Soon after advocating Urdu as a compulsory subject in Uttar Pradesh government schools, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav has decided to enforce a rule that makes commentary in Urdu mandatory during the upcoming Indian Grand Prix as well.
The Grand Prix, scheduled to take place at the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida, UP, may very well be forced to comply with the law of the land if the SP supremo has his way. “UP has a lot of Muslims and they are sure to turn up in large numbers at the circuit, besides tuning into their television sets. In such a scenario, it is only fair that commentary be made available to them in their mother tongue, so that they are treated with respect and equality,” reasoned Mulayam.
ESPNStar’s Formula One commentary team comprising Steve Slater and Chris Goodwin, bemused by the rule, said, “Well, we don’t know what to say about how it will all work out. It’s gonna be interesting – we’ll be having Javed Akhtar and Gulzar saab sitting beside us, translating our commentary to Urdu, so there may be a delay of a costly pit-stop between the English commentary and the Urdu version. Moreover, these guys are bound to make their commentary poetic, with a lot of… what do you call those… shaayrees and stuff! Plus, we’ve heard that Javed hates the Kolaveri song. So we’ve gotta see to it that the song isn’t played within the premises.”
The move has come in for heavy criticism from the BSP with chief Mayawati lashing out, “Is there anything at all for Dalits in this Grand Prix? I will not rest until one of my statues is erected in the circuit – if not near the finish line, at least near the beginning of the Pit lane.” The Congress party too has been scathing in its response, demanding that the Grand Prix be renamed “The Rajiv Gandhi Indian Grand Prix”.
However, Slater expressed confidence that the rule would be rolled back soon. “Dude, it’s Mulayam’s word after all – shouldn’t hold for more than a day,” Slater said.