When Arunachal Pradesh MP Takam Sanjoy arrived to take oath on the first day of Parliament, little did he know that his hornbill headdress would fly him straight into trouble. BJP MP Maneka Gandhi, not one to miss dipping her beak into an opportunity to speak for all creatures great and small, took exception to the proud MP wearing his tribal affiliation not just on his sleeve, but on his head. This, despite Mr Takam’s defence that it was artificial.
What’s more, the colourful feathers in the first-time MP’s cap have irked the sensibilities of the animal rights brigade, angered at the insensitive ‘display of body parts’ in Parliament. No, this was not a reference to a general waving of fists during debates. In recent years, the attire of those walking the corridors of power has attracted more attention than the runways of Paris and Milan, what with Akbar Ahmed Dumpy’s kaffiyeh causing quite a flutter earlier along with Priyanka Gandhi’s choice of western wear.
The noble idea of MPs leading by example is all very well but shifting the goalposts of political correctness might soon lead to common sense becoming an endangered species. Besides, if we are so worried about cruelty to flora and fauna, why not also ban that epitome of parliamentary propriety — the demure silk sari? After all, those little worms have rights too.