Insult to the PM is insult to the nation

Insult to the PM is insult to the nation
Highlights

Election season is in full swing, so also the choicest epithets against adversaries. It seems there is a...

Election season is in full swing, so also the choicest epithets against adversaries. It seems there is a competition among the politicians to outdo each other in hurling abuses.

This mud-slinging game has taken away very spirit of democracy. Our Constitution while granting the fundamental right of the freedom of expression under Article 19, deliberately did not spell out what would be the exceptions because the makers had full faith in the wisdom of the people, the politicians included.

Therefore, they left it open to the people to draw a 'Lakshman Rekha' for themselves so far as the 'freedom' of expression in any form is concerned. However, in Clause (2) of the said Article, they provided a rider that the State could impose the 'reasonable restrictions' on such freedom thereby making it clear that this fundamental right was not unlimited or absolute.

Keeping the spirit of the Constitution in mind several civil and criminal laws have been enacted. The Indian Penal Code (IPC) provides suitable punishment for all such offences like abusing, insulting, annoying, defaming and criminally intimidating a person.

Further, laws under civil court's jurisdiction also provide for damages, compensation etc. The courts in India have quite often shown their serious concern to uphold the privacy and personal dignity of the people and punished severally the offenders.

Then, how is it that the politicians hurling abuses against each other go scot-free? First, since they indulge in mutual mud-slinging they do not take the legal course. Second, the person abused takes it lightly.

"Chalta Hai' attitude towards such mud-slinging , in fact, encourages others too, to indulge in this dirty game. Third, the victim thinks, and rightly so, that taking the legal recourse is a sheer waste of time, money and energy.

And last but not the least, if any legal action is initiated against the abusing political rival, it might boomerang upon the complainant himself since the offender would be turning the tables by crying foul and terming such an action as 'political vendetta.'

Perhaps this last reason is the deterrent to any legal action against the politicians by the victim-opponents. Such an awkward situation emboldens the tom, dick and harry to call even the person of the highest position such as the Prime Minister names.

This is what the country has been witnessing with disgust for several months, if not years.

There may be political 'constraints' for the ruling party to initiate legal action against the people who abuse, insult, browbeat, intimidate and defame the Prime Minister, but obviously there are no such 'constraints' on a citizen of the country who values the honour and dignity of the Prime Minister most and relates the same to the dignity and honour of the country as a whole.

Now, the only question is who will bell the cat and bring to the book all those irresponsible people who shamelessly use abusive language against the duly elected Prime Minister and thereby lower the prestige of India?

Remember, the law recognises the 'offence' and not the 'offender.' Therefore, social, political or financial status of the offenders are of no significance while dealing with them.

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