The Telegraph
Sunday , August 4 , 2013
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Mud-slinging with choicest of expletives

Patna, Aug. 3: The war of words among politicians turns uglier everyday.

At a BJP rally in Bihar sharif on July 26, former health minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey seemed a bit too annoyed with chief minister Nitish Kumar.

“So many children died at Gandaman Primary School and the chief minister did not even care about visiting those getting treatment at Patna Medical College and Hospital claiming he had suffered a fracture in his leg. We will expose where the chief minister used to visit with his so-called fractured leg in the nights,” Choubey said.

Soon after the split in the BJP-JD(U) in June, Choubey, who had a close shave but had lost seven of his family members and relatives in the Uttarakhand deluge, had taken a swipe at the state government calling it “narbhakshi” (man-eater) as he was not provided any help on time.

The JD(U) minister, Shyam Rajak, hit back calling Choubey “Narbhakshi”. And Choubey came up with a new term, “netabhakshi” (eater of politician), for Rajak — known for his turncoat character — as he “would break the chief minister’s neck”.

With hitting below the belt and making personal attacks becoming more frequent among the leaders, sociologists feel that the main reason for the same was the absence of any monitoring system, which would stop the entrance of tainted people in politics.

Political commentators were of the view that it was the case of not having any issue to debate on.

“Over the years, the leaders have degraded and have become corrupt. Of course, there are exceptions but more or less it is the same situation. They do not have any real issues to debate upon and are devoid of any ideology. With no healthy debates, they get into mudslinging. They now fight for selfish reasons and that too in an ugly way. There is a total lack of principles and philosophy,” N.K. Choudhary, a city-based political commentator and economist told The Telegraph.

In the recently concluded monsoon session of the Assembly and even before it since the BJP and the JD(U) parted ways, the string of allegations has reached new heights with most of the leaders getting too up, close and personal while pointing fingers at one another.

City-based sociologist Hetukar Jha said the same was a result of a clear degradation of politics.

“Not much is expected by the politicians as most of them have shady background. The problem lies that the makers of the Constitution never really developed a mechanism through which such leaders could be filtered out of the political arena once and for all. They made a big mistake as they thought that the people would do it themselves. However, this has not happened and people having a bad record or background have entered and become netas. It is not surprising if they get into cheap mud slinging against each other,” Jha said.

It is not only about the JD(U) and the BJP only. At the RJD’s Parivartan Rally on May 15, party MP Prabhunath Singh had announced that he would get a pair of pliers and uproot the teeth of Nitish Kumar “growing inside his stomach”.

Rajak, who has been a part of the same ugly rallying, accepted that comments should not be personal.

“The ‘Narbhakshi’ statement was bad and I felt sorry for it later. But when you are being attacked time and again labelling that I am a ‘party-hopper and destructor’, I too will retort out of frustration. This happens because of the simple human nature of one’s good and bad traits. I also feel that personal attacks should not be carried out,” he said.

Even senior leaders like Nitish have been seen falling prey to the same phenomena sometimes. He had recently stated that he would bring the BJP to its aukat (size).

“One must always remember that all the politicians are the same and stand more or less in the same queue. When they see a threat coming, they will just unite. One example of the same is the RTI Act. The Centre is set to bring a bill to keep the act out of the purview of the political parties. Whenever they think that there is a common threat, they block the way and pave the way for more like them to enter the political arena. Development of a mechanism to filter them out is the on way,” sociologist Jha added.