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I am afraid of cracking jokes in Delhi

Days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi opined there is no humour left in public life, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Saturday said he is a bit afraid to crack jokes in Delhi as they can be misinterpreted.

The Minister of Defense of India Manohar Parrikar gestures with his hand over his heart as he welcomes Secretary of Defense Ash Carter to a meeting in New Delhi, India, June 3, 2015. DoD Photo by Glenn Fawcett (Released)

“I feel good to be here (in Goa). When I am in Goa, I can take the liberty of cracking jokes. In Delhi, I am a bit afraid to crack jokes because even if I joke….it can be misinterpreted and confusion can be created,” Parrikar said at a function held to celebrate the golden jubilee of Goa Engineering College (GEC) here.

“They are looking (for) something controversial. Here (in Goa) we joke casually,” he said apparently alluding to media in Delhi.

Earlier in an interview to a private TV channel, Modi had said, “In this era of 24/7 news channels, anybody can lift a small word and make a big issue out of it. But I will tell you the truth, the reason for the absence of humour in public life is this fear. I am myself scared. Earlier when I used to make speeches, I would make it so humorous but there would never be any issues.”

Parrikar said, “I remember I had inaugurated a girls hostel of GEC and I said after 30-40 years my dream of going to a girls hostel has been accomplished.”

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