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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Need for restraint in speech ~ UP Minister Pandey lands in trouble


Speaking in Public Functions is an Art… often the empty prattles could land one in trouble. The famed Saint Thiruvalluvar emphasized the need for restraining oneself and speaking only what is required. 

In his words,
அரும் பயன் ஆயும்  அறிவினார் சொல்லார்
பெரும் பயன் இல்லாத சொல். [ The wisemen who weigh the worth of every utterance, would never speak words which have no significance]

Thirukural may not have been read by all; UP minister for Khadi and Gramodyog Rajram Pandey landed in a controversy by praising the “beauty” of a senior woman bureaucrat at an official function in Sultanpur, a move which has drawn the ire of Samajwadi Party leaders.  In what could be termed as not in good taste and decorum, Pandey, after distributing cheques to unemployed youths at the Kamla Nehru Institute of Technology in Sultanpur, suddenly went off track praising the beauty of DM, K Dhanlakshmi, who was also present there.

Newspaper reports quote Pandey as stating that  he was lucky the district also had a lady District Magistrate, referring to the last time when Kamini Chauhan was the DM. “Mujhe lagta tha ki unse sunder mahila DM nahi ho sakti, par is baar jab main prabhari mantri hoon to (current) DM unse bhi adhik sunder hain,” he said. (I used to think that no other woman DM could be beautiful, but this time when I became in-charge of the district I found that this DM is even more beautiful). The minister also termed her as “very soft spoken and competent administrator”.

Though the comment was lauded by the audience which was dominated by Samajwadi Party workers, the DM looked extremely uncomfortable. Meanwhile, a section of SP workers have taken the comment as indecent and sought a public apology from him. “Pandey’s behaviour would send a wrong message among the people with regard to the party and government,”  sounded a spokesperson of the party. 

A minister shamelessly compares the relative beauty of the present and former district magistrates at a Public function might provoke some laughter in a movie, but not in real life, as Pandey would by now have realized.  Some newspapers have termed the remarks as sexist and have sought some action against the Minister.  Pandey is no stranger to controversy as reportedly had been indicted by the Lokayukta for misuse of authority as a minister way back in 2002.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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