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Modi flock turns laughing stock

Modi flock turns laughing stock
Highlights

How our motor-mouth ministers, members of parliament and legislatures, sustained on public money, make ugly but inconsequential remarks in public is best illustrated by Union Minister Giriraj Singh – the latest offender in a long chain. He has spoken about Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s complexion

It is still time for Modi to sack them, and send out a strong signal to the likes of Sakshi Maharaj and Yogi Adityanath from his flock

How our motor-mouth ministers, members of parliament and legislatures, sustained on public money, make ugly but inconsequential remarks in public is best illustrated by Union Minister Giriraj Singh – the latest offender in a long chain. He has spoken about Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s complexion to make what he thought was a political point. He has embarrassed the government and the party he represents. He deserves to be sacked and prosecuted.

Besides offending the Gandhi family and the Congress party, his obvious targets, by wondering if Sonia was “a Nigerian woman,” he has angered the Nigerian High Commission that has demanded an apology. Why is a woman’s complexion a matter of concern to our elected representatives? We have gotten over the one Sharad Yadav triggered by talking of South Indian women’s complexion? Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar sought to dissuade girls from staging dharna in the open by cautioning that could “go dark” and “not find bridegrooms.”

Numerous politicians have talked loose about rape, a sensitive issue, airing their personal views in order to send warnings and diktats. When confronted, their apologies are reluctant and loaded with excuses, forcing all concerned to somehow end the matter in disgust. Giriraj regretted what he called an “off the record” remark, apparently made to regale his audience back home in Hajipur, Bihar. He should know by now that for a MP and minister, there is nothing ‘private’ and media is there to report him.

He had stirred a controversy while still a MP-elect, by saying that those who opposed Prime Minister Narendra Modi “would have to go to Pakistan.” It was surprising that after such behavior, Modi, not short of talents within his parliamentary party, chose to include people like Giriraj and Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, another Muslim-baiter in his team. It is still time for Modi to sack them, and send out a strong signal to the likes of Sakshi Maharaj and Yogi Adityanath from his flock and to those who think they must respond to them in equally venomous terms.

But then, he might have to start at the top. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, vociferously advocating against cow slaughter and ban on beef, which are controversial issues, asked the BSF to prevent cattle smuggling to Bangladesh and “starve them of beef.” Neither cattle smuggling nor festival-time cow slaughter in Bangladesh is news. The BSF personnel are part of the problem.

Instead of a word of caution to discipline them, did the minister have to engage in political rhetoric? Is that how the home minister talks to uniformed personnel under his command? His government is getting a bad name in the very quarters at home and abroad that praise it. Should our democracy that others look up to become synonymous with this kind of public discourse?

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