DC Edit | Minister, mind your language

It is poll season and the sight of a battery of microphones may trigger the worst in politicians who must go to the hustings to validate their candidacy. The fact that every succeeding Indian general election seems more like a life-or-death proposition than a poll to pick legislators also adds to the angst. Which is why what leaders, candidates or partisan speakers might say when they are stuck for ideas and decorous phrases is generally disregarded.

When a sitting Tamil Nadu minister brings local lingo, not so much of the street as that of the vilest gutter in spitting an epithet at the Prime Minister of the country, things have gone way out of hand. The usual rigmarole of filing FIRs is being gone through, but the Speaker Anitha Radhakrishnan, who is fisheries minister, might believe he has not even been reprimanded for daring to utter such language from the dais.
Compared to the severity of the curse word flung at the PM, a slang term more commonly heard in American movies, earlier barbs like ‘pickpocket’ and ‘panauti’ might pale. They too may seem like clever terms on social media platforms, but they have no place in serious politics either. Of course, the discourse cuts both ways with plenty of snarling done at the Opposition ranks who are dubbed with worse terms than ‘dynasts’ by members of the ruling alliance.
It is a given that the debating style in Indian politics is not of the mature Churchillian type in which the great politician used to joust with a woman MP and a celebrated playwright in Parliament and outside. Even so, there is a need for maintaining a modicum of decency and decorum in debate with lines demarcating personal attacks that just cannot be crossed.
This excess by a politician should be punished to the extent possible with the Election Commission taking an interest in it. Surely, barring this member from campaigning any further in the coming elections could be considered minimum punishment. The only way to teach him to mind his language is not to let him speak in public until the Lok Sabha polls are over.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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