May 14, 2012

The Drama-Queens of Parliament

You don’t need a cartoon to know how slow the system is!

Every news channel today was covering the on-going row/drama that was unfolding at the parliament houses. Topic for this childishly heated argument: A seemingly humorous caricature of Dr. B.R.Ambedkar and Jawaharlal Nehru.

Back in the year 1949, the alleged piece of cartoon was first published by the celebrated cartoonist Shankar Pillai. Back then, the same parliament had applauded his works and even awarded him various national prashasthi’s like the Padma Shree, Padma Bhushan etc.

About 60 years later, in the year 2006, the same cartoon was republished nationwide in a small category of class 11th NCERT text books. All was going well until on a fine Monday morning like today, some political dude who goes by the name Thol. Thirumavalavan woke up, caught sight of the caricature in the text book and decided to shake up the sleepy parliament houses by voicing rage on who decided to publish such atrociously insulting and yet funny cartoon in a kid’s text-book.

To grab all the lime-light in this seemingly opportune moment, Mr. Thol showed the members seated at the mad-house parliament how powerful he is by agitatedly voicing the insult the cartoon had caused to the nation heroes Mr. Ambedkar and Nehru. He even had fun pointing his finger at the scapegoat of the day: HRD minister Kapil Sibal. Poor Sibal had no idea that today he would be invited to the mad-house parliament to apologise for a mistake for which he bore no responsibility.

The cartoon depicts Ambedkar with a whip in his hand and sitting on a snail that represents the slow moving pace of Indian constitution and Nehru is backing Ambedkar with another whip in his hand in order to speed up the country’s constitution. The back ground depicts a gang of aggressive communists who are tired of the slow running of our government and are on their way to take matters into their own hands. Alas, an angry mob can be easily misled by just pointing a finger at another direction.

The more I observed the truth behind this 60 year old cartoon, the more I felt inclined to agree that whatever happened at the mad-house parliament today, was somewhat related to the caricature at hand on which they were heatedly arguing to bring about a ban. Mr. Thol outrageously staggered a wrong momentum at the house and most of the members inside the parliament who can’t take two decisions on their own, blindly nodded their approval on banning and removal of this cartoon from the NCERT text books hence forth.

I guess most of them backed up this decision to ban the cartoon for the fear of losing their seats and not because the cartoon really brought about the alleged insult to long demised Dr. Ambedkar. Even the scapegoat, Sabil had no other option but to apologise in front of all the members present at the mad-house parliament.

Whatever happened to freedom of speech? I still fathom on the fact that after more than 60 years of the same piece of cartoon getting published and more than 6 years later of its second republishing, what caused the government to nod blindly and approve the ban on this particular piece of cartoon? It’s so stupid. One man wants attention and the government mundanely gives him that attention by unwittingly high-lighting such trivial issues as this.

And the media revolves around this small issue and projects to the larger community as if this is a grave matter to be viewed on every news channel. While the media was highlighting the unwanted drama to the nation for hours, there was another breaking news which was more important than this cartoony issue and which most of them failed to notice as it was being shown at the bottom screen of some news channels and while being completely ignored by the rest: the flight crash in Nepal, killing 13 Indians. 

I sat in front of the TV for half an hour to see if these news channels would give more details regarding the flight crash. Alas, one can’t expect more news on trivial flight crashes while the media is dancing around the mad-house parliament.

Maybe after this silly drama had ended, the news got shifted to the plane crash, but that’s the issue plaguing our nation isn’t it? The media exists to showcase unimportant issues first and important issues later.

Now that they have successfully banned and highlighted this cartoony issue to such a height, all the kids from class 11th are surely going to be talking about this famous cartoon for days to come. They can ban something like this from a text book, but they can’t ban the issue completely from an Indian mind.


  1. That's what we call democrazy!
    I stopped watching news on tv. When I need to know something, I read it online. It's lot better than sitting in front of the idiot box that reels idiocy for hours together.

    1. You are right Leo, what they show on TV these days are fabricated to the core and an utter time waste too!

  2. These people are more animated than the cartoon and the cartoonist put together, I always wonder how these uneducated bunch of hooligans manages to see these cartoons in textbook, may be they have a research team who keeps digging such stuff out!

    I agree with LeoPaw, the news is too overrated these days and almost impossible to differentiate from the soap dramas that appear on the television.

    1. I agree with you Rupert. There is no way these people would have fished out this cartoon by themselves. It took them six years to even lay an eye on this cartoon!!

  3. I rely on actual sources for news these days--I hate the sea tides of crisis and unnecessary brouhaha to delay parliamentary proceedings...nice post!!! Liked it a lot!

    1. Yeah, they just need an excuse to prolong the inevitable. One man's suffering is another man's glory.
      Thanks Bhavana.

  4. the queens have taken it appeal to the honorable queens have mercy on us o holy queens !!

  5. well written-the standard of our parliament needs a thorough overhauling.

  6. Great post, Neha! You've elaborately pointed out the issues related to this political gimmick and similar incidents.

    It's time we pay attention to more pressing issues (like the air crash, inflation, lethargy on part of the govt., etc.) than focus on silly things like this, IPL allegations, SRK incidents and Sid Mallya.

  7. Very well written. I hope the Jhandabardars of Democracy understand this


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