Nobody expects narendra modi, BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, either to speak truth or to speak sense. All of us have heard/read the cheap language he has been using for the last few years against his political opponents (remember the abuses he heaped upon Mrs Sonia Gandhi, the Congress President, or her son Rahul Gandhi?), against minorities (specially the Muslims who have been his target since the Gujarat pogrom days of 2002) and all those who fight for justice and struggle for harmony.
But as he goes on his campaign trail in this parliamentary elections, building castles in the air about occupying the prime minister’s chair, one expects modi to use a more gentle-manly language. No, he would not! Read the post below, which has been reposted from Teesta Setalvad’s posting, and you will abhor the cheap, crude language he has employed against our Prime Minister! If this is the type of language he uses against public offices -himself being visiting chief minister of Gujarat, he is also a public functionary-, what confidence can he instill in the public to vote for him? Can we respect such a man who just refuses to engage in a civilised discourse?
This man, who married Jashodaben at the age of 17 in 1968, but dumped his wife soon after, and then fought four elections by bluffing (leaving his ‘marital status’ column blank), and again publicly declared that he was the best man to lead the country since he was a bachelor, can’t be trusted. This man, who sent away his wife without giving her a legal divorce, but stalks women using state machinery, can’t be the prime minister of India. Can he be?
Now to Teesta Setalvad:
The National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled (NPRD) strongly condemns the views expressed by Shri Narendra Modi at Jamshedpur yesterday while campaigning for the BJP there.
It has been reported that the BJP’s Prime Ministerial aspirant, speaking at an election rally said that “the country does not want a deaf and dumb, handicapped government”. The observations by Mr. Modi reflect a hackneyed mindset that is biased against persons with disabilities. Implicit in Modi’s statement is that persons with disabilities are “handicapped” and unable to discharge any responsibility let alone hold public office.
It has now become a habit for Modi to make such remarks. On an earlier occasion, he had called the former Chhattisgarh CM, Shri Ajit Jogi, a wheelchair user, a “cripple”.
Patronising terms like “specially-abled”, contained in the BJP’s manifesto, cannot hide the parochial mindset of the BJP, which promotes a model of development that works to the disadvantage of the marginalised.
It may be recalled that two years ago the BJP-backed candidate for the President’s office, Shri P.A. Sangma also expressed such insensitivity by stating that “India should have a President, who is not blind, dumb and deaf. India should have a thinking and a functional President.”
We would like to remind the BJP leadership that there are any number of persons with disabilities, the blind and the deaf included, who have made sterling contributions in public life.
Whatever the provocation, even at the height of a bitter political campaign, usage of such terms to deride political opponents is unpardonable. Such insensitivity and callous remarks made with the intent of deriding your opponents cannot be condoned and go unchallenged.
The NPRD lodges its unequivocal protest against these insensitive remarks made by the BJP leader and calls for an unqualified apology from him. It urges upon the Election Commission of India to take suitable action against him for these uncalled for remarks, which are not just an insult but question the intelligence and capabilities of persons with disabilities.