Dead mouse, side actor, villain, etc

Last Updated 20 October 2019, 14:02 IST

Indian politicians are good at mocking and insulting their opponents. And as you know, they often go overboard, forgetting good sense and propriety.

Metrolife puts together some recent taunts in the wake of Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar calling Sonia Gandhi a dead mouse.

‘They dug up a mountain...’

Commenting on the leadership vacuum in the Congress after Rahul Gandhi’s resignation as party president, Khattar said, “They started searching for a new chief. After three months, they made Sonia Gandhi the president. It was like digging up a mountain to find a mouse, that too a dead one.”

Mouni Baba and barmaid

Amit Shah has repeatedly referred to former prime minister Manmohan Singh as “Mauni Baba”, mocking his reticent nature. BJP’s Subramanian Swamy and Paresh Rawal have referred to Sonia Gandhi as a “barmaid” and a “waitress”.

‘In whose account…’

At an election rally in December last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was particularly insensitive when he mocked Sonia Gandhi as “a widow”.

Attacking UPA for corruption, he said, “Congress ki wo kaun si vidhwa thi jiske khate main ye saara paisa jata tha (I want to ask who was that widow in Congress in whose account all this ill-gotten money was deposited).”

Senior BJP leader Vinay Katiyar courted controversy saying there were “more beautiful women star campaigners than Priyanka Gandhi” in his party.

Aimed at Sunanda

In 2012, Narendra Modi faced severe criticism for referring to Sunanda Pushkar as a ‘Rs 50-crore girlfriend” in an attempt to attack Shashi Tharoor.

The Congress also delivers below-the-belt punches.

Dollar and age

Senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar, St Stephen’s College alumnus and an elite diplomat, repeatedly tried to humiliate Narendra Modi during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections as a “chaiwala”.

In 2018, Congress leader Raj Babbar had called him ‘manhoos’ (ominous) over rising fuel prices. He had also said that with the value of Indian currency falling against the dollar, it seems to be approaching the age of the prime minister’s nonagenarian mother, who is 97. “He (Modi) used to say that the rupee has fallen so much against the dollar that it was nearing the age of the then prime minister (Manmohan Singh). Today, the rupee’s value has dropped so low, that it is inching closer to your (Modi’s) beloved mother’s age,” Babbar said at a rally in Indore.

Jibe at singledom

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar slammed Modi when he talked about infighting in the NCP and mocked him for not having a family.

In a rally in April this year, Pawar said, “There is no one in his family. How would he know how a family functions and how one takes care of son and wife? This is also the reason why
he keeps peeping into others’ homes.”

Congress leader C P Joshi went on a casteist rant when he said that Modi, as a low-caste person, has no right to talk about Hinduism because he is not a Brahmin. The party disapproved of his comments and asked him to issue an apology.

The regional parties too had their share of blabbermouths.

Samajwadi Party’s Azam Khan is a serial offender in this regard. During the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the Election Commission handed him a campaign ban for 72 hours after he made the infamous “khaki underwear” remark against BJP candidate Jaya Prada. Even earlier, he had called her a “naachne-gaane wali” (a dancing and singing girl).

At a public rally in Rajasthan in 2018, Sharad Yadav, while campaigning for Loktantrik Janata Dal, body-shamed then Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje. He said, “Vasundhra
Raje bahut moti ho gayi hain. BJP ko unse itna kaam nahi karana chahiye (Vasundhara Raje has become very fat these days. The BJP should not burden her with so much work)”.

‘You utter fool’

Here in Karnataka, Rural Development Minister K S Eshwarappa called former chief minister Siddaramaiah an “utter fool” and the latter retorted with
“Eshwarappa has lost the link between his brain and tongue”.

Stage characters

H D Kumaraswamy has been repeatedly mocked by the opposition and even his own coalition partners for his tendency to lapse into histrionics.

He found some company when BJP’s Karnataka President, Nalin Kumar Kateel, called Siddaramiah a ‘villain’ and Kumaraswamy ‘a side actor’.

Political differences should not lead to a complete absence of personal courtesy. Our motormouth leaders would do well to remember that.

(Published 20 October 2019, 13:21 IST)

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