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Un-Parliamentary Language of Politicians

June 17, 2014

In a parliamentary democracy, there are certain words that are regarded offensive and should be avoided by every politician. Not only in the parliament, it is expected that our leaders, especially those who assume public office, avoid making insensitive and offensive statements or remarks in public appearances too. However, our leaders don’t shy away from using un-parliamentary, inflammatory, or even abusive words now and then. This trend has assumed epic proportions in recent times. Politicians regularly find themselves in foot-into-mouth situations on many counts, whether it is a comment on rape, deceased army personnel, opposition leaders, poverty, inflammatory speeches, or something else.

Abusive languages of politicians

Here are the ten worst un-parliamentary statements by Indian politicians:

1. The Deputy CM of Maharashtra, Ajit Pawar, almost repeated Marie Antoinette when he ridiculed the hunger strike by farmers in a drought-affected state. They were demanding release of dam water to bring an end to drought. When the minister was asked about his response, the insensitive NCP minister replied, “From where will we give him water? Should we urinate in dams?” This insensitive ridiculing of the farmers’ plight only shows how administrative power has blinded these politicians. They have forgotten the fact that we Indians have chosen them as our representatives to solve our problems and issues. If providing dam water to the farmers was not possible for some reason, he should have informed that to them instead of ridiculing. In fact, the concerned minister should have tried to find out other ways to end the plight of the farmers rather than ridicule them and their woes.

2. Last year, the entire nation was shocked when Bihar’s Rural Works and Panchayati Raj Minister, Bhim Singh, insensitively said that people join the Army and police to die. He made this statement when asked about the absence of state ministers at the Jai Prakash Narayan Airport to receive the bodies of four martyrs (who died while safeguarding the LoC in Poonch from Pakistani infiltrators) hailing from the state. This insensitive minister didn’t stop here and went on to ask the reporter whether the newsman’s father had gone to the airport to receive the bodies. Such a comment from a person assuming public office is not only shameful but condemnable too. The minister must know that people don’t join the Army to die but because they want to serve the country. When an Army personnel dies fighting insurgents, it is not a personal loss only but a national loss in itself. Therefore, it becomes the duty of the people adorning public offices to pay respect to the martyrs and not utter insinuating comments to inconvenient questions.

3. Mulayam Singh Yadav, supremo of the Samajwadi Party and father of UP CM Akhilesh Yadav, reacting to death penalty awarded to the three accused persons of Mumbai’s Shakti Mills rape case, infamously said – Boys err sometimes. So, will they be awarded with death sentence? This kind of statement by a veteran politician only shows the medieval mindset of the person who regard rape as a petty matter and not a social malice.

4. Revered CPIM mass leader and ex-CM of Kerala, V. S. Achuthanandan, made a bizarre comment when the grieving father of Martyr NSG commando, Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan (who died while fighting against terrorists during the November 2008 Mumbai attacks), almost shooed him away. Out of anger against the entire political class, the grieving father was reported to have said, “No dog would enter my house”. To this outright rejection the then CM of Kerala retorted by saying that if it was not the house of the slain commando, not even a dog would have visited the place. Such a comment from the CM of a state against a person who just lost his son was utterly uncalled for, besides being shameful and insensitive. Though he later apologised, but till then the harm was done.

5. Anubrata Mandal, Birbhum district secretary of the TMC, once asked his party members and supporters to bomb police jeeps and also burn down the houses of the independent candidates. Within one week of making such a comment, an independent candidate, Sagar Ghosh, was killed, allegedly by TMC activists. But the party denied any involvement. The case is now sub-judice. The recorded statement of Anubroto Mandal was not only inflammatory but was also targeted against the police administration of West Bengal, which is under direct control of Mamata Banerjee, the CM of West Bengal.

6. A leader of Haryana’s khap panchayat, Jitendar Chattar, attributed chowmein to be the real cause behind rape. He categorically opined that chowmein leads to hormonal imbalance that leads to unusual sexual urge in men that makes them commit rape. This is one of the most bizarre as well as horrifying logics the civilised world has ever heard. This statement is unscientific and also gives a reason in favour of rape, which is shocking.

7. Giriraj Singh, senior BJP leader and former minister of Bihar, made inflammatory speeches recently and asked those persons who didn’t vote for Narendra Modi to go find place in Pakistan. Over-zealousness due to the emphatic win of Modi must be the reason behind making such an undemocratic comment. He must have forgotten that India is still a democratic country.

8. A video rocked Indian democracy during the 16th Lok Sabha election where Congress’s contestant from Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh, Imran Masood, was seen giving inflammatory speeches against Narendra Modi and also issued public death threat to NaMo. This kind of life threat by any Lok Sabha candidate directly is perhaps first of its kind in the history of Indian democracy. In a democracy, a person may disagree with another and can also follow proper proceedings if he feels that something has been done wrong by another party or person. But issuing threat against another person is not only illegal but also horrifying. Such a call by Imran Masood is nothing but call for jungle justice, which cannot be tolerated in a functioning democracy.

9. Recently, Akhilesh Yadav, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, made a bizarre comment when asked by a reporter regarding the horrific Badaun rape and murder incident. The young CM of UP asked the reporter, “I hope you have not faced any danger?” When answered in negative, he replied back, ‘Thank you. You should propagate this.’ When two dalit girls have not only been raped but also murdered, then instead of rectifying the law and order situation of the state, this kind of attitude from a Chief Minister is uncalled for and also emboldens rapists.

10. Just a couple of months back, Pravin Togadia, President of the Visva Hindu Parishad, was found giving a speech where he was alleged to have provoked Hindu sentiments by saying that Muslims should be stopped from buying houses and properties in areas where majority people are Hindus. It is not only unconstitutional but also tears apart the basic fabric of India – unity in diversity. An FIR was filed against Togadia but he denied making any such comment.

These were the 10 worst unfortunate comments of Indian politicians, which are un-parliamentary too. But don’t think this is the end. Many will follow for sure. Uttering ‘unparliamentary words’ should not be seen as the sole fault of politicians only but ours too, because it is we who choose them as our leaders. Politicians are our representatives only. They just reflect what our society in aggregate thinks or believes. Until and unless we change our mindset, our politicians are not going to change theirs. So, the next time you feel ashamed of any un-parliamentary comment or statement of any politician, don’t just blame the political class. Simply ask yourself, have you done your bit to change your own mindset or your society? Always remember – people get what they deserve.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed are of those of the author and do not represent the views of Elections.in.

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