The all-embracing hug becomes a political tool. It is no longer the Gandhian manoeuver that was advocated by the Raju Hirani film ‘Munnabhai MBBS’, in which a goon doctor tries to get revenge on a principle of a medical college but ends up turning into the messiah of Gandhi after the Mahatma starts appearing to him in visions.
Today, the hug is a political leverage that Rahul Gandhi used on Modi, or what Trump does to other world leaders to emotionally intimidate them. As if firm handshakes were not enough, now it is down to strong hugs. The stronger your embrace, the bigger you are on the relationship see-saw. If you can crack a few ribs, you can be the next candidate for world’s most powerful leadership positions.
Image Credit: Movie – Munnabhai MBBS
Either the hug is a political weapon, or it is a measure of social awkwardness. You can gauge the closeness of a friendship through the hug. If the person tried to embrace you when you are not ready, or when you are trying to hold them by a love handle, when they have moved on, it shows imbalance and social impropriety.
No longer is the hug a simple solution to all problems, like Gandhigiri advocated. Have you tried hugging your boss when they are abusing you in front of the whole team? Can you hug the local leader, who refuses to fill the potholes on the road to your home? Can Elon Musk hug the market analysts who are making sure that Tesla shares fall faster than ever? Can Trump and Kim hug it out and not threaten the world with a nuclear war?
Probably not. Many values of Gandhigiri need a revival if the world is to be saved from a cataclysm. But it will require the change to happen one embrace at a time.