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Year of foot in mouth epidemic and politicians' ridiculous quotes

Politicians and government officials in India seem to have been severely affected by the foot in mouth epidemic. Have a look at our politicians and their ridiculous quotes in 2013.

india Updated: Dec 27, 2013 13:13 IST
narendra modi,puppy,rajnath singh

Politicians and government officials in India seem to have been severely affected by the foot in mouth epidemic. They often are on an offending spree, marking newer lows in a country tat boasts of an electoral democracy. Here is a look at our politicians and their ridiculous quotes in 2013:

Narendra Modi's puppy analogy
Narendra Modi triggered an uproar over a remark he made in an interview about the communal riots in Gujarat in 2002.

When asked whether he regretted the violence, Modi compared his feelings to the occupant of a car involved in an accident.

If "someone else is driving a car and we're sitting behind, even then if a puppy comes under the wheel, will it be painful or not? Of course it is. If I'm a chief minister or not, I'm a human being. If something bad happens anywhere, it is natural to be sad."

Modi's office later said there had been a "gross distortion" of the chief minister's remark.

Digvijaya Singh's sexist remarks
Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh is known for his foot-in-mouth moments which have often landed him and his party in trouble.

At times he has had to clarify himself or retract the statements.

Read: Top 10 controversial statements by Digvijaya Singh

Singh's sexist remarks against his party colleague and Rahul Gandhi's close aide Meenakshi Natarajan at a rally in Madhya Pradesh was one such gaffe.

He called her "a 100% tunch maal" which is widely used in the Hindi heartland to commodify women as sexy items.

Singh had notched it up further by adding that he knew this because he was an experienced jeweller (main purana johari hoon).

Natarajan on her part said she wasn't offended.

"His statement has to be looked at in complete perspective. He has appreciated my work."

CBI chief's rape analogy
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director Ranjit Sinha's bizarre rape analogy had provoked outrage among politicans and women's groups who accused him of trivialising the crime.

"What is the harm if we legalise betting, above all do we have enforcement agencies? It is very easy to say... It's like if you can't prevent rape you enjoy it, so its better to have it legalised and earn some revenue," Sinha had said.

A file photo new Central Bureau of Investigation director Ranjit Sinha speaks with the media at CBI headquarters in New Delhi. (AFP photo)

Sinha apologised for the remark, but it was roundly criticised.

Congress meal remarks
Congress leader Raj Babbar's meal remark showed exactly how out of touch he is with reality.

"One can have a full meal for Rs 12 in Mumbai. No, no, not just vada paav. Quite a lot of rice, daal sambhar and some vegetables also thrown in," he said.

But another Congress leader, Rasheed Masood, took it a step ahead.

"You can eat a meal in Delhi for Rs 5, I don't know about Mumbai. You can get a meal for Rs 5 near Jama Masjid (in Delhi)," .

Babbar later expressed his regret.

'Poverty is a state of mind'
Speaking at a function in Allahabad, Rahul Gandhi created a controvery when he dismissed poverty as just a state of mind.

"Poverty is just a state of mind. It does not mean the scarcity of food, money or material things. If one possesses self-confidence, then one can overcome poverty," Gandhi was quoted as saying at a function organised by the Dalit Resource Centre at the Gobind Ballabh Pant Social Science Institute in Allahabad.

The centre issued a clarification saying that Gandhi's statement was "misrepresented".

Video: Rahul Gandhi gives poverty a new definition

Khap leader on chowmien

Jitender Chhatar, a khap panchayat leader, raised many-a-eyebrows with his inflammatory explanation of what caused a spike in rapes in Haryana.

"To my understanding, consumption of fast food contributes to such incidents. Chowmein leads to hormonal imbalance evoking an urge to indulge in such acts," he said.

No mobiles to girls
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) Rajya Sabha MP Rajpal Singh Saini advised parents not to give mobile phones to their daughters in a khap panchayat like diktat.

"Don't give mobile phones to children, especially girls. I say this at all the places where I make my speeches. And if any of these kids have a mobile, take them away. What are they missing anyway? What are the girls missing without mobile?" he had said at a public meeting in Muzaffarnagar in UP.

"Our mothers, sisters, did they die when there were no mobiles in their time."

While the statement invited the wrath of women's organisations and Samajwadi Party, Saini issued a statement saying he was quoted out of context.

People join the army, police only to die
In an insult to Indian Army soldiers, Bihar's panchayati raj and rural works minister had said that people joined the army and the police force just to die.

"Sena aur police me log marne hi jate hain," said Bhim Singh.

And he had more to add.

"Did your father, mother go (for arrival of bodies of martyrs)," Bhim Singh told a reporter when asked why wasn't he present at the airport to receive the bodies of the soldiers killed in Kashmir.

His party, the Janata Dal (United), issued showcause notice to Singh and he apologised later.

Video: Sena mein log marne hi jate hain

Ajit Pawar remarks's on drought-affected farmers
Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar stirred a hornet's nest with his comments ridiculing the acute water scarcity in the state.

While referring to a hunger strike undertaken by a drought-affected farmer at Mumbai's Azad Maidan, Pawar said: "He is on fast for the last 55 days. If there is no water in the dam, how can we release it? Should we urinate into it? If there is no water to drink, even urination is not possible."

Pawar later went on a day-long fast to repent.

Rajnath Singh on English
BJP president Rajnath Singh's remarks on English language makes us wonder whether he is aware of that it is the 21st century.

"The English language has caused a great loss to the country. We are losing our language, our culture as there are hardly any people who speak Sanskrit now," Singh had said.

Congress leader Manish Tewari reacted on Twitter saying that the BJP leader's statement was a "paradox".

"Paradox -- BJP outsources vision document to anglesiced policywonks while ranting English caused great loss to India," wrote Tewari.

First Published: Dec 27, 2013 09:54 IST