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Saturday, 5 May 2018

The Hindu Editorial: Raising Fences

Mahendra Guru
The Hindu Editorial: Raising Fences

Title: Raising fences 

(The Windrush scandal marks another episode in Europe’s hardening politics on immigration) 

Context:- The scandal over the targeting of Britons of Caribbean origin is the latest twist in Europe’s recent politics over immigration, denting the continent’s image as being open, liberal and tolerant. 

The development comes at an awkward moment for London, which hopes to negotiate trade agreements with the countries of the British Commonwealth as it withdraws from the European Union. 

The Windrush generation, named after one of the many vessels that ferried some half a million people from the Caribbean islands to the U.K. in the late 1940s, has fallen victim to a ruthless policy that stipulates annual net immigration objectives. 

In its wake, people with cultural links to the region but who have lived all their lives in the U.K. are having to provide proof of residence for every year of their stay of up to 60-70 years. 

Inability to furnish such evidence has been met with job losses, threat of deportation, withdrawal of welfare benefits and even denial of critical medical care.
For Britons of West Indies origin, the enormous emotional trauma of being regarded as aliens in a country that had invited their families to rebuild its economy must be hard enough to endure. 

The Windrush saga is a reminder of the grotesque response from some central European governments in 2015 to prevent desperate Syrian migrants from entering their territory.
It is arguable whether the debate over the so-called illegal immigration across the industrialised world has focussed attention on systemic shortcomings and genuine violations. 

But surely, the controversy has typified the inability of governments to manage the political fallout from the current phase of globalisation and trade liberalisation. ** 

Idioms & Phrases 

1) The best of both worlds = Enjoy two different opportunities at the same time 

2) When pigs fly = Something that will never happen 

One word Substitution 

1) Ready to believe anything = Credulous 

2) That which lasts for a short time = Transitory 

Title: Poll position 

(Citing the Karnataka poll to delay the Cauvery scheme is a poor excuse) 

Context:- The Centre’s excuse for being unable to submit a draft scheme on the Cauvery issue is so poor that it will convince nobody. 

The Attorney General’s explanation that the draft scheme could not be readied because the Prime Minister and other ministers were busy “travelling” in Karnataka is laughable. 

There are several reasons why the Centre’s stand is legally untenable and morally wrong. 
First and foremost, the framing of a scheme to implement a river water tribunal’s award is the Centre’s statutory obligation, and it is not open to the government to weigh its political or electoral implications in the face of such a deadline. 

In its verdict on February 16, 2018, the apex court granted six weeks’ time to the Centre for framing the scheme. It added for good measure that no extension of time would be granted on any ground. Yet, on the eve of the expiry of the deadline, the Union government chose to file an application seeking three more months. 

Tamil Nadu filed a contempt petition. In its application for more time, the Centre had mentioned that it had convened a meeting of representatives of the four States and had also cited the differences of opinion among the States over the composition of the proposed mechanism. 

There was at least a ring of truth to this, given that consulting the parties over the composition of the scheme was necessary to frame it. Even then, the Supreme Court was unimpressed; it had asked the Centre to prove its bona fides by submitting a draft scheme on May 3. 

That it not only failed to do so, but also chose to cite the Prime Minister’s preoccupation with the campaign is bound to raise questions about its commitment to impartial governance and its disdain for judicial orders. 
Final Words 

The Centre’s attitude suggests that it hopes to persuade the court that a degree of political expediency in the light of the election is normal and acceptable. 

Clearly, it is not as keen on proving its own bona fides as it is on improving its prospects in Karnataka. 

Phrasal Verb 

1) Give in = To surrender 

2) Give out = To distribute, stop working

Vocabulary words: 

Reluctant (adj) = Unwilling and hesitant (अनिच्छुक) 

Repercussion (noun) = An unintended consequence of an event (प्रतिक्रिया) 

Expediency (noun) = Advantage, usefulness (मुनाफ़ा) 

Contempt (noun) = Disregard, disrespect (निन्दनीय) 

Untenable (adj) = Indefensible, unarguable (अस्थिर, असमर्थनीय) 

Convene (verb) = Assemble, summon (बुलाना) 

Disdain (noun) = Contempt (तिरस्कार) 

Scandal (noun) = Wrongdoing, misconduct


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