Degradation of Political Discourse - Eastern Mirror
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Degradation of Political Discourse

By The Editorial Team Updated: Aug 29, 2021 10:30 pm

The standard of political discourse in India is degrading with every passing day. Politicians belonging to different political parties more often than not attack their political opponents in such language that cannot be used in civilised society. Recently, Union Minister Narayan Rane was in the news for making some unsavory remarks against Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. While the entire country was in unison condemning Rane for making such a remark, an old video surfaced which showed that a couple of years ago, it was Thackeray himself who had made a similar disgraceful comment against his Uttar Pradesh counterpart Yogi Adityanath. There is no point of going further into the Rane-Thackeray spat as there are numerous other examples in Indian politics. The politicians may make such remarks with the hope of making heavy political inroads into the opposition bastion, but in reality such utterances only belittle the offender’s image.

In the past there were a few politicians who were famous for making controversial remarks. But now it appears that every politician finds pleasure in hitting their opponents below the belt. The latest example was the recently concluded West Bengal Assembly elections. The political discourse touched its nadir during the said election in the state which is known to be the cultural capital of India. Without any exception, each and every campaigner belonging to various political parties indulged in using foul words to corner opponents. The Election Commission (EC) had a tough time controlling the leaders. EC even banned a number of offenders from campaigning for 48 hours including West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and BJP’s Subhendu Adhikari. But imposition of the ban didn’t help as the remarks had already made the situation poisonous and volatile, which caused unprecedented pre and post-poll violence in the state; a situation which could easily be averted by observing restraint during campaigning. In a parliamentary democracy, one party will win and another will taste defeat. But it should be remembered that if the electoral battle turns violent and claims lives, the very purpose of democracy is beaten.

One can only hope that the Rane-Thackeray episode will be the last such spat in Indian politics. It is time to realise that attacking political opponents is also an art form. In this battle, words are more potent than any sophisticated modern weapon. In the political battle, there is no place for war cry; rather a good choice of words and to the point answers are the key to destroy the opposition’s arguments. A careful study of the debates in the Indian parliament will be helpful to learn this art. Over the years, the Indian parliament has witnessed many such interesting and witty verbal duels. As a matter of fact, former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was a master of the said craft. Even during fierce parliamentary debates, none saw the late Vajpayee lose his temper. It is hoped that in the future our political leaders will take a leaf out of Vajpayee’s book while attacking their political opponents.

By The Editorial Team Updated: Aug 29, 2021 10:30:40 pm