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VOTE: The 'BARB'ARIANS of Indian politics

Last updated on: February 27, 2014 14:03 IST

VOTE: The 'BARB'ARIANS of Indian politics

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The Rediff Newsdesk

Khooni panja’, ‘zeher ki kheti’, ‘impotent’. Political insults have become the order of the day this poll season. While all of them deserve an unequivocal boo, Rediff.com asks readers to pick one that they think stung the most.   

As the dog days of May near, the election season is hotting up. It’s all about dirty politics and the war of words, which gets nastier with each passing day. 

Politics has gotten personal and beyond. Netas grab every opportunity that comes their way, taking potshots at each other over the past, caste, masculinity, machismo and more. There’s no room for regrets here; an apology is out of the question.    

Rediff.com takes a look at some recent barbs that have hit the headlines and asks our readers to vote for the one comment they think is the most spiteful.

Click NEXT for some recent jibes by our netas...


Image: (Clockwise) Mani Shankar Aiyar, Lalu Prasad Yadav, Narendra Modi, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Rahul Gandhi, Salman Khurshid, Sonia Gandhi, (centre) Beni Prasad Verma


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'Our allegation is that you are impotent'

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The most recent to join the ‘mockery club’ is External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid.

Taking a swipe at the Bharatiya Janata Party’s PM candidate Narendra Modi, Khurshid called him "impotent".

In Khurshid’s words: 'You claim to be such a strong and powerful man and wish to be the PM, but you could not protect the people of Godhra...  Are you not a strong man?...Our allegation is not that you get people killed, but that you are napunsak (impotent).'    

Though he did not name Modi while addressing a gathering in his Lok Sabha constituency Farukkhabad on Tuesday, there are no prizes for guessing whom the remarks were targeted at.   

The BJP promptly demanded an apology, but sorry is not a word to be found in any politician’s, leave alone Khurshid's, dictionary.

Sticking to his remark, Khurshid followed it up on Wednesday with, “I am not his (Modi’s) doctor. I cannot physically examine him. So I have no business to be saying what his physical condition is. The word 'impotent' is used in the political vocabulary to show that somebody is incapable of doing something."

Click NEXT to read further…

 


Image: External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid
Photographs: Zoubeir Souiss/Reuters

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'If Modi wants to distribute tea, we will find a place for him'

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If there’s a buzzword this poll season, it definitely is ‘chaiwala’.

It was all started by Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agarwal last November with his distasteful remark targeting Modi’s distant past.

"Narendra Modi wants to become the PM. But someone rising from a tea shop can never have a national perspective,” he had said.

The slur was branded by Modi himself as ‘anti-poor’. It stoked quite a controversy, but that was a cue Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar clearly seemed to have missed.

At an All India Congress Committee meet in January, Aiyar said, “I promise you in 21st century Narendra Modi will never become the prime minister of the country. ...But if he wants to distribute tea here, we will find a place for him.”
 
These disdainful comments have only backfired on Modi’s rivals. The BJP used it in its favour and kickstarted the innovative ‘Chai pe Charcha’ initiative to connect with the voters.

Click NEXT to read further…

 


Image: A man holds a paper cup carrying a portrait of Modi during a 'chai pe charcha' initiative in Delhi recently
Photographs: Anindito Mukherjee/Reuters

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'Woh chai kahan se bechega, woh toh khoon bechta hoga'

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Soon began the slug fight over the ‘chaiwala’ tag. Taking it forward was Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Lalu Prasad Yadav.

He claimed, “I am a real chaiwala. I sold tea with my elder brothers from a shop near the police quarters in the veterinary college area in my childhood days.”

Woh chai kahan se bechega, woh toh khoon bechta hoga ya danga bechta hoga (How can he sell tea, he must have been selling blood or riots),” Lalu remarked caustically hitting out at Modi.

Click NEXT to read further…


Image: RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav claims he is the 'real chaiwala'


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'Where is the comparison between Raja Bhoj and Gangu Teli?'

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The battle for 2014 got a casteist hue when Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad called Modi ‘Gangu Teli’, referring to the community to which the BJP leader belongs.

Quoting a Hindi adage to reject any comparison between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Modi, Azad had wondered, "How can any CM give a challenge to the PM? Where is the comparison between Raja Bhoj and Gangu Teli…"

The comments left the BJP fuming. "Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad has made a casteist aspersion and used casteist remarks against Modi. Calling somebody a Gangu Teli is an insult not only to the OBCs, but practically to the whole country,” party spokesperson Prakash Javdekar said.

Click NEXT to read further…  

 


Image: Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad
Photographs: Fayaz Kabli/Reuters

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BJP indulges in 'zeher ki kheti'

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The anxiety surrounding the elections seems to be getting the better of even seasoned politicians like Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

Earlier this month, Sonia launched an attack on the opposition BJP -- accusing the party of indulging in “zeher ki kheti” (sowing seeds of poison) to attain power.   

“This is an area which was the ‘karmabhoomi’ of Sufi saints and a symbol of composite culture of the country. I firmly believe that you will not allow those who sow the seeds of poison, who don't believe in secular credentials and who play the politics of instigating violence to succeed,” she said at a public rally in northern Karnataka.

Sonia’s barb is a throwback to a rather pinching remark made by her during an election campaign in Gujarat in 2007, when she referred to Modi as “maut kaa saugadar (merchant of death).”

Click NEXT to read further...

 


Image: Congress President Sonia Gandhi
Photographs: Courtesy: Pressbrief

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'BJP practices politics of blood'

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Rahul Gandhi is the Congress’s face this election. And if ratcheting up unpleasant rhetoric is the ‘trend’, can he be left behind?

At a rally in Dehardun on Sunday, the Congress VP accused the BJP of practicing “politics of blood” by pitting one religion against another and one caste against another.

“It (BJP) practices politics of blood. They don’t see anything but power… power at any cost. They can pit communities and castes against each other, they won’t hesitate in spilling blood if they find it necessary to usurp power. ” Rahul said.

The ‘politics of blood’ is only the latest among Rahul’s list of jibes against his rivals. In January, Rahul hurt the sentiments of the bald men in the country more than the BJP with his remark, "The opposition can even sell a comb to a bald man". 

In November, he called the BJP a “party of thieves.”

Click NEXT to read further…


Image: Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi
Photographs: Courtesy: Pressbrief

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'Chhattisgarh ko khooni panje se bachaana'

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'Congress hatao!' This has become Modi’s slogan of sorts this poll season, which he mentions in every speech during the ongoing Lok Sabha campaign.       

But, the BJP's PM candidate seemed to have crossed the line when he likened the Congress symbol (a hand) to a 'khooni panja' and 'zaalim haath' at a rally in Dongargarh in Chhattisgarh last November.    

"Yadi aap chahte hain ki Chattisgarh ke upar kisi khooni panje ka saya na pade to aap sabhi kamal mein button dabana aur Chhattisgarh ko khooni panje se bachana. (If you want that the shadow of murderous hand does not fall on Chhattisgarh, press the button on Lotus).”

An overzealous Modi went on to say, "Zaalim hatho mein Chattisgarh ko dena chahte ho?.... Galti se bhi zaalim panja ke hatho me Chhattisgarh nahi jaane dena." (Do you want to give away Chattisgarh to brutal hands....Don't let Chhattisgarh slip into the grip of brutal hands even by mistake).

Modi was in big trouble with the Election Commission over these remarks; they warned him to be more careful in the future.

But that hasn’t deterred Modi from his rant against the Congress. His ‘Jayanthi tax’ jibe was severely criticised.

At a rally in Goa in January, he criticised former environment minister Jayanthi Natrajan's functioning and alleged that all files in the MoEF were pending because of a new levy in Delhi, called 'Jayanthi tax'.         

Click NEXT to read further…


Image: Modi at the BJP's national council meeting at Ramlila ground in New Delhi
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

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'Someone who presided over massacre shouldn't be PM'

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In this ongoing war of words, a shocker came from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, whose words are so carefully uttered that it has given birth to a factory of jibes over his silence.

In the strongest ever attack by the PM on Modi, he said at a presser in New Delhi in January, “Someone who presided over the massacre of citizens on the streets of Ahmedabad shouldn't be the PM.”

"Without going into the credentials of anyone, I think it will be disastrous for the country to have Narendra Modi as the PM," Dr Singh said at a media conference where he announced that he would not be in the PM’s race for 2014.

This is the first time Dr Singh has spoken harsh words against Modi, who has often attacked the PM in his speeches.

Click NEXT to read further…


Image: PM Manmohan Singh speaks during a news conference in New Delhi
Photographs: Harish Tyagi/Reuters

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'I want to spit on faces of Arun Jaitley, Harish Salve'

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Mind your language, Aam Aadmi Party warned its vigilante leader Somnath Bharti. And rightly so.

A red-faced AAP was left with no other choice, especially after Delhi’s former law minister’s controversial comments against BJP leaders.

"I want to spit at the faces of BJP leader Arun Jaitley and senior lawyer Harish Salve to tell them to mend their ways..." Bhrati had said in January reacting to the criticism against the AAP for their protest at Rail Bhavan.

Click NEXT to vote further...

 


Image: AAP leader Somnath Bharti


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Stuck between a moron and a murderer, Kejriwal retweets

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These may not be his own words, but he definitely endorsed them.

AAP’s Arvind Kejriwal re-tweeted music director Vishal Dadlani's tweet in January which read, "Stuck between a moron and a murderer....what now, India!?"

Dadlani had made the comment targeting Modi and Rahul after an interview of the Congress VP was aired by Times Now.

Did Kejriwal, then a CM of Delhi, go too far with this retweet?

Which of these leaders made the snidest remark? Click NEXT to vote...

 


Image: AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal


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Which of these leaders made the most offensive taunts?

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