Puducherry: Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi and Chief Minister V Narayanasamy have been at loggerheads over various issues, taking turns to criticise the other. So, Narayanasamy translating her speech at a function today came as a pleasant surprise to many.
However, the brief bonhomie between the two leaders had its share of sledging at the inaugural of the 53rd annual Kamban Vizha, a literary festival. Bedi asked the chief minister in no uncertain terms that he should translate “only what I say”. To this, Narayanasamy said he could not “guarantee it.” Bedi said, “I trust you just for 10 minutes and it is only a temporary friendship.” Narayanasamy responded saying he wished for a “permanent friendship” and began translating Bedi's speech. Earlier today, as soon as Bedi went up to the dais to speak, she wanted to ascertain how many people would be able to understand her speech as it would be in English.
Education Minister R Kamalakannan initially volunteered to translate her address into Tamil. But Bedi expressed wish that “my chief minister should translate into Tamil what I say in English”. Responding to her request, Narayanasamy came forward to translate her speech.
This left scholars and delegates in attendance at the event surprised as the two leaders have often criticised the other. Narayanasamy recently even demanded her resignation, claiming a few of the lt governor’s decisions were at odds with the Centre. Bedi yesterday shot down the demand, saying she was on a “mission” to make the Union Territory prosperous. In her speech, Bedi highlighted the features of the ‘Ramayana’ and ‘Kamba Ramayana’.
“This versatility of Narayanasamy is his strength,” she said to thunderous applause from the audience. Recalling how her family had been zealously reading the Ramayana at home, Bedi said her mother was proficient in the knowledge of the epic.
She suggested the Kamban Society’s Puducherry chapter present cash awards to those proficient in reciting the epic (‘Ramayana’). Bedi said the cash award totalling Rs 1 lakh be presented to those ably reciting the epic and this amount would be contributed equally by the lt governor and chief minister from their respective relief funds....