There is story of a lawyer who once caught a thief red handed while trying to commit burglary in his house. The thief ran away but the lawyer chased him shouting ‘you alleged Mr. thief, please stop’! Giving him deaf ears, the thief ran further away and was out of sight. The people of the locality gathered on hearing the noise and asked the lawyer as to why he unnecessarily wasted his time calling the thief with the addresses like alleged, Mr, and please. He gave 3 reasons for his conduct as such:
- I am a lawyer by profession and I can’t call any body as a thief unless the very charges framed against him are legally proved.
- I belong to a sophisticated family where it is considered quite un-gentlemanly calling any one just by his name without adding the necessary prefix as Mr. or Shri.
- I believe in etiquette and find it un-parliamentary to requisition something to some body without modestly using the word please.
Sushil Kumar Shinde, the Home Minister in the Central Cabinet of India, behaved certainly like the stupid lawyer, as mentioned above, when he addressed the master mind, nay the actual killer, of Mumbai blasts (26/11) case as Shri Hafiz Sayeed while making his statement in the Parliament of the country, of course falling in line with his much earlier predecessor Shivraj Patil who used to call terrorists as Bhai (brother). During his speech, when ever Shinde had to make a reference to Hafiz Sayeed, he invariably addressed his name with the prefix of either Shri or Mr. There is, it appears, no dearth of over gentle men in the Congress Party as on another occasion long back Digvijai Singh, a great salwart of the Party, called Osama Bin Laden as Osama Bin Laden Ji. What a courtesy and what an etiquette?
A significant reader and follower of my blogs, Shyam Mohan Mishra, very appropriately quoted a great singer reciting the following lines in more or less the similar context like the above in one of his comments:
“Woh bedardi se sir katen,
aur main kahoon unse
Huzoor, aahista, ahista, ahista
Janaab, aahista, ahista, ahista”