The current topic of debate at Indispire has raised a few very valid questions.
- What is wrong with our netas and parliamentarians? #idiotsinparliament?
- Why do they make ridiculous statements?
A few statement were chosen selectively, intentionally or otherwise, that had made the following assertions:
- Kerala flood happened because of beef eating habit of population,
- Kerala flood happened because supreme court allowed entry of women in temple of lord Ayappa,
- Girls are raped because eating chowmein disturbs balance within human body. Similar statements were made on use of cell phones and wearing jeans.
First thing first, let it be said unequivocally, that any statement, must be condemned, that tries to attribute divine justification in the suffering of another human being. Be it eating beef, opening gates of Ayappa temple for women, eating chowmein, or wearing jeans. No right minded person can feel glee at the suffering of another human being.
From the tone and tenor of these questions, it appears that debate is politically tilted in favor or against certain political dispensation, read Modi lead BJP government at the center. Since the hashtag says #idiotsinparliament, it is important to establish if these statements under discussion today were made by any parliamentarian:
- The relationship between beef eating and Kerala flood was made by leader of All India Hindu Mahasabha, Chakrapani Maharaj, who is not a member of parilament. Chakrapani Maharaj had said, “flood victims in Kerala who’ve eaten beef shouldn’t receive help……Victims can receive help, he said in an ANI interview, if they say in an affidavit (we kid you not) that they’ll never again eat beef….Swami Chakrapani blamed the floods, in which hundreds have died, on the act of killing cows.”
- In another outrageous statement was made by Prabhakaran, distric president of Hindu Makkal Katchi,“ —- who had linked Kerala floods to women’s entry into Sabarimala temple. ——— Prabhakaran stated that the opinion of the leaders of various political parties and the court supporting the entry of women into Sabarimala temple were the reason for the present situation prevailing in Kerala.”
- This controversy was stoked by RSS ideologue S Gurumurthy, an independent director at the Reserve Bank of India, who had tweeted, “Supreme court judges may like to see if there is any connection between the case and what is happening in Sabarimala. Even if there is one in a million chance of a link people would not like the case decided against Ayyappan.”
It is important to note that none of the people that made idiotic and outrageous statements on Kerala flood were members of parliament. But there are several people from other political parties have also made equally outrageous claims. Let us look at them, one by one:
- In 2012, a leader of Haryana Khap Panchayat from Jind Mr. Jitender Chattar. had claimed, “To my understanding, consumption of fast food contributes to such incidents. Chowmein leads to hormonal imbalance evoking an urge to indulge in such acts,“
- Mr. Chattar was supported by leader of opposition in Haryana Legislative assemby, Mr. Om Prakash Chautala of INLD. Ruling congress party chief Pholl Chand Mullana and education minister Geeta Bhukkal had claimed “growing rape cases were a conspiracy against the state.” Another congress leader Dharamvir Goyat had asserted that “90% rapes happened by consensus.”
- Recently, an elected member of Kerala legislative assembly, P. C. George had called a nun who complained of being raped by a bishop Franco Mullakal in Jalandhar. Mr. George has said, “”No one has doubt that the nun is a prostitute. 12 times she enjoyed it and the 13th time it is rape? Why didn’t she complain the first time?”
- On another charge of sexual assault on a communist party MLA, P K Sasi, Kerala State Women’s Commission chairperson MC Josephine has evoked human frailty: “We are all human beings, mistakes do happen. People inside the party may also have committed such mistakes.” By the way who is the likely candidate to replace Mr. Sitaram Yechury as general secretary of Communist Party of India – yes it is Ms. Brinda Karat, fiery champion of woman’s right.
At the end of the day, our parliamentarians do not come from the outer space. They are our representatives. They reflect thinking of people around them. Many of these people are coming to parliament from the hinterlands of India. These people, many of them first time members, may lack linguistic sophistry. They speak the language their voters understand. They make mistakes and they are criticised and chastised.
I wonder, how many of us remember party affiliation when outrageous statements are made on rape! Unlike statement on Kerala flood, statements on rape were made by actual elected members of legislative assembly. Have we heard any hashtag campaign on #pervertsinassemby? Of course not! It does not suit the narrative.
I had said earlier we must “speak up for truth, not political ideology“. My position still remains we must criticise all outrageous statements unequivocally and not suffer from selective amnesia.
This post was written as part of discussion topic posted by Indiblogger. Other similar posts may be found here.
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