There’s no dearth of drama in Indian politics. Politicians are always trying to one-up the other with jibes and barbs, all of whom have contributed to India’s rich wealth of political vocabularies such as jumla, Pappu, Feku, suit-boot ki sarkar and Amul Baby. But in an apparent departure from its usual mean-spiritedness, Indian politics witnessed a watershed moment today when opposition leader Rahul Gandhi walked up to PM Narendra Modi, mid-speech during the No-Confidence Motion, and hugged him in front of the stunned assembly. He admitted that he’s aware of the hatred BJP and the NDA harbour against him, he has no ill-will towards them.
And as expected, the gesture was met with a mixed response. While some lauded Gandhi for his Gandhian approach, others were quick to denounce it as an “immature” move. Irrespective of where you stand on the Modi versus Gandhi debate, it was a heart-warming gesture on the part of the Congress chief.
Why Should You Hug?
Remember when we were asked to hug our siblings after a fight as a sign of truce? Turns we must hug more often to reap amazing benefits of hugging. You instantly feel lighter after a warm hug. Well, hugs are therapeutic and there are science-backed reasons that they are good for you. Here are some reasons why you should:
A hug can build trust and foster a sense of safety. This helps with open and honest communication. We are certain that the Modi-Gandhi hugs-capade won’t blossom into a friendship anytime soon. But hugging is known to improve bonding between two people. Frequent hugging increases the hormone oxytocin, decreasing blood pressure and improving bonding between two people.
Hugging has a disarming effect on the hugger and hug-ee. It loosens the muscles, relaxing you all over. If work gets to you, as it does in the maddening world of politics, a hug is all you need.
Imagine being in the public eye at all times, bearing the weight of your party and being the punching bag for media and stand-up comedians. It sure is stressful, and The PM and the Congress chief don’t have it easy. They could do with a little hug once in a while. Hugging helps in reducing your stress levels by lowering your blood pressure and stress hormone cortisol.
Boosts the Immune System
An overstressed body is easy pickings for pathogens. Stress lowers your body’s defence mechanisms, leaving you more susceptible to infections. When you hug, your fight-or-flight hormones released during moments of stress, helping your body recover its immune mechanisms. A hug can put gentle pressure on the sternum, activating the solar plexus chakra, which stimulates white blood cells production.
Keeps the Heart Healthy
Politicians are often accused of having no heart. But it doesn’t mean you can ignore heart health. Hugging is also known to reduce heart rate, which translates to better cardiac health.
Makes You Happier
Let’s be honest. Unless you absolutely dread human touch, hugs can make you feel pretty damn good. Hugs can instantly boost oxytocin levels, which heal feelings of loneliness, isolation, and anger. Holding a hug for an extended time lifts one's serotonin levels, elevating mood and creating happiness.
Whether you are team Modi or Gandhi, the bottom line is that hugs are good for you. A hug a day can improve your mood, make you feel loved, keep your heart healthy and boost your immune system. Take a leaf from Rahul Gandhi’s book and give your old rival a good hug. You may never know when friends may turn into foes.