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Jose K George
Jose K George


'TOP' and the rest: PM Modi and the art of coining acronyms

INDIA-ISRAEL-POLITICS-DIPLOMACY (File) Prime Minister Narendra Modi

With great power comes grave responsibility to make acronyms, and the supreme leader of the republic of Bharat is painfully aware of this humongous task that takes more efforts than the think tanks would care to understand. In fact, this is his advice to young and upcoming voters who still haven't stepped out of school.

Penned by the PM himself  (who knows that he can't bank on the brave tales of battling crocs alone to leave kids awestruck) 'Exam Warriors' has tips on how students who are preparing for class X and XII exams—one of which is memorising key points using acronyms. Thank you Captain Obvious, students in India had no clue they could learn a thing or two by coining catchy acronyms. Ah, where am I getting with this? I need to GBOT—Get Back on Track. There, learnt something already; thank you Shaktima...err, prime minister.

Okay, to more important matters than catching them young and turning them saffron. On Sunday, the prime minister had a word that had more connotations than one. Pardon my 'anti-sanskar' rant. But those who are more merry and gay may tend to read more into the PM's 'TOP' remark than the straight and 'sanskari' among us. But they don't really matter, do they?

Back to the more pressing matter of potatoes and pakodas. On Sunday, in one of his election campaigns rallies in poll-bound Karnataka, the prime minister showed why he is a rockstar who can use acronyms like none of us could ever do in school. You are my "TOP" priority, he said to farmers in the state who are facing agrarian crisis. By "TOP" the prime minister meant—Tomato, Onion, Potato. Aye, genius use of a phrase, my man!

RSVP—Rahul, Sonia, Vadra, Priyanka; ABCD—Adarsh, Bofors, Coal and Damaad; SCAM—Samajwadi Party, Congress, Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati; SABKA—Saamajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, and Congress party and now the right use of TOP— Tomato, Onion, Potato are merely a few samples of the prolific works of the master acronym star. More will follow as the general elections season approaches as if the number of seats won is directly proportional to the number of acronyms coined.

Perhaps, these are the prime minister's earnest attempts to fit into the the 'BRB' and 'AFK' crowd. And he seems to be succeeding as most of his acronyms had the Twitteri in a frenzy.

"I lost interest after he went on and on about his benevolence shown towards Karnataka... but came back when he said POT..or was it TOP? Anyway turns out it was about crunchy munchy vegetables," someone tweeted.

“So, Target Olympic Podium has officially become Tomato Onion Potato for the government? They handled the scheme like sabziwallahs at the mandi anyway... #TOP,” read another tweet.

A `TOP' acronym is not really the best and most appropriate way to respond to acute agrarian distress in #Karnataka. And if you must do it this way, add one of the state's main crops, Sugarcane to Tomato, Onion, Potato ... and make it STOP (suicides), tweeted another. 

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah joined the 'TOP wagon' when he tweeted, "I think I'll have POT for lunch today."

While Divya Spandana of the Congress attributed the prime minister's gift of coining acronyms to the benevolent Mary Jane, those of us who are fans of the man know better. We had seen it the past, we see it in the present and we will see more of them in the future. Keep 'em coming, dear PM. The nation indeed is in need of more of them.

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