By Sushil Kutty
After the high of the ‘Naari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam’, the BJP is battling getting a bad name because one of its Members of Parliament could not hold his tongue in the Lok Sabha and flung invectives like they are BJP’s lingua franca. BJP’s South Delhi MP Ramesh Bidhuri is a flamethrower and he got into a spat with BSP MP Danish Ali. What happened next could have been avoided if it wasn’t Ali and Bidhuri. Danish Ali isn’t all that innocent while “unparliamentary” becomes Ramesh Bidhuri.
If that isn’t an insult, what is? But in a country where dialects change every 50-75 kilometres, what is an abusive word also takes on different meanings inside and outside Parliament. So, the word ‘Mullah’ is a legitimate word when used in reference to a mosque priest but takes on a different meaning when spoken in a certain tone and in a setting which is alien to the word itself and is spoken pejoratively about a person of a particular religious affiliation.
Which is what Ramesh Bidhuri did. Danish Ali had every right to take umbrage and throw a tantrum, break furniture or a couple of heads, one of them that of Ramesh Bidhuri, who people in his South Delhi parliamentary constituency consider is a hard nut to crack. In Delhi BJP circles Ramesh Bidhuri and West Delhi MP Pravesh Verma are two of a kind, very popular with their vote-banks but with language of the “tu-tadaak” kind.
Language that is considered rough and tough and commonplace. It is like Speaker Kevin Macarthy using the ‘F’ word in the US Congress. Kevin speaks English and Bidhuri the Haryanvi-laced Hindi spoken by the Gujjar and the Jat of NCR Delhi. But did Danish Ali deserve Bidhuri’s extreme lingua franca even if Ali will raise a ruckus over somebody shouting ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ – which is what he did at a function in his parliamentary constituency Amroha.
But is this about Danish Ali? This isn’t even about Ramesh Bidhuri. The morning after Bidhuri called Danish Ali choice abuse, certain voices were demanding Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s apology. And that Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who was in the House at the time, should have intervened more forcefully. The allegation is that Bidhuri’s lowlife language is the entire BJP’s lexicon of choice.
Also, former Health Minister Harshvardhan was sitting behind Bidhuri smiling as if he had just then swallowed a fish? And former Union Law Minister, the permanently self-righteous Ravi Shankar Prasad, was sitting right next to Harshvardhan, listening to Ramesh Bidhuri’s range of invectives with a pleasurable equanimity. Bidhuri was going full-speed comparing Prime Minister Narendra Modi with god almighty when he suddenly broke mid-sentence and launched his purple salvo against Danish Ali.
The Bahujan Samaj Party MP later called for strict action against Bidhuri and threatened to quit the Lok Sabha itself if Bidhuri walked scot-free. The matter will likely go to the Privileges Committee but the buck stops with the Lok Sabha Speaker. Malayali MP Suresh Kodikunnil, who was in the chair at the time Bidhuri lost his head, couldn’t make head or tail of Bidhuri’s Hindi – more proof that India should stick to English for the one-language-for-all.
Also, Bidhuri’s colourful language wouldn’t go with ‘Naari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam’. Think of how many more women MPs would have to shut their ears when ‘Naari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam’ becomes a reality if it happens at all? You cannot have women MPs flocking out of the house whenever Ramesh Bidhuri is asked by the Speaker to speak his mind.
Why, he might never get a chance to speak in Parliament again, which wouldn’t be a great loss to parliamentary democracy. What about Danish Ali? The BSP MP is in two minds these days. The grapevine is full of talk that Danish Ali is not happy with the Bahujan Samaj Party and has been in talks with the Samajwadi Party. Danish Ali is a rolling stone and this spat could be the excuse he was waiting for to jump ship.
All said and done, the moot point is Ramesh Bidhuri invective-laden and unfit for Parliamentary language, hate speech targeting religions, is commonplace in much of India. Will action be taken against Ramesh Bidhuri? If so, what action? Will he be suspended from the House? How about expulsion? How about the Speaker sending Bidhuri straight from Parliament to Tihar? Crazy as it sounds, it is a former TV anchor-turned-politician’s solution. Ali has written a letter to Speaker Om Birla asking for action.
But for Speaker Om Birla, the buck stops with the Prime Minister and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be hampered by his Pasmanda Muslim policy which runs contrary to his recent call to seriously consider the “responding” to the calls for the “eradication” of Sanatana Dharma. Taking action against Ramesh Bidhuri is fraught with risk for the BJP so close to Lok Sabha elections as he may not take kindly to the action taken. What if he replies with his brand of “tu-tadaak”? (IPA Service)