Much hue and cry were raised over Azam Khan’s unacceptable sexist remarks against BJP MP Rama Devi who was in the presiding officer’s chair in the ongoing budget session at the Lok Sabha. He said, ” “Aap mujhe itni achchhi lagti hain ki mann chahta aapki aankhon mein dekhta rahoon” (I am so fond of you, I feel like looking into your eyes.) A strong reaction poured in within and outside the Lower House.
“This is not the way to talk“, said Devi in response to the Samajwadi Party MP who in turn said he was ready to “declare my resignation if I said anything unparliamentary.” He looked puzzled at the protest but emboldened by his party chief’s full support.
His immediate apology was sought by the ruling party members and Khan said that she was like her sister. His remark enraged the Law Minister Ravi Prasad and junior Parliamentary affairs minister Arjun Meghwal as they urged the chair to ask him to apologise. When Samajwadi MP was asked to tender an apology, he said he meant no disrespect to her as she was like his “dear sister.”
But nothing noisy or boisterous was created over a repeated error in pronouncing the correct name of foreign affairs minister S Jaishankar by the honorable defense minister Rajnath Singh within the dome of the Lok Sabha!
He was referred to as “Jaishankar Prasad”, a prominent but famed figure in modern Hindi literature and Hindi theatre as well. He referred to the external affairs minister as Jaishankar Prasad on three occasions, reports say, while making a statement on USA President Donald Trump’s claim before Imran Khan that he was asked by PM Narendra Modi to mediate on contentious Kashmir issue.
The foreign affairs minister was sitting on the right side of the defence minister in the front row of the treasury benches. Quite an experienced politician Rajnath Singh took the name of S Jaishankar while referring to his presence at the meeting held between Trump & Modi at Osaka in Japan in June this year, and to his statement in the Parliament rejecting Trump’s claim. It was merely brushed aside by saying as sheer slip of tongue. I wonder, was it as serious as the MP’s statement?
What does one think of the Defence minister if he inadvertently failed to remember the exact real name of his cabinet colleague? A diplomat has been mistaken for a writer just because of a mistaken usage of a proper noun. I remembered the ‘Bard of Avon’ William Shakespeare who wrote, ‘What is in a name‘. But what is not in the use of the wrong name?