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Given the royal slip

We may not be masters of those super bloopers but, thanks to Mr Kalmadi, we're getting there.

india Updated: Oct 06, 2010 21:07 IST

Stand-up comics in India have long envied the luck of the Americans. That may soon change. We have a new rising star, twinkling on the malaprop horizon. His gaffés may not be as gag-inspiring as those of his fellow politicians in the West. But give us a break, we're still a developing country. After facing the jeers of a miffed crowd at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony and confusing ex-President APJ Abdul Kalam with his long-deceased near-namesake, CWG Organising Committee chief Suresh Kalmadi went on to inspire a few smirks at a follow-up event by referring to the heir to the British throne as 'Prince Diana'.

Initial symptoms of the slippery tongue syndrome have a way of developing into full-blown foot-in-the-mouth disease. Ask the Yanks. From George Bush Sr's goofy deputy, Dan Quayle, declaring the US a part of Europe and urging the human race to "enter the solar system", to Bush Jr. bemoaning the challenges of putting food "on your family" and Saddam's willingness to "terrorise himself" and Al Gore lamenting the futility of expecting a zebra to change its spots while seeking credit for "creating the internet", the Americans are past masters of slippery speech. Also, who can forget British PM John Major's words to those who find themselves with their backs to the wall. "Turn around and fight," he solemnly advised.

But let's spare a thought for the other Englishman in question here, the one who successfully fought maternal censure and a hostile British public while choosing his second spouse, only to find himself right back in the shadow of the first missus. So let's cut Mr Kalmadi some slack, shall we? After all, he'll have more than verbal slips to answer for after the Games.