“You know I am more of a friend than a psychologist. You must open up….what is going on? Tell me.”

The leader took a deep breath, looked at the ceiling while biting nails and confided –

“I feel I am being deprived of something, something is being snatched from me. I am not able to sleep properly, I feel or the edge all the times, I do stupid things, throw tantrums…”

“Deprived of something……something being snatched…hmmm….” The psychologist empathized and offered a glass of water to the leader and added – “what is being snatched from you?”

The leader who was now staring blankly at the glass of water said in a grim voice – “everything…”

The psychologists knew what the leader was going through and wanted the leader to express the pent up feelings and find answers for self. He waited for more from the leader.  “Go on….” he said in a soft voice.

“Well….guess I am not able to adjust with the realities…the fact that the whole scenario has changed. …and in that changed scenario, I have become irrelevant.” The leader was opening up.

“So, is it loosing power that is bothering you?” The psychologist asked.

The leader was lost in thoughts…….

“Well……coming into power and losing it is part of political life, so I guess it is something else….” The leader said.

Not hearing anything for long, the psychologist referred to his notes and said in a comforting voice….

“You said you are being deprived of something…something being snatched from you..…is it your ‘right to something’ or a ‘material possession’?”

“YES……I guess I understand!!” The leader said in eureka type tone… “Right from childhood, I have seen my family in control of things. We always had control on people’s minds…..they did what we said…whether we were in power or not, we had that ‘real power’ you see. People went hysterical with our speeches, they rallied behind us…..but now, we have to make our presence felt…we have to run behind them. Some mischievous youngsters jeer during my speeches which never happened earlier. People even protested against me for the first time…..” A thoughtful pause followed by another profound acknowledgement… “I always felt that the people were incapable of making decisions and we were destined to do it for them and now that they have started doing it, I am not able to digest it….”

“Good……so, you think that somehow, your right to exercise power on the minds of people is being taken away from you?” The psychologist had got a lead and was now leading the leader to another sphere. “Who is taking away this ‘right’ from you?” He asked politely.

“Hmmm….people…I guess”

“So the people themselves are taking away your right to exercise power on their minds….… are you ready to accept it?”

This was a reflective moment for the leader….the psychologist had hit the nail on the head. He let the leader mull over the simple but profound discovery. The leader opened up-

“Yes…THIS IS IT….I am not able to accept it….I cannot digest the fact that they have discarded me, people whom I thought as incapable of moving even a step without my support are doing pretty well and that the power has gone down to the grassroots levels…and that…..…” the leader paused.

“……that they have understood that you have been fooling them to meet your political ends…?” The psychologist used one of the harder prompts to save time. The leader was not offended…and surprisingly relented-

“Yes…I guess they have understood that we the leaders were always pursuing our own agenda…quarreling all the time but coming together at opportune moments….supporting the separatists and radicals and at the same time speaking against violence….peddling soft separatism and in between giving statements to appease some people…spending millions of public money on self….supporting nepotism and corruption while in power and speaking against it when out of power……collectively maintaining a sense of insecurity to get special attention from the Centre…..”

The psychologist was pleased….the patient had accepted the follies well….now the treatment will be easier. They spoke for some more time and then the psychologist gave his advice.

“Well friend….your subconscious mind is not able to adapt to the change and is resisting it through tantrums, sensational statements, false allegations and attention seeking etc on which you do not have a direct control. Once you accept the change, you will start feeling better.” He got up to leave and added –

“Personally, I am happy with the success of recent elections…the development…the groundswell for peace and the reduction in violence in the Valley. As a friend I would advise you another thing. Start genuinely working for people and support the administration. This way you will earn more respect and sleep well. ”

The leader felt better….let us see if there will be a change or not. 

Leave a Reply