Ten sound bites of 2012

Last Updated: Mon, Dec 17, 2012 21:17 hrs

1. Mango men in a banana republic - Robert Vadra
For more than 10 years, Vadra lived a by and large anonymous life despite being part of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty. Then activist Arvind Kejriwal went after him in a press conference and Vadra wrote the infamous Facebook status message. He later withdrew from Facebook, but the damage had been done.
The entire social media went berserk and Vadra was trending big time. Kejriwal happily took Vadra’s title and even named his party after the mango man: Aam Aadmi Party!

2. I will replace blood with ink - Salman Khurshid
Kejriwal was the flavour of the year and he just refused to get out of the news. He took on the then Law Minister and Khurshid went ballistic. Khurshid dismissed Kejriwal as a “gutter snipe”, threatened to make India Today as India yesterday and even wondered how Kejriwal would return from his home constituency of Farukkhabad if he ever ventured to visit it.

3. You are a Maoist - Mamata Banerjee
When a gathering of students in Kolkata asked the West Bengal Chief Minister some pointed questions, she got angry, threw down her mike and stormed out accusing the students of being Maoists and CPM cadre. That has been her general approach to everything dismissing serious charges as mere conspiracies.

4. The Rs 50 crore girlfriend - Narendra Modi
Chief Minister Narendra Modi talked a lot about development at a rally, but his Rs 50 crore girlfriend jibe just stuck. It was a reference to Sunanda Pushkar, wife of central minister Shashi Tharoor and the IPL sweat equity scam. That also created a lot of buzz in the social media circuit. Tharoor Tweeted in his defence that his wife was priceless and those who loved only could understand that!

5. The IQ of Vivekananda and Dawood - Nitin Gadkari
The BJP president found himself in a lot of trouble this year. First there were the allegations of Kejriwal (he was everywhere in 2012). Then he talked of people having a high IQ using their intelligence for doing something good like Vivekananda or something bad like Dawood. The media only picked up on the equivalence of Vivekananda and Dawood.

6. FDI and Kargil - Rahul Gandhi
Rahul made a lot of interesting statements this year. He claimed that 7 out of 10 of Punjab youths were drug addicts. He said that India would be the Saudi Arabia of the 21st century, whatever that meant. But he took the cake when he said that the Congress had supported the BJP over Kargil and the BJP wasn’t supporting the Congress over FDI! The unsaid interpretation that the Congress even had a choice over Kargil is very disturbing one indeed.

7. Respect is earned, given, and definitely not forced
- Shaheen Dhada.
So far a lot of people had been arrested over Section 66A where online comments, cartoons and spoofs were taken too seriously. But what took the cake was the comment from a girl in Palghar questioning the shutdown over Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray’s funeral that got her arrested. Even more farcical was her friend being held for merely “Liking” that comment.

8. 90% rapes are consensual - Dharambir Goyat.
This has got to be one of the most meaningless, bizarre and insensitive statements of all time. He was reported to have said: 90 per cent of the girls want to have sex intentionally but they don’t know that they would be gang raped further as they find some lusty and pervasive people in the way ahead. Whatever that means!

9. Girls and boys should be married off at the age of 16 - Om Prakash Chautala.
While the former Haryana Chief Minister said that this would go a long way in preventing rapes, he was in effect telling boys to break the law, since the marriageable age is 18. However he later brushed his hands off the controversy saying that he never made such a statement in the first place!

10. 47% of the people who will vote for the president no matter what - Mitt Romney.
The Republican presidential candidate talked of a percentage of Americans who paid no income tax and were dependent on the government and who would vote for the current US President Barack Obama. Eh! If that was the case, then why was he fighting the elections in the first place? He later tried to downplay that statement, but the damage had been done.

More from this author:

You're corrupt. I'm corrupt. We're all corrupt!

8 reasons why India can't be a superpower

2004: The year that destroyed India

From new to incumbent: A brief look at our political parties

Seven flop shows of Mamata Banerjee

Eight questions about the Kasab hanging

Tweeple will have to fight their own fight

Eight reasons why people admired Bal Thackeray

The author is a Bangalore-based journalist and blogger.

He blogs at

More from Sify: