The debates in India’s Upper House, Rajya Sabha, when functioning properly, is a treat to watch. And Friday was no different.
While making his intervention on the secularism debate, Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley spoke at length for more than an hour. His comments on emergency, forces hell-bent on threatening the sovereignty of the country and other jibes targeting Congress invited criticism from the opposition.
But, there was one moment, Jaitley may soon realise he should have avoided.
While making his concluding remarks, he invoked Adolf Hitler. No sooner had he mentioned Hitler, the members from the opposition parties wasted no opportunity to embarrass the finance minister by asking, ‘which Hitler are you talking about.’
This was in reference to the widespread reference to Prime Minister Modi, who’s often addressed as Hitler to describe his alleged dictatorial style of functioning.
Realising how his comments may be misconstrued, Jaitley, stopped and sought to issue a clarification.
He said, “Adolf Hitler is of Germany I’m talking about.”
This caused a huge laughter in the House.
Moments later, Jaitley who had moved on to make his next points suddenly stopped to clarify his reference to Hitler once again.
He said, “And by the way, I’m talking in reference to what happened in 1933.”
The House, once again, burst into laughter.
But the questions still remain why Jaitley felt the need to clarify and re-clarify his comments on Hitler!