Faux pas at Ansari event irks Kerala govt
Sloppy event management at a function attended by Vice-President Hamid Ansari here has led to a protocol row. The state government has sought an explanation from event organisers.
The function, presentation of the Sree Narayana Guru Global Secular and Peace award to Minister of State for Human Resources Development Shashi Tharoor, held on Tuesday had triggered criticism over a poor rendition of the national anthem by one of the organisers and inappropriate presentation by the compere.
According to reports, the government move comes after a communication from the vice-president’s office seeking an explanation from the chief secretary on the breach of protocol.
The sparsely attended event held at the Kerala University Senate Hall had popular television anchor and quiz show host G S Pradeep as the compere. Pradeep, while introducing dignitaries on the dais, including Governor Nikhil Kumar, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Tharoor resorted to long-winding anecdotes and platitudes that led to delay in proceedings.
Another botch up
Further, the compere repeatedly made references to the vice-president’s birthday falling on April Fool’s Day.
In contrast with the norm of a designated vocalist rendering the national anthem before and after events that are attended by VIPs, one of the organisers doubled up as a singer.
The off-key and flawed rendition of the national anthem led to further embarrassment for the organisers, the Sree Narayana Dharma Samithi. The samithi, while preparing the response to queries by the department of public administration, maintained that late changes to the schedule had led to “some mismanagement”.
Manu Pushpangadan, president of the Samithi, told Deccan Herald on Thursday that the event was advanced to 4 pm from 6:30 pm after a directive from the vice-president’s office, leading to poor attendance.
“We had to change a lot of arrangements at the last stage of planning. The person who sang the national anthem is one of us and he has been a regular singer at our events. What happened on Tuesday was an aberration,” he said.
Pushpangadan said Pradeep had signed on as the compere a week ahead of the event and termed his inappropriate remarks an “unfortunate slip of the tongue”. †