As the poll body slapped punishment to two Uttar Pradesh heavyweight politicians for using improper language in their public speeches, a politician from Himachal Pradesh emerged with the lowest ever public statement. Besides, the political controversies related to the vote politics, the mother's abuse used by the politician has also posed some serious socio-political issues before the Indian political class.
Like the next door leaders, the state BJP chief of Himachal Pradesh Satpal Singh Satti was flaying each and every member of Congress president Rahul Gandhi's family but the people were shocked when in the same vein he used the abusive word. Satti was addressing a political rally at Solan area of Shimla parliamentary constituency in Himachal Pradesh. "Rahul Gandhi is out on bail, his mother is out on bail, his brother-in-law is out on bail, and yet he calls the prime minister a 'chor' [thief]. Modi ji is not even on bail, there is no case against him then who are you to call him [Modi] a chor like any judge?" Satpal Satti said, adding, "A Punjabi man asked me to convey this to you with a heavy heart that if this country's 'chowkidar' [watchman] is a 'chor', then you are a m********.". These abusive words were enough to shock the listeners. However, equally shocking is the fact that some news agencies and media houses were running the video without silencing the abusive word.
With such language in the speech, should parents rethink on allowing their children in political rallies? Should elders allow the girls and women of the family to attend the political rallies? These are the questions posed before the common people.
As the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and former Chief Minister Mayawati have been punished with a ban on election campaign respectively for three and two days, a similar punishment to the Satti could not be ruled out. There are also some other leaders like Azam Khan of Samajwadi Party and Asaduddin Owasai of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Musilmeen against whom written complains are pending with the Election Commission. The complaints are also pending against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi for violating various provisions of model code of conduct in their public speeches.
As per the rules of election commission, the candidates and political parties are required to get prior approval before releasing any publicity material during elections. The media interviews don't require prior approval but are properly edited by the journalists. Therefore, the verbal speech is the only tool of publicity in the hands of politicians to directly communicate with the masses. So far notices and warnings had been the traditional tools used by EC to minitor the language used in speeches by politicians but they are primarily post-event actions.
As there is neither any consensus nor internal mechanism in the political class to ensure a level of decency in the speech, the punitive action by the poll body and courts are the only option. However, the danger seems to be more serious which our politicians have apparently failed to realize. In their competition to use slang language and abusive words against one another, they are unknowingly gradually surrendering their right to free speech. It's due to their poor communication skills and lack of initiatives to control dignity of public speech the politicians have unknowingly invited bureaucracy and judiciary in their exclusive domain of public speech guaranteed by the Constitution. The review has already started with the punishment for speaking what should not be spoken. If not awaken on time to ensure decency of public speech, the contemporary political class will only be blamed for inaction.