Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Election Lexicon-II:

In the first part of the Election Lexicon, we covered letters A to O. Now, in this second part, as some of the most important seats of the country go to the polls, the elections have significantly enriched to the political lexicon, spicing it up with a mix of marketing, branding and management terms which have also caused a fair degree of heartburn. These expressions are unlikely to be forgotten soon.

P: Paid Media. Given the highly polarising nature of the elections and with every news channel doing their bit to keep themselves relevant by defaming one politician or admiring the other, there is always an agenda news channels seem to follow. With social media gaining prominence, paid media remains a favourite hashtag which emerged after the public disclosures of the Niira Radia Tapes

Q: Questions. This applies mainly to Arvind Kejriwal who mainly asks questions and never suggests an alternative to the question. It can be something as silly as why is Narendra Modi not responding to his 18 questions or why is he silent about gas pricing in India.

R: Rights. The Congress Party's favourite buzzword. Every election, the voters are subjected to the same old rights-based governance model. In its current avatar, it includes right to food, right to free healthcare and right to housing. Of course, we cannot ignore the favourite buzzwords: RTI, RTE and the Lokpal, systemic changes that came to dominate the narrative regarding the "rights-based governance" model.

S: Shahzada: Narendra Modi's popular reference to the son of Sonia Gandhi who is constantly known for his amateurish speeches.

T: Twitter. The social media which emerged as the battleground everything under the large spectrum of politics and the only site that has helped manufacture opinions for almost every topic. 

U: Ungli. Thanks to social media and massive awareness of messages about asking citizens to participate in the democratic event of elections, the ink stain on the ungli (finger) became a quite a fad with selfies of the finger flooding social media platforms.

V: Vikas. The BJP's tagline for this time is "sabka saath, sabka vikas". Following the despondency faced by India in the past 10 years, this tagline gives a lot of hope and optimism to the defeated Indian. For the first time since Independence, there has appeared a definite possibility of India developing as a normal nation, comfortable with its past and proud of its culture and civilisation. Hence, vikaas means the activity engaged in quickly uplifting its people out of the long phase of deprivation and scarcity. 

W: Wave. The election season got us acquainted with a different type of wave. With Narendra Modi's rousing reception in Varanasi to the favourable crowds in his speeches, there is certainly a lot that is at stake to ensure that this wave survives the tides. 

X: Xaviers. The premier institute of Mumbai which stands for elitist mentalities. The principal of the college who writes a letter using his official position. The letter is published on the college website asking students to vote responsibly by considering all parameters and the dangers of having an ugly marriage between communal forces and corporates. 

Y: Yuva Josh. It was to be a symbol of empowerment. The 40 second advertisement with its punch line: "kattar soch nahin, yuva josh", the face in the ad Hasiba Amin emphasised that only a young leader can connect with the youth of the country. That's another story that it was a 63 year old man who connected much better with the youth and the yuva josh was being used in other important segments.

Z: Z+ Security. An elite security protection group which has over 500 commandos from the National Security Guards being deployed to 15 people in the country who are supposed to have a threat perception. Most notable belonging to this motley group are Dr. Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Robert Vadra, Narendra Modi among others. 

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