Horror of horrors! Actor Om Puri and social activist Kiran Bedi have been accused of mocking and lampooning Members of Parliament during the recently concluded Lokpal Bill agitation at the Ramlila Maidan. Speakers of both Houses have received complaints against
Mr Puri and Ms Bedi, urging the parliamentary privileges committee to take action against the two. It is feared that not taking any action against the two will amount to the destruction of Parliament and in the country moving from being a functional anarchy to being an undiluted one. So civilisation must be upheld no matter what the standing of Mr Puri and Ms Bedi is in (civil and uncivil) society.
Our worthies (praise be upon them) are upset that Mr Puri had used "derogatory and defamatory" language against them. The words "thieves" and "incompetent" were used by the actor, while the ex-police officer called politicians "illiterate" during her 'ghunghat' act on stage (that we think wasn't half as bad street-theatre as people are making it out to be). This must be the first time MPs as exemplary as PL Punia, Jagadambika Pal, Ramashankar Rajbhar, Lalchand Kataria, Mirza Alam Beg, Praveen Aron and Shailendra Kumar from the Lok Sabha and Ram Gopal Yadav, Sabir Ali, Jesudasan Seelam and Mohammad Adeeb from the Rajya Sabha — MPs who have demanded action — have heard anyone ever make fun of our parliamentarians. So their shock is understandable (and kind of cute).
Mr Puri has already apologised, perhaps worried that the rumour that he had a peg or two before venting on stage takes wing. Ms Bedi hasn't — probably because if she's sent to Tihar jail for denigrating our demi-gods, she knows her way in and out of that prison. Lest anyone of us gets any ideas about MPs being able to handle the name-calling — including 'thin-skinned blimps who take themselves too seriously' — Samajwadi Party MP from Sambhal in UP Ram Gopal Yadav had the right answer: "Mughal emperor Akbar was illiterate; Microsoft founder Bill Gates is a college dropout; and Dhirubhai Ambani had only school education. But can we rule out their contributions?" Answer that, anarchists!