Democracy of convincing, not bulldozers . . !

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IT’S not a ruffian who uttered these strong words, nor a member of a fringe group, but the Deputy Speaker of the Gujarat Assembly, who according to the Times of India said, ‘Kejriwal would be stripped and sent back’! The Deputy Speaker is not talking of a rapist, or some criminal, but about the Chief Minister of Delhi whose party is standing in the Gujarat elections!

Have our leaders reached such a stage in using such filthy and derogatory language? Slowly, but surely, our democracy is being changed from a process of convincing through debate, to that of frightening through confrontation!

Maybe it’s time we told our political leaders that bulldozers being used to demolish the homes of those who don’t fall in line is not the right way to govern, and the use of such offensive language is nothing short of the same bullying or ‘bulldozer language’!

It shouldn’t have a place in our country! Democracy gives an opportunity from those from even humble beginnings to become leaders, but as they climb the ladder of leadership, they need to leave behind the street and gully rhetoric and instead put on the garb of decent language.

Confrontation might have worked in their streets, but in Parliament what should be put to work is convincing others towards a certain thinking. I can imagine someone standing at a street corner and uttering these words during a gang fight, “Hey, you dare come into our territory, and we’ll strip and send you back!” It even sounds good in a Mexican mafia, drug battle. But in an Indian democracy?

Our problem is that we still don’t know how to use language to convince. During my schooldays, we learnt the art of debating, because debates were the foundation of a democratic process. But I doubt many of our leaders have learnt the art.

It is sad, that they get into Parliament, where the whole process is to debate an issue, and know nothing of how to use the power of convincing their opponent through words, and instead only know the use of fists and fisting words!

Like in the US, where leaders debate before an election, we need to do the same here. Put them on a platform, and let’s hear how they convince even as their opponent tries to do the same. To convince, they first need to have an ideology they believe in, and then will come words that have power and conviction.

Bullying and bulldozer tactics are part of confr in pregnant women. Dietary iron can benefit people with iron deficiency anemia.

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INSIYA MUSTAFA

Karachi