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Indian English: an overview

Submitted by Karthik on 12 September, 2012 - 20:10

A question on asked for phrases peculiar to Indian English which are often baffling to the rest of the world. A user named Pushpendra Mohta provided this answer.

As it turns out, the manager there is also my college batchmate. You can use my connection there. Just give your good name. We were both backbenchers but he was actually rusticated for ragging and bunking. The final straw was when he was caught eve-teasing the dean's daughter. But, he did some jugaad and palm greasing, and got himself a license to manufacture Indian-made foreign liquor. Rags to riches story. Now he is a mover and shaker. For a while he was under the scanner of the IT authorities and they chargesheeted a disproportionate-asset case against him. I think he may have been doing some hawala transactions. The whole official machinery was after him. He tried to file a grievance but there was no redressal mechanism for such cases. Ultimately, he went on an indefinite fast. Some local politicians and godmen came to his rescue as he is also from the same minority community. Vote bank politics. Soon the whole city was in a bandh. Hartaals every day. Even on gazetted holidays. Miscreants took advantage of the situation and it spiraled out of control. The police ordered a lathi charge. Then there was air firing. Many MLAs defected. The assembly was adjourned every session. President's rule was imposed in the state after many ultimatums by the high command. Finally there was some seat-sharing agreement and the impasse was resolved. After that he was given a clean chit. The CM even held a felicitation function for him. Many many VVIPs. Of course, at the very same Taj. Later that CM was caught up in the 2G telco scam. Too good, yes?

An alternative answer to the same question leads to another minor treatise on the subject where Manas Chakravarty—in the Hindustan Times—builds on this article in the Economic Times where Joanna Turnbull, a lexicographer with the Oxford's Advanced Learner's Dictionary, mentions that Indian English contributed the largest number of new words in the latest edition of the OALD. Manas extrapolates these numbers and imagines what the British King's speech might be like in twenty years' time:

Dear brothers, sisters, uncle-jis, aunty-jis and respected elders,

These are difficult times. The law and order situation is not good and goondas and other rowdy elements have been creating a lot of hungama. Not a week goes by without a bandh. Rasta-rokos and rail-rokos are common. On several occasions the police have had to resort to lathicharges. And this tamasha is happening not just here in London but also in the mofussil areas. Even bhadralok are nowadays taking part in this nonsense.

The economy is going down the nullah. Loadshedding is rampant. It is affecting all classes of society. Even we in the royal family have been affected, with my cousin sister, I will not tell you her good name to respect her privacy, trying to sell her benami bungalow at her native place. It is a very exclusive property, sea-facing, only genuine buyers may contact, brokers excuse. My co-brother was telling me that he had never seen such tough times, although he had a love marriage with a girl from a very rich high status family, convent-educated. Of course, he did not marry for money, what attracted him was her wheatish complexion. But my point is that even they have lost crores of pounds in the economic recession and are now subsisting on curd rice, bidis and cutting chai, although she is carrying.

Wikipedia maintains a page cataloguing a number of Indianisms in use today.

(via @sumants)