By RK Sinha
Some people are habitual abusers. Congress MP Shashi Tharoor is one of them. The other day he abused Prime Minister Narendra Modi by dragging Lord Shiva. At any Shiva Temple we see Shiva Linga with Cobra protecting the top of the Linga with its hood. Snake is like an ornament for the Lord who is credited with gulping the venom that came out after the legendary churning of the ocean (Samundra Manthan).
Shashi Tharoor has seen a scorpion on the head of Shiva Linga. That scorpion is none else than Prime Minister Narendra Modi, according to Tharoor. Well, Mr Tharoor you intended to scold Modi. It could also be interpreted as Modi in any form was worshiping Lord Shiva.
Few months ago Tharoor said that in case the BJP returns to power at the Centre in 2019, they will tear the Indian Constitution apart and declare India as a Hindu Rashtra. I had commented then that Tharoor has no knowledge of Constitution of India.
In politics, dissent and opposition don’t mean hurling filth and abuse at opponents. But Tharoor is not alone in this kind of political culture. His leader Rahul Gandhi who is also President of the Congress Party has gone a step ahead of Tharoor and the likes of Mani Shanker Aiyar in using language that is most foul against Prime Minister.
I would like to quote Rahul Gandhi who made the following statement on the floor of Lok Sabha some time back. Rahul said in Hindi which translated in English runs like this.
“No matter what you (BJP and Modi) say about me, no matter you abuse me scold me but I will not abuse you. I don’t believe in hate politics”
Well, Rahul Gandhiji, you have been saying this in your speeches of late that “Chowkidar Chor Hai”. If this is not abuse what it is. You tell the audience to repeat the slogan to abuse Modi. Such innuendos will not earn votes in elections.
Rahul Gandhi has been harping on Rafale Deal outright saying that the Modi Government had taken rupees thirty thousand crores from ‘your” (public) pocket and given the same to Anil Ambani. The work on Rafale in India has not even begun.
To me it appears that Congress rank and file and its leadership is frustrated to see that Modi’s popularity is intact despite the Opposition beating chest over demonitisation, GST, farmers plight etc.
Rahul is trying to raise Bofors like specter on the eve of Lok Sabha elections just few months away from now. The bribery charge on Bofors Gun deal was against his father former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi that led to the defeat of the Congress in 1989.
But resurrecting the ghost of Bofors in new form of Rafale will fall flat as there is no evidence to show that the fighter plane deal was made with France with Indian agents getting bribe or the government or Prime Minister being involved in under the table deal. The deal was primarily to strengthen the depleting squadrons of Indian Air Force. Mig 21 squadrons, a couple of them, are going to be taken out of the Indian Air Force fleet in few months from now. New 36 Rafale fighter planes would add only two squadrons of our Air Force.
Politically, the Rafale issue has failed to make any impact on the people of India. Majority of Indians have not heard anything like Rafale deal.
Someone coming from Kolkata says that in West Bengal, Rahul Gandhi’s style of offensive against Modi is seen as an act of buffoonery. A retired Army officer says that Rahul has not learnt his lessons in politics.
The Congress or for that matter other parties opposed to the BJP should first call a brain-storming session of its leaders to find issues to attack Modi and the BJP led government of NDA before any talk of Mahagathbandhan. Attacking Modi or Mohan Bhagwat will not bring votes.
Some other leaders of the Congress like Sanjay Nirupam has called Prime Minister ‘Anpadh aur Ganwar”. The list of abusers is long.
I conclude this article by quoting the following paragraph of Mark Thompson, former Director General of BBC from one of his articles.
“What happens when political language fails? When the rage and incomprehension boil over, and we run out of a common vocabulary and sufficient trust in each other’s words to be able to sit down and work through what unites and divides us? Don’t expect much comfort from history.
From the fall of Athens to the rise of totalitarianism, observers from Thucydides to George Orwell have associated a breakdown in public language – or rhetoric, to give it a more traditional name – with the failure of democracy, loss of freedom, civil strife and, ultimately, tyranny and murder”.
(THE WRITER IS A MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT, RAJYA SABHA)