Silence is truly golden

Just when you thought they could not get any more crass, foolish or shove their feet into their mouths any deeper, State Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar has just raised the bar in verbal stupidity from politicians. On Saturday, Pawar ridiculed the water and power shortage in parts of the state while addressing a public meeting in Pune. Pawar laughed at Bhaiyya Deshmukh, a farmer from a drought-hit area in Solapur who has been on a hunger strike at Mumbai’s Azad Maidan for water. 

Pawar said that the farmer has been fasting but if there was no water in the dam how could it be released? “Should we urinate into it?” he asked, adding, “If there is no water to drink, even urination is impossible.” He did not stop there. Referring to the load-shedding situation in the state, he said, “I have noticed that more children are being born since the lights go off at night. There is no other work left then.”

Outrage has followed these comments and Pawar has apologised since, but in an age of Internet and social media sites, these are sure to haunt him. By now, the public is fairly used to politicians mouthing inanities and downright insulting comments, regardless of the party they align with. Most of them need a crash course in communication skills.

Others need to think hard before they decide to pour out what they think are words of wit and wisdom. Members of the Opposition cannot hope to score brownie points by denouncing these remarks because they are no better. Ajit Pawar’s statements come close to the gold standard for nonsense by netas. Let them all learn that brevity is the soul of wit and when they have nothing to say, they should religiously adhere to that age old maxim -- silence is golden. 

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