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English Questions: Vocabulary Set 334

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The Hindu : A promise to live by: on Indian democracy

As the countdown for elections to the 17th Lok Sabha begins, the world’s largest democracy has a chance to re-imagine itself. Over the last 16 general elections and numerous elections at lower levels, the resolute trust that the founding fathers of the Republic put in the parliamentary democratic system has been substantially proven wise. India did make some dangerous turns and show signs of fragility, especially during the Emergency in the 1970s, but in the long term it expanded the scope of its democracy through widening representation, devolution of power and redistribution of resources. This is not to overlook the various maladies that have afflicted the country’s democracy, such as disinformation campaigns, corruption, disenfranchisement of the weaker sections of the society, the corroding influence of money and muscle power in elections, and divisive majoritarian tendencies. While the representative character of institutions has in general improved, women and religious minorities are alarmingly underrepresented. The exercise of elections itself is a matter of great pride for all Indians. The Election Commission of India has over the decades evolved itself into a fine institution and plays a critical role in the sustenance of democracy. Its efforts to increase voter participation through a series of small steps over the years, including the use of the Electronic Voting Machines, have been praiseworthy.

The vulnerabilities of Indian democracy have been pronounced in the last five years, and some of its long-term gains have been undermined. Therefore, this election is more than an exercise to elect a new government. This should also be an occasion to reiterate and reinforce Indian democracy’s core values, its representative character and its promise of a constant rejuvenation of the collective spirit. The ECI has announced a series of fresh measures to strengthen the integrity of the electoral process and curb some rapidly growing hazards such as the spread of falsehoods aimed at creating social polarisation for consolidation of votes. Measures such as better monitoring of social media campaigns, while steps in the right direction, are not in themselves adequate to deal with the challenges of these times. While furthering individual interests, all parties must realise that democracy itself is at stake if the campaign is aimed at communal polarisation. Though the promise of Indian democracy has not been fully realised, voters have remained committed to it. They turn up in large numbers to vote, and consider the very act of voting as empowerment. That trust should be upheld.

1. Resolute (adjective) : दृढ़

Meaning – admirably purposeful, determined, and unwavering.

Synonym – determined,unwavering

Antonym – irresolute,doubtful,hesitant

In the face of resolute opposition, the controversial bill was withdrawn within a few days.

2. Substantially (adverb) : ठोस

Meaning – to a great or significant extent.

Synonym – significantly,greatly

Antonym – insignificantly

The percentage of girls in entrepreneurship has increased substantially.

3. Fragility (noun) : भंगुरता

Meaning – the quality of being easily broken or damaged.

Synonym – weakness,brittleness

Antonym – robustness,solidity

The fragility of life is now characterised by an electricity failure or a virus in computers.

4. Devolution (noun) : हस्तांतरण

Meaning – the transfer or delegation of power to a lower level, especially by central government to local or regional administration.

Synonym – decentralisation

Antonym – ascent,centralisation

America’s federal structure is a good example of devolution of powers

5. Afflicted (root word-verb) : संतप्त

Meaning – one who is troubled,distressed,pained

Synonym – aggrieved,depressed

Antonym – comforted,assisted,aided

Venezuela has been afflicted by political corruption for decades.

6. Disenfranchisement (noun) :मताधिकार

Meaning – the state of being deprived of a right or privilege, especially the right to vote.

Synonym – exclusion,disqualification,marginalisation

Antonym – enfranchisement

The disenfranchisement of women deprives them of the ability to raise their children in a progressive and dynamic fashion.

7. Sustenance (noun) : जीविका

Meaning – the maintaining of someone or something in life or existence.

Synonym – support,maintenance

Antonym – deprivation

Elections are necessary for the sustenance of democracy.

8. Undermine (verb) : कम आंका

Meaning – lessen the effectiveness, power, or ability of, especially gradually or insidiously.

Synonym – weaken,sabotage

Antonym – strengthen,fortify

Influences from the outside can undermine the values you want to teach your children

9. Reiterate (verb) : बार बार दुहराना

Meaning – say something again or a number of times, typically for emphasis or clarity.

Synonym – repeat,retell

Antonym – take back,cease,hide,ignore

He reiterated the importance of good health in his speech.

10. Consolidation (noun) : समेकन

Meaning – the action or process of making something stronger or more solid.

Synonym – strengthening,federation,amalgamation

Antonym – dissolution,division

The two banks in this city will consolidate and form a single large bank.