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Mind your language

Published : Apr 4, 2016, 7:36 am IST
Updated : Apr 4, 2016, 7:36 am IST

Patnaik’s cryptic oriya

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 repo.jpeg

Patnaik’s cryptic oriya

Orissa chief minister Naveen Patnaik was in for a surprise when the people of the state rushed to his residence with slates and chalk sticks to protest against his inability to learn Oriya on April 1, the state’s 80th formation day.

Mr Patnaik has always been the laughing stock of the Opposition Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party for his broken Oriya. When he reads out his speeches in Oriya which are written in the Roman script, he fumbles. And, often, the words lose their meaning in (flawed) pronunciation.

For instance, Mr Patnaik reportedly fumbled while reading out the names of two places in Orissa. He pronounced Baripada and Chandikhol as “Badipoda” and “Chadikhol” respectively, completely changing the meaning of the two words. While “Badipoda” refers to someone who sets one’s kitchen yard on fire, “Chadikhol” means asking someone to remove their underwear! Opposition Congress and BJP activists often use these two words to taunt their friends in the ruling Biju Janata Dal.

Divided Loyalties The announcement that Aparna Yadav, the younger daughter-in-law of Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, will be given an Assembly ticket has put the party in a fix because of the cold war that exists within the SP first family.

The majority of youth in the party are wary of getting into Ms Yadav’s good books since it would make them fall out of favour with the Akhilesh camp. But if they do not work for Ms Yadav, chances are that they will earn the SP chief’s ire.

“We are walking on a tightrope. Though family members have never been vocal on this issue, we know that there is little love lost between the step-brothers Akhilesh and Prateek, and the latter’s wife Aparna — with her overbearing personality and uncalled-for statements — often ends up embarrassing her brother-in-law and chief minister Akhilesh Yadav. In such a situation, it is better to recede into your shell till the polls are over,” said an SP leader from Ms Yadav’s constituency.

An insider also revealed that there were apprehensions within the family over Ms Yadav’s candidature since she is known to be too outspoken and spunky for the family’s liking.

ISRAEL CALLING During Israeli ambassador Daniel Carmon’s recent press conference about cooperation in the sphere of water management between Israel and India a reporter popped an unexpected question. She asked Mr Carmon when Prime Minister Narendra Modi would visit Israel.

Mr Carmon smiled at first and then replied slowly, “I was wondering why no one asked the question till now.”

Predictably, the answer triggered much amusement among the mediapersons and Israeli diplomats present. For the record,

Mr Carmon went on to say that dates for the much-anticipated visit had not yet been decided. Till then we hope Mr Modi visits Israel at the earliest.

SPOON-FEEDING SPOKESPERSONS Politicians are expected to have the proverbial gift of the gab. However, in a dispensation where they don’t have much of a say and where the flow of power is unidirectional this gift is of no use.

Recently, a couple of Central ministers were supposed to brief the media about an important announcement. But hours before the media interaction, they were summoned by the “power centre” for a “briefing” about what to say before the media.

Now this is some serious news spoon-feeding one must say!

CHANGE OF HEART After pleading with Delhi Assembly Speaker, Ram Niwas Goel, for more than a year to get a bigger room for his party in the Vidhan Sabha premises, Leader of the Opposition Vijender Gupta recently managed to get the same room which had earlier been allocated to the Bharatiya Janata Party during Sheila Dikshit’s 15-year rule in Delhi. Mr Goel’s change of heart is being attributed to chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, who is said to have personally requested him to accede to Mr Gupta’s request.

A SWEET SIGNAL The mere mention of “mithai khilaenge (treat you to sweets)” by former Bharatiya Janata Party general-secretary (organisation) and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh man Sanjay Joshi brings joy to his supporters. On more than one occasion when Mr Joshi was heard talking over the phone to someone saying “Aap aaiye phir mithai khilaenge,” his supporters were heard talking about his “impending” re-induction into the BJP. He is considered by many as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “arch-rival”, but has a huge support base within the Sangh Parivar cadre. Posters by his “supporters” demanding his re-induction in the BJP have often come up at different places, including the Lutyens’ zone in the national capital.

‘PROXY’ WIN In local jargon, it is known as tyeth moorien, or seeking fulfilment by default. Glued to their television sets during the ICC World Twenty20 semi-final between India and the West Indies, Kashmiris enjoyed every moment of Windies making the hosts pay dearly for their mistakes during the crucial match. And then the Windies cruised to a thrilling win many cricket-crazy Kashmiris took to the streets to push the boat out. Soon the sound of fireworks rent the air and at many places, including the Kashmir University campus overlooking Srinagar’s Dal Lake the youth went round chanting “Pakistan zindabad”.

What did Windies’ “sweet revenge” for 1983 World Cup loss to India have to do with Pakistan Nothing really, but a sadistic vindication of the collective heartbreak in Kashmir after Pakistan crashed out of the World T-20.

Kashmiri Muslims — if not all but a majority of them — are traditionally Pakistan fans, be it cricket, football or any other sport. This has more to do with their political choices.

The Pakistan cricket team’s defeat at the hands of arch-rival India at Eden Gardens was “heart-breaking” for Kashmiri Muslim youth. But unlike irate fans in Pakistan who took to streets, breaking TV sets and cricket bats to vent their anger, Kashmiri fans of Pakistan decided to “wait and watch”. And on Thursday night they vented their sentiments by chanting pro-Pakistan slogans and setting off fireworks to celebrate India’s defeat.