REPORTER’S DIARY: Oxford dictionary, pls include this Tamil word

Party workers are, more often that not, mostly dressed in white shirt and black pants. They’re often found waiting for their leaders. But unlike the hardworking waiters of a hotel/restaurant, these are impostors.
Representative image
Representative image

CHENNAI: It’s heartening to know that from time to time, some Indian words get added to the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary. This is an appeal to the editors at Oxford to consider adding a Tamil word to their dictionary.

But before that, we’d like to make our case. This week, an elderly man was sharing his views on the poor storm water drain in his neighbourhood in Chennai, when was interrupted on live TV by a ruling party worker. The word we’re going to suggest can be best used to describe such overzealous party workers, who are often described with reverence as cadre and functionary.

However, these are people who believe proximity to power makes them powerful too! Sample these incidents. A farmer from Villupuram approached a party worker to help him get a government job, and paid Rs 7.5 lakh. After taking the money, the farmer was given the job of collecting garbage in Chennai. An engineer, who already had a contract job with Metro Water, was cheated by such a partyman and is now in jail in Uttar Pradesh.

Party workers are, more often that not, mostly dressed in white shirt and black pants. They’re often found waiting for their leaders. But unlike the hardworking waiters of a hotel/restaurant, these are impostors.

An appeal to describe them with a single word, therefore, seems justified. The learned editors at Oxford dictionary, please consider including the word ‘Allakkai’.

— Srikkanth Dhasarathy, Chennai

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