Vocabulary is often defined as “all the words known or used by a particular person”. Using appropriate vocabulary is an indicator of the fundamental/required literacy skill. It helps to make communication effective along with sharpening your observation skills. How well you are able to articulate new words is the skill which is learned with time. Vocabulary is interrelated with how you observe things, describe it and discuss among others. Hence, no opportunity should be left behind to learn new and new words and connecting them to make meaningful contexts, to communicate your thinking an idea precisely. Newspapers are the best bet in this role and help you to widen your vocab bank.
Article: Attacks against Indians in US: Show solidarity with Muslims, Blacks, other victims
In the wake of the numerous attacks targeting Indians and other brown-skinned people in the United States, I’ve been struggling not to take the violence personally. For most of my upbringing in America, I never experienced overt racism of any kind. When my family moved to New York in 1990, I remember being warned of gangs of “dot-busters” in nearby Jersey City, thugs who went out of their way to beat up people they thought they were Indians. But that always seemed a distant threat; I never had a run in with any “dot-busters” (I also didn’t ever go to Jersey City). I grew up in New York in helplessly cosmopolitan circumstances, attending an international school in an already incomparably international city. As a result, I had the luxury of wearing my identity lightly.
My peers and I recognised and negotiated differences of culture, language, and religion without ever being troubled by them. I could be Indian and a New Yorker at the same time.
I don’t think that experience is just the preserve of an elite international school. It’s the real effect, and aspiration, of plural societies from India to the United States. And it happens on a routine, almost unremarkable basis, whether on the roads of Kerala, where a mosque might sit next to a church, which sits next to a temple, or in New York, where I’ll hear Spanish, Bengali, Chinese, and Haitian Creole all just on my subway ride home. “Diversity” and “multiculturalism” aren’t alien forces but daily, mundane, lived realities.
Though I wasn’t American by citizenship or heritage, I felt an obvious and natural belonging to New York City. That sense of rootedness was challenged a bit after the 9/11 attacks. I had the experience that many other NRI males had since the onset of the “war on terror,” of being made more conscious of my skin. Both in the United States and in Europe, I’ve been subject to several occasions of racist abuse. I’m not a victim, I know I’ve not suffered from the really vicious effects of racism. I was incredulous whenever I encountered such abuse, less offended than mystified by the thought process that resulted in that language and its expression.
At the same time, these otherwise trivial incidents made me realise that the liberal principles I assumed undergirded life in the West were more tenuous and precarious than I had imagined.
With reason, the Indian press has fretted about the dangers that Indians might face in Trump’s America. Hostility to economic migrants and outlandish Islamophobia are breeding an atmosphere of hate and violence. And yet our sympathies and concerns shouldn’t just extend to compatriots. This isn’t simply an Indian story; it’s part of the wider threat to pluralism around the world.
In the West, the experience of the second half of the 20th century was defined by societies learning (and often struggling) to better include the ethnic and racial “minorities” in their midst. The legacy of the Holocaust in Europe (which nearly expunged the continent’s Jews) led to tremendous soul searching and the creation of human rights and legal bodies to protect minority groups. In the United States, the civil rights movement fought against racial segregation that had denied blacks any semblance of equal participation in American society.
However partial and imperfect, these transformations recognised the fact that societies are intrinsically diverse. They include — and have always included —many types of people, who have not always enjoyed the same access to the life of a society. India’s ability to build a (mostly) functioning democracy out of so many disparate identities will be remembered as a truly astonishing accomplishment. In an era marked by cataclysmic wars and unimaginable atrocity, one of the great achievements of the 20th century was the building of plural, democratic polities that saw the representation of all as a virtue.
Yet in the 21st century, reactionary forces across continents are rejecting this ambition. In Europe, the United States, India, and elsewhere, nativists and nationalists deride inclusion as “accommodation,” equate tolerance with weakness. They dismiss the desire of minorities for equal treatment as precious “identity politics.” They talk about multiculturalism, which is a fact of life, as if it were a slogan, a faddish trend, or worse, an insidious agenda.
It’s important for Indians to put the abuse they are now facing in the West in this wider context. I’ve been moved, in particular, by how Sikh Americans activists have linked attacks on Sikhs to discrimination against Muslims, blacks, and Latinos in the United States. Instead of feeling particularly victimised, Indians should embrace another quintessentially 20th century virtue: solidarity.
1. Racism (noun) (जातिवाद): Racism refers to the belief that one race is superior to the other or the practice of treating a person or group of people differently on the basis of their race.
Synonym: Apartheid, bias, bigotry, discrimination
Antonym: Fairness, tolerance, equality, compassion
Sentence: Today’s need of the hour is to combat racism in any manner.
2. Cosmopolitan (adjective/noun) (विश्ववादी): Cosmopolitan is defined as containing or having experience of people and things from many different parts of the world.
Synonym: Cultured, metropolitan, urbane, worldly
Antonym: Unrefined, particular, unsophisticated, rustic
Sentence: We should be progressive enough to adopt the cosmopolitan culture of the world.
3. Mundane (adjective) (नीरस): Mundane refers to an ordinary or not so interesting work.
Synonym: Banal, humdrum, prosaic, normal
Antonym: Abnormal, unusual, uncommon, heavenly
Sentence: Hobbies helps us to get over the mundane world.
4. Vicious (adjective) (अनैतिक / निन्दनीय): Vicious refers to something which is extremely violent and injurious.
Synonym: Atrocious, barbarous, depraved, diabolical
Antonym: Civilized, glorious, innocent, virtuous
Sentence: The winter session of Lok Sabha witnessed the vicious fight of the opponent parties.
5. Mystified (verb) (हैरान करना): Mystified is to confuse someone by being or doing something very strange or impossible to explain.
Synonym: Baffle, confound, perplex, bewilder
Antonym: Clarify, enlighten, explain, explicate
Sentence: The spell of the magician mystified the audience completely.
6. Undergirded (verb) (सुदृढ़): Undergirded refers to strengthen or secure as by passing the rope or chain under and around.
Synonym: Bolster, reinforce, uphold, bear
Antonym: Undermine, weaken, drop, fall
Sentence: Our vision and mission of the company should be undergirded in our business plans.
7. Tenuous (adjective) (पतला/ कमज़ोर): Tenuous is defined as something which is quite thin or slender.
Synonym: Delicate, dubious, flimsy, nebulous
Antonym: Certain, definite, firm, heavy
Sentence: The tenuous link between interest rate and investment is quite integral.
8. Precarious (adjective) (खतरनाक): Precarious is defined as depending on the will or pleasure of others or dependent on circumstances beyond one’s control.
Synonym: Dicey, hazardous, perilous, tricky
Antonym: Certain, definite, protected, reliable
Sentence: Over-confidence is one of the precarious ladders to success.
9. Cataclysmic (adjective) (प्रलय / उथल-पुथल): Cataclysmic refers to something which is violently destructive.
Synonym: Calamitous, catastrophic, disastrous, tragic
Antonym: Advantageous, fortunate, blessed, happy
Sentence: The cataclysmic earthquake took lives of many people.
10.Faddish (adjective) (झक्की / सनकी): Faddish is something which is related to being fashionable but not very likely to stay fashionable for a long time.
Synonym: Elegant, exclusive, swank, mod
Antonym: Old-fashioned, unstylish, dull, unfashionable
Sentence: The faddish character in the movie made a mark upon the minds of the public.
Question (1-5): Answer the following as directed.
1. Find out the words which mean the same as ‘elite’(उच्च -वर्ग)
Solution: Option (4)
Explanation: The given word refers to the richest, most powerful, best-educated or best -trained group in a society. Therefore, from theabove-given options, option (4) is a right choice as the synonym of the word.
2. Find out the words which mean the same as ‘multiculturalism’ (बहु संस्कृति वाद)
Solution: Option (1)
Explanation: The given word refers to ideologies and policies which vary widely, ranging from the advocacy of equal respect to the various cultures in a society.Hence, from the given options, option (1) is the correct choice as the synonym of the word.
3. Find out the words which mean the same as ‘onset’ (चढ़ाई)
Solution: Option (3)
Explanation: The given word refers to the beginning or start of something.So, from the given options, option (3) is an apt choice as the synonym of the word given in the options.
4. Find out the words which mean the same as ‘fretted’ (तराशा हुआ)
Solution: Option (2)
Explanation: The given word refers to feel vexed or troubled. So, from the given options, option (2) is the right choice as the synonym of the word given in the options.
5. Find out the words which mean the same as ‘semblance’ (आकृति)
Solution: Option (3)
Explanation: The given word refers to a situation or condition that is similar to what is wanted or expected. Hence, from all the above options, option (3) is the right choice as the synonym of the word given in the options.
Word of the Day
Meaning (English) – refers to a change or variation occurring in the course of something or a complete change of circumstances.
Meaning (Hindi) -- परिवर्तन
Synonyms – Fluctuation, permutation
Antonyms – Similarity, stagnation
Example – The vicissitude of the seasons is quite unpredictable.
उदाहरण - मौसम परिवर्तन काफी अप्रत्याशित है।
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