Learning english from newspapers

Sourav Banerjee MA,MSW (Shabda Bramha) (8842 Points)

25 February 2012  

Learning English from newspapers


The Editorial pages of English newspapers have always been one of the very important sources for learning the language - be it in the form of words that are in vogue or certain ways to construct sentences. Careful reading of this single section of any English daily helps improving our feeling for the language and also keeps us updated about the main undercurrents of Global society, culture, polity and economy. Countering the logic expressed by the author of a certain article also sharpens our analytical prowess.


Knowing that my friends and family members of CCI are so busy with their professional pursuit that it is not practicable for them to give so much time to this area of knowledge, I am starting this thread.


The following article was published in The Times of India on 24th of February, 2012. The full content of this article can be accessed at




A Growing Peace Constituency

Pakistanis are beginning to question conventional wisdom on Kashmir

Shashi Tharoor

    A subtle shift may be occurring in one of the world’s longest-standing and most intractable conflicts – the dispute between India and Pakistan over Kashmir.


   When Pakistan was carved out of India by the departing British in the 1947 partition, the maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir – a Muslim-majority state with a Hindu ruler – dithered over which of the two to join, and flirted with the idea of remaining independent.

    In order to determine the Kashmiris’ preference, the UN mandated a plebiscite, to be conducted after Pakistani troops had withdrawn from the territory.

    The plebiscite was never held, and the dispute has festered ever since.

    Four wars (in 1948, 1965, 1971 and 1999) have been fought across the ceasefire line, now called the Line of Control (LoC), without materially altering the situation. Beginning in the late 1980s, a Kashmiri Muslim insurrection erupted, backed by Pakistan both financially and with armed militants who crossed the LoC into India.


    Younger Pakistanis are going even further. The columnist Yaqoob Khan Bangash, for example, openly derides the hallowed Pakistani argument that, as Muslims, Indian Kashmiris would want to join Pakistan: “Despite being practically a war zone since 1989, Indian Kashmir has managed higher literacy, economic growth, and per capita income rates than most of Pakistan,” he wrote recently. “Why would the Kashmiris want to join Pakistan now? What do we have to offer them?”

    Beyond that, many argue, the costs of the prolonged obsession with Kashmir have become unsustainable for a Pakistan mired in internal problems. Kashmiris, wrote Bangash, “should certainly not come at the cost of our own survival, and not when all that we will be able to offer them is a failed state.”

    This is still a heretical position in Pakistan, but it is a view that is gaining ground. When Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who consistently advocates peace with his nuclear armed neighbour, suggested last summer that Pakistan should “leave the Kashmir issue alone” and focus on its domestic challenges, the comment did not elicit the customary howls of outrage in the Pakistan media. Instead, it was met with a grudging acknowledgement that this time India’s leader might be right.

The writer is member of Parliament and an author. Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2012. www.project-syndicate.org



INTRACTABLE [Synonym --Intransigent ]:

1.  Not easily controlled or directed; not docile or manageable; stubborn; obstinate: an intractable disposition.

2. (Of things) hard to shape or work with: an intractable metal.

3. Hard to treat, relieve, or cure: the intractable pain in his leg.


DITHERED [ Noun ]  A state of nervous excitement or fear.

                    [Adjective] To act hesitantly.

                                              Unable to make a final decision about something

                                            [Dither over/about/between]


Ex : He accused the government of dithering over the deal.

         Stop dithering, young man, and get on with the project!



If an unpleasant feeling or problem festers, it gets worse because it has not been dealt with.

Ex : The dispute can be traced back to resentments which have festered for centuries.



It is a system by which everyone in a country or area votes on an important decision that affects the whole country or area.



An attempt by a large group of people within a country to take control using force and violence [= rebellion]



Someone who is guilty of heresy .

[Heresy is a belief, statement etc. that disagrees with what a group of people believe to be right/ A belief that disagrees with the official principles of a particular religion.]



Getting stuck in a bad situation and unable to get out or make any progress.



To succeed in getting information or a reaction from someone, especially when this is difficult.

Ex : When her knock elicited no response, she opened the door and peeped in.

Elicit something from somebody

Ex : The test uses pictures to elicit words from the child.


GRUDGE ( Verb )

To do or give something very unwillingly

Ex : He offered a grudging apology.


Dictionaries used :

https://dictionary.reference.com/     and

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English