‘Indiregandi’, Turkey invokes Indira Gandhi to describe cheating and stealing, reports VICE

The grand old party clearly had not seen it coming. As per a VICE report “İndiregandi” is an act of misusing public money, stealing from someone else’s pocket, or trying to get something for nothing. Gaming enthusiasts apparently use the word as an exclamation when they are using cheat codes in games.

Indira Gandhi, among other things, is mostly known for incidents like the 1971 war which ended with carving of independent country, Bangladesh, the 21-month period of Emergency in 1975 and Operation Blue Star in June 1984, which she had ordered to remove Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and his armed followers from the Harminder Sahib complex in Amritsar.

However, in recent times, the Congress-led UPA coalition has become synonymous with corruption. And it appears it’s not just Indians who associate Congress politicians with corruption. Far way in Turkey, people invoke the name of Indira Gandhi to describe cheating, stealing and corruption.

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As per a literature research scholar quoted by VICE, the term originated out of the similarity between “Indira” and “indir”, a conjugation of the Turkish verb indirmek—lowering, or downloading something—which is also used as slang for stealing or pocketing money. Another professor of linguistics appeared to agree, “The only explanation I can think of is based on sound resemblance to indir (take down, pull down) and ‘kandı’ (deceived, fooled).” So while it may not be her politics, personality or her way of working which makes the Turkish people use her name as code for cheating, but the fact that it sounds similar to the Turkish expression indirmek.

‘Indiregandi’ appears to be a moniker. The Turkish appear to invoke ‘indiregandi’ to describe acts of stealing and cheating. This is similar to when many started referring to others as “Pappu” when they didn’t make sense. Unfortunately for the Congress party, both of them are associated with leaders of their party.


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