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Saturday, Oct 19, 2019

Arm-twisting Manmohan Singh!

Our surfer wonders if there is a political angle to our PM's "wristy" woes.

india Updated: Jun 03, 2006 17:15 IST
ER Ramachandran
ER Ramachandran

The news the Prime Minister had got his wrists operated at fairly short intervals created sort of panic unseen in recent years. Both the South and North blocks were agog with concern and despair and wore "What Next?" expression on their collective eyebrows. Years before, Congressmen were afflicted with similar "After Nehru, Who?" disability.

They knew PM's hands were tied most of the time, but he had to undergo wrist surgery to become free again? Unthinkable. But that's how it is in Delhi.

The PM's spokesman was most courteous when I landed at his office to get details about the gut-wrenching wrist job.

"How did it happen? How did he manage to get both the wrists un-operable at the same time?" I asked.

"Correction. It was the right wrist that got twisted earlier. This was when President Bush visited India. The US President was very enthusiastic about his India visit after the plunging poll rates forced him to flee Washington. Encouraged with the great reception he got, he started pumping PM's hand for quite sometime and repeated it for the Indian and foreign media. That twisted his right wrist."

"Did it also cause an increase of pressure on the wrist?"

"No. That happened later when Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice shook his hands before he went to sign the nuclear deal. By that time, the Americans had twisted his arm substantially that put pressure on the nerve ending at his wrist. He signed the deal quickly without even glancing, and asked Kakodkar not to ask too many questions. Naturally, he didn't want to aggravate the injury by signing any corrections to the original draft."

"These nitty-gritties are so revealing. What happened with the left wrist?"

"Obviously the Left party was not going to keep quiet after Americans ran away with the nuclear deal. 'The Office of Profit' thing snowballed to such an extent, even the UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi had to run for cover and face re-election. The speaker of the Lok Sabha, though does not belonging to any party, is basically of Leftist pedigree and he had to be rescued likewise, because of his Rabindra Bharati connections. That's when the Left started meeting the PM daily, and since he couldn't use his right hand, they started their 'left hand' treatment. With so many Left leaders applying pressure on Shantiniketan Affair, soon his left wrist too gave away."

"So tragic! Political pressures could be so complicated and nervy, no wonder so many are running to Baba Ramdev to learn acupuncture! One last question. Why did he get his wrists operated at Army Research and Referral Hospital? Any particular reason?"

"Actually two junior doctors who have just become orthopedic surgeons offered to do surgery!  Because of the anti-quota strike against reservations, the HRD Minister Arjun Singh advised the PM to get it done only at Army Hospital. That's how we had to say 'No' even to directors of AIIMS and LNJP hospitals!"

ER Ramachandran is our regular surfer and can be reached

All views and opinions presented in this article are solely those of the surfer and do not necessarily represent those of

First Published: Jun 03, 2006 17:15 IST

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