We are all familiar with those grammar memes that show up on our Facebook timelines, reminding us like schoolmarms to mind our commas and full stops. You know, the difference between, "Let's eat grandma!" and "Let's eat, grandma!"
Yesterday, Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar made a blooper in a speech but then saved himself, all thanks to a full stop.
While paying homage to those who fought for India's Independence, Javadekar said, "We salute our freedom fighters. So many bravehearts -- Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Sardar Patel, Pandit Nehru, Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, all who were hanged, revolutionary Savarkarji and all other great fighters."
Javadekar seemed to be saying that, besides Bhagat Singh and Rajguru, personalities such as Bose, Nehru and Patel had also been hanged by the British.
The video went viral and social media started questioning the minister's knowledge of history or the lack of it.
Eventually, a ministerial clarification restored the 'full stop' and put history back on track.
Clarifying his remarks in a series of tweets, Javadekar said, "I am amused with the news. I paid my respect to all the freedom fighters since 1857."
Javadekar then imparted a few lessons on grammar and reminded us how important punctuation is in the age of digital media.
I am amused with the news. I paid my respect to all the freedom fighters since 1857. (1/4)— Prakash Javadekar (@PrakashJavdekar) August 23, 2016
I mentioned leaders like Gandhi Nehru, Subhash Bose. It was a full stop. (2/4)— Prakash Javadekar (@PrakashJavdekar) August 23, 2016
In the next sentence I recounted those who were hanged, jailed and suffered at the hands of the British. (3/4)— Prakash Javadekar (@PrakashJavdekar) August 23, 2016
Pandit Nehru died of illness after serving for 17 years as independent India's first Prime Minister. Sardar Patel, who served as the first Home Minister of free India, also died of natural causes. Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose is said to have died in a plane crash on 18 August, 1945, in Taiwan, though some contest this claim.
"There was no confusion in the minds of those who listened,"Javadekar said. What he meant was that we should not emulate the panda in the book, Eats, Shoots & Leaves who read the badly punctuated wildlife manual, then went to a café, ate a sandwich, drew a gun and shot the other patrons there.
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