MYSURU: Politicians who want to make a point or two against their opponents, often dip into a limited vocabulary to come up with words like “mad”, “mentally ill”, “manasik asvastya” or elaborate it to “mental hospital ko bhejna hai (admit to mental hospital)” or “mental ilaaj chahiye” and much more.
However, most of them are not aware that such remarks are derogatory to the mentally disabled, and are not politically correct either.
Prof Dr B N Raveesh, chairperson of Legal Sub-Committee of Indian Psychiatry Society (IPS), has raised objections to politicians using discriminatory terminologies related to mental illness, and complained to the Election Commission of India.
“Many politicians and persons with certain political affiliations use terminologies related to mental instability and such remarks are heard more during election campaigns. This is widely circulated on social media, and even print and electronic media covers them.
It is sad that people with social responsibility (politicians) use such words, which is against the rights of people suffering from mental disorders. The words used are discriminatory, inhuman and degrading. It’s time the ECI cautioned them to refrain from doing so, and also bring it under the election code of conduct,” he said.
Prof Dr Suresh Bada Math, co-chairperson of IPS said, “India is a signatory to the United Nations Convention on Rights to Persons with Disability (UNCRPD) and our nation has passed the Mental Health Care Act 2017, keeping the obligations of implementation UNCRPD.We request ECI to look into this.” Sociologist Prof R Indira, who is also the president of Indian Sociological Society, opines politicians should maintain decency.
Karthik Gowda, president of Human Rights Forum and Anti-Corruption Forum of Mysuru, said, “Today, the public is reacting, and raising its voice against such remarks. However, unless there is a huge public protest and action by ECI, it’s difficult to bring in a change.”