E.R. RAMACHANDRAN writes: A number of personalities, and the print and electronic media, have accused the Prime Minister of maintaining a stony silence on important policy matters and using secrecy as a weapon when the administration was falling apart all around him.
This is rather unusual for a former professor of the London school of economics and a former finance minister. There was no other way he could have communicated with his students or his colleagues, least of all delivered the Union budget, without opening his mouth.
I wondered what had really happened to him over the years and here a stroke of luck helped me.
When I was with my dentist friend at Green Park, his uncle dropped in to spend the evening there. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that uncleji was in the panel of doctors who had treated our PM for the last five years.
Here was a chance to find out about our PM from someone who has looked deep into his mouth.
“Why is our PM mostly silent on all issues?”
“He was not silent at all during UPA-I. During the vote of confidence motion moved by the Left parties during the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal, his incisors and premolars had partially decayed. He couldn’t chew on any question that needed his left molar. To reduce his pain, I had hidden some swabs of cotton dipped in dettol on the left side of his mouth with the result nobody could understand what he spoke. He mumbled though his speech amidst thunderous applause by Congress members. In fact I had suggested to the UPA chairperson to issue a whip that every member must clap throughout his speech!”
“Oh, I see.”
“In fact the other day when he went to both Lok Sabha and the Upper House, his teeth on the left canine was colliding directly with the one below causing a guttural sound and to those around PM this would have looked he was gnashing his teeth. Soon enough he was tearing Lal Krishna Advaniji to pieces as he had called him a puppet Prime Minister.”
“You seem to have read the PM’s teeth like a book and so his moods too.”
“Shayad. Again during the nuclear bill debate his right molar had grown wild and was directly challenging the teeth around the periphery. You could call this an unhinged and untrammeled growth, the one that comes from supreme power. I filed and cut his teeth to size, so to say, and I found his speech on the nuclear bill which started with a supreme air of arrogance had come down next day by several notches to one of decency once the sharp edges were filed.”
“What has happened of late?” my friend asked his uncle.
“When he spoke of the compulsions of coalition politics, which he pronounces as collision, he was simply stating the facts. He had bit hard in to the muruku brought by some DMK members from Saravana Bhavan which tore his gum off the dental arch and hit the roof. Till this day CBI has not cracked this case whether it was an act of culinary negligence or a willful and deliberate attack on his teeth for not helping its corrupt members rotting in jail.”
“You haven’t answered our question. Why is he mostly silent these days,” we asked simultaneously.
“I don’t think it has to do with his teeth. My psychiatrist friend in the panel, who watches the PM all the time, was telling me it may have to do with his job security and some rebellion brewing within the party,” concluded the dentist.