EC disciplines loose talkers

In a desperate bid to score political points and ‘impress’ the electorate to cast their votes for them and their candidates, some of the political leaders do not hesitate in resorting to uttering words or speaking a language which violated the accepted limits of decency, dignity and civility. It is not the question of what ‘compelled’ them cross the limits of norms of appropriateness and respectable behaviour but what message it carried among the masses even at the cost of risking emotions and sentiments. We often witness as to how defiling and insulting remarks routinely are passed against the top politicians of the country, which find no parallel all these 72 years of the country’s independence and which depict the plummeted levels of the craft of criticising and opposing one another due to heterogeneity of political leanings or thought. Some of those abusive and disparaging innuendoes are simply unworthy of even making a casual mention of in these lines but it cannot be disputed that such a state of affairs of polity and politicking really is reminiscent of how restraint, control over the tongue, choosing of words, tone and tenor are thrown to winds.
Recently, we saw a senior leader of Samajwadi Party Azam Khan crossing limits of propriety, made atrocious comments against BJP candidate Jaya Prada which shocked many countrymen. It is again a travesty that some leading women political leaders who are otherwise ever-ready to condemn such uncalled for uttering, chose to remain mum due to petty political considerations and for not disturbing the arithmetic of vote banks though majority of the women across the country irrespective of political affiliations voiced concern over such remarks. However, he was slapped with a poll ban for 72 hours by the Election Commission. Besides this, an FIR has been lodged against him as also the Women Commission serving a notice on him.
Election Commission has also banned Union Minister Maneka Gandhi for 48 hours for her controversial communal remarks. Similarly ‘action’ has been taken against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for his objectionable remarks. The Election Commission has decided to bar him from holding public meetings, taking out or participating in processions, rallies, road shows and interviews. BSP leader Mayawati has been barred for 48 hours for her communal statement asking members of the Muslim community to vote for the SP-BSP coalition. Such statements were likely to polarise the elections – is what the EC has feared. In this manner, the Election Commission has tried to discipline political leaders in their sprees of campaigns and speeches for motivating voters to choose them which should well be within the limits of the accepted civilized and courteous behaviour. The order of the EC to bar these leaders followed a few hours of the Supreme Court taking note of the communal remarks made by them during their campaigning for Lok Sabha polls.
The question is whether a clear message goes to those politicians who resort to such tactics even risking the fallout of such rhetoric into a polarisation and mistrust between communities. Barring offending ones from campaigning for a few hours irrespective of the nature of the seriousness of the offence, serves only a symbolic treatment of a malaise that has crept into the system as a result of employing or giving vent to fissiparous and overambitious trends to grab power, which in a country as vast as India and having two belligerent neighbours severally and jointly working against us, should never be brooked at any cost.