Big neighbour’s incursions have prompted excursions in mixed metaphors before, too
Ashish Mehta | May 2, 2013
Chinese incursions into the Indian territory are not new. And our political leaders resorting to linguistic misadventure in response is also, unfortunately, not new.
There were incursions in Aksai Chin ahead of the 1962 war. When the inimitable Piloo Mody raised the matter in parliament, prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who was otherwise a gifted orator, tried to downplay the issue. Nehru said it was a barren, inhospitable land and India had lost little by its occupation by China.
"Not a blade of grass grows in Aksai Chin," Nehru famously said. (To which freedom fighter Mahavir Tyagi retorted, pointing to his bald head and saying: "Nothing grows here either... should it be cut off or given away to somebody?")
A similar case of mixed metaphors, once again with a bodily reference, has come up half a century later. External affairs minister Salman Khurshid has compared the standoff over the Chinese incursion in Ladakh's Depsang valley as "acne".
"One little spot is acne, which cannot force you to say that this is not a beautiful face... that acne can be addressed by simply applying an ointment," he told a Ficci conference on April 25. “Ointment is part of the process of growing up, just as acne is part of the process of growing up. And the relation between India and China is a relationship which is growing up.”
From baldness to acne, it is a shift towards juvenile delinquency in a matter of supreme national importance.
But two days later, the later-day Nehru too had his version of blade-of-grass. "It is a localised problem,” said prime minister Manmohan Singh. What next? Sending the block development officer to Indo-China border talks?
An underground rapper who grew up on Mumbai streets, Divine spins his music around his environment and poverty. His breakout single, ‘Meri Gully Mein’, along with fellow rapper Naezy caught Bollywood’s attention. The Hindi film ‘Gully Boy’ is inspired by their lives and gr
Anil Swarup, an IAS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre who retired in 2018, is a model bureaucrat who retained his optimism right till the end of service and exemplified dedication and commitment. His excitement at the opportunities that a job in the IAS provided is evident on every page of his new book publis
The question of reform of the civil services has been debated extensively at all levels at least over the last five to six decades after independence. Indeed, it was soon perceived that the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) may not be well equipped to deal with the problems of an emerging developing coun
Shouting vengeance at all and sundry while wriggling out of holes of our own making seems to be our very special national characteristic. Some recent instances are illustrative of this attribute. A number of business tycoons with thousands of crores of unresolved debts have fled abroad with the government
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) came into existence, based on a Resolution of the home ministry, dated April 1, 1963 – a sheer coincidence that it also happens to be April Fool’s day. Over the past few months, we have seen the CBI live up to its founding day with great zeal, being i
Gujarat was passing through a turbulent phase in the 1980s. The decade began middle class agitations against new reservation policies, and the caste friction turned communal under the watch of chief minister Madhavsinh Solanki, alienating majority of urban population on both counts. The ground was ripe for