When Narendra Modi quoted Bashir Badr’s Urdu poetry to counter Congress and Mallikarjun Kharge in Lok Sabha

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today quoted lines from poet Bashir Badr to counter Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge who had used lines from the same Urdu poetry to target the government in parliament a day ago.

‪‪Narendra Modi‬, ‪Lok Sabha‬, ‪Indian National Congress‬, ‪Mallikarjun Kharge‬, ‪Bashir Badr‬, ‪Urdu poetry‬‬
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today countered Congress' Mallikarjun Kharge in Lok Sabha using lines from an Urdu poetry by Bashir Badr.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech while replying to the debate on the motion of thanks to the President’s address in the Lok Sabha was marred by constant disruption from opposition benches. While the Prime Minister led an aggressive charge against the Congress in his speech, targetting them for partition, policy paralysis and dynasty politics, it was his reading of an Urdu poetry by Bashir Badr to target Congress and Mallikarjun Kharge that came as the high point of his speech.

It all began when Kharge read out a poetry by Bashir Badr to target the Bharatiya Janata Party in parliament. Quoting a famous line from Bashir Badr’s poetry, Kharge said: “Dushmani jamke karo lekin yeh gunjaish rahe..jab kabhi hum dost ban jayen to sharminda na ho.” Kharge had quoted these lines in Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

Amid the din that prevailed all through Modi’s speech in parliament today, the Prime Minister pointed to those lines that Kharge had quoted a day earlier. Taking him on, Modi said that it would have been better if the Congress leader had remembered the following lines of the verse as well. Quoting Badr’s lines from the same verse, Modi said: “Jee bahaut chaahta hai sach bolein, kya karein hausla nahi hota.” Not surprisingly, this left the treasury benches in peels of laughter.

Modi also took a swipe at the Congress leader and Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah over Kharge’s remarks and wondered whether the south Indian leader had taken any cue from what Kharge recited in parliament.

Bashir Badr’s lines that were quoted by Kharge have a political history too. Penned by the Urdu poet soon after partition, it is widely believed that former Pakistan Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had quoted the same lines to his Indian counterpart Indira Gandhi at the time of the signing of the Shimla Agreement.

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First published on: 07-02-2018 at 16:14 IST