Home and abroad: On India’s rightful place in the world

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Home and abroad: On India’s rightful place in the world

India must take its place in the world by privileging universal rights everywhere
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech at the UNGA catalogued (सूचीबद्ध) welfare(कल्याण) and development(विकास )schemes(योजनाएं) that he had initiated(शुरू की). He sounded like a seer in his call for unity(एकता) of humanity(मानवता ), but it was his emphasis(जोर) on Indian diversity(विविधता ) that stood out for its remarkable(अद्भुत/असाधारण) departure(प्रस्थान) from the sort of domestic(घरेलू ) politics he and his party, the BJP, have come to be associated(जुड़े) with lately(हाल ही में।). India’s achievements(उपलब्धियां) in housing, sanitation(स्वच्छता), health care, banking and education are significant(महत्वपूर्ण ), as the PM noted. His tenacious(दृढ़/अथक ) public campaign(अभियान) on issues such as water conservation(संरक्षण), environment and girls’ education has brought these issues to the centre of the development discourse(प्रवचन) and he deserves full credit for it. Mr. Modi has consistently(लगातार ) presented(प्रस्तुत किया) material(सामग्री ) development as an end in itself, sometimes ignoring(अनदेखी) that it might be at the cost of other markers of progress(प्रगति) such as expansion(वृद्धि/विस्तार ) of freedoms and equity. This idea is also the explanation(स्पष्टीकरण) of his government’s policy on Jammu and Kashmir, as reflected(प्रतिबिंबित) in his own pronouncements(घोषणाओं) and those of other officials, during(दौरान) their diplomatic(कूटनीतिज्ञ) outreach in the U.S. A Prime Minister’s use of a global pulpit to showcase(प्रदर्शन) India’s progress and diversity to a world that is divided(विभाजित ), and deliver a message of unity, would have been inspiring(प्रेरणादायक) for all Indians. But his UNGA speech sits at odds with his campaign speeches at home, and corresponding administrative(प्रशासनिक ) measures(उपाय).

The claim that there can be a neat insulation of internal(आंतरिक ) issues(मुद्दों ) of a country from global(वैश्विक ) concerns(चिंताएं) is antithetical(विरोधी) to the rationale(तर्क/औचित्य ) of all global institutions, particularly the UN. Populist politics around the world has sought(मांग की) to privilege(सुविधा/विशेषाधिकार ) national sovereignty(संप्रभुता) over universal values and commitments(प्रतिबद्धताएं), slacking off efforts(प्रयासों) to tackle critical(आलोचनात्मक ) challenges that are transnational(अंतरराष्ट्रीय/पारस्‍परिक ). Human rights, democracy(लोकतंत्र ) and liberty(स्वतंत्रता) are as much global questions as climate(जलवायु ) change, health and terrorism. Selective(चयनात्मक ) globalisation(वैश्वीकरण) is difficult to sustain(बनाए रखना ) or defend(बचाव ). India cannot aspire(महत्त्वाकांक्षा करना) to meet global best practices in governance, infrastructure and investment climate on the one hand and on the other, choose to overlook soft power attributes(गुण/विशेषताओं ) such as tolerance(सहनशीलता/सहयता), pluralism and diversity. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s bluster on Kashmir and the implied(अस्पष्ट/निहित) threat(खतरा) of a nuclear war were irresponsible(गैर जिम्मेदार) and over the top, but that is beside the point. India cannot wish away questions regarding Kashmir at international(अंतर्राष्ट्रीय ) fora(मंचों). The best — and the only way — to keep domestic issues domestic is to resolve them through internal dialogue and accommodation(गुंज़ाइश/सुविधा). Tamil poet Kaniyan Pungundranar’s verse Yaadhum Oore Yaavarum Kelir — all places are our own, everyone is our kin — that Mr. Modi cited( हवाला दिया) to underscore India’s ancient(प्राचीन ) faith (आस्था) in universalism is a tenet far from fulfilment(पूर्ति), but worth striving(प्रयास/झगड़ना ) for. Deviation(हटना/झुकाव) from it could be detrimental, and would have consequences(परिणाम/महत्त्व) at home and abroad(बाहर/विदेश ).

 

Important Vocabulary

1. Aspire(महत्त्वाकांक्षा करना)
Synonyms: crave, pursue, strive, yearn, desire
Antonyms: dislike, hate, answer, despise

2. Ancient(प्राचीन )
Synonyms: age-old, antique, archaic, hoary, old-fashioned
Antonyms: current, fresh, modern, new, young

3. Accommodation(गुंज़ाइश/सुविधा).
Synonyms: compromise, reconciliation, adaptation, compliance, composition
Antonyms: disagreement, fight, nonconformity, refusal

4. Attributes(गुण/विशेषताओं )
Synonyms: aspect, characteristic, facet, idiosyncrasy, peculiarity

5. Consistently(लगातार
Synonyms: always, constantly, frequently, normally, persistently
Antonyms: never

6. Critical(आलोचनात्मक
Synonyms: demanding, analytical, belittling, biting, calumniatory
Antonyms: complimentary,laudatory, praising, trivial, uncritical

7. Cited( हवाला दिया) )
Synonyms: allege, allude to, indicate, mention, name
Antonyms: conceal, deny, take, withhold, forget

8. Deviation(हटना/झुकाव)
Synonyms: aberration, alteration, anomaly, breach, detour
Antonyms: agreement, conformity, consistency, harmony, normality

9. Discourse(प्रवचन)
Synonyms: communication, conversation, discussion, essay, lecture
Antonyms: quiet, silence

10. Expansion(वृद्धि/विस्तार
Synonyms: development, enlargement, extension, increase, inflation
Antonyms: abridgment, compression, decrease, reduction, shrinkage

11. Initiated(शुरू की
Synonyms: proposed, admitted, entered, inserted, instituted

12. Implied(अस्पष्ट/निहित)
Synonyms: hidden, implicit, indirect, latent, lurking
Antonyms: explicit, open, explicated, expressed, stated

13. Measures(उपाय).
Synonyms: part, quota, allotment, allowance, amount
Antonyms: extreme, unimportant, whole, ignorance, inaction

14. Remarkable(अद्भुत/असाधारण
Synonyms: curious, exceptional, important, impressive, miraculous
Antonyms: average, bad, common, commonplace, familiar

15. Showcase(प्रदर्शन)
Synonyms: effort, examination, experiment, investigation, probation, struggle
Antonyms: abstention, idleness, laziness, happiness, peace

16. Striving(प्रयास/झगड़ना
Synonyms: conation, conatus

17. Tolerance(सहनशीलता/सहयता
Synonyms: patience, resilience, resistance, strength, toughness
Antonyms: lethargy, weakness, bias, bigotry, disapproval

18. Threat(खतरा
Synonyms: blackmail, hazard, intimidation, menace, peril
Antonyms: certainty, safety, surety

 

 

Credit To The Hindu News Paper

India must take its place in the world by privileging universal rights everywhere
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech at the UNGA catalogued welfare and development schemes that he had initiated. He sounded like a seer in his call for unity of humanity, but it was his emphasis on Indian diversity that stood out for its remarkable departure from the sort of domestic politics he and his party, the BJP, have come to be associated with lately. India’s achievements in housing, sanitation, health care, banking and education are significant, as the PM noted. His tenacious public campaign on issues such as water conservation, environment and girls’ education has brought these issues to the centre of the development discourse and he deserves full credit for it. Mr. Modi has consistently presented material development as an end in itself, sometimes ignoring that it might be at the cost of other markers of progress such as expansion of freedoms and equity. This idea is also the explanation of his government’s policy on Jammu and Kashmir, as reflected in his own pronouncements and those of other officials, during their diplomatic outreach in the U.S. A Prime Minister’s use of a global pulpit to showcase India’s progress and diversity to a world that is divided, and deliver a message of unity, would have been inspiring for all Indians. But his UNGA speech sits at odds with his campaign speeches at home, and corresponding administrative measures.

The claim that there can be a neat insulation of internal issues of a country from global concerns is antithetical to the rationale of all global institutions, particularly the UN. Populist politics around the world has sought to privilege national sovereignty over universal values and commitments, slacking off efforts to tackle critical challenges that are transnational. Human rights, democracy and liberty are as much global questions as climate change, health and terrorism. Selective globalisation is difficult to sustain or defend. India cannot aspire to meet global best practices in governance, infrastructure and investment climate on the one hand and on the other, choose to overlook soft power attributes such as tolerance, pluralism and diversity. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s bluster on Kashmir and the implied threat of a nuclear war were irresponsible and over the top, but that is beside the point. India cannot wish away questions regarding Kashmir at international fora. The best — and the only way — to keep domestic issues domestic is to resolve them through internal dialogue and accommodation. Tamil poet Kaniyan Pungundranar’s verse Yaadhum Oore Yaavarum Kelir — all places are our own, everyone is our kin — that Mr. Modi cited to underscore India’s ancient faith in universalism is a tenet far from fulfilment, but worth striving for. Deviation from it could be detrimental, and would have consequences at home and abroad.


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