Topic Of The Day:-“Role of government”
In the light of these violations, it may have been more helpful if the Vice-President had said that the constitutional provisions are inadequate by themselves and the role of government is fundamental in advancing them. In fact, it is precisely because we cannot rely on civilisational values that may or may not be enshrined in the constitution to deliver us rights that we adopt democracy as the form of government. Historically, votaries of civilisational values have struggled to break free of cultural prejudices and accord similar status to other civilisations. Not very long ago, colonialism had been justified on civilisational terms, with the very term “civilised” being used to differentiate the West from the indigenous populations of the lands colonised by Europe. It is perhaps this that led Gandhi to respond to the query of what he thought of Western civilisation by saying, “I think it would be a good idea.” Gandhi is unlikely to have been any softer on champions of the superiority of eastern civilisations. Civilisational hubrisabounds in claims of “the inclusivity of Hinduism” or “the egalitarianism of Islam”. Whatever be the exhortations in the texts that underlie these religions, the history of caste and gender inequality in India and Islamic societies, respectively, show them to have been neither inclusive nor egalitarian. It is clear that civilisational values, in our case Indian, are far from sufficient to deliver us the rights that we seek to make our own. Though the UN’s declaration of human rights is expansive, in his speech the Vice-President took it further to include social and economic rights. It is clear that Indian civilisation has not had much success in ensuring their delivery. If any progress has at all been made in the desired direction, it has been after the adoption of a democratic form of governance; an arrangement that is distinctly non-Indian in its origins. In terms of human development, 21st century India is radically different from what it was in the 20th century. That economic inequality has steadily risen and ecological stress is written all over the country cannot take away from the fact that there has been progress of a form that has collapsed social distance. The rise to the prime ministership of India of Mr. Narendra Modi is the best testament to this. There is social churning in India, with some of it having come through affirmative action and some of it through economic transformation in which the more recent liberalisation of the economy has had some role. However, as India has managed to shed some of the centuries old practices that maintained social distance due to caste and economic differentiation, newer axes of power have emerged. We have begun to see an unimaginable rise of violence against women and Muslims. Hardening patriarchy and Hindu chauvinism are India’s unanticipated demons. These have taken us by surprise, and as a society we appear to be incapable of handling them.
MEANINGS AND WORDS
Meaning: Preserve (a right, tradition, or idea) in a form that ensures it will be protected and respected.
Example: The right of all workers to strike was enshrined in the new constitution.
Synonyms: Embody, Express
Meaning: Make forceful or violent efforts to get free of restraint or constriction.
Example: Before she could struggle, he lifted her up.
Synonyms: Fight, Grapple
Meaning: Give or grant someone (power, status, or recognition).
Example: The powers accorded to the head of state.
Synonyms: Give, Grant
Antonyms: Without, Remove
Meaning: The policy or practice of acquiring full or partial political control over another country, occupying it with settlers, and exploiting it economically.
Example: The state apparatus that was dominant under colonialism.
Meaning: Originating or occurring naturally in a particular place; native.
Example: The indigenous peoples of Siberia.
Synonyms: Native, Aboriginal
Antonyms: Expatriate, Migrant
Meaning: Excessive pride or self-confidence.
Example: The self-assured hubris among economists was shaken in the late 1980s.
Synonyms: Arrogance, Conceit
Meaning: Exist in large numbers or amounts.
Example: Rumours of a further scandal abound.
Synonyms: Proliferate, Flourish
Antonyms: Meagre, Scanty
Meaning: An address or communication emphatically urging someone to do something.
Example: Exhortations to consumers to switch off electrical appliances.
Synonyms: Urging, Persuasion
Meaning: Believing in or based on the principle that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities.
Example: A fairer, more egalitarian society.
Meaning: Something that serves as a sign or evidence of a specified fact, event, or quality.
Example: Growing attendance figures are a testament to the event’s popularity.
Synonyms: Testimony, Witness
Meaning: The number of customers who decide to stop using a service offered by one company and to use another company, usually because it offers a better service or price.
Example: Internet and cable television companies suffer from a high churn rate.