By Jay Bhagwan
Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu has not only livened up the Upper House with his one-liners, he has also refused to toe the imperialist mindset that wouldn’t let go even the venerable elders in India’s Parliament. On Friday he reiterated his opening day “suggestion” not to “beg to lay on the table” but “to rise to lay on the table”.
A man of his word and a man of words, Naidu said, “No need to beg, this is Independent India.”
One-liners Naidu threw on the opening day on December 16 included “Shiv is everywhere but not here in the House” when he found that DMK MP Tiruchi Siva was not present in the House. Then, when Samajwadi Party MP Naresh Agarwal tried to raise a point of order on the disqualification of two JD(U) members, he quipped “there is no point in your point of order”.
In a departure, Naidu stood up while reading out obituary references. His predecessors Mohammad Hamid Ansari and Bhairon Singh Shekhawat read obituary references seated.
On Naidu’s debut day as RS Chairman Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke of Naidu’s oratory mastery. “Those who are associated the world of oratory are well aware that just playing with words can never touch anybody’s heart. But when one expresses his ideas with conviction, which are based on a vision and beliefs, then the person touches the heart of the people. And Venkaiahji has always been successful in this regard,” Modi said.
“Venkaiah Naidu is a visionary with a dictionary. A rhetorician who is committed to word contortion without any sense of proportion. A hyper wielder of hyperbole,” wrote a reporter, with a severe case of Venkaiahism. “Naidu has become as well known for his ability to turn, or at least torture, a phrase for its political utility.”
Naidu is the man who, when he was BJP chief, said ‘Ek Haat Mein BJP Ka Jhanda, Doosre Haath Mein NDA Ka agenda’. Later that year, India Today magazine dubbed his statements Venkaiahisms!
Once talking about the Congress Party in Parliament, Naidu said: We have commitment, calibre, capacity, conduct, discipline, dynamism, dedication, devotion. You have only commotion to create emotion for your own promotion.”
The Vice President, who has been quoted to say that words just roll off “my tongue”, once said, taking note of son Akhilesh settling in papa Mulayam’s shoes, “As I always say, dynasty in democracy is nasty but tasty to some.”
And commenting on an opposition meeting, he compared it with the BJP like this: “We are united, they are divided, we’re confident, they are diffident; we are moving forward, they are looking backward.”
Now if that will not make you rise, what will?
Naidu is the man who once said “I’m frank and I’ve Frank by my side” because the PIB officer at the time with him was Frank Noronha. And caught in the phenomenon of Naiduisms, the PIB wrote this in a press release on a photo exhibition: “Shri M Venkaiah Naidu said that information with confirmation is ammunition and photo confirms the information.”
But the best was yet to come. After the 2014 BJP victory, Naidu said the BJP has won “the mainland, the island and the highland.”
On Friday, Naidu reiterated, “No begging please!” This time when Minister of State for Law and Justice PP Chaudhary used “beg” to lay papers on the table. “Just rise to say you are laying papers. It would be good if begging word is avoided.”
Chaudhary got the drift. The next time he rose to “beg”, he chose to use “rise” to lay the papers on the table of the House and passed the Naidu-test. (IPA Service)