Here we have covered both the editorials of 23 feb 2018 :
Kamal Haasan will soon find that Rajinikanth and he are vying to fill the same political space
All these years, the Tamil film industry had enough space for both Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan, two stars with wide fan bases who could deliver one blockbuster after another. But Tamil Nadu’s political arena is likely to be too small for both of them. With their entry into politics, the actors will realise sooner than later that each can only succeed at the other’s expense (मूल्य/लागत). Both Mr. Rajinikanth and Mr. Haasan are vying (प्रतिरोधी/.बराबरी करने वाला to fill the same political space, the vacuum (ख़ालीपन/शून्यक) created by the death of Jayalalithaa. They are hoping to take over the AIADMK’s vote bank on the assumption (ग्रहण/कल्पना) that the party will not survive another election. While Mr. Haasan has indicated he is not averse (विरुद्ध/प्रतिकूल) to political alliances, Mr. Rajinikanth has insisted (जोर दिया/आग्रह करना) he will contest all 234 Assembly constituencies. Inevitably, the two will find themselves in opposite camps. Despite the age-related ill-health of its president M. Karunanidhi, the principal opposition party, the DMK, remains in serious contention (विवाद/विरोध) for power with its organisational structure and cadre base. The actor-politicians will therefore have to fight for their share from the rest of the pie (अस्तव्यस्तता).
It is true that voters in Tamil Nadu are tired of the electoral choices before them, having voted in and out one of the two major Dravidian parties, the DMK and the AIADMK. A huge chunk of the AIADMK’s vote-bank is actually an anti-DMK vote-bank; the converse (बातचीत करना) is true for a large section of the DMK’s vote-bank. Mr. Haasan, like Mr. Rajinikanth, can try to tap into this negative sentiment as a third alternative. Indeed (वास्तव में,),Vijayakanth, a contemporary of Mr. Rajinikanth and Mr. Haasan who joined politics in 2005, won more political supporters than he did film fans precisely (विधि पूर्वक/निश्चित रूप से) because he offered an alternative to the two Dravidian parties. But he could not attain the critical mass needed to mount a serious challenge and ended up as a spoiler (लुटेरा/रंग मे भंग करनेवाला), not a king-maker. Unlike Mr. Rajinikanth, Mr. Haasan has been moreforthright (निष्कपट/स्पष्टवादी) in expressing his political views, through tweets, press conferences, public speeches and columns (क़तार/स्तंभ). At the very least, Mr. Haasan appears willing to articulate a political programme with a vision and stated goals, in marked contrast to Mr. Rajinikanth who did not go beyond vague (अनिश्चित/अस्पष्ट)generalities (व्यापकता/सर्व-साधारण नियम) while announcing his entry into politics. But Mr. Haasan will be mistaken if he assumes his star status in the film world will automatically open doors for him in politics. Winning over voters in different regions with different livelihood concerns and social identities is no easy task. His stardom may have earned him immediate attention, but he will need to mobilise people around their own interests if he wants to be a credible alternative. Otherwise, a Rajini-Kamal joust might be no more than an interesting sidelight in the next Assembly election.
Anew country-wise ranking of neonatal mortality (नवजात मृत्यु दर) rates — the number of babies dying in their first month for every thousand live births — gives India cause for both hope and shame (लज्जा/बदनामी). Shame, because the report, produced by the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef), ranks India behind poorer countries such as Bangladesh, Nepal and Rwanda. Hope, because the ranking shows that financial resources (संसाधन/संपदा) are not the biggest constraint in improving this health indicator (सूचक/निर्देशक); political will is. According to the report, titled “Every Child Alive (जीवित/परिपूर्ण)”, while average newborn mortality in low-income nations is nine times that of high-income ones, several countries buck the trend (प्रवृत्ति का विरोध करना), showing a way forward for India. For example, Sri Lanka and Ukraine, which like India are categorised (वर्गीकृत किया) as lower-middle income economies, had a neonatal mortality of around 5/1000 in 2016. In comparison, the U.S., a high-income economy, did only slightly (साधारणत/कुछ न कुछ) better with a rate of 3.7/1000. Meanwhile, Rwanda, which falls in the lowest income group of less than $1,005 per capita, has brought down its mortality rates from 41/1000 in the 1990s to 16.5 through programmes targeted at poor and vulnerable (आलोचनीय)mothers. Money matters, but intent matters more.
India saw the 31st highest newborn-mortality rate, at 25.4 deaths per 1000 in 2016, while Pakistan had the highest. Coming in after 30 countries is no comfort, however, because a small mortality rate can translate to numerous deaths when the birth-rate is high. This means India lost 640,000 babies in 2016, more than any other country. How can we chip away at this staggering (चक्कर/चौंका देने वाला) number? The report points out that the most powerful solutions are not necessarily the most expensive. The 10 critical products that hospitals must stock to save newborns include a piece of cloth to keep a baby warm and close to the mother to encourage breastfeeding (स्तनपान). The list also includes antibiotics and disinfectants (कीटाणुनाशक), the use of which can stave off killers like sepsis (घाव का सड़ना/रक्तपूतिता) and meningitis (मस्तिष्कावरण शोथ). But other solutions will need greater investment. The biggest cause of death is premature (असामयिक/समयपूर्व) birth, while the second is complications like asphyxia during delivery. Preventing (रोकथाम/प्रतिबंध करना) these would mean paying attention to the mother’s health during pregnancy and ensuring (सुनिश्चित/सुरक्षित पखना) she delivers in a hospital attended by trained doctors or midwives (दाइयों/प्रसव में सहायता देनेवाली दाई). India has programmes such as the Janani Suraksha Yojana for this, but must expand its reach in laggard (सुस्त/मंद गति) States like Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Then there are factors outside the healthcare system, like female literacy (साक्षरता)rates, that make a big difference to healthcare-seeking behaviour. But changes in education levels will come slowly. Despite (के बावजूद/विरोध) these challenges, progress is within reach. States like Kerala and Tamil Nadu show that by focussing on these factors, newborn deaths can be brought to fewer than 15 per 1000 in Indian settings. It’s time for the rest of India to follow suit.