It is disheartening to think that our politicians can stoop to such low levels and diminish the idea of democracy (Editorial, April 5). Unfortunately for us, today’s party leaders are unable to command the kind of discipline that leaders such as Nehru or Kamaraj could. This partly stems from the fact that contemporary leaders hardly commit themselves to the nation as our freedom fighters did. We need to think beyond the coming election and resolve ourselves to an ideology. No model code of conduct can help us in this process.
Leaders need to break into inspirational speeches to influence the masses. However, our politicians seem to be confused over what is oratory and what is demagoguery. Many speeches are in bad taste, crossing the boundaries of civility. Civil society should shoulder some of the blame for nurturing and cultivating this kind of political discourse. Reform should first emanate from within society if any change is to be expected in the future.
Chirala, Andhra Pradesh
Leaders at all levels indulge in forms of “hate speech” while on the campaign trail. Often, top leaders look the other way when lower and middle-level leaders resort to such speeches. The Election Commission of India needs to resort to legal action on its own without waiting for any complaint. If enough powers are not vested with the Commission, then it should be given the power to do so.
Resorting to hate speech has become an instrument of publicity for our media-hungry politicians. While a model code of conduct may not be able to curb this menace, voters must be proactive and cease to encourage such leaders.