It’s election season in the country and Congress President Rahul Gandhi was in Tamil Nadu to kick off campaigning in the state. While all was well with his interactions with students and the press in Chennai, it was at the leader’s Nagercoil public rally that things really took a turn for the… hilarious. While Rahul Gandhi opted to speak in English, veteran Congressman and former MP KV Thangkabalu provided his translation services, albeit with a generous dose of modifications, alterations and exaggerations.
While both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress President Rahul Gandhi are all set to face off in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, perhaps the one thing that unites the arch rivals is their knack for picking side-splitting speech translators when in Tamil Nadu. Thangkabalu closely watched Rahul Gandhi as he spoke, perhaps in an attempt to deeply imbibe what his leader was saying, but the translations that came out when he turned to face his own mic evoked memories of BJP leader H Raja. The BJP leader, who translates the Prime Minister’s speeches when the latter is in Tamil Nadu, also provides rib-tickling content for meme-makers and comics.
Sample this: When Rahul Gandhi said, “I had the honour of meeting Kalaignar ji (former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi) on a few occasions,” faithful hype man Thangkabalu notched it up to, “I am a man who has received the opportunity to meet Kalaignar several times and I am happy for that.”
While the Congress chief was attempting to extol the legacy of the late DMK chief by saying he represented the language and history of the Tamil people, Thangkabalu went bombastic, declaring, “Kalaignar began the development of the Tamil language and the life of the Tamil people. He is inextricably mixed with the growth of Tamil, Tamil Nadu and the feeling of Tamil love.”
In an embarrassing faux pas, the ex-MP declared that the meeting was convened under the leadership of alliance partner DMK while it was in fact a public rally of the national party.
Perhaps the best of Thangkabalu’s translations came when he made completely unrelated remarks for Rahul Gandhi’s statements:
Rahul Gandhi: That is precisely why we love the people of Tamil Nadu.
Thangkabalu: That’s why we are fighting. We will show our strength at the opportune moment.
Rahul Gandhi: And that is why we respect the people of Tamil Nadu.
Thangkabalu: Narendra Modi is the enemy of the Tamil people.
Twitterati, as ever, had a field day with these hilarious translations:
There was a time when P Chidambaram would translate Rajiv Gandhi’s speeches in TN and the Tamil population would get the full import of the latter’s thought process. Today at Rahul’s rally it was almost like he saying “Naan” and Thangkabalu saying “Tandoori Roti”.— D Suresh Kumar (@dsureshkumar) March 13, 2019
Sir Thangabalu is right. Naan means Tandoori roti na. You must appreciate him for not translating it as Butter Naan.— Savukku_Shankar (@savukku) March 13, 2019
My God….. Rahul Gandhi says some thing in English and former MP Tangabalu translate to Tamil some other….. https://t.co/SBWlhhHxFH— J Gopikrishnan (@jgopikrishnan70) March 13, 2019
நல்லா translate பண்றாப்ள
அமித்ஷாவுக்கு ஒரு ஹெச்.ராஜா
ராகுலுக்கு ஒரு தங்கபாலு pic.twitter.com/mqKCyZQF1m— கில்லி (@ghilli006) March 14, 2019
ராகுல் : நாங்கள் தமிழ் மக்களை மதிக்கிறோம்…
தங்கபாலு : நரேந்திர மோடி தமிழ் மக்களின் எதிரி…#மொழிபெயர்ப்பு_பரிதாபங்கள்
pic.twitter.com/d13Ttm1eVg— நாட்டுப்புறத்தான் (@naatupurathan) March 14, 2019
‘நான் காலையில் இட்லி சாப்பிட்டேன்’ன்னு பேசினா, பொண்டாட்டி தோசை ஊத்த மாட்டேன்னு சொல்லிடுச்சுன்னு சொல்றாப்ல # தங்கபாலு ஜிகுஜிக்கான் ஜிக்கான் சப்டைட்டில்கள் pic.twitter.com/O5vbYHsl3D— ஆல்தோட்டபூபதி (@thoatta) March 13, 2019
ராகுல்காந்தி: ofcourse, நம்மை கலைஞர், காமராஜர் போன்ற பெரிய தலைவர்களுடன் ஒப்பிட முடியாது..
தங்கபாலு: நான் தலைவர் கலைஞர் அவர்களை காமராஜருடன் ஒப்பிட மாட்டேன்.— Muralitharan / مرلیدھرن کاسی وشوناتھن (@muralijourno) March 13, 2019
தங்கபாலு translation கேட்ட பிறகு … ஒரு வடிவேலு comedy தான் நினைவுக்கு வருகிறது— Ezhilan (@Dr_Ezhilan) March 13, 2019
Rahul gandhi : I respect the people of tamil nadu.
Translator : நரேந்திர மோடி தமிழ் மக்களின் எதிரி..
எதாவது சம்பந்தம் இருக்காடா டேய் தங்கபாலு.. உன் இங்கிலீஷ் ல தீய வக்க ….— Raju Narayanan (@RB_tweeetz) March 13, 2019
Source: The News Minute