There can be no place for crudity in public life. Given the socio-economic background of most politicians, it is, however, not uncommon for them to use earthy idioms and colourful phrases.
Shunning political correctness, politicians often use a more coarse language. But even after making due allowance for the rustic character of his audience, what the expelled BJP leader Dayashankar Singh said about BSP leader Mayawati was controversial.
He likened her to a prostitute, who sold party tickets to the highest bidder.
Speaking at a rally in Mau, he amplified the charge, saying that she sold an assembly ticket for ₹1 crore in the morning, took ₹2 crore for the same seat in the afternoon and should someone come along offering ₹3 crore in the evening she would gladly ditch the earlier two aspirants and would not even care to return their money.
To ensure that the message went home, he added the punchline that even prostitutes behave better. He claimed that was why a number of senior BSP leaders had left the party in disgust in recent weeks.
Mayawati picked on the offensive comparison and painted the BJP as anti-Dalit. You did not expect her to deny the charge about selling party tickets, did you? That part became irrelevant thanks to the use of the `P’ word.
An embarrassed BJP hurriedly expelled Singh. It did not want to hand over an emotive issue to Mayawati in the run-up to the Assembly poll in UP.
She claimed the reason why she did not marry was because she wanted to devote her life to the service of Dalits. But the truth is that she is wedded to Maya (money) and Maya alone. And that union is really going strong.
Why didn’t she feel offended about the charge of selling party tickets? Why didn’t the party raise hell over their leader being called corrupt? Because her monumental corruption is a public secret. That is why.
Playing the Dalit card, she has amassed a fortune probably like no other politician in the country. She immodestly claims her followers treat her like a goddess. Had Singh made the same point without descending to the low-grade comparison, she would not have been able to play the wounded tigress.
Which makes us wonder as to why it is okay to say that he is ferocious like a tiger but offensive to say he barks like a dog. These comparisons are situational and context-specific and in neither case does the person alluded to become a member of the animal kingdom. The venality of a prostitute is her strongest characteristic, supposed to be reflected in the case under review in the sale of party tickets to the highest bidders.
Meanwhile, Mayawati and her flock have unleashed a volley of unprintable abuse against Dayashankar’s wife and daughter. Why? Are only the non-Dalits condemned to stay within the bounds of civility and political correctness while the unquestioned goddess of Maya can freely mouth ugly invectives against an innocent women?
Clearly, vote-bank politics has made them selective about filth as well.
A very confused Sidhu
The problem with Navjot Singh Sidhu is that he is torn between two contrary roles. Being a high-profile TV performer earns him big bucks, which, of course, he desperately seeks. But there is also an urge to be a significant political player. And the greed for money often conflicts with his political ambitions.
Having been elected thrice on the BJP ticket to the Lok Sabha, Sidhu did not contest the last parliamentary poll. Given the bad vibes between him and the Badals, the Akalis prevailed on the BJP to field Arun Jaitley instead from Amritsar, the constituency Sidhu had won in 2009.
However, Sidhu was recently nominated to the Rajya Sabha. His resignation earlier in the week, therefore, cannot be linked to the denial of the Amritsar ticket two years ago. It could, however, have everything to do with his exclusion from the recent expansion of the Modi Government.
Now that he has quit the BJP, it is likely that he hoped to become AAP’s chief ministerial candidate in Punjab. But a section of the AAP is not overly enthusiastic about the prospect. Because Sidhu is not a team-player. Besides, AAP is a one-leader party. Supremo Arvind Kejriwal either marginalises anyone who is not a 'yes man' or simply ejects him out of the party.
Therefore, we cannot see Sidhu lasting long in AAP. That is, should he be granted entry in the first place.
Genuine public service entails a lot of sacrifice. Sidhu’s insistence on furthering his television career, with his political persona adding to the brand value, came in the way of his playing a bigger role in the political arena.
He cannot expect to play prima donna in politics without being ready to rough it out 24x7 in the service of the people. His resignation from the old and established BJP now finds him stranded. One road leads to an uncertain future with AAP. Another route leads to television studios, churning out low-brow stuff with Sidhu contributing alliterating fillers and cheap shayari accompanied by his trademark guffaws for the lowest common denominator.
Since money seems to matter more, there is not much of a choice really. He should stick to loud Sidhuisms on nightly comic TV. Period.
Class versus crass
Minister of State for Food Processing Harsimrat Kaur accused the Congress Rajya Sabha member Renuka Chaudhary of calling her kacchhra ( rubbish).
Chaudhary was annoyed that Kaur was insisting on raising the issue of AAP Lok Sabha member Bhagwant Mann breaching the security of the Parliament Complex by putting out a video about its entry and exit points.
Commenting on the public argument between Kaur and Choudhary, a senior politician in the Central Hall described it as a fight between class and crass, with the Congress member winning hands down in the latter department.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:53 PM