Voters are the boss: Tamil Nadu netas experiment with lingo to garner youth votes

Dharmapuri (TN): Spurred on by changing times and a necessity to effectively connect with people, political leaders of Tamil Nadu, known for their penchant to use chaste Tamil in public discourse, have now latched on to colloquial words to win votes, especially that of the youth.

Colloquial Tamil words like "Anda Pulugu, Agasa Pulugu (Blatant lie)" and "quarter kadai (liqour shop)," have quietly found their way to the campaign speeches of leaders like DMK treasurer MK Stalin and PMK chief ministerial candidate Anbumani Ramadoss.

 Voters are the boss: Tamil Nadu netas experiment with lingo to garner youth votes

File photo of Anbumani Ramadoss. PIB

The trend is quite significant as Tamil Nadu is a state where leaders of parties have risen in their political careers on the strength of their oratory skills fuelled by use of chaste Tamil, peppered with apt quotes from ancient Tamil literature.

DMK, especially, has a history of witnessing a meteoric rise propelled by party founder and Dravidian ideologue CN Annadurai who was a great orator in both Tamil and English.

Against the backdrop of such a history, leaders now use words and phrases that could help them connect quickly with the electorate, especially the youth who often use such words.

Stalin, in his campaigns, repeatedly uses words like "Anda Pulugu, agasa pulugu (blatant lie)," to trash claims of ruling AIADMK over several issues.

Referring to the ruling party's poll manifesto, he alleges "Amma arikkai oru dummy arikkai (AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa's poll manifesto is a dummy document)."

His party functionaries too use highly colloquial but hugely popular words like "semma (super)" , "gethu (esteem, esteemed)" in their campaign meetings while referring to their DMK poll manifesto.

Top PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss, addressing villagers at Mangapatti near here, tells them that he would shut down "quarter kadais" — a reference to state-run liquor outlets.


Such shops are colloquially called "Tasmac" or "quarter kadais." He eschewed words like "madhupana kadai", a standard usage for liquor shops.

Notably, his spoken language completely reflected people's lingo, devoid of any flowery words or metaphors.

He punctuates his speech with "sonthangaley (kinsmen)" and "nanbargaley (friends)" — words in everyday use. Even while urging them not to elect AIADMK or DMK to power, he uses an everyday phrase.

"Sonthangaley unga mama machan kitta pesunga, 50 varusam aanda katchinga veetukku pogattum (My kinsmen, tell your relatives, let parties that ruled us for 50 years go home)."

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Updated Date: May 18, 2016 17:33:26 IST