“50 crore girl friend” to “priceless wife”: A discourse in crassness

To begin with let me set the record straight so the reader is under no notional or actual illusion about the writer’s allegiances. I have never been a great admirer of Mr Narendra Modi, period. Ever since he tried to compare himself with the great Sardar Patel by creating a photo application on a website (which showed Sardar Patel and when you took the cursor on the photo it morphed into Mr Modi) as far back as 2004, I have been at best amused by his antics or generally remained neutral towards his King Kong like chest thumping self promotion as the supposed Konrad Adenauer of Gujarat. However, his comment on Mr Shashi Tharoor’s wife and resultant barrage of reactions is nadir of political discourse in India.

By crossing this sacred lakshman rekha Mr Modi has set a new low for the politicians. And there are some who are more than willing to go even lower. Mr Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) talks of “Love Ministry” and compares Mr Tharoor to a love guru. A party that takes pride in cultural nationalism and its parent organization leaves no opportunity to crow about its love for Indian values and great respect it has for women, this is what their reality is. One of their leaders doesn’t have the basic courtesy to observe a respectful distance between personal and public life and then there are other colleagues who endorse his views by adding two bit of their own supposed wisdom.

Add to that there is Mr Shashi Tharoor, our venerable and very accomplished writer-leader. Tweeting notwithstanding, his very American openness and lack of grasp about Indian politics was seen as a reason for his early downfall in his first avatar as a minister. We thought our man was naïve. But his remark “my wife is priceless” suggest he hasn’t learned his lessons and is determined to create a mess which is utterly avoidable. Can Mr Twitoor, please tell us what was his compulsion, other than a compulsive tweeting disorder, to lend dignity to Mr Modi’s comment by reacting to it? Hasn’t anyone told him that keeping quiet is better part of wisdom in political discourse and especially when it is veering towards crass? Sir, a humble request — It would be better to drop your determined naivety and understand the turf you are operating on.

These kinds of comments are expected from third class student leaders at college level when they have lost the elections and are trying to shield their embarrassment by being loud or lout. Even among criminals there is an unwritten code of sparing the family members from verbal and physical assault. Leadership demands that the top of the pyramid leads those at the bottom in deeds, values and conduct. However, in last one and a half years it is becoming increasingly evident that the case is other way round.

If law makers and representatives of the people are prickly about their own perks, privileges and decorum, they should behave in a manner where they earn respect. The days of commanding respect by virtue of age or position are long gone and so long as our venerable politicians keep living in denial and try to perpetuate feudal values they would keep losing the respect of the public and their colleagues and that could be fatal for them on the political judgment day.

About indiadynamic

mediaperson worked for TWI, TVI, Dainik Bhaskar, UTV and Hindustan Times in all the divisions print, TV, radio and internet
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8 Responses to “50 crore girl friend” to “priceless wife”: A discourse in crassness

  1. jagrity says:

    Thanks Keshav for your thought on the incident happened once again reaffirming that nobody else but ” strange human” sitting in the most respected place of our country are the creators of buffoonery and most unethical actions. This is one of the most embarrassing phase of India as these are the ” leaders” of ours. I will say this is not the ONLY time…..when they have lost all sense of basic mannerism!

  2. aparna says:

    What a discussion to mark Karvachauth… Ha ha. if i love my spouse must i shout from channel mikes. And if i love my country, must i comment on personal lives of anyone Our country suffers from PMS (politics, media (related hyper-activity) and scams) like no other and even now wars (verbal or otherwise) tend to take the ever-in-vogue east vs west axis. viva Modi-xeroxs.hai ram, elections ka hai zamana…

  3. Dhiraj Singh says:

    Very well said Keshav! I agree with you on both counts: about Modi’s crassness and Tharoor’s naivete… but unfortunately I think the media is also culpable in reporting these nonsensical incidents… by lending ‘breaking news’ status to such asinine commentocracy we also encourage Modi-isms to become part of our national discourse.

  4. Umanath Singh says:

    Sir, I respect your sensitivity and I expect the same from our political class too.
    But the main problem with us, as it appears to me, is that we all live in an illusionary phase of evolution of all shorts, where things often don’t look as they are, leaving us helpless to determine what is right and what is wrong. To me, this illusion exists because of different evolutionary phases that people are in. And that is why it becomes tough to follow the most accepted practice.

    Of course, no one can justify the crassness of this magnitude and even American society, perceived to be the most advance one, went against the most charismatic president of modern times- Bill Clinton when he was found to be in an illicit relationship with Monika Levinsky. Pls, don’t take it as my tacit acceptance of the practice that you are opposed to. Rather, we need to understand different hues of our society, which politics is just a small part of.

    What to talk of mere utterances, go a step ahead- Abhishek Manu Singhvi, probably the best legal luminary the country has this time, who was caught on camera doing what is the ugliest possible thing in this very society, is all set to again appear on the list of the spokesmen, the Congress is going to release. Now, he will again advocate things best suited to his party and him and we people will be forced to accept. He may also go on saying that Modi is crass in his approach and utterance. Can we have anything to disown such things? We have just seen the fate of the anti corruption movement led by Anna Hazare.

    When Shashi Tharoor says his wife is priceless, we may mock thinking a person in public life shouldn’t accept the fact in public, rather he should have concealed or go other way saying- Modi’s utterances are against the decorum of a woman which we all must not accept. The fact remains-every wife is priceless to her husband and vice-versa

    Here, we must also acknowledge the very fact that we are living in an age where what matters the most is not an organization but an individual- be it a political party, family or an organization. Gone are the days when people would go by the name of a party (may read Congress), now people see who is at the helm of the affairs and who can bring credible changes in our lives. The political or leadership vacuum or the organizational hazards that we are seeing, is because of this very reason. You are right in saying that when an individual loses his value system, he doesn’t remain to be a venerable one.

    Finally, I fiercely advocate your notion that which ever strata people in leadership position belong to, they must at least try to act on the most accepted lines taking into account the larger sensitivities of the people in general, after all as you have rightly mentioned that they have to face the political judgment day where strata doesn’t matter and every individual stands alike.

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