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 taposh

Novelist, cartoonist, poet, social activist, development banker, documentary filmmaker, blogger, reader of books and realities, ponderer of questions milling around. Still curious, somehow.
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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