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Presence of mind and the ability to face criticisms with a smiling face are the vital qualities a politician should own. He or She should realise that a slip of tongue might come back and hit them like a boomerang. And sometimes, it might have very disastrous and devastating results.

One of Kerala’s youngest MLA V T Balram is not new to controversies. There were various instances where the young politician has drawn flak for his callous and irresponsible comments.

It was in January 2018, Balram had lashed against one of the greatest Communist leaders of Kerala AK Gopalan popularly known as AKG. Balram in one of his Facebook posts had termed that AKG is a paedophile and child abuser, which had drawn criticisms from all quarters. Even some of the senior Congress leaders had openly criticized the young politician and maintained that Balram could have restricted himself from slandering an iconic political figure and triggering unwanted controversies.

The Congress legislator from Thrithala constituency in Palakkad district was attacked by CPIM workers for the same. Though he later removed the post from his Facebook account, it seems nothing had changed the young leader.

This wasn’t the first time Balram’s Facebook posts have become a headache for the Congress party. In October 2017, the young legislator wrote on Facebook that Congress should end adjustment politics with the CPIM. The scathing attack on the Congress leadership had come in the wake of LDF government deciding to start a fresh probe against Congress leaders in the Solar scam. Balram wrote that the investigation is a reward for Congress leaders who had not probed into TP Chandrashekharan murder case efficiently and acting in favour of CPIM leaders.

Balram comments roared up a controversy then to which senior Congress leader Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan had said Balram should submit the evidence if he any to prove his allegation. Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan was the Home Minister of the state when TP Chandrashekharan murder case was under investigation.

Reckoning that his comments had hit the wrong target Balram tweaked his opinion said he was referring to the political adjustment with the CPIM and BJP.

Though it is humane to learn from one’s own mistake, the young politician and AICC member from Kerala seems to lack this instinct. Balram’s words continue to trigger controversies and the latest being his strong words against prominent writer K R Meera. Balram’s harsh words against Meera had come after the writer wrote a post on her Facebook account criticising the former. But Balram’s comment, as usual, had drawn flak from all quarters over his choice of words in an attempt to give a befitting reply to the writer.

Balram is not the first politician in Kerala to frequently commit the mistake of embracing controversies. He is well accompanied by A N Shamsheer, M Swaraj from the opposition camp.

But being a politician Balram and others should realise that they are accountable and carry the onus of responsibility of being an elected representative by the people. These men should choose their words carefully and realise they are always under the public scanner. They must be wise to avoid controversies and should walk on a path guided by prudence.

Balram should have avoided a comment which is overtly misogynist and so mean for an elected representative. He should be wise enough to revoke his comments and apologise to the writer for his derogatory remarks.

Jestin Abraham is a journalist

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