What’s common between Tapas Pal, Giriraj Singh, Imran Masood, Amit Shah? They all are men who have made provocative statements in the past; sometimes stooping down to levels we didn’t expect them to. The good part, however, is that today a public figure can’t go back on his words, thanks to technology that keeps under scanner 24X7.
Let’s dig deep into what some of these leaders had to say in public.
BJP’s rising star Shah went to the communally sensitive region of west UP and said the elections were about ‘badla’ (revenge). In an adjacent area, Congress’ candidate, Masood, threatened to “chop Narendra Modi into tiny pieces”. Singh, a BJP leader in Bihar, said all those who opposed Modi ought to go to Pakistan.
The surprise was not that some of these leaders said what they did, for Indian political discourse is often marked by shocking levels of coarseness and aggression. What must have come as a surprise to these leaders was that they were all caught on camera. The proliferation of the media and its deep penetration; the growing awareness among citizens; the spread of technology, especially camera in mobile phones and recorder means a public figure is perennially under the scanner.
All it takes for one person is to have documented or recorded what was said, and the news – through a channel or social media or through a newspaper article — can spread like wildfire. This is the lesson Pal did not learn, revealing the chauvinism and crudity an elected representative is capable of.
Watch: TMC MP Tapas Pal threatening to get CPI-M workers raped, killed