Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Election Lexicon-2014

The 2014 elections are underway. These elections with the highest number of first-time voters and campaigns that focus more on personalities rather than the issues confronting us make it one of the most colourful spectacles and the most interesting Indian election in recent times. On that note, here is a rough dummy's guide to the lexicon of 2014 elections:

A: Adani, a conglomerate with business interests in resources, logistics and energy sectors. The conglomerate's role in the ongoing elections has been discussed widely due to the incumbent government's allegations that Adani is the best example of crony capitalism in India especially given how land was given to them at Re. 1/- to which representatives from the Adani group have consistently denied.

B: Baap Beta Government The BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi referred to the incumbent Samajwadi Party government as the baap beta government owing to the Samajwadi Party being led by the father and son duo of Mulayalam Singh Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav.

C: Chhappan inch ki chhati. In one of his rallies in Uttar Pradesh, Narendra Modi quipped, "Netaji (referring to Mulayalam Singh Yadav) has said Modi does not have what it takes to make another Gujarat out of Uttar Pradesh. Do you know what making Gujarat requires? ... It requires a chhappan inch ki chhati (56 inch chest). After winning the 2007 Gujarat elections too, the nominee had boasted about his sizeable chest and if only we could find the metaphoric supermen, India would be a different country.

D: Damaadshri. An eight minute video released by the BJP that accuses the Haryana and former Rajasthan Governments for amending rule to help Robert Vadra grab land across the two states in violation of rules. In Hindi, it is common to have son-in-laws being addressed by mothers as their damaadshri.

E: Election Commission: The Election Commission that is in-charge of scheduling the cycle of elections every five years has become the new agony aunt for constantly accepting the charges levelled by the incumbent government. The amount of whining that goes on almost makes one believe that the government has nothing to campaign to put up in the campaigning phases.

F: Federal Front. In a desperate attempt to stop Narendra Modi and to defeat "communal forces", the collapse of a possible Third Front led to the talk of a new Federal Front emerged with regional satraps positioning themselves as potential options for the country's top job which primarily consisted of the non-Congress, non-BJP parties.

G: Gas Wars. This refers to the Aam Aadmi Party's fight against Reliance Industries which believes that ministers in the UPA government jointly rigged the prices of gas and managed to hog the headlines bringing forward a long-running dispute. 

H: Hindu Nationalist. The projection of Narendra Modi as the Prime Ministerial aspirant by the BJP in September 2013 led to joy though it evoked shock reactions in another quarters. With posters that proclaimed, "I am a Hindu Nationalist" with a mugshot of Narendra Modi, the secular-liberal activists and intellectuals have been portraying this as the masks of his hardline stance hasn't fallen off.

I: India: Among all the candidates and jibes, it is India that gains in the long run if there is a strong and stable government. Indians eagerly await the dawn of May 16, the day election results will be announced, to know in which direction we would go from here: either progress or regress further.

J: Jijaji. Another reference to Robert Vadra, Rahul Gandhi's brother-in-law, who is under the scanner for his alleged land deals in Haryana and Rajasthan.

K: Kejriwal: Arvind Kejriwal, the founder of the Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi, who has emerged as the wild-card entrant for this election, has been a champion of hogging the news media wheels. He sat on dharnas and then took on the establishment, failing to realise he was part of the establishment and eventually "sacrificed" his government 49 days after coming to office.

L: Left Liberals. These are people who are often professors from the humanities and the social sciences who never fail to give lectures to the Indian electorate about "The Idea of India" and how a BJP government at the centre means inviting dangers of having an intolerant and fascist government that is ever ready to curb freedom of speech and expression. 

M: Maa-Beta Government. A popular allusion by Narendra Modi to the UPA government which is largely thought to be run by mother-and-son Sonia and Rahul Gandhi 

N: Narendra Modi. The chief minister of Gujarat who is currently running for the post of Prime Minister as anointed by the BJP. From being a modest tea-seller in Gujarat, his presence has literally charged the political scene where battles are not fought on issues but purely to stop him from coming to power.

O: Opinions. The 2014 elections which have the longest election cycle has led to a personality contest between the candidates rather than issues. Hence, looking at the sheer media presence of  the personalities in the running, everyone seems to have an opinion about the 2014 elections.


P.S.: This is the first part of the two part that seeks to lighten the note of the 2014 General Elections. The second part will cover letters from P to Z. Stay tuned and do write back with your opinions.

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