When India’s economy was waggling between 3 to 3.5 % of GDP growth, Western media referred India as the land of Snake charmers. Today at a time when our IT and IT enabled services are our growth drivers India is now a land of ‘’mouse’’ charmers. This was what Narendra modi , Chief Minister of Gujarat said today.
Modi is known for his usage of humour as part of his regular rhetoric and his replacing the word ‘’snake’’ to ‘’mouse’’ communicated a larger picture of a changing India. Whether this humour is metaphoric or metonymic is left to the reader, the thought of the day is on the usage of humour in public life.
In his research publication, Psychology of humour , An Integrated Approach, Rod A Martin from the University of Western Ontrio, UK writes on the social significance of humour in particularly in human communication and relationship management. A ‘’sense of humour’’ is not just a quality or style of communication, but is indeed a soft skill to be reckoned with in communication management.
Humour used with a sense of sarcasm and indented to create a bad taste is often used by politicians in the public forum for ridiculing a person, party, or a community. Lots of Modi’’s Pot-shots on Nehru-Gandhi family are such examples. The much known sardar jokes can also be caricatured into this category. Humour is also used as a communication tool for conflicts and ego clashes among adults to score a point over the other and is often seen in office politics and grapevine .However affiliating and enhancing humour is a positive leadership communication tool which is a skill to be acquired. Business leaders often use such humour as a motivating factor to ease work stress and build in team spirit. Off late humour is a multimillion dollar industry be it TV or stage shows, not to mention about the laughing clubs spurting all over the health conscience world .
Coming back to Narendra Modi and his conversion of India from a snake charming to a mouse charming nation drives home the fact, that humour is indeed a leadership skill.
As long as it does not hurt and brings in a sense of bonhomie , humour is worth trying.