The European Parliament (EP), law-maker to that thrifty entity, the European Union, has found ever inventive ways to waste money. In a world of want, we have all heard the heartwarming news of mountains of butter and lakes of milk going down the drain to protect its spoilt farmers. Or should that be a substance of yellow hue that is a by-product of a white liquid that is rendered during periods of lactation by a vertebrate that subsists on the green produce of the land.
Before you think we editorial writers have gone barmy, let us assure you that we are only trying to emulate the noble EP. It has now come up with a booklet that shuns any honorific like Miss or Mrs that apparently offends female European parliamentarians. They will now be called by their full names. Statesmen will now be called political leaders, sportspersons will be athletes and synthetic and artificial will replace man-made. Firemen, airhostess, usherette and so on are on the EP’s chopping block. But not so waitress, no doubt to make it easier for the EP fat cats to order their filet mignon while making life difficult for the rest of us.
We in India will have no truck with all this. We summon waiters with a high-decibel ‘oye’, or just click our fingers. Where possible we engage people with a few gender-neutral abuses. But then, we — the people of diverse ethnicity, occupying the contiguous areas of the peninsular land formation below the Himalayas who go by the broad nomenclature of Indians — are like that only.