The level of public discourse in Assam has been going down to such an extent that it was only a matter of time before the entire country woke up to the stink. Recent comments by two Congress legislators targeting Prime Minister rendra Modi are so vulgar and misogynistic that these do not deserve to be quoted here. Suffice it to say that by linking Modi with HRD minister Smriti Irani and ‘foreign women’, Nilomoni Sen Deka and Rupjyoti Kurmi have raised question marks about their own upbringing and the fibre they are made of. It is utterly disgusting that in his attempt to denigrate Irani for her ‘educatiol qualifications’, Deka cast aspersions on her character, ignoring the fact that she is also a wife and mother of five children. The sexist slur in the despicable comment is apparent — that Irani owes her position as minister to considerations that have nothing to do with her ability. But this is not the first time Deka, a former agriculture minister and presently an adviser to the Chief Minister, has tripped up badly over his flippant tongue. He once shot off about lower Assam people’s love for ‘khomkhomiya’ (crisp currency notes); his assertion that a full meal can be had for Rs 2.30 made him the butt of public derision. As for Kurmi’s all-too-frequent intemperate outbursts, the less said the better. Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has made a feeble attempt to distance his party and government from such shameful remarks, but the muck sticks to him as well. After all, when rendra Modi declared his marital status before the 2014 elections, was it not Gogoi who commented that Modi’s wife ‘deserved a Bharat Rat and Nobel Peace prize for silently putting up with his neglect’? Hitting below the belt with such persol comments is but a precursor to crude vulgarity, as borne out by the current controversy. The Prime Minister is the highest public functiory in the land and his office should be treated with the dignity it deserves. Enraged BJP and Congress foot soldiers are now clashing on the streets while common citizens are turning away with revulsion. This does not bode well as parties gear up to hit the campaign trail in the coming days. Nilomoni Sen Deka and Rupjyoti Kurmi have lowered the dignity of the Assam assembly as well as its State government, besides inciting rank and file political workers to go to any extent to score cheap points against opponents. Respect is gained only when it is given, which such public representatives are wilfully disregarding to bring collective embarrassment to the people of Assam. Politics may now have become a high stakes, no holds barred battle, but that is no excuse to throw away the probity, decency and restraint which once marked public discourse in the State.
Public representatives bring shame to Assam