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Not by Force: The Indian Express Editorial

Not by Force: The Indian Express Editorial

Officials using coercion to implement Swachh Bharat Mission are going against PM’s goal of turning mission into movement
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In the run-up to the third anniversary of the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM), Prime Minister Narendra Modi reiterated a commitment he made while inaugurating it. There will be no coercion in the implementation of the programme, he said. The PM has, on several other occasions, emphasised the SBM’s links with peoples’ dignity, especially that of women.
He has underscored the programme’s association with public health and said that the SBM should become a jan aandolan or people’s movement. Putting these ideals into practice requires a sustained engagement with people. Unfortunately, however, the pressure to implement the SBM’s targets is forcing local officials to use desperate measures. On Wednesday, this newspaper reported that, as part of Bihar’s Open Defecation Free (ODF) campaign, block development officers (BDOs) in Bihar’s Aurangabad and Muzaffarpur district have asked teachers to photograph individuals defecating in the open.
The Aurangabad district administration has decided to declare Pawai Panchayat of Deo block ODF by December 31 and has asked 61 primary school teachers to participate in the campaign. The Kudni block administration in Muzaffarpur district has engaged 144 teachers for the same purpose. The Kudni BDO’s order explicitly mentions that the teachers take “photographs of people defecating in the open”. The Deo BDO’s order is less specific.
“There is no pressure to take photographs,” he told this paper. But teachers have refuted the official’s contention. “We have been told to take photographs of men, if not women,” one teacher told this paper. It is pertinent to point out that the teachers support the ODF programme — their main complaint is that BDOs’ orders undermine human dignity. It’s a concern that should be taken seriously if the SBM has to run according to the principles repeatedly stressed by the PM.
The orders by the BDOs in Bihar are part of a disturbing pattern. In the last week of September, this paper reported that 10 people in Ranchi who were caught defecating in the open were made to hand over their lungis to enforcement teams of the municipality. The Ranchi Municipal Commissioner had said, “Public ostracism is a good deterrence against open defecation”. Such measures may ensure participation in the short-term, but coercion and threats are antithetical to the mission’s main objective — triggering behavioural changes on matters related to sanitation.

Learn Vocabulary from The Indian Express Editorial


1) Antithetical (Adjective) (विरोधात्मक):  an-ti-thet-i-cal
Meaning -  in direct contrast to an idea; in opposition to
Synonyms - contrary to, contradictory to, conflicting with
Antonyms - Alike, same, analogous
Sentence - The bill has not passed in parliament because the conservative party is antithetical to the liberal party’s proposal.

2) Ostracism (Noun) (  निष्कासन, बहिष्कार,समाज से निकालना : os-truh-siz-um
Meaning -  exclusion from a society or group.
Synonyms -  exclusion, rejection, repudiation, shunning, 
Antonyms - inclusion, redemption, admittance
Example - Sadly, the poor girl had to face ostracism from her classmates because they belong to rich families.



3) Pertinent(Adjective) (उचित): pur-tin-ent
Meaning -  relevant to a particular matter
Synonyms -   relevant, to the point, apposite, appropriate, suitable, 
Antonyms - irrelevant, unrelatable , inappropriate , inapplicable
Sentence -  With only a few minutes left in class, the professor quickly tried to answer the questions pertinent to today’s lecture.



4) Contention (Noun) (विवाद): kun-ten-shun
Meaning -  a dispute between groups or individuals
Synonyms -   disagreement, dispute, disputation, argument
Antonyms-   accord , harmony , amity
Example - During the town meeting, the subject of pay raises for the city council caused contention between the residents and council members.



5) Coercion (Noun) (ज़बरदस्ती): koh-ur-shun
Meaning - the action or practice of persuading someone to do something by using force or threats.
Synonyms -   force, compulsion, constraint, duress, oppression
Antonyms -  liberty , option , choice
Example -The restaurant owner said that it wasn't slavery by the little boy because no coercion was used.

6) Deterrence (Noun) –(अवरोध):  de-ter-rence
Meaning - the action of discouraging an action or event through instilling doubt or fear of the consequences.
Synonyms -  obstruction, hindrance 
Antonyms - encouragement, motivator, inducement, assist
Example- The small fines for this type of crime is not the effective deterrence.



7) Undermine (Noun)  (गुप्त रूप से हानि पहुंचाना):- un-der-mine
Meaning - to weaken, hinder, sabotage
Synonyms - subvert, sabotage, threaten, weaken
Antonyms -support, strengthen
Example - When engineers came to examine the cracks in the structure of the building, they discovered that years of flooding had worked to undermine the foundation.



8) Trigger (Verb)  (प्रेरित करना ):  tri-gar
Meaning - (of an event, circumstance, etc.) causing a particular action, process, or situation to happen.
Synonyms -  precipitate, prompt, spark (off), stimulate, provoke
Antonyms - stop, halt, block, deactivate
Example -  Do not let your temporary emotions trigger your instincts for a life-long decision.



9) Underscore (Verb)  (बल देना ):  under-score
Meaning -  to emphasize something, to highlight
Synonyms -  underline, feature, point up, draw attention to
Antonyms - ignore, underrate
Example -  The speaker showed the students pictures of car crashes to underscore the danger of driving while talking on the mobile phone


GAIETY (Adjective)  -  प्रफुल्लता
Meaning - the state or quality of being light-hearted or cheerful.
Synonyms - merriment, glee, gladness, happiness, joy
Antonyms - sadness, gloom, dullness, solemnity
Example (English) - The sudden gaiety of children's laughter can make anyone happy.
Example (Hindi) - बच्चों की अचानक हंसी का उत्साह किसी को भी खुश कर सकता है|
Make sentences with those words in the comment section which will be reviewed by us:
  • Threats
  • Commitment
  • Inaugurate
  • Objective 
  • Emphasised
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