Mind the perimeter: On J&K terror attacks
The security protocol at military installations must be speedily upgraded
The number of casualties in the terror attack on the Sunjuwan Army base in Jammu has risen to seven after clearing operations. The garrison (सेना) of the 36 Brigade of Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry was attacked last Saturday by a small group of heavily armed terrorists that managed to enter the residential quarters of soldiers. While three terrorists were killed, six soldiers and a civilian lost their lives. Many more sustained injuries. This is the latest in a series of attacks on military installations over the last few years. The worrisome (चिंताजनक) aspect is the repeated success of terrorists in infiltrating (घुसपैठ करना) high-security military complexes. As in every case, the Army will conduct a court of inquiry into the incident to identify lapses. However, the Sunjuwan attack exposes the vulnerabilities in perimeter security and the scant progress made in improving the security protocol since the attack on the Pathankot Air Force station in January 2016. Since then, there have been major attacks in Uri, Handwara, Nagrota and Panzgam, with significant casualties. In the aftermath of Pathankot, a committee headed by a former Army vice chief, Lt General Philip Campose, undertook a security audit of all military bases across the country. It identified sensitive installations and recommended measures to fortify (सशक्त करना) them. In addition, in July 2017 the government delegated substantial financial powers to the three services to strengthen perimeter security at military installations. The Sunjuwan attack underscores the need for speedy measures on the ground, beyond the inquiries and policy announcements, to overhaul the system.
As the terror attack in Jammu was under way, the Defence Ministry sanctioned ₹1,487 crore to strengthen sensitive military installations across the country as per the recommendations of a 2016 audit. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has also directed the Army to complete its implementation by the end of the year. This impetus (प्रोत्साहन) is welcome, but the implementation must be broad-based, and go beyond ad hoc measures. It must be borne in mind that a successful attack does not necessarily mean that the soldier on the ground is lax (ढीलापन) in performing his duties. Many bases along the border are located in tough terrain, and are in close proximity to civilian dwellings (आवास), demanding care from the soldier to avoid civilian casualties in crossfire while adhering (संसक्त या लगा हुआ होना) to the standard operating procedures. For a country that takes pride in its modern, technologically advanced military, India still relies heavily on putting more boots on the ground and on the calibre of the soldier. It is time the Defence Ministry adopted a holistic approach, making sure that the soldier is fully backed by technology and calibrated security drills. Preventing terrorists from scoring a strike is the best defence.
1. Garrison: A group of troops stationed in a fortress or town to defend it.
2. Worrisome: causing worry or anxiety
Synonyms: discomforting, discomposing, disquieting, distressing, disturbing, nagging, nasty, perturbing, troubling, troublous, unsettling, upsetting, troublesome
Antonyms: reassuring, comforting, consoling, dreamy, inviting, lulling, narcotic, pacifying, relaxing, sedative, tranquilizing (also tranquillizing)
3. Infiltrating: to secretly become part of a group in order to get information or to influence the way that group thinks or behaves
Synonyms: insinuate, slip, sneak, wind, work in, worm, wriggle
4. Fortify: to prepare (oneself) mentally or emotionally
Synonyms: brace, forearm, nerve, poise, psych (up), ready, steel, strengthen
Antonyms: debilitate, enervate, enfeeble, prostrate, sap, soften, tire, undercut, undermine, weaken
5. Impetus: something that arouses action or activity
Synonyms: boost, encouragement, goad, impulse, incentive, incitation, incitement, instigation, momentum, motivation, provocation, spur, stimulant, stimulus, yeast
Antonyms: counterincentive, disincentive
6. Lax: failing to give proper care and attention
Synonyms: careless, derelict, disregardful, negligent, lazy, neglectful, neglecting, remiss, slack
Antonyms: attentive, careful, conscientious, nonnegligent, alert, heedful, heeding, mindful, observant, regardful, regarding, vigilant, wary, watchful
7. Dwellings: the place where one lives
Synonyms: abode, diggings, domicile, home, fireside, habitation, hearth, hearthstone, house, lodging, pad, place, quarters, residence, roof
8. Adhering: to hold to something firmly as if by adhesion
Synonyms: stick, cleave, cling, hew
Antonyms: loosen, drop, fall
Suppressing history: On Poland’s ‘Holocaust’ law
Poland’s ‘Holocaust’ legislation highlights its continued shift to the far right
A new law in Poland that makes it a crime to blame the country for Nazi atrocities (अत्याचार) has reopened the Holocaust denial issue. Expressions such as Polish death camps to describe concentration camps including Auschwitz have touched a raw nerve over the years. Now the ruling ultra-nationalist Law and Justice party (PiS) appears intent (अभिप्राय, इरादा) on drawing political mileage from this dark chapter in Polish and European history. The government of Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has enacted legislation to impose a fine and three-year imprisonment for all references that imply the complicity of the Polish nation and the state in Nazi war crimes. Its contention that artists and scholars would be exempt from the restrictions has not assuaged (कम करना) critics, who are challenging assaults on freedom of expression. Clearly, responsibility for the atrocities perpetrated (पाप करना) against Jews during the Holocaust rests with the occupying Nazis, and not the people of Poland. Yet, to discount or deny the complicity of some Polish officials who may have acted in collusion (अभिसंधि) with the Nazis would be tantamount (बराबर) to falsifying history. Any refusal to recognise the heroism of Poles who rescued and rehabilitated Jews would also be liable to over-simplification of that larger narrative. The motive behind the latest law is to suppress (दबा देना) evidence that has emerged of some of those uncomfortable truths. But then, rewriting Poland’s recent history has been a persistent preoccupation with the current dispensation (वितरण) since its 2015 election.
Predictably, the ‘Holocaust’ (बलि जिस को जला दे) law has stoked a major controversy with international reverberations (प्रतिध्वनि). In an equally selective reading to counter the Polish move, some Israeli lawmakers are for expanding the definition of Holocaust denial to include a refusal to admit the role of those who collaborated with the Nazis. The U.S. State Department has cautioned Warsaw about the implications of the law for its strategic relationship with Washington. Warsaw has already come under sharp scrutiny (अनुसंधान) from the European Union for attempting to undermine the independence of the judiciary. A formal sanction by Brussels for the breach of the rule of law and deviation from European values would be an unprecedented step. Moreover, the resulting loss of Poland’s voting rights in the bloc (गुट) would be most ironic for a government that has staked its position on the assertion of national sovereignty on the EU stage. Polish President Andrzej Duda seems more alive to the ire the Holocaust legislation has invited internationally. He gave his assent to the bill, but sought a review from the constitutional court, a body already rendered toothless by parliament. Moderates within PiS should exert greater influence to roll back the extreme steps taken by the government, such as the ‘Holocaust’ legislation, or Poles risk denial of the fruits of their 2004 EU membership.
1. Atrocities: the quality of inspiring intense dread or dismay
Synonyms: atrociousness, horror, awfulness, dreadfulness, frightfulness, ghastliness, grisliness, gruesomeness, hideousness, horridness, monstrosity, repulsiveness
Antonyms: agreeableness, delightfulness, pleasantness, pleasurableness, allurement, appeal, attraction, attractiveness, desirability, desirableness
2. Intent: fully committed to achieving a goal
Synonyms: bent (on or upon), bound, decisive, do-or-die, firm, hell-bent (on or upon), determined, out, purposeful, resolute, resolved, set, single-minded
Antonyms: faltering, hesitant, indecisive, irresolute, undetermined, unresolved, vacillating, wavering, weak-kneed
3. Assuaged: to make more bearable or less severe
Synonyms: allay, alleviate, help, ease, mitigate, mollify, palliate, relieve, soothe
Antonyms: aggravate, exacerbate
4. Perpetrated: Carry out or commit (a harmful, illegal, or immoral action)
Synonyms: commit, carry out, perform, execute, do, effect, bring about, be guilty of, be to blame for, be responsible for, accomplish, inflict, wreak
5. Collusion: a secret agreement or cooperation between two parties for an illegal or dishonest purpose
Synonyms: complicity, connivance, conspiracy
6. Tantamount: Equivalent in seriousness to; virtually the same as.
Synonyms: equivalent to, equal to, amounting to, as good as, more or less, synonymous with, virtually the same as, much the same as, comparable to, on a par with, commensurate with, along the lines of, as serious as, identical to
7. Holocaust: Destruction or slaughter on a mass scale, especially caused by fire or nuclear war.
Synonyms: cataclysm, disaster, catastrophe, destruction, devastation, demolition, annihilation, ravaging
8. Reverberations: marked by conspicuously full and rich sounds or tones
Synonyms: golden, orotund, plangent, resounding, resonant, reverberating, reverberative, ringing, rotund, round, sonorous, vibrant
Antonyms: faint, low, murmurous, muted, smothered, soft, weak, cavernous, hollow
9. Suppress: to refrain from openly showing or uttering
Synonyms: choke (back), hold back, pocket, repress, sink, smother, stifle, strangle, submerge, swallow
Antonyms: express, loose, release, take out, unleash, vent
10. Dispensation: the act or process of giving out something to each member of a group
Synonyms: admeasurement, allocation, allotment, apportionment, disbursement, distribution, division, issuance
11. Scrutiny: a close look at or over someone or something in order to judge condition
Synonyms: audit, check, checkup, examination, going-over, look-see, review, scan, inspection, survey, view
Antonyms: oeillade, ogle, browse, scan
12. Bloc: a group of people acting together within a larger group
Synonyms: faction, block, body, coalition, party, sect, set, side, wing