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.
MEANINGS AND WORDS
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”
- 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.
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”
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”
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
Example Sentence: “my jumper stretched in the wash”
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”
Meaning: continuing for a long time or longer than usual; lengthy.
Synonyms: Lengthen, make longer, extend, extend the duration of
Example Sentence: “the region suffered a prolonged drought”
Meaning: equal treatment of all rivals or disputants; fairness.
Synonyms: Equality, Fairness
Example Sentence: “entries had to be submitted under a pseudonym to ensure impartiality in the judging process”
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”
Meaning: gather together or acquire an increasing number or quantity of.
Synonyms: gather, collect, assemble
Example Sentence: “her goal was to accumulate a huge fortune”
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”
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”
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”
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”
Synonyms: Break (through), burst (through), rupture, force itself through
Antonyms: Agreement, Closing
Example Sentence: “the river breached its bank”
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”
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”
Meaning: take action in order to prevent (an anticipated event) happening; forestall.
Synonyms: forestall, prevent
Example Sentence: “the government pre-empted a coup attempt”
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”
- 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.