Politics in India is a play of brains and elegance, one that loses the latter as election days come closer. Opponents start hitting straight arrows, ditching the subtleties. Something similar happened in the speculation centered Telangana on September 6th. The president of Telangana Rasthra Samithi (TRS) and Chief Minister, Kalvakuntla Chandrashekhar Rao (KCR), in a press conference marked a clear shot at Rahul Gandhi, calling him the “biggest buffoon in the country”.
The Oxford dictionary defines buffoon as “A ridiculous but amusing person; a clown”. While it is no secret that he is more often than not linked to the “amusing” persona, the question is on our modern day politics. Is it right for a politician of KCR’s standing, or anybody for that matter, to jump into name-calling their opponent?
What made KCR make the “buffoon” remark
The state of Telangana has been the center of attention in the past few weeks as the rumors of an assembly dissolution filled the air. However, the afternoon of 6th September cleared the air, when the CM finally dissolved the assembly, having completed a little over 4 years in power. With the governor accepting the resolution, the state assembly elections that were scheduled for mid-2019, have now been preponed to the end of this year. Different analysts have different opinions on the move. While some believe that this is TRS’s attempt to prevent a Congress-Telugu Desam Party alliance, others have a different theory altogether. In case a full term had been completed, the assembly elections would have clashed with the 2019 elections, threatening the voter base of TRS, as the focus would have shifted to PM Modi and BJP.
Few hours post the announcement of dissolution, the Telangana CM sparked controversies when he made a sharp remark on the Congress president. “Everyone knows what Rahul Gandhi is… He’s the biggest buffoon in the country.” Only a few days ago, Gandhi had taken a jibe at Telangana, calling it the “capital of corruption”, hitting two birds with one stone as he called Modi and KCR similar in their “style”. The outburst of K Chandrashekhar Rao comes as an anticipated move, then. He even went one step ahead, talking about the plans of Rahul Gandhi to come to the state for election campaigning. “He is an asset for us. The more he comes to Telangana, the more seats we will win”.
Congress has already gone in counter-attack mode, with one Congress leader retorting “Only a buffoon can say this”. However, as the cycle of name-calling starts again for the umpteenth time, the common man is left to wonder: Are these the leaders of my nation?
Being ‘politically’ correct
There is no denying that, come election time, politics in India becomes more entertaining than our prime-time TV shows. On regular days, too, even those who have no concerns with the political state of the country, love to sit down and eagerly watch the showdown of politicians mudslinging relentlessly. And when it comes to dirty politics, our politicians never fail to exceed expectations.
Gone are the days when debates and arguments amidst politicians were done peacefully, and more importantly, respectfully. The modern-day politics runs on an endless competition to see who makes the wittiest remark, who manages to hit more nerves and the laughing bellies of our countrymen. What name-calling essentially does is, it gives politicians the ultimate weapon of not bothering enough to attack each other’s agendas or to strike down the faults in their policies. Rather, they manage to sweep the headlines simply by calling out names like “Pappu” or “Chai-wala”.
If this is what would ultimately become of the Indian political scene, it is not wrong to call it ‘a game of frogs and cockroaches’. In the latest incident of KCR calling Rahul Gandhi a clown essentially, with the “buffoon” remark, the question is not if Gandhi’s ideologies are really wrong. It is to establish whether this name-calling is the best way to attack your political opponents in today’s times? Yes, the Indian audience has a knack for the “spices and chili”, but the leaders must not stoop low for the sake of gaining a few empty laughs.
Surely, our Chief Ministers, Ministers, representatives of the nation have better skills up their sleeves. We are the world’s greatest democracy, after all. The title doesn’t come without certain standards and eyes of the entire world on us.