Rahul-Modi hug at No-Confidence motion: It is better to hug than cause havoc
By Satya Narayan Sahu | PUBLISHED: 21, Jul 2018, 11:48 am IST | UPDATED: 26, Jul 2018, 16:43 pm IST
Rahul Gandhi does not inspire me. He certainly is not my choice of a leader. Yet Rahul going to PM and hugging him after his speech which was sharp, critical and caused some tremor in the treasury benches made some impact on me. The hug was a clear manifestation of an approach or method of opposition free from any ill will and acrimony. He made the point that an opponent need not be an enemy and opposition can be intense and not intimidatory.
The hug reminded the point often made by great personalities in history that a fight can be devoid of rancour and bitterness and can be carried forward to its logical conclusion without causing violence either in thought or deed. It can be based on good will and good gesture without losing its effectiveness and engaging content. All over media and social media the hug of Rahul Gandhi became prominent in terms of its visual impact and victorious message. Some agreed with the hug and some were not humoured by it.
For whatever its worth it has become central to the no confidence debate and vote in terms of its optics which may have violated unwritten rules of decorum. As some media person commented the treasury benches had the number, the opposition had the narrative. And the hug of Rahul Gandhi gave the narrative an inclusive content and a much needed intent for engagement without considering some body as an enemy.
A spontaneous hug to a prime minister who is well known for hugging world leaders outwitted him. Has the hug hoisted the triumph of good will over ill will or has the hug caused another hashtag in Indian politics and opened the avenues for rapprochement in the age of spiralling hatred and mob lynching? Whether the hug is hailed or the hug is howled at, it is irresistible in terms of its visual impact. A hug received in hushed silence honours the one who came forward with open arms to embrace one who wanted Congress Mukt Bharat. Whatever it may be the hug hovered the mind of those who invoked havoc of pre partition days.
It is indeed better to hug than cause havoc.
# Mr Satya Narayan Sahu was OSD and Press Secretary to the late President of India Shri K.R. Narayanan and served as Director in the Prime Minister's Office. He is currently Joint Secretary in the Rajya Sabha Secretariat. The views expressed by him are personal and not that of Rajya Sabha Secretariat.