Topic Of The Day:-“Count On Democracy”

With Polling Concluded, India Needs To Heal Itself From The Bitter, Fact-Free Campaign

With the seventh phase of polling for the 17th general election over, the anxious wait is now for counting day. The election dates were announced on March 10, and the first phase of polling took place on April 11. The entire process will take 11 weeks to complete; polling itself was spread over six weeks. The consolidated turnout till the sixth phase was 67.37%, as against 66.4% in 2014, and there were 8,049 candidates. The compulsions on the Election Commission of India to stretch the exercise into a painfully long-drawn process are unclear. Given the absence of a rationale for such a prolonged schedule, doubts were raised whether it was designed to help Prime Minister Narendra Modi campaign in the widest possible manner. That was the first instance of the EC’s impartiality and integrity coming under doubt during this election season, but not the last. A series of lapses that followed accumulated into a crisis of credibility for the commission. By being reluctant to hold Mr. Modi to standards set in the past, the EC has bruised its reputation. The process of decision-making in the three-member commission itself was called into question, with one member notifying the others that he would not participate in meetings on complaints regarding violations of the Model Code of Conduct unless his dissent, when made, is recorded in the final order. The wisdom of holding elections over stretched phases needs to be revisited in light of this years’ experience and feedback from stakeholders. And restoring its reputation and integrity must be the commission’s immediate priority.

Some self-reflection is called for as the country concludes a bitterly fought election during which boundaries of civil public debate have been crossed and norms breached. What makes 2019 unprecedented is not that inappropriate words were used and misinformation spread, but the fact that India witnessed an increasing tendency to normalise these. In the 2019 campaign, the leaders of the government preempted a fact-based debate on its performance of five years by blocking or contaminating official data on job generation and other parameters, and successfully pushed electioneering into a fact-free zone filled with emotive and divisive issues. This was a double whammy for democracy. On the one hand, informed discussions have become difficult, and on the other, social tensions have risen. The outcome on Thursday remains a suspense, but the incoming Prime Minister, whoever that will be, must take the initiative to rally all Indians around a truly inclusive and secular national agenda as soon he or she takes over.


  1. anxious

Meaning: feeling or showing worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome.

Synonyms: Worried, concerned, apprehensive

Antonyms: Carefree, unconcerned

Example Sentence: “she was extremely anxious about her exams”

  1. spread over

Meaning: To move across and cover someone or something.

Synonyms: Cap, climb, Cover

Antonyms: Retreat, Descend

Example Sentence: Dark clouds spread over the sky and blotted out the sun.

  1. consolidated

Meaning: make (something) physically stronger or more solid.

Synonyms: strengthen, make stronger, make secure, secure

Antonyms: Decrease, Discourage, Disperse

Example Sentence: “the first phase of the project is to consolidate the outside walls”

  1. compulsions

Meaning: the action or state of forcing or being forced to do something; constraint.

Synonyms: Obligation, constraint, force, coercion

Antonyms: Free Will, Freedom, Independence

Example Sentence: “the payment was made under compulsion”

  1. stretch

Meaning: (of something soft or elastic) be made or be capable of being made longer or wider without tearing or breaking.

Synonyms: be elastic, be stretchy, be stretchable

Antonyms: stagnation

Example Sentence: “my jumper stretched in the wash”

  1. rationale

Meaning: a set of reasons or a logical basis for a course of action or belief.

Synonyms: reason(s), reasoning, thinking, (logical) basis, logic, grounds

Antonyms: Discouragement, Proof

Example Sentence: “he explained the rationale behind the change”

  1. prolonged

Meaning: continuing for a long time or longer than usual; lengthy.

Synonyms: Lengthen, make longer, extend, extend the duration of

Antonyms: shorten

Example Sentence: “the region suffered a prolonged drought”

  1. impartiality

Meaning: equal treatment of all rivals or disputants; fairness.

Synonyms: Equality, Fairness

Antonyms: Unfairness

Example Sentence: “entries had to be submitted under a pseudonym to ensure impartiality in the judging process”

  1. lapses

Meaning: a brief or temporary failure of concentration, memory, or judgement.

Synonyms: Failure, failing, slip, error, mistake, blunder

Antonyms: Accuracy, Care, Advantage

Example Sentence: “a lapse of concentration in the second set cost her the match”

  1. accumulated

Meaning: gather together or acquire an increasing number or quantity of.

Synonyms: gather, collect, assemble

Antonyms: dissipate

Example Sentence: “her goal was to accumulate a huge fortune”

  1. reluctant

Meaning: unwilling and hesitant; disinclined.

Synonyms: Unwilling, disinclined, unenthusiastic, grudging

Antonyms: Willing, eager, ready

Example Sentence: “today, many ordinary people are still reluctant to talk about politics”

  1. bruised

Meaning: (of food) having been crushed or pounded / (of a person or body part) having a bruise or bruises.

Synonyms: Bang Up, Injure

Antonyms: Aid, Compliment

Example Sentence: “a bruised knee”

  1. reputation

Meaning: the beliefs or opinions that are generally held about someone or something.

Synonyms: Name, good name, character, repute

Antonyms: Unimportance, Disbelief

Example Sentence: “his reputation was tarnished by allegations of bribery”

  1. dissent

Meaning: the holding or expression of opinions at variance with those commonly or officially held.

Synonyms: Disagreement, lack of agreement, difference of opinion

Antonyms: agreement, acceptance

Example Sentence: “there was no dissent from this view”

  1. breached


Synonyms: Break (through), burst (through), rupture, force itself through

Antonyms: Agreement, Closing

Example Sentence: “the river breached its bank”

  1. unprecedented

Meaning: never done or known before.

Synonyms: Unparalleled, unequalled, unmatched, unrivalled, without parallel

Antonyms: normal, common

Example Sentence: “the government took the unprecedented step of releasing confidential correspondence”

  1. tendency

Meaning: never done or known before.

Synonyms: Propensity, proclivity, proneness, aptness

Antonyms: Dislike, Hate

Example Sentence: “for students, there is a tendency to socialize in the evenings”

  1. pre-empted

Meaning: take action in order to prevent (an anticipated event) happening; forestall.

Synonyms: forestall, prevent

Example Sentence: “the government pre-empted a coup attempt”

  1. whammy

Meaning: an event with a powerful and unpleasant effect; a blow / an evil or unlucky influence.

Example Sentence: “the third whammy was the degradation of the financial system”

  1. takes over

Meaning: to begin to do something that someone else was doing

Synonyms: Potent, Robust

Antonyms: Apathetic, Delicate

Example Sentence: IBM is taking over the smaller company.