Life was so simple in the ancient times. Our good ole politicians would come and repeat the same old slogans and we’d keep chanting the same song. “Hindi-Chini, Bhai-Bhai”… “Hindi-Chini, Bhai-Bhai”… we kept on singing while the Chinese came and took away everything from us in 1962.
Then came the call for “Garibi Hatao” that ran for many years. Poverty remained as it was, the poor surely got wiped out! Then of course, how can we forget: “India Shining” Campaign by Atal Bihari Bajpayee. Well, we don’t know about India but BJP couldn’t really shine for the next 10 years until.. recently.
Today, a politician’s job is very difficult. One needs to constantly bring in new catch-phrases to keep the ball rolling. So let’s take a look at the top 10 Jumlas, phrases and their justifications that we’ve heard in the last 6 years, over and over again. Jumlas that we are so tired of listening to that if one more time someone will recite them- our ears will start bleeding!
1. Acche Din and Vikas
BJP constantly promised us “Acche Din” in their speeches, election rallies but they never came. Forget better days, the state of affairs in all sectors got even worse in this time and the government continued chanting the same ‘mantra’.
The Prime Minister comes frequently to deliver an hour long monologue, “Mann ki Baat” but we are longing to talk to him about ‘Vikas’ now. What happened to the idea of inclusive growth that PM Modi had proclaimed as his dream for India, path for India, aim for India and motive for India, strength for India, motivation…. (sigh).
I am not even joking, the pre-election manifesto by BJP in 2014 mentioned ‘inclusive growth’ 80 times and ‘temple’ only once. Later, it turned out to be the polar opposite. BJP leaders today mention ‘temple’ 80 times, and ‘inclusive growth’? Forget it.
2. Mandir Wahin Banega
The promise that actually was delivered. Thankfully, those long debates with Sambit Patra persistently repeating the same line: “Mandir Wahi Banega” (Temple shall be built there!) are finally over. But will the BJP now talk about development and growth? Guess what? The fight for one temple just got over and the talks for the next have already commenced. We heard the same call for years, at least now we should move on and actually build something progressive for our society.
3. Make In India
The temple is being built, but the blueprint for inclusive growth: ‘Make in India’ campaign has failed. The launch and marketing of this program was flawless but who cares about the execution? The roar of the lion of ‘Make In India’ that echoed in Germany and France, sounds more like a cry for help today.
Not just ‘Make In India’, but all its supplementary programs: Start-up India, Skill India, Job in India, Stand-up India etc. etc., are all a huge flop today. The reasons behind this crash are stated differently by many.
Some say it was demonetisation, some call GST the main culprit; others say there are policy issues; the biggest reason for the failure of ‘Make in India’ was perhaps stated by popular columnist Swaminathan Aiyar who said, “Although Modi wants to sell India to the world as a global manufacturing hub, it will not be possible if India’s fastest growing industry is lynch mobs.” Because what’s really being implemented in our country is- ‘Fake in India’, ‘Break in India’, ‘Lynch in India’!!
4. Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas
Coming to the fourth most spoken jumla- “Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas”(Collective Efforts, Inclusive Growth). If this really was BJP’s major motivation- then what happened on the way?
The Modi government started with a clear cut idea of collective growth. In fact, in his many speeches he constantly asserted that he wants each and every part of the country to grow together. Then why is it so that a section of the population has been ostracised and persecuted in his regime while the government turned a blind eye against them?
Today, we are so afraid to even talk about lynching; you never know if you’re the next victim and the newspaper headline will read as- Surgical Strike on Urban Naxals.
5. Surgical Strike
This particular one was a serious military operation first, a catch-phrase later. No matter what the scheme is about, the readily available way for it to become a celebrated term with the people, just relate it with Surgical Strike.
- An action against black money- Surgical Strike!
- Attack on your refrigerator at night- Surgical Strike!
- Hitting your friend with chalk in the class- Surgical Strike!
- Hit the target while peeing on the road- Surgical Strike!
To be honest, I was okay with surgical strike but this one I hate it too much. The media declare a decision masterstroke even before it’s been executed and tested!
- Government of Jammy and Kashmir topples- Masterstroke!
- Article 370 abrogation- Masterstroke!
- India wins overseas Test match- Masterstoke!
- Swara Bhasker’s scene in Veere di Wedding- Master.. Well, umm, that was just a stroke..
Ah, moving on, we need to find another word for this- even our Godi Media has had enough of these masterstrokes. Just the sound of it now makes everything sound like a disaster. From Demonetisation to Janta Curfew, we have seen numerous masterstrokes, it’s time to change the terminology now.
7. Siachen Mein Hamare Jawan
This one was a masterstroke in itself. “When will our economy start booming?” The reply:
Even if we all agree that Congress did nothing in the past so many years, our soldiers have always been protecting us at the borders. Then why did this realization come after 2014 only?
Government should realize that they’ll have to stop shouting ‘Soldiers on the border’, they’ll have to stop hiding behind the military. No one is falling for these lame excuses anymore.
8. Beti Bachao Beti Padhao
Along with this phrase, we also need to save women from this Jumla. BJP came up with this admirable ideal of “Save the Daughters, Educate the Daughters” but then a light issue popped up with this scheme- daughters ended up saving themselves from BJP leaders themselves.
PM Modi gave strong statements on female foeticide, women security but a little has changed in his term. We have seen what happened in Kathua- BJP leaders are taking out marches in support of alleged rapists; In Unnao, BJP leader is himself accused of rape.
9. Digital India
When all the cash in the market returned to banks after demonetisation, a new jumla began- Digital India. Prime Minister gave several benefits of his idea of digitalization of India- poor can manage their accounts from phone, several people having mobile phone and internet connectivity can file digital applications/complaints, can handle their work remotely over phone.
Now, the government forgot to bother about whether everyone in the country has a mobile phone or not, whether everyone is able to use the Internet, whether everyone is equipped with adequate technical understanding or not. Somehow, they can ensure that India becomes a cashless economy, Aadhar linked digital economy. The facts say otherwise- only 1 in every 4 Indian adults use the Internet.
The situation now is, Aadhar is about to die, cash in the market has increased from pre-demonetization times. Even after all these slogans, jumlas, phrases- the government continues to manufacture new narratives to digress the public.
10. Hindu Khatre Mein Hai
This is the ultimate getaway for any mishap by the government. We never got worked up over it for centuries: Mughals, Christians, British ruled over our country; Hindus weren’t in danger then but now they allegedly are? Just a diversion if you ask me!
These jumlas are not just a popular propaganda element today but a reminder of how easy it is for us to fall for any random narrative. These jumlas are to remind us that when it was for their gain, politicians used these slogans constantly to lure the public into voting for them. The list of Jumlas is much longer but that’s all for today; let sanity remain!