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Times of India Editorial with Vocabulary
Mission Possible: A New India
On 15 February this year, Isro placed 104 satellites into orbit using only a single launch of one vehicle, PSLV-C37. The video of the event, available easily enough on the net, shows the familiar zoom of a rocket entering space, and then little flicks chase one another into the deep distance until the mission is completed. Only three satellites were Indian; 96 were commissioned by two American companies, Planet Laks and Spire Global.
The acceleration in space, impressive as it is, might be less spectacular than the change taking place on the ground. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has initiated a transformation towards a new India in which historic burdens such as poverty and corruption have been eliminated, and inheritance ills like communalism and casteism are only bad memory. His mission has a calendar; the deadline is 2022, when India celebrates its 75th year of independence.
Transformative change needs radical thinking. The economic empowerment of women is being used as a principal cure for poverty. Under Mudra, the PM’s signature project for those at the base of the economic pyramid, loans worth Rs 3,55,590 crore have been disbursed. Remarkably, 78% of those taking these loans are women.
The PM’s housing plan, for the impoverished, is an equally big story in gender emancipation. A woman can take this home loan as sole owner; but a man needs a woman as co-owner unless he is a widower or bachelor. This is a fundamental shift in the balance of power within a family. Over 25 million women who thought that a gas cylinder was a privilege of the middle class or rich, are now in smokeless kitchens. Swachh Bharat is a means to dignity and better health for women. The list is long.
The objective is to lift about 400 million out of harsh poverty in five years by ensuring that the first fruits and largest share of economic growth go to those who need it most. In a complementary initiative, the PM is using India’s proven capability in high-quality, low-cost technology to create efficient, sustainable and corruption-free delivery systems for direct benefits to the poor on an unprecedented scale.
Jan Dhan was an essential first step. In 2015, within three months, banks opened 300 million accounts for those who had never crossed the doors of a bank before. Critics sneered that these were “cashless”. Unsurprisingly, they had missed the point: banks were now serving those without money, rather than those with.
Use of technology for transparency has also become mandatory in the bidding process for government contracts. In a country where, particularly during the long decade between 2004 and 2014, contracts became synonymous with corruption, the change is a virtual revolution, leaving sections of the old political-industrial complex frustrated, angry and desperate to restore the previous order.
New India is being fashioned from embers of the old. Sceptics who cannot fathom why Narendra Modi has become the most popular PM in memory need look no further than his comprehensive assault on poverty and corruption.
It surely cannot be anyone’s case that through some twirl of a magic wand, India should suddenly become free of all ills. Among our difficult legacies is the politics of Hindu-Muslim differences, a tragedy that has simmered and often bubbled into conflict. One long-standing dispute has been over the cow, held sacred in Hinduism. Mahatma Gandhi urged an end to cow slaughter; and the lead architect of our Constitution, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, included this as a guiding tenet of our Constitution. Beef was banned in most states by Congress governments.
Of late, cow vigilantes have attacked Muslims and Dalits on suspicion of eating or transporting beef. Two incidents attracted wide, and understandable, media coverage: of Pehlu Khan in Rajasthan and Junaid in Haryana.
No government can prevent crime. A government’s bona fides are tested by what it does in pursuit of the criminal. In Rajasthan, seven suspects have been charged with murder. The state’s chief minister Vasundhara Raje has dismissed as malicious the allegation that her administration was biased and argued the same in this newspaper, in an opened piece headlined `Mob violence is unacceptable’. Comparisons are not an answer, but she pointed out that murders and mob violence took a higher tally in Rajasthan in 2012, when Congress was in power. In Haryana, five were arrested but the main suspect escaped. Police traced him to Sakri, in Maharashtra, where he thought he had found safety in obscurity. He has now confessed to stabbing Junaid.
On 29 June, PM Modi expressed his anguish during the centenary(the hundredth anniversary of a significant event; a centennial- शताब्दी) event of Mahatma Gandhi’s Sabarmati Ashram in Gujarat, wondering how much pain Gandhi himself would have felt. Gandhi had offered to die for the cow, but never advocated violence in its name. Finance minister Arun Jaitley has described the incidents as barbaric.
Both voters and politicians are increasingly dismissive of the motivated and fraying narrative of extended guilt. Nitish Kumar, for instance, refused to buy this false propaganda of Congress, whose only electoral crutch(बैसाखी) now is the alleged insecurity of minorities.
In 2013, there was an assassination attempt on Narendra Modi during a rally in Patna. At that critical, volatile moment, he said that Hindus and Muslims had a choice: they could either fight each other, or they could unite to fight the true enemy, poverty. Fraternity and prosperity of all Indians is the only creed of Narendra Modi.
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Magical Vocabulary from “The Times of India”
- Inheritance (noun) विरासत :Something passed down from your parents to you, or the act of receiving something passed down from your parents.
Synonyms: Legacy, bequest, endowment, bestowal, provision, birthright, heritage, patrimony, devise.
Example: They won equality in custody and inheritance rights for mothers.
- Disburse (verb) भुगतान करना/ व्यय करना : To pay out, as from a fund.
Synonyms: Pay out, spend, expend, dole out, dish out, hand out, part with, donate, give.
Example: The funds are disbursed through banks to the farmers’s accounts.
- Emancipation (noun) मुक्तिदान / बन्धनमुक्ति/ उद्धार : The fact or process of being set free from legal, social, or political restrictions; liberation.
Synonyms: Discharge, Freeing, Liberation, Liberating, Setting Free, Freedom, Liberty.
Example: Religion is meant for the emancipation of living beings.
- Impoverished (adjective) दरिद्र बना दिया/ शक्तिहीन किया/ गरीब: Make (a person or area) poor.
Synonyms: Weakened, exhausted, drained, sapped, depleted, spent, barren, unproductive, unfertile.
Example: They discourage investment and impoverish their people.
- Unprecedented (adjective) अभूतपूर्व/बेमिसाल:Never done or known before.
Synonyms: Unheard of, unknown, new, novel, groundbreaking, revolutionary, pioneering.
Example: We put together an unprecedented ground operation, but it was matched by the zealots on the right.
- Sneered (verb) उपहास करना :Smile or speak in a contemptuous or mocking manner.
Synonyms: Scoff at, scorn, disdain, mock, jeer at, insult, slight, slur.
Example: He positively sneered at me when I announced I was going to take guitar lessons.
- Fathom (verb) गहराई नापना/ पूर्ण रूप से समझना :Understand (a difficult problem or an enigmatic person) after much thought.
Synonyms: Understand, Comprehend, Grasp, Catch, Perceive.
Example: I just couldn’t fathom why he would want to do such a thing.
- Twirl (verb) घूमना/चक्करकरना : Something that is twisted or coiled./ Spin quickly and lightly around, especially repeatedly.
Synonyms: Pirouette, spin, whirl, turn, twist, rotation, revolution, gyration, twizzle.
Example: The more you practice, the more complicated moves you’ll be able to do, like turns and twirls.
- Simmer (verb) नाराज हो जाना/ क्रोध की अवस्था में होना: Show or feel barely suppressed anger or other strong emotion.
Synonyms: Be furious, be enraged, be angry, be incensed, be infuriated, seethe, fume, brim, smolder.
Example: She gave him time to simmer down after their argument.
- Tenet (noun) सिद्धांत/कार्मिक नियम:A principle or belief, especially one of the main principles of a religion or philosophy.
Synonyms: Principle, belief, doctrine, precept, creed, credo, article of faith, axiom, dogma.
Example: The best way to combat inflation is to stick to the basic tenets of sound investing.
- Anguish (noun) मनोव्यथा/वेदना : Extreme suffering or grief/ the state of being in pain.
Synonyms: Agony, pain, torment, torture, suffering, distress, angst, misery, sorrow, grief, heartache.
Example: I was in anguish , feeling the pain of my neighbours who had lost relatives.
- Fraternity (noun) भाईचारा/ बंधुत्व :A group of people sharing a common profession or interests.
Synonyms: Brotherhood, fellowship, kinship, friendship, (mutual) support, solidarity, community, union.
Example: Our dire need is harmony, fraternity and solidarity among the people.
- Creed (noun) सिद्धान्त/मत/ धार्मिक पंथ : A set of beliefs or aims which guide someone’s actions.
Synonyms: Faith, religion, religious belief, religious persuasion, church, denomination, tenet.
Example: This chosen nation myth has been the oldest and most continuous creed in china civil religion.
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