Prahlad Rao | January 6, 2016
It is rare for the politicians or public officials display emotions on television, and rarer for Indian politicians to even modulate their voices to reflect the issues they seek to articulate.
It is handed down the ages that a display of emotions is a sign of weakness. But it takes courage to show your feelings as US president Barack Obama did yesterday while speaking on the gun laws.
Tears streaming down his face, Obama condemned the gun violence that has reached across the United States as he vowed to take action to curb the bloodshed with or without Congress.
"Each time this comes up," Obama said in his speech, "we are fed the excuse that common-sense reforms like background checks might not have stopped the last massacre, or the one before that, or the one before that, so why bother trying. I reject that thinking.
We know we can't stop every act of violence, every act of evil in the world. But maybe we could try to stop one act of evil, one act of violence."
Obama's tears may have political strength, but his plan faces legal, political and logistical hurdles.
The US has suffered a series of mass shootings recently,including last month's attack in San Bernardino, California, that left 14 dead. Nearly 21 million gun sales were processed through the background check system in 2014, but some industry analysts say as many as 40 percent more firearms could have been sold through private transactions not subject to background checks.
"First-graders," the president said, fighting tears rolling down. He wiped his face and paused to regain his composure: "Every time I think about those kids, it gets me mad."
The National Rifle Association, targeted by Obama in his speech, mocked his tears.
"The American people do not need more emotional, condescending lectures that are completely devoid of facts," said Chris Cox, the group's top lobbyist.
Republican presidential candidates also raced to condemn Obama, with Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas putting up a Web page with a menacing, altered picture of the president in a commando outfit. A caption read "Obama Wants Your Guns" next to a fundraising appeal.
Obama's sentiments may be in right place because the US puts premium on the lives of its citizens. But our Indian politicians neither show emotions nor care for the lives of other Indians. The conduct of these politicians in the aftermath of terror attacks, like that at Pathankot, is far from satisfying or comforting. Their lack of display of emotions is a suspect. Do they care for us? The answer is no.
Historically, voter turnout for local elections has lagged behind state assembly elections and general elections. For example, a recent report by Janaagraha shows that Surat recorded 40 percent voter turnout in local polls, 30 percent less than state elections
A group of women were sensitized about their rights at a workshop held in the national capital on Saturday. They were informed about the anti-harassment laws and legal provisions to safeguard women inside and outside their workplace. The workshop – organ
The Narendra Modi- Arvind Kejriwal antagonism has always been about two different kinds of populism. While it may not play out in a municipal election, the fact remains that a Kejriwal chastened by Goa and Punjab faces a mid-term test in the municipal elections. For a politician harbouring intentions of
A plan to home-deliver petroleum products may look like an out-of-the-box idea, but it is not exactly a new one. Petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan tweeted: “Options being explored where petro products may be door delivered to consumers on pre booking. This would help consumers avoi
How do you view the state of contemporary Indian literature? Our cultural spaces are in a bad state – and this affects the writing, publishing and reading of literature. Over the last few years, we have seen far too many cases of the self-appointed thought police intim
On February 28, 2017, Khainu (Hadu) Bagarti, a farmer from Bargarh district of Odisha, died at the Burla government hospital. Burdened by crop failure and debt, he had consumed pesticide. This was spoken of as the state’s first farmer suicide of the year, as if it were a distinction. But the