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Power of speech

Power of speech

Careless remarks have been trending lately. BJP MP Anantkumar Hegde's questioning the freedom movement led by Mahatma Gandhi, describing it as an "adjustment" with the British, has been the latest in the category. Though Hegde denied making any reference to Mahatma Gandhi or any political party, pinning it as opposition ploy, video footage and widespread clamour over the same asserted otherwise. Prior to this, remarks by Pravesh Verma calling Arvind Kejriwal a 'terrorist' and Prakash Javadekar reiterating it by clarifying that there is a thin line between anarchists and terrorists or MoS Finance, Anurag Thakur citing provocative statements in a rally only appear to confirm the decaying fabric of public address. How do these statements fit democratically elected leaders? Pursuing instructive discussions — elaborating on science, governance, development, economy — is what should be the moot point of discussions but discrediting rivals has been a popular subject. With elections in sight, it goes beyond comprehension as to how these leaders have missed the development narrative and instead focussed on divisive speeches. While the Election Commission did book Anurag Thakur and Pravesh Verma, the damage from their respective statements was already done. The youth in this country accounts for a large portion of the overall population. Throughout their growth, the youth is increasingly subject to political exposure — elections, rallies, public debates, speeches. What our elected representatives speak has a bearing in the youth's sub-conscience. There is no accountability of careless remarks negatively influencing the youth — as might have been the case with the Jamia shooter who apparently is a staunch Hindutva supporter. It is important to note that divisive statements by elected leaders do not make a positive impression. Apart from bringing down their own reputation and attracting criticism, statements by these leaders may incite people to indulge in reprehensible acts that spread disharmony. Unscientific claims by BJP leaders have been damaging enough for a country edging towards modernisation. In a society replete with scientific evidence and keen on pursuing logical reasoning, these claims only point to a regressive trend. It is important to take note of the position these leaders hold and the influence their words can have. Those two realisations should be enough to urge them to propagate meaningful discussions and not controversial rhetorics. India needs its leaders to step up and guide the youth to the zenith, not feed them irrational doses that have no positive impact.

(image from theprint.in)

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