The honourable member of the House of Elders, Jaya Bachchan, has complained bitterly about radio jockeys taking the mickey out of parliamentarians by mimicking them on air. While there is a lot to be said in favour of mimicry, the art cannot be that great an entertainer if it merely reflects the legislators of today whose reputation is not exactly sky-high. Certainly not after their disruptive practices in the 15th Lok Sabha, during which even pepper spray made an appearance.
It does appear as if our leaders tend to take themselves too seriously while their record of speech and action has been seen to bring down Parliament’s image. There used to be such great humour in the national legislature as worthy men crossed swords in debates of yore. In the spirit of a liberal democracy, leaders were also tolerant of the ribbing they got — even Jawaharlal Nehru’s baldness was referred to in not very complimentary terms in a debate after India lost the war to China back in 1962.
Considering the leaders of the party that elected her to the RS have triggered discontent with their comments on many issues, including rape, it would stand to reason that Ms Bachchan would have been kinder to RJs who make a living trying to whip up innocent fun. The minister’s reply that the matter demands serious action is typically officious and reflective of parliamentarians wanting respect rather than striving to earn it.