The programme was fairly hilarious and better than a comic revue because it was impromptu and elicited the most baffling responses from parliamentarians .Although none of the individuals were significantly important ,the fact that they were elected representatives of the people and hence assumed to possess a working knowledge of not so trivial facts connected to Independence, which a child can rattle off by the time they reach Class II, maybe, lent a faintly tragi-comic air to the programme.
They were :-
- Who wrote the National Anthem
- Who wrote the National Song
- From where is the chakra depicted on the national flag taken
- What is the first band of colour on the tricolour
- What is Bapu's full name
The answers were hilarious and it could have been a truly comic programme were it not for the fact that the people anwering the questions were "Hon MPs" most of them clueless about the history of the country that they run .
One very senior lady MP from the Rajya Sabha very condescendingly said that there was a lot of "itihaas" related to the songs and offered to take a lesson in history for the interviewers at her inconvenience , but couldnt identify the name of the persons who wrote the National anthem or the National song
However she tra la laed the anthem lest one got the impression she did not know the lyrics.
Another guy was hopelessly confused and said there was a tremendous confusion at that time ie during Independence as to who wrote the national song and anthem - presumably he's still confused after the programme ...
A smart guy said "Bapu to hamarey bapu hain unke naam se kya lena dena hai" ..After watching Gandhi My Father he should now be wiser .
It goes without saying that not one could identify the first band of colour on the tricolour , nor fathom a guess as to the origin of the chakra .
This year I waited in vain for a repeat of the programme but the private news channels decided to be kind .
Ultimately it boils down to bluff and bully and what ho me hearties , if the quoit goes over the peg .. good , if not , I'll always have a story and con my way to the top ..