ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Accent on Continuity

IT is now three weeks since Atal Behari Vajpayee has been the externa] affairs minister of the 'largest democracy' in the world, It has been a superb performance, The old Krishna Menon style 'angavastram' has returned to the South Block; but Vajpayee's has not been merely a sartorial performance. He has been saying things which Y B Chavan had been saying earlier, perhaps a little more authentically, inasmuch as he chose to say them unlike his predecessors in an Indian language. Even cliches acquire a certain freshness if you say them in a different language. The South Block officials had perhaps never heard so much Hindi being spoken in their viceregal environs. The overused words and cliches have now acquired a new lease of life; 'gutanira- pekshata does sound a little different from 'non-alignment'. Whatever be the Hindi word for 'bureau'' the bureau of the non-aligned would also sound different now. A great linguistic change no doubt, and if our world is defined by our language, there is clearly a sea- change in India's foreign policy.

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