Politics in India

NO JOKES PLEASE!

In India, you have to be very careful about your words and phrases; more so, when you crack an innocent joke. If you happen to be a minister or an MP, make sure that you don’t deviate from your subject, especially when you are addressing a press conference. “So, you traveled in cattle class?”, a reporter may ask you and without any ill-feeling you might say ‘Yeah, in a cattle class… I was among the holy cows”, An innocent joke, no doubt. But you are doomed. Very soon the joke is depicted as an insult to the poor and your rivals take full advantage of the confusion. If you are smart enough, you will apologise and save your skin. If you try to explain, the air will be thick with demands for your resignation.

The crux of the matter is that you have to be matter-of-fact when you are talking about certain castes or the poor. At the same time, you have nothing to fear when you are talking about the so-called upper castes. You can crack any jokes or even insult them. No one will raise any noise, not even the affected person.

Author: P U Krishnan

First things first. I am one of those retired chaps who are young at heart. I watch cricket matches and jump for joy when Tendulkar scores yet another century. I read newspapers and books too, though I am not crazy about them. I think I have a mind free from hatred and I owe it to the wonders of nature and music. I scribble something now and then and call myself a writer! Though I have settled in Ooty, a lovely hill station in Tamil Nadu—I must emphasize the fact that I was born and brought up in Tellicherry in North Kerala and studied in the good old Government Brennen College. Of and on, my mind goes back to my ancestral house at Tiruvangad in Tellicherry in front of an ancient Sri Ram temple. I am indebted to this wonderful place which inculcated in me a love for cricket and literature. But all said and done, I am an Indian first.

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