MP Abhijit Mukherjee's bizarre and insensitive words about women protesters who took the streets condeming the horrific rape in Delhi earlier this month is not something new. The political class in India, time and again, indulges in this shameful act of demeaning human dignity and leaders, irrespective of their stature, let loose their mad tongues. Mukherjee is just an addition to the list of hopelessness.
The media finds it attractive in attacking these motormouths for that helps it call shots from a moral high ground. The indisciplined tongues, on the other hand, are so poor in handling the media that they continue to be trapped by the smarter media and go on blabbering.
The poor quest to justify themselves by the politicians land them more in deep trouble. The way Mukherjee junior was trying to justify his stupid comments while speaking to a few news channels shows how inept the man is in handling the media. And that is a more or less common story with most of the Congress people.
Our politicians have fallen woefully behind the media
The oral diarrhoea of the Indian politicians signifies two things. First, they have fallen much behind the media. The media has become highly competitive unlike in the past but the politicians have not changed in their outlook. Ranging from the Prime Minister to any faceless MLA, most deal with the media in a very one-dimensional way.
The BJP fares better than many other parties in this regard, however. Its leaders like Narendra Modi, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and others handle the newsmen in a much polished manner and never resort to bad-mouthing and arrogance. Leaders from the Congress, CPI(M) or the Trinamool Congress, for instance, are often found committing major goof-ups in front of the microphone. Just when the country was seeing an uproar over Mukherjee's comment, a Left leader in West Bengal made a very obscene comment about the chief minister, Mamata Banerje.
Public representatives have a conservative mindset, which is a worry
When we speak about the outlook, the second significance of the Indian leaders' oral diarrhoea gets revealed. The Indian politicians are not only unpolished in their public conduct, they are also representatives of a conservative mindset nurtured by our society. Mukherjee's viewpoint about how a student should act speaks about his mental set-up and there is no point in pointing out him only. Just being a President's son doesn't change the ground reality. There are several others like him who also speak their dark minds out in a similar manner.
But the worry is that if the popular representatives continue to think in such way despite being part of a democratic state system, then there is little possibility that this so-called 'democratic and liberal state' formed on the borrowed ideals of the western values will be successful in affecting any change in the larger undemocratic society. We speak about the women's reservation bill but the irony is that, this country, despite being considered among one of the fastest-growing in the world, does little in reality to achieve that target.
Given the nature of our lawmaker's thought system, there is little doubt that these people will ever feel how much important the issue of women's empowerment is. But even if the reservation bill is bought, it will mean little on the ground if the mindset does not change. We watch with horror the insensitivity of our women leaders also when it comes to women's issues.
Mamata Banerjee calls a rape a cooked-up story while not many women leader in the country speaks out against the arrest of innocent girls for posting a Facebook comment. The language of power doesn't understand the sensitivity of women's dignity and that explains the action of the Mamata Banerjees.
Our political representatives are way too casual and that's because it is the proximity to power that they value the most. But the problem is: They are also supposed to act as catalyst of changes, institutionally and otherwise. But can they ever rise above the mental divide?