- [The tapes] cast an incalculable damage on [Bangaru Laxman's] reputation. Consider that one sequence in the publicised Tehelka transcript that ran as follows:
Tehelka: Rupees or dollars?
Laxman: Dollars. You can give in dollars.
The above "quote" of Laxman was given a eight-column headline in The Asian Age, but with the exclamation mark (!) after "Dollars." ...
What Laxman in all probability said was "Dollars??" with an exclamation of shock in his tone, and "You can give dollars??" with another exclamatory tone. But Tehelka must have just clipped away the exclamation marks in its transcripts while the audio in its tapes was just too damned garbled to reveal the exclamatory tone.
Note that this writer is not trying to say Laxman did not take the money. But he diverts attention from that with a curious hypothesis ("in all probability") about an "exclamatory tone" and punctuation marks that were "clipped away."
Such are the convolutions our own political affinities force us into. So I can't wait to see the convolutions that lie ahead after the most recent episode involving bribes, hidden cameras and politicians from multiple parties.