Time is money. That’s what my therapist keeps telling me whenever I ask him for five more minutes at the end of a session anyway. But seriously, time IS money; and we all know it. When I’m forced to make conversation with a stranger (mostly at the insistence of my editors), I don’t say I live in New Okhla Industrial Developmental Area, because, as Kimberly "Sweet Brown" Wilkins so memorably said, “ain’t nobody got time for that.” I say I live in NOIDA. It’s shorter, sweeter, and infinitely more efficient in a world that equates chronology with currency, despite both being largely made-up systems.
Time is money. And no one is more acutely aware of this than politicians, since the length of their terms determines how much money they’ll be able to make, er, I mean, how much change they will be able to affect. The babus who created NOIDA (under the aegis of the UP Industrial Area Development Act, 1976) knew they had to come up with a snappy acronym to attract potential investors, home-owners, and businesses, who were definitely not going to come to a place with a name that takes longer to say than it takes for a bitcoin millionaire to lose his fortune. And so there was NOIDA.
Time is money. And money is power. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP government, which came to office by wielding an unprecedented mandate in 2014, knew it had five years (unless the damned onion crop failed again) to substantially improve the lives of Indian citizens if it wants to return to the Centre in 2019, and that it had to introduce some truly memorable initiatives and schemes to keep the voters in their ballot. But nobody has the time to remember complicated, impersonal scheme names.
It doesn't matter what the plans actually comprise of, but their names need to be short enough to easily recall, and also have a certain intimacy so that people feel personally invested in them. You don’t remember someone by the strands of their DNA, you remember them by their names. The Modi Government knows this, and so there was:
HRIDAY (National Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana)
UDAY (UJWAL Discom Assurance Yojana)
AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation)
UJALA (Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs and Appliances for All)
MUDRA (Micro Unit Development and Refinance Agency)
AYUSH Ministry (Ministry for Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy)
BHIM (Bharat Interface for money) App
Time is money. And as the 2019 electoral battles begin, the Modi government knows that there’s going to be an accounting for its term, which begins today and concludes in May, when the results of which national alliance will form a union government will come out. And so there was, acronym awaited.