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Sticks and stones!

Political insults are flying all over the place in India and it is like watching a car crash in slow motion.
Last modified: 4 May 2014 13:30

'Sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me!

That's how the phrase goes and yet if you were in India right now, forget sticks and stones …it's more like handbags at ten paces!

The gloves are off and with just a few voting days left until it all ends for the 16th General Election, political insults are flying all over the place.

No one is being spared and from the sidelines, it's like watching a car crash in slow motion.

The nightly news channels repeat again and again…and if you didn't get the gist of Indian News Channels, repeat again and again the same interview or statement from political leaders seriously maligning their political adversaries.

I normally watch from behind my hands, screaming at the TV…."you can't say that!' It really is like watching a horror movie.

Oh but they do, and if this had been a western election I think defamation writs would be coming in thick and fast.

Allowing my heart beat to regain its natural rhythm, one gets to laugh a little and breath a sigh of relief that no one died in the studio debate.

The insults haven't just been in studio either. They are in the open at election campaign meetings, thousands of people listening to their leaders and their opinions on other leaders.

So briefly who's been having a go at who you say?….come on Rahman tell us I hear you cry!

Well let's start with the BJP leader and the man many people think could become the next prime minister, Narendra Modi.

He's been calling Rahul Gandhi a clown and a Congress specimen, seriously a specimen! According to Modi, Rahul is ill advised about his knowledge and facts on Gujarat from where Modi is Chief Minister.

I would say that Rahul wouldn't look so bad with a red nose, a 'career change is as good as a rest!' perhaps.

But Modi doesn't get off scot-free, having also turned his attention to 'illegal' migrants, mainly from Bangladesh. It was a direct sideswipe at the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

She responded in the only way she knows how calling Modi .."The Butcher of Gujarat!"

That in response to the ongoing accusations by political adversaries and civil society groups that Modi was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Muslims during communal violence in 2002.

It has haunted Modi ever since and continues to more than taint his image. He tries to persuades India he has secular credentials, despite coming from a predominantly right-wing Hindu nationalist party.

Omar Abdullah, the Chief Minister of India-administered Kashmir has weighed in, questioning why Modi hasn't come to the region, including 'the valley', predominantly Muslim and conspicuously without any sign of Modi visiting.

Modi accuses Abdullah and his father - a former chief minister - of communalising the region and twisting history.

Abdullah accuses Modi of trying to make 'Kashmiris his slaves'! Kashmir is deeply sensitive location with a history that has been deeply polarising for both its communities and politicians for over six decades.

And then bless them…the Aam Aadmi Party, or Common Man Party. Born of the back of an anti-corruption campaign over the past few years. They have politicised themselves and call every politician corrupt, that's always a safe bet in Indian politics.

Funny while politicians slap each other around the leader of the AAP Arvind Kejriwal has been slapped physically, several times by the public himself.

And finally, bless them, the election commission. Apparently they're supposed to control the politicians and make sure they behave in a professional manner. Despite issuing notices to the contrary they're just being ignored! They're like a frustrated school teacher trying to control an unruley bunch of misfits…and not succeeding.

Broad brush strokes..slap it on thick! If you're going to cover politicians with accusations then make sure you do it right and with conviction…it's what the public want to see isn't it? Our next set of Indian lawmakers behaving badly!