Learn Vocabulary from Newspaper Articles (THE HINDU)

Are anti-government protests a sign of Moroccan Spring?

Rabat is struggling to contain anti-government protests after the death of a fisherman

The shadow of the 2010-11 Arab Spring still hangs over Morocco, as its authorities scramble to contain the latest political turmoil. The trigger for the current troubles was the gruesome death last October of a fisherman while retrieving allegedly illegal catch from the police in the Mediterranean port town of al-Hoceima. The incident in the Rif region, which has been periodically restive, proved a catalyst for social unrest witnessed since then against the general marginalisation of the population, and culminating in the detention of scores of protesters, including journalists and human rights activists. Protests have rocked Rabat too. Attempts to restore normalcy have been hampered as the government and angry protesters continue to trade accusations. A leader of the protest movement has been charged with threatening the security of the state, while some followers face criminal investigation. The monarchy under King Mohammed VI is contending with the overall fallout from the 2004 constitutional guarantees for women, including a minimum age for marriage and fair procedures for divorce. A decade-long campaign for gender justice is now focussing on the denial of equal ownership rights for women, and the government-backed privatisation of tribal land.

Against this backdrop, the onerous task of restoring popular faith in the democratic process has fallen on the multi-party coalition of Prime Minister Saad Eddine el-Othmani who took office in March. Paradoxically, the installation of the incumbent government led by the Justice and Development Party came after a prolonged impasse since the general elections of last October. The stalemate lent substance to scepticism that the reforms set in motion in the wake of the Arab Spring were at risk due to the renewed assertiveness of the traditional elites close to the monarchy. Morocco had successfully averted the political upheavals of the Arab Spring witnessed in Libya and Egypt through a calibrated approach of constitutionally managed transition. In return, the country remained a favoured destination for foreign investment and revenue from a thriving tourism sector. These were no mean achievements, in stark contrast to the atrocities unleashed against hundreds of thousands of popular protesters and the lurch towards authoritarian and more brutal regimes elsewhere in the Arab world. The same political sagacity and national stewardship is once again the need of the hour in order to restore confidence in the democratic process. The Prime Minister is known as a consensus-builder, and a genuine dialogue between the government and the leadership of the popular movement is key to a return to stability. Equally, the monarchy would do well to exercise restraint to facilitate the smooth functioning of the mainstream political process. Source : THE HINDU


1) Scramble (संघर्ष) - Sc-ram-bal
Meaning - make one's way quickly or awkwardly up a steep gradient or over rough ground by using one's hands as well as one's feet - Verb
a difficult or hurried clamber up or over something - Noun
Synonyms - clamber, climb
Antonyms - order, peace
Example - She managed to scramble over the wall.

2) Turmoil (उथल-पुथल) - Tur-moil
Meaning - a state of great disturbance, confusion, or uncertainty - Noun
Synonyms - anxiety, strife
Antonyms - calm, agreement
Example - Her mind was in a state of constant turmoil.

3) Gruesome (कुरूप) - Grew-some
Meaning - causing repulsion or horror, grisly - Adjective
Synonyms - ghastly, horrid
Antonyms - beautiful, cheerful
Example - I heard stories of gruesome tortures in prisons.

4) Catalyst (उत्प्रेरक) - Ca-sa-list
Meaning - a substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction without itself undergoing any permanent chemical change - Noun
Synonyms - impetus, incentive
Antonyms - block, hindrance
Example - A catalyst is a substance which speeds up a chemical reaction.

5) Detention (निरोध) - De-ten-tion
Meaning - the action of detaining someone or the state of being detained in official custody - Noun
Synonyms - custody, delay
Antonyms - help, freedom
Example - He was kept in detention by the police.

6) Impasse (कठिन स्थिति) - Im-pass
Meaning - a situation in which no progress is possible, especially because of disagreement, a deadlock - Noun
Synonyms - deadlock, dilemma
Antonyms - solution, boon
Example - The government had reached an impasse.

7) Sagacity (बुद्धिमत्ता) - Saga-city
Meaning - the quality of being sagacious - Noun
Synonyms - acumen, enlightment
Antonyms - ignorance, inability
Example - It would be prudent to save some of the money.

8) Stark (निरा) - St-ark
Meaning - severe or bare in appearance or outline - Adjective
Synonyms - simple, abrupt
Antonyms - covered, indefinite
Example - The house’s living room was stark and held only one couch.

9) Lineage (वंशावली) - Lin-e-age
Meaning - direct descent from an ancestor, ancestry or pedigree - Noun
Synonyms - ancestry, family
Antonyms - parent
Example (English) - Manisha Koirala, despite having a political lineage, prefers to keep a distance from politics.
Example (Hindi) - मनीषा कोईराला, राजनीतिक वंश की होने के बावजूद, राजनीति से दूरी रखना पसंद करती हैं।

Now considering the article above as a Reading Comprehension question, try to answer the following -
  • Suggest a new title to the article.
  • Give your views on the above article.
Given below are some words to check your vocabulary you can make sentences with those words in the comment section which will be reviewed by us.
  • Retrieving
  • Normalcy
  • Accusation
  • Onerous

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