Even if Rahul Gandhi fumbled again while expressing him out, by our common sense, by the sense of the public, he doesn’t deserve to be hooted.
Yes, the political booing is an altogether different thing in an age when Indian politics has no talking points left on norms of ethics.
It can be safely said that the right intent of Rahul Gandhi, once again, chose the wrong or misplaced words to express what he meant and since his intent was amply clear, he is to be given the clear benefit of unclear doubt.
According to the media reports on his address to the congregation of the women members of the Indian National Congress yesterday, on the occasion of the 70th birth anniversary of the former prime minister and his father Rajiv Gandhi, this is what Rahul Gandhi said – Mr Gandhi, referring occasionally to notes, focused a large part of his speech on urging his party to ensure the safety of women. “In India, we worship goddesses,” he said. “But the same people who go to temples to pray to goddesses molest you in buses. Every woman in India has been oppressed at some point,” Mr Gandhi said. (NDTV here – http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/congress-needs-woman-power-tsunami-says-rahul-gandhi-to-workers-578851)
Now, that is basically about a good intent only.
One of the basic tenets of the human nature is that we all have good and bad elements within our psyche and which one plays out when and to which scale is circumstantial, shaped over a period of time.
Yes, there are impulsive gaffes as well, but they clearly come in the ‘to be given benefit of doubt’ category.
Now, by nature, most of us in the Indian society are religious and every religious person in this country visits the places of worship and offers prayers – be the person with refined sensibility on universal norms of social behaviour – or the person with no regard to moral values and human life – or the persons in the in-between shades.
Yes, we believe Rahul Gandhi was addressing to this section of the people in our society who become perpetrators of crimes, from molestation to rape, from fights to killings, from thefts to robberies, from bribes to extortion. We cannot say they don’t visit the places of worship, irrespective of why they visit.
Believing in a God must be about refinement of the character – but we are living in times when value-distortions have become so common, so as to become the regulars in lives.
But God never accepts them. God will never accept them. Even if they visit the places of worship daily.
What Rahul Gandhi said was correct in intent, yes, but he wasn’t politically correct in expressing it.
His speech should have been religion-neutral, like ‘places of worship’ in place of ‘temple’, like ‘Goddess’ in place of ‘Devi’ or doing away with it altogether.
Yes, it can be said it was said consciously, given the Congress’ history of Muslim votebank appeasement politics – but, in the changed political circumstances, when the nation saw how the religious appeasement politics of Congress and other parties failed and how it polarised the majority Hindu votes – the senior Congress leaders would not tread that line in the near future, and no Congress strategist would advise Rahul Gandhi to do so openly – so, here, Rahul Gandhi can be safely given the benefit of doubt on ‘wrong selection of words’.
It was reflected even in the media coverage. The speech was delivered yesterday but the controversy erupted only today after the political opponents including the BJP raised the issue. But it died down soon with no prime-time media programming centered on it.
Because what Rahul said was not wrong – because it was said with a right intent – and such rightly-intended ‘gaffes with wrong selection of words’ don’t make for big news stories.
While speaking on women’s rights yesterday, even if Rahul Gandhi was politically incorrect, he was correct socially.
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/