In a country like INDIA, economic inequalities, development and social upliftment have become ideal planks for winning an election.Sadly,as they say some things never change and I am referring to Varun Gandhi’s speech the other day.Hate speeches are still widely believed to be a huge driver of votes. Everyone knows that the moral code of conduct was in place once the election dates were announced and politicians had to refrain from making any inflammatory speeches.But this is INDIA where rules are only for the books and not to be followed.So it was no surprise when Jawaharlal Nehru’s great-grandson, Varun Gandhi spew venom against the Muslims in an election speech.And once the media airs those speeches the EC steps into action and asks for a reply .His speech has created the kind of media frenzy that this Gandhi would have never imagined.
Varun’s cousin, Rahul, has been handed the keys to run the family business. His aunt Sonia is the Supreme Leader of the Indian National Congress. Varun, and his mother, Maneka, have always been the ‘outsiders’.They have surname which belongs to India’s most powerful political family but without any of the privileges.It’s like a Lion in captivity which has no freedom to hunt and is confined to the iron bars of a cage.
The only option left to them was to search for other career options.When Varun joined BJP 5 years ago everyone everyone termed his as “BJP ka Gandhi” and it also ended untouchability of BJP.When a family member of gandhi-nehru dynasty could join BJP it could no longer be called a ‘pariah’
Hate has been employed as an effective tool to attract and magnetise in almost every election: at times it is directed towards communities; at times towards other castes and more often than not at our neighbour, Pakistan.This is very disturbing.On one hand we have Obama who won his election on hope. On suggesting a change for the better. On the other hand, our leaders choose to adopt a path of destruction where hate is the marketing poison that they wish to inject into the masses. In itself, it is not only negative but promotes fear and anger rather than hope and delight. In advertising industry it is learnt that consumers go for what is good for them, they don’t buy what is wrong with the other brand as it were. But then in India, many political leaders have proved this wrong. More recently in the state elections that were held in karnataka , the BJP used the terror plank to actually promote fear of living under a Congress regime rather than suggest what the BJP would do to limit or even eliminate terror. This is the case with almost every election in India and the tragedy is that the Indian politician has not learnt how to inspire. He has only been taught how to spread hatred and this is not what we want as it is we are under economic and social stress
The Indian voter wants solutions. He wants to know if his money in banks is safe; if he will have a job tomorrow; if there will be electricity and drinking water. This is what the politician should ideally be focussing on and not on making such speeches and spread hatred among communities.
Narendra Modi is the champion hate-monger. But the development that Gujarat has seen under his regime is unquestionable. Modi might have come to power in the same way as varun is trying to win people’s hearts but there is no denying the fact that it is perhaps the development that has kept Modi in the office.The only political figure who has been held guilty by the judiciary of hate speech has been Bal Thackeray in 1999,12 years after the original offence was committed.And i hope against hope that varun gandhi is given the strictest of punishment so that in future any politician will think twice before making such speeches.Nobody is above law.
Once again the Indian voter will be asked to choose not between good and evil but between hate and progress. The sad bit is that hate might win again and who is responsible..Not the politicians but we who elect them.