Before the parliament monsoon, the Lok Sabha secretariat did something last Thursday that it has been doing for over half a century, and all hell broke loose. He published a 50-page booklet of “unparliamentary words”. Samples: ‘Jumlajeevi’, ‘baal buddhi’, Covid spreader, snoopgate. More samples: shameful, abused, betrayed, corrupt, drama, hypocrisy, incompetent, anarchist, Shakuni, dictatorial, ‘vinash purush’.
Congressman Jairam Ramesh said: “All words used by the opposition to describe the reality of Modi Sarkar are now considered unparliamentary.” Trinamool MP Derek O’Brien challenged the speaker to suspend him because he would use all those words. O’Brien’s TMC fellow Mahua Moitra was more creative, tweeting this: “My first of a new Twitter series on replacing unparliamentary words. Prohibited Word — Sexual Harassment. Replacement – Mr. Gogoi. When some netizens protested that Gogoi is a common surname in Assam, Moitra clarified, “Just for those crooked tweet sanghis to say I targeted (sic) all Gogois, let me spell it : Mr. Ranjan Gogoi, Honorable Member, Rajya Sabha.”
Just as I was smiling at the prospect of Shashi Tharoor coming up with pulchritudinous alternatives to prevent trichotillomania on the parliamentary lexicon, Lok Sabha Chairman Om Birla clarified that no words were banned in the House, only this decorum must be maintained. The secretariat has been publishing lists of “deleted words” since the 1950s, he said. We now understand that the words listed were removed from the records of Parliament not because of their intrinsic meaning, but for their implied meaning in the specific context.
But then, why compile such words, some of which are in common use? And why call them “unparliamentary” instead of “redacted”? Anyway, since it is a custom in the Lok Sabha secretariat, I take the liberty of compiling a short list of those terms that some politicians in Tamil Nadu would like to see removed.
Ottrai thalamai: O Panneerselvam would like this term, which means single leadership, to be eradicated, not only from the assembly but from all partisan and public platforms. The discredited man from Theni believes that nothing in the AIADMK should be unique: it had two leaders – Puratchi Thalaivar and Puratchi Thalaivi – its election symbol is “two leaves” and therefore the leadership today should also be two.
Dharmayudham: Edappadi K Palaniswami would argue against the use of this word, not only because it is Sanskrit, but also because it implies a dissent that great men of Indraprastha…oops…Delhi called a dangerous trend that seeks to denigrate great history and culture. of Bharat which is also called India. Unless it is used in the sense of ancient India, its “puranas” and “ithihasas”, the “D” word is dirty.
Mannargudi Mafia: The term is fading as fast as they do, believe VK Sasikala and his nephew TTV Dhinakaran, but it has the potential to spring back into circulation as soon as they do. As any well-meaning citizen will agree, the “Mafia” is of Italian origin, whom all true patriots and guardians of nationalism want to exclude from politics and public life.
Vaarisu arasiyal: This one, which makes fun of the dynastic policy, would have the greatest number of voices of which those of MK Staline, S Ramadoss and Vaiko. The argument: When the party is considered a family, why can’t the family be considered the party? Every father should take care of his children and help them build a career. When an industrialist can anoint his son as his successor, why not a politician? What’s wrong with politics being a family affair? Supporters of the ban could form a club called DFRS (Doting Fathers, Rising Sons). And OPS can try to get a membership.
The opinions expressed above are those of the author.
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