Now that the question hour in the Lok Sabha is apprearing on Doordarshan, members of parliament, already burdened with heavy work and solving the millions of probles of the country, are faced with additional responsibility.
Yesterday morning, I was at an MP's hous as he was getting ready to leave for another day at the Lok Sabha. He was sitting at his wife's dressing-table as his eldest unmarried daughter was applying make-up on his face. "Oh, ho, ji, hold your face steady for a minute, the rouge is spreading all over the face."
His wife said: "I told you to use godrej hair dye on your head, but you don't listen to me. This dye you are using is making your hair look black and white in patches when the camera takes a head shot of you from the visitors' gallery on the top."
The MP told me: "We were doing all right before they decided to allow TV into the house. In the newspaper photographs, printed as they are on bad Indian newsprint, nobody could notice the colour and tecture of out skin and hair."
The MP's youngest son brought a tin of Johson's baby powder. The MP put clouds of it under his armpits and on his chest and stomatch. He explained: "The powder is to stop the perspiration. When you perspire, large damp spots from on your clothes and they look very unattractive on TV."
The wife told the daughter: "Wipe that powder from behind his ears. As it is he looks like a clown and it is making him look more so. By the time of the next elections, all his voters would have seen him on their screens and they will not vote for him."
A servant brought him his white khadi clothes, fresly washed, starched and ironed. His wife said: "How may times have I told you not to wear white during question hour. White gets merged with the background and makes a person look like a floating head. That is the first thing TV people tell you when they call you to appear on TV - to wear somwthing in colour."
The servant went out and returned with an olive-green gala-bandh and matching trousers.
Then, when he was finally dressed and ready, the daughter said: "Put some perfume on yourself. Though you cannot smell it on TV, at least it will make you feel nice and confident when the cameras turn on you."
The MP said: "What is the use of all this. Finally, when it comes to the cameras, Sunil Dutt and all those other MPs outshine us, they have got so much more experience. And soon Rajesh Khanna or Shtrughan Sinha will be there to add to the competition."