CHANDIGARH: An attempt by Punjab Minister to prove that he could speak fluently in English despite his rustic looks led to a walk out in the state Vidhan Sabha here.

Master Jagir Singh Minister of State for transport in reply to a question put by a Dal(K) member Mr. Inderjit Singh Zira in Punjabi insisted on replying in English He argued that in accordance with the established traditions and res of business he should speak in any one of the three languages namely Hindi English or Punjabi. Therefore the member should have no objection to his use of English.

 Mr Zira however said that since the question had been put in Punjabi the minister must reply in the language He was soon joined by several other members including Mr. Ranjit Singh Chajjalwadi (Dal-K). Mr. Vijay Kumar Sethi

(JD) and Mr Tarsem Lal (CPM) who felt that the minister should reply in Punjabi. When the minister did not heed their request they staged a noisy walkout from the House.

After Master Jagir Singh completed his rambling reply in English the Speaker Mr. Harcharan Singh Ajnala directed him to summaries his reply in Punjabi as well for the benefit of those members who did not know English Master Jagir Singh said that he could speak Punjabi very well.

All that he wanted to prove was that despite his being clad in a kurta pyjama and his rustic looks he was an educated man and could speak English. He said that most of the Punjabi word he used had a double meaning and if any word had hurt any member of the House he was sorry.

Article extracted from this publication >> May 1, 1992