Pursued by danger: on the Haryana stalking case : Learn Vocabulary (THE HINDU)

Pursued by danger: on the Haryana stalking case : Learn Vocabulary (THE HINDU)

Stalking is not a mere annoyance - it is a crime that requires swift punishment

The issue of women’s safety comes under the national limelight with shameful regularity. The recent incident of a woman being pursued at night by men in a car in Chandigarh is a reminder that neither law nor public odium is a sufficient deterrent to such crimes. Two men, one of them the son of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Haryana State unit chief, have been booked for stalking the woman. They have been released on bail; Section 354D of the Indian Penal Code, which pertains to stalking, is a bailable offence. This has attracted the criticism that the police did not invoke more stringent provisions. It is believed that the police had originally sought to include sections relating to an attempt to kidnap the woman, but dropped the idea. The use of a particular section depends on whether the ingredients of the offence are present in the actions of the accused. The onus is on the Chandigarh police to show that available evidence is limited to the offence of stalking. The claim that there is no closed-circuit television footage from anywhere along the entire route needs investigating. The victim’s presence of mind to call the police in time foiled her pursuers’ designs, but not every woman may survive such an ordeal in the same manner. This is one reason why the police, as well as family and friends of the victim, ought to take complaints of stalking seriously, and act at an early stage.
As crimes against women go, stalking is far too often dismissed as harmless. However, it is important to understand how traumatic and inhibiting it is for a woman to be pursued with unsolicited interest, and for such stalking to be considered ‘normal’. There are times when stalking contains the seed for a bigger, often violent crime. It should not be forgotten that murders and acid attacks have had their origins in stalking. It became an independent offence in 2013, when the country’s criminal law was amended in the wake of the horrific gang rape of a woman in Delhi in December 2012. The hope that expanding the rigour and scope of penal laws would bring down crimes against women has, unfortunately, been belied often since then. The Chandigarh incident reveals that a sense of privilege, flowing as much from gender as political influence, permeates the offenders’ actions. The victim’s father is a senior civil servant, and it may not be easy to give this case a quiet burial. However, there is another, in fact quite familiar, element: the attempt by quarters close to the accused to cast aspersions on the victim. One can only hope that society has advanced sufficiently to call out such victim-shaming. Stalking tends to dominate the public discourse only when it relates to well-known people or results in violence — this episode should compel a deeper understanding of how widespread this offence is, and how rarely offenders are brought to justice.


1) Permeate (verb) (व्याप्त ,प्रसार ,के माध्यम से फैलना ) : pur-mee-eyt
Meaning -  to pass or spread through 

Synonyms - pervade, spread through
Antonyms- take out, drain
Example -The light will permeate through the curtain when the sun rises. 

2) Belie (verb)  (झुठलाना ): be-lie

Meaning - to give a false impression of
Synonyms - conceal, cover/disguise, misrepresent/falsify.
Antonyms - prove, attest, affirm
Example - Raman hoped his smile would belie the sadness he felt.
3) Ordeal (noun)  ( दर्दनाक अनुभव, यातना , आघात):  or-deal
Meaning - a tough experience
Synonyms - painful experience, torture/trauma, trouble/difficulty.
Antonyms - pleasure, delight, paradise
Example - During this ordeal, he was able to draw strength from his faith.

4)Deterrent (adjective) (अंकुश): de-ter-rent

Meaning - a thing that discourages someone from doing something
Synonyms -  hindrance, leash , preventative
Antonyms-  Encouragement , assistant ,motivator
Example -The stop sign on the corner of the road is supposed to be a deterrent that discourages speeding.

5) Odium (noun)  (घिनौना):  oh-dee-um

Meaning - loathing for a thing or person deemed to be despicable
Synonyms - disgust, disapproval, repulsion.
Antonyms -  affinity, pride, admiration
Example - After getting out of prison, the child criminal still had to deal with odium from his neighbours.

6) Rigour (noun) (कठोरता)  : rig-er

Meaning -  inflexibility and severity
Synonyms -: strictness,  toughness.
Antonyms - agility, leniency, adaptability
Example -The stern professor does not accept excuses and is known for exhibiting rigor in his classroom.
7) Aspersion (noun) (कलंक ,अवमानित करना): as-per-sion
Meaning - a false charge meant to harm someone’s reputation
Synonyms -   disparagement, denigration, defamation/character assassination.
Antonyms - applause, approval, compliment
Example - Modi’s political rival cast an aspersion against him right before the election.

8) Unsolicited (adjective) (अनचाही): un-suh-lis-i-tid

Meaning - not welcome or invited
Synonyms - uninvited, undemanded, voluntary.
Antonyms - asked, requested, invited
Example -The new mother wished she could stop family members from giving unsolicited advice on how to care for her baby.

9) Traumatic (adjective) ( घाव ,परेशान):  trau-mat-ic

Meaning - extremely disturbing or upsetting
Synonyms -  disturbing, shocking, distressing.
Antonyms - painless, happy, easy
Example -Because her brother’s death was very traumatic, the upset woman spoke with a counselor about her feelings.

10) Discourse (noun) ( बहस, तर्क, चर्चा):dis-course

Meaning - written or spoken communication or debate
Synonyms debate, argument, discussion.
Antonyms - silence, quiet, monologue
Example -A major disadvantage of online discourse is that people can often say whatever they like in complete anonymity. 

11)Call out (phrasal verb) (ध्यान आकर्षित करना ): 

Meaning -  draw/attract critical attention.
Synonyms exclaim, divulge, reveal
Antonyms - conceal, blur 
Example -Even if you just commit one crime, that single lapse in character can land you in jail.

12)Stringent (adjective)  ( कड़ा ): strin-jent

Meaning -  very strict or severe
Synonyms strict, firm, tough/rigorous.
Antonyms - flexible, tolerant, lenient
Example - Many Americans are keeping their money in overseas banks because the tax laws are less stringent in foreign countries.

Assume the article above as a Reading Comprehension, try to answer the questions given below-
  • What examples the author had sighted in the passage to mention Stalking as a severe crime ?
  • How the victim foiled the stalkers as per the passage ?
Check your vocabulary. Here are some words from the same article. Try to make sentences with these words in the comment section which will be reviewed by us.
  • Invoke
  • Pertain
  • Swift
  • Foil

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