The Election Dictionary

Apr 12, 2014, 06:56 IST | Rohan Joshi

Elections are underway. Here’s a guide demystifying popular election phrases

Rohan JoshiIndia’s most historic TRP battle election in decades is too important to be reduced to a 600 word humour column.

As a responsible citizen keen to do his part, I’m suspending my usual 600 word fart-fest (“The Galaxy S5: Moditard or Congi?”), and in its place I offer an Election Dictionary to help novices (Rahul baba pay attention now) through the maze that is the Indian General Election:

Mulayam; (noun, pronounced Ta-lee-baan) Incurable disease that transports anyone who has it back to the middle ages. File pic
Mulayam; (noun, pronounced Ta-lee-baan) Incurable disease that transports anyone who has it back to the middle ages. File pic

AAP; (noun, pronounced aa-p) Aam Aadmi Party, a new outfit led by Arvind Kejriwal comprised of ordinary people, campaigning on platform of honesty, anti-big-industrialist, and power to the people. May win election if election suddenly moves to America.

BJP; (noun, pronounced Mow-dee) Party of the Modi, by the Modi, for the Modi. Has the most enthusiastic fan-base in Indian history. Supporters often seen as extras on The Walking Dead because of their penchant for dazedly muttering only one name in response to any question you ask them. (See also “Hodor”)

Congress; (cussword, pronounced L-OL) Party that has been in power for the last ten years. Nobody has any idea how, since scientists recently discovered that its centre is made of only dark matter, denial and a chihuahua’s IQ test results.

Slap; (verb, pronounced DEKH! KEJRIWAL!) Most popular form of political debate in India. Not to be confused with facepalm, which is the Congress symbol

Seat; (noun, pronounced see-t); Political slang for “power”, a seat is something a politician asks for your support in order to win. He or she promises to do things for you in return for a seat, and then steps on your baby’s head to get to it.

Troll; (noun, pronounced “don’t go online”); Norse/Scandinavian mythical creature. Legend has it that trolls guarded the gates to social media, and all Modi non-believers who passed through these gates were vapourised by fire from the mouths of these creatures. But they can be defeated by any warrior carrying the amulet of grammar and shield of common sense

Mulayam; (noun, pronounced Ta-lee-baan) Incurable disease that transports anyone who has it back to the middle ages. Usage; “Dude I woke up in the morning and realised I’d burned my wife for dowry. I think I have brain Mulayam”

Coalition; (pronounced sab-khaa-yenge) Partner parties that help a dominant party make the numbers required to win a majority in the house, and then celebrate by eating out of our pockets like an American at a buffet.

Manifesto; (noun, pronounced Man-ee-fes-toe) 50 page document detailing the vision of a party contesting elections. Cursory glance through major party manifestos shows that said vision is not even good enough for a driver’s license, forget ruling India. (See also “rhetoric”, “hyperbole” and “please stop jerking off to metaphors”)

Youth; (noun, pronounced “rhymes with popular Indian cussword”) Term used to describe 50 year-old in average Indian party.

Anti-incumbency; (noun, pronounced “Woah, big word) Phrase used to denote intense dissatisfaction with ruling party. Usage; “On Twitter, every day is anti-incumbency day”

Arnab; (noun, pronounced “I’M BEST”) Word used to describe volume so loud that the speed of sound transcends the speed of light. As in “That yellow, green and purple shirt isn’t loud, it’s Arnab” Also possible shadow PM of India since 1857. (See also “Yellow King”)

Vote; (verb/noun, pronounced voh-t) The best thing you can do when it’s election day in your city. You have to vote, you have to participate. It legitimises every complaint you have against the system. As a citizen, you must vote. I don’t even care who you vote for, just vote. Mostly because the machine is probably rigged.

Rohan Joshi is a writer and stand-up comedian who likes reading, films and people who do not use the SMS lingo. You can also contact him on

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