Cuss words new normal in Indian politics
Every group has its own jargon. For example, clap, sound, pan and fading are some of the words used by filmmakers
Every group has its own jargon. For example, clap, sound, pan and fading are some of the words used by filmmakers. Shopkeepers talk about inventory, sales, profit and loss. Politicians till a few years back used to use words like corruption, mother of corruption, red tape, silent majority, lame duck etc. But in the last six years, the evolution of a new political dictionary has taken place at a much faster pace than the progress of the country in any field. The language being used publicly by leaders has become vicious and personal and no political party is an exception to this unfortunate trend. In fact, their rhetoric and the words they use would make Trump's loudmouthed speeches more decent.
All this is happening under the garb of local lingo. Having difference of opinion, occasional outburst against political opponents and rebuttal to their criticism is a natural phenomenon. But what is happening now is that decency has been given a go by all including those who are head of political executives. This is happening not only during public meetings but also inside the Parliament and State legislatures. Many, nay, most of our political leaders are regularly using offensive language and claim that they are speaking the truth.
This populist rhetoric is not to enrich the people's thinking but in the narrow political interest of the party. The words are so foulmouthed that the media even finds it difficult to express what the leaders had said during those meetings. What is worse is that these leaders have the audacity to ask the reporters as to why certain words used by them were not reported. Another new trend these days is the advisors to the government don the role of spokespersons of political parties and are even giving lectures on how media should report.
This new political culture has opened up a Pandora's box of anger and abuse to the conventional media as well as social media. Some people say that no one can match Prime Minister Narendra Modi in launching personal attack and they cite examples like Modi calling Congress as termites. They must be saying so as they have not been privy to hear the cuss words used by the political leaders in the two Telugu States.
The words used by these politicians would even make the word 'coward' used by Delhi Chief Minister to describe Modi some time back more decent. We have recently seen how protesting women at a public meeting were described as barking dogs by a Chief Minister. We have also seen another Minister saying that the existence of Opposition parties in the State was 'Biksha' of the Chief Minister. Many more stronger words which cannot be reproduced here are used by Ministers, party leaders and their respective social media. It is time these political leaders recall what Jawaharlal Nehru had said in 1939.
"In public life, we must presume the bona fides of each other... I trust that all our criticisms will be based on policy and not on personalities." This principle was adhered to by all political leaders till about a decade ago. Though there were ideological difference, no one crossed the limits of decency and that was the reason why democracy in India survived and became stronger.
But now the rhetoric has touched a new high. This degradation of values poses serious threat to the secular and democratic fabric of the country and the problem can only be addressed if the political class soon acknowledges the existence of this problem.