Minister Niranjan Jyoti in the Modi government has yet to learn the nuances of political discourse in Delhi. Unlike over-educated vocal English speaking politicians, she was straight like a small town migrant to the cosmopolitan world of Delhi and its language of the ruling class. In fact, she was oblivious of the language of the “ruining class”, which can distort language to cause endless arguments. She was wrong not only for the use of the word she used but the very thought. But nobody cares for the thought; they are running only the word like the content starved TV channels overplaying insignificant news, rather non-news which they attempt their best to make into news. Worse than the minister, others have freely used criminally uncivil language in public fora even as they enjoyed the rank of the minister or the chief minister. The quality of politicians is so low that if one starts taking offence at their venomous speech all the time, there will be left nothing else to do. Having said that, it needs no emphasis that one wins respect if the language used is civil and thoughts good. One acquires such traits through good education at home and school. Though restraint is significant in all walks of life, it is the very lifeline of decent public discourse and comes through practice of vaaniyog all the time. The case of minister Niranjan Jyoti needs a few comments also in wider perspective of the political scenario in the country since the Congress Party and other opposition parties have united to stall the parliamentary proceedings on this insignificant issue.
The old horses in the opposition now have forged a new coalition and are trying desperately to cobble up a new party on the lines of the Janata Party formed in 1977 by Jai Prakash Narayan after the Emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi. It was a period when the country was rudely woken up from its slumber. The poor citizens had placed all their faith in Indira Gandhi and The Congress Party. The imposition of the Emergency ended it all. The Congress has not been able to get back that kind of trust of the nation thereafter. Jai Prakash Narayan or JP as he was fondly called had the same moral authority as Anna Hazare enjoyed in 2011 during his anti-corruption crusade. It led to one of the cleanest Indian politicians, Morarji Desai, becoming the Prime Minister, after Indira Gandhi and Congress were decisively defeated in 1977. But the disparate elements now trying to forge unity and revive that formation of the Janata Party are discarded politicians, many of whom have corruption or other cases pending against them and a few have also been convicted. They are at the bottom of the national corruption index in public estimation. Moreover, today’s India is thousands of miles away from the sleeping giant that it was in 1977. The young Indians are already respected members of the global knowledge society. The hotch potch trying to take shape comprises those bygone times. What it means for the Indian polity?
Such developments are always beneficial for evolution of healthy democratic conventions. One, Modi has united these rejects fighting each other to become the Prime Minister. Imagine Devegowda becoming PM once again! or Lalu or Mulayam or Nitish or Sharad Yadav occupying that position? Won’t Mamata lay her claim? Will the Left not ask for its pound of flesh? Go on sharpening your knives old men. Two, Modi gets doubly insulated from corrosive party bosses and their activities. Three, the followers get the right lessons in correct public behaviour on the most urgent basis and without much investment on training party workers. Modi is no Pandit Vishnugupt to make the four princes wise by giving them daily discourse in the form of Hitopdesh. Unless these workers change fast they will destroy Modi easier than the united bunch of the burning ambitions called by the media “the janata parivar”. The Janata concept these moth men had eaten long ago when they removed Morarji Desai only to make Charan Singh or others prime minister in his place against the voters’ verdict. This time too, these elements are challenging the voters’ verdict in favour of Modi, but the BJP elements are making their job easier. The shame is that they have made their PM already cut a sorry figure in the parliament. These BJP men refuse to learn, improve or change; many of them are simply jealous of Modi’s popularity at home and abroad. Jealousy and hate but not love & appreciation are special traits of many Indians and if the BJP has its fair share of them, there is nothing unusual about it.
It is useless to apologise to those who are culturally challenged not to understand apology. The problem with Delhi is that nobody apologizes for any wrong including physical violence or death. Venom spewing vulgar tongues have scored highest appreciation of their leadership in the past, especially during the India Against Corruption agitation of Anna Hazare and the last general election, when even those boasting of Harvard education stooped much lower than the word used by minister Jyoti. They are not ashamed of their uncouth behaviour, they never apologized, never resigned. It is the same shouting and spanking brigades demanding removal of the minister, who never had the benefit of even good quality school education. When it comes to their party or leadership (High Command as they term it or Polit Bureau as others make it) they exercise a Divine Right to vituperation, vulgarity, foul-mouthing.People are so uncivil that they encourage their children to skate unmindful of the nuisance caused to those living in the flat below or dance till late in the night or quarrel in the night throwing furniture at each other; and dumping garbage on the road is common. In this scenario one must quickly learn to tackle them in accordance with the old maxim “it is easier to conquer than convince the fools”. So demand a written apology followed with resignation from the parliament from the person who displayed criminal incivility to call an incumbent Chief Minister as Maut ka Saudagar. For the bamboo cuss another must tender apology to the addressee and resign the office currently held. This drama should not be allowed to prolong, but observe language niceties. As a sense of humour can save one from a difficult situation, so does vaaniyog save her from courting trouble.