Flashback 2017: 10 most controversial remarks of the year
People in the media glare should be extremely careful about what they speak and must ensure that they do not say something that causes major embarrassment. An insensitive remark or a casual thoughtless statement can tarnish not only their own reputation but also of the party or group they represent.
We have compiled a list remarks that stirred major controversies in 2017. Here is our list:
Sakshi Maharaj’s ‘4 wives, 40 children remark’
While talking to the media in Meerut, controversial BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj in January said that population rise was due to a certain community and it allowing four wives and 40 children.
"Population rise is not due to Hindus. It is the result of certain communities that allow 4 wives and 40 children," he had said.
The Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections were round the corner back then when Maharaj made this remark. His statement was seen as a clear violation of Supreme Court order on keeping religion off the table during campaigning for polls.
Rahul compares Congress symbol with Guru Nanak’s hand
Congress president elect Rahul Gandhi drew flak of Shiromani Akali Dal in January this year for saying that he saw the Congress party symbol ‘hand' in the hand of Guru Nanak.
Rahul, who was then the Congress vice president, had said, "The Congress symbol is in Lord Shiva's picture. The gods in every religion are showing the Congress symbol... When I see the image of Guru Nanak Dev ji, I see the Congress symbol, ‘hand', in his hand."
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) had described the analogy as "shocking in the extreme".
Sharad Yadav’s ‘Beti ki izzat’ comment
Former Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav had in January this year made yet another sexist remark while addressing a gathering of party workers in Bihar. While addressing, Yadav said that the honour of vote comes above the honour of daughter.
"Beti ki izzat se bhi vote ki izzat badi hai. Beti ki izzat jayegi to gaon aur muhalle ki izzat jayegi. Vote ek baar bik gaya, to desh ki izzat, aur aane wala sapna poora nhi ho skta? (If daughter's honour is compromised than it will bring shame to a village or a community but if votes are sold, it impacts our nation)," Yadav had said in his speech.
Vinay Katiyar’s ‘prettier than Priyanka Gandhi’ remark
JP MP Vinay Katiyar's earlier this year joined the sexist Netas' league and said that there are prettier star campaigners than Priyanka Gandhi. He said this ahead of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly election held earlier this year
"Unse jyada bohut si sundar mahilayen hai jo star campaigner hain (there are prettier star campaigners than Priyanka)," Katiyar said.
Dayashankar Singh likens Mayawati to prostitute
In July this year, the BJP sacked its then Uttar Pradesh vice-president Dayashankar Singh from all party posts after he made derogatory remarks against BSP chief Mayawati.
Singh, while accusing Mayawati of selling party election tickets, questioned her character, saying her behaviour was worse than that of a prostitute and it was the reason why followers of Kanshi Ram were deserting her.
"Ek vaishya se bhi badtar charitra ki aaj Mayawatiji ho gayi hain. Isi liye Kanshi Ram ke banaye karyakarta unka saath chhod kar ja rahe hain aur BSP samapt ho rai hai... Mayawatiji kisi ko 1 crore mein ticket deti hain. Koi 2 crore dene wala milta hai toh usey ticket de deti hain, aur shaam ko koi 3 crore dene ko taiyyar hota hai toh usey de deti hain (Mayawati gives a ticket for 1 crore which she changes if she is offered 2 crore. And she changes even that ticket if she is offered 3 crore by evening)," Singh had said.
Army chief ‘sadak ka goonda’: Sandeep Dikshit
Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit had in June this year said Army Chief Bipin Rawat should not be making statements like a 'Sadak ka goonda' (Roadside goon).
"Pakistan can do only such things, they can only do uncalled for things and give statements. It feels bad when our Army Chief also give statements like a 'sadak a goonda'. Let Pakistan do it, they are like mafia. Why should our Army chief do it? We have a culture, a reputation in the world, so even if we do such things then it is cheap," he had said.
Religion before country, says Maviya Ali
In a controversial remark ahead of the Independence Day, Samajwadi Party leader Maviya Ali said that religious identity comes before national identity.
His remark cames at a time when the Uttar Pradesh government had instructed the madrassas to hoist the national flag, sing the national anthem and pay tributes to freedom fighters on the occasion of Independence Day.
"Pehle musalman hain phir Hindustani, duniya mein kahin bhi musalman ho pehle musalman hai phir kisi desh ka naagrik (We are first Muslims then Indians. Everywhere in the world, a Muslim is first a Muslim and then the citizen of the nation)," Ali had said.
(Image courtesy - ANI/Twitter)
Sangeet Som says Taj Mahal was built by traitors
BJP MLA from Uttar Pradesh Sangeet Som had in October said that the iconic Taj Mahal was built by 'traitors' and cannot be included in the Indian history. The MLA from Sardhana also reportedly said that the Taj Mahal was a blot on India culture.
Raze monuments reeking of pre-independence rulers: Azam Khan
As if BJP MLA Sangeet Som's remark on the Taj Mahal was not enough to stir a controversy, Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan went one step ahead.
Reacting to Som's comment that Taj Mahal is a blot on history, Khan said that all buildings constructed by pre-independence rulers should be demolished, including Parliament and the Rashtrapati Bhawan.
"Mai pehle se iss rai ka hoon ki ghulami ki un tamaam nishaniyon ko mita dena chahiye jisse kal ke shasakon ki boo aati ho...Akele Taj Mahal hi kyun? Parl, Rashtrapati Bhawan, Qutb Minar, Lal Qila kyun nahi? Ye sab ghulaami ki nishani hai (I have been saying that all the traces of slavery that reek of past rulers should be erased... Why only Taj Mahal? Parliament, Rashtrapati Bhawan, Qutub Minar, Red Fort are all symbols of slavery)," Khan told news agency ANI.
Taking a sarcastic jibe at Som's remark that Taj Mahal was built by traitors, Khan said that anything associated with the traitors should be demolished.
Mani Shankar Aiyar’s 'Neech' remark
Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar describing Prime Minister Narendra Modi as "Neech kism ka aadmi" (a lowly person) has to be the remark which made the most impact, at least politically. It may have even swung some votes in Gujarat elections in BJP's favour. BJP, in the last phases of its campaigns, raked up the issue repeatedly, one of the BJP spokesperson even cried during a debate on this matter on TV.
Modi gave a "befitting" reply to Aiyar's "neech" remark by dubbing such nasty comments against him as the Congress' "Mughlai mentality".
Such was the impact of Aiyar's remark that the Congress was forced to suspend him form the primary membership of the party.
"One person who worked tirelessly towards achieving what Ambedkar ji wanted was Jawaharlal Nehru. To say foul things about that family, i feel this man is neech (lowly), he has no civic sense. What is the need for such dirty politics at this time," Aiyar had said attacking Modi after the latter accused the Congress of seeking votes in B R Ambedkar's name but trying to erase his contribution to building India.