Members of the legislature have compiled a ‘words to avoid’ list for Madhya Pradesh

New Delhi: Lawmakers interior the Madhya Pradesh Assembly would do nicely to tread cautiously while citing the phrase ‘postman’. Or anyay (injustice). Or, for that matter, ventilator, habitual, bechara (poor person), halla (noise), bhedbhav (discrimination), yaar (friend), and bandhuwa mazdoor (bonded labourer).

The booklet released by the Madhya Pradesh Assembly on Sunday – a day before the start of the monsoon session – is meant to help legislators exercise restraint in speech during heated debates. According to Speaker Girish Gautam, the words themselves do not sound unparliamentary – but the context makes them so.

The booklet, compiled by the officers of the Legislative Assembly, begins by flagging the word Sasur (father-in-law) which was dropped on September 23, 1954. It moves on to Tanasha (tyrant) who was deposed on March 31, 1967; Wrong who was fired on 4 July 1980; And Daksh (Difficulty) which was removed on February 26, 2021.

Phrases that legislators are being advised to avoid include ‘khoda pahad, nikli chuhiya’ (a lot about nothing), ‘playing before the buffalo’, ‘aapko Bhagwan ki kasam hai’ (swear to god) ), ‘Lage Raho Munna Bhai’ and ‘Ghariyali Aansu Mat Bahaye’ (Crocodile Tears).

Gautam told The Indian Express: “There are two booklets, one of them handed over to the MLAs, detailing the context in which these words were said which led to them being removed. It is up to us to maintain the sanctity of the institution.”

The Speaker said it was a small step to ensure that public representatives do not use such words and phrases inside the assembly. He also said that a two-day training program is being planned in which MLAs will be taught how to conduct themselves in the House.

Gautam said, “Leaders like Kamal Nath and Shivraj Singh Chouhan have been members of many Lok Sabha and assemblies. They understand the workings because of their experience. But not all MLAs are so proficient, many have been elected for the first time. That’s why mistakes happen.”