Policy Glossary: Sign of Times

 NEWSPEAK TODAYgeorge-orwell-image


Had George Orwell lived longer he would have seen , with Chomsky , that not only the Soviet Big Brother regime but also the Big Uncle ( Sam) regime , or  indeed any other self – aggrandizing 3rd world regime , all use Orwellian “ newspeak “ – in order to manufacture consent in the masses . Ministry of Fear is called Ministry of Love , or War for Petroleum & Gas is called War on Terror , or a Racial Patch Up is called Truth and Reconciliation , and so on .

 Without newspeak , it seems , no political hegemony can achieve that Rousseau`s social contract , or the Chinese divine – kingdom . Curious , this . Of course the degree of coercion against the ruled people can vary from regime to regime; perhaps the gall and outlandishness of the corresponding newspeaks will vary proportionately .

 Okay, let us get its definition out of the way. Newspeak is defined as imparting to words or phrases new meanings , often hidden , which are absent in the plain and prevailing usage of these words/phrases in “Oldspeak”. In short , newspeak is something like  a linguistic coup d`etat .

 India`s destiny brought a regime change in 1991-92 with an imported el dorado-ish ethos with its own newspeak . This newspeak remains baffling to the older generation because they must make a cognitive leap ; the new generation is groping because it has not yet caught on the trick . All know that there is a trick ; there has to be – this is India/Bharat . So, to banish murk and shed light here is a Working Glossary of Contemporary Indian Newspeak .

 Reform : Changes in government policies and rules in order to favour the rich ,or corporates – preferably foreign . Rammohan Roy , Phule , NCERT Social Studies textbooks , etc  wouldn`t understand – they use oldspeak .

 Populism : A swear word , meaning changes in government policies and rules in order to favour the poor and defenceless . Unfortunately necessary in a democracy to get votes  .

 Inclusive Growth : Growth of national GDP with some sops thrown in ( like NREG Scheme or Midday Meal Scheme ) so as to keep poor poor but alive to vote in elections. A favourite of the current prime minister .

 Incentives : Giving public money to further the businesses of the rich – important people like industrialists , builders .

 Subsidies : Giving public money to give some relief to the poor . Another swear word .

 No Free Lunches: An attitude of denying and denigrating help and assistance to the vulnerable .

 Merit Criterion: Free Lunches for the already powerful.

 Financial Sector Reforms: Handing over financial assets and systems of the nation , including its profitable public sector , to private sector – preferably foreign , regardless of their calamitous  global economic crashes (like the current Recession) .

 Labour Reform : Hire and fire , and generally disempower labour classes .

 International Community : Government of USA and its stooges .

 Level Playing Field : Smoothening out the obstacles in the way of the rich and powerful .

 Social Safety Net : Keeping the poor just enough fed and provided for to deflect them from revolting or making the rich feel unsafe .

 Healthcare : Making money out of people`s illness , not curing them .

 Consumer is King : Turning the customers into pliable robots .

 Private Public Partnership (PPP) : Arrangements by which private tycoons  are handed over large – value public assets ( lands , rivers , forests , mines , etc ) to milk them of their main value and then taken back by the government . Infrastructure industries are thriving on this “model”.

 Free Market Forces : Non – interference by government in the dealmakings of the private  sector corporates .

 Stimulus Packages : Doles of public money by government  to private secter corporates when “market forces” fail and crash .

 Private Sector : Where tycoons use and control public money ( from stockmarkets , financial institutions , banks ) for their private businesses .

 Public Sector : Where government uses and controls public money for public businesses .

 Unorganised Sector : The true private sector . Where private citizen use private money for their private businesses – paanwala , doodhwala , subziwala , rickshawala , etc .

 If one has got the gist so far, then this Glossary can and should be expanded at will . Those who are “ in the know” , or  “seasoned players” , or “mature professionals” know all this – they practice this . This is for the naïve or the young .

 This is not a humour piece ; it is the real mccoy . A corrupt society`s  deepest layer of corruption has to be , after all , the layer concerning meanings of words and phrases – its cognitive layer ; and the first corruption has got to be epistemological corruption . Little wonder then, that of all the many  philosophies of the land it is Vedantism – with the central tenet that there are no real meanings , only maya – which is official .

 Okay . Stepping back from all this, isn`t it amazing after so much history has been borne and known , how shoddy , mealymouthed , and boorish are the haloed “instruments of the state” ? And that in this day and age they still work ?


About ctaposh

Cartoonist, poet, social activist, development banker, documentary filmmaker, reader of books and realities, ponderer of questions milling around.
This entry was posted in market- mythology, Politics, signs of times and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Policy Glossary: Sign of Times

  1. Pingback: Reading, of late « a reader’s words

  2. rw says:

    Excellent post! There was a dictionary of Republicanism published by The Nation couple of years back, on similar lines. Link

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