DailyPost 2647

What is a loose cannon? A loose cannon is an unpredictable or uncontrolled person who is liable to cause unintentional damage. It can also mean people not subscribing to the norms of civilizational behaviour or the ecosystem, as far as their utterances are concerned. In a vitiated atmosphere it can also mean loose cannons all around, with vested interests fulfilling a common agenda. Nobody would deny the fact that amongst them quite a few would be there, who barely know how to express and land in such situations over and over again. Public domain existence on its own cannot teach you the rules of prim and proper communication.

There are times when lack of knowledge or complete ignorance can land you in a loose cannon situation. There might be occasions where you seamlessly transition into a loose cannon having decided to eulogize somebody, mostly for some benefit, but don’t know how to go about it. It goes way beyond bounds. It can happen in an interview if you are put in a tricky situation and while trying to wriggle out, you end up being a loose cannon. When you enter into pure knowledge-based areas while lacking the relevant knowledge, and decide to flex your grey matter muscles, then where are you likely to end up? Political adversaries indulge in this on a regular basis for lack of any other tool to show the other person down.

Some people have FOMO about public domain and thus are pushed into becoming a loose cannon at times. The worst are the lot who have graduated to becoming professional loose cannons, which means they do it when dictated or they can even be hired perform this act. If you add all the variants mentioned above it adds up to the public political space of India. Loose cannon ecosystem is already in place and you need to join it and perform at least occasionally, to survive otherwise you will be ejected out of the system.

As this sort of public behaviour and utterances provide ready made cannon fodder for the media, they go behind it. Some loose cannot statements and the media is hammer and tongs behind it. It provides them easy content for creating easy programs with large viewership and the consequent advertisement revenue. There are any number of these in the political class, who want to remain in the media, good or bad is a later issue. It helps few of them to get noticed and they build their political careers on it. Instead of loose cannons being an aberration, they have become the order of the day, to an extent that it is turning to be the political language of the nation.

Sanjay Sahay

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