Friday, September 25, 2009

Speaking of speaking

"Four hours and 29 minutes is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the longest speech in front of the General Assembly, given in September 1960 by Fidel Castro. The former Cuban leader is known for his interminable speeches - his longest on record in Cuba clocking up seven hours and 10 minutes at the 1986 Communist Party Congress.

Even that was topped, when at the UN Security Council in 1957, the Indian politician VK Krishna Menon talked for nearly eight hours defending India's position on Kashmir."

You can read the rest of it here, but what I want to know is: Did Mr Menon accomplish this considerable task without taking bathroom breaks? If he did, somebody please given him a posthumous medal right now!

For managing that feat alone, he's totally my hero. I mean, could you do that for your country?


R. said...

There are lotsa people who can talk non-stop...when was that ever a problem????

Unknown said...

For the record, Menon's speech did more harm than good to India's cause ( Source - Khushwant Singh)

And when did a valid argument over ownership require 8 hours rambling ? More a case of the "the lady protests too much" .......?

Ashish Gorde said...

Actually, I'm curious. What did he actually say in those 8 hours? Any video of that marathon ramble available somewhere? Youtube, perhaps? Methinks in today's era of 24/7 news channels, it's unlikely any politician will ever risk speaking for that long unless he's assured of 'commercial sponsorship' :)

B said...

You raise an interesting point. My teacher's teacher played mridangam nonstop for 26 hours, which went to the G book. When I asked him about the experience he said very little about the other musicians who took turns etc. but almost straightaway said he had to be hospitalized soon after he stopped for not taking bathroom breaks.

btw, according to wikipedia, the longest speech in the US Senate was Storm Thurmond's filibuster for 24 hours and 18 minutes in length, nonstop.

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