Genuine apology or ‘Chulbul Pandey’ apology?

In an election speech in Gujarat in 2007, Sonia Gandhi had referred to Narendra Modi as maut ka saudagar’ (‘merchant of death’).

During the campaign for the assembly elections in Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan this year, various controversial statements have been made by politicians. The Election Commission has issued notices to some of these politicians, stating that these controversial statements violated the model code of conduct. Till now, the politicians and their parties have not expressed any regret for their intemperate utterances.

In sharp contrast, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) issued an unsolicited apology for the foul language used by TV anchor Rajiv Laxman while campaigning for the party in New Delhi. Rajiv Laxman has also apologised.

AAP’s apology was unqualified and appeared sincere.

However, Rajiv’s apology was qualified by the statement, “One must understand that it is the way I speak normally.”

AAP member Shazia Ilmi’s apology for the incident was qualified by, “… that is his way of talking. That’s how the youth connects with him.” As the Oneindia report states, Rajiv is known for his rude and abusive language. Shouldn’t AAP have cautioned him against using such language?

Oneindia’s headline ‘First an abuse, then an apology; is this the way how AAP works?’ reminded me of a sequence in the film ‘Dabangg’, in which Makkhi Pandey complains to the police that his stepbrother, Chulbul Pandey had beaten him up. Makkhi’s father withdraws the complaint after Chulbul apologises to Makkhi, saying, “It’s a family matter.” Within no time, Chulbul slaps Makkhi in public, apologises and says with a smirk, “It’s a family matter.”

Only time will tell if AAP’s apology was a genuine apology or a ‘Chulbul Pandey’ apology. I sincerely hope that AAP’s apology is a genuine apology. AAP has come as a breath of fresh air in the political arena. It is not enough if AAP is better than other parties because the standard of political discourse is, to put it mildly, generally quite low. The Aam Aadmi (common man) expects AAP to raise the level of political discourse and political morality. AAP must live up to these expectations.


21 thoughts on “Genuine apology or ‘Chulbul Pandey’ apology?

  1. 🙂 I have no interest in politics, unless it is about our local Councillor, who’s a pretty decent sort. I remember long ago, we happened to be surfing TV channels and paused for a moment at “Lok Sabha” and my son, who was 8 years old or so at the time, was stunned to see them all yelling and shouting – House was in session :D. Much later, he wanted to know who scolded them…referring to how their teachers told them to keep quiet. I mean, what do we tell our children? Politics is a game. As we say in Tamil, they pinch the baby and then rock the cradle. 😀

  2. AAP is going for a holier-than-thou attitude. They are fighting the election on a single issue – corruption, and claiming that everything else will take care of itself. This is a one sided approach, that might harm them, come election day.

    • AAP is correct in saying that corruption is widespread, but they are wrong in claiming that all politicians are corrupt. There are politicians who are not corrupt.

      Corruption is like a malignant cancer in our country today. Getting rid of it is the need of the hour. Hence, AAP fighting elections on the one issue of corruption is correct TODAY.

      • I agree. But this is politics. Garnering votes requires that you focus on more populist policies as well. Good intentions alone cannot win an election… Just saying.

  3. This election is becoming murkier over the days, politicos are seen to skirt essential concerns like the galloping food inflation. What will happen if majority choose to key in the NOTA vote button?

    • I agree. Almost all parties are focussed on the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Even the current assembly elections are being seen mainly as a preparation for 2014. Nobody seems to be bothered about rising prices of essential commodities.

  4. I thought that the ‘AAP’ is an emerging new, strong party. They should keep up their reputation. Here, in Tamilnadu, women politicians are abused by bad mouthing their character. The politicians are dirty people everywhere, I think or they will become after they join a party!

    • The rough and tumble of electoral politics should not make AAP lower their standards in any way.

      Not all politicians are dirty people. There are clean politicians, though I agree they are in a small minority.

  5. In my opinion, the moment elections are fought where candidates are busy slinging mud at each other rather than introspecting and figuring out what they really want to do when they come to power, is the moment that true democracy in its spirit has died.

  6. I’m not going to comment on the politics of this, Pro. A while back I wrote a post on Blogadda with a twist on the song ‘Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word’ – I said it wasn’t so any longer. It’s now become fashionable in all walks of life to say “Sorry, but……..”

  7. Unlike Vidya I have a huge interest in politics. And of course I am aware about the proceedings of this particular case. It does look like a makkhi pandey/ chulbul pandey case now that you put it this way 😀


  8. Sorry is a sorry word almost these days… all kinds of verbal gymnastics too have taken the floor and authentic displays of genuine expression are part of the endangered list. Sad. Especially since campaigning is no longer positive but only a series of who can sling the dirtiest mud best and make it stick on the other.

  9. The mud slinging and the absolute gutter language used by all politicians is really pitiful, no, sorry, it’s scary. Are we, the world’s largest democracy reduced to watching so called “LEADERS” trade insults? Or should they be explaining how they intend to take the country forward??

  10. Pingback: Is an apology a sign of weakness? | Proactive Indian

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