Badmouthing And Lack Of Ethics In Politics: Learning For Next Generations?

Posted on September 19, 2011 in Politics at Play

By Yeshu Aggarwal:

I hail from a family of businessmen. I have grown up watching my father and uncles talk and discuss various business skills. Despite them being completely involved in business, politics attracted them, especially my father. He, in fact, has a political record of his own. Many a times he told me this, “Beta, main Agra College ka pehla General Secretary tha jo Baniya tha.” (I was Agra College’s first Baniya General Secretary). And I used to wonder what was so exciting about it. Nonetheless, the point is, politics was in his blood. With this came the attraction towards political battles and debates. He always had a liking for them and naturally so do I. We have always liked the way the politicians from different parties have always seized moments to mock each other in every possible way. The way the politicians practiced this art of mocking is what first attracted me towards this field. Nonetheless, the mocking has often been assisted by badmouthing and slurs aimed at one another.

One incident that always comes to my mind is when the current President of BJP, Nitin Gadkari, addressed Lalu Prasad Yadav and Mulayam Singh Yadav as ‘loyal dogs’ of Sonia Gandhi. It sounded funny when I first heard it but it was a comment that actually described the ethics of Mr. Gadkari. The question that arises here is- where do we draw the line between mocking and badmouthing?

If you go by the ethics of a decent world, badmouthing is something that is considered to be ‘bad’. However, what would you say if someone has done something to deserve badmouthing? For instance, in the above example of Mr. Gadkari, what if the behaviour of Lalu Parasad Yadav and Mulayam Singh Yadav warranted what Gadkari openly said? One has the right to air his views in public. And even if they did not behave to deserve the jibe according to us, Mr. Gadkari definitely thought otherwise. There are many angles to it. In some cases it may be wrong and in some it may be fine. I, however, feel is that it is the guts to stand by what you say that make a difference. When Mr. Gadkari made this statement, he retraced it and tried explaining it from another angle. I feel this is where India’s politics is suffering the most- lack of honest leaders. Just imagine, we have leaders who are not self-powered enough to stand by their own words. Where would India head then? It is not only about whether bad mouthing is good or bad, it is about whether the leaders are empowered enough to stand by what they say.

If we look at it more deeply, the problem is even bigger. Just think about the effect it may have on the coming generations. Yes, we may say that the future generation will be more sensible than the present one but that does not mean we will just sit back and relax. We need to stand up today and back our statements. Stand responsible for what we say and what we do. And yes, even though badmouthing may seem fun when we listen to it but remember it shows more of your own character when a person like Mr. Gadkari compares his fellow mates from other political parties to canines.

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