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The battle of semantics

Posted by Shreyans Jain Sunday, 2 March 2014 1 comments

Usage of unparliamentary language by a politician to defame his/her opponent and to garner the support and attention of a large audience is gradually becoming a part of the dust and heat of Indian politics. By indulging in obstructionist theatrics and making use of uncouth rhetoric and intemperate language as a part of their election propaganda, some politicians are stooping to increasingly lower and undignified depths to score brownie points over their opponents. In such a scenario, they miss out on real issues concerning the masses and try to titillate their senses by playing to the gallery. They tend to measure the success of their efforts by the number of ‘likes’ they receive on Facebook or by the number of times their ‘tweets’ are shared and followed on Twitter. Little do they realise the mockery they make of themselves in the eyes of educated voters and the youth in particular. Little do they realise that their name-calling is a reflection of their regressive mind-set and bankruptcy of their intellect.  Instead of presenting facts to support their argument, they try to defend themselves by employing cheap barbs and personal attacks. Such display of buffoonery at a public forum not only exposes the penury of their thoughts but also highlights an even greater underlying malaise – ‘my fisticuffs end just where your nose starts’ syndrome. It is indeed shocking that such acts of rabble-rousing go scot free without inviting any penal action.

Here are some examples of loose talk in the Indian public space:

1. 26-02-2014:  Mr. Shivraj Singh Chouhan of the BJP extended a Hindi proverb to compare Mr. Narendra Modi, his party's prime ministerial candidate, with Congress vice-president Mr. Rahul Gandhi.
"Kahan Narendra Modi aur kahan Rahul Gandhi. Kahan moonch ka baal, aur kahan poonch ka baal," Mr. Chauhan said at a rally in Neemuch in Madhya Pradesh. That translates to - "where is the comparison between Modi and Rahul; the former is the hair from the moustache, the latter, the hair from the tail."

2. 25-02-2014: The External Affairs Minister, Mr. Salman Khurshid fired salvo against the BJP Prime Ministerial candidate at a rally in Farrukhabad, calling Mr. Narendra Modi "impotent". He raised questions on the Gujarat Chief Minister's handling of the post-Godhra riots in 2002. Khurshid had once compared Modi to the proverbial frog just out of the well. 

3. 22-01-2014: Union Home Minister Mr. Sushil Kumar Shinde stoked a potential controversy when he called the Delhi Chief Minister Mr. Arvind Kejriwal a “yeda mukhyamantri” (mad Chief Minister), while recalling his own days in the police force.
4.  17-01-2014: Former union minister and senior Congress leader Mr. Mani Shankar Aiyar stoked a controversy when he commented at the All India Congress Committee session in Delhi that BJP’s prime ministerial candidate “Narendra Modi will never become the Prime Minister of the country. But if he wants to distribute tea here, we will find a place for him.”

5.  07-11-2013: The Election Commission reprimanded Mr. Narendra Modi's "khooni panja" (murderous paw) remark made during poll campaign in Chhattisgarh and asked him to be more careful in his public discourse in future.

6.  26-07-2013: Congress leader Mr. Digvijay Singh forgot all decorum as he made derogatory remarks against Ms. Meenakshi Natrajan and called her “100 taka tanch maal”.

7.  02-07-2013: Union minister Beni Prasad Verma kicked up a controversy with his barbs at Mr. Mulayam Singh Yadav, saying that the SP chief was not even fit to sweep the Prime Minister's residence. "Yadav wants to become Prime Minister. He should first try to get the job of a sweeper at the residence of the PM," 77-year Verma said at a programme in Uttar Pradesh's Faizabad.

The need of the hour is to take strict action against erring politicians who vitiate the political atmosphere with their invectives. It is high time the Election Commission cracked the whip on such politicians and took necessary action. Instead of getting embroiled in a battle of semantics the politicians would do a great service to the nation by walking the talk and setting high standards through their governance.


bharti sharma said...

मुख्यमंत्री अरविंद केजरीवाल ने की घोषणा,अस्थायी कर्मचारियों को भी मिलेगा समान वेतन

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