Most people have got used to the rather dour manner in which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh delivers his speeches, except when he consciously chooses to be combative. Combative he certainly was not while addressing the nation from the Red Fort on Independence Day on Monday, but the moment certainly seems to have got to him as he concluded the speech with three extremely perky "Jai Hinds" that caught many by surprise.
Usually, he would raise his right first in the air and urge the audience in a tone no different from the speech to say "Jai Hind' thrice after him. This time around, he punched his fist forward and raised his voice by more than a notch as he went through the exercise.
Not surprisingly, the schoolchildren seated below the ramparts of the Red Fort and to whom the appeal was addressed, responded enthusiastically.
Where was the applause?
Usually, the prime minister is cheered on quite a few occasions during the Independence Day speech, which lasts in the region of 30 minutes. This time around, there wasn't even a single round of applause.
Was this because of the steady downpour or because it was heavy on concepts and thus not too audience-friendly? The jury's out on this one.
To be fair, a huge roar did go up as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrived at the Red Fort for the flag hoisting ceremony before delivering his speech.