17:11 GMT +318 October 2019
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    Indian Politician Grilled Online for Misquoting 18th Century Poet

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    New Delhi (Sputnik): An Indian politician widely known for his inimitable style of using English vocabulary had to face the ignominy of being schooled by a popular Indian film lyricist and poet in public for misquoting an Urdu-Persian poet on twitter.

    The incident occurred when Shashi Tharoor, a former Under Secretary-General at the UN and senior Congress party leader, erroneously related 18th Century Urdu-Persian poet Mirza Ghalib with a couplet on what he thought was the poet's 220th birthday. 

    Except it wasn't Ghalib's birthday. Lyricist Javed Akhtar, a well-known Urdu writer and poet himself, was quick to catch Tharoor’s gaffe.

    Realising the embarrassing situation he was in, Tharoor likened his blunder to every clever quotation being attributed to Churchill.

    Tharoor admitted to the mistake, saying he was misinformed.

    Javed Akhtar came to his rescue and suggested that someone was trying to sabotage his literary credibility.

    The Twitterati joined Tharoor and quoted the wrong lines to the poet Ghalib, whose birthday actually falls on 27 December. Akhtar, however, urged them to stop misquoting Ghalib.

    Others found the chance to mock the Congress leader for his mistakes, saying such mistake weren’t expected from him.

    Known for his impeccable English diction that often sounds French to even the litterati, Tharoor once amazed people by introducing his new book on the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as "more than just a 400-page exercise in floccinaucinihilipilification."

    According to the Cambridge Dictionary, floccinaucinihilipilification means the act of considering something to be not at all important or useful, and is the longest non-technical word in the dictionary!


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