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Directions (1-7): In the following passage there are blanks, each of which has been numbered. These numbers are printed below the passage and against each, five words are suggested, one of which fits the blank appropriately. Find out the appropriate word in each case.The traumatic months of the national lockdown lay bare many troubling truths about the profound ___________ (1) of people of privilege from the working poor. They reveal a society in which the privileged are extraordinarily comfortable with inequality, and wanting in elementary empathy and solidarity. They confirm that the __________ (2) of modernity and the progressive, egalitarian values of the Constitution remain — in the prophetic words of Babasaheb Ambedkar — no deeper than a coat of paint.
In this writer’s book, Looking Away: Inequality, Prejudice and Indifference in New India, I described the Indian rich and middle-class to be among the most uncaring in the world, _____________ (3) still in the cruelties of caste and class, with a singular capacity to look at injustice and suffering and just turn their faces away. I wrote of the exile of the poor from our conscience and our consciousness. The lockdown disclosed precisely how absolute and _________ (4) is this exile. For any young person growing up in middle-class homes, the poor are visible at every turn, but only in their ____________ (5) as people who exist to service our every need. They never know them as classmates, as colleagues or competitors at work, or as friends in a playground or cinema theatre.
When the COVID-19 infection hit us, we saw the working poor suddenly as dangerous potential spreaders. We wanted them suddenly at bay. We ignored that it was not the poor who ____________ (6) us, but we who endangered the poor when they came into contact with us. After all, it was people who could afford flight tickets who brought the novel coronavirus into India. We welcomed the strategy of a lockdown — possibly, the harshest and largest in the world, with the smallest relief package. We adjusted also to working from home, secure that our salaries and savings would tide us through. With running water on tap, we washed our hands regularly. We were untroubled because our health insurance would pay for treatment in expensive private hospitals. We _____________ (7) with boredom and occasional depression, but it was a time also to rebuild our bonds with our families.
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