History, mythology, pure fiction: All that our leaders got wrong in their Assembly poll speeches

Are the elections taking place now, in 1947, or during the Ramayana?

 |  4-minute read |   05-12-2018
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Is a K-serial writer, with a remarkably low grasp of history, mythology, and occasionally, the concept of truth and lies, writing our netas’ campaign speeches?

Going by what’s being said and heard on the campaign trail of the Assembly elections, it does seem so.

The apparent takeaways from the speeches so far have been:

  1. Modi ji is majorly persecuted
  2. Gods have castes
  3. Facts don’t matter

One would expect election speeches to focus on the issues of the day — the problems the people of a state are facing, and how a political leader/party plans to tackle them. But our politicians are teaching us to expect a lot more, with the discourse going back generations — and sometimes, even millennia.

Here are some things our leaders have said that are making us wonder if these elections is taking place today, in 1947, or during the Ramayana.

We will make Owaisi flee Hyderabad like the Nizam: Yogi Adityanath

Yogi ji, ye andaz-e-guftugu kya hai?

Asaduddin Owaisi is a three-term Member of Parliament. What made you think the most important thing you could promise the people of Telangana was to chase their elected MP out of Hyderabad?

In the process, you also ended up making a major historical blooper — the Nizam of Hyderabad never fled the country, or the city. His kingdom did indeed accede to India only under threat of military action, but he very much stayed put in Hyderabad, and during the Indo-China War of 1965, reports suggest, contributed five tonnes of gold to the National Defence Fund.

A simple Google search — we live in Digital India, after all — could have saved Adityanath from an embarrassing error.

Why is How is "driving him out" a poll issue? (Photo: PTI/file)

But more problematic, of course, is the fact that the UP CM thinks demonising certain leaders and boasting about “making them run away” is legit campaign strategy. We don’t know what the cure for that is.

Congress has come out with a fatwa against my saying BMKJ: PM Modi  

Are you serious, Prime Minister? Congress president Rahul Gandhi — in a none too witty remark — had said that the PM “should begin his speeches with ‘Anil Ambani ki Jai’, ‘Mehul Choksi ki Jai’, ‘Nirav Modi ki Jai’, ‘Lalit Modi ki Jai’.

To this, Modi responded with: “Congress has come up with a "fatwa" that I should not begin rallies with "Bharat Mata Ki Jai”.

While the spin would make Harbhajan Singh jealous, the PM’s speech writers probably need to realise people are getting tired of the constant narrative of how mean the Congress has been to Modi ji. And was the use of the word ‘fatwa’ an attempt to tie up the Opposition party with Islam, a religion the BJP accuses it of “favouring over Hinduism”?

people are more interested in hearing about what the PM intends to do for the betterment of Bharat, than what the Congress has supposedly done to him.It would be nice if the PM spoke about what he intends to do for Bharat, than what the Congress has done to him. (Photo: Twitter/@narendramodi)

Saying Bharat Mata ki Jai is great. But people are more interested in hearing about what the PM intends to do for Bharat, than what the Congress has supposedly done to him.

Kartarpur went to Pakistan because of the Congress: PM Modi

On December 5 in Rajasthan, the PM said Kartarpur ended up in Pakistan because the Congress was not sensitive to Sikh sentiments. “The credit of the Kartarpur Corridor goes to your vote. Correcting Congress' mistakes was my destiny," he added.

Going by the fact that the Kartarpur Corridor was never a BJP campaign promise, and most people woke up to it only after Navjot Singh Sidhu started talking about it, it is not clear how the credit for it goes to “our vote”.  

Also, till very recently, the BJP was all praises for Sardar Patel, who was a senior Congress leader and very much part of the decisions the party was taking back then. So, Iis the PM now saying Patel didn’t care that much about Sikh sentiments? How confusing!   

Once again, while the PM’s speech writers deserve marks for trying to milk credit from every issue currently in the news, the non-stop Congress-bashing is becoming repetitive and tiresome. Surely the BJP has more to offer, and would like to tell voters about that?

Kumbhakaran Lift Yojana: Rahul Gandhi

For this one, it is possible even speech writers cannot be blamed.

Addressing a rally in Rajasthan, Congress President Rahul Gandhi said: “Ashok Gehlotji here gave money for Kumbhakaran Lift Yojana.” Of course, Rahul meant the Kumbha Ram Lift Yojana, named after Congress leader, the late Kumbha Ram.

Another epic fail. The Kumbhakaran Effect: Another epic fail. (Photo: PTI)

Maybe because there has been so much talk about his own caste and about Hanumanji’s caste, Rahul’s head is full of the Ramayana. But this rather hilarious error has obviously been a gift from the heavens to the BJP, which is gleefully making enough noise over it to wake Kumbhakaran up.

For a man trying to shake off the “Pappu” tag and be seen as a serious challenger to Narendra Modi, this is hardly the way to go. But then, Rahul has also been facing issues in Telangana, where apparently the incorrect translation of his speeches is leading to goof-ups and gaffes.

The voters, meanwhile, are caught between a BJP leader who won’t stop talking about the Congress, and a Congress leader who doesn’t have much to say for himself.

Also read: Was Lord Hanuman a Dalit? Here's what fables and facts say


Yashee Yashee @yasheesingh

The writer is a journalist.

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