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The Hindu Vocabulary 20th Jan 2018

On a new keel: Netanyahu’s visit to India

With Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit, India and Israel have fully normalised bilateral ties

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to India this week was the final step in the process of fully normalising the bilateral relationship. That process began in 1992 when India established diplomatic ties with Israel, with major milestones in 2003 when Ariel Sharon became the first Israeli Prime Minister to visit India, in 2015 when President Pranab Mukherjee visited Israel, and in 2017 when Narendra Modi became the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Israel. With Mr. Netanyahu’s six-day visit, the focus is now on the future, and their joint statement drew a 25-year timeline in which to realise the potential of the strategic partnership. The close personal equation between the two leaders was evident throughout the visit, with Mr. Modi hosting Mr. and Ms. Netanyahu in Gujarat, where they flew kites and took part in a roadshow. Mr. Netanyahu also made the traditional trip to the Taj Mahal, and a symbolic journey to Mumbai’s Chabad House, one of the sites of the 26/11 terror attacks where Israeli citizens were among those killed. On business, Mr. Modi welcomed Israeli partnership in Indian manufacturing, pointing to the winning combination of an India that has “size and scale” and an Israel that has “sharpness and edge”. Mr. Netanyahu’s case, made at a speech inaugurating the Foreign Ministry’s annual Raisina Dialogue, was that the two countries have a “natural partnership” and a “natural friendship” that also caters to their need for hard power.

With a relationship that is more open, India has also decided to have a more honest conversation with Israel on the peace process. While the Modi-Netanyahu meeting in July 2017 had practically brushed (हल्का स्पर्श) aside the Israel-Palestine peace process, the joint statement issued on Monday in New Delhi “reaffirmed (साबित करना) their support for an early resumption (पुनर्ग्रहण) of peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians”. This indicates that the two Prime Ministers had a deeper conversation on the issue this time, including India’s vote at the UN against the decision of the United States to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Mr. Modi is expected to visit Ramallah as well as meet Jordan’s King Abdullah II, who as the custodian of the holy sites in Jerusalem is leading peace efforts in the Arab world, and is due in New Delhi shortly. This would take forward India’s commitment to assisting in finding a just solution for the conflict. It will require using the leverage India has built over the decades among Israelis and Palestinians in order to join global and regional powers in pushing them back to the negotiating table. It will also involve challenging Mr. Netanyahu’s contention that struck a jarring (विवाद) note in his otherwise successful visit. He said: “The weak don’t survive. The strong survive. You make peace with the strong. You ally with the strong.” India must stick to its strategy of strengthening ties with Israel without damaging its commitment to the West Asian peace process, and build its friendships and alignments (एकत्रीकरण) in a way that goes beyond an appraisal of strengths and weaknesses.


1. Brushed: having a soft raised nap
Synonyms: encounter, hassle, run-in, scrape, skirmish
Words Related: argument, fight, quarrel, row, spat, squabble, tiff
2. Reaffirmed: Confirm the validity of (something previously established)
Synonyms: affirm, assert, reassert, give an assurance, assure someone, repeat, say again, state again, pledge, promise, guarantee
Antonyms: Conceal, ignore, withhold, contradict, deny, repudiate, disavow
3. Resumption: The action of beginning something again after a pause or interruption.
Synonyms: restart, restarting, recommencement, reopening, reinstitution
4. Jarring: causing a strong emotional reaction because of unexpectedness
Synonyms: amazing, astonishing, astounding, blindsiding, dumbfounding (also dumfounding), eye-opening, flabbergasting, surprising, jaw-dropping, jolting, shocking, startling, stunning, stupefying
Antonyms: common, customary, mundane, normal, ordinary, typical, unexceptional, unremarkable, usual
5. Alignments: Arrangement in a straight line or in correct relative positions.
Synonyms: arrangement, layout, geography, design, organization, order, ordering, array, presentation, grouping, sorting, positioning, disposition, marshalling, ranging


The away challenge: India’s Test performances overseas

Virat Kohli’s Test team is still to prove its credentials on difficult overseas tours

The familiar free-fall outside the Indian subcontinent has returned to haunt Virat Kohli’s men. In the two Tests of the current three-match series in South Africa, India lost a closely-fought game by 72 runs at Cape Town and then collapsed to a 135-run defeat in the next clash in Centurion. Trailing 0-2 and helming (संचालन करना) a unit searching for batting cohesion (संबंध), skipper Kohli has to cope with a tough challenge. He sparkled  (चमकना)with a 153 in the second Test but, as it used to happen during Sachin Tendulkar’s heyday in the 1990s, that proved to be a fine but futile (निरर्थक) effort in a lost cause. The stench (दुर्गंध) of defeat is an unfamiliar odour for the national cricket team, with Kohli’s troops performing splendidly over the last two years. Yet, it would be prudent (बुद्धिमान) to accept that the cloak (छिपाना) of invincibility was donned  (ग्रहण करना) at home where rivals ranging from Australia to Bangladesh were humbled, and when India travelled, it was to secure overwhelming (ज़बर्दस्त) triumphs (सफलता) against weak opposition teams such as Sri Lanka and the West Indies. There is no denying the strengths of this team but it is a fact that since the last tour of Australia in the 2014-15 season, India largely played in its backyard and was never tested.

The reputations of a player and team are burnished (चमकता हुआ) by gritty (अप्रिय) performances abroad and against quality opposition. For instance, Rahul Dravid often conjures (निवेदन करना) up visions of his mind-boggling batting in the 2003 Adelaide Test that India won. Kohli and company have an opportunity to script similar milestones in the next 12 months, in the Test series in England and Australia. Before that, the squad has to clean up the mess it finds itself within South Africa. The opening slots, often a merry-go-round between M. Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan and K.L. Rahul, need to be sorted out. There is also the tumult (कोलाहल) over omitting vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane, with the captain preferring Rohit Sharma. The latter may be exemplary (अनुकरणीय) in abridged (संकुचित) versions, but in the longest format he has failed to ignite his luminous talent. It doesn’t help that Kohli has had to constantly shuffle his squad over the last 34 Tests. Coach Ravi Shastri has proclaimed that his wards can collectively do things that no other Indian team has done in the past — a recognition perhaps of its inherent talent. But India can excel in England and Australia only if the threats posed by their fast bowlers are fended off. The number one Test side is set to be asked some tough questions, and the way it responds to them will shape assessments of Kohli’s performance as a captain.


1. Helming: the place of leadership or command
Synonyms: chair, driver’s seat, headship, head, rein(s)
Antonyms: ranks, refuse, take away, surrender, obey, shun, stop
2. Cohesion: The action or fact of forming a united whole.
Synonyms: unity, togetherness, solidarity, bond, sticking together, continuity, coherence, connection, linkage, interrelatedness
3. Sparkled: to shoot forth bursts of light
Synonyms: coruscate, flame, glance, gleam, glimmer, glint, glisten, glister, glitter, luster (or lustre), scintillate, shimmer, spangle, flash, twinkle, wink, winkle
Antonyms: dullness, reality
4. Futile: producing no results
Synonyms: abortive, barren, bootless, empty, fruitless, ineffective, ineffectual, inefficacious, otiose, profitless, unavailing, unproductive, unprofitable, unsuccessful, useless, vain
Antonyms: deadly, effective, effectual, efficacious, efficient, fruitful, potent, productive, profitable, successful, virtuous
5. Stench: a strong unpleasant smell
Synonyms: funk, reek, stink
Antonyms: aroma, fragrance, perfume
6. Prudent: having or showing good judgment and restraint especially in conduct or speech
Synonyms: intelligent, judgmatic (or judgmatical), judicious, discreet
Antonyms: imprudent, indiscreet, injudicious
7. Cloak: something that covers or conceals like a piece of cloth
Synonyms: blanket, cope, cover, covering, coverture, cover-up, curtain, hood, mantle, mask, pall, penumbra, robe, shroud, veil, wraps
Words Related: burnoose (or burnous), capelet, capuchin, cowl, domino, joseph, manta, mantelet, mantilla, palatine, pelerine, pelisse, poncho, roquelaure, tippet
8. Overwhelming: to subject to incapacitating emotional or mental stress
Synonyms: crush, devastate, floor, grind (down), oppress, overcome, overmaster, overpower, prostrate, snow under, swamp, whelm
Words Related: break, demoralize, distress, disturb, rock, shatter, stagger, throw, unman, unnerve, upset
9. Triumphs: a successful result brought about by hard work
Synonyms: achievement, acquirement, attainment, baby, coup, success, accomplishment
Antonyms: nonachievement, bummer, bust, catastrophe, debacle (also débâcle), disaster, dud, failure, fiasco, fizzle, flop, washout
10. Burnished: having a shiny surface or finish
Synonyms: buffed, glossy, glistening, lustrous, polished, rubbed, satin, satiny, sleek
Antonyms: dim, dull, flat, lusterless, matte (also mat or matt)
11. Gritty: having to do with the practical details of regular life
Synonyms: everyday, nitty-gritty, prosaic, terrestrial, workaday
Antonyms: exceptional, extraordinary, freak, peculiar, phenomenal, rare, singular, special, uncommon, uncustomary, unique, unusual, unwonted
12. Conjures: to make a request to (someone) in an earnest or urgent manner
Synonyms: appeal (to), beseech, besiege, beg, entreat, impetrate, implore, importune, petition, plead (to), pray, solicit, supplicate
Antonyms: appease, conciliate, gratify, mollify, oblige, pacify, placate, please, satisfy, comfort, console, content, quiet
13. Tumult: a violent disturbance (as of the political or social order)
Synonyms: bouleversement, cataclysm, earthquake, paroxysm, storm, tempest, convulsion, upheaval, uproar
Antonyms: mumble, mumbling, murmur, murmuring, rumble, rumbling
14. Exemplary: constituting, serving as, or worthy of being a pattern to be imitated
Synonyms: archetypal (also archetypical), classic, definitive, model, imitable, paradigmatic, quintessential, textbook
Antonyms: average, normal, ordinary, representative, typical, deficient, disappointing, failed, inadequate, inferior
15. Abridged: to make less in extent or duration
Synonyms: abbreviate, shorten, curtail, cut back, dock, elide, syncopate, truncate
Antonyms: elongate, extend, lengthen, prolong, protract
16. merry-go-round: a continuous cycle of activities or events, especially when regarded as pointless.

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