ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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‘Bipolar’ as a Slur

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Rajya Sabha member of Parliament and economist Subramanian Swamy recently said that since Priyanka Gandhi is “bipolar,” she is unfit to be in politics and her “illness” makes her unreliable, unpredictable and unstable. Without going into the veracity of this claim, what it reveals about the speaker and the larger society he appears to represent merits consideration.

First, should someone represent others in the public eye when they are evoking a stigmatising, potentially disabling identity label against another person? Is this an ethical act? Second, is a mental illness diagnosis at any point in a person’s life a lifelong indictment that renders them incapable of accomplishing anything ever again, especially in politics? Third, is mental illness a permanent feature of someone’s life, wherein there is no chance of recovery or cure?

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Updated On : 30th Mar, 2021

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