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Amritsar disaster: avoidable tragedy

Responsibility must be fixed for the Amritsar disaster. Political spats won’t help
The ghastly(ख़ौफ़नाक रूप से/भयानक) Dasara disaster(आपदा) at Amritsar that has left 59 people dead is a harsh(कड़ा/कठोर) reminder(अनुस्मारक), if any were needed, that government departments have not yet taken official protocols(रिपोर्ट/आदिलेख)for safety at mass gatherings(जनसमूह/समारोह) seriously. In the aftermath of the entirely(संपूर्णतया/पूरी तरह) preventable(रोकथाम) carnage(कत्लेआम/नरसंहार), in which spectators(दर्शकों) crowding(भीड़) a railway track to watchburning(दहन/जलाना) of effigies(पुतला) were mowed down by a train, there is a frantic(भयंकर/बेवकूफ ) effort to pin responsibility(ज़िम्मेदारी/जवाबदेही) on agencies and individuals(व्यक्तियों), and, deplorably(बेकार), to exploit(लाभ उठाना/शोषण करना) public anger(सार्वजनिक क्रोध) for political ends. What happened at Joda Phatak in Amritsar points to the basic failure of the district administration and the police, which should have ensured(यह सुनिश्चित किया/सुरक्षित पखना) law and order. If the organisers(आयोजकों) of the event had obtained(प्राप्त) a no-objection certificate from the police, as reports suggest, what role did the law enforcement(अमल/प्रभावशील)machinery play in crowd control? On the other hand, the Municipal Corporation in Amritsar has tried to distance itself, claiming that its permission was not sought, although almost everyone in the city knew it was taking place. The magisterial inquiry ordered by the Punjab government should examine the actions of the revenue(राजस्व) authorities(प्राधिकरण) and the police in organising the event, and whether rules were ignored to favour the organisers who claimed proximity(निकटता) to some politicians.

Major religious festivals in India are often( अक्सर ) overshadowed(छायांकित) by deadly incidents(घटनाओं) such as stampedes(भगदड़) and fires, ranging from the terrible toll of 249 deaths at the Chamunda Devi temple stampede in Jodhpur in 2008, to the railway station stampede during the Kumbh Mela at Allahabad five years later in which 36 people died. The National Disaster(आपदा/विपत्ति) Management Authority has responded to these horrors by creating a guide for State governments and local bodies, laying down a clear protocol to be followed for mass gatherings and festivals. Whether this was followed by the Amritsar authorities in the planning of the Dasara celebrations is one of the questions that must be addressed. There should be a transformation of the way such events are organised, with a lead agency in each State and district empowered(सशक्त) to issue instructions(निर्देश), and in turn be accountable(उत्तरदायी) for public safety. More broadly(विस्तार पूर्वक),, there is a serious deficit (नुकसान)of common spaces in cities, towns and villages to conduct spectacular events safely. This is incongruous(बेमेल/असंगत) in a populous country with a tradition of festivals and cultural gatherings. The Punjab government, wiser after the fact, says it will draw up guidelines for the future. At Amritsar, trespass on the track was the prime reason for the accident. A campaign(अभियान) to educate the public that railway tracks cannot betreated(इलाज किया) as commons, and vigorous(जोरदार/व्यवसायिक) enforcement, will reduce(कम करना/छोटा करना) the probability of such incidents. The Railways must identify hazard(जोखिम/विपत्ति) spots for train movement in heavily built-up areas and prevent trespass(अतिचार/अपराध) by barricading(बाधित) them. A culture of safety can take root if governments imbibe(प्रभावित) it first


Important Vocabulary

1.Ghastly(ख़ौफ़नाक रूप से/भयानक)
Synonyms: appalling, awful, frightening, frightful, ghostly
Antonyms: beautiful, comforting, delightful, good, great

Synonyms: calamity, catastrophe, collapse, crash, debacle
Antonyms: achievement, advantage, attainment, benefit, blessing

Synonyms: association, caucus, collection, conclave, conference
Antonyms: division, separation, dispersal, individual, loss

Synonyms: bystander, fan, moviegoer, observer, onlooker, sports fan
Antonyms: participant

Synonyms: bloodshed, butchery, crime, havoc, killing
Antonyms: peace

6.Entirely(संपूर्णतया/पूरी तरह) 
Synonyms: absolutely, alone, altogether, exclusively, fully
Antonyms: inadequately, incompletely, partially, partly

Synonyms: likeness, puppet, statue, figure, icon
Antonyms: being, entity

8.Exploit(लाभ उठाना/शोषण करना) 
Synonyms: accomplishment, adventure, deed, escapade, feat
Antonyms: failure, inaction, idleness, inactivity, loss

9.Frantic(भयंकर/बेवकूफ ) 
Synonyms: agitated, angry, delirious, distraught, frenetic
Antonyms: balanced, calm, collected, happy, normal

Synonyms: bitter, bleak, grim, hard, rigid
Antonyms: bland, bright, calm, cheerful, easy

Synonyms: fiery, flaming, leaming, glowing, hot
Antonyms: cold, cool, dull, apathetic, unexcited

12.Often( अक्सर ) 
Synonyms: fiery, flaming, gleaming, glowing, hot
Antonyms: cold, cool, dull, apathetic, unexcited

Synonyms: cloud, dim, dominate, dwarf, eclipse
Antonyms: clear, explain, brighten, fail, lighten

Synonyms: calamity, catastrophe, collapse, crash, debacle, defeat
Antonyms: achievement, advantage, attainment, benefit, blessing

Synonyms: panic, charge, chase, crash, dash
Antonyms: retreat, standing

Synonyms: allow, entitle, entrust, grant, legitimize
Antonyms: deny, disallow, disapprove, refuse, reject

Synonyms: peril, risk, threat, dynamite, endangerment
Antonyms: safety, assurance, certainty, determination, fact

Synonyms: barrier, blockade, fence, rampart, roadblock, Antonyms: opening, aid, help

Synonyms: infraction, misdemeanor, breach, contravention, crime
Antonyms: behavior, benefit, blessing, good, good deed

Synonyms: assimilate, guzzle, ingest, quaff, absorb
Antonyms: abstain, fast

Synonyms: bizarre, contradictory, inappropriate, incoherent, incompatible
Antonyms: compatible, congruous, consistent, corresponding, fitting




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