Learn Vocabulary from Newspaper Articles (The Economic Times)

Ram Nath Kovind – A very political choice for President

Learn Vocabulary from Newspaper Articles (The Economic Times)

The BJP could have come out with a worse choice for President of the country. Ram Nath Kovind might be relatively obscure outside the BJP’s Dalit circles, but has no obvious disqualification to hold the highest office of the land.
He is a self-made man, a trained lawyer, has a long political track record, most of it as a member or fellow traveller of the BJP, and now has gubernatorial experience, having served as governor of Bihar. He is at least as qualified to be President as Pratibha Patil was, when the UPA came up with her name out of nowhere.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pick for President has been quintessentially political. He already had mustered sufficient numbers, tying up support from regional parties with the kind of carrot-and-stick combination that the leader of the ruling party at the Centre is in a position to deploy. 
With the numbers in the bag, there was no need for the BJP to go in for a compromise candidate who would be supported by the Opposition as well. The charade of consultation with the Opposition, as an astute Opposition leader put it, was meant to elicit unilateral cooperation rather than arrive at a consensus candidate.
Kovind’s choice is clearly designed to shore up the BJP’s Dalit support base, which needs some shoring up after anti-BJP mobilisation among Dalits following a series of developments ranging from Rohith Vemula’s suicide at Hyderabad University to the thrashing of Dalits in Una and the recent attacks on Dalits in Saharanpur.
However, the reality is that tokenist politics has run its course in India. The Congress derived marginal benefit in terms of electoral support by putting up K R Narayanan as President. The BJP has to demonstrate that its policies actually empower Dalits to secure their backing.  People, in general, are tiring of tokens. They are looking for substance, not symbols.


1) Obscure (अस्पष्ट) - Obs-cure
Meaning - not discovered or known about; uncertain - Adjective
keep from being seen, conceal - Verb
Synonyms - ambiguous, hidden
Antonyms - clear, common
Example - Her poetry is full of obscure literary allusions.

2) Gubernatorial (गवर्नर संबंधी) - Guber-nato-rial
Meaning - relating to a governor, particularly that of a state in the US - Adjective
Synonyms - administrative, dominant
Antonyms - inferior, subordinate
Example - I served as finance chairman of his successful gubernatorialraces.

3) Mustered (जुटाई) - Mus-ter
Meaning - assemble (troops), especially for inspection or in preparation for battle - Verb
Synonyms - assemble, convoke
Antonyms - avoid, cancel
Example - The troops mustered in the village.

4) Elicit (प्रकाश में लाना) - Eli-sit
Meaning - evoke or draw out (a reaction, answer, or fact) from someone - Verb
Synonyms - evoke, extort
Antonyms - give, cover
Example - The goal is simply to elicit a response and build on it.

5) Unilateral (एकतरफा) - Uni-latt-rul
Meaning - (of an action or decision) performed by or affecting only one person, group, or country involved in a situation, without the agreement of another or the others - Adjective
Synonyms - one-sided, independent
Antonyms - bilateral, multilateral
Example - The president did not know his authority was unilateral and that he needed the board’s consent to make company changes.

6) Consensus (आम सहमति) - Cun-sen-sus
Meaning - a general agreement - Noun
Synonyms - accord, consent
Antonyms - disagreement, refusal
Example - It is difficult to reach a consensus about electoral reform.

7) Thrashing (थ्रैशिंग) - Thr-ash-ing
Meaning - beat (a person or animal) repeatedly and violently with a stick or whip - Verb
defeat heavily in a contest or match - Informal
Synonyms - beat, trounce
Example - Someone was thrashing around in the water, obviously in trouble.

8) Charade (शब्द पहेली) - Char-aa-d
Meaning - an absurd pretence intended to create a pleasant or respectable appearance - Noun
Synonyms - deception, disguise
Antonyms - honestly, truth
Example - I refused to go along with their pathetic charade.

9) Condole (शोक प्रकट करना) - Cun-dolMeaning - express sympathy for (someone), grieve with - Verb
Synonyms - comfort, console
Antonyms - agitate, annoy
Example (English) - Indian hockey team wore black arm bands during its match against Pakistan to condole the deaths of martyrs.
Example (Hindi) - शहीदों की मौत का शोक प्रकट करने के लिए पाकिस्तान के खिलाफ मैच के दौरान भारतीय हॉकी टीम ने काला आर्म बैंड पहना था।

Now considering the article above as a Reading Comprehension question, try to answer the following -
  • What are the Role and the Power of the President of India?
  • Who conducts the election to the Office of President of India?
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.
  • Obvious
  • Deploy
  • Consultation
  • Empower

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