In Hindustani Classical Speech, a gharAnA means a school of thought about the choice of words and style of delivery of a speech. It directly affects the thinking, teaching, performance and appreciation of a speech (Pravin Jha et al, 2007). The name of a gharAnA generally follows the first exponent of that gharAnA, but there are some exceptions to this tradition. The most well known gharAnAs are Lalu Yadav gharAnA, Navjot Sidhu gharAnA, Mamata Banerjee gharAnA, Atal Vajpayee gharAnA, Deve Gowda gharAnA and Lalit Modi gharAnA (This is not an exhaustive list).
Among the most well known gharAnAs, the Lalit Modi gharAnA (henceforth called ‘LMG‘) distincts itself from the others by putting more emphasis on choice of words and less on the style of delivery. Some experts hail LMG as being “a victory of substance over style“. This is evident in the following two examples. A synopsis of analyses from various experts has been presented after each example.
One (2008 IPL):
- It is impossible to miss the rich soporific nature of the speech
- A very important ‘ang‘ (part) of LMG is a clever choice of words to create confusion in the mind of the audience. Listen carefully. “next 44 days” and then “next 58 days” and then again “next 44 days”. Clever wording makes you ecstatic one moment, and sad the next!
- Another example of clever choice of words. “I declare open ……… the games” and not the run-on-the-mill “I declare the games open”.
- Even though he was aware that “the eyes of the world” were upon him, he didn’t forget to say “IPL League” akin to “ATM Machine” or “USA of America”.
- “There has not been a more talked about sport or entertainment event in India, and the IPL is going to give you that” – Notice the clever molestation of grammar!
Two (2010 IPL):
- LMG is not all about words, though. ‘More emphasis on words’ does not mean that style has been neglected. On the contrary, a very distinctive change in accent can be found here. The speech starts with an almost-ABCD accent and ends with Amchi-Mumbai accent with a little sprinkling of Delhi in the middle.
- The “create confusion” ‘ang’ is still present here. Notice the DLF confusion and IPL2/IPL3 confusion at the beginning.
- The best example of substance over style was the Oh-I-thought-I-was-receiving-an-Oscar-award ‘thank you’ for his ‘beloved wife’ and for his parents, without whose support IPL3 would not have been possible!
- Of course, he talks about the “indonical” spirit of modern India in his speech. Hopefully, that word will be in OED soon to honor LMG.
Long live LMG!