May 10, 2009

After Ayaram

The Indian Express compiles a lexicon of political jargon for this year's Indian general election. Excerpts:
108 kuien kuien kuien: A phrase popularised by Chief Minister YSR Reddy to remind people of his Rajiv Gandhi Arogyasri Scheme, which involves participation by private sector hospitals to bring medical care to the poor. The numbers 108 and 104 (for cities and rural areas) are what you need to dial for an ambulance which carts the patient to the nearest hospital. The ‘kuein kuein kuein’ was used effectively by YSR to mimic the siren.

Ruler: When Punjab politicians say ‘ruler’, what they mean is ‘rural’. Call it a Freudian slip or a malapropism, but most of the prominent leaders of the state, including the chief minister, say: “Aaj ruler areas vich rally haigi (today there is a rally in rural areas).” The word has caught on: people in these ‘ruler areas’ think ‘ruler’ means village.

Cover: This elections, ‘cover’ means a variety of gifts distributed to voters either early in the morning or late in the night—when it’s safe from election observers and rival party cadres. The word was coloured to mean bribe after voters in some areas received crisp Rs 500 notes recently. Even when the gift becomes saris or tokens for liquor, the question now is: “Did you get the cover?”

Mahal factor: The phrase is often used to underline the importance of the Scindia family in the electoral politics of the Gwalior-Guna-Shivpuri region. When a representative of the erstwhile royal family is contesting, the mahal (palace) factor comes into play directly. When a Scindia is not in the fray, a representative backed by the family, irrespective of the political divide, is believed to benefit from the M factor.

Yeddy-Reddy-Cheddy: This is a reference to the power triumvirate within the BJP in Karnataka—Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, the Reddys (mining barons from Bellary) and the khaki shorts (cheddy or chaddi) of the RSS. The phrase emerged in the opposition Congress camp and was used by former chief minister S. Bangarappa (now in the Congress) in the course of his electoral battle with Yeddyurappa’s son B.Y. Raghavendra.

1 comment:

Shankari said...


Yeddy-Reddy-Cheddy is really the best of the lot!