Archive for April 2014

Translation 47. Linguistic Glimpses of the 2014 Indian General Election through English loanwords in Hindi

30 April 2014

With two further weeks of campaigning and staggered voting in the Indian election still to go, there seemed to be time to while away prior to the March 16 result so I checked my files to see which aspects of this event and process are described by the exponentially expanding number of English loanwords and calques in contemporary Hindi. These are considerably bolstered by a collection of Hindi acronyms, most of which are based on English phonetics (with mainly minor variations due to the influence of Hindi phonology).

I hope the results below are of interest to my fellow students of Hindi and Urdu.

Meanwhile, may the most appropriate parties and coalition win!

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The election process: Parliament

ilekshan, election (though native ‘chunaav’is far more frequent)
seeT, seat(s), or seeToN (esp. in Parliament)
kaNsTiTyooeNsee, constituency
kaNDiDeT, candidate (though ummeedvaar is much more usual)
em.pee., MP
pee.em., P.M.
[Note also see.em., C.M. (Chief Minister of a State); also sometimes cheef minisTar, though the usual full form is ‘mukhya maNtree’)]
pee.em. iN veTiNg, PM-in-waiting
speekar, speaker or Speaker (Political)
vipakshee leeDar, Leader of the Opposition (vipakshee netaa is much more common.)
leeDar auf Da opozishan, Leader of the Opposition (rather clumsy and not very frequent)
leeDarship, leadership
bil paas, the passing of a Bill
bil pass huaa, the Bill was passed
paas karnaa, to pass a Bill (paas honaa, to pass an exam)
bil paas naa aaegaa, the bill will not go through
lokpaal bil, ombusdsman Bill / Law
voT, vote; voT denaa or Daalnaa, to cast a vote; voTar, voter
voT baink(s), vote bank(s); voT baiNk raajneeti, vote bank politics (hybrid)
booth, booth
ee.vee.em., EVM (Electronic Voting Machine) Also referred to as ‘ilaikTraunik voTiNg masheen’.
NOTA (noTaa), None of the Above (A new 2013 addition to the ballot papers or voting screens for those wishing to register a protest.)

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Some Official Bodies involved

jee.o.aaee., GoI (Government of India)
ailaikshan kamishan, Election Commission (EC) or: ee.see., EC (Election Commission)

aaee.e.es., IAS (Indian Administrative Service: Bharateey prashaasnik sevaa)
es.aaee.Tee., SIT (Special Investigation Team: VisheSh JaaNch Dal)

see.aar.pee.ef., CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force)
see.bee.aaee., CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation)
pulis, police; pulisvaalaa, policeman

Some Official processes available

aaee.pee.see., IPC (Indian Penal Code)
aar.Tee.aaee., RTI (Right to Information: – FOI) (soochnaa adhikaar adhiniyam)
Also : raaiT Too iNfaurmeshan, Right to Information (RTI).
raaiT Too reekaul, Right to Recall
chaarj sheeT, f, charge sheet
e.ef.es.pee.e., AFSPA (Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act)
ef.aaee.aar., FIR, (Police) First Information Report
laatheechaarj, lathi charge (police)

The participants

1. Political parties

The main contenders are the two current coalitions and their major party bases:

UPA (The current ruling coalition):

yoo.pee.e., UPA (United Progressive Alliance: saMyukt pragatisheel gaThbaNdhan)

led by: aaee,en.see., INC (Indian National Congress)

 and

NDA (The current opposition coalition):

en.Dee.e., NDA (National Democratic Alliance) 
led by bee.je.pee., BJP (Bhaarateeya Janata Party)  (Also: bhaa.ja.paa. or bhaaj.paa as rare Devanagari acronyms)

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Some Other Major Parties

es.pee., S.P. (Samaajvaadee PaarTee: Socialist Party) (Also sa.paa, a Hindi acronym)
bee.es.pee., BSP (Bahujan Samaaj Party: Majority Social Party)
e.aaee.e.dee.em.ke., AIADMK (All-India Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) (A.I.D.M.Association, in Tamil)
Dee.em.ke., DMK, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) (D.M.Association, in Tamil)
je.Dee.yoo., JDU /JD(U) (Janataa Dal YoonaaiTeD: United People’s Party)

aar.je.dee., RJD (RaaShTreeya Janata Dal: National People’s Party)
e.e.pee., AAP (Aam Aadmee PaarTee)
em.en.es., MNS (Maharashtra Navnirman Senaa: Maharashtra Reformation Army
see.pee.aaee.em., CPI(M) (Communist Party of India – Marxist)
Shiv Senaa, Shiva’s Army
Tee.Dee.pee., TDP (Telangana Desam Party)
Tee.em.see, (TMC Trinamool Congress. Also e.aaee.Tee.em.see., AITMC (All-India Trinamool Congress)  

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Other prominent groups appearing in the election news:
aar.es.es., RSS (RaaShTreeya Svayamsevak SaNgh: National Volunteer Organisation)
vee.ech.pee., VHP (Vishwa Hindoo Parishad – World Hindu Council) (also: vihip, Hindi)

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2. The voters

814,000, including:

ef.see., FC (Forward Castes)
en.aar.aaee., NRI (Non-Resident Indian)
es.see., SC (Scheduled Castes)
es.Tee., ST (Scheduled Tribes)
o.bee.see, OBC (Other Backward Castes)
pee.aaee.o., PIO (Person of Indian Origin) But no votes for OCIs: o.see.aaee. Overseas Citizens of India.

3. Media and IT components

meeDiya, media
aaee.Tee, IT (Information technology)
Taiknolojee, technology
iNTarneT, Internet
vaaee-faaee, Wi-fi
auNlaaeen, online
kampyooTar, computer
laipTaup, laptop
aaee.paiD, iPad
vebsaaiT(s), website(s)
yoozarnem, username (Internet)
baTan (klik kareN, (click) button (Internet)
DaaunloD (karnaa), (to) download (EH)
yoo-tyoob, You Tube
ReT karnaa, to rate something
seTelaaiT, satellite
reDiyo, radio
Tee.vee., TV
chainal, (TV) channel(s)
saTalaaiT Dish, satellite dish
neTvaRk, network
pauDkasT, podcast
veeDiyo, video
film , f, film

Taaims auv iNDeeya, the Times of India Or: Tee.o.aaee.,ToI
iNTarvyoo
kaimramaan, cameraman
see.see.Tee.vee.,CCTV (surveillance TV camera)
fuTej, footage

soshal meeDiyaa,
mobaail, mobile phone or sailfon, cellphone
es.em.es., SMS (Short message Service: Text message)
haish Taig, hash tag (#)
fesbuk, Facebook
*faulo karnaa, to follow (Internet) (hybrid)
fauloar, follower (Facebook, etc.)
TviTar. Twitter
*TveeT karnaa, to Tweet (hybrid)
*apDeT karnaa, to update (hybrid)
ef.e.kyoo., FAQ (Also: aksar poochhe paane vaale savaal)
brekiNg nyooz, breaking news
pheeDbak, feedback

prais kaNfreNs, Press conference
rikaarD, record
riporT, f, report
sikyooriTee, f, security
sTiNg aupreshan, sting operation
Taupik, topic

*Note: Hybrid (English-Hindi compound verbs with karnaa (to do) are extremely numerous, e.g. iNvaaiT karnaa, to invite; iNfaurm karnaa, to inform;’ pRiNT karnaa, to print; pramoT karnaa, to promote.

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Election campaigns and associated media terminology

kaMpeN, campaign
laubee, lobby; laubeeiNg, lobbying
railee, rally
phaNDiNg, funding
thiNk TaiNk, think tank
blem gem, blame game

laauDspeekar, loudspeaker
maaik, “mike”, microphone
haiNDbil, flier, leaflet
horDiNg, hoarding (for posters)
posTar, poster
sTikar, sticker
sadasyataa phaurm, membership form, application (hybrid)AlaayaNs, alliance
marjar, merger
pauliTikal seenaariyo, political scenario
sTej shayar karnaa, sharing the stage
saporT, support (but native ‘samarthan’ is far more commonly used)

Some Campaign Debating Topics

aunar kiliNg, honour killing
bajaT, budget
gavarnans, governance. Especially guD gavarnans, good governance.
global varmiNg, global warming
jeneTik iNjaneeriNg, genetic engineering
naaiNTeen faurTee saivan, 1947 (Independence Year) (Some Hindi speakers and writers seem not to know, or not to like, the complex Hindi system of numbering from 30 to 99 and prefer the English versions.)
reeTel, retail
soshal iNjaneeriNg,
spektram, (2G Spectrum broadband scandal, 2010) or: Too jee, 2 G.
Taiks hevan, tax haven
kamyoonalism, communalism
saikyoolarism, secularism
Tokenism, tokenism

aaee.e.ke., IaK (Indian-administered Kashmir)
aaee.es.aaee., ISI (Pakistan) (Inter-Services Intelligence [Agency])
also: iNTarsarvis iNTailijens ejensee
aaee.o.e., IOA (Indian Olympic Association)
dabalyoo.Tee.o., WTO (World Trade Org: vishva vyaapaar saNgaThan)
ef.aaee.aaee., FII (Foreign Institutional Investors)
ef.Dee.aaee., FDI (Foreign Direct Investment)
ef.see.aar.e., FCRA (Foreign Control (Regulation) Act)
el.e.see., LAC (Line of Actual Control: India and China)
el.bee.zaiD., LBZ (Lutyens-Bungalow Zone, New Delhi)
el.o.see., LoC (Line of Control) (Kashmir) (Also: laain auv kanTrol, Line of Control)
en.aar.ee.jee.es., NREGS (National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme)
em.es.em.ee., MSME (Micro Small Medium and Large Enterprises)
es.ee.zaiD / es.ee.zee., SEZ (Special Economic Zone
pee.e.ke. (Pakistan-administered Kashmir)
pee.o.Tee.e., or poTaa, POTA (Prevention of Terrorism Act)
yoo.aaee.Dee.e.aaee., UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India)

End note

Even some of the less glorious side of electioneering is reflected through English loanwords.

In two of the less sensitive recent political speeches in Hindi, the following loanwords were used to maul political rivals. (In both cases, the crass insults backfired, which is surely a healthy sign.)

From controversial election speeches:

a) haneemooN (honeymoon) and pikniks (picnics)
b) AK-47 and AK-49 (e.k.faurTee saivan; and e.ke. faurTee naain)

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An unthinkable concept for confident candidates: fel ho jaanaa, to fail.

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Earlier articles on English loanwords and acronyms are available here and here.

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The month-long 2014 Indian Elections allow ample time for background reading

4 April 2014

An estimated 800 million voters (including approximately 100 million new voters) are eligible to vote in the Indian General Elections for the 543 seats in India’s 16th Lok Sabha (The Lower House). They begin on 7 April 2014, in geographical segments, and will end on 12 May, with the (electronic) results from 930,000 polling booths to be announced on May 16.

The Indian media has been in full cry for many months, and the final weeks are bound to be hectic and even more raucous, but a cornucopia of recent books containing vital background information (especially for outsiders) is available for calmer perusal. Here are some of the principle publications.
indbks14

2007

Ramachandra Guha, India after Gandhi. The History of the World’s Largest Democracy.Picador India.

Edward Luce, In Spite of the Gods. The Strange Rise of Modern India. London, Abacus.(In the later US edition, ‘Strange’ is omitted.)

2010

Christophe Jaffrelot, Religion, Caste and Politics in India, New Delhi. Primus Books. 2010. (See also this well-known French scholar’s India‘s Silent Revolution. The Rise of the Lower Castes in North India. Columbia University Press, New York 2003 – and other works.)

2012

Ramachandra Guha, Patriots and Partisans. Penguin India.

Arvind Kejrival, Swaraj. [Self-Rule] HarperCollins. (This manifesto is also available in Hindi)

Aseem Shrivastava and Ashish Kothari, Churning the Earth. The Making of Global India, Delhi, Penguin India.

A critique of the serious environmental and human costs of India’s progress so far. (With a 100-page Part 2: ‘DAWN: There is an alternative’)

2013

Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay, Narendra Modi. The Man, The Times. Chennai. Tranquebar Press. (The more or less authorised biography, which apparently ended up with Mukhopadhyay denied further access to Mr. Modi.)

M.V. Kamath and Kalindi Randeri, The Man of the Moment. Narendra Modi. Wide Canvas. Noida. Vikas.

(Note: Only on the publication data page (and on p. xi of their Preface) do the co-authors state that this is an ‘Enriched and Enlarged’ version of their book, first published by Rupa in 2009 as Narendra Modi. The Architect of a Modern State.)        

N.K.Singh and Nicholas Stern (eds.), The New Bihar. Rekindling Governance and Development. New Delhi, HarperCollins India.

2014

Simon Denyer, Rogue Elephant. Harnessing the Power of India’s Unruly Democracy. London. Bloomsbury. 2014. ISBN 978 1 4088 5705 2 [440 pp. hardback. Rs 600 in India] (See my previous detailed blog on this important study.)

John Elliott, Implosion. India’s Tryst with Reality. Noida. HarperCollins India. 2014.

This is an important contribution by an “old India hand” (since 1983) with expertise in business and economic affairs. It is based on his 2007- blog, http://www.ridingtheelephant.wordpress.com

Elliott currently writes for Asia Sentinel and blogs on the UK Independent. (Contrasting his approach with Edward Luce’s much earlier work, he favours the idea of ‘Because of the Gods”, “in the broader sense of culture, customs, and habits” (p. viii), rather than Luce’s “In spite of the Gods” approach.

Andy Marino, Narendra Modi: A Political Biography. HarperCollins India.

Amit Sachdeva, The Rise of Arvind Kejrival. The Uprise of a Common Man against all the odds, Gurgaon, Liveweek Business.

Hasan Suroon, India’s Muslim Spring. Why is Nobody Talking about it? New Delhi, Rupa.

Suroon describes the current push by Muslim youth in India to establish a more secular and forward-looking Muslim identity. His aim is to fill the void of (non-academic) reporting on what he sees as a profound change in local Muslim thinking. He also warns that the Indian State must make a better attempt to recognise and encourage such change.

Sankarshan Thakur, Single Man. The Life and Times of Nitish Kumar of Bihar. New Delhi. HarperCollins.

Sudesh K. Verma, Narendra Modi: The Gamechanger. New Delhi. Vitasta.

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On the sociological side, the following two works are of ancillary interest.

2013

Wendy Doniger, On Hinduism, New Delhi, Aleph

2014

Ira Trivedi, India in Love. Marriage and Sexuality in the 21st Century. New Delhi. Aleph. (This analysis is intended to track important changes in Indian society.)

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A Useful Briefing on India as it Faces the 2014 General Election – by Simon Denyer

2 April 2014

The doyen of foreign correspondents in India was, and still is, (Sir) Mark Tully, of the BBC (and, subsequently, author of many independent books on India). Then came Trevor Fishlock of the London Times. More recently, we have been especially enlightened by Edward Luce (In Spite of the Gods (The Strange Rise of Modern India), 2007), William Dalrymple (on many aspects of India and Indian civilisation), and Patrick French (India. A Portrait, 2010).

Now, as a lengthy commentary on his two reporting stints in India during the past 10 years, comes a timely and thorough analysis of contemporary India by Simon Denyer, a Reuters and Washington Post correspondent and Bureau Chief. As well as a general background to contemporary India, Denyer offers very close coverage of the past three controversy-packed years of Indian politics and public debate.

Simon Denyer, Rogue Elephant. Harnessing the Power of India’s Unruly Democracy. London. Bloomsbury. 2014. ISBN 978 1 4088 5705 2 [440 pp. hardback. Rs 600 in India]

All of these serious India Watchers are of British origin. In their prolonged scrutiny of India and her people, they have dug much deeper than most other foreign writers and journalists in a search for the realities of this ancient and enigmatic country. A further advantage they appear to share is a practical knowledge of Hindi and the ability to engage with Indians in different walks of life (and often in out of the way places) which has given their reports more authenticity and value, especially for non-Indians. This is surely further proof that although English is the lingua franca of India, Hindi remains the language of power and politics.

For those foreigners wishing to be up to date on the situation in India and to know what is at stake on the eve of the crucial April-May 2014 general elections, which begin in a few days’ time, Denyer’s latest analyses of current issues and problems could prove to be a very useful guide. All the major headlined personalities of the hectic past three or four years in India are covered under Denyer’s wide umbrella:

Bedi, Kiran; Gandhi, Rahul; Gandhi, Sonia; Goswamy, Arnab; Hazare, Anna; Kejrival, Arvind; Kumar, Nitish; Modi, Narendra; Raja, Andimuthu; Ramdev, Swami; Singh, Manmohan; Vadra, Robert; Yadav, Lalu.

The publisher’s comments on the inside front cover are a fair and concise presentation of the book’s contents and an expansion of its eye-catching title. I quote it in toto:

“At the beginning of the twenty-first century, India seemed to stand on the brink of an exciting new era. Second only to China as the fastest growing major economy in the world, gleaming shopping malls were being built around the country to service a rapidly expanding middle class, and mobile phones were reaching even the remotest villages.

“The installation of Manmohan Singh as prime minister in 2004 seemed to promise more good times ahead. Singh had unleashed ‘shining’ India’s potential more than a decade before as finance minister, introducing the liberalising economic reforms that had set the country on a new course towards prosperity.

“Yet a decade later, the dream has crumbled. A series of corruption scandals has badly tarnished the nations image and undermined its self-confidence, while the economy has slowed and violence against women has dominated the headlines. The country is no longer ‘shining’ and Indians are left wondering where the magic has gone.

“Reporting from across India, meeting activists, farmers, bureaucrats, office workers and media figures, and interviewing influential political leaders including Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi and Arvind Kejriwal, Denyer exposes the battles taking place between powerful vested interests and those trying to foster change.

“By delving into many of the country’s most troublesome issues, from gender relations to education, from corruption to populist politics, Denyer analyses the Indian malaise and, equally important, discovers signs of new and vigorous life and a deep desire for change. If the world’s largest democracy can control the greed, corruption and bad governance that bedevil it, its future may indeed be dazzling.”

(As the balanced presentation of these 440 pages indicates, this appears to be a big IF.)

The chapters offered by Simon Denyer are listed below. The more explicit sub-headings (usually followed by a quotation) may be especially helpful for potential purchasers. (These sub-headings then become the page headers of the chapters.)

 Asking for It

Gang-rape provokes unprecedented outcry

2. Man out of Time

The silent fall of Manmohan Singh

(The author’s Washington Post article on this topic created quite a stir in India:

‘Indian Leader’s Legacy is Fading, 5 September 2012. See pages 41-45 of this chapter.)

3. Money (That’s what I want)

The battle to rid Indian democracy of criminality and corruption

4. It’s a family affair

How dynastic politics is stifling Indian democracy

5. Is there Something I should Know?

The Right to information returns power to Indian citizens

6. Headline Hustler

The twenty-four hour news television helps awaken a nation

7. This Land is your Land

Farmers stand up for their rights, and politicians look for answers

8. Get up, Stand up

India against Corruption galvanizes the middle class

9. How can you mend a broken heart?

The heart of India’s democracy, Parliament, is barely beating

10. Fight the Power

Arvind Kejriwal launches his political career in uncompromising fashion

11. Hard Times for an honest man

Whistleblowers under attack in India’s bureaucracy

12. Isolation

One woman’s lonely struggle to rein in the powers of the army in India’s remote northeast

13. I want to break free

India’s youthful aspirations threatened by a lack of skills and jobs

14. The Age of Information

Technology empowers India’s people to fight corruption, elect better leaders

15. I’m the Man

Narendra Modi offers himself as India’s saviour

Denyer offers a comprehensive and nuanced 29-page chapter on the man of the moment and the favourite to win the Prime Ministership. In spite of all that detail, the author adds two final personal comments on Modi’s candidacy:

“While Modi promises to cut through much of the tangled mess of governance and unshackle entrepreneurs, he threatens many of the things I love about India. I find Gujarat under Modi to be stifling, a state where cinema owners dare not show films about the riots for fear of violence, where criticism of Modi is interpreted as disloyalty to the state, where some of the oxygen of democracy has been shut off. ” (p. 360).

and

“Say what you like about Narendra Modi, but he doesn’t lack confidence in his own ability. But in his assault on secularism and the rights of minorities, in his autocratic style, does Narendra Modi threaten the very essence of what makes India great?” (p.365)

16. Hell is for Children

Efforts to protect India’s women and children intensify after the Delhi gang-rape

Afterword

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Note

Denyer’s Notes contain many vital recent bibliographical references, especially to relevant articles by himself and his Washington Post colleague, Rama Lakshmi, and to the work of historian Ramachandra Guha.

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