Quiz: Reading Comprehension

Hello Readers,
                              Today's post is related to the recent reports published by United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) for the year 2015. It shows the perception of outside world towards our country. It will be relevant for SSc, IBPS, SBI, And other Insurance exams.


Directions (Q.1-10): Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below. Certain words/phrases have been printed in bold to help you locate them.


What constitutes the image of a country? This is a particularly complex question for a country like India which is not only a young Republic but also an ancient civilisation. To my mind, India’s image, for the outside gaze, rests on several factors: the fact that it is the world’s largest functioning democracy; it is an ancient land, with a culture that is marked by antiquity, diversity, assimilation, continuity and peaks of unparalleled refinement; it is a country which has consciously chosen the path of respect for plurality; it is a nation which believes in religious tolerance, as is only befitting a land where four of the world’s great religions — Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism — were born, and which also has the second largest number of Muslims on the planet; it is a country which has the potential to emerge as a “super power”, with a great deal of economic promise, including the incentive of a very large market, notwithstanding the fact that it still has too many of the abjectly poor, the malnourished and the illiterate; and, finally, that it is a country that is essentially liberal in its outlook, with space for dissent and debate, and, therefore, unrelentingly opposed to the monolithic fundamentalisms that are sweeping across large parts of the world.
The image of a country is thus a holistic construct. Many deep-rooted pillars underpin it, while on the surface several banners flutter perennially: Bollywood, yoga, the Taj Mahal, Ravi Shankar and chicken tikka. The big mistake is to believe that a single desirable factor, such as a “stable” government, or a period of high economic growth rate, or an effective machinery of propaganda and projection, are sufficient to give a country an “attractive” image. Hard power, soft power, a certain value system, and an unmistakable civilisational “mystique” must combine in the right proportions to give to a country like India the right image globally. It is in this context that we must see the annual Report for 2015 of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). The report places India in a group of 30 countries that meet “a systematic, ongoing and egregious” standard for failing to protect religious freedoms. In its five-page focus on India, the commission expresses deep concern over the Ghar Vapsi campaign of forced conversions, the attacks on churches, and the hate diatribe carried out against Muslim minorities. What is significant, and possibly in terms of emphasis unprecedented, is that the report indicts the government for not reining in the “Hindu nationalist” groups that are carrying out the attack on the minorities. To deal with this situation, it advocates a new level of activism for the U.S. government. The concerns regarding religious freedom must become a part of the India-U.S. bilateral dialogue, it says. The U.S. must urge the Indian government to “publicly rebuke” those making derogatory remarks about religious communities. Taking activism a step further, it even recommends that the U.S. Ambassador should visit places where “communal violence has occurred or is likely to occur”. To be fair, the report also takes positive note of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech to Catholic Bishops in February 2015 where he spoke of the need to ensure “complete freedom of faith”. But it does so by citing the fact that Mr. Modi faces long-standing allegations of being complicit in the anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat in 2002, and was denied a visa for this very reason under the U.S. International Religious Freedom Act. Disturbing perception Such intrusive comments on our internal matters by other countries are neither desirable nor necessary. As a democracy, and with established institutions to safeguard our Constitutional commitments to secularism, we are quite capable of fighting our internal frictions. Besides, no country has the right to lecture to others from a self-anointed pedestal. There are several areas where American society too falls short of acceptable standards of behaviour, both in terms of equity and equality. Would our American friends like it if India were to produce a report on such matters, and urge our Ambassador in Washington to “visit” areas where, for instance, racist incidents occur? There are standard conventions which govern diplomatic niceties, and no country, however powerful, has the right to transgress them. The USCIRF may have no legislative or executive powers itself. But it is a bipartisan Congressional body, and does exercise considerable influence on the State Departments assessments on religious freedom. To that extent, the fact that it is technically not a part of the formal U.S. government is but a fig leaf.
This being said, the Congressional report does convey a certain disturbing perception about India. Perceptions affect image. And, while our reservations about outsider comments remain relevant, we should be concerned about why a friendly country has articulated such a damning perception. Is it just bias, prejudice and condescension? Or, is there something we need to wake up about, take stock, introspect and apply the right correctives? The truth is that, notwithstanding the gratuitous U.S. comment, there has been — ever since the new government came to power — a sharp increase in organised attempts by elements of the Bharatiya Janata Party-Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the affiliated Sangh Parivar to whip up communal disharmony. A consistent hate campaign against the minorities has been orchestrated using artifices like “love jihad” and “ghar vapsi”. Churches have come under attack, including shamefully, in the capital of the nation. A campaign of demographic scaremongering is under way, with calls by Sadhvis and Sakshis and even a certain Shankaracharya urging Hindu women to have anything from four to 40 children. Inflammatory speeches by the likes of Yogi Adityanath and Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, and proclamations by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) that India will soon be a purely Hindu country, have become the norm. The net consequence is that India’s image as a secular country committed to respecting all faiths has taken a beating. There is a genuine fear that the governance agenda, to the extent that we have seen any real substance of it thus far, will be overwhelmed by the perennial social instability caused by deliberate — and unchecked — attempts to stoke communal divisions.
-Source The Hindu, Delhi Edition, 6th May

Q.1.Choose an appropriate title for the passage.
1) Controversial India
2) Modi and Controversies
3) The Face Off
4) The Dead Blades
5) Of Images and Perception

Q.2.What does the author mean by the phrase “long-standing allegations of being complicit in the anti-Muslim riots”?
1) Supposed to be the part of riots.
2) Alleged to be involved with the muslim in the riot.
3) Proclaimed to be involved in the riot.
4) All of the above
5) None of the above

Q.3.Which of the following is true according to the passage?
A) Instigating speech by certain MP’s has sparked the feeling of insecurity.
B) Being a democracy, we are quite enabled by our constitution to fight the internal
C) Ghar Vapsi was properly propagated by the leaders of BJP
1) A and B
2) A and C
3) A
4) B
5) A, B and C

Q.4.What made the author write the above passage?
1) Accumulation of recent protests and activities by Social Activists.
2) Being a responsible citizen, he got inspired by these social issues.
3) The recent debate on the issue of Ghar Vapasi.
4) Due to the recent report by USCIRF on India.
5) None of the above

Q.5. Which of the Famous MP’s names have not been mentioned in the passage?
1) Yogi Adityanath
2) Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti
3) Narendra Modi
4) Rahul Gandhi
5) All of the above

Q.6.What is the synonym of the word “introspect”?
1) Self-contemplation
2) Self-proclamation
3) Self-independence
4) All of the above
5) None of the above

Q.7.What is the antonym of the word “condescension”?
1) Simplified
2) Superficial
3) Superciliousness
4) Adorable
5) None

Q.8. What is the synonym of the word “assimilation”?
1) None
2) Absorption
3) Articulation
4) Incognitive
5) Harmony

Q.9. What is the synonym of the word “abjectly”?
1) Miserable
2) Scurvy
3) Scummy
4) Contemptible
5) None

Q.10. What is the synonym of the word “diatribe”?
1) denunciation
2) broadside
3) fulmination
4) All of the above
5) None of the above

1. (5
2. (3
3. (1
4. (4
5. (4
6. (1
7. (3
8. (2
9. (5
10. (4

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