If I seem childish and silly, bear with me. I am merely trying to get the reader primed to the same level of justifiable wrath as a group of people who have harmed nobody but are being subjected to callous mockery by the political `leader' of their country. The group of people I am alluding to are my fellow Indians who have the misfortune, like me, of having a disability. Such people have their own culture. For various reasons I do not have to elaborate here, we like to be referred to as `persons with disabilities' (or simply PWD). But our rulers in Delhi have never stopped trying to find a name which they feel more comfortable with: thus `specially abled', `differently abled', and several variants thereof. Why, for God's sake, should you be comfortable with what people call me? Do we not have a say in what we are called?
The biggest culprit in this name-calling is our Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. One fine day, in one of his rare speeches to the media on PWDs, he came up with the word `Divyang' for disabled, and before you knew what was happening, official statements from Delhi had started using the term `Divyangjan' for PWD, e.g., in the Hindi version of `Ministry for Social Justice and Empowerment'. Though almost all groups of PWD have uniformly voiced their dislike for this term being thrust on them, the Govt. has officially told the UN that in India, PwDs are addressed as ‘Divyangjan’ in Hindi and other Indian languages like Gujarati, Telugu etc. This term is used in the local dialects of the Act and Rules thereunder including in Hindi. ‘Divyangjan’ does not accurately reflect its literal English translation as persons with divine organs. It actually means persons with divine powers. The ‘persons with disabilities’ community at large has welcomed it and is very appreciative of this term attributed to them. Therefore, the word ‘Divyangjan’ cannot be termed as derogatory to persons with disabilities. Nonetheless, the phrase ‘persons with disabilities’ is still in use in English. This selective presumption of parental prerogative to re-name one set of one's children, and in spite of this new name not being well-received by the more outspoken of those who have been re-christened thus, to claim that everybody is happy with their new name, is sheer and unmitigated gall, and only to be expected from a Govt. led by a party with an avowedly exclusive mindset of wanting an India for Hindus only!