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Daily The Hindu Editorial With Vocabulary in Detail : Not above the law On Salman Khan case verdict

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The stiff(कठोर/कठिन) sentence of five years in jail awarded to actor Salman Khan for hunting blackbuck in Rajasthan’s Kankani village in 1998 should send out the message that stardom does not confer(प्रदान करना/मन्त्रणा करना) impunity(माफी). Unlike the average wildlife poaching(अवैध शिकार/भोंकना) case, where State forest departments struggle to gather credible(विश्वसनीय/)evidence(सबूत/गवाही), the prosecution(अभियोग) in the blackbuck(काला हिरन) case has been vigorously(ज़ोरों के साथ/उत्साह सहित) supported by the local Bishnoi community. What sets the case apart from so many other episodes of poaching and animal trapping(फँसाने/पकडना) in India’s forests is its naked celebration of bloodsport. Stars like Khan, who is no stranger to controversy(विवाद/तकरार) surrounding(आसपास के/घिराव) hunting expeditions, seem to think conservation is not serious business, and the clock can readily be turned back to an era when the wealthy and powerful organised ‘shikar’ parties to hunt for pleasure. That era is over. If the verdict(निर्णय) of the Jodhpur court in the blackbuck case survives(बच जाना) the appeals process, it would send out the powerful message that the judicial system feels no constraint(बाधा) in exerting the full weight of the law to protect threatened(धमकाना/भरूर्सना देना) wildlife. Equally, it should bring a feeling of empowerment to forest department personnel, and help them resist(विरोध/बाधा डालना) the intimidation(डराना-धमकाना) that they routinely face frominfluential(प्रभावशाली/प्रभावी) sections in the discharge of their duties. Protecting the blackbuck case verdict — and the witnesses who made it possible — is the challenge they face today.

The Wildlife (Protection) Act, the landmark law from 1972 that shields the diversity(विविधता/विभिन्नता) of India’s endangered(लुप्तप्राय) animals mainly in 4% of its land area designated(निर्दिष्ट/नामांकित) as protected, struggles to be effective and conviction rates are low. Besides restraining ‘VIP’ poachers, forest guards must combat(सामना/लड़ना) organised hunting gangs that employ traps and snares(जाल/ललचाव) for a thriving(संपन्न) trade in animals, body parts and trophies. Even the population of the tiger, the most protected species, faces erosion due to poaching. At least 136 tigers were killed between 2014 and 2017, according to an estimate by the Wildlife Protection Society of India that includes official data on poaching. What is more, several species(नसल/प्रजातियां) protected under the Schedules of the Wildlife Act are often found in areas that lie outside sanctuaries(पूजन-स्थान/पशुविहार, and are commonly hunted. Forest departments must see the need for greater vigilance(जागरूकता/सतर्कता) in such territories(इलाक़ा/प्रदेश), which they can exercise in partnership with local communities. The verdict in the Salman Khan case strikes a blow for these free-ranging animals, sending out the message that hunting of protected species is certain(निश्चित/स्पष्ट) to invite severe penalties(दंड/जुरमाना). The court makes the important observation that personalities who are capable(सक्षम/कुशल) of influencing the behaviour of others must naturally be conscious of what they do. It is to be hoped that this will convince(समझाने/यकीन दिलाना the high and mighty that bloodsports are grotesquely(अदभुत रूप से) incongruous(बेतुका) in the present day when environmental concerns rule supreme and engaging(मनोहर) in them invites deterrent(निवारक) action.

Important Vocabulary

1.Poaching(अवैध शिकार/भोंकना)
Synonyms: smuggle, appropriate, encroach, filch, intrude
Antonyms: give, receive, keep off

2.Impunity(माफी)
Synonyms: immunity, dispensation, exception,  exemption, liberty
Antonyms: denial, prohibition, veto, imprisonment, incarceration

3.Trapping(फँसाने/पकडना)
Synonyms: ambush, ambuscade, beguile, circumvent, collar
Antonyms: aid, allow, assist, be honest, disenchant

4.Vigorously(ज़ोरों के साथ/उत्साह सहित)
Synonyms: actively, boldly, eagerly, earnestly, firmly

5.Resist(विरोध/बाधा डालना)
Synonyms: abide, combat, confront, continue, curb
Antonyms: accept, aid, allow, assist, discontinue

6.Surrounding(आसपास के/घिराव)
Synonyms: neighboring, enclosing, encompassing, around, circumambient

7.Combat(सामना/लड़ना)
Synonyms: action, conflict, contest, encounter, engagement
Antonyms: agreement, calm, harmony, peace, surrender

8.Vigilance(जागरूकता/सतर्कता)
Synonyms: alertness, caution, diligence, surveillance, acuity
Antonyms: indifference, neglect, carelessness, impulsiveness, indiscretion

9.Engaging(मनोहर)
Synonyms: alluring, appealing, attractive, captivating, fascinating
Antonyms: boring, disagreeable, hateful, mean, repulsive

10.Endangered(लुप्तप्राय)
Synonyms: threatened, at risk, facing extinction, in danger

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