I got this in an email today and thought it’s worth sharing…
Let me begin by saying that I am no fan of the Congress Party. Yet, the abuses heaped by Mr. Uddhav Thakeray during his meeting in Poona upon our Prime Minister left me stunned and disturbed enough to write this. His expletives were beeped out by the news channel, but we read in this morning’s papers that he called the PM a hijra. Not once but several times during his speech. When asked to clarify his comments later in the day, Mr. Thakeray was unapologetic. What was worse was that a senior leader, Mr. Nitin Gadkari, who was on the same platform, also hurled expletives at the PM which too were appropriately beeped out by the TV channel. Apparently, there was neither constructive suggestions nor constructive criticism. Not a word about the PM’s economic policies, not a peep about foreign relations. Nothing. Just sheer, vulgar criticism.
We do not know the educational background of these two gentlemen, but we are aware of the background of the PM – an eminent economist, educated at Oxford and Cambridge, stints with the IMF, Governor of the RBI, Finance Minister whose economic reforms launched India into the orbit of the fastest developing economies, a man of quiet dignity, poise and of good-breeding and, above all, one who has never contested an election or sought high office. All the more disturbing to hear such language from “leaders”.
But Mr Thakeray is not alone. His speech is symptomatic of a larger malaise of hate afflicting us in recent times. Take the following:
- Mr Varun Gandhi lets loose a barrage of vitriolic unguided missiles against Muslims and Sikhs
- A certain Mr Muthalik imagines himself to be the custodian of Indian culture and thinks nothing of molesting women. What is worse he assures us of taking his campaign to Goa. No arrests by the police
- Some Dal or another opposes the installation of the statue of Charlie Chaplin
- Mr Raj Thakaray is back to bashing North Indians.
On the other hand just take a small look at our neighbour Pakistan. I, like many of us, was closely watching the Long March and the speeches of Nawaz Sharif. Despite the charged atmosphere, what poise and elegance he exhibited! Never was an abuse uttered; instead, he refered to Zardari as Mian Zardari Sahab. What a contrast to our guys here.
Now, the elections are just round the corner. This is an assertive appeal to PLEASE VOTE. Forget the IPL, or your little sojourn somewhere. But please try to arrest the downslide in public life. Vote for anybody you think represents DECENCY in public life. But PLEASE VOTE. Let’s get decency back into our lives. Let’s try.
Would appreciate it if you would forward this to as many friends as possible. Let’s begin a chant for decency in public life.