When Navjot touched Amarinder’s feet


Navjot Sidhu takes oath in Chandigarh.

When Navjot Singh Sidhu, the newly appointed Cabinet Minister, touched the feet of the new Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh during the swearing-in-ceremony, it made a buzz on social media. However, it was also a symbolic gesture that all is well in Punjab Congress and the two leaders share a perfect relation.

In our culture, touching feet of elders is a common practice. According to our traditions it denotes paying respect to our elders and in turn receiving their blessings. Just as a foundation bears the weight of a building, the same function is done by our feet. By bowing down, we are overcoming our egos and learning from the experience of the person elder to us. The tradition states the benefit of touching feet as being blessed with strength, intellect, and Knowledge. The logic of this act is that the elders have lived on the earth from a longer time and accumulated a greater amount of wisdom. Thus even the dust on their feet can prove to be a source of immense learning. That’s what traditions say, however have you tried deciphering the meaning of what the practice actually means?

With time, it has acquired different meanings which ranges from paying respect to sycophancy.

Are you touching the feet of your elders because you have been told to do so or because you want to get away with the ritual without questioning its significance?

Are you bowing down because you want to gain some advantage out of the person you are bowing your head to? This remains a big question.

Touching feet of senior politicians by their junior counterparts is a common sight. Feet of politicians being touched by bureaucrats, policemen and common-men is even commoner (sight).

Feet of politicians being touched by bureaucrats, policemen and common-men is a common sight

In 2013, an IPS officer touched Samajwadi Party’s National general secretary, Ram Gopal Yadav’s feet. First he denied doing so, however when he was shown the footage of the camera he said he was keeping people away from the politician. The same party had raised a hue and cry when a similar incident had happened in 2011 with their constant opponent; Mayawati. A security officer had wiped her shoes. When the security officer was asked to comment he replied that he did it on humanitarian ground.

The act of Sidhu, touching the feet of Punjab’s newly sworn Chief Minister; Capt. Amarinder Singh can be seen in the right context. In the assembly elections, Sidhu fought from Amritsar east and won with a margin of more than 42,000 votes. He was the second person to be sworn in as a cabinet minister of Punjab. After taking oath, in a fit of overwhelmingness , he touched the feet of Punjab’s CM. While some might interpret this simply as a gesture of respect, others are viewing it as an expression of solidarity. Amidst rumors of his deputy ministerial ambitions not being favored by the party because of his late entry, by doing this he has put all rumors to rest. He said “I will sacrifice myself for Punjab. I want to see Punjab prosper”. He also called himself a soldier of Rahul Gandhi’s army. Notably Sidhu had earlier won from Amritsar on a BJP ticket in 2004 elections. He vented out his anger when he was not appointed from Amritsar in the 2014 general elections.

“Amritsar is the place where my work and action speaks for itself. Since, I started contesting elections from this holy place, I have promised myself never to abandon this place. Either, I will contest from Amritsar, or else I won’t contest elections”, he had said. Amidst speculations of him joining AAP, he had koined Indian National Congress in 2017. The rest of his innings is yet to be seen. It does not matter which ideology, you stand by for in a bargain of better prospects you’ll quickly change yours. In the ever changing scenario of politics it remains to be seen, how much impact this move will have.