While watching anti Azam Khan (@azamkhanMP) programs in different TV channels (www.timesnow.tv), I was tempted to watch the actual proceedings of the house and hear the entire episode verbatim. When I did that, I was filled with empathy and sympathy for Azam Khan.
The fellow is getting beaten up for his past rather than what he did in the parliament on Wednesday.
The incident was very simple. Azam khan was replying to a shayari from Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi ( not relevant) through a shayari “तू इधर उधर की न बात कर, ये बता की काफिला क्यों लुटा“. Hon’ble chair, Rama devi told him jokingly (she could have said this in an authoritative ways also, but she chose it to make it fun) “आप भी इधर देख कर बात कीजिये, उधर मत देखिये”, and she laughed also. The video shows Ravishankar Prasad also smiling and enjoyed the pun. To this Azam khan said, “ “मैं तो आपको इतना देखूं की आप कहें की नज़र हटा लो”. Hon’ble Chair said, ” नहीं नहीं, नज़र हटाना नहीं, मैं…. मेरे तरफ देख कर बात कीजिए “. Still all laughing and smiling. And in continuation Azam khan said, “ अध्यक्ष महोदया, मुझे तो आप यों भी इतनी अच्छी लगती हैं, इतनी प्यारी लगती हैं की मैं आपकी आँखों में आंखें डाले रहूं ये मेरा मन करता है”. To the above, some treasury bench side people started making noise and Rama Devi also became conscious and said, “ ये बात करने का तरीका नहीं है , ” and pointed to expunge the statement.
If you read the entire conversation, it is a plain light hearted conversation and at least I do not find anything sexiest word or sentence of phrase in it.
It is a shame that healthy fun and pun is going away from the public discourse. I tried to ask myself whether it is only parliamentarians like Azam Khan who are such wild and sexiest or are there other examples from supposedly more somber and gender friendly west. I was pleasantly surprised to find the following few examples
Lady Astor: "Mr X, if I were your wife I'd put poison in your coffee."
Mr X: "Nancy, if I were your husband I'd drink it.
MP Bessie Braddock : X, you are drunk, and what’s more you are disgustingly drunk.
Mr X: My dear, you are ugly, and what’s more, you are disgustingly ugly.
But tomorrow I shall be sober and you will still be disgustingly ugly”
Mr X is none other than the great gentleman, noble laureate for Literature and stalwart of democracy Winston Churchill. Nowhere on internet search I found that these have been categorized as sexiest remarks. They have been categorized as funniest insulting reply to an attempted insult.
I see Azam Khan’s remarks as a light hearted pun in response to a light hearted pun.
In our parliament also, Nehru got commented upon his bald head. Nehru said about Aksai Chin, “ not a blade of grass grows there”. Mahavir Tyagi responded to this pointing toward Nehru’s bald head, “ not a single hair on this head but shall I surrender this to the enemy?”
Let me make is clear that the above examples are in no defense of Azam Khan’s Sexiest comments in the past, but in this instance we are looking at the even with a prism of past.
More troubling to me is the fact that all discussions about the remark – after the remark was made; and both inside and outside the parliament – stooped to more vulgar and obscene. The spat over Akhilesh Yadav’s defense of Azam Khan used unparliamentarily words which were again expunged. The Times Now (@TimesNow) debate anchored by Padmja Joshi (@PadmajaJoshi) became too indisciplined with woman participants Nupur Sharma ( @NupurSOffice), Smita Prakash (@smitaprakash) accusing with words like “lech”, “Besharm” and Badtameez etc.
I thought, what a low standard debate about a harmless pun. Are we saying that as a society we have become completely intolerant to good debates and will protect civility by becoming uncivilized?
Disclaimer – I have no political or ideological affiliation with Azam Khan (@azamkhanMP) and I do not support any of his public or private activities. This write up is a comment only on the incident that happened in parliament and refrains from being biased by his past. This write up is only in support of literary tahzeeb in public discourse and supporting the cause of some pun and fun in the public discourse.