ABCD to EPI: Narendra Modi’s wordplay continues
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ABCD to EPI: Narendra Modi’s wordplay continues

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a master at coining acronyms. He uses them to take on opponents and also to spell out his government’s agenda.

india Updated: May 01, 2017 10:26 IST
Kumar Uttam
Kumar Uttam
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Narendra Modi,Acronyms,Lok Sabha elections
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is an effective communicator and often comes up with acronyms to make his point. (Sushil Kumar/HT PHOTO)

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the arrival of EPI – Every Person is Important – during Mann Ki Baat on Sunday, he added yet another acronym to a fast-growing list of such abbreviations.

Modi was talking about the need to end the VIP culture and what goes with it. His government has decided to do away with the use of beacons atop vehicles, an ultimate symbol of power. The ban that kicks in on May 1 allows only emergency services to flash lights to cut through traffic.

While campaigning for the Lok Sabha election, Modi came up with several acronyms to take on political opponents and to spell out his vision of governance.

He took over as the Prime Minister in May 2014 but the wordplay continues.

Here are some famous Modi coinages:

ABCD: At the peak of the Lok Sabha campaign, Modi targeted the Congress with the ABCD barb, listing the scandals that rocked the country on the rival party’s watch. A was for Adarsh housing scam, B was the infamous Bofors gun bribery scandal, C was for the alleged large-scale irregularities in coal block allocation and D was Damad, a reference to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra, who was embroiled in an alleged land scam in Haryana and Rajasthan.

RSVP: The Congress’ first family came under fire again as Modi mocked the party’s RSVP -- Rahul, Sonia, (Robert) Vadra and Priyanka -- model of development. Addressing a poll rally, Modi said the Manmohan Singh’s government followed “RSVP model” under which a person was able to multiply his earnings from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 400 crore in five years, a veiled reference to Vadra.

3AK: Modi trained guns on Arvind Kejriwal after some of AAP chief’s colleagues called for a referendum in Kashmir. He said three AKs were popular in Pakistan: AK-47, AK Antony and AK-49. The last one was aimed at Arvind Kejriwal, who stepped down as the Delhi chief minister after 49 days.

SCAM: This abbreviation is of recent vintage. As he led the party’s campaign for Uttar Pradesh that voted for a new assembly in March, the Prime Minister clubbed together rivals Samajwadi Party, Congress and Mayawati, accusing them of corruption.

In the same campaign, he abbreviated his party’s plans for the state to VIKAS (development in Hindi). Vikas expanded to Vidyut (electricity) Kanoon (law) and Sadak (road).

P2G2: At the BJP’s national executive meeting in the coastal state of Odisha last month, Modi set another target for the party and his government -- P2G2, a pro people, good governance to achieve socio-economic development by 2022.

3-S, 5Ts and more

During the Lok Sabha campaign, Modi came out with many more acronyms such as 3S for Skill, Scale and Speed to equip the country’s young population to take on China. To build Brand India, he stressed on – Talent, Tradition, Tourism, Trade and Technology, or 5Ts. Democracy, Demography and Demand – 3Ds — have been counted as India’s three big advantages by Modi in his pitch for his government’s ambitious Make in India programme.

From NiTi to Usttad

The Modi government has launched or renamed several schemes and institutions. The Planning Commission, a Soviet era relic, made way for NiTi Aayog. NiTi, which in Hindi means policy, stands for National Institution for Transforming India. The government turned to Usttad (teacher) to upgrade and promote the skills of artisans from minority communities. The acronym stands for Upgrading Skills and Training in Traditional Arts/Crafts for Development.

To modernise India’s cities, Modi came up with Amrut (nectar in Hindi), or Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation. For preserving and restoring India’s cultural heritage, the government has launched Hriday, or Heritage City Development Scheme. Hirday translates to heart in Hindi.

First Published: May 01, 2017 10:20 IST