The fact of the matter is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s hold on the political narrative might be slipping but the Indian-American’s hold on the world’s top spelling bee contest has been unassailable for the last 18 consecutive years. All the top three in the 2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee are also Indian-Americans. An analysis, for Different Truths.
The “condottiere” of India’s Opposition parties are being hailed post latest by-polls. These leaders of a brand of mercenaries are under a “cendre” right now and their supporters seem to be cured of “ankyloglossia”. Hey! What’s all that? The answer to that is these three words in quote-unquote won Texan-American Karthik Nemmani the 2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee title the other night, and they also explain goings on in India!
Nemmani also spelled the word “koinonia” correct to beat two other Indian-Americans to lift the words trophy. The fact of the matter is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s hold on the political narrative might be slipping but the Indian-American’s hold on the world’s top spelling bee contest has been unassailable for the last 18 consecutive years. All the top three in the 2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee are also Indian-Americans.
Nemmani did not slip on any of the words thrown at him, and he was not even the favourite. Fellow Texan Nyasa Modi, who he beat to lift the title, had worsted him in the regional contest, ruling him out for the nationals. But a change of rule made him eligible and “koinonia” (a Greek-origin word defined as “intimate spiritual communion and participative sharing in a common religious commitment and spiritual community”), left him “the last man standing” on the podium.
“Condottiere” translates to “leader of a band of mercenaries common in Europe between the 14th and 16th centuries; also: a member of such a band, or a mercenary”. The word fits like a glove Mayawati, Mamata Banerjee and Akhilesh Yadav, all mercenaries challenging the might of Narendra Modi under an azurite blue (cendre) sky with their suddenly cured of “ankyloglossia” (limited normal movement of the tongue) armies of supporters.
Seems like the “intimate spiritual communion and participative sharing in a common religious commitment and spiritual community” or “koinonia” is proving to be too much for the Hindutva-spouting party of the Shah of Indian elections, Amit Shah! Also, with that koinonia, Uttar Pradesh finally has a Muslim MP to send to the Lok Sabha, an “intimate spiritual communion and participative sharing in a common religious commitment and spiritual community”, or koinonia!
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was at the Nanyang Technical University in Singapore on June 1, 2018, and there he spoke of “Ab Ki Baar Asia Ki Baari” – this time Asia’s chance – reminding Indians at home of the much-hyped “Ab Ki Baar Modi Sarkar” slogan that won him the PM-ship of India in 2014. He also spoke of the ability of Asia to “convert the challenge to opportunity”. And this when the “condottiere” of India’s grand alliance and their armies of the “ankyloglossia-cured” refuse to accept that Modi has been able to convert the challenge to opportunity since he rode to power.
To a question on how to use “space technology” to develop India, Modi gave the example of how he used space technology when he was Chief Minister of Gujarat to help fishermen go to fish-catchment areas in the ocean to land good-sized fish in the thousands to make a satisfactory living. The man sitting opposite at the NTU in Singapore replied that Modi had just coined a new term, “Democratic Technology”. The condottiere of Uttar Pradesh will understand that. Their “grand opposition alliance” is an example of “democratic technology” at work, but not to the benefit of Modi the politician.
That being said, much of what Modi spoke at Nanyang Technical University will fly over the heads of the ankyloglossia-cured of India, those who are not asking whether or not their state governments are taking advantage of the many schemes the Centre has lined up for job-creation and skills-development. Modi’s appeal to the NRI is that he speaks the language the NRI living in technology-spurred countries understand and see the advantages of. The ankyloglossia-cured of India should take time to listen to voices coming from the NRI.
The problem with “condottiere” like Mayawati and Mamata and Akhilesh Yadav is that they are too tuned in to “koinonia” at the expense of development. They along with media, which parrots them, bask in the victory of the grand alliance, which is nothing more than a euphemism for caste-equations, perpetuating and taking advantage of divisions in society, to get a hold on power. It is only to be seen how Tabbassum Hasan’s election to the Lok Sabha from Kairana will change the fortunes of the Muslim in Kairana. Chances are it will not as history is proof.
Modi at Nanyang spoke of creativity getting a boost from technological innovation, whether it was the “pager” or the “computer” or the changes seen in villages, where previously it was “one cycle-tire puncture shop” but now there are “four mobile-repair shops”. A split verdict in 2019 or an alliance of the opposition coming to power may be the victory of a sort of creativity. But will a confused “farrago” of political parties succeed in satisfying the high-standards the NRI is used to and which he would like to see in India?
By the way, “farrago” was not a word asked to Karthik Nemmani though he would have spelled it correctly. Farrago was made popular in India by Shashi Tharoor, a wannabe “condottiere” from down south, God’s Own Country!
Photo from the Internet