Indian Police Raids Hunger Strike

July 5, 2011

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. crack down (idiom) [krak] [doun] – to take serious actions against someone or something (as in a criminal or a crime)
Example: The government needs to crack down on the use of drugs among the youth.

2. guru (n.) [goor-oo, goo-roo] – an influential teacher or popular expert
Example: Robert Kiyosaki is a finance guru.

3. corruption (n.) [kuh-ruhp-shuhn]  – dishonest actions
Example: Bribery is one of the most common acts of corruption.

4. raid (n.) [reyd] – a sudden or unexpected attack
Example: Authorities usually do raids to catch individuals involved in illegal activities like drug use or drug pushing.  

5. high-handed (adj.) [hahy] [han-did] - using power or authority without considering the feelings of others
Example: The activists oppose the high-handed takeover of the government.

Read the text below.

Police officers cracked down on a hunger protest led by India’s leading yoga guru Baba Ramdev. Fifty thousand followers of Ramdev attended the said strike aimed at fighting corruption in India’s government.

In the report, approximately 40 people and two dozen police got injured during the said attack. Ramdev was taken away from the protest site and was sent back to his main office in Haridwar, Northern India.

Government officials explained that the raid was lawful because Ramdev did not have permission to carry out a hunger strike. He originally asked a permit to set up a yoga camp for 5,000 participants only.

However, Ramdev accused the police and the government of being high-handed. He vowed to continue his protest in order to fight the continuing corruption of which the Indian prime minister and his officials are being accused.

Some of the accusations involve the unfair selling of government licenses, inconsistent financial reports and illegal use of government benefits.

Despite his good intentions, Ramdev has received attacks from his critics and some members of Congress. They question his wealthy lifestyle and accuse him of deceiving millions of his supporters.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A 

·         What other forms of protest can you think of?
·         Are there any other ways for people to express themselves without doing a protest?

Discussion B

·         In what ways do you think you can practice ‘freedom of speech’?
·         Should there be limitations to this right?   

July 5, 2011