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Hate speech in the ‘temple of democracy’

– Shakilur Rahman

The dignity of the House was violated on the fourth day of the new Parliament. The unparliamentary and communal words were used in the House, which a civilized society cannot even think about. The abusive language sprinkled by BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri at BSP MP Danish Ali during Special parliamentary session (September 18-22, 2023). However, when the offensive remarks were expunged from Lok Sabha records, all opposition parties including Congress, NCP, Trinamool, SP reposted Bidhuri’s video and demanded strict action against him from the Speaker.

Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi met Danish Ali and expressed solidarity. Meanwhile, Lok Sabha Secretariat officials said that Speaker Om Birla has given a strict warning to Bidhuri. BJP has also issued a notice to Bidhuri and sought his reply within 15 days. Danish Ali has written to the Speaker to send the matter to the Privileges Committee. He said that hopefully he would get justice. Otherwise, he would consider taking off the membership of Parliament. He had not come to that House to listen to hate speeches.

Vice President of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind Professor Mohammad Salim Engineer said to Radiance, “Whatever has happened in the Lok Sabha, the kind of abusive language used by an MP from the ruling party, Ramesh Bidhuri, towards a Member of Parliament who belongs to the minority community, is shameful.

“This is an insult to our House. He has brought shame to the dignity of the House. In our view this is a big crime. Although those words have been expunged from the record and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has also apologized with ifs and buts, I feel the abusive language was not only for a Member of Parliament, it was for the entire Muslim community of India.

This is an incident that has brought down the dignity of the House. It is a heinous crime and the Speaker should take very strict action against Ramesh Bidhuri so that no one may repeat such language in future.”

Senior journalist Anil Chamaria, while talking to Radiance, said, “This is part of BJP’s agenda. This was a kind of test in Parliament. Such tests were done in the past and later it was expanded. This could be a hidden agenda of the Special Parliamentary session. All the work has been done. Bills etc. have been passed. Anything can happen in the present ruling.  Whatever has happened cannot come into being without an agenda. BJP has to recharge its voters. When such indecorous language is used in the Parliament, this situation will prevail to the bottom. When one MP is saying something like this to another MP, he will also use the same language against people’s representatives i.e. – MLA, MLC, bureaucrat, the Mukhiyas, etc. Then it can be thought what will be the situation in the future?”

Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra wrote on ‘X’ that abusing Muslims and OBCs was an integral part of the BJP’s culture. Most people didn’t see anything wrong in it. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has forced Indian Muslims to live in such fear in their own country; they tolerate everything without complaining.

Responsible institutions and responsible people will have to take cognizance of the condemnable statement. If the leaders are not stopped from speaking wrongly then the level of common spoken language will also continue to deteriorate. Today, if we are worried about the foul language frequently used on social media, then the leaders of our country are also responsible for it. Is it not sad and shameful that a leader in Parliament is declared a terrorist on the basis of community and religion? Will anyone start speaking whatever comes to his mind in Parliament? BSP MP Danish Ali has done the right thing by complaining in writing to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla.

MP Kunwar Danish Ali wrote on ‘X’: “Is this what is taught in #RSS Shakhas and @NarendraModi ji’s laboratory? When your cadre leaves no stone unturned in insulting an elected MP with words like terrorist, extremist, mullah…in the Parliament, then what would they do with the poor Muslims? The soul trembles even thinking about this.”

Shashi Tharoor Wrote on ‘X’: “The horrific behavior of @ramesh bidhuri towards @KDanishAli has been widely condemned & I join all those who demand condign punishment, to ensure that such conduct does not recur.”

The punishment for abusing or calling someone a terrorist inside or outside Parliament should be maximum, so that no politician does such a thing in future. The leaders, who were laughing at such languages and unparliamentarily attacks while sitting in the House, should also be punished.

If this matter goes to the Privileges Committee, the aim should be for reform. Even in Parliament these days, it is often being seen that the party has started keeping the members who speak aggressively or inappropriately at the forefront and the MPs who speak decently and restrainedly are being kept behind. That is why people have started addressing the leaders in an offensive language. MPs themselves must protect their honour.

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