General practitioner (GP): I would like to consult with you eminent specialists to help a patient from Bihar suffering from a terrible disease. He hates the sight of alcohol.
Medical specialist (MS): Many people don’t like drinking.
GP: Oh, but not only does this patient dislike booze, he wants to stop everybody else drinking too. He arrests the whole family if booze is found in the house. And he levies collective fines on entire villages if he finds even a single bottle of liquor.
Psychiatrist: Very interesting. My diagnosis is methyphobia or diposphobia, a psycho-pathological condition.
GP: Good God, is he a nutcase?
Neurologist: Methyphobia is a medical condition where the sufferer has an intense and irrational fear of alcohol or a fear of people who are ingesting alcohol.
Psychologist: Did he have a traumatic experience with alcohol? A history of alcohol abuse?
GP: I don’t think so. In fact, a few years ago he was all for increasing the sale of alcohol, even innovatively packaging booze in 200 ml sachets so that more people could buy.
Asylum boss: Hmmm….chronic inability to make up his mind, schizoid personality. Is he violent?
GP: He’s put thousands of people suspected of drinking behind bars. He’s running amok.
Psychiatrist: And is he habitually suspicious?
GP: He has suspended many cops because he thinks they aren’t doing their duty and arresting the boozers.
MS: Let’s not jump to conclusions. There could be some rational basis to his bizarre behaviour.
GP: Yes, some say he is doing all this because the women want it.
Psychiatrist: He could be afflicted by gynophobia, or the fear of women.
GP: I think he just wants to be liked by them.
Asylum boss: He appears to be consumed by feelings of inadequacy, always on the lookout for approval, an obvious inferiority complex.
Neurologist: In my opinion, he’s delusional and has a God or Messiah complex.
Psychologist: I detect traces of a neurotic syndrome, a fear of failure.
Psychiatrist: Yes, that could be the reason why he is overcompensating.
Asylum boss: And his need to do something for women stems from a deep-seated repressed sub-conscious desire to show off to his mother.
Neurologist: That’s very Freudian, I would say even Jungian.
GP: Oh I forgot, drinking toddy is okay with the patient, because he doesn’t want to displease the toddy tapper caste.
Asylum boss: My diagnosis is he’s a casteist paranoid schizophrenic dipsophobic with a Messiah complex and a Jungian neurosis.
MS: Sounds like he’s suffering from a bad case of politics to me.
MS: This fellow is a politician, right? Politics is derived from the Greek word ‘poly’ meaning many and ‘ticks’, which are bloodsucking insects. As long as the patient stays in politics, he will remain infected.
GP: Is there a cure?
MS: Certainly. Just make sure he loses the next election.
Manas Chakravarty is Consulting Editor, Mint
The views expressed are personal