Topic Of The Day:-“Always undecided

As the Congress has lost ground, its leaders have swung between advocating a middle path and plotting a frontal battle against Hindutva. At his first press conference as Prime Minister in 2004, Manmohan Singh had said, “I am opposed to fundamentalism of all types — whether it is fundamentalism from the Left or fundamentalism from the Right.” His studied neutrality resonated at that time with many in a party grappling with strategies to counter the BJP’s no-holds-barred ideological onslaught. But it had annoyed the Left parties supporting the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government as well as those in the party who wanted it to pursue a more vigorous brand of anti-Hindutva.

Ten years later, when the Congress lost power, senior party leader A.K. Antony had raised questions over the party’s commitment to secularism, saying, “People have lost faith in the secular credentials of the party. They have a feeling that the Congress bats for a few communities, especially minorities.” Mr. Antony stressed that he was referring only to Kerala, but most Congressmen extrapolated it to mean he was referring to the country.

As the BJP flourished, a stream of Congress members shifted allegiance to it. And, over the last four years, with mounting instances of intolerance, including lynching of Muslims and Dalits, cow vigilantism and ‘love jehad’ campaigns, a helpless Congress has looked on, swinging between taking the occasional potshot at the BJP-Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and actions that party MP Shashi Tharoor has evocatively described as ‘BJP-lite’.

This confusion was reflected in the party’s stand on former President Pranab Mukherjee’s recent speech to RSS novices at its headquarters in Nagpur. Senior Congressmen had urged him to refuse the RSS’s invitation. After the event, the party’s official response was effusive. Even though Mr. Mukherjee had described RSS founder K.B. Hedgewar as “a great son of Mother India”, the party said his subsequent address had shown the “mirror of truth to the RSS”. A belated invitation was even sent to Mr. Mukherjee to attend the Congress’s iftaar party. In the process, the party embarrassed a large section within its own ranks, even as it sent out a confused signal to the minorities while holding an iftaar party after a gap of two years.

Ironically, a few days after Mr. Mukherjee’s all-things-to-all-ideologies speech in Nagpur, Congress president Rahul Gandhi appeared in a court in Bhiwandi where he is facing a defamation suit for allegedly saying, in a public speech in the run-up to the general election in 2014, that “RSS people” killed Mahatma Gandhi. Mr. Gandhi has also, on his part, framed his battle against the RSS-BJP combine as “ideological” — in line with the party’s official line since the RSS’s formation in 1925, and with the ban imposed on the organisation thrice by different Congress governments at the Centre — after Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination in 1948, during the Emergency, and after the destruction of the Babri Masjid in 1992.

Meanwhile, privately, several senior party functionaries spoke of their disquiet over the message sent out by Mr. Mukherjee’s visit to the RSS headquarters. But it was left to former Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tiwari to give voice to it. In a series of tweets, he told Mr. Mukherjee, “You were a part of the govt that banned RSS in 1975 & then again in 1992. Don’t you think you should tell us what was evil about RSS then that has become virtuous now?”


1) Grappling

Meaning: Struggle to deal with or overcome (a difficulty or challenge).

Example: “Other towns are still grappling with the problem”

Synonyms: Tackle, Confront

Antonyms: Avoid

2) Credentials

Meaning: A document proving a person’s identity or qualifications.

Example:  “Examine carefully the credentials of all callers before admitting them”

3) Extrapolated

Meaning: Extend the application of (a method or conclusion) to an unknown situation by assuming that existing trends will continue or similar methods will be applicable.

Example: “The results cannot be extrapolated to other patient groups”

4) Flourished

Meaning: Be working or at the height of one’s career during a specified period.

Example: “The caricaturist and wit who flourished in the early years of this century”

Synonyms: Thrive, Prosper

Antonyms: Decline

5) Allegiance

Meaning: Loyalty or commitment to a superior or to a group or cause.

Example: “Those wishing to receive citizenship must swear allegiance to the republic”

Synonyms: Loyalty, Fidelity

Antonyms: Disloyalty, Treachery

6) Mounting

Meaning: (Of a feeling) become stronger or more intense.

Example: “His anxiety mounted as messages were left unanswered”

7) Lynching

Meaning: (Of a group of people) kill (someone) for an alleged offence without a legal trial, especially by hanging.

Example: “Her father had been lynched by whites”

Synonyms: Hang, Execute

8) Vigilantism

Meaning: Law enforcement undertaken without legal authority by a self-appointed group of people.

Example: “The message here is not to encourage vigilantism”

9) Jehad

Meaning: The spiritual struggle within oneself against sin.

Example: “He declared a jihad against the infidels”

10) Evocatively

Meaning: Making you remember or imagine something pleasant.

Example: “A sound evocative of the sea”

11) Effusive

Meaning: Showing or expressing gratitude, pleasure, or approval in an unrestrained or heartfelt manner.

Example: “An effusive welcome”

Synonyms: Gushing, Gushy

Antonyms: Restrained

12) Embarrassed

Meaning: Feeling or showing embarrassment.

Example: “I felt quite embarrassed whenever I talked to her”

Synonyms: Awkward, Uneasy

Antonyms: Unabashed

13) Ironically

Meaning: Using words that suggest the opposite of what you intend, usually in order to be humorous.

Example: “The play was full of witty, ironic banter”

14) Allegedly

Meaning: Used to convey that something is claimed to be the case or have taken place, although there is no proof.

Example: “He was allegedly a leading participant in the coup attempt”

synonyms: Reportedly, Supposedly

15) Assassination

Meaning: The action of assassinating someone.

Example: “The assassination of President Kennedy”

Synonyms: Murder, Killing

16) Disquiet

Meaning: A feeling of worry or unease.

Example: “Public disquiet about animal testing”

Synonyms: Unease, Worry

Antonyms: Calm

17) Virtuous

Meaning: Having or showing high moral standards.

Example: “She considered herself very virtuous because she neither drank nor smoked”

Synonyms: Righteous, Good

Antonyms: Bad, Sinful