Topic Of The Day:-“Bring In The Experts: On Jayalalithaa’s Death”

Jayalalithaa’s Death Does Not Deserve To Be Clouded By Murky Conspiracy Theories

The philosopher Karl Popper argued that conspiracy theories are often premised on thenotion that events are manipulated by sinister groups, shaped by a distrust of the notion of randomness and a yearning to explain phenomena in terms of an underlying or intentional order. From the birth of history, the death of famous people has provided a breeding ground for conspiracy theories. Clearly, the unfortunate and untimely passing away of Jayalalithaa has become a playing ground for such ‘theorists’. Astonishingly, more than a year after she died, two Tamil Nadu Ministers have called for a probe into her death by a special investigation team. Meanwhile, the Commission of Inquiry headed by Justice (retired) A. Arumughaswamy, constituted in September 2017 to probe her illness and death, is well into a third extension of itstenure. If it sometimes appears as if the Commission is shooting blindfolded in a dark room with blanks, that is because it is unclear if its principal focus is the issue of the “circumstances and situation leading to her hospitalisation”, “subsequent treatment” and “unfortunate demise” or a larger conspiracy into her death. Both issues could be related, in theory. But if the main task is todetermine whether the former Chief Minister received adequate medical attention before she was admitted in hospital and during her 75-day stay there, then this can only be settled by independent medical experts.The corporate hospital she was treated in has filed a petition before the Commission seeking the constitution of a medical board comprising experts in a range of specialities to examine the case records and the interventions made by its doctors. This is an eminently sensible suggestion, given the complex and debilitating matrix of conditions that Jayalalithaa suffered from. Only a complete understanding of her overall medical condition can result in a fair conclusion about the treatment she got. The importance of doing this is all the greater, given reports of critical errors in the recording of depositions of doctors before the Commission. One of them has gone as far as to say his application to correct errors has failed. The conspiracy angle has been given a new andperplexing lease of life with the Commission’s counsel accusing the hospital and the State’s Health Secretary of “conspiracy” and “collusion” in providing “inappropriate treatment”. It would be improper to suggest that the Arumughaswamy panel is conducting the probe in anything but a fair manner, but it is essential that it also gives the impression that it is doing just that. After all, there is no getting away from the fact that the setting up of an inquiry commission had a clear political motive — it was a condition that needed to be satisfied to unite the warring AIADMKfactions. Chasing elusive conspiracies will not enhance the Commission’s image; taking the help of competent experts will.


1) conspiracy

Meaning : a secret plan by a group to do something unlawful or harmful(n).

Synonyms : sedition

Antonyms : honesty

Example : “a conspiracy to destroy the government”

2) premised

Meaning : base an argument, theory, or undertaking on(v).

Synonyms : assume

Antonyms : complete

Example : “the reforms were premised on our findings”

3) notion

Meaning : a conception of or belief about something(n).

Synonyms : concept

Antonyms : concrete

Example : “children have different notions about the roles of their parents”

4) manipulated

Meaning : handle or control (a tool, mechanism, information, etc.) in a skilful manner(v).

Synonyms : employ

Antonyms : destroy

Example : “he manipulated the dials of the set”

5) probe

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

Synonyms : exploration

Antonyms : absurd

Example : “a probe into city hall corruption”

6) tenure

Meaning : the holding of an office(n).

Synonyms : occupation

Antonyms : release

Example : “his tenure of the premiership would be threatened”

7) determine

Meaning : cause (something) to occur in a particular way or to have a particular nature(v).

Synonyms : complete

Antonyms : bear

Example : “it will be her mental attitude that determines her future”

8) interventions

Meaning : the action or process of intervening(n).

Synonyms : interference

Example : “a high degree of state intervention in the economy”

9) eminently

Meaning : to a notable degree; very(adv).

Synonyms : extremely

Antonyms : unimportantly

Example : “an eminently readable textbook”

10) debilitating

Meaning : (of a disease or condition) making someone very weak and infirm(adj).

Synonyms : attenuate

Antonyms : assist

Example : “debilitating back pain”

11) perplexing

Meaning : completely baffling; very puzzling(adj).

Synonyms : confusing

Antonyms : easy

Example : “a perplexing problem”

12) accusing

Meaning : (of an expression, gesture, or tone of voice) indicating a belief in someone’s guilt or culpability(adj).

Synonyms : arraign

Antonyms : applaud

Example : “she stared at him with accusing eyes”

13) lease

Meaning : grant (property) on lease; let(v).

Synonyms : hire

Antonyms : sell

Example : “she leased the site to a local company”

14) impression

Meaning : an idea, feeling, or opinion about something or someone, especially one formed without conscious thought or on the basis of little evidence(n).

Synonyms : impact

Antonyms : beginning

Example : “his first impressions of Manchester were very positive”

15) factions

Meaning : a small organized dissenting group within a larger one, especially in politics.

Synonyms : sect

Antonyms : individual

Example : “the left-wing faction of the party”

16) elusive

Meaning : difficult to find, catch, or achieve.

Synonyms : ambiguous

Antonyms : stable

Example : “success will become ever more elusive”

17) enhance

Meaning : intensify, increase, or further improve the quality, value, or extent of(v).

Synonyms : appreciate

Antonyms : decrease

Example : “his refusal does nothing to enhance his reputation”

18) competent

Meaning : having the necessary ability, knowledge, or skill to do something successfully(adj).

Synonyms : adequate

Antonyms : impotent

Example : “a highly competent surgeon”