Above: Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay
Forget the Hippocratic Oath, in the new India, the healing touch is required and visible everywhere, from politics to business, sports to the judiciary and beyond. The healing touch, also called TLC, is made more complicated by the fact that even doctors are in strike, fearing for their lives, so with Mother Teresa no more, who is left to provide the healing touch? Read on.
Narendra Modi: The Prime Minister’s address to the nation appropriately attired in a natty black Nehru jacket, offered a healing touch to his “brothers and sisters” in Kashmir with a truckload of promises and assurances. The only problem was that his government had cut all communication channels in the Valley, including television channels, so his was literally a voice in the wilderness. Whether the response from Kashmiris is ‘goli’ or ‘gaali’ or the opposite, will have to wait till the streets of Srinagar are paved with gold, and not just good intentions.
Ajit Doval: The National Security Advisor, basically India’s intelligence czar, was seen administering the healing touch by sharing a Kashmiri meal with a handful of locals on the otherwise deserted streets of Shopian. Clearly, his vision is that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. The obvious question is whether the rest of Shopian, a district that is considered a hotbed of militancy, will digest the convulsive changes in their status or react with a stony silence.
BS Yediyurappa: The initials are quite appropriate considering that Karnataka’s new chief minister, has not been able to appoint a single cabinet minister almost a fortnight after toppling the elected government and promising the people of the state the moon and various other astral bodies, interpreted as TLC, or Tender Loving Care. Till the BJP leadership gives him the go ahead, Karnataka has been a one-man show, and he could quickly resemble a one-trick pony, if this farce on democracy continues.
Congress Party: Clearly, the one entity that needs the healing touch the most, but the Hand that could administer it, has gone missing, along with a succession of legislators who have deserted the party and switched to the BJP in recent weeks. Rahul Gandhi’s decision to abrogate, like Article 370, has left the Grand Old Party in a state of flux and proving that the healing touch can only come from members of the first family. Now, with members of Rahul’s kitchen cabinet opposing the official party line on the Kashmir issue, the healing touch is more urgently required before the Congress Working Committee gets consigned to the dustbin of history.
Nirmala Sitharaman: With the economy in serious trouble across numerous sectors and the visible slowdown showing no signs of recovery, the finance minister has been administering the healing touch to business leaders who are demanding a rollback on certain restrictive aspects of her Budget, but only in private. In public, they continue to sing praises of the government and its promises to revive the elusive animal spirits. What that animal is, considering India Inc’s reluctance to be openly critical of the adverse situation, is open to question, could be sheep, or even a caged parrot.
Sriram Venkitaraman: Proved the definition of being drunk with power. The senior IAS officer from Kerala, involved in a drunken driving incident that led to the death of a local journalist, was given bail thanks to the healing hand extended by the police who declined to take the mandatory blood test for alcohol levels, then shifted him to a five-star private hospital. Even the chief minister, who is also the home minister, seemed to be offering Venkitaraman the healing touch, re-establishing the long-standing nexus between politicians, bureaucrats and the police.
Amit Shah: He has become the most powerful home minister the country has seen, mainly by being ruthless, ambitious, farsighted and Machiavellian. He has also, in his earlier avatar as BJP President, perfected the art of the healing touch, which, in political terms, means convincing politicians from opposition parties to abandon ideology and loyalty and switch to saffron. Now, as Union Home Minister, he can use other methods of persuasion to achieve the same objective. Disgruntled opposition leaders refer to it as Stealing Touch.