Tag Archives: Bihar

Dr Subir Sinha: Narendra Modi and Political Language in Bihar

Modi lost Bihar for the language he used. The excess of language used by Modi made it possible for Nitish, Lalu and Rahul to pick from it, which they did brilliantly. Modi’s language lost him the election …

The 2014 election revealed Narendra Modi’s mastery of political language. Sarcasm or mockery, emotion or lofty ambition, hope or fear, Modi’s language was succinct, and immediately understandable. There were early gaffes, the ‘kutte ke pille’ statement for example. But then he upped his game. ‘Shahzada’ simultaneously damned dynasty as undemocratic, and invoked power as shared in a small family and its coterie. References to ‘damaad shree’ hinted at the corruption of the Gandhi family and to its foreign-ness. Modi’s ‘A for B for’ speech listed scams alphabetically to highlight the UPA’s endless corruption, as did his unreservedly crass comment on ‘50 karor ki girlfriend’. More positively, ‘India First’ and ‘Sabka saath sabka vikas’ became the rallying cries for a new constituency that formed behind him.

Where needed, ‘gulabi kranti’ was used. Modi’s language confirmed and generated emotions, hopes, fears and prejudices. ‘Kya bolta hai’, I heard people from who were not BJP voters, as they lined up at the booth to stamp their vote on the kamal chhaap, swayed by language. So why did Modi’s language, and of the BJP campaign as a whole, not cut much ice in Bihar? Unki daal kyun nahin gali, so to speak? Much water has flown under the bridge since Modi’s 2014 victory.  The language that once charmed Continue reading

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