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Par Avion

A random sample from the British periodicals

Par Avion

Intolerance history

London Mihir Bose: We must remind ourselves that Indian democracy has always been robust enough to remove anti-democratic leaders. So Mrs Gandhi, who imposed the Emergency, was removed through the ballot box, not by ranks. I lived through that, the only suspension of democracy India has ever had, and it was much worse than what is happening now. This is not to gloss over the growing intolerance in India, with Narendra Modi turning a blind eye to his fundamentalist Hindu followers. However, the previous regimes could also be intolerant, even banning books. It was under Mrs Gandhi’s son Rajiv’s rule in 1985 that my book on the Aga Khan, the spiritual leader of the Shia Ismailis, was banned. Although a historical study, it was deemed to have offended Ismaili religious sentiments. I am confident the Indian electorate will get rid of Modi should he fail.

The Times

Minced metaphor

Yorkshire Graham Healey: I collect mixed metaphors. My most elaborate one is from a radio discussion: “The National Health Survey turned its back, sucked its wounds, and neglected to look to see what kind of baby was in there with the bathwater.” However, my favourite one was uttered on television by the journalist Anthony Howard. He was an exacting stylist who would never have committed a mixed metaphor to paper, but on this occasion the figures of speech “Let’s not mince our words” and “Let’s not beat about the bush” came into his head sim­ultaneously, causing him to say: “Let”s not mince about the bush.”

The Daily Telegraph


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