a proposition, theory, etc.) in clear or definite terms.

Synonyms: Pronounce, articulate, say, speak, utter, voice, vocalize, sound.

Antonyms: Mispronounce, Confuse.

Example: India was one of the first nations in the world to actually enunciate the environment principle in its policies.

  1. Buttress (verb) समर्थन देना / मज़बूत बनाना : Increase the strength of or justification for; reinforce / A projecting support of stone or brick built against a wall.

Synonyms: Strengthen, reinforce, fortify, support, bolster, shore up, underpin, cement, uphold, prop up, defend, sustain.

.Antonyms: Curtail, Destroy, Diminish, ruin.

Example: For the first time in human history the inferior man has no ready buttress for his self-regard.

  1. Imprimatur (noun) इजाज़त / अनुमति : A person’s authoritative approval.

Synonyms: Permission, Sanction, Charter, Approval.

Antonyms: Prohibition, Veto.

Example: State officials would then be giving their formal imprimatur to actions that the various Conventions condemn without exception.

  1. Succinctly (adverb) संक्षेप में :  Especially of something written or spoken) briefly and clearly expressed.

Synonyms: Concise, short (and sweet), brief, compact, condensed, crisp, laconic, terse, to the point, pithy, epigrammatic.

Antonyms: At Length, Verbosely, Descriptively.

Example: A senior business analyst at a multinational has the most succinct summary of possible remedies.

  1. Curtail (verb) कम करना / संक्षिप्त करना : Reduce in extent or quantity; impose a restriction on.

 Synonyms: Reduce, cut, cut down, decrease, lessen, pare down, trim, retrench, restrict, limit, curb, rein in, slash.

Antonyms: Develop, Enlarge, Expand, Extend, Grow, Increase

Example: However, you can significantly reduce the amount of duty you pay by curtailing your urge to trade.

  1. Adjunct (adjective) सहायक / मिला हुआ : A thing added to something else as a supplementary rather than an essential part.

Synonyms: Supplement, addition, extra, add-on, accessory, accompaniment, complement, appurtenance, attachment, appendage, addendum.

Antonyms: Subtraction.

Example: The local media don’t want to be seen as an adjunct branch of the local constabulary.

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