Reading Comprehension for IBPS PO: Part 13


For all the killing and beheading they do on the LoC (Line of Control), we thrashed them so badly on the cricket field yesterday,” my Uber driver told me, with a palpable tinge of pride in his voice, the morning after the Indian cricket team won the ICC Champions Trophy match against Pakistan on June 4. “But Pakistan has beaten India several times in the past,” I reminded the young man who kept checking for WhatsApp messages on his smart phone at every traffic signal. “Yeah, sometimes they (the Indian team) let us down,” he complained, irritated. I imagine that would have been the response had I spoken to him now about India’s defeat by Pakistan in the Trophy final on Sunday.
Notice the subject of the two references to the Indian cricket team: victory is associated with ‘we’ and defeat is associated with ‘they’ or ‘our team’. The underlying point is simple: we would like to associate with feelings and messages of positivity, prosperity and good news. And by extension, just as we would prefer bearing good news rather than bad news, we instinctively like those who give us positive messages and promise acts of pride and achievement. Several psychologists have reached these conclusions using scientific studies.
It’s basic psychology that we like to hear good things — about our country, religion, cricket team, Olympic medals, etc. — as, they are, to some extent, an extension of our own selves. When our team wins a match, we are winning the match. But when they lose, we instinctively try to shift the burden of failure to the team. This desire and imagery of positivity is not limited to present achievements alone; rather, it extends to imaginary glories of the past, revenge on the enemy, sacrifices for collective good, among others. Politicians and political parties habitually use symbols and images associated with positivity to gather domestic political support. “Make America great again” and “Bharat Mata ki jai” are two of the best examples of positive messaging in our times.
Having been in power for over three years now, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government has little to show for itself in terms of economic growth, employment generation or national security. And yet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity has only spiked. What explains this? Part of the answer lies in their ability to master the fine art of positive messaging by effectively fusing national pride with our ordinary selves and daily lives. Mr. Modi’s well-televised visits to great power capitals, accompanied by an abundance of glamour and grandeur, are choreographed to look like our own teleported visits there, and we feel that the ‘land of snake charmers’ has finally arrived on the world stage. From invoking ‘Gujarati asmita’ when he was the Gujarat Chief Minister to invoking national pride today, Mr. Modi’s ability to give a positive twist to just about any situation is unparalleled. Consider, for instance, how Mr. Modi reframed the curse of poverty with clever word play: “I find great potential among the poor. The poor are the strength of this country.”
There are three core styles of positive messaging that the BJP typically engages in, and thereby successfully connecting with the masses on the ground, who could do with some positive news amidst all the anxieties of their daily lives. The language of greatness and growth are the most prominent in the BJP’s tool kit of political messaging. The promise of “ achhe din (good days)” galvanised the national imagination and brought Mr. Modi to power in 2014. From A.B. Vajpayee’s “India Shining” to “ Mera Desh Badal Raha Hai, Aage Badh Raha Hai(my country is changing, its’ moving ahead)” to calming, without any basis of course, that plastic surgery has ancient Indian roots, BJP leaders consistently emphasis India’s lost glory, and the need to restore that. It strikes a chord with the average Indian voter.
The BJP also uses the language of revenge for positive messaging. What makes the post-Uri ‘surgical strikes’, giving an occasional ‘ muh tod jawab (solid response)’ to Pakistan, or engaging in a war of nerves with China attractive to the public is not any novelty about them, given that previous governments have also done similar things, but the way these developments are packaged to project a strong India and a stronger Prime Minister.
Third, the BJP and Mr. Modi have managed to give a positive twist to even painful, and proving to be counter-productive, decisions by the government by using the language of sacrifice. For a country that was distressed by scams after scams during the second United Progressive Alliance government, Mr. Modi’s assertive and impassioned calls for making personal sacrifices to curb corruption and terror financing came across as being driven by a national sense of purpose and invoked our deep sense of patriotic duty.

Q.1 The subject of the two references to the Indian cricket team is:
A. victory is associated with ‘me’ and defeat is associated with ‘we’ or ‘our team’.
B. victory is not associated with ‘we’ and defeat is associated with not ‘they’ or ‘our team’.
C. victory is associated with ‘they’ or ‘our team’ and defeat is associated with ‘we’.
D. victory is associated with ‘we’ and defeat is associated with ‘they’ or ‘our team’.
E. None of these

Q.2 Which of the following statement is true? \
A. I imagine that would have been the response had you spoken to me now about India’s defeat by Pakistan in the Trophy final on Sunday. 
B. I imagine that would have been the response had I spoken to him now about Pakistan’s defeat by England in the Trophy final on Sunday.
C. I imagine that would have been the response had I spoken to him now about England’s defeat by Pakistan in the Trophy final on Sunday.
D. I imagine that would have been the response had I spoken to him now about India’s victory by Pakistan in the Trophy final on Sunday.
E. I imagine that would have been the response had I spoken to him now about India’s defeat by Pakistan in the Trophy final on Sunday.

Q.3 Arrange the following statements according to the passage. 
(i) and images associated with positivity to gather domestic political support. 
(ii) rather, it extends to imaginary glories of the past, revenge on the enemy,
(iii) This desire and imagery of positivity is not limited to present achievements alone;
(iv) sacrifices for collective good, among others. Politicians and political parties habitually use symbols

A. (iii), (iv), (i), (ii)
B. (iii), (ii), (iv), (i)
C. (ii), (iv), (i), (iii)
D. (iii), (iv), (ii), (i)
E. (i), (iv), (iii), (ii)

Q.4 How Mr. Modi reframed the curse of poverty with clever word play: 
(i) I find great potential among the poor. 
(ii) Poverty should be removed from india.
(iii) The poor are the strength of this country.”

A. (i) and (ii)
B. Only (i)
C. Only (iii)
D. (i) and (iii)
E. Only (ii)

Q.5 Which of the following statement is not true according to the passage? 
(i) The BJP also uses the language of revenge for positive messaging. 
(ii) The promise of “ achhe din (good days)” galvanised the national imagination and brought Mr. Modi to power in 2014.
(iii) The language of greatness and growth are the most prominent in the BJP’s tool kit of political messaging.

A. Only (iii)
B. (i) and (iii)
C. All are true
D. (ii) and (iii)
E. Only (ii)

Q.6 Choose the word which is MOST SIMILAR in meaning of the word printed in bold as used in the passage. 
Prominent 
A. Obscure 
B. Salient
C. Common
D. Inconspicuous
E. Sunken

Q.7 Choose the word which is MOST SIMILAR in meaning of the word printed in bold as used in the passage. 
Instinctively 
(i). Generally
(ii) Naturally
(iii) Earned

A. Only (ii)
B. (i), (ii) and (iii)
C. (ii) and (iii)
D. Only (iii)
E. (i) and (ii)

Q.8 Choose the word which is MOST OPPOSITE in meaning of the word printed in bold as used in the passage. 
Thrash 
A. Help
B. Hit
C. Cane
D. Twist
E. Beat

Answers With Solution:

1. Ans. D. 
Solution: 
Notice the subject of the two references to the Indian cricket team: victory is associated with ‘we’ and defeat is associated with ‘they’ or ‘our team’. 

2. Ans. E. 
Solution: 
I imagine that would have been the response had I spoken to him now about India’s defeat by Pakistan in the Trophy final on Sunday. 

3. Ans. B 
Solution: 
This desire and imagery of positivity is not limited to present achievements alone; rather, it extends to imaginary glories of the past, revenge on the enemy, sacrifices for collective good, among others. Politicians and political parties habitually use symbols and images associated with positivity to gather domestic political support. 

4. Ans. D. 
Solution: 
Consider, for instance, how Mr. Modi reframed the curse of poverty with clever word play: “I find great potential among the poor. The poor are the strength of this country.” 

5. Ans. C. 
Solution: 
The language of greatness and growth are the most prominent in the BJP’s tool kit of political messaging. 
The promise of “ achhe din (good days)” galvanised the national imagination and brought Mr. Modi to power in 2014.
The BJP also uses the language of revenge for positive messaging 

6. Ans. B 
Solution: 
Prominent synonym: Salient 

7. Ans. E. 
Solution: 
Instinctively synonyms: Generally, Naturally 

8. Ans. A. 
Solution: 
Thrash antonym: Help

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