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Political alphabet primer

The Congress was quick to respond,adding F for ‘fake encounter’ and G for ‘genocide’.

Written by Dilip Bobb |
September 22, 2013 3:49:58 am

Recently,a prime ministerial candidate kicked off another controversy when he announced his version of an alphabetic primer for Indian politics—‘A for Adarsh,B for Bofors,C for CWG and D for Damaad ka karobaar’. The Congress was quick to respond,adding F for ‘fake encounter’ and G for ‘genocide’. Since then,others have added to the alphabet soup with their own contributions. Here are the most relevant ones:

A for Aam Aadmi (not mango people as the aforesaid damaad called them): Helpless victims of the political class. But now,with elections coming,the chappal is on the other foot. They are being wooed,pampered and bombarded with promises,none of which will be kept. It is,however,a good time to be a voter,in fact the only time in five years when the aam aadmi’s voice will be heard,including by the Aam Aadmi Party.

B for Bogey: Conspiracy theories,also an election staple which parties employ to plant fear in the voter. As in Narendra Modi and the fear that he will morph into a dictator,mistreat minorities and be given a US visa. Or,in the case of the Congress,more corruption,policy paralysis and more Manmohan Singh,and,of course,if you listen to Mamata,the CPM are either rapists or terrorists. But in 2013,the fear of politicians and where they are taking the country requires no imagination. A no-brainer.

C for Crises: From riots to the rupee,rapes to resignations,Central Account Deficit to attention deficit,coalgate and colgate,India is lurching from one crisis to another. Of course,this is all grist to the mill of political parties in election mode,looking to exploit every chink.

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E for entry fee: Being charged by the BJP to attend Modi’s rallies,an innovative way to collect money for elections. Critics may label it a case of inflated ego,but the fact that inflation has rendered a Rs 5 note worthless says a lot about today’s politicians and the need to find new ways to ‘charge’ up the audience.

F for foundation stone: The rush to lay a solid foundation before elections will get more frantic but it will be tough to beat MP minister Gopal Bhargava’s record who hired a stadium,trucked in foundation stones for 2,251 projects,and inaugurated them,without moving an inch,inside a day. When charged with staging a publicity stunt,the minister maintained a stony silence.

G for garibi hatao: Indira Gandhi stormed to power on the back of the slogan in 1971,and now the grandson has made it his,embracing the poor with fervour but causing consternation in his party. In 2004,the Congress changed its slogan from garibi ke saath to aam admi ke saath in fear that an exclusive pro-poor agenda would drive the middle class into the waiting embrace of the BJP,but Rahul is clearly above such crass considerations.

I for Iron Deficiency: As in the change in Modi’s hawkish stand on Pakistan and China post his being nominated for the PM’s post. Whether Modi 2.0 or Modi modi-fied will sell as well as the Iron Man version remains to be seen,but in trying to be a Vajpayee,he may end up confusing the voter,not to mention his backers in the BJP parliamentary board.

O for Onion vans: Come election time,and candidates generally dangle an assortment of carrots to attract voters. This year is different. It is real carrots and real onions,for sale by political parties at cheaper rates . OB vans,now referred to as Onion-Brinjal vans,are clearly going to be election fodder.

Z for zzzzzzz: There is only one politician who that applies to and it’s where the buck should stop but it never does.

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