A termite is called ghunn in Bengali, udhai in Gujarati, and dimaka in the Hindi language. After reading the translation, and suspecting that the subject is unappealing, some may not read further. However, for those about to pore over this article, it is in part about termites and in part about a chief minister and his reference to this insect in his speech. The address created quite a kerfuffle in Indian politics.
Termites are objectionable, and we all know why. They eat wood. If your house has wood in its construction, they will eat it and damage the house. Some call them insect terrorists! However, some experts say the termites can also be beneficial.
A termite blogger at termites.org, entomologist Dr. William H. Robinson, writes:
Termites are one of only a few animals that can feed on cellulose (wood); they can use it as a food source…it’s necessary to break down dead trees and other woody material and return nutrients to the soil. Termites do that with the help of some special microbes in their gut….Termites are…converting dead trees into useful soil.
Ms. Patricia Cook states in “What Are Termite Good For?” at voices.yahoo.com:
[T]hey serve as food for other animals. Among the creatures that feast on termites are ants, primates such as chimpanzees and baboons, lizards, rodents, and anteaters….Hate them in your house, but be grateful for all the other thin[g]s they do in the world.
Here is an additional thing termites may do for our nation: They may help elect our next prime minister in 2014.
On March 3, 2013, India Times quoted Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi, as saying, “The Congress party has spread like termites in the country; it is very difficult to get rid of termites. Only one medicine would work, and that is the sweat of the worker of the BJP.”
Chief Minister Modi believes that the Congress termites have been eating our home, India, and the house has been crumbling. Moreover, he thinks the termites of Congress and the UPA are good for nothing; he wants them gone, period.
So, Narendra Modi wants to be India’s exterminator! He says we are all “mouse charmers,” but he does not want to be one; he wants to be our exterminator!
Mr. Modi plans to use “sweat,” not chemicals, to eradicate the congressional termites. One strategy seems to be to collect and store the sweat of “BJP workers,” and then pump and spray when the time is right.
Has Chief Minister Modi thought of becoming India’s terminator – like Arnold Schwarzenegger – instead of India’s exterminator?