Wednesday, October 18, 2017
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More vulgar the better!
Insult now asset
By Poonam I Kaushish
Success breeds confidence and rapid success produces arrogance. This epitomizes the vitriolic and acerbic mud-slinging down to gutter-sniping slug-fest between the BJP and Congress in the first half of Parliament's Budget session. Which underscored that slander, sleaze, sensation, smear, sully, soil and smirch are the new political dialogues. Serenaded by a frenzied audience's seetees galore. More vulgar the better, dil maange more!

Certainly, the audacious bare-all below-the-belt are-all attack by Modi on his predecessor Manmohan Singh in the Rajya Sabha might not seem behoving of the Prime Minister. Said he, "There have been many scams during Congress rule… but not a taint on Singh…Bathroom mein raincoat pehen kar ke nahana, yeh kala to Doctor Saab hi jaante hain aur koi nahin jaanta hai."

Needless to say, it had the Congress frothing and led to the Opposition walking out. Even as Modi justified it by asserting "We have the ability to pay back in the same coin". This was in reply to Singh's criticism of notebandi. Said he, "the way the scheme has been implemented, it is a monumental management failure and, in fact, it is a case of organised loot and legalised plunder of the common people".

True, one can fault Modi for his harsh language, innuendoes, call it too blunt for the political palate even dismiss it as being brash. Some might shrug it off as part and parcel of political discourse. But the fact is that he alone is not to blame, given his intemperate language is no different from what other netas have perfected down the years.

Last week Lok Sabha leader of Opposition Kharge said, "People such as Gandhiji, Indiraji sacrificed their lives for country, who came from your side? Not even a dog." Shot back Modi, "Hum kutton wali parampara se pale bade nahin hain."

Besides, the Congress asked for it. Remember, Sonia's derogatory taunt to Modi as "Maut ke saudagar" during the Gujarat elections and recently accusing him in UP of "zeher ki kehti". Adding fuel to fire, Rahul added "Modi khoon ki dalali karte hain" in reference to the surgical strikes. Earlier two senior leaders dubbed him "Ravan and Aurangzeb..

Frankly, I am neither surprised as our netagan are only showing their girgit true colours throwing all public decency and decorum to the winds! Gone are the days when jibes and trolls were funny or sarcastic and netas took them in their strides.

Today, the lines between an opponent and an enemy have got blurred wherein trash talk and brazen innuendoes seem to be the flavour of the season. Dumping basic courtesies and decencies all take venomous delight in reveling in their baser characteristics swaying to the heady tinkle of cheap thrills and seetees. Wherein gutter-sniping, sordid and spiteful tu-tu-mein-mein between opponents and Parties is the order of the day. Of dirty linen being washed in public, more vulgar the better.

Sadly, through this entire diatribe one thing emerges crystal clear: the political skullduggery indulged in mirrors the harsh and horrendous reality of our polity. Where there is no dividing line between statecraft and witchcraft, what is correct and incorrect. Never before has politics denigrated to the sewer level as it has today.

Wherein, everyone and everything is game from Congress's "Napunsak Modi" to Baba Ramdev's "Tarka Sonia", Kejriwal's "Stuck between a moron (Rahul) and murderer (Modi)," and Modi calling AAP Chief "a Pakistani agent and AK 49". NCP's Sharad Pawar dubs Modi as "deranged who needs treatment in a mental hospital".

Samajwadi leader Azam Khan calls NaMo a "kutte ke bachche ka bada bhai" and a BJP leader avers, "Is Italian kutiya ki kitni himmat hai ….khud to sare desh ka rupaiya loot kar apne account me bhar kar rakh liya" as he threatens to strip her and Rahul and dispatch them to Italy. Should one applaud?

More. Titillating voters has become common. Symptomatic of this is a Samajwadi leader's insinuation linking Modi and Mayawati's single status to a post-poll alliance between the BJP and BSP. "Woh teen baar Modi ki godh mein bathe chukeyi hai". Sic. Congress's Digvijay Singh leering calling a woman leader "tunch maal"

Bengal's maverick Chief Minister Mamata castigated bête noire CPM colourfully, "They could do nothing themselves and are now all the time looking for ways to stick a bamboo up (people's) backside!" The war of words turned murkier with J&K Opposition leader Omar Abdullah allegedly calling those who attend Modi's rallies and vote for him as "bastards".

Alas, none want to address critical questions: Can such language and conduct be condoned? Why are politicians' discourses becoming more and more venomous and toxic? Remember, Andhra's MIM MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi callous speech in 2013 calling Hindus "impotent" and police an "impotent army". Remove them for 15 minutes, we 25 crore Muslims will finish off the 100 crore Hindus." Retaliated Union Food Processing Minister Sadhvi Niranjan Jyothi, "Do you want a Government of Ramzaadon (Ram bhakts) or 'haramzadon", says it all.

Thereby, underscoring the bankruptcy that is manifest in our system wherein netas have perfected the art of cultivating low morality and high greed according to their whims and fancies made more malignant by our fragmented politics. Resulting in immorality becoming a way of life, what damn difference does one more slanderous attack make?

With politics degenerating to a slugfest of personal insults and character assassinations against rivals along-with a euphemism for "I am right," the Modi-Manmohan tu-tu-mein-mein is a harsh reflection on the depth of political depravation we have come to.

At another level, it has exposed the hypocrisy of the system. Love him, hate him or ignore him, the hard reality is that this in-your-face chai-wallah turned Prime Minister couldn't care a damn. He believes in an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Truly living up to the synonym of rule by law, jiski laathi uski bhains. His reaction: catch me if you can.

The irony is that Modi knows damn well that he will go scot free notwithstanding the raised brouhaha by his opponents. Perhaps one can put this down to the fact that having risen from the bottom of the ladder he has nothing to lose.

Consequently, thanks to our polity the very idea of democracy has been vitiated. Add to it the peoples' distaste for vulgarity, gender insensitivity, sexist thinking and speeches spewing hatred.

What next? Clearly, it is time that our netagan realize that they are putting a premium on insult. How long will they allow profligacy be the bedrock of India's democracy? Undeniably, our leaders need to tone down the divisive and personal attacks that they indulge in, engage each other on issues the nation faces and adopt a zero-tolerance stand on offensive language. Such rhetoric has no place in a civilised polity.

The aim should be to raise the bar on public discourse, not lower it any more than has been done. And those who reduce the level of discourse to such depths only do so at the cost of exposing their lack of civility to the electorate and the nation at large.

Our leaders should remember one age-old truth: If you point one slanderous finger at another, four other slanderous fingers will point back at you! How long do we suffer the stampede for sensation and slur? Can a nation be bare and bereft of all sense of shame and morality?


News Updated at : Tuesday, February 14, 2017
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