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Lost in retraction

india Updated: Oct 21, 2009 20:09 IST

Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi ‘Twitter’ Tharoor has some tough competition these days. After entertaining us for a few weeks with tweetliners and his wry sense of humour, he’s has been dethroned by two of his Cabinet colleagues: Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh and Minister for Human Resource Development Kapil Sibal. The two irrepressible ministers seem to have stolen Mr Tharoor’s thunder with their quote-a-minute propensities.

While Mr Ramesh allegedly proposed a new Indian stand on climate change, Mr Sibal reportedly made a similarly radical comment on cut-off marks for IITs. Both, of course, did not lose much time to retract their comments. Both blamed journalists for not understanding their ‘nuanced’ stance on these issues. How true. How on earth would journalists understand the meaning behind the meaning of a straightforward press conference (in Mr Sibal’s case) and a letter written (in Mr Ramesh’s case) in plain English? But the voluble two are in good company. It is part of our political tradition for political worthies to be so nuanced as to confuse us poor hacks. A.B. Vajpayee, Prakash Karat and Yashwant Sinha are maestros in the game. But, we wonder, could this be part of that other political tradition called kite-flying? The kerfuffle that follows such on-again off-again pronouncements ensures that they get not-so-nuanced media coverage.

So where’s the Boss? We haven’t heard from him for a while except on some clear and cautionary notes on terror threats. Or has he got lost in the nuances?