TOPIC-1:Referendum gamble for Britain.
British Prime Minister David Cameron wants London to stay in and out of the European Union (EU) all at the same time, and his counterparts would let it be. Regardless of the result in the June 23 in-out referendum on the question of the U.K.’s EU membership, the difficult and delicate deal stitched together among the leaders of the 28-member bloc carries immense diplomatic significance and value for its near future. The slogan of ever-closer integration in Europe may have carried some romantic appeal in a world recovering from the ravages of the two great wars. It may not be so compelling any longer. The enlargement of the original bloc of six countries into what is today a gigantic transnational entity of 28 is forcing the leaders of as many sovereign states to confront, from their individual perspectives, the cumulative and complex realities of competing nationalisms. As for Britain, the question whether it should stay or leave the EU has overshadowed the better part of the forty-plus years of its membership since 1973. Now, in the midst of the influx of immigrants in their millions from North Africa and West Asia, the U.K. feels the urgency to define its equation with the rest of the bloc in more precise terms. “Live and let live,” Mr. Cameron told his counterparts in Brussels, as he secured safeguards for the minority of non-eurozone states, significant in view of London’s large financial services industry.
Also read: Cameron begins campaign to keep Britain in EU
For their part, EU leaders, while increasingly wary of the U.K.’s persistent and shrill eurosceptic stance, would not easily reconcile to the idea of the exit of one of the continent’s biggest economies, one with immense international clout and a permanent UN Security Council seat. There was implicit, if unspoken, appreciation in Berlin, Paris and Brussels in recent months that the prospect of a Brexit would not bode well politically for the bloc, as much as a Grexit would severely dent the project of the single currency, now nearing completion of two decades. That Britain is in a minority of countries that neither share the euro nor participate in the Schengen border-free zone does not diminish its weight and importance in the larger EU framework. Conversely, the exemption of Britain from ever-closer integration in the Union — a founding principle — promised in the latest agreement, represents an important, if symbolic, selling point for Mr. Cameron. Several Conservative euro-sceptics, both within and outside the Cabinet, are to campaign for an outright exit in the coming referendum. In a compromise, Mr. Cameron had to concede the retention, with some modifications, of benefit payments to immigrant workers and their children from within the EU. On both, the original unrealistic position favoured an outright ban. The Leave Campaign will undoubtedly view these changes as carrying little substance against their decided position. Despite the uncertainty over the outcome of the June vote, it is hard to imagine the British public being excited into exit mode, notwithstanding a frenzied media campaign.
1.referendum : a legislative act is referred for final approval to a popular vote by the electorate.
2.stitched : make, mend, or join (something) with stitches.
3.immense :extremely large or great, especially in scale or degree.
4.compelling : evoking interest, attention, or admiration in a powerfully irresistible way.
5.gigantic : of very great size or extent; huge or enormous.
6.sovereign : a supreme ruler, especially a monarch.
7.confront : come face to face with (someone) with hostile or argumentative intent.
8.perspectives : the art of representing three-dimensional objects on a two-dimensional surface so as to give the right impression of their height, width, depth, and position in relation to each other.
9.cumulative : increasing or increased in quantity, degree, or force by successive additions.
10.influx : an arrival or entry of large numbers of people or things.
11.immigrants : a person who comes to live permanently in a foreign country.
12.precise : marked by exactness and accuracy of expression or detail.
13.stance : the way in which someone stands, especially when deliberately adopted (as in cricket, golf, and other sports); a person's posture.
14.clout : a heavy blow with the hand or a hard object.
15.Grexit : refers to Greece's potential withdrawal from the eurozone, after which it would most likely revert to using the drachma.
16.dent: a slight hollow in a hard even surface made by a blow or pressure.
17.referendum : a general vote by the electorate on a single political question which has been referred to them for a direct decision.
TOPIC-2:Stark reminder in Jammu & Kashmir.
The gunfight between militants and the security forces in Pampore, near Srinagar, that went on for three days since Saturday is a stark reminder that in Jammu and Kashmir embers can flare up any moment, and that with summer approaching there needs to be greater political determination in dealing with law and order. The stand-off started when a group of heavily armed militants opened fire on a convoy, targeting especially a Central Reserve Police Force bus. The CRPF lost head constable driver R.K. Rana, who was driving the bus, and head constable Bhola Singh, while several other jawans were injured. The militants then ran into the compound of the Entrepreneurship Development Institute, along the Srinagar-Jammu national highway. The gun battle has already resulted in grave and unacceptably high casualties — three Army men, two CRPF personnel and a civilian. What is especially worrying, and must force military planners and the political top brass in New Delhi to sit up and take note, is the death of three elite para commandos of the Army. India cannot afford to keep losing its young men with such dreary frequency.
Also read: Army battling rise in number of casualties in Kashmir
The attack in Pampore follows a new pattern emerging in Jammu and Kashmir in recent months. Violence had been steadily dwindling until 2014, when for various reasons it picked up pace again in the Valley. In part, it was because the previous United Progressive Alliance government had failed to politically exploit the opening presented by the ebbing of militancy in the State. An all-out effort at that point would have helped the Manmohan Singh government find a possible breakthrough in bringing peace back to Kashmir. That would have entailed an honourable settlement of grievances of all sides, and resulted in ending the deployment of almost half a million Indian soldiers in the State. Unfortunately, the level of violence in Kashmir has been steadily climbing since the Narendra Modi government came to power, but a political opportunity presented itself in early 2015 when, in a master stroke, the Bharatiya Janata Party sewed up a coalition government with the Peoples Democratic Party. That was seen to be the first step in the peace process, bringing political determination on the part of New Delhi behind the PDP’s healing touch. However, the initial efforts have floundered, especially since the death of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. Violence in the State has also steadily increased in recent months, with many incidents claiming an unusually high toll of security forces and civilians. What is most noticeable about the present phase of violence is that many attacks are carried out by home-grown militants, a new wave of youngsters from within the Indian borders who have taken to violence, in recent times. A steady stream of militants infiltrating from Pakistan keeps the pot boiling. All this is happening during Governor’s Rule, while political parties allow the situation to drift in order that they may hammer out a beneficial alliance deal. The Centre and all the stakeholders must address the challenge of the growing alienation among Kashmiris.
1.embers : a small piece of burning or glowing coal or wood in a dying fire.
2.flare : a sudden brief burst of bright flame or light.
3.convoy : a group of ships or vehicles travelling together, typically one accompanied by armed troops, warships, or other vehicles for protection.
4.casualties : a person killed or injured in a war or accident.
5.elite :a select group that is superior in terms of ability or qualities to the rest of a group or society.
6.dreary : depressingly dull and bleak or repetitive.
7.dwindling : diminish gradually in size, amount, or strength.
8.ebbing : (of tidewater) move away from the land; recede.
9.sewed : join, fasten, or repair (something) by making stitches with a needle and thread or a sewing machine.
10.coalition : a temporary alliance for combined action, especially of political parties forming a government.
11.floundered : struggle or stagger clumsily in mud or water.
12.healing : the process of making or becoming sound or healthy again.
13.infiltrating : enter or gain access to (an organization, place, etc.) surreptitiously and gradually, especially in order to acquire secret information.
14.alienation : the transfer of the ownership of property rights.