Friday, 25 September 2015

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26 sep 2015 editorials

contributed by ashok sharma

The Hindu: September 26, 2015 00:37 IST

Portents of radicalisation



What runs common between a middle class Indian mother of three and a Delhi college student, as also an obscure religious group based in a Goan village and a militant group in the northeast? They are all manifestations of a renewed radicalisation that is gripping major religions, as old divides come to life and new gashes open. Afsha Jabeen, who was deported to India for her evangelisation efforts, and some youngsters from Kerala who were sent back by the UAE for sharing radical posts on social media, do not represent isolated instances of a new acceptance that Islamist fundamentalism has found among many Indians. There have been reports of several Indian youth joining Islamic State, and more wanting to do so. The latest is the case of a young woman from the national capital, a Delhi University graduate and daughter of a retired Army officer, who wanted to join the ranks of the regressive, violent movement in Syria that is behind one of the biggest humanitarian catastrophes of our times. These could still be cited as isolated instances for now, but they could well turn into a tide. India's experience with radical religious tendencies is still far better than that of many other countries that have seen hundreds of youngsters leaving modern comforts and heading for the 'battle-front'. What Indian society at large should worry about is also that the fundamentalism is not limited to Islam. Obscure groups such as Sanatan Sanstha are trying to impose their irrational arguments, often through violent means, infringing upon the fundamental rights and seeking to subdue India's celebrated diversity. In the northeast and in Kashmir too fanaticism is finding new life and vigour, its ripples felt beyond immediate geographical boundaries.


The signals are clear: religious radicalisation is not a distant threat anymore but a reality closer home. Forces of obscurantism are feeding on global and local discontent to create narratives that appeal to even those brought up on a liberal education. Religious fanaticism has found new vigour not just in the clash of civilisations being played out across continents, but also in the dangerous political atmosphere created by some mainstream parties domestically. The vigour of movements in one religion feeds similar ones in others. Their misleading messages find roaring life on the information highway. As governments, political leaders, and society at large reap the benefits of globalisation, they cannot ignore its dark underbelly where obscurantist ideas flourish. One of the fallouts of the information revolution propelled by the Internet is that messages of fanaticism could also spread like wildfire, and governments could be overwhelmed by their power. India needs to wake up to this threat.

v portend
› to be a sign that something bad is likely to happen in the future:
It was a deeply superstitious country, where earthquakes were commonly believed to portend the end of dynasties.
portent


v radicalize
› to make someone become more radical (= extreme) in their political or religious beliefs:
The movie has clearly radicalized some voters.
The bomber was thought to have been radicalized while in prison.
Many young people were radicalized by the war.


v obscure adjective (NOT KNOWN)
› not known to many people:
an obscure island in the Pacific

v evangelist
› a person who tries to persuade people to become Christians, often by travelling around and organizing religious meetings

v infringe
› to break a rule, law, etc.:

v catastrophe
>a sudden event that causes very great trouble or destruction:
They were warned of the ecological catastrophe to come.

v subdue
› to reduce the force of something, or to prevent something from existing or developing:
The fire burned for eight hours before the fire crews could subdue it.

v vigour
strength, energy, or enthusiasm:
They set about their work with youthful vigour and enthusiasm.
strength of thought, opinion, expression, etc.:
He gave his side of the story with vigour.

v ripple
› to (cause to) move in small waves:
The breeze rippled the water.
His muscles rippled under his skin.

v fallout noun [U] (NUCLEAR)
› the radioactive dust in the air after a nuclear explosion:
cancer deaths caused by fallout from weapons testing
fallout noun [U] (UNPLEASANT RESULT)
› the unpleasant results or effects of an action or event:
The political fallout of the revelations has been immense

 

The HIndu: September 26, 2015 00:45 IST

A case for decorum



The confrontation between the Bench and a section of advocates in the Madras High Court is adversely affecting the image of the legal fraternity in Tamil Nadu. It is not the first time that unsavoury events are eroding the dignity and prestige associated with the black robe. There is a growing public perception that a belligerent section of the lawyer community is responsible for this. Another view is that lawyers want to raise accountability issues against judges through such protests. More than the occasional issues involved — not all of them related to the legal profession — these perceptions have created the current atmosphere of mistrust between the Bench and the Bar. Disruption of work, protests and slogan-shouting within High Court compounds constitute one form of indecorous behaviour. Other forms that have been on display include organising advocates on caste lines and forming support groups for individual judges, making grave allegations of misconduct and corruption against the judiciary, and creating an atmosphere of fear. The latest standoff arose from an unusual cause that advocates in Madurai took up: against an order directing the Tamil Nadu government to strictly enforce the rule that makes the wearing of helmets mandatory for two-wheeler riders. Other matters of discord too arose: allegations against some judges, followed by initiation of suo motu contempt proceedings against two office-bearers of the Madurai Bar Association.


Some lawyers took up a new cause: the use of Tamil as the language of the Madras High Court. There was a day-long sit-in inside a court hall, something that drew a vehement rebuke from the Chief Justice of India. The police also found themselves at the receiving end of adverse comments by judges for inadequate action to prevent such protests. The court now wants the Central Industrial Security Force to be in charge of security on the premises. The State government has declared the High Court premises in Chennai and Madurai as high-security zones but does not favour any Central agency handling the security tasks. The situation bodes ill for the litigants' interests: they may not only lose court time because of various protests, but their access to the premises may also be curtailed. It is time for the State government to work out a foolproof security arrangement that does not affect public access to the courts, but at the same time ensures smooth judicial functioning. The Bar should close ranks and seek to address the judges' concerns. Contempt proceedings and suspension of some protagonists from their Bar Council membership do constitute a legitimate response, but what is more important is the restoration of an atmosphere of amity. The dignity and reputation of the legal profession are at stake

v confrontation
>a fight or argument:
Some couples seem to like confrontation, but Josh and I hardly ever argue..

v fraternity noun (GROUP)
› [C, + sing/pl verb] a group of people who have the same job or interest:
the legal fraternity (= lawyers)

v unsavoury
unpleasant, or morally offensive:
unsavoury sexual practices

v bathrobe
› a loose piece of clothing like a coat, usually made of thick towelling material, worn informally inside the house, especially before or after a bath

v belligerent
› disapproving wishing to fight or argue:
a belligerent person
a belligerent gesture
Watch out! Lee's in a belligerent mood.
› formal fighting a war:
The belligerent countries are having difficulties funding the war.

v indecorous
behaving badly or rudely

v grave
seriously bad:
a grave situation

v allegation
> a statement, made without giving proof, that someone has done something wrong or illegal:
Several of her patients have made allegations of professional misconduct about/against her.

v standoff
› a situation in which agreement in an argument does not seem possible

v vehement
expressing strong feelings, or shown by strong feelings or great energy or force:
Despite vehement opposition from his family, he quit school and became an actor.

v rebuke
› to speak angrily to someone because you disapprove of what they have said or done:
I was rebuked by my manager for being late.

v bode
› to be a sign of something that will happen in the future, usually something very good or bad:
These recently published figures bode ill/do not bode well for the company's future.

v litigant
› a person who is fighting a legal case

v protagonist noun [C] (SUPPORTER)
› an important supporter of an idea or political system:
Key protagonists of the revolution were hunted down and executed.

v amity
› a good relationship:
The two groups had lived in perfect amity for many years before the recent troubles.

v dignity
>calm, serious, and controlled behaviour that makes people respect you:
He is a man of dignity and calm determination.
She has a quiet dignity about her

 

business standard

Reserving jobs


More than quotas, economic growth is the answer
The Rajasthan Assembly has passed two new Bills, which are likely to add a fresh dimension to the political agitation that is currently raging over reservations in Gujarat and threatening to spread to other parts of the country. One of the Bills seeks to provide five per cent reservation in government jobs and admission to state-owned educational institutions for members of the state's Gujjar and a few other backward communities. The other Bill envisages a 14 per cent quota for government jobs and seats in state-owned educational institutions for economically backward people, who do not otherwise enjoy any other caste-based reservations. This is an unprecedented move and what impact it will have on the reservation agitation in Gujarat and other adjoining states remains to be seen. Earlier, a similar attempt was made by the Vasundhara Raje government in Rajasthan in 2008, in the wake of the Gujjar agitation for reservations that had led to the death of over 70 persons. But that move was stayed by the state's high court.


This time, too, the two Bills will have to cross several more hurdles before the new quotas can be enforced. The Bills will have to be endorsed by the National Democratic Alliance government at the Centre and approved by the President. More importantly, a decision has to be taken to include the two Bills in the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution as has been recommended in a resolution passed by the Rajasthan Assembly. Laws included in the Ninth Schedule cannot be challenged in a court of law; nor can they be subjected to any judicial review. This is crucial for the two Bills passed by the Rajasthan Assembly as with the proposed system, the share of reserved quotas for jobs and seats in educational institutions will be more than 50 per cent. This is the cap to which the apex court is opposed in principle. Already, three states -Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Odisha - have reservations that range between 66 per cent and 73 per cent and these laws enjoy the privilege of being included in the Ninth Schedule. And the apex court has been urging even these states to review their reservation policies to bring them in line with the norm of a 50 per cent cap on such quotas. Though it will not be easy going for the two Rajasthan Bills on reservation, the fact that the state Assembly has passed them could give fresh impetus to the Patidar agitation in Gujarat and even have a knock-on effect on other states prompting them to bring out similar laws.


The logic of reservation of government jobs and seats in state-owned educational institutions for the disadvantaged sections of society cannot be questioned. In India, such reservations were initially meant for members of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. Subsequently, their scope was expanded to cover backward castes. While the idea of reservations needs to be defended for ensuring social justice, the absence of which had disadvantaged certain castes and communities for many decades, the unfortunate fact is that reservations have always been blatantly used by political parties for vote-bank politics and not as an instrument of social transformation in a manner that they can grow out of such crutches over a period of time. Introducing economic criteria to make the reservations policy more effective can certainly help, as long as it does not dilute the overall objective of delivering social justice to all. Equally important is the role of rapid and widespread economic growth that brings more people out of poverty and substantially reduces the need for such quota-based reservations.

v envision
› to imagine or expect that something is a likely or desirable possibility in the future:
He envisioned a partnership between business and government.
The company envisions adding at least five stores next year.

v unprecedented
> never having happened or existed in the past:
This century has witnessed environmental destruction on an unprecedented scale.

v impetus
› something that encourages a particular activity or makes that activity more energetic or effective:
The recent publicity surrounding homelessness has given (a) fresh impetus to the cause.

v knock-on effect
› When an event or situation has a knock-on effect, it causes other events or situations, but not directly:
If one or two trains run late, it has a knock-on effect on the entire rail service.

v blatant
› very obvious and intentional, when this is a bad thing:
a blatant lie

v crutch
› [C usually plural] a stick with a piece that fits under the arm, that you lean on for support if you have difficulty in walking because of a foot or leg injury:
Martin broke his leg and has been on crutches for the past six weeks.
› [S] often disapproving something that provides help and support and that you depend on, often too much:
As an atheist, he believes that religion is just an emotional crutch for the insecure.


 

indian express

Cake for all


Gujarat offers financial support to the poor among upper caste students. It must expand its notion of deprivation.This week saw the Gujarat government announce a Rs 1,000-crore financial assistance package for low-income and meritorious students across all castes, even as Rajasthan introduced 14 per cent reservation in education and employment specifically targeting the poor among the upper castes. Both initiatives were a clear response to the unrest among communities dissatisfied with the current system of quotas. The BJP, in power in both these states, is particularly wary that the expression of disquiet by Patidars in Gujarat may spread to the upper castes — the party's core constituency — in other states, especially poll-bound Bihar. RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's call for a non-political committee to decide who gets the benefits of reservation and for how long, also fits the same pattern of reaching out. Clearly, the attempt is to prevent a disaggregation of the Hindu vote over quotas.
Offering financial help to needy students, irrespective of caste, is a step in the right direction. The state must ensure that no meritorious student is deprived of quality education due to lack of funds. However, the onus of balancing merit and opportunity should not lie with the government alone. The private sector has emerged as a major stakeholder in education, and its role in addressing supply constraints will be crucial. It has been pointed out that one of the factors that triggered the ongoing Patidar agitation in Gujarat is the absence of educational opportunities. The private sector led the expansion of education in Gujarat, and professional courses had become prohibitively expensive. While there has to be a check on profiteering, private management must explore options other than capitation and course fees to fund the running and expansion of their institutions. Endowments and grants from alumni and industry, supplemented by conditional direct benefit transfers from government, could help reduce excessive dependence on fees and facilitate the entry of students from a broader class-spectrum into campuses. Quotas are not the sole solution to meet the aspirations of a burgeoning youth population.
Affirmative action ought to be understood as an instrument to address social and educational backwardness in a broad framework of deprivation, with caste as the most important marker of discrimination. However, categories such as income disparity, religion, gender, locational disadvantages etc may also impact capabilities and need to be factored in while designing affirmative action policies. Moreover, structural changes in the political system and economy are unleashing new forces and reconfiguring power relations. Public policy needs to be alert and sensitive to these changes.

v deprivation
>a situation in which you do not have things or conditions that are usually considered necessary for a pleasant life:
They used sleep deprivation as a form of torture.
There is awful deprivation in the shanty towns.

v meritorious
deserving great praise:
an award for meritorious service

v wary
> not completely trusting or certain about something or someone:
I'm a little wary of/about giving people my address when I don't know them very well.

v onus
› the responsibility or duty to do something:
The onus is on the administration to come up with a balanced budget.

v burgeoning
developing quickly:
The company hoped to profit from the burgeoning communications industry.

v unleash
› to suddenly release a violent force that cannot be controlled:
At worst, nuclear war could be unleashed.
Rachel's arrival on the scene had unleashed passions in him that he could scarcely control.


 

The Dawn
Tragedies compounded

THIS year, a number of tragedies have marked Haj, even as the general state of affairs in the Muslim world remained deeply problematic.

On Thursday, the pre-Eid mood in Pakistan was sombre as news broke of the stampede in Mina, with reports indicating that hundreds of pilgrims had died or were injured in the tragedy that occurred in the site outside Makkah.
Similarly, the run-up to Haj had been marked by the loss of over 100 lives as a crane crashed at Makkah's Grand Mosque.
Also read: At least 717 killed, 863 injured in Haj stampede at Mina
This is not the first stampede during Haj; hundreds have died in similar incidents during past pilgrimages. Saudi authorities have taken measures to address issues like crowd control and pilgrim safety.
Nevertheless, a detailed study of the whole Haj process is required to improve management of the pilgrimage and minimise chances of accidents.
Moving beyond the immediate misfortunes, the Saudi Grand Mufti's Haj sermon in Arafat on Wednesday was significant — both for what the cleric said and for what was left out of the sermon.
Shaikh Abdul Aziz al-Shaikh raised the alarm against "misguided people" in a reference to the self-styled Islamic State. He also termed Yemen's Houthi movement, against whom a Saudi-led coalition is fighting a war on behalf of the Yemeni government, as "deviants". It is unclear why the cleric chose the Haj sermon — which is supposed to be free of sectarian or nationalistic rhetoric — to forward the aims of his country's foreign policy.
There was also much the Grand Mufti did not say, at least not in unambiguous terms. For example, while IS has gained ground at an alarming speed in Iraq and Syria, it is also true that much of the Muslim world's present miseries are due to the lack of sagacity on the part of Muslim leaders.
Take the Yemeni and Syrian wars: instead of choosing to resolve these conflicts through dialogue, some Muslim states have, instead, fanned the flames. The result has been a brutal, extended nightmare for the Yemeni and Syrian peoples with no end in sight.
Similarly, it is odd that the Grand Mufti did not mention the migrant crisis: arguably most of the migrants making their way to Europe hail from failed Muslim states, which is a stinging indictment of the Muslim world's collective failure. In fact, the rich Gulf monarchies have been criticised for not doing enough to lessen the miseries of those fleeing conflict-ridden Muslim states.
The Haj sermon is a critical vehicle that can help shape debate in the Muslim world. Rather than expressing concerns in nebulous terms or promoting national agendas, it should be used to address concrete issues. Unless the Muslim world — especially its leaders — confront issues such as terrorism, extremism, disease, poverty and illiteracy that are rife in Muslim-majority states, it is unlikely that the future of over a billion of the world's people will change soon.

v sombre
› serious, sad, and without humour or entertainment:
a sombre atmosphere/voice/face
The funeral was a sombre occasion.
I left them in a sombre mood.
› dark and plain:
He wore a sombre black suit.
v stampede
› an occasion when many large animals or many people suddenly all move quickly and in an uncontrolled way, usually in the same direction at the same time, especially because of fear:
Two shoppers were injured in the stampede as shop doors opened on the first day of the sale.

v deviant
› used to describe a person or behaviour that is not usual and is generally considered to be unacceptable

v sermon
› a part of a Christian church ceremony in which a priest gives a talk on a religious or moral subject, often based on something written in the Bible:
The Reverend William Cronshaw delivered/preached the sermon.
Today's sermon was on the importance of compassion.
› disapproving a long talk in which someone advises other people how they should behave in order to be better people:
I really don't think it's a politician's job to go delivering sermons on public morality.
(

v rhetoric
speech or writing intended to be effective and influence people:
How far the president will be able to translate his campaign rhetoric into action remains to be seen.
I was swayed by her rhetoric into donating all my savings to the charity.

v sectarian
› (a person) strongly supporting a particular religious group and not willing to accept other beliefs:
a sectarian murder
He called on terrorists on both sides of the sectarian divide to end the cycle of violence.

v sagacious
› having or showing understanding and the ability to make good judgments:
a sagacious person/comment/choice

v fan the flames
› to make a dangerous or unpleasant mood or situation worse:
His speeches fanned the flames of racial tension.

v nebulous
› (especially of ideas) not clear and having no form:
She has a few nebulous ideas about what she might want to do in the future, but nothing definite.

v rife
› If something unpleasant is rife, it is very common or happens a lot:
Dysentery and malaria are rife in the refugee camps.
rife with sth
full of something unpleasant:
The office was rife with rumours.





 

The Guardian

view on the Labour party conference

 

: inclusiveness is the only way

here has not been a more significant Labour party conference in a generation than the one that begins in Brighton this weekend. It is important partly because Labour conferences for the last 20 years have been tightly controlled and increasingly lifeless, top-down rallies; thankfully, this one will not be like that. But its importance lies mainly in the volatile political chemistry between two big democratic facts which Labour must begin to try to reconcile this week if it is to challenge as a potential party of government in 2020.


The first of these was Labour's defeat in the 2015 general election, in which the party polled only 30% of those who voted and a mere 20% of the electorate, suffering particularly badly in Scotland, and finishing well adrift of the Conservatives. The second was the overwhelming victory of Jeremy Corbyn in this summer's leadership election, in which he won almost 60% of the votes. The big question facing Labour, and Britain, is whether Mr Corbyn can translate the energy of his campaign and the scale of his mandate into a general-election winning offer to a nation grown sceptical of Labour.
The two events pull in very different directions. Although Labour slightly increased its vote in May, its lack of credibility on economic policy produced one of the four worst defeats in its history. As a result, Labour faces an electoral Everest to regain power. But the Corbyn victory was centred on a radically different economic policy that fed a huge increase in party membership; Labour now has more members than the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats and the Scottish Nationalists combined. As a result, Labour brings a rare enthusiasm to a post-general election conference that might otherwise be unremittingly grim and sober.


It would be a serious error to pretend that the Labour sword that was broken in May has instantly been made whole again by Mr Corbyn's victory in September. But the new Labour leader has catalysed a tremendous new movement of support for his outsider stance and style, some of which also speaks to a wider electorate that has had it with established politics and politicians. Yet Mr Corbyn's Labour is not unique in this. The SNP, Ukip and the Greens, the latter two of which have been pitching hard this week, have struck that nerve too at various times, and even Nick Clegg's Liberal Democrats did it within living memory.


The big challenge at Brighton will be whether Mr Corbyn's movement for change can be harnessed to an effective strategy and programme that can reverse Labour's decade of decline. That will depend in particular on whether the leader and his supporters can find ways of working inclusively with the parliamentary party and its supporters, who overwhelmingly opposed Mr Corbyn. This is a test for them both. It will require a readiness to compromise and display good faith, and a mutual determination not to push every disagreement to a stand-off. To embark on 1980s-style rule changes, in particular, would be disastrous. John McDonnell's Guardian interview today seems to grasp this.


If the recent past is any guide, Mr Corbyn and his party will be treated unforgivingly by Britain's rightwing press this week. Every difference of view, however cautiously expressed, will be depicted as the start of a civil war. Every vote will be billed as a lurch to the left or a leadership humiliation. Every off-guard stumble or silly photo will be a gaffe-prone disaster. Only those who remember the 1980s have any inkling of what is likely to be unleashed.


The Guardian view is that Mr Corbyn must be fairly judged on his actions and words. That will be our approach this week and beyond. The new leader was elected because there is an appetite for new politics, which we share. But the political landscape facing left-leaning parties and movements across Europe offers no easy rewards. Labour's enemies will give it no quarter, but the party should be under no illusions about the scale of the challenge it faces all the same.



v adrift
› If a boat is adrift, it is moving on the water but is not controlled by anyone because of a problem:
He spent three days adrift on his yacht.
› If a person is adrift, they do not have a clear purpose in life or know what they want to do:
Da Silva plays a bright, lonely student from New York, adrift in small-town Arizona.
v go/come adrift informal
› to become loose:
The hem of my skirt's come adrift again.
v go adrift informal
› If plans go adrift, they fail or do not produce the correct results:
Something seems to have gone adrift in our calculations.

v stance noun (OPINION)
>a way of thinking about something, especially expressed in a publicly stated opinion:
The doctor's stance on the issue of abortion is well known.

v in harness with
working together to achieve something

v depict
> to represent or show something in a picture or story:
Her paintings depict the lives of ordinary people in the last century.
In the book, he depicts his father as a tyrant.

v lurch
› [I] to move in a way that is not regular or normal, especially making sudden movements backwards or forwards or from side to side:
The train lurched forward and some of the people standing fell over.
› [I + adv/prep] to act or continue in away that is uncontrolled and not regular, often with sudden changes:
We seem to lurch from crisis to crisis.
She just lurches from one bad relationship to another.

v stumble verb (WALK)
> to step awkwardly while walking or running and fall or begin to fall:
Running along the beach, she stumbled on a log and fell on the sand.

v inkling
› a feeling that something is true or likely to happen, although you are not certain:
[+ that] I didn't have the slightest inkling that she was unhappy

v gaffe
› a remark or action that is a social mistake and not considered polite:
I made a real gaffe - I called his new wife "Judy", which is the name of his ex-wife.

 

Sep 26 2015 : The Economic Times (Bangalore)

Make Refineries Fast Forward Fuel Quality




Low crude prices offer India a huge opportunity
Volkswagen's diesel emissions fraud highlights how India trails developed countries in emission norms. India's primary constraint is fuel, rather than vehicle standards. Cheap crude offers India an opportunity to load a sizeable cess on fuel sales to finance the hefty investment needed in our refineries to raise the quality of fuel. Much of India still uses Bharat Stage III diesel and petrol norms, with sulphur content as high as 500 parts per million (ppm) -10 times the cap achieved 10 years ago in mature markets. The norm in major cities is BS IV , with sulphur capped at 50 ppm. But BS V or sulphur of 10 ppm is planned no earlier than 2020 and BS VI only by 2024.There is no need to drag out raising our standards.
The high surplur content in BS III diesel debilitates the working of particulate filters, catalytic converters and other pollution-treatment devices in automobiles. No wonder nitrogen oxides and particulate matter have risen to horrendous levels in our cities. Last May , then-Planning Commission member Saumitra Chaudhuri sub mitted a report, calling for a sulphur cess of 75 paise per litre on dieselpet rol to meet the estimated capital ex penditure of ` . 80,000 crore over a five year period. With the collapse of crude prices since, we can step up the cess and supply the entire nation with BS V quality fuel in, say , a year's time.In parallel, we need to suitably amend the rules in the Motor Vehicles Act. The norms says that once a geography is supplied with BS IV grade fuel, commercial vehicles are required to retro-fit catalytic converters and particulate filters within 24 months. Why such a long journey? A time of six months should be enough.


In tandem, there is the need to encourage public transport, step up investments in metro systems, modern lowfloor buses and provide bicycle paths in our main urban habitants. But the way forward is greatly improved transport fuel norms. We need to fast forward to ultra low-sulphur fuel to hugely reduce vehicular pollution of nitrogen oxides and particulate matter. Reducing the harmful externalities of automotive transport is an idea whose time has come.



v trail noun (PATH)
> a path through a countryside, mountain, or forest area, often made or used for a particular purpose:
a forest/mountain trail

v hefty
large in amount, size, force, etc.:
a hefty bill/fine

v debilitate
› to make someone or something physically weak:
Chemotherapy exhausted and debilitated him.

v horrendous
extremely unpleasant or bad:
a horrendous accident/tragedy/crime
horrendous suffering/damage



Sep 26 2015 : The Economic Times (Bangalore)

Collateral Victim, Not Big Brother




It is time for India to summon all its diplomatic resources to persuade the leaders of Nepal to appreciate India's domestic concerns over the potentially turbulent fallout of that country's new constitution that leaves half the population discontented. Indian officials, politicians and the media must avoid giving the impression that this is an attempt to play big brother. The principles of democracy and fairness that Nepal itself aspires to and India's interest in avoiding a spillover of Nepal's travails into India should be the focus of such persuasion. India has acted in good faith since the overthrow of the monarchy and stands prepared to support the young republic to find its feet -this must be the subtext of India's message to Nepal.
In the week since Nepal's new constitu tion was promulgated, the Terai region in southern Nepal, which accounts for a lit tle more than half the country's total pop ulation, has been engulfed in violence, in stead of celebrations. The Madhesi and Tharu indigenous groups, comprising about a quarter of the population in the Terai region bordering India, have been the most vocal opponents of the constitution. The two ethnic groups are protesting lack of representation proportional to their population, the drawing up of provinces in a manner that makes them a minority , and arduous citizenship rules. All of which reduces their political representation.


For India, the continued violence in southern Nepal, bordering Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, is a cause of concern, not limited to the impact on the October elections in Bihar. Continued violence and protests by the Tharus and Madhesis will further sharpen Nepal's polarisation on ethnic and regional lines.This will result in an unstable and turbulent Nepal which is not in India's interest.




v collateral noun [U] (SECURITY FOR DEBT )
valuable property owned by someone who wants to borrow money, that they agree will become the property of the company or person who lends the money if the debt is not paid back:
She used/put up her house as collateral for a loan.


v turbulent adjective (SITUATION/TIME)
>involving a lot of sudden changes, arguments, or violence:
a turbulent marriage
This has been a turbulent week for the administration.
v turbulent adjective (AIR/WATER)
› Turbulent air or water moves very strongly and suddenly:
The ocean was too turbulent for us to be able to take the boat out.

v fallout noun [U] (NUCLEAR)
› the radioactive dust in the air after a nuclear explosion:
cancer deaths caused by fallout from weapons testing
fallout noun [U] (UNPLEASANT RESULT)
› the unpleasant results or effects of an action or event:
The political fallout of the revelations has been immense.

v spillover noun [C] (LIQUID)
› an amount of liquid that has become too much for the object that contains it and flows or spreads out:
The spillover from the adjacent river flooded the lower fields.
v spillover noun [C] (EFFECTS)
› the effects of an activity that have spread further than was originally intended:
We are now witnessing a spillover of the war into neighbouring regions.

v travails
› the difficulties that are experienced as part of a particular situation:
The book chronicles the travails of a rural California family.

v promulgate verb [T] (SPREAD)
› to spread beliefs or ideas among a lot of people
promulgate verb [T] (ANNOUNCE)
› to announce something publicly, especially a new law:
The new law was finally promulgated in the autumn of last year.

v engulf
› to surround and cover something or someone completely:
The flames rapidly engulfed the house.
Northern areas of the country were engulfed by/in a snowstorm last night.
engulf
› to surround and cover something or someone completely:
The flames rapidly engulfed the house.
Northern areas of the country were engulfed by/in a snowstorm last night.

v indigenous
naturally existing in a place or country rather than arriving from another place:
Are there any species of frog indigenous to the area?
So who are the indigenous people of this land?

v arduous
difficult, needing a lot of effort and energy:
an arduous climb/task/journey



 

The NewYork times

 Hungary's Politics of Hate



BUDAPEST — While journalists flocked to cover the chaos at Budapest's Keleti Station and thousands of refugees marched on foot along the M1 motorway toward the Austrian border, Viktor Orban, the prime minister of Hungary, was watching the Hungary-Romania soccer match from his V.I.P. box in the Budapest football stadium.


Before the kickoff, Hungarian and Romanian "ultras" shouted Nazi slogans and fought one another at the stadium, after having warmed up by harassing, insulting and beating up hundreds of hopelessly exhausted refugees, who, in their panic, had mistaken the noise of fireworks for gunshots.
Mr. Orban, who recently built a $20 million dollar soccer stadium next door to his summer cottage — with seats for 4,000 people in a village with fewer than 2,000 inhabitants — had cut short a meeting with foreign leaders in Prague in order to get back to Budapest in time for the match. His behavior recalled the habit of Nicolae Ceausescu, the one-time Romanian Communist dictator, who never allowed social unrest to disturb his favorite pastime.


What is happening in Hungary is not just about the global refugee crisis and its consequences for Europe. It is also the beginning of the 2018 Hungarian election campaign. And it provides a cautionary tale about what could happen in Europe, and not only in Europe, when radical, nationalist populists take over the state.


Mr. Orban recently announced in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that his aim is "to keep Europe Christian." He began his xenophobic campaign eight months ago in Paris after the Charlie Hebdo massacre. He chose the massive demonstration in Paris on Jan. 11 as the most appropriate occasion to announce the need to stop the influx of non-Christian migrants to Europe.
For him the massacre demonstrated that migration inevitably leads to terror — despite the fact that the killers were not recent immigrants but long-settled French citizens. He insists that European political correctness and decadent moral relativism make it impossible to address this threat.


At the end of this unusually hot and tragic summer, he announced: "We are experiencing the end of a spiritual-intellectual era. The era of liberalism." But this, Mr. Orban declared, "provides the opportunity for the national-Christian thinking to regain its dominance not only in Hungary, but in the whole of Europe." To defend European Christendom, Hungary — together with the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania — voted last week against distributing 120,000 mostly Muslim asylum seekers among the European Union's member states. Never mind that the Hungarian minister of the interior announced in January 2014 that Hungary would be easily capable of accommodating 170,000 Hungarian-speaking Ukrainians, who are predominantly Christians, if they ever had to flee.


In early 2015, the popularity of the ruling party declined dramatically due to major corruption scandals involving the government and Mr. Orban's family. Voters started shifting toward the neo-Nazi Jobbik party — which is, distressingly, the only serious opposition to Mr. Orban's government. These neo-Nazis have been moralizing about anticorruption policies and defending the rights and interests of what they call true-born Hungarians.


Raising the refugee issue provided Mr. Orban's beleaguered government with a unique opportunity to mount a nationalist, racist, xenophobic campaign of its own — while of course taking care to distinguish itself from the neo-Nazis by refusing to spout hatred about either the Jews or the Roma.


Following a nationwide billboard campaign over the summer that incited hatred and spread fear with slogans like "If you come to Hungary, you must respect our culture," the country — as if it were at war — is now flooded with huge posters: "The people decided, we must defend our country." Faced with Mr. Orban's radicalism, the neo-Nazis look faint-hearted and indecisive. Had Jobbik done what the prime minister is doing now, it would have been widely denounced. But the prime minister is posing as the Christian savior of Europe.


According to the official history books — and there are only officially-approved history books in Hungarian schools today — Hungary has always been the last bastion of Christianity in Europe: against the Mongols in the 13th century, against the Ottomans in the 16th and 17th, and against the Bolsheviks during World War II.


Now, according to this narrative, Hungary is being forced to defend the same values as the West lapses into moral relativism, multiculturalism and same-sex marriage. Sometimes, according to the logic of Hungarian foreign policy, the only way to defend the traditions of Christianity is to make an alliance with the East, joining Vladimir Putin's crusade against the decadent West.


The country's top Catholic clergy is doing its part to arouse enmity, too. Cardinal Peter Erdo, who is also president of the Council of European Bishops, said that if the church provided asylum to the refugees, it would amount to becoming people-smugglers. The bishop of Szeged, Laszlo Kiss-Rigo, responded to Pope Francis' plea to show mercy to the refugees by asserting: "The pope does not know what he says." The church and government seem to have forgotten the hospitality Hungarian refugees experienced in the West when they fled after the Soviets crushed the 1956 revolution.


Hungary has already built a razor-wire fence along the Serbian border; it is now constructing another along the frontier with Croatia. Relations with neighboring countries haven't been worse since the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy in 1918. A new law passed by the ruling party with neo-Nazi support authorizes the government to introduce a state of emergency, mobilize military reservists, and treat illegal border crossing as a crime punishable by several years in prison.


Mr. Orban is bolstering his popularity by spreading fear and inciting hatred — not only against refugees, but against the thousands of Hungarians who have helped them day and night, in heat and rain. The country has turned into a fenced fortress that imagines it is fighting an enemy at the gates, and also an enemy within: the good-hearted Hungarians who dare to show solidarity with refugees, who are ashamed of their government, and who remember what happened to our Jewish Hungarian compatriots in 1944.


Hungarian democrats now find themselves unwelcome refugees in their own country, ruled by a government that would gladly transport them to the Austrian border

v flock noun (GROUP)
› [C, + sing/pl verb] a group of sheep, goats, or birds:
a flock of sheep/goats/geese
The shepherd is bringing his flock down from the hills.

v radical
>a person who supports great social and political change:
She was a radical all her life.

v savior
› a person who saves someone from danger or harm
› In Christianity, the Savior is a name for Jesus.

v decadence
low moral standards and behaviour:
Western decadence

v bolster
› to support or improve something or make it stronger:
More money is needed to bolster the industry.
She tried to bolster my confidence/morale (= encourage me and make me feel stronger) by telling me that I had a special talent.
They need to do something to bolster their image.

v solidarity
>agreement between and support for the members of a group, especially a political group:
The situation raises important questions about solidarity among member states of the UN.



          

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