Topic Of The Day:-“The unifier”
The architect of a reunified Germany and a staunch champion of European integration, Helmut Kohl, who died at 87, was the longest-serving German Chancellor since World War II. The steely politician, who lost his bid for a fifth consecutive term as head of his conservative Christian Democratic Union in 1998, went into political wilderness within months thereafter, following a controversy over anonymousdonations to his party. Raised in an austere Roman Catholic family, Kohl first came into prominence when he was 39, becoming minister-president of Rhineland-Palatinate in 1969. He emerged as president of the CDU in the early 1970s, and held the position with a firm grip until the end of his political life. Over the decades he mentored the careers of several leaders, including two former presidents, and the incumbent Chancellor Angela Merkel in the 1990s. Kohl was catapulted to high office in 1982, when the liberal Free Democratic Party quit the ruling coalition with the Social Democrats to back the CDU. His early years as Chancellor were notable for the efforts to embed Germany in the Western alliance, improve relations with the Soviet Union and promote post-War reconciliation. His 1985 visit along with President Ronald Reagan to the site of the Bergen-Belsen SS concentration camp and the Bitburg military cemetery, marking the 40th anniversary of liberation from Nazi rule, stoked controversy both at home and in the U.S. But it took until almost the close of the decade before Kohl would begin to play a pivotal part in the developments that culminated in the end of the Cold War. The prospect of a reunited Germany, following the momentous 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall, caused deep scepticism among both European leaders and the Soviet Union’s Mikhail Gorbachev over the potential economic dominance by what would become Europe’s largest nation. However, Kohl’s broader vision of a Germany at the heart of a federal Europe and his instinct for compromise helped overcome such apprehensions in the years that followed. His embrace of Europe’s move towards the adoption of a common currency was a French idea. François Mitterrand, his French counterpart, regarded the Deutschemark as Germany’s nuclear bomb. The euro thus emerged as a concrete, if controversial, symbol of forging a collective European economic future, above all between the union’s two locomotors, Paris and Berlin. When faced with a domestic audience reluctant to see the national currency replaced, Kohl declared that the adoption of monetary union would be a matter of war or peace in the 21st century. Indeed, the recent debt crisis in the Eurozone exposed the limits of introducing a common currency without concomitant political integration. Berlin’s commitment to closer union within the EU, despite recent setbacks to the original project, is a lasting legacy from the Kohl era.
MEANINGS AND WORDS
Meaning: Showing understanding, acting in a positive way, and not following old-fashioned or false beliefs.
Example: The school has an enlightened policy of teaching boys to cook.
Synonyms: Informed, Civilized
Meaning: A generally accepted opinion or decision among a group of people.
Example: The general consensus in the office is that he can’t do his job.
Synonyms: Agreement, Concord
Meaning: A communication made to someone in order to offer something.
Example: Neither side in the conflict seems willing to make peace overtures.
Synonyms: Prelude, Preliminary, Introduction
Meaning: Extremely important or urgent.
Example: The president said it was imperative that the release of all hostages be secured.
Synonyms: Vital important, Required
Antonyms: Unimportant, Optional
Meaning: A political or religious system controlling a country at a particular time.
Example: Minorities have a special voice in the new constitutional dispensation.
Synonyms: System, Order, Scheme
Meaning: To change something so that all its parts or features become the same or very similar.
Example: TV has homogenized the culture and language of large parts of the planet.
Synonyms: Make Uniform, Amalgamate
Meaning: A particular government or a system or method of government.
Example: The old corrupt, totalitarian regime was overthrown.
Synonyms: System, Reign
Meaning: Officially having the named position.
Example: The incumbent president faces problems which began many years before he took office.
Antonyms: Optional, Past
Meaning: To imagine or expect that something is a likely or desirable possibility in the future.
Example: He envisioned a partnership between business and government.
Synonyms: Visualize, Intend
Meaning: To join together into one country, parts of a country that were divided.
Example: On 20 June 1991, Germany was reunified.
Meaning: To suddenly experience a particular state, such as being famous.
Example: The award for best actress meant that almost overnight she was catapulted into the limelight.
Synonyms: Propel, Sling
Meaning: A temporary alliance for combined action, especially of political parties forming a government.
Example: His party failed to win an overall majority and a coalition government was formed.
Synonyms: Alliance, Federation, Amalgamation, Conjunction
Meaning: To fix something firmly into a substance.
Example: The plaque was embedded in a wall at the rear of the house.
Synonyms: Implant, Sink
Meaning: A situation in which two people or groups of people become friendly again after they have argued.
Example: It took hours of negotiations to bring about a reconciliation between the two sides.
Synonyms: Reuniting, Reunion
Antonyms: Estrangement, Alienation
Meaning: An area of ground in which dead bodies are buried.
Example: We came across a run-down cemetery, full of tumbled gravestones.
Synonyms: Graveyard, Churchyard
Meaning: Central and important.
Example: Japan’s pivotal role in the world economy.
Synonyms: Central, Crucial, Vital
Meaning: Reach a climax or point of highest development.
Example: Nine days of processions and parades culminating in a dramatic fire-walking ceremony.
Synonyms: Come to a climax, end with
Antonyms: Start, Begin
Meaning: Very important because of effects on future events.
Example: The momentous news of the president’s death.
Synonyms: Significant, Important
Antonyms: Trivial, Insignificant
Meaning: Accept (a belief, theory, or change) willingly and enthusiastically.
Example: Its articles, uniformly excellent and insightful, accept, even embrace, controversy.
Synonyms: Accept, Support, Include
Antonyms: Reject, Exclude
Meaning: Something that happens with something else and is connected with it.
Example: Loss of memory is a natural concomitant of old age.
Synonyms: Attendant, Accessory