DailyPost 2097

That the political lexicon is a dynamic one and it reflects the political reality in its wide and varied manifestations. Pre-independence era has its own political terminology, that both defined and substantiated the political thought, actions, programs, protests or the agitations of the day. Non-cooperation, civil disobedience etc became an integral part of the political lexicon. We are still mesmerized by satyagraha as a form of protest and has been picked up as a political tool. We have heard this term being used in recent political protests. How well and how effectively it is being used these days, can be left for conjecture. Non-violence, got into the political terminology during the long and arduous years of the freedom struggle, coming out of the closet of religious lexicon.

The reality of a lexicon is that it allows words new or old to get into it, if the word starts getting into that area /field, gain usage and continues to remain in circulation. A case in point could be virus, which has become a part of the IT lexicon. As words become so critically important in one area, it keeps on getting added to different lexicons, depending on similar usage in different areas. The definition and usage of words of the same lexicon keep changing with the passage of time. The ecosystem changes and so does the historical backdrop, the social hue and thus the meaning of a term or phrase also turns out to be different. Suffice to say, the pre-independence, freedom struggle political lexicon came to near close with constitutional democracy being adopted with full force.

The constitution provided for the first round of democratic political lexicon, fully mandated and to be implemented in the manner prescribed. The preamble gave to us a large part of our initial political lexicon, now being used so loosely by our political class, at times without even understanding the legal thought and sanctity behind it. Fundamental rights gained currency. To the better-informed; directive principles, bifurcation of powers, freedom of speech, due process of law, law taking its own course, fourth estate, democratic checks and balances, suo motto etc gained entry into day to day democratic life of the nation. Breakdown of constitutional machinery, President’s rule, custodian of the constitution et al become the sine qua non of the political lexicon. How much of it was understood in which manner and put to what use, and how much it helped to push the cause of democratic citizen, we will have to leave it to posterity to decide.

India has always believed in the second kuccha account book, and so has been the case in the democratic political life of the nation. We can start this kuccha lexicon with booth capturing, rigging, impersonation, luring the voter, misuse of official machinery, and various others, which have become a part of our election lexicon. Moving further, we have been talking of hidden agenda, the B team, cross voting, different hues of secularism, the true secular, lobbyists, factions, crony capitalists, public interest and what not. Fourth estate can be ascribed a distinct place for the richness they add to the democratic lexicon; trial by media, godi media, guardians for democracy, nation wants to know, national channel and it can go on an on. We cannot deny anybody the right to add to the richness of our democratic language. Resort, resort politics, kidnapping of law makers, chartered jets, and variety of other operational words are adding newer colors to our rainbow democracy.

Sanjay Sahay

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