For millions of individuals worldwide, the year 2020 was a series of unforeseeable events. From coronavirus to the cyclone, the entire year contained world-changing and paradigm-shifting developments. The year also was full of political slugfests and leaders across party lines left no-stones-unturned to attack their opponents.
And, unable to hold their horses, these politicians at several instances ended up stirring the controversy cauldron with their bold and often ill-thought utterances. Here are the top 5 controversial statements made by politicians.
Kamal Nath's "item" dig at BJP woman candidate triggered outrage
In October, in the run-up to Madhya Pradesh legislative assembly by-polls, senior Congress leader and former Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath stirred a political storm when he referred to BJP minister Imarti Devi as an "item".
"Suresh Raje ji hamare ummeedvar hai...yeh uske jaise nah hai...kya hai uska naam ... main kya uska naam lun? ...apko toh mujhe pehle savdhan karna chahiye tha ... yeh kya item hai... (Our candidate is not like her... what's her name? You know her better and should have warned me earlier... What an item!), Kamal Nath said in Hindi while the crowd called out Imarti Devi's name.
The incident took place when the former CM was addressing a campaign rally in Dabra for Congress candidate Suresh Raje. Soon after Kamal Nath's statement, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan slammed the Congress leader. "What happened to you former CM Kamal Nath. You are 74-yr-old and I can't repeat what you said about BJP's Imarti Devi...When we objected, he shamelessly called everyone an item including himself...If anyone willl call their mother and sister 'item', will you tolerate it?" Chouhan said.
BJP MP Pragya Thakur’s ‘shudra’ remark
BJP MP Pragya Thakur courted controversy for commenting on people from the "lower castes". The Lok Sabha member from Bhopal cited dharmashastras (religious texts), claiming a 'shudra' (fourth and lowest of the traditional varnas as per these scriptures) feels bad for calling him a ‘shudra’ owing to lack of understanding.
"A kshatriya doesn't feel bad if we call them kshatriya. A brahmin doesn't feel bad if we call them brahmin. A vaishya doesn''t feel bad if we call them vaishya. But a shudra feels bad if we call them shudra, what is the reason? Because they don't understand," Thakur said.
The BJP MP is no stranger to controversies. Despite getting reprimanded in May last year by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Thakur continues to make remarks on sensitive topics.
'Gaumutra' and 'Gobar' to cure Coronavirus
While the world grapples with the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, Indian politicians have their own opinions about preventing the virus. Assam BJP MLA Suman Haripriya, on Monday, made a bizarre statement on the cure for coronavirus, which has left everyone bewildered.
"We all know that cow dung is very helpful. Likewise, when cow urine is sprayed, it purifies an area... I believe something similar could be done with 'gaumutra' and 'gobar' to cure Coronavirus (disease)," she said during a discussion on the first day of the budget session of the Assembly.
No Non-Veg, No Coronavirus
Coronavirus may have wrecked havoc across the world prompting the scientific community to hard-pressed finding an antidote to it, but the National President of All India Hindu Mahasabha sees it as an 'avatar' to punish non-vegetarians.
"Corona is not a virus, but avatar for the protection of poor creatures. They have come to give the message of death and punishment to the one who eats them," said Swami Chakrapani further stating that the avatar is of Lord Narsingh.
He even had a solution to the epidemic and urged Chinese President Xi Jinping to "create an idol of Corona and seek forgiveness" and all non-vegetarian Chinese populace "pledge of not harming any innocent creatures in future, then the anger if Corona will come down". He assured that Indians who "worship Gods" and are "believers of "Gau Rakshak" are immune to this disease.
Avoid Mental Illness, Avoid Coronavirus
On March 1, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said illnesses and diseases such as blood pressure, heart attack, and even coronavirus can be prevented if a person overcomes mental stress. While speaking at the Yog Mahotsav event in Rishikesh, and emphasising the importance of yoga, Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath said that coronavirus can be prevented by overcoming 'mental illness'.
“…if a person overcomes mental illness, then he/she will not suffer from blood pressure, heart attack, kidney failure, liver dysfunction, or even coronavirus. He will be able to keep himself fit and healthy,” the CM said at an event in Uttarakhand.