Gone are the days of polite politics

Gone are the days of polite politics

As the electoral heat for 2019 gains momentum in next couple of months, old timers particularly in the two Telugu States will have to perhaps remember the old song Jane Kahan Gaye Voh Din from Raj Kapoors film Mera Naam Joker

As the electoral heat for 2019 gains momentum in next couple of months, old timers particularly in the two Telugu States will have to perhaps remember the old song “Jane Kahan Gaye Voh Din” from Raj Kapoor’s film Mera Naam Joker.

The country has seen many elections and plethora of big leaders. But never did it witness the kind of politricks that are likely to unfold during the ensuing Lok Sabha elections. Never did the great leaders of yesteryears cross the Laxman Rekha and never did they use insulting or derogatory words against each other.

Every leader those days too had their own vision to develop the country. Everyone obviously thought that their vision was the best and better than their predecessors. There were leaders who even implemented draconian laws like Emergency. But even under such circumstances, none of the leaders including Jayprakash Narayan, L K Advani, Atal Behari Vajpayee, Indrajit Gupta or for that matter any other prominent leader never accused Indira Gandhi using unparliamentary words.

Yes, all of them did go hammer and tongs against the policy of declaring Emergency. The Jana Sangh too which was known for its catchy one-line slogans did not criticise anyone with abusive words. The only time when words like “chor” were used was when the Bofors controversy broke out.

The entire Opposition came up with the slogan “Gali Gali mein shor hai… Rajiv Gandhi chor hai.” Between 1984 and 1989, there were many debates in the Lok Sabha when the Opposition leaders lambasted the Congress government led by Rajiv Gandhi.

Jaipal Reddy, Indrajit Gupta, Somnath Chatterjee, L K Advani and the like who used to be the star speakers in Parliament never minced words in tearing apart the ruling party for its mistakes.

Their comments used to be caustic but not derogatory and were heard with rapt attention even by the Prime Minister of the day. Barring a few interruptions from the treasury benches, never did the Parliament witness unruly scenes and never was there a situation when it continuously adjourned without conducting any business as is seen these days.

But now leaders have changed, attitudes have changed. There is growing intolerance among the leaders at all levels. Every leader feels he is the greatest and the most intelligent. Those who accused their predecessors as Mouni Baba turn into bigger Mouni Babas. Gone are the days when they used to talk about their achievements and how it helped the common man and how the rulers of the day had failed to bring change in the society.

Now the so-called progressive leaders depend more on verbal attacks and counter attacks. The cacophony of these leaders is really disturbing and nauseating. But then, they seem to be justifying this attitude saying that in war everything is fair.

They forget that it may appear fair to them but not the people who are more saner and more intelligent than these leaders who claim to be master strategists and visionaries. It is disgusting to see one leader calling another party a lollipop party. Another leader uses all kinds of words against his counterpart in the neighboring State.

Some address the Prime Minister in singular noun. Some allege that his political enemy is not a leader but a manager. It is an open secret that in the modern-day politics, the party that succeeds in best management of polls wins the elections. The government which manages to submit statistics in an intelligent manner wins awards.

Can any party or leader in the country say that they are not opportunists? Do they not spend huge amount of money to win elections? Then why blame each other when all are sailing in the same boat? That is why, when the country goes to polls in the months to come, old timers will be left wondering Jane Kahan Gaye Voh Din.

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