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Untenable: on M.J. Akbar

M.J. Akbar should have resigned. Or else, asked to go
The Minister of State for External Affairs, M.J. Akbar, should have done the only right thing in the circumstances(परिस्थिति) — resign. This was the only course to limit the already significant damage to the high office he holds. His legacy(विरासत/उत्तरदान)in Indian journalism would also have been better served had he quit first and attempted to defend himself legally or otherwise later. Unfortunately(दुर्भाग्य से), he chose not to. Upon his return to Delhi from an overseas(विदेशी) official trip on Sunday, he went on the offensive(अपमानजनक/घिनौना)by dismissing the long string((तार/शृंखला) of charges of sexual(यौन) harassment( उत्पीड़न) made against him by former women colleagues(सहयोगियों) as a tissue((ऊतक/कपड़ा)) of lies. He chose to spin an unconvincing(असुविधाजनक) web of conspiracy(साजिश/षड्यंत्र) around the sudden(अचानक) spate((बौछाड़/चढ़ाव/आवेश) of the #MeToo disclosures(खुलासे /परदाफ़ाश) over the last week. Mr. Akbar’s basic theme: with elections round the corner, these charges are motivated(प्रेरित करना). There is a second, more specific line in his attempted defence — one that suggests that the gravamen of the charges is vague(अस्पष्ट /अनिश्चित) and unsubstantiated(निराधार). While it is true that not every one of the dozen or so women have claimed they were physically assaulted(हमला किया/धावा करना), the overall picture they have painted is that of a systematic pattern of sexual harassment. Their stories range from suggestiveness(सुझाव) and innuendo(व्यंग्य/ताना) to outright molestation(छेड़खानी/पीड़ा). Together they make for sad and worrying reading, but at least a couple highlight how far he seemed willing to go. Ghazala Wahab, now executive(कार्यकारी) editor at FORCE magazine, has written of repeated molestation at his hands in the mid-1990s when he was her editor at Asian Age. Majlie de Puy Kamp, now a New York-based reporter, has spoken of how a decade(दशक) later he forcibly(जबरन) kissed her, when she was 18 and interning with him.

Mr. Akbar’s conspiracy theory that the #MeToo charges have settled upon him because elections are now looming(पास ही मंडराना/उभरते) is weak and totally unconvincing. He has no political heft and a conspiracy to tarnish(कलंक/धुंधलापन)him and secure his speedy exit from the Narendra Modi government would have left it none the weaker. Now that he has decided to dig his heels in, the focus cannot but shift to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Why wasn’t his resignation demanded and secured on his return to the Capital? Surely, the Prime Minister had more than enough time to sift through the charges, take stock of Mr. Akbar’s alleged misdemeanours and conclude whether he should continue in the Cabinet. By failing to immediately force him to step down, Mr. Modi has sent an unfortunate message about his government’s attitude to harassment and the protection of women in workspaces. He has appeared(दिखाई दिया/निर्गत) as if he is standing behind Mr. Akbar and will be perceived(माना जाता है/समझना) by many as having failed India’s women.


Important Vocabulary

Synonyms: abhorrent, abusive, annoying, distasteful, embarrassing
Antonyms: agreeable, delightful, good, kind, nice

Synonyms: plot, scheme, sedition, treason, cabal
Antonyms: faithfulness, honesty, ignorance,loyalty

3.Vague(अस्पष्ट /अनिश्चित)
Synonyms: ambiguous, dubious, equivocal, faint, fuzzy
Antonyms: apparent, certain, clear, definite, determined

Synonyms: abduction, abuse, maltreatment, molestation, violation

Synonyms: insinuation, allusion, aside, aspersion, hint
Antonyms: evidence, proof

Synonyms: damage, defame, dim, dull, embarrass
Antonyms: aid, assist, benefit, clean, fix

Synonyms: assets, capital, chances, class, command
Antonyms: debt, poorness, poverty

Synonyms: estate, gift, tradition, bequest, birthright

Synonyms: illogical, unsound, flawed, unsupportable

Synonyms: estate, gift, tradition, bequest, birthright

Synonyms: cord, rope, strand, twine, twist
Antonyms: individual

Synonyms: mesh, ornament, banding, border, crochet

Synonyms: deluge, flood, flurry, outpouring, string

14.Loom (पास ही मंडराना/उभरते))
Synonyms: brew, come on, dominate, emerge, hover
Antonyms: decline, fall, leave, abandon, descend

Synonyms: debatable, dubious, unsupported, arguable, controversial
Antonyms: certain, sure

Synonyms: molestation, persecution, provocation, aggravation, annoyance
Antonyms: aid, comfort, contentment, delight, happiness




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