DailyPost 2152

Public utterances by public figures, political executive, party functionaries, celebrities, senior most officials, elected representatives, religious leaders et al drives democracy on a day-to-day basis. They are the sentinels of the public domain, who amplify both people’s mind, government’s mind and policies and try to influence the society to move in consonance with the constitutional charter of the nation. It help us remain in tune with the culture and tradition, and also with conventions and processes which democracy in motion keeps on creating. That is the intangible glue. Public utterances create both a functional ecosystem, which becomes difficult to break, and also the bedrock of the social, political and economic trajectory decided.

Words once spoken cannot be taken back but day in day out we hear of statements being defended, challenged, given ludicrous analogies and trying to circulate it vociferously in the public domain, which in the first place should not have been there. What is the need for expressing something which does not add any value or at the worst, is detrimental to the public domain existence of someone or the other, or is completely vitiating. What you speak has to be sacrosanct, etched in stone and can be defended till the end of time. Whether public domain utterances ever were as sacrosanct as it ought to have been, cannot be validated, but the reality today is that it has reached the stage of casual, frivolous and vested or at the very best mostly a statement of no consequence.

Every public utterance has to fit in, in an already created and existing slot, which these people don’t understand. Gay abandon is the name of the game. One single TV talk show utterance can put the world on fire, as we have seen recently, but our penchant of putting the foot in our own mouth does not seem to ebb. When you are representing a political party, ruling or otherwise and most of the times, represent the government too indirectly; the content, tenor, pitch, aggression, and expressions can put anybody at his wit’s end. Might be with nothing else in their kitty, and with political imperative to make their presence felt, this is the natural outcome.

Public domain oral communication is an ultimate skill even when you have everything in your favor; education, language, expertise, experience, depth and the knowledge. Every elected representative is on his own trip. Public utterances thus are a mix of power, entitlement, et al, very little to do with relevance. Government always had its own system of communicating, the source, method and the content. However, drab it might seem, it served the purpose very well. Acts and utterances have to connect and it has to keep on connecting, otherwise credibility is the biggest casualty. Everyone views public utterances differently to suit his / her interest is the curse of the nation.

Sanjay Sahay

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