Over the past seven decades, Indian democracy has witnessed several ups and downs. But the latest happenings have put a big question mark on its quality and future trajectory. Our political leaders are certain that the minds of the Indian public can be “managed” in a very simple manner. In other words, they are experts in it and have been doing it for quite a long time now.
Do you remember the famous quote by the Evelyn Beatrice Hall, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”? Well, according to me and several others, this is the ideal definition of democracy. Democracy ideally should be a system where various leaders from different ideologies and parties get a platform to say, while the people, the electorate, gets the right to listen to all views before they make an informed choice. You would get to see a spectacular display of this ideal in many democracies across the globe. Now, if you are thinking about some speech of Indian politician, you would definitely feel that they are as different as chalk and cheese. Indian politicians are among the most disgraceful and abusive politicians on the planet. Their speeches often lack the issues that they would like to resolve once elected to power and are full of foul-mouthed personal attacks. Forget about the use of wit, subtle sarcasm and humor, you would only find curses and expletives in them. A question often crosses my mind, “Where exactly is Indian political system heading to?” In minds of the electorate, the personal ethics of leader are of supreme importance while deciding whom to vote. In India, however, personal attacks have become an unsaid norm of the system, irrespective of the political party or gender of seniority.
The media furor was at its peak when in 2012, then leader of the opposition and now Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a personal attack against cabinet minister Shashi Tharoor. He called his wife, Sunanda Pushkar, a “50-crore girlfriend”. But seven years hence, such thoughtless personal attacks have become a part of our everyday news and no one seems to raise an eyebrow any longer.
If “Chunavi Jhumla”, the phrase which Amit Shah coined just before the Delhi Assembly elections seem offensive towards the people (voters) who still have faith in election promises, if the nomenclature of Modi government as “Suit Boot ki Sarkaar” by Rahul Gandhi was derogatory, think again. The election campaigns of recent polls have pulled out all stops and the country’s politicians are morally at their worst. Outright mimicry and abuses have become rulers of the game.
Take a moment and think and wonder what policy would government is expected to make when BJP MP Sharad Tripathi thrashes MLA of his own party with shoes during a party meeting. How would the government think of women safety when BJP MLA Surendra Singh makes such ridiculous sexist comments on Sonia Gandhi and Sapna Chaudhary?
In the current political environment, where every leader seems to be running in a race to outdo the other in abusing and bad mouthing the other, I often wonder, who is the ultimate loser? Sadly, it’s the common man. It is during such times that we miss the grace and subtle wit of leaders like Atal Bihari Vajpayee and the eloquence of Narasimha Rao who could speak in 16 different languages. But then, where these leaders fit for our political system? Or is our system fit for such leaders?