Indian politicians are known for many reasons. Some, for their pinstripe suit, some for losing their cows and some for getting all their work done on Twitter.
But everything's not serious here. Many among our netas are also known for their talents as poets.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has written 63 books so far. Many of these volumes are compilations of her poems.
How are you — Thank you
Greetings — Thank you
Where's ma? Bow wow
What does it mean? I got Pheu (Bengali for fox)
Got admission? College has queue
Picked up the form? That is due
Thank You — See You
Who's with you — Friend Piu
Stay well — Bye Bye
Hare Krishna — Hello Hi
Former Union Minister Kapil Sibal, another well published poet, also loves writing song lyrics. Here's one he has penned, keeping Prime Minister Narendra Modi in mind.
"Khuda ke bande samhal jaa, waqt hai samhal jaa; Mat kar ek dooje ka hamlaa, kuch hi dino ka jumlaa...Insaan ban kar dikha de."
(Beware! You representative of God, Don't unleash attack on one another, life is a matter of few days...Be humane and show it)."
But, some of our poetic politicians don't write songs for Adnan Sami and sell their books in literature festivals, like Sibal does. Their audience is limited to our parliamentarians.
Thankfully, a section on the Lok Sabha website keeps a record of these, lest the larger populace be deprived of the verses.
Turns out that, so far, 2016 has been the most poetic year in Lok Sabha's history. According to Lok Sabha records, until May this year, there have been 43 instances when the honourable members have recited poems in the House. More than half were recited by BJP MPs, while the Indian National Congress was the second-most poetic party, with 14 instances where poems or verses were recited by its MPs.
As the website Indiaspend notes in this piece, "Since 2014, instances of 'Wit and Humour, Poetry and Couplet' have risen each year, by 28% in 2015 and by 104% in only the first five months of 2016."
According to Lok Sabha data, listed under Wit and Humour, Poetry and Couplet, Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal of the BJP has recited the most poems.
Pokhriyal was the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand from 2009 to 2011.
The 57-year-old politician was educated in a village school and studied in a government college.
Pokhriyal has always loved Hindi literature. In 1983, he published his first collection of poems, titled 'Samarpan'. Since then, he has published 35 books.
In March, during the debate on the Motion of Thanks on the President's Address, he recited these lines:
"What do you know about freedom,
You have got it for free, you didn't have to pay for it."
Pokhriyal then followed up with these verses:
"Now don't dream about this land being divided.
If you demand a division of the land, your tongue will be cut.
Now we have crossed all the limits of the tolerance.
That is why we need to shout and express ourselves.
Whoever doesn't love my country India
Has no right to live here."
Pokhriyal is known to the literary world by his nom de plume, Nishank. Many of his Hindi books have been translated into various Indian languages including Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, and Marathi.
Some have also been translated into German and English.
Among his more notable works are Khare Hue Prashn (Stories), Ae Vatan tere Liye (Poems), Bheer Sakshi Hai (Stories) and Bas Ek Hi Ichha (Stories).
Clearly, our hard-nosed and argumentative parliamentarians also have a softer, poetic side to them.
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