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The importance of reading editorials of reputed newspapers is not hidden from anybody. What causes obstruction are difficult words which act like speed-breakers forcing you to either refer to a dictionary for its meaning or simply guess it. While getting the meaning from the dictionary is the best way to understand it, sometimes a dictionary is not within your reach. Also, a number of aspirants get confused when they see more than one meaning next to a word in a dictionary. It becomes a difficult process for them to pick the relevant meaning.

We at PracticeMock understand this and that’s why we have come up with a series of Editorials’ Difficult Words where we shortlist the important editorials of the day and pick the difficult words/ phrases therein. Next to the word, we put only the contextual sense of the word/ phrase so that you don’t get confused. Now let’s go through today’s editorial.

Difficult Word/ PhraseContextual Sense
Unhindered able or allowed to happen or continue without being slowed, stopped, or made more difficult
Juvenile of, for, or relating to young people
Cremate dispose of (a dead person’s body) by burning it to ashes, typically after a funeral ceremony
Stringent (of regulations, requirements, or conditions) strict, precise, and exacting
Misogynist a man who hates women
Heinous very bad or evil
Warped having ideas that most people think are strange or unpleasant
Retract withdraw (a statement or accusation) as untrue or unjustified
Flip-flop an abrupt reversal of policy
Missive a letter, especially a long or official one
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Rape and insensitivity: On the narrative of violence against women

Women’s security must not be predicated on restrictions of their rights and freedoms

The narrative of violence against women in India continues unhindered (able or allowed to happen or continue without being slowed, stopped, or made more difficult). On August 24, an MBA student was gangraped near Chamundi Hills in Mysuru, sending shock waves around the country. Four men and a juvenile (of, for, or relating to young people) have been arrested from Tiruppur in Tamil Nadu in connection with the rape. The men tried to rob the girl and her friend but on finding no valuables, they raped her and assaulted him. Earlier this month, a minor Dalit girl was raped, murdered and hurriedly cremated (dispose of (a dead person’s body) by burning it to ashes, typically after a funeral ceremony) in Delhi while the parents were kept away. In July, two minor girls were raped in Goa. Despite stringent ((of regulations, requirements, or conditions) strict, precise, and exacting) laws in place, especially after the 2012 Nirbhaya case in Delhi, a rape occurs every 16 minutes in India, according to the latest records available with the National Crime Records Bureau. To make matters worse, sexist, misogynist (a man who hates women), survivor-blaming remarks and inept measures invariably follow a heinous (very bad or evil) crime against women. Girls are pulled up for wearing ripped jeans, and staying out late. Sections of society, in their warped (having ideas that most people think are strange or unpleasant) thinking, often argue the survivor could have evaded the assailants by adhering to conservative norms: wearing traditional attire, skipping parties, returning home by sunset. Parents are blamed for not bringing up their girl children with ‘Indian values’. After the Mysuru rape, a similar pattern ensued. The Karnataka Home Minister, Araga Jnanendra, ‘joked’ about rape while accusing the Congress of ‘politicising’ it. He subsequently retracted (withdraw (a statement or accusation) as untrue or unjustified) his insensitive remarks after State Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai stepped in.

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Mysore University did a flip-flop (an abrupt reversal of policy) too, first announcing that girls would not be allowed to step off the Manasagangotri campus after 6.30 p.m., and then withdrawing the missive (a letter, especially a long or official one). Activists cried foul because the action showed the intent to blame everything on the girl. To do right by women, courts too should play a role, but despite some soul-searching as in Aparna Bhat & Ors vs. State of Madhya Pradesh & Anr., where the Supreme Court admitted to the “entrenched paternalistic and misogynistic attitudes that are regrettably reflected at times in judicial orders and judgments,” other verdicts have fallen short. Recent rulings by the Chhattisgarh High Court and the Kerala High Court, reiterating that any sexual act by a man against his wife, even if it involved force, is not rape, may be correct in law, but served to highlight the lacuna in the penal code, which does not recognise marital rape. In June, the Supreme Court had to order police protection to a couple in a live-in relationship who were denied relief by the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Women have come a long way, fighting for their rights against patriarchal mindsets and other social ills. Instead of curbing their freedom, society and the state must ensure protection of women both in public and private places.

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Hope you got to know some new words/phrases which will definitely be useful in the English section of upcoming competitive exams. Wishing you all the best for your preparation!

Want to improve your vocabulary further? Download the Lists of Word-Meanings of Previous Months here.

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