The Case of the Indian Minister and His Shoelaces
An odd entanglement of values, castes, ideology and shoelaces has caused an “incident” in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.
Television cameras captured Gauri Shankar Bisen, a minister in the state government, using a young man to tie his shoes at a public function.
Attending an event at Chhindwara, the minister claimed that his doctors had advised him not to bend forward after recent bypass and hernia surgery, and the son of a family friend had tied his laces.
“I admit it was my mistake and I am sorry for it … I swear that from now onwards, I will not wear any shoes with laces. I have specially brought from Pune six pairs of shoes without laces,” he told the Press Trust.
The incident became a “hot potato” when the minister accused the state opposition Congress party of politicizing the issue by claiming that the boy belonged to a tribal community and another caste.
“He is…from the same caste as me. We have family relations,” said Mr. Bisen.
Kamal Nath, another minister who attended the special event, claimed that this shoe-tying incident was “the most obnoxious episode” he had seen in his entire 31 years of representing his constituency.
Whatever the shoe-tying happening was or wasn’t, you be the judge…but don’t trip over those untied shoelaces!