True, the Congress is in the midst of a Bogus Austerity Drama (BAD), but do its spokesmen have to drop their pants to make it seem real?! On a hot summer evening, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, the party’s “Minister of State for Satellite TV”, does a “live” interview with a television channel from his residence in Delhi in kurta and shorts.
Obviously, since television doesn’t show the bottom-half of talking heads, it doesn’t matter. But how might Singhvi, a jovial Supreme Court lawyer man who loves splitting hairs even while having, say, a haircut, explain this wardrobe malfunction to Barkha Dutt tonight in his trademark pointwise summation?
“Barkha, three quick points: a) The mere fact that I am in my kurta-cheddi doesn’t mean I have been directed by the party to make a public display of my commitment to the austerity measures. b) Even if I have, merely because you can see my legs, you cannot conclude that these are the only austerity measures I am practising. There may be more, there may be less. c) And may I remind my learned colleague, since when did it become illegal to wear nothing below the waist, when the father of the nation wore nothing above?
“And, Barkha, Barkha, one last point, Barkha, regardless of whether I am in a kurta-pyjama or kurta-cheddi, surely it’s an invasion of an individual’s right to privacy for such pictures shot at the front porch of a private citizen’s private residence to be put out in the public sphere? Sure, Article 19(1) (a) as by law established guarantees freedom of speech and expression and we respect that, but let’s not forget it comes with reasonable restrictions insofaras public order, decency or morality is concerned….”