Dipping Standard of Political Discourse

That politicians are mostly despicable perhaps need not be emphasized. They are aggressive and vicious where their interests are concerned. They would, however, maintain decorum withinthe four walls of an assembly. But even that is slowly disappearing. Outside when making political speeches they just let themselves go at each other. One can, therefore, briefly describe them as bounders of unspeakable conduct.

Recently, there was a ruckus over a statement made by Rahul Gandhi about the Prime Minister, NarendraModi. Speaking at a rally for elections to Delhi Legislative Assembly he is reported to have said while talking on the issue of unemployment that young people are going to beat up the Prime Minister after six months with sticks and he would not be able to come out of his house. He said this in most disrespectful language. In Hindi there are two ways of communicating – one, for communicating with or about a senior or elderly person, the other for regular intercourse with friends and family which is or can be shorn of usage of respectful words. Rahul used the latter kind of language which immediately hurt the sensibilities of sensitive people. The hatred for the Prime Minister that he has nursed all these years within came out in a torrent.

No wonder there was a ruckus in the Parliament the next day. Nobody was convinced by the arguments of the Congressmen and their supporters who did not exactly justify this kind of uncivil language as there was nothing to justify since everything was so apparent. They almost came to blows. They tried to circumvent and even evade the issue. Instead they raked up other issues. They did not allow the Health Minister to reply to a question raised by Rahul as the commotion created by both sides led to adjournment.

This is not the first time that he has played this kind of a game with the Prime Minister. Once in the Parliament a few months ago he suddenly got up from his chair, walked towards the Treasury Benches and went and hugged the Prime Minister without any apparent rhyme or reason. The PM was taken by surprise and recovering from the shock he stood up and gave him a proper hug. Rahul Gandhi walked back to his seat and looked at his colleagues like JyotiradityaScindia and others only to give them a wink. It was a very puerile joke and one did not expect it from his lineage.

His is the fourth generation of Nehru family in Indian politics but never has such disrespect to other members of Parliament or the members of parties in opposition been shown in the past by any of his predecessors in the family. Jawaharlal Nehru was respected by all – whether in the government or in the opposition. During Chinese debacle he came under tremendous pressure and even offered to resign. The people in the Congress, however, told him very politely that the Party would decide when it was time for him to go but at that point of time it was the Defense Minister Krishna Menon who had to go. Never an impolite word was uttered by anybody in the government or the Opposition. But those times were different when people, especially politicians, perhaps were more gentle and polite - more civilized.

Rahul has had this immaturity displayed every time and almost everywhere. The party that he belongs to somehow has generated among its members such an intense hatred for the party in power that it comes out in their words and deeds every time. Not that the party in power is any less belligerent. It is needless to say that there is no love lost between the two parties and their constituents. Now that BJP is in power there is a sneaking feeling among the Congressmen that they – the BJP - are the usurpers. Having ruled for a few decades the Congress thinks that it has a rightful claim to India’s throne. Apparently, the dynasty that led the Congress also feels so. Hence, all the surviving members of the family who have been inducted in the Party are hostile to the ruling party and the PM and are out indulging in nit picking.

The PM Modi is actually the object of their ire and this is not of recent origin. The anger and hatred for him dates back to the days when Modi was heading the Gujarat government. There while campaigning during a Gujarat Assembly Election Mrs. Sonia Gandhi had described Modi as “Mautkasaudagar”, i,e, a merchant of death. The secular Congress tried its best to nail Modi for the deaths during the Gujarat riots but failed for lack of evidence. Modi was cleared of all charges even by the Supreme Court. But the ire and hatred lingered on. Perhaps those were magnified manifold in 2014 when Modi and BJP romped home at the General Elections. Unfortunately for them, Modi was returned to power with a thumping win in 2019. Congress was relegated so far back that on both the occasion it failed to qualify for being considered as the main opposition for nomination of its leader to the position of the Leader of the Opposition.No wonder unpleasant relations between the two continue and frequent undesirable barbs are thrown at each other.

In the recent Delhi State elections though BJP has been beaten hands down by the AamAdmi Party but the Congress has been relegated to irrelevance having been unable to win a single seat. Clearly Rahul Gandhi’s rants against the AAP and the BJP proved to be of no avail to the Congress. Looks like, the Congress is heading for self—destruction by persisting to choose itshead from the Gandhi family.

Mercifully, Rahul Gandhi has openly told the people that he would not like to don the mantle of the president of Indian National Congress. He is reported to have repeated this three times. Hopefully, he means it and the Party will go looking for a new face not from the dynasty but from “the open market” so to say. The Grand Old Party has to realize that the Gandhi dynasty is progressively becoming too huge a weight for it so much so that because of it “power” is receding away from it. Even the induction lately of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has not made any tangible difference to its performance at the hustings.


More by :  Proloy Bagchi

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