Political nomenclature

Uma Bharati came over and asked for a name for her new party. I said why not confuse the voters on which party is the real one. So with BJP as the pre-decided acronym, we started thinking of names. ‘Bharati Janata Party’ was the first choice. Too bad EC turned it down on phonetic grounds. Bhagodi Janata Party was too direct an invitation to BJP deserters. Plus it portrayed Uma as the deserter, (the fact is, others deserted her) so a no here as well. Eventually, as Bharati – sorry Bharatiya – was more important than Janata, and with Paswan in mind as a future ally, Uma settled on Bharatiya Janashakti Party.

BTW, Lalu, an old friend, too had seeked nomenclature advice for his splinter JD over a decade ago. He was keen on naming it after his wife. ‘Rabri Janata Dal’. I said hey, that’s a bit blatant! Tone it down. ‘Stree Janata Dal’ was too generic, he wouldn’t sit easy till we mentioned his wife in there some way or the other. After some haggling, we settled midway, and kept his patni-prem down to a subtle hint. And thus was born: ‘Ra-stree Janata Dal”. [How the original stuff got corrupted to Rashtriya Janata Dal, I don’t know]

Around the same time as Lalu, Goerge too had consulted for a name for his yet another splinter from Janata Dal. I said you better stress that this time around your party will stay together. And JD(U) was born, U as in United. George loved it.


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