The Hindu Editorial with Vocabulary – May 2018
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The Hindu Editorial with Vocabulary – “The Changing Terms of Endearment”
The growing conflict between Dalits and Hindutva must be seen in the context of the paradigm shift in U.P. politics.
Uttar Pradesh’s pivotal importance to Indian politics is hard to exaggerate. Anyone who wishes to rule India must control this State. The Bhartiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) biggest win in 2014 came from U.P., which was instrumental in providing Narendra Modi with a clear majority in the Lok Sabha. The party won 73 (with its ally) of the State’s 80 seats, while its nearest rivals, the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Congress, got only five and two seats, respectively. The BJP repeated this performance in the 2017 Assembly election, winning 325 seats (with its ally) in the 403-member State Assembly, which is about 80% of the seats. No party has ever registered such a colossal tally, not even Indira Gandhi, whose party, the Congress, had won 309 seats in the then 425-member Assembly in 1980.
But barely a year after its stunning victory the situation has changed significantly. The strongest sign of the changing public mood is the growing alienation of Dalits from the government. Even though many Dalits voted for the BJP in 2014, they feel excluded from access to power and the benefits it brings. Attacks on Dalits have not ceased even after the national furore over the Saharanpur violence in May 2017. A Dalit student of Allahabad University was lynched in February. Some of the BJP’s Scheduled Caste MPs from U.P. wrote to the Prime Minister to express their anguish over these incidents. One of them accused the government of only paying lip service and not doing anything for the benefit of the community. This unusual development had occurred just days after the BJP lost in its bastions, Gorakhpur and Phulpur (which is part of Allahabad district), to the SP-Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) alliance in the by-elections pushing scores of Dalits towards the anti-BJP camp.
Elements of a strategy
The growing conflict between Dalits and Hindutva must be seen in the context of the paradigm shift in U.P.’s politics which is increasingly defined in narrow majoritarian terms, even as the BJP is seeking to co-opt the oppressed groups within its electoral umbrella. Two key elements of the BJP’s electoral strategy are inclusion/visibility of Dalits and exclusion/invisibility of Muslims. It has shown that it can win elections without Muslims even though they constitute a fifth of the State’s population, which is larger than the population of several Muslim-majority countries. By contrast, it has made every effort to demonstrate its love for Dalits. But they are unhappy with the terms of endearment since they want greater Dalit representation to address their concerns regarding social exclusion, food preferences, education, employment, housing, and so on.
The BJP has consistently used religious polarisation to trump the caste divide in U.P., but it hasn’t succeeded; in fact, the divide has been exacerbated by the cold caste and sub-caste calculations of its top leadership to undercut old forms of caste mobilisation. Moreover, the attempts to assimilate Dalits within the fold by invoking the legacy of B.R. Ambedkar or the symbolism of communal inter-dining is not enough to cool tempers of Dalits who face discrimination and atrocities despite the stringent provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. The instrumental use of both gestures is obvious to everyone; not surprisingly, these gestures have failed to quell the growing tide of discontent, with many Dalit voters losing patience with the ruling dispensation.
Dalit inclusion will work when their core concerns are addressed and when there is overall development, which the State badly needs. Development and economic growth has, of course, been a constant leitmotif in the electoral campaigns of the BJP since 2014. But there is no evidence to show that Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is the leader who can deliver development for the State. In fact, the very idea of development was sidelined by his controversial appointment. He was installed as Chief Minister to polarise public opinion on Hindu-Muslim lines, and not to promote integration through development. His elevation signalled a decisive shift from the dual strategy of combining Hindutva and development to a singular embrace of Hindutva which has been used as a weapon of mass mobilisation to offset the fissures of caste, class, language and culture. Asked about Opposition parties linking his speeches and work to Hindutva and not development, the Chief Minister replied that “Hindutva and development are complementary to each other… Those who are opposing Hindutva are in fact opposing development and Bharatiyata”. In other words, even the optics of development and the claims of taking everyone along through development will be sacrificed at the altar of Hindu nationalism ahead of the 2019 election.
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Going by the policy decisions of his government, the cow appears to be the fulcrum of the U.P. model. It took centre stage in the government’s budget with a record Rs. 233 crore allotted for the welfare of cow and dairy development. In a similar vein, social sector spending has been reduced while religious tourism is being given a boost. Mr. Adityanath made a plethora of promises such as building houses, toilets, laying roads and providing 24-hour electricity supply. But these promises are unlikely to be fulfilled, which is causing restlessness even among people who voted to bring the BJP to power in 2017. This is evident from several events in the past few months. In October 2017, sugarcane farmers burned their crop in front of the U.P. Assembly after the government increased the minimum support price by only Rs.10; in January, farmers unhappy with the minimum support price for their potato harvest dumped the crop in front of the houses of VVIPs in Lucknow; and the much-hyped farm loan waiver turned into a farce as many of the beneficiaries received waivers of amounts as small as Rs.1 to Rs. 500. The employment situation remains grim, as large-scale government recruitments — the major source of public employment in the State — are not regular and even previously conducted exams, for instance, for clearing the backlog in police jobs have been cancelled. An extravagant ‘UP Investors Summit 2018’ held in February to boost investment in the hope of creating employment cannot promote industrialisation and job creation unless the structural constraints of underdevelopment are removed.
Closing the gap
What seems to be working for the BJP is the disarray in the Opposition camp. However, this can change as political majorities are constituted and reconstituted in changing historical and political circumstances. Political majorities are contingent and do not last, at least in part because the Opposition parties make adjustments to capitalise on opportunities. The Mandal (caste) and Mandir (religion) interregnum of the early 1990s signified the arrival of identity politics, which upstaged religious politics that was catapulted (a device in which accumulated tension is suddenly released to hurl an object some distance, in particular. ) by the Ayodhya movement to take centrestage. The ensuing upper caste-backward caste confrontation displaced the Congress from its position of dominance in U.P. and prevented the BJP from reinforcing its political clout despite unprecedented public support for Hindutva in north India for the first time since Independence. Twenty-five years later, in 2104, the BJP closed the gap between the economic and the political sphere with its mantra of development to secure a popular mandate. Currently, the Opposition is making tactical adjustments to counter the overarching narrative of Hindu nationalism. The by-election results demonstrate that if the two main Opposition parties combine, they can give the BJP a run for its money. If there is one State where Opposition unity can upset the BJP’s plans for majority rule in 2019, it is U.P.
Vocabulary Words from The Hindu Editorial
1. Exaggerate(verb) विस्तृत रूप से वर्णन करना/ अतिशयोक्ति करना : Represent (something) as being larger, greater, better, or worse than it really is. (to make greater, more noticeable, etc, than usual)
Synonyms: Hyperbolic, Melodramatic, Aggrandize, Embellish, Embroider
Antonyms: Understate, Belittle, Moderate, Alleviate
Example: This can lead to exaggerated food portions or over consumption of calories.
2. Furore (noun) उत्तेजना/ क्रोध/ कोहराम/ हंगामा : A sudden excited or angry reaction to something by a lot of people. ( It is a very angry or excited reaction by people to something.)
Synonyms: Palaver, Tumult, Pandemonium, Commotion
Antonyms: Sereneness, Placidity, Tranquillity, Repose
Example: It seems likely that he regrets more the international furore that it has caused.
3. Clout(noun) प्रभाव/ ताकत: Influence or power, especially in politics or business. (power or influence, esp in politics)
Synonyms: Influence, Sway, Leverage, Dominance, Authority
Antonyms: Helplessness, Impotence, Impotency, Powerlessness, Weakness.
Example: Their political clout determined the exact arrangements.
4. Pay lip service(idiom) दिखावटी प्रेम : Insincere expression of friendship, admiration, support, etc.; service by words only.
Synonyms: Hypocrisy, Deceit, Dishonesty, Sanctimony, Tokenism, Phoniness
Example: It should have enjoyed the support of the president and congressional Republicans from the beginning, instead of only lip service.
5. Paradigm(noun) उदाहरण/ आदर्श/ नमूना : A model of something, or a very clear and typical example of something. (a typical example or pattern of something; a model.)
Synonyms: Model, Pattern, Example, Epitome, Archetype, Prototype
Example: The author makes clear that she isn’t interested in defending this list as a six-part paradigm of democratic political theory.
6. Assimilate (verb) आत्मसात् करना/ समाहित कर लेना : To become a part of group/ absorb and digest. (When people such as immigrants assimilate into a community or when that community assimilates them, they become an accepted part of it.)
Synonyms: Imbibe, Ingest, Incorporate, Amalgamate
Antonyms: Exclude, Dissimilate, Misunderstand, Misinterpret
Example: The assimilative forces that absorbed those immigrants and their languages are in fact even more powerful today.
7. Quell(verb) वश में करना/ शांत करना/ दमन करना / कुचलना : To stop something, especially by using force: (violent behaviour means to stop it.)
Synonyms: Suppress, Subdue, Repress, Squelch
Antonyms: Promote, Foment, Incite, Abet
Example: The military government pledged to quell rebellion and unify the country by force.
8. Fissure(noun) Fissure/ फटन : Split or crack (something) to form a long narrow opening.
Synonyms: Crevice, Cranny, Groove, Aperture, Slit
Antonyms: Closure, Barricade, Connection, Junction
Example: The fissure between private sector business and the newly expanding public sector.
9. Farce(noun) तमाशा/मज़ाक: A comic dramatic work using buffoonery and horseplay and typically including crude characterization and ludicrously improbable situations.
Synonyms: Absurdity, Mockery, Travesty, Charade, Masquerade, Buffoonery
Antonyms: Tragedy, Solemnity, Sobriety, Grave
Example: Sometimes the tone shifts too awkwardly from drama to farce – or there is not enough space between the subtle and the broad.
10. Give someone a run for money(idiom) किसी को पैसे के लिए दौड़/ प्रतिद्वंदी को जीतने के लिए जद्दोजहद करना : If you say that someone could give someone else a run for their money, you mean you think they are almost as good as the other person.
Synonyms: Compete, Contend, Fight, Vie, Jostle
Example: The Oppo mobile company is giving the others a run for their money by launching exciting offers.
11. Anguish (noun) पीड़ा / मनोव्यथा : It is great mental suffering or physical pain.
Synonyms: Agony, pain, torment, torture, suffering, distress, angst, misery, sorrow, grief.
Antonyms: Happiness, joyfulness, solace, comfort.
Example: I’m glad he no longer has to suffer not only the physical agony but also the mental anguish of rejecting this new world.
12. Extravagant (adjective) फ़िजूल ख़र्च / असाधारण / अपव्ययी : Someone who is extravagant spends more money than they can afford or uses more of something than is reasonable.
Synonyms: Spendthrift, profligate, improvident, wasteful, prodigal, lavish.
Antonyms: Believable, ordinary, inexpensive, economical.
Example: She was extremely generous in the extravagant presents she bought for them.
Word of the Day – “Creditable”
- Creditable (adjective) विश्वसनीय, प्रशंसनीय, श्रेयस्कर, सराहनीय, कीर्तियोग्य, प्रत्ययनीय
- Meaning:- (of a performance, effort, or action) deserving public acknowledgment and praise but not necessarily outstanding or successful.
- Synonyms: Commendable, praiseworthy, laudable, admirable, honorable, estimable, meritorious, worthy.
- Antonym: Dishonorable, disrespected, unworthy, poor, bad.
- Example: We feel that this is a particularly creditable achievement in view of the changes that have taken place over the past twelve months in the business scenario.
- उदाहरण: हम यह महसूस करते हैं कि व्यापारिक परिदृश्य में जिस प्रकार के परिवर्तन पिछले बारह महीनों में हुए हैं, उन्हें देखते हुए यह विशिष्ट रूप से सराहनीय उपलब्धि है।
Quote of the Day
“One man has enthusiasm for 30 minutes, another for 30 days, but it is the man who has it for 30 years who makes a success of his life.” Edward B. Butler
“एक व्यक्ति 30 मिनट के लिए उत्साही होता है, दूसरा 30 दिनों के लिए, लेकिन ऐसा व्यक्ति जो कि 30 वर्षों तक उत्साही रहता है, उसे ही जीवन में सफलता प्राप्त होती है” एडवर्ड बी.बटलर
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