Dignity of politics

Wednesday, 20 January 2021



Dignity of politics

Swapnil Bharali | April 06, 2019 11:10 hrs

What was the need for Queen Ojha to do what she did! To “falsify” something as stark as your educational qualification, whether deliberately or by oversight, amounts to lying through your nose to your voters. Somehow, the episode has brought on a sense of indignation within the Guwahatian society which otherwise, has always held the lady in the highest esteem as one of its foremost citizens. She has come clean all right, explained her way through and satisfied the election commission, but an unwanted chink in her armoury has needlessly been highlighted and it has made the genuine voters (and not her fanciers) wonder about the credibility of the lady as the prestigious constituency’s representative in parliament.

In the context of such faux pas during election time, candidates do make unintended mistakes/slips that become points of ridicule. In fact, such faux pas often lose the desirable levels of dignity and decorum from the people that we deem and term as our “leaders.” Pallav Lochan Das, the BJP’s Tezpur candidate for example, seemed to have crossed the lines of dignity while terming his political rival MGVK Bhanu first as chalani maas (imported less-than-fresh fish from Andhra Pradesh that is usually sold in the markets of Guwahati) and then as an old bull who is just not up to the fighting fitness levels required in the political arena. 

The Assamese are traditionally a soft-spoken and hospitable lot. Its adage “Apunar byoboharei apunar porichoy (loosely translated, your behaviour speaks about your character) holds profound meaning about human dignity and respect. It is in these election scenarios when Assam is thrown up as the cynosure of all national media that its beautiful and soft culture can be projected in its truest light and our leaders can actually lead from the front and make it count. But choosing to be crass with undesirable words or deeds only belittles the respect that we have for our leaders.

The campaigns have just started and words will fly from mic to mic and rally to rally. While we are all in concurrence that politics is a dirty game, the time to clean it up is never too late and it starts with our leaders some more dignity in their words and deeds. And in this situation, well-mannered Assam can be a beacon for the rest of the country to follow.

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