What is the difference between lower caste and Lower Caste? Or, between Upper Castes and upper castes?
For that matter is a bill any different from a Bill and / or is the Act the same as act?
Several weeks ago I had written a post on the declining standards of news writing in India. But this is more serious and I have intended to write about this for several years because every time I was confronted with it, my blood would come to a boil. And mind you, I do NOT pride myself in being the perfect one when it comes to the use of the English language. But language matters – to me and to others. Including to those who find no differences between lower and Lower, scheduled and Scheduled, tribes and Tribes.
I believe that if we write lower castes then we using language as a political tool to undermine an entire community as lesser mortals.
If one uses the lower case as a name for the entire community, then it means that one believes that the people are actually lower. Similarly, if Brahmins or Rajputs are called upper castes, then it would imply that that they are actually from the upper strata of society.
A better way would be use these words in the Upper Case – or as proper Nouns.
It is no different for a Bill and an Act. Unless used in the Upper Case, both words can mean completely different things from the intended legislative documents that they are used to describe. A bill can be both a Verb and a Noun while act will mainly be restricted to something that one does on stage, screen or in life in response to situations.
Both the Bill and an Act go through the portals of Parliament – the former is the name of a law when it is introduced by government or a Private Member and the latter becomes the name of the legislation after it is enacted. It is a different matter that it is routinely written that the bill was first introduced it the lower house of parliament and after enactment, the act was sent to the president for assent.
Language does matter but few are concerned about language matters.
It needs to be kept in mind that an act is the one which two people are purported to have engaged in, in the latest sleaze CD doing the rounds. But an Act would have been the one if on the basis of recommendations of the Standing (not standing) Committee formerly headed by Abhishek Manu Singhvi and after other alterations, the Jan Lokpal Bill had finally been passed by both Houses of Parliament.
The Case Rests!