Hyderabad: The Indian Psychiatry Society (IPS) has requested the Election Commission of India to prohibit politicians from using words like ‘mental’ while describing their opponents during the Lok Sabha election campaigns. In a written letter to the ECI, chairperson Dr B N Raveesh and co-chairperson Dr Suresh Bada Math communicated, “The words used by politicians and persons with social responsibility are discriminatory, inhuman and degrading over the rights of persons suffering from mental disorders.”
As per the observation made by the IPS, many politicians were in the practice of using terms like ‘mental instability’, ‘mad’, ‘manasik asvastya’, ‘mental hospital ko bejna hai,’ while criticising their opponents. Thus the Indian Psychiatry Society in a letter dated March 23 made it clear that, “These are the persons with a huge responsibility to conduct themselves as leaders of the people. Their comments will be covered by print and visual media, including social media.” Thus a request has been made to the ECI in this regard to take immediate steps to caution politicians, and to bring the matter under the election code of conduct.
As mentioned in the official website of IPS, the primary objectives of the Indian Psychiatric Society are to promote and advance the subject of Psychiatry and allied sciences in all their different branches, to improve people’s mental health and related education and to prevent, control, treat all psychiatric disabilities. The body also formulates and advises on the standards of education and training for medical and auxiliary personnel in psychiatry. Apart from promoting research in the field of psychiatry and mental health, IPS also propagates the principles of psychiatry and current development in psychiatric thought.