LS Poll Dates Announced, Writers Getting Ready With Puffy Phrases

LS Poll Dates Announced, Writers Getting Ready With Puffy Phrases

Indian scribes coined the phrases ‘Modi-nomics’ and ‘Modi-fied’ in 2014. The catchphrase in 2019 was ‘Modi-mania grips nation.’ Americans coin a new phrase in 2024 ‘fact-free nonsense’ A lie has seven winding paths, the truth one straight road, allow bullies a strangle hold, they have you by the throat – The Other Side of Truth, Beverely Naidoo.

Staff ReporterUpdated: Sunday, March 24, 2024, 08:35 AM IST
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Bhopal (Madhya Pardesh): India and the United States are ringing with electioneering.  India is electing a new government to rule till 2029, and the US its President for five years. The entire world is keeping an eye on the elections of the two democracies. The journalists of both the countries are writing political analysis and columns. So are the psephologists busy forecasting the election outcomes. Every time the election season comes, the columnists – particularly those who work for the English media in India – come up with new political phrases.

Nevertheless, immediately after each election, when the results are out, those expressions melt in the air. Such expressions sometimes become part of the common parlance, nonetheless. Those working for the media houses in the USA are also smart in coining new phrases. The campaigners of Donald Trump, who is vying for a second term for the US presidency, give many journalists the clue to a few such catchphrases – though many of them are meaningless. The British journalists are, however, averse to accepting absurd phrases.

The latest one Trump has given to the US scribes is ‘MAGA (Make America Great Again). Likewise, the spokesperson of Democratic representative Nancy Pelosi of California, Aaron Bennet, gave a new phrase when he used the phrase “fact-free nonsense” the Trump’s story over his alleged interaction with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky. Nobody knows whether there is any ‘factual or factful nonsense,’ because ‘nonsense’ signifies something meaningless and without facts.

Indian journalists are not lagging behind their US counterparts. The Indian journalists writing in the English language have coined the words “national card” “communal card” and “temple card,” but just a few know what the word “card” exactly means. Such expressions are worn-out metaphors. The British writer was always against such absurd and hackneyed expressions. The writers using these phrases are not interested in explaining what they want to say.

Orwell wrote: “Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” In the run-up to 2014 parliamentary election, when the BJP announced the then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi the party’s prime ministerial candidate, many expressions – Modi-nomics, Modi-fied, Modi-mania and Gujarat Model – caught the people’s attention. The expression – the third world countries – was so popular that it has become part of the English language.

To speak the truth, nobody knew whether such countries existed, because the creators of this phrase never explained whether there were any first world countries or second world countries. The writers of these phrases assumed that the Asian, African and a few European countries, belonging to the erstwhile Communist bloc, were third world countries. Then there was an anti-communist phrase in the early 1970s – Better red than dead.

A few African scribes came up with the phrase ‘black power.’ In its accepted meaning of the term, the word ‘black’ means something bad. Yet the phrase caught the attention of the world and became part of the common parlance across the world.

Then there are expressions like render inoperative, militate against, prove unacceptable, be subject to, give rise to, play leading part, serve the purpose, to show greenlight, grand old party and many more. Such absurd political expressions can be replaced with small but meaningful verbs and nouns. Yet it does not happen, because most of the political phrases are puffed with absurdity and falsehood. Winston Churchill once said, “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”

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