Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

feedburner count

Comments on Varun gandhi Speech

The BJP's official position that it disapproves of the contents of the speech and the

comments attributed to Varun Gandhi, the party's
candidate for the Pilibhit Lok Sabha
seat, is welcome. It is important that a consensus is built among political parties that hate speeches have no place in political discourse. So far, only the Shiv Sena has openly backed Varun, even though the latter has alleged that the evidence provided by local intelligence officials is doctored.

Varun now faces a criminal case for inciting communal violence and the Election Commission (EC) has served notices on him and the BJP for disregarding and violating the model code of conduct. The code, which sets into motion when elections are announced, states that no party or candidate shall indulge in any activity which may aggravate the existing differences or create mutual hatred or cause tension between different castes and communities, religious or linguistic. The onus is now on Varun to prove his innocence. The BJP leadership has already dissociated itself from Varun and wants him to sort out the issue with the EC. The party is expected to formally reply to the EC on Friday.

The BJP must go one step further and ask Varun to stay out of the election process until he clears his name with the law. The EC has already ordered that all visits, rallies and functions of Varun be videotaped to monitor his conduct. But should the country's main opposition party, now seeking a mandate to form the government at the Centre, field him for Parliament? Sure, hate speech may not be a rarity in Indian politics and Varun may not be an exception. However, the point is that he has been reported. As a party that seeks to gain office and uphold the Constitution, the BJP must set an example for all political parties and political activists by asking Varun to withdraw from the election process, especially since it has distanced itself from the views allegedly expressed by its candidate.

While the law will take its course, political conduct can't be left simply to the legal process. Political parties must contribute with their own checks and balances to ensure that the political process is carried out in the right manner and in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. Pre-emptive action by parties when candidates overstep accepted norms of political conduct could serve as a warning on use of sectarian or communal propaganda in election campaigns.


Post a Comment