Quick Take

Quiet Please

| Updated on September 13, 2019

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal (File photo)   -  PTI

It is inexcusable for senior ministers to mar public discourse by routine ignorance and indiscretion

Consternation and mirth followed comments made this week by people in power who ought to have known better. Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi took a dim view of the Uttar Pradesh Cooperative Minister Mukut Bihari Sharma’s boast that a temple would be built at Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site because the “Supreme Court is ours”. “This should not be happening in the country. We deprecate such comments. Both sides are free to put their arguments before court without any fear,” said the Chief Justice, rightly allaying anxieties stirred by the Minister’s crude remarks pertaining to what can only be described as the most contentious and politically charged issues of our times.

Simultaneously, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal left a day-long trail of social media jokes, memes and caricature with his absurd claim that dismal figures pertaining to India’s GDP growth shouldn’t amount to much because mathematics apparently never helped even “Einstein discover gravity”.

The avalanche of platforms available for instant gratification in our times has clearly induced a tectonic shift in the way public discourse is conducted. Restraint and consideration are passé when the instinct for self-aggrandizement is instantly satisfied. The potential of multiplicity of communication modes exposing the most private conversations in the public sphere has left responsible families straining to protect their wards through reasonable regulations. Utterances of those in public life influence the welfare and detriment of the people at large. It is inexcusable, therefore, for seasoned politicians to routinely display such ignorance and indiscretion. Political institutions should rein in the motor-mouths if they do not want such loose rhetoric to be interpreted as malicious intent.

Published on September 13, 2019

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