At a function to launch an Aadhar-enabled service delivery system in Dudu, Rajasthan, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi – expectedly – spoke in Hindi. That Unique Identification Authority of India Chairman Nandan Nilekani should have opted to speak in Hindi was also not surprising. After all, he is known to be quite a cosmopolitan. The surprise, however, was Finance Minister P Chidambaram — who read out his speech in Hindi. Clearly, the minister had well-practised because though accented, the delivery was flawless.
This brings to mind another incident. Former Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao was once advised to make Pranab Mukherjee governor of Uttar Pradesh. He turned down the idea, saying: “Already 80 per cent of our voters have gone to the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party. If I make Pranabji governor, his Hindi will send away the remaining 20 per cent also.”