TOPIC OF THE DAY:-“Russian Steadfastness”

There were several other concrete outcomes from the Putin-Modi summit. India and Russia signed on to a document to expand civil nuclear energy cooperation and agreed on a second site for Russian nuclear reactors. They signed a memorandum of understanding on a joint programme in the field of human space-flight, enabling Indian astronauts to be trained in Russia. They also agreed on the virtues of a regional security architecture to provide security to all countries in Asia and in the regions of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. This seemed to demonstrate a clear ‘mutuality of interests’.

The 2+2 Dialogue, for its part, marks a paradigmatic change in the nature of India-U.S. relations. It hence needs to be viewed, more appropriately, as the culmination of a long-standing attempt by the U.S. to woo India, something that has been in the works for some time. As a prelude to this, the U.S. had renamed the Asia-Pacific as the Indo-Pacific. It had blocked more than $1.5 billion in U.S. security aid to Pakistan, allotting a mere $150 million in 2019. U.S.-India economic cooperation was stated to have grown exponentially within two decades, with the total goods and services trade between India and U.S. increasing from $11.2 billion in 1995 to $126.2 billion in 2017. U.S. foreign direct investment into India substantially increased during this period. The most important bait was India being accorded the status of a ‘major defence partner’.

The underlying theme of the 2+2 Dialogue, notwithstanding all this, seems however, aimed at forging a possible containment of China strategy, with India partnering the U.S. in this effort. The U.S., at present, perceives China as posing a major challenge to its supremacy, and ‘the most significant threat to U.S. interest from a counter-intelligence perspective’. Whether China was specifically discussed or not in the course of the 2+2 Dialogue, it was obviously the 400-pound gorilla in the room.

The U.S. has obviously been preparing for this for some time, unleashing a spate of allegations against China. These include an implicit reference to the threat China posed to other nations in the region, including India, given that China had the second largest defence budget in the world, the largest standing army, the third largest air force, and was rapidly expanding its navy. Specific mention was also made by the U.S. to the Chinese navy’s ‘anti-access’ capabilities and its ‘area denial tactics’, possibly intended to warn countries in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) like India of the growing menace posed by the Chinese navy.

Differences in the outcomes of the Putin-Modi summit and the promises made in 2+2 dialogue are thus quite apparent. Russia was essentially seeking to cement a relationship with India that has existed for several years. It was not insisting on any exclusivity as far as relationships go. The U.S. wanted India to view foreign policy perspectives largely through a U.S. prism, and thereafter make a choice. For India to steer between this Scylla of Russia and the Charybdis of the U.S., however, is not going to be easy. Russia has already given a hint that it has the option of other choices, which might not exclude Pakistan. The U.S., meanwhile, tends to behave like a ‘jealous mistress’ and is insistent on India making the right choice.

The situation is greatly complicated by the fact that the world today faces a post-Cold War situation. The rise of China’s economic power and its growing military might, and the re-emergence of Russia are significant pointers to this situation. The U.S., hence, no longer holds all the cards. Additionally, many existing precepts are undergoing changes. For example, the threat to the rules-based international order today comes as much from within existing democracies.

At such a time, the 2+2 Dialogue and the Putin visit within a few weeks of each have has left India with more questions than answers on what options to follow. India can hardly alienate Russia as it re-emerges as a key presence in Asia and Eurasia. Appearing to reject U.S. overtures, while the latter is seen making every effort to provide India with state-of-the art defence equipment, and acting in tandem with it in groupings such as the Quadrilateral, could prove short-sighted. Mature strategic judgment is called for in these circumstances.

Undoubtedly, India and China have differences on several issues, including problems at several points along the border between the two countries. Many points of divergence with regard to the current world situation also exist. There is also a subliminal struggle between them for the leadership of Asia. Nevertheless, neither India nor China appears ready for an open conflict as it would cost both countries dearly. India is also not unaware of a U.S. lack of resolve to actively resist China’s territorial expansion in the South China Sea, and in preventing China from expanding its naval activities in the IOR. The abortive U.S. “pivot to Asia” is a stark reminder of the limitation of U.S. capabilities.


1) egos

Meaning : a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance.

Tamil Meaning :

Synonyms : pridefulness, egotism

Antonyms : humility

Example : “he needed a boost to his ego”

2) helm

Meaning : a tiller or wheel for steering a ship or boat.

Tamil Meaning : தலைமையில்

Synonyms : wheel , tug

Antonyms : refrain

Example : “she stayed at the helm, alert for tankers”

3) unsavoury

Meaning : disagreeable to taste, smell, or look at.(adj)

Tamil Meaning : சுவையற்ற

Synonyms : unsavory , odoriferous

Antonyms : savory

Example : “they looked at the scanty, unsavoury portions of food doled out to them”(adj)

4) malaise

Meaning : a general feeling of discomfort, illness, or unease whose exact cause is difficult to identify.(n)

Tamil Meaning : உடல்சோர்வு

Synonyms : discomfort , uncomfortableness

Antonyms : comfort

Example : “a general air of malaise”(n)

5) rot

Meaning : (chiefly of animal or vegetable matter) decay or cause to decay by the action of bacteria and fungi; decompose.(v) , the process of decaying.(n)

Tamil Meaning : அழுகல்

Synonyms : decompose

Antonyms : ascend

Example : “the chalets were neglected and their woodwork was rotting away(v), “the leaves were turning black with rot”(n)

6) embarking

Meaning : go on board a ship or aircraft.(v)

Tamil Meaning : மேற்கொள்ளவேண்டும்

Synonyms : begin

Antonyms : end

Example : “he embarked for India in 1817″(v)

7) bribery

Meaning : the giving or offering of a bribe.(n)

Tamil Meaning : லஞ்சம்

Synonyms : felony

Antonyms : stand still

Example : “his opponent had been guilty of bribery and corruption”(n)

8) pervasive

Meaning : (especially of an unwelcome influence or physical effect) spreading widely throughout an area or a group of people.(adj)

Tamil Meaning : பரவலாக

Synonyms : distributive , permeant

Antonyms : collective

Example : “ageism is pervasive and entrenched in our society”(adj)

9) implicated

Meaning : show (someone) to be involved in a crime.(v)

Tamil Meaning : ஈடுபடுவதாக

Synonyms : involved

Antonyms : uninvolved

Example : “he implicated his government in the murders of three judges”(v)

10) probes

Meaning : a thorough investigation into a crime or other matter.(n)

Tamil Meaning : ஆய்வுகளை

Synonyms : enquire

Antonyms : abstain

Example : “a probe into city hall corruption”(n)

11) sought

Meaning : attempt to find (something).(v)

Tamil Meaning : முயன்று

Synonyms : wanted

Antonyms : unwanted

Example : “they came here to seek shelter from biting winter winds”(v)

12) accused

Meaning : a person or group of people who are charged with or on trial for a crime.(n)

Tamil Meaning : குற்றஞ்சாட்டினார்

Synonyms : defendant

Antonyms : believe

Example : “the accused was ordered to stand trial on a number of charges”(n)

13) stripped

Meaning : remove all coverings from.(v)

Tamil Meaning : பறிக்கப்பட்டது

Synonyms : unclothed

Antonyms : ample

Example : “they stripped the bed”(v)

14) corroborate

Meaning : confirm or give support to (a statement, theory, or finding).

Tamil Meaning : உறுதிபடுத்த

Synonyms : prove

Antonyms : negate

Example : “the witness had corroborated the boy’s account of the attack”

15) disillusioned

Meaning : disappointed in someone or something that one discovers to be less good than one had believed.

Tamil Meaning : மயக்கத்தில்

Synonyms : disenchanted

Antonyms : naive

Example : “the minority groups were completely disillusioned with the party”

16) caged

Meaning : confine in a cage.(v)

Tamil Meaning : கூண்டிலடைக்கப்பட்ட

Synonyms : enclosure

Antonyms : accelerate

Example : “the parrot screamed, furious at being caged”(v)

17) augur

Meaning : (of an event or circumstance) portend a good or bad outcome.(v)

Tamil Meaning : முன்கூட்டி அறிவி

Synonyms : omen , threaten

Antonyms : contraindicate

Example : “the end of the cold war seemed to augur well”(v)

18) vehement

Meaning : showing strong feeling; forceful, passionate, or intense.(adj)

Tamil Meaning : தீவிரமான

Synonyms : intense , violent

Antonyms : mild

Example : “her voice was low but vehement”(adj)

19) whirlwind

Meaning : used with reference to a very energetic person or a tumultuous process.(n)

Tamil Meaning : சுழல்காற்று

Synonyms : hurricane

Example : “a whirlwind of activity”(n)

20) paving

Meaning : a surface made up of flat stones laid in a pattern.(n)

Tamil Meaning : வகுத்து

Synonyms : curbside

Antonyms : artifact

Example : “weeds had forced their way up through the cracked paving”(n)