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To hate or not to hate: When politics turns ugly

Imran Masood, Nahid Hassan and Heeralal Regar may be from different political parties but they all have one thing in common. They've all come under the scanner, recently, for their rather unbashful language.

india Updated: Apr 03, 2014 19:18 IST
Vishakha Saxena

Everything is fair in love and war, they say. But where exactly does one draw the line for 'fair'? Apparently, when it comes to politics, very far ahead.

Imran Masood, Nahid Hassan and Heeralal Regar may be from different parties, but they all have one thing in common — they’ve all come under the scanner for their rather unbashful language.

With the elections less than a week away, each party is increasingly trying to outdo the other, campaigning feverishly. And they're also being watched, more closely than ever.

So, the recent surge in the use of foul language and brazen comments by several leaders, including bigwigs, has raised one obvious question: Has the political discourse in India hit an all-time low?

Before you answer that question, take a look at 10 recent controversial speeches:

1. "Modi must be deranged as he talks rubbish"

Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar is definitely not known to be coy with words. At a rally at Ghanswangi, while campaigning for NCP candidate Vijay Bhamble, Pawar took this jab at Narendra Modi, saying that the BJP PM candidate "needed to be treated in a mental hospital". Read More

2. "Sonia and Rahul Gandhi should be stripped off their clothes and sent back to Italy"

These were the words of Heeralal Regar, a BJP MLA, while he was addressing a rally in Tonk, Rajasthan. Later, however, in a telephonic interview to CNN-IBN, he apologised for his comment and added he had been misquoted. Read more

Take a look at the video:

3. "Mayawati sat in Modi’s lap and after elections she will do so again. Both are unmarried"

Nahid Hasan, the SP candidate from Kairana, was booked on Sunday for these alleged remarks against the BJP prime ministerial candidate and the BSP chief Mayawati. His comments reportedly came during a speech during an election meeting at Shamli. Read more

Take a look at the video:

4. "Chop Narendra Modi into pieces"

An FIR was registered against Imran Masood, the Saharanpur Congress candidate, for this controversial remark, which he reportedly made in September last year. "If Modi tries to make Uttar Pradesh into Gujarat, then we will chop him into tiny pieces... I am not scared of getting killed or attacking someone. I will fight against Modi. He thinks UP is Gujarat. Only 4% Muslims are there in Gujarat while there are 42% Muslims in UP," he had reportedly said. However, he later apologised for his remarks. Read more

Take a look at the video:

5. "Videshi looteri bahu"

This is the term Yoga Guru Ramdev used for Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Saturday while addressing media persons. "She is a foreigner bahu who has looted her entire Sasuraal," he said. "We have to send her and her son Rahul baba back," he added. He further said that the Congress would barely win 50-60 Lok Sabha seats.

Here's the video:

6. "Maut ka saudagar"

It started in 2007 when Sonia Gandhi referred to Narendra Modi as "maut ka saudagar" (merchant of death), raking up the 2002 Gujarat riots. Congress spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohil resurrected the barb recently, saying, "If you don't call him maut ka saudagar, how else can you describe him?" Before Gohil’s remark, the Congress had steered clear of mounting such a line of attack on Modi, apparently to avoid communal polarisation.

Read more: Sonia Gandhi hits BJP, Modi with 'zeher ki kheti' barb

7. "AK-47, AK Antony and AK-49"

Modi, while addressing a poll rally in Jammu’s Hiranagar, made his first direct attack on AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal with this comment that earned him a lot of criticism. Kejriwal had only a day earlier made formal his decision to take on Modi from Varanasi. Kejriwal hit back with a series of tweets, saying the language used by Modi was unbecoming of a PM candidate. “Modi ji muddon ki baat kyon nahi karte? Muddon ki rajniti kyon nahi karte? (Why doesn’t Modi do politics of issues?)”. Read more

8. "Impotent Modi"

Eternal affairs minister Salman Khurshid came under fire for his remarks against Modi. He made the comment in reference to the 2002 Gujarat riots. Later, after being cornered by media and later Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, Khurshid said, "What should I say if not impotent? Impotent means he failed to do what he was supposed to do. Modi was incompetent to stop the violence. He didn't have the capability to stop what happened." Read more

9. "Stuck between a moron and a murderer"

Kejriwal and singer-composer Vishal Dadlani came together on Twitter to make some music, which wasn't sweet for everyone. After the telecast of Rahul Gandhi's interview on a news channel, tweeple got busy tearing his statements apart and Dadlani wasn't far behind. "Stuck between a moron and a murderer... what now, India!?" he tweeted. But, it was after the AAP chief retweeted his tweet, that controversy exploded. Read more

10. "I want to spit at the faces of Jaitley and Salve"

While reacting to BJP leader Arun Jaitley and senior lawyer Harish Salve's criticism of the Kejriwal government in Delhi, controversial AAP leader Somnath Bharti went on to court another controversy when he said this despite being advised by colleagues to stay quiet. The statement earned him the wrath of not only the opposition but also his own party members. Read more