…Lahore, Rome and prickliness
Hahaha. Fantastic news item by a DAWN Staff Reporter. Only in Pakistan, eh? Or is it a subcontinental curse to have excessively emotional, ignorant, and amazingly dimwitted leaders? I trust not every politician in a position of authority is as…oh well.
A few days old, but I just needed to highlight this rather amusing incident. The story deserves to be reproduced in full here.
LAHORE, June 27: Sheikh Ala-ud-Din of PML-Q Forward Bloc on Saturday must have made history in the Punjab Assembly when he walked out of the house in protest against something that was never said. The ire of the Sheikh, a member from Kasur (PP-181) fell on Mohsin Leghari (PP-245, DG Khan) of the PML-Q when Mr Leghari, while accentuating his southern roots, read a few lines from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar.
Mr Leghari, delivering his budget speech, maintained the finance bill was more of an urban document, which excluded rural development. Speaking on the neglect of southern Punjab, he said though he loved Lahore – a city where he was educated, got his first employment and still resides in – he has not forgotten his ancestral land. Explaining his predicament, he quoted from the last scene of the Julius Caesar, where Brutus explains his killing of Caesar by saying: “It’s not that I loved Caesar less, but I loved Rome more.”
Provoked either by his lack of understanding or knowledge, Mr Ala-ud-Din immediately stood on a point of order and started grilling Mr Leghari for insulting Lahore, which gave him education, employment and residence, and thundered: “This Lahore bashing must end, especially by those who have benefited immensely from the city.” Both Speaker Rana Iqbal and Mr Mohsin tried to convince their colleague that no insulting remark had been passed against Lahore, but to no avail.
After making an emotional speech, Sheikh Ala-ud-Din walked out of the house in protest against “insult to Lahore”. He was later brought back by Education Minister Mian Mujtaba Shujaur Rahman on speaker’s request, and the minister also lectured the house on avoiding hurting each others’ territorial feelings.
As if all this was not enough, Dr Asad Ashraf of the PML-N found a new dimension to the innocent quote and stunned everyone in the house. On next point of order, he took off by saying: “Since Mr Mohsin has called himself Caesar, he must know how Caesar was born. It was his difficult birth, which gave birth to Caesarian Operation (C-Section). How bad Caesar proved for his mother.”
On both occasions, Leghari defended himself that he has neither insulted Lahore nor called himself Caesar, but the die was cast.