Will the real 'Falana Singh' please stand up?
INDIA TODAY ONLINE NEW DELHI, AUGUST 4, 2013 | UPDATED 15:38 IST
Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal
How can every sarpanch in Bathinda be 'Falana Singh'?
In an incident that reflected a dismal state of awareness and horrid literacy levels among panchayat members, the oath-taking ceremony of panchs and sarpanchs from Bathinda district in Punjab turned out to be an absurdly comical event on Saturday, according to media reports.
Assisting the newly-elected representatives, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal instructed them to take their oaths on this line of, "Main Falana Singh sauhn chukda haan" (I, ABC Singh, take oath).
Instead of reading out their own names in the speech, a majority of the 2,200 panchs and 295 sarpanchs ended up parroting the words of the CM and referring to themselves as 'Falana Singh'!
Disconcerted and astonished, Badal had to reteirate the instructions thrice, clearly, that they had to take their own names.
A Shiromani Akali Dal leader who was present at the ceremony said that the government had failed miserably in making elected representatives understand the basics of democracy.
Punjab has an overall literacy rate of 75.84 per cent whereas the literacy rate in the state's rural areas is 71.42 per cent, according to a 2011 census.