English vocabulary is very important to score well in the section in any banking examination and that is why, we are bringing to you a unique method to learn new words. In this article, there is a passage from ‘The Hindu’ (dated 24th October, 2016) and the difficult words from it have been highlighted. These words have been explained at the end of the passage with meanings and usage as well. This will help you a lot in your preparation.
For India, a country that has worked in multilateral fora for nearly 70 years on a global agenda, subsuming its interests in pursuit of the global good, the recent tendency to focus on a single issue like terrorism does not seem appropriate. Such an approach only confirms the suspicion that it is using terrorism as a convenient weapon to battle Pakistan diplomatically. Like Queen Gertrude says in Hamlet, people have begun to say: “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”
One point on which the world ridiculed Pakistan in the past was that it could not think beyond Kashmir, whatever the forum and the topic for discussion. India is today on its way to opening itself to similar criticism — that it is stuck in the terrorism groove. India’s warnings about terrorism in and around South Asia fell on deaf ears for more than 20 years, but the revelation that the 9/11 attacks were the handiwork of terrorists with similar affiliation to those who were attacking India changed the whole situation. Now there is no doubt that the “mother ship of terrorism” is Pakistan. No one disputes the attributes we have given to Pakistan in this context. But for India to pursue isolation of Pakistan on this count at every forum and to make it a litmus test of every country’s friendship to India does more harm than good. Every speech of the Prime Minister, regardless of the venue and the topic of discussion, is a ringing denunciation of cross-border terrorism.
The BRICS Goa summit was turned into a battle of wits between India and its guests as to how far the group could go in identifying itself with India in isolating Pakistan. Moreover, India made no secret of its motivation and made it clear to its guests that the way to India’s heart was by targeting Pakistan. Given the fact that no one wants to create enemies in such diplomatic conclaves, many of them, particularly the Chinese, may have felt uncomfortable to be caught in an awkward situation. Eventually, China acted as Pakistan’s proxy in the discussions in Goa.
The outcome of the Goa meetings could have been projected as a diplomatic victory for India if the expectations were not pitched so high by the Prime Minister himself. What we have is a condemnation of terrorism in all its manifestations, a consensus position of the UN itself, without a definition of terrorism, which has eluded the international community even after 9/11. The global concern over the growth of the Islamic State (IS) appeared to take precedence over the special situation in South Asia as the IS is now “spread over” more than 30 countries and others dread its expansion. India should take the opportunity to speak strongly against the IS and project cross-border terrorism as another manifestation of the same problem. Building a broader constituency against terrorism is more beneficial than focusing on its own specific situation. By narrowing down exclusively to the action India expects from the international community to meet its concerns, such as declaring Pakistan as a terrorist state, may not have the desired effect. It will also not persuade China to lift its veto over including Masood Azhar on the UN list of terrorists.
A single dignified and forceful presentation by India to multilateral fora, leaving it to the member countries to tackle the issue effectively, would be more appropriate. Anticipating the possible outcome and calibrating India’s requests accordingly should have been the strategy to be adopted. Otherwise, the wide gap between India’s assertions and the language of the outcome will be visible to all. Together with India’s application for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group and aspiration to permanent membership of the UN Security Council, the country appears to be knocking at too many doors instead of offering global solutions to global problems. India recently modified its position of “eligibility” for permanent membership to its “right”. Such assertions will have no impact on others unless its demand is projected as part of the need to correct the imbalance in a crucial world body.
India confining itself to the terrorism groove shows lack of direction when it has altered the dynamics of its relations with Pakistan by carrying out surgical strikes. Having taken precipitate action, India should move in a predetermined course of action. The old pattern of terrorist attack by Pakistan, angry verbal reaction by India and resumption of dialogue does not make sense anymore. If such a course has not been prepared, this is the time to frame such a course of action. This could consist of informing the international community of the state of play, combating terrorism on the ground with measured use of force, and dealing with the internal situation in Jammu and Kashmir with a view to eliminating internal support to cross-border terrorism. Other options available to India such as amendment of the Indus Waters Treaty, trade sanctions, and so on should also be considered. Efforts to isolate Pakistan as part of the strategy contradicts India’s established position against internationalizing the Kashmir issue.
The clear lesson to be learnt from recent experience is that the world at large does not see terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir as part of the global terrorism which threatens international peace and security. The recognition by the UN that Kashmir is a disputed territory influences the policy of most nations, including those who are friendly with India. A broader framework for the terrorism debate shows a way out for those who support India without wanting to get embroiled in a dispute.
India’s pursuit of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism that was tabled in the UN General Assembly in 1996 has very little chance of success. It was seen at that time as an anti-Pakistan measure. The convention received some attention by the legal committee of the UN in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, but it got stuck in the old argument that one man’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter.
India’s advocacy of nuclear disarmament is an excellent example of the country subsuming its interest in the desire of the global community for a nuclear weapon-free world. It was only when the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty regime became discriminatory that India stepped out of it and took a firm decision not to sign the treaty. On the question of fissionable material, India stands ready to join the negotiations on the Fissionable Material Cut-off Treaty rather than plough a lonely furrow. India harmonised its position with that of the developing countries in environmental negotiations to protect its interests and succeeded up to the point of formulating the Kyoto Protocol.
It ill behaves a country like India with a long record of using its membership of the UN for the common good to fall in one groove, however important that issue may be. Multilateralism accepts constant reiterations of national positions, but to forge a consensus, the positions should be integrated with common concerns to the extent possible.
1. Pursuit (noun): The action of pursuing someone or something / an activity of a specified kind especially a recreational one or sporting one.
Synonym: Hunt, inquiry, quest
Antonym: retreat, surrender
Sentence: He is in pursuit of perfect happiness which has been eluding him since birth according to him.
2. Convenient (adjective): Filling in well to a person’s needs, activities and plans / situated so as to allow easy access to.
Synonym: acceptable, agreeable, beneficial
Antonym: hindering, harmful, hurting, improper
Sentence: This seems to be the most convenient option for him under these circumstances.
3. Ridicule (verb): subject to contemptuous and dismissive language and behavior
Synonym: deride, jeer, tease
Antonym: praise, appreciate, admire, approve
Sentence: The teacher ridiculed him in front of the whole class for his ignorance of basic things regarding Indian history.
4. Affiliation (noun): the state or process of affiliation or being affiliated / association with an organization.
Synonym: connection, partnership, relationship, alliance
Antonym: division, detachment, divorce, dissolution
Sentence: This group has no affiliation to any kind of preservation society in the country so far.
5. Dispute (verb): argue about something / strive to win or compete for something
Synonym: argue, perturb, disturb
Antonym: agree, support
Sentence: This particular point has been much disputed among the members of the standing committee of the Parliament.
6. Denunciation (noun): public condemnation of someone or something / informing against someone.
Synonym: indictment, accusation, censure, disapproval
Antonym: appreciation, exculpation, exoneration
Sentence: His family members reacted in support of denunciation of his methods of achieving success in life.
7. Condemnation (noun): The expression of very strong disapproval / the act of condemning someone to a punishment or sentencing
Synonym: damnation, proscription, reproach
Antonym: compliment, acquittal, absolution
Sentence: There has been strong condemnation of the attack on civilians by the Army of the country in the name of ethnic cleansing.
8. Consensus (noun): A general agreement
Synonym: harmony, accord, concord, unison
Antonym: denial, refusal, dissension
Sentence: There is a gradually growing consensus among the general public that the current regime has failed in delivering on its promises.
9. Anticipate (verb): regard as probable / expect or predict
Synonym: expect, foresee, predict, prophesy
Antonym: doubt, be surprised, confirm
Sentence: She anticipated scorn on her return to the theatre after so many years in the mainstream movies.
10. Precipitate (adjective): done, made or acting suddenly or without careful consideration
Synonym: hasty, rash, rushed
Antonym: deliberate, gradual, leisurely
Sentence: I must apologize for my staff – their actions were precipitate.
Question (1-5): Answer the following questions as directed
1. Find the word that means the same a ‘luscious’
- Other than those given in options
Solution: Option (1)
Explantion: The given word means that something is tasty or delicious. Among the given options, option (1) means the same and that is why, it is the right choice among the given options.
2. Find the word that means the same as ‘knave’
Solution: Option (3)
Explantion: The given word means that somebody should be scorned as he or she is dishonest in dealing with. Among the given options, option (3) refers to the same and that is why, it is the right choice among the given options.
3. Find the word that means the same as ‘kindred’
Solution: Option (1)
Explantion: The given word means that there is relation or affinity among something. Among the given options, option (1) refers to the same and that is why, it is the right choice among the given options.
4. Find the word that means the opposite as ‘profuse’
Solution: Option (2)
Explantion: The given word means that something is abundant or plentiful. Among the given options, ‘scanty’ refers to the fact that something is deficient in quantity. So, it is the right choice among the given options.
5. Find the word that means the opposite as ‘lax’
- Other than those given in options
Solution: Option (4)
Explantion: The given word means that somebody is careless or flexible in his or her approach. Among the given options, option (4) means that somebody is firm enough to take a stand. So, it is the right choice among the given options.